Home to "Mystère," the longest running Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas, Treasure Island has shed its "Ahoy, matey!" attitude for a more contemporary outlook while blending a great location with mid-range pricing, shops and restaurants.
Conveniently placed, more mainstream than seafaring, good solid rooms
Location, location, location. Like the real estate mantra, this is what you get when you stay here -- and it's hard to beat. Treasure Island is the affordable option in a sea of five-star resorts (sitting just across the street are Wynn Las Vegas, Encore, The Venetian and The Palazzo). Treasure Island is also convenient to shopping (well hello there neighbor…Fashion Show mall) and other hot stuff like The Mirage's erupting volcano.
There's a little bit of country in all of us. You don't need to be a loyal "Nashville" viewer to have a great time at Gilley's Saloon, Dance Hall & Bar-B-Q. You'll get your kicks line dancing, listening to live bands or just checking out the gorgeous Gilley Girls in their bikinis and chaps. After you've knocked back a few beers to fortify your courage, hop in the saddle of the mechanical bull -- a beast that bears no name (he'll throw you for a loop and then some).
Although the pirate theme isn't as prominent inside the resort anymore, we still love the exterior. There's a Disney-esque manmade cove, a boardwalk built from wooden planks and a couple of ships that look like they've sailed the high seas (although they no longer move, you can get married on them).
Attention hot tubbers: The pool deck at Treasure Island features a 25-person hot tub. Everyone in!
Remodeled in 2012, the base-level deluxe rooms at Treasure Island are right in the sweet spot -- not too expensive, not too cheap. If you spend a few extra dollars, you can get a Strip view (the upgrade is well worth it because the rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows).
Although disappointing to many visitors (and us too), Treasure Island doesn't have a free pirate show in its lagoon anymore. Due to construction on a new shopping center, the size of the lagoon has shrunk and the ships have been permanently anchored. But you can still put on your best pirate accent, order a frrr…ozen drink at the walk-up Margarita Bar and ramble around Sirens Cove while toasting to the memory of it.
If you're arriving at peak check-in times (usually between the hours of 4 and 7 p.m.), be prepared to wait. Lines are often long at checkout time too. So unless you have an issue or need a receipt, it's best to check out electronically.
Treasure Island isn't an upscale hotel brand so you won't find celebrity chefs or high-end boutiques on the premises. But that doesn't matter because all of those things are within walking distance.
If you're coming to Treasure Island by car to see "Mystère," it's easiest to self-park because the entrance from the garage leads directly to the box office and theater. Park on level three where there's a covered walkway that goes right into the resort. Although entering is no sweat, be forewarned because when the show lets out there's a traffic jam of people in this area.
As buffets go, The Buffet at TI is a fairly good one. There are stations where you can build your own salads and pastas, plus you can nibble on everything from sushi to samosas. Unique desserts include mini doughnuts and cotton candy -- both seriously melt-in-your-mouth good.
For those who like to shop 'til you drop (and that's every woman out there), a major retail center awaits on each corner. Head through the sports book and out to Spring Mountain Road, where the escalator and pedestrian bridge will take you directly to the Fashion Show mall. On the other two corners on the east side of Las Vegas Boulevard, you'll find the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian | The Palazzo and the Esplanades at Wynn and Encore (which, by the way, is home to a Manolo Blahnik -- and no, $1,200 is not too much to spend on shoes).
Treasure Island is connected to The Mirage by a free tram (a great way to save your legs and some cash).