Bill's isn't the biggest or fanciest on the strip but if you are looking to step back and get out of the hustle and bustle of the mega resorts check it out. While the slots aren't the newest, the service is great. You can sit and play some good paying video poker and have a cocktail waitress actually attend to you when you need it instead of waiting forever like you do at the bigger places. The cafe also offers great specials during different times. The $3.99 steak and eggs at 3am isn't the greatest in the world but hey, it's 3 am and it's only $3.99, what do you expect. I've never actually stayed at Bill's but I always make it a point to stop in at least while I'm in town.
I usally never set foot in Bill's when I am in Vegas, but my last trip I spent an evening there...
My wife and I, along with her parents went and checked out Big Elvis. WOW! From the street, walking in you can hear him and it honestly does sound like the 'real' Elvis.
Every thing in this casino is old school... I like that in a place in the middle of the strip. The slots are a lot older, which is cool along with a lot of new machines. Craps was your typical 3x, 4x, 5x that is found on the strip. Never played their "rapid craps" which is a craps table with 10 or 12 terminals around it where you "touch bet" and still throw dice. No Video Poker to be found here.
We signed up for our players cards at Guest Services. They were really polite and nice, like they enjoy working there. After getting our cards and coupon book they hand out, we decided to go to the Stakhouse, seeing how there are coupons for a free bottle of wine. We were able to use 2 for four people, and gave out other two to a couple at a table near us.
So, the Steakhouse really surprised me. You walk through the door and this place screams old school steakhouse. From the dim lights, high-back red leather chairs. There was something about it that reminded me of the between movie Pulp Fiction and being a gangster in the old days. I actually asked the others in my party if I could sit facing the door... lol!
The steaks were unreal. So tender, cooked to perfection. I had the filet and the others had the bone in ribeye. You did not even really need a knife. I had the baked potato ($8) side with all the fixings. At first I was disgusted with the price, but once I saw this thing I could not believe my eyes! The baked potato is a meal in itself and is about the size of a small child or football
A fun casino to kill sometime. The drink service was not the fastest, but this place can mix a good, strong drink. If you want to get your drink on after a meal, play Pai Gow, tip big the first round and you will be feeling great after 15 or 20 hands!
Bill's may no longer have the VP it once did when it was Barbary Coast, but it still has the best strip location. The rooms are rich in the look of wood and have the feeling of classy antiques.
Step outside the Flamingo door and you can grab a free shuttle to the Gold Coast and to the Orleans or walk to the left and get to the Ellis Island for the best values in food on the strip. I think this food is much better than what is offered at Bill's Victorian restaurant, but I have eaten there when I was tired and did not want to walk farther and it was a good meal as well and a pleasant place to take folks for a late night meal and talk.
Besides location, another very popular offering at Bill's is the Fat Elvis lounge act. This guy sounds just like Elvis. Rumor had it that he believed he might be an illegitimate son of the King. He was much heavier when he started and went on a radical diet to lose pounds of fat. Then he married. So there is the sound that made him popular, and this success story to catch the sentiments of his audience as well.
I have heard other fine groups in this lounge. When the cowboys are in town in December, there is often a fine country act performing. It won't be a name you recognize from the top charts, but I have caught some great singers here, one who was famous in Canada.
The Bill's parking garage is the place to park if you are staying a bit off strip and want to access and park right in the middle of the action, and yet have easy access to the casino and to the strip once you have parked. Come out of Bill's and you can walk to the right to the Venetian and back one night and to the left and to NYNY another and see most of what is vibrant on the strip.
If you park there on a Saturday night and are staying East of the strip, after your tour of the strip, you can exit Bill's, drive up to the Gold Coast, have a go at that spot, and then drive back and never have any of that stalled bumper to bumper traffic that you get when you park and drive on the strip because your entire trip is on Flamingo Avenue.
The downside other than the low paying VP is that the Bill's player's card is not connected to the other Harrah's properties, so any gambling earns points that can only be used at Bill's.
If you do find a room there, decide if you want quiet because facing the action can include street traffic noises. However, from some rooms facing Bellagio, the fountain is visible. Watch for deals. Often rooms can be had for as little as $40, but they go fast because it is a small place and quickly gets booked up. I send Vegas newbies there as a cheap alternative to other strip properties and no one has complained afterwards.
Plans are in the works for major renovation. See it while it still has the old charm.
Bill's is a well-kept secret which I am risking by writing this review. The more people learn about the value Bill's offers, the more I may suffer in trying to get a future room. The hotel (the old Barbary Coast) is well-positioned between the Flamingo and Bally's and across from Caesars and the Bellagio so it is firmly in the Strip's action furnace.
The rooms are easily accessed from the lobby, are very comfortable, if lacking the opulance of its neighbors, and the 46" plasma TV's are a nice touch. Guests have pool privileges at the Flamingo which has one of the finest pools on the Strip. The restaurants are top-notch in terms of quality, value and service. The Victorian Room is a Vegas classic and very popular for a great overnight meal special.
The Steakhouse is also similarly special. The casino is smallish and a bit shabby, especially at the street entrance, but the staff is exceptional as are the gaming and service personnel. The drinks are very potable and the waitresses efficient and pleasant.
The atmosphere is upbeat and fun-loving without the pretension of the surrounding casinos. Drai's is the original Ultra Lounge and likewise quite active in the wee hours. Bill's is a great home base from which to explore those places where you like to visit and play, drink, eat, see a show and hob-knob but don't want to pay their exhorbitant lodging prices.
I imagine Bill's is safe in the near future considering the economy because it offers such a value that it is popular but Harrah's cost of imploding it and installing some monolithic Walmart casino aberration is financially prohibitive at this time. I can't say enough but I won't say anymore, hoping that you will continue to ignore this gem for more snooty environs and leave Bill's to those of us who know a fantastic deal in an old school, boutique casino when they see it.