Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Expect more conventioneers than kids at this sexy Brazilian-themed hotel, with its popular seafood buffet and evening aerial dance performances.
With its sensual Brazilian theme, the 2,526-suite Rio is home to lingerie-clad cocktail waitresses and the "Show in the Sky," with Victoria's Secret-clad dancers writhing around on suspended Carnival floats. While parents do book here -- young kids can be found splashing around in the waterfall pool -- vacationing couples and conventioneers are far more prevalent.
Rio doesn't have MGM's lions or Paris' Eiffel Tower, but plenty of Strip traffic comes over to the two shimmering purple-and-red glass towers for the popular Village Seafood buffet. Fortunately, traffic goes both ways -- a free shuttle to the Strip ensures that guests at this off-the-Strip hotel aren't isolated from the action.
Rio welcomes the annual World Series of Poker, but the hotel has seen some unfortunate closings of late. The Lucky Strike bowling alley has shut down, and after prostitution arrests, the strip club-sponsored topless pool was shuttered. And Prince ended his club show recently.
On the corner of West Flamingo Road and Valley View Boulevard, Rio is about a mile west of the Strip, the densely packed three-and-a-half-mile-long stretch of hotel-casinos. Guests often head across Valley View to Gold Coast for its lower-stakes casino and authentic dim sum restaurant. Catty-corner to the Rio, the party-hearty Palms attracts visitors with its celeb-frequented clubs and casino. Otherwise, the area directly outside Rio can feel isolated. Few people are on the streets (most come and go via cabs or cars), nor is the area very well lit.
The Rio is about a $16 to $25 cab ride from the airport.
What you'll find at the Rio are no-frills suites ideal for cramming in friends or family (the limit is five people per room) for relatively cheap rates (a little more than Bally's, but usually less than Paris and Caesars). Therein lies Rio's appeal. Huge, 600-square-foot suites, but the dated decor in the Masquerade Tower isn't as contemporary as in the newer section Ipanema Towers, which has neutral tones and dark wood furnishings.
A 100,000-square-foot casino that's home to the World Series of Poker -- and a sizable race and sports book with 38 TV screens.
At more than 100,000 square feet, Rio's substantial casino offers around 1,200 slot and video poker machines, 80 table games, a keno lounge, and a stylish race and sports book with six big screens, a dozen 70-inch TVs and more than 20 32-inch TVs. Rio is also home to the annual World Series of Poker and hosts a daily no-limit Texas Hold-'em tournament in its poker room.
While the scantily clad cocktail waitresses would appear to gear this hotel toward adults, big 600-square-foot suites and plenty of kid-friendly eats say otherwise.
One look at the casino cocktail waitresses -- clad in nothing but a butt-grazing lace negligee held together by the grace of God -- and the message seems clear: This ain't a family resort. But the occasional family does book here, likely for the spacious suites.
The Rio will allow up to five people to crash in even the standard 600-square-foot suite, which is available with two queen-size beds. The couch doesn't pull out into a bed, but rollaways can be rented for a nightly fee, and cribs are free.
The roomy standard suites at the 2,526-room Rio sleep up to five, making them a tremendous deal for small groups. The restaurants and seafood buffet offer better fare than many other budget-priced hotels do, and the view from the rooftop bar is memorable. The off-the-Strip location is a drag, but a free shuttle helps.