The Riviera

Riveria Hotel
2901 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas
(+1) 702 734 5110

Location At the North end of the Strip, this is not as fashionable or as exciting as the middle or south Strip. The area feels cheaper and older but you are still within walking distance of middle Strip although it can feel a little uneasy at night.  
Theme It hasn't got one really, the name implies you are going to be entering Antibes or Cannes but you don't! If it has any theme it is old style Vegas, this isn't really a theme, it really is old style Vegas and you can tell it’s old!  
Attractions There is the brass “crazy girls” statue outside, which is crap, and the sort of monument that attracts 22 stone stereotypical nerds who like to have their pictures taken with one of their hands on the rear of one or more of the statues and actually think they look cool. You can get a free T-shirt in the casino, is that an attraction? They do have a video arcade but I doubt it is used much as this resort is not aiming at the family market, not with huge adverts for the Crazy Girls topless review everywhere. This is where the film “Casino” was shot, so if you want to have a look for the real Ace or an insight into his world this is your place.  
Shopping Better than you might imagine, they have a fair number and good assortment of shops. It’s not somewhere you would go out of your way for but it ain't bad.  
Dining The Riviera has the World Fare Buffet (B: $10.99, L: $11.99 D: $9.99 Champagne Sunday Brunch $13.99) I have not eaten here but have heard varied reviews. Breakfast seems to be pretty good, particularly if you eat from the omelette bar but the rest of the reviews seem negative. It appears that you can very easily get a comp for this buffet by staying at the hotel or gambling a relatively small amount of money. If you get a comp then it is probably worth eating here but otherwise, by all accounts, you can get a nicer meal, in nicer surroundings for the same price elsewhere. There is of course a 24hr coffee shop, a food court containing amongst others Burger King and Pizza Hut. There are there other places to eat on the slightly more upmarket side Cantonese, Steak and Seafood and Italian restaurants.  
Gaming Its big, 102,300sq ft with about 40 tables, some with minimums as low as $3. There are just under 2000 slot machines complete with one huge area named “Nickel Town”. This, as its name suggests contains loads of nickel machines. The casino is bigger than you realise and very easy to get lost in, it is noisy and seems to be noisy even when it is empty. Not sure how it does this, it just is. Opening night in 1955, Liberace as the headliner, Joan Crawford the official hostess, Orson Wells and Marlene Dietrich appearing in the showroom. These days are gone, The Riviera now feels a bit tired, a little bit of a dinosaur. It must struggle to compete with the newer mega resorts and is probably kept going by its older patrons that were probably there in its, and their, heyday.  
Drinks Service The best thing about old school Vegas casinos is the drink service. It seems that these establishments have over the past 40 years realised that if you feel content, happy and have everything to hand that you will stay and play longer. Further that increased alcohol probably increases your gambling limits. The Riviera, and other casinos of its time, keeps the drinks flowing, you get a lot of attention and hence a lot of drinks whether you are playing $10 or nickel machines.  
Best Thing You get the feeling that this is what it was like when the mobs ran Vegas and that you are in a time capsule. I like this best but can see why others don't.  
Worst Thing Timeshare touts that pounce on you every time you walk in or out of the casino.  
Overall This is an older casino that has stood the test of time and still treats you the old fashioned Vegas way. The casino is frequented by older low rollers, this is their idea of what Vegas is all about and they do not want fountain displays, pirate battles and fire breathing lions - they want value. The Riviera has been used for several films because it is stereotypical old Vegas and for this reason alone is well worth a visit. The Riviera is not what it was even 20 years ago; I doubt it will ever be up there with the new top players on the Strip but it has continued to do what it knows best and accordingly is a Vegas time capsule.  
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