About one mile west of the Las Vegas Strip sits the Gold Coast Hotel & Casino. Sci-fi fans may remember seeing it bombarded by Martians in Tim Burton's 1996 cult film "Mars Attacks!"
Opened in 1986, the mid-sized, 711-room resort may be a little rough around the edges but is still a cool classic in the city. The Gold Coast tends to attract an older clientele and caters to a mix of locals and visitors.
The property retains the feel of a Victorian-style gambling hall. The front desk and lobby are quaint with a mixture of wood paneling and brass fixtures. The central gaming floor, on the other hand, is truly grand with a domed ceiling, eight elegant chandeliers, stained glass windows and hanging flower boxes.
Although referencing the past in decor, its casino heralds the future. Guests can play 48 different table games here. They'll also discover more than 2,100 slot and video poker machines. Surrounded by 38 huge flat-screen TVs, the race and sports book is a high-tech facility with 30 interactive betting terminals. Plus, there's an expansive 720-seat bingo room upstairs, where eight action-packed sessions are called daily.
Two of Vegas' favorite Asian restaurants can be found at the Gold Coast. The first is Ping Pang Pong, which may sound like a silly name but actually boasts a kitchen and graceful dining room that are serious about Chinese fare. Chefs prepare a multitude of specialty dishes from the country's various provinces. In contrast, the Noodle Exchange is a less formal eatery with a plentiful selection of broth, Ban Ban and stir-fried noodles for meat lovers and vegetarians alike.
As befits a western-themed hotel, the Gold Coast has a traditional steakhouse, the Cortez Room. It serves a wide-ranging menu including perfectly seasoned and slow-roasted prime rib, Steak Diane, Chicken Oscar and Seafood Olympia.
For casual dining, the Ports O' Call Buffet will take you on a culinary journey around the world. Or just drop in on T.G.I. Friday's, the chain restaurant that is open 24/7, for some mouth-watering pub grub.
The intimate Gold Coast Showroom, swathed in timeless red decor, showcases a variety of acts including magic, live music and ballroom dancing. In addition, guests can try for a strike in the 70-lane bowling alley on the resort's second floor. It features state-of-the-art equipment along with bumper bowling for kids.
A delightful freeform outdoor swimming pool, a fully stocked fitness center, a beauty salon and an old-fashioned barber shop round out the offerings at this charming Vegas property. And if Gold Coast guests want to get out and about without doing the driving, they can hop on a complimentary shuttle to the Strip and The Orleans.