Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Tuscany's 715 suites are spread across a 15-building complex that's located two blocks from the Strip. The suites are big and clean, but they're not exactly luxurious, at least not by Vegas standards -- expect unremarkable wood furniture, basic-brass lamps, and an old tube TV. And though the complex has four, reasonably priced and tasty restaurants and a casino -- more than what most time-share hotels have -- it feels more like a basic apartment complex than a resort.
But while the hotel is more utilitarian than stylish, convenient amenities abound: two relaxed pools, a Laundromat, a sizable fitness center, and plenty of free parking lots around the complex. Most guests tend to be young Europeans and families soaking up the sun poolside before heading out to the Strip at night.
And the hotel does have some charm, like the floral arrangements, comfortable couches, and ersatz Italian stone walls in the lobby. Off the lobby, a loyal brigade of local seniors pack the dance floor at the Piazza lounge almost every night, where golden oldies are performed by the dapper house cover band, Cool Change. And all rooms have huge bathrooms with a separate bathtub and walk-in shower. All told, this hotel is one of the best bargains in Vegas.
The service doesn't really compare to that of a luxury hotel on the Strip. But given the low rates at Tuscany, the level of service is certainly impressive. Room service runs from around 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. (not 24 hours, as is common on the Strip) and the take-out containers and plastic utensils make the service feel a little less like a traditional hotel: You won't see a rolling cart draped in a white tablecloth here. But just outside the door, porters stand ready to hail you a cab or to park your car for free. And unlike the great majority of hotels in this price range (like Hooters), the hotel offers poolside drinks service. There's even a concierge available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. who can hook you up with discount tickets to Vegas shows.
Tuscany Suites & Casino is about two blocks east of the densely packed 3.5-mile-long stretch of hotel-casinos known as the Las Vegas Strip, right behind the [/las-vegas/hotels/ballys-las-vegas/ |Bally's Las Vegas]] and Paris hotels.
It's a 10-minute walk to the Strip, along East Flamingo, a major thoroughfare that feels relatively safe but isn't especially attractive. If you're in heels or with young children, you're probably better off springing for a $5-$10 taxi.
Most Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big hotel-casinos along the Strip. Cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3 to ride. There's also a monorail system, which stops at MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah's/Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara. A single-ride ticket is $5; a day pass is $13. If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, a cab is often the least expensive option.
Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.
The rooms are clean, and the feather-topped beds with down duvets and down pillows are comfy, but the overall look is closer to a room at an aging Best Western by the airport than a typical, flashy Vegas hotel -- generic wood furniture, utilitarian carpeting, and an old, 25-inch tube TV set with fewer than 20 cable channels (no Cartoon Network or VH1). The hotel is about seven years old, and some of the suites (like mine) have new couches, pillows, countertops, and more. But these improvements are far from a complete overhaul and the rooms still look fairly dated. Still, for the price, it's hard to complain -- especially when the beds are better than what you'd get at the Bally's or Paris hotels.
Each room has essentially a giant, open box layout with areas for dining (with a mini-fridge and coffeemaker, but not a full kitchen), sleeping, and lounging on the sofa. In addition, every room has a sizable bathroom with a separate bathtub, standing shower (the water in my room tended to come out in a harsh, uneven blast), and toilet stall. For even more space, you can also book a 1,200-square-foot two-bedroom suite, which comes with an extra bathroom and a Jacuzzi tub.
Pay-per-view movies are available for $14 to $15 (a bit on the pricy side, but not outrageous in Vegas), and the selection is better than average. Nintendo 64 games are also available for $6.95 each.
Annoyingly, guests can’t charge the $13.99 per day in-room Wi-Fi to their room bill; instead, they must pay the Internet provider directly using their credit card. But a free, fast Internet connection is available in the lobby.
Tuscany Suites' pools are a bit on the small side and fairly basic -- no waterfalls, no slides, no creative cavelike structures. But they do offer drinks service and they keep good hours: open from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily (compare this with off-the-Strip Rio's pools, which close at 6 p.m.). The main pool, lit by poolside electric torches at night, is populated by younger guests and the occasional family with small kids splashing about during the day. For a quieter, nearly empty pool area, head over to the lap pool, right by the fitness center.
The fitness center doesn't have a single TV, and it's outfitted with a garish industrial-grade carpet, but at least it's clean, well lit (windows overlook the lap pool), well equipped, and free (most other hotels charge $20-$30 to use their gyms). The equipment -- Precor treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes, and approximately 10 different Paramount strength-training machines, and plenty of free weights -- is all in good condition. There's no watercooler, though -- just a drinking fountain.
The basic 24-hour business center, located above the casino, charges some fairly high rates: 99-cents per minute to use the computers, $1.99 to print. No wonder it was completely empty. Most guests just use the strong -- and uncommonly free -- Internet connection in the lobby.
In addition to offering same-day dry-cleaning and laundry services, Tuscany also has laundry machines available for guests to use in the fitness center. They cost about $1 per load.
Even the standard suites are large and can accommodate families with either two double beds or, in some rooms, an extra sleeper sofa. All rooms boast kitchenette areas, but they only come with a fridge, microwave, and coffeemaker -- no oven or stove for cooking. Connecting rooms are not available, though the hotel does have two-bedroom suites. Cribs are free; rollaways are $20 a night.
Kids will enjoy the child-friendly menus at the hotel's four restaurants (and parents will love the affordable prices, with dinner entrees at even the fancier Tuscany Gardens running only $10 to $15). A pizzeria sells $5.75 personal-size pizzas and $3.95 hot dogs. Tuscany Gardens offers simple pasta dishes like lasagna and spaghetti Bolognese. The 24-hour Marilyn's Cafe serves burgers and fries. A Mexican restaurant entertains with flaming fajitas.
Four affordable restaurants, serving solid Italian, Mexican, and American cuisine, with entree prices just $10 to $15.
One of the hotel's best features is its collection of affordable, family-friendly restaurants with solid menus and huge portions. Cantina serves Mexican food that goes well beyond the usual tacos and nacho platters. At Tuscany Gardens, I got a delicious, heaping plate of spaghetti Bolognese for $12.95. Room service is also available, but only when the restaurants are open (not 24-hours).
A locals' casino with 700 slot machines and video-poker games.
Tuscany's casino offers blackjack, craps, roulette, and poker -- but as at many casinos that cater to locals, the slot and video-poker machines are the biggest draw. Tuscany's casino boasts 700 of them, costing anywhere from a few pennies to a few dollars to play. The mostly senior crowd of locals prefers Tuscany's casino to the crowded giants on the Strip, but it doesn't offer much in terms of atmosphere.
Just a 10-minute walk from the central Strip, the 715-room Tuscany offers great deals on its large, clean, and comfortable, though dated, suites. Its TV-less gym, locally loved casino, and small pools don't dazzle, but at least there are simple perks -- free parking, gym access, and Wi-Fi in the lobby, plus four tasty and affordable restaurants.