My sister and I go to Vegas 3X a year. We have always stayed on the Strip at different Harrahs properties, usually fully comped for our rooms.
We took the shuttle over to RIO one Sunday prior to leaving for home, and we absolutely loved the atmosphere. It is a loud, festive casino with live entertainment on little stages scattered throughout. The beverage servers are fast, friendly, and the thing we liked is that they have MALE servers that treat the ladies very well. Never a dull moment at this casino.
We will be making our 4th trip to RIO this summer. It is an easy walk to the strip, or they run free shuttles every 15 minutes. The pool is amazing, the rooms are very nice with great views, the service is excellent, the restaurants are great and have a lot of variety.
The gaming is above average, better than the Strip. Highly recommend this casino/hotel. If you want peace and quiet, however, this probably isn't your place.
The Rio is a young adult oriented casino that is west of the Las Vegas Strip and within walking distance to The Gold Coast and The Palms. There is a shuttle service to Caeasars and other Harrah's properties on the strip because The Rio is a Harrah's property (for now).
There are "stage" dancers scattered throughout the casino that give it a very adult theme. The Mardi Gras like partry that include floats in the sky & beads is much more family oriented.
The Rio seafood buffet gets high marks although the cost is pricey. The casino itself is "long" and "thin" and has an average mix and variety of machines. The Sports book is very nice.
The current big name attraction is Prince, who performs 3 times a week. I have not seen the show but I heard great thing about Prince's performances.
This hotel offers great rooms (suites) that are spacious, clean, and have refrigerators (somewhat rare in Vegas). The down side is you are one mile from the strip, so unless you have a car, cab fare will probably offset the Rios usually great room rates. Within walking distance is the Gold Coast and the Palms Casinos. The pool area is spacious and clean. Dining options have improved on the low end, they just added a BK, the other options are all good, but pricey.
I stayed a Rio twice during my last visit to Las Vegas. I had a convention to attend so I split the stay at Rio. The first visit was just fine but the second was not very pleasant due to a rude young lady at check in. She first gave me a room with a torn carpet at the door and as a result, the door would not lock. I went back down and she then gave me a room where the refrigerator sounded like a jet engine. When I again went back down, she called a manager and told him she had a "problem" guest. Finally when the manager arrived, he acted like I was the problem and I needed to accept one of the two rooms. And believe it or not, he put me back in the room with the refrigerator and they sent someone to check it out. Well, after two hours of taking the wall apart to unplug it, a new refrigerator was installed and all was well. I showed my appreciation by going to another casino to gamble. The rooms here are nice, but the casino needs some help with customer relations. Of course, the buffets are excellent but a little pricey. Use your coupon in the American Casino guide for a 25% discount.