Rio Las Vegas Reviews

     Rio Las Vegas - A 33-year-old Resort. That's getting a facelift worth ten times more than the cost to build an off-strip property. Famous for shows in the Sky, World-class poker tournaments, Tomahawk Stakes 50 floors up, and mini golf with Kiss Let's Go to Rio before they tear the place apart. 

    So get ready because this adventure starts right right now now! On this hot July morning, we are zipping along behind the west side of this StripStrip, Bound for a destination that many of you have asked us to visit over the years.

    Rio Las Vegas Reviews

    Rio Las Vegas History

    Now is the perfect time because just a couple of weeks ago, its new owners announced details of their plans to reinvent it starting later this year. We are talking about, of course, the Rio. These two brightly colored Towers have been a landmark on Flamingo Roads since the 90s, and we couldn't. Be happier that they're getting a facelift before we park, though. Let's take a look at exactly why this property or part of it was being considered for the Oakland A's baseball team. It's Huge! Almost 90 acres of land are bordered by Flamingo and Twain Valley View and the railroad tracks. The stadium deal would have only occupied 22 of those Acres. The Rio has a lot to spare. Also, note how huge the convention space is. What's called the real Pavilion, but we're going to see that a little bit later on from the inside.

    The Rio opened on Flamingo Road back in 1990 with a 20-story hotel called the Ipanema Tower. It was the first all-suite hotel in Las Vegas and an 80 million-dollar project. It was built and owned by a local firm, Marnell Companies, and the theme was Carnival out of Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Seven years later, the Masquerade Tower was added 41 stories tall, bringing the total number of Suites to 2520...
    Other Strip Resorts

    Flamingo Road wasn't quite this busy 33 years ago when Rio opened its doors, but boy, did it make a bold statement. Then and now, the Rio wasn't the first strip Resort in this area, though the Gold Coast next door preceded it in 1986. and in 2001, The Palms moved into the neighborhood as well.

    Rio Las Vegas Hotel Registration

    Fast forward to 2023, and big changes are in the works for Rio. After two decades of ownership by Harris and then Caesars, it's got new owners, and they've got big plans.

    We step inside, and immediately to our left is the hotel registration. The checkout line is robust on this Monday morning. The Reel can be a good deal price-wise for your Las Vegas vacation. And remember, every single room is a suite. Let's take a walk through Rio's Casino, one of the larger ones at over 117,000 square feet, and I'll bring you up to date on the latest.

    Rio Casino

    In 2019, the property was sold to Dreamscape Companies out of New York, which owns a number of hotels in other cities. Caesars is currently leasing it back, but the lease ends later this year, and Dreamscape will take over the operations. They've got an 850 million dollar budget to renovate and remodel the Rio completely, and in an interesting twist, the original architect and Builder Marnell will again be doing the design. Plus, we also read that Dreamscape is partnering with Hyatt, and at least one of the towers will be a Hyatt Regency. All right, here's A little Nostalgia for you who remembers what these are back in the good old days. The Rio introduced their entertainers cocktail servers who would do a 90-second dance performance on these little stages, and at one time, there were actually more than 80 entertainers after this Walkabout.

    Rio Walkabout

    We assess that this place has really good bones, and it's definitely worth saving. It smells great, and the public areas are spotless. Paula says even the ladies' room looks terrific and has a Caesars race and sports book with plenty of screens, seating, and a wrapper on the bar close by.

    Poker Room

    Next to that is the poker room, but it isn't set up just now. All the World Series of Poker action is down on the StripStrip, as we showed you in last week's video from the Paris lots happening in this hallway of the casino past and future.

    Gift Shop

    We stopped into the very well-stocked gift shop to see what kind of Rio logo gear they have, and by the way, they have plenty. We also got some great Intel about plans in the area.

    Carnival Buffet

    Who doesn't? Remember the famed Carnival World Buffet, at one time the largest in Las Vegas and known for its Excellence. It fed seven thousand hungry diners every day, and now it's behind walls. Well, get this soon. The gift shop will become a Starbucks. This area will all open up, and the buffet space will become a Food Hall.

    Rio Las Vegas Restaurants

    The Rio is located just a few blocks from our Chinatown area and has a number of restaurants catering to International cuisines. Kj, Dim Sum, and Seafood seats 350 is open seven days a week and is also a local favorite. Over near the lobby, Fahadan Nang Vietnamese Kitchen offers authentic Vietnamese Classics and Chinese-inspired dishes. Kang's Kitchen is a Korean barbecue venue in Rio.

    Royal India

    The colorful murals and artwork are as tasty as the food. Royal India gets our vote for the most exotic entrance. This is an all-you-can-eat buffet of favorite entrees from Northern India and even Indian beers and Cocktails. This place has fantastic curb appeal. You already know that Guy Fieri always has a presence at Caesar's properties, and he opened this one in Rio in 2016.

    El Burro Borracho

    El Burro Borracho, or the Drunken Donkey, is a fun and Casual Mexican Eatery with guys' famous twists on the menus and the Margaritas. We love the theming, the artwork, and this Taco Shack. Right around the bend down the hall towards the convention area is a not-so-well-known location for a beloved restaurant chain with its heart in the Midwest.

    Hash House A Go Go

    Hash House A Go Go! This has to be one of the largest and most attractive Hash House dining rooms. It is huge, in case you have yet to experience it. They serve Farm Fresh down-home meals in huge portions. The Rio outlet is open Thursdays through Sundays for breakfast and lunch. Also worth a mention is the All-American Bar and Grill on the casino floor.

    What's? described on the website as a modern Steakhouse. It's open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day.

    VooDoo Steak

    For steak with a view, though, consider Voodoo Steak up on the 50th floor of the Masquerade Tower. They'll make you a 32-ounce Tomahawk for two. There is also a Starbucks on the property that is open in the convention hallway, and if your taste runs to Rum rather than Java, Purple Zebra is just next to the front doors.


    With the food venues out of the way, we head towards our favorite part of the Rio Masquerade Village. At its entrance is the obligatory bar, this one carrying through the Masquerade theming. This expansion was added in 1997 along with the Masquerade Tower. The most noteworthy part of it was the 25 million dollar Masquerade Show in the Sky, which debuted in February of that very same year. Floats traveled above the casino floor along a 950-foot track. And by floats, I mean showboats and gondolas, each weighing between 13 and 17,000 pounds. It was a spectacle. One of the great free attractions in Las Vegas. Sadly, though, it made its last run ten years ago in March of 2013.
    The center of Masquerade Village is a casino populated with slots, but it was always the shops and businesses around the outer edges that were the draw. They're less numerous than they once were, but still worth a look.

    The Cupola Cafe is an Italian Eatery from Chef Mimo Ferraro open daily for brunch and on weekends for dinner.

    Kiss World

    The Kicker, though, is down at the far end of the casino floor. It's called Kiss World. Step inside this brightly colored 13,000-square-foot Ode to the iconic 70s rockers. A lot is going on right here. There's an arcade and an 18-hole glow-in-the-dark mini golf course. That's part of the Monster chain. Laughs is the world's largest collection of kissed memorabilia out here in display cases and even more in a little museum. This is definitely the place you want to go if you want to rock and roll all night and party every day. 

    Rock N Roll Chapel

    Now, speaking of that, up the escalator on the second level of Masquerade Village is one more venue, the Rock and Roll Chapel. You can get hitched here with themed packages and rock star ministers.


    And let us recommend from experience. Smashburger makes a really good burger. They took over this space in 2016, one of four in the Las Vegas Valley. It's the Smasher that makes the difference. All right, Let's talk entertainment, my favorite subject, and we'll start right here with these guys.


    For more than 20 years, the sexy, Party-ready Chippendales have been dancing up a storm and winning the best of awards here at the Rio. This venue seats 400 and was built for them in 2004. Get this: it even has a gift shop in contrast down on the Masquerade Village first level.

    Rio Las Vegas Duomo

    This venue opened just a year ago. It's called Duomo, a classic 286-seat theater featuring big-name Ax residency shows and even a karaoke night. And in its first year, it has already won a Best of Silver award for more of a spectacle. There's Wow! The Vegas spectacular. It's a combination of 3D projections, water walls, and Holograms, plus 30 talented artists flying and dancing.

    WOW, The Vegas Spectacular

    It also has the best of awards to its credit back in the main Casino.

    The Comedy Seller

    The Comedy Seller: the most successful, longest-running comedy club in New York, branched out to Las Vegas in 2018. it is famous for its showcase format, where each comic performs a 15 to 20-minute set in an intimate 300-seat Club setting. You won't believe the big names that are on that wall. And last but never least, these two guys whose images appear in mega size on the side of the building Pen and Teller.

    Pen and Teller

    They started at the Rio in January 2001, and they broke and held the record for the longest-running headliner at a single venue ever. Their theater seats 1475 and Rivals the top Performing Arts centers in the world.

    Rio Pavilion

    Pen and Teller's show is edgy, provocative, hilarious, and creative. These two have earned the highest honors in Show Business, and Dreamscape just extended their contract to 2026.

    We're going to end our Walkabout pretty much where we started. This hallway leads to the convention area, the Rio Pavilion. There are 160,000 or 220,000 square feet of meeting space. The sources vary, which can be configured in countless ways from 2005 through 2021. The World Series of Poker is at its home right here at the Rio. and for us, back when companies still held holiday parties, Paula's employer always had theirs at the Rio and always with a great theme.

    Now, one more thing. The art along the convention walkway is extraordinary. We just had to snap a few photos as we went along. We love to give a nod to the decor when it's so well chosen in place, my friends. It's the little things that make the Las Vegas Resorts stand out from the crowd. So what did you think of the Rio?

    Final Thoughts

    I'll tell you what. We have a soft spot for the place. Yeah, it's gone downhill over the years, especially the Marquee. That faded Marquee is the thing that bothers me the most because inside, there's nothing faded about it. No, it. Actually, it looks really nice inside. You know what? Funny, as I was walking around in there, I was telling her I said last time we were there, you couldn't move in that place. It used to be such a pack that it was a deal. They were sweets and, of course, the Carnival World Buffet. It had so much going for it, and I am. I think sometimes, and this is one of those cases.

     Change is good; change in ownership. Caesars never cared about it; they never made any bones that they didn't really care about it. But these new folks, they do care about it. It's their first uh Casino Resort. They've had a lot of successful hotels. They have a great track record, but this is their first Casino, so I think they're going to give it a lot of Loving Care. Yeah, it's really going to work out.

    And the other thing is when I found out that Penn and Teller resigned from the company, and this was before we got this information that came out, I knew something was up right then, right? This is. This is a really good sign. Those guys are super successful, and I'm just happy that all of our cool memories from the past all those holiday parties in Wilmington.

    What did you think about Young Dale and Paula? or younger? Younger, you know, with a little bit of hair, more hair, and darker darker. Yeah, so how about that Kiss place? Let me tell you something: if you like Kiss or even if you don't like Kiss, this place is amazing. That Golf Course is just amazing. It's just something else, and then there's an actual Museum that's just full of Kiss memorabilia, and then there's a couple of things that you can actually buy. We know there are a lot of you out there who are old rock and rollers like I am, and you would really appreciate that it is a well-done attraction.
    Yeah, and what'd?

     Do you think about that announcer there who was doing the overvoice? That monster? Oh my God, what a voice. He's amazing. Anyway, it was really nice in there. Uh, we actually were going to eat at the Rio. Now I'll tell you a downsize that What we had a problem with was the prices in the food areas were just extraordinary. We ended up leaving. Yeah, actually, we were going to try Guy Fieri's Place. Uh, we actually said that Del Bro. Yeah, and then we were even looking at the All-American Grill, and we walked around a couple of the Asian places, and we said, you know what? No at all so we left.

    So, but anyway, uh, the whole property is amazing. Once they get their act together, they start working on it. We're going to get some artist's renderings, and we'll see what they're actually going to do with the buffet area. It's really going to be a nice place to go. It's a beautiful, beautiful off-strip property, and it's Humongous! Plus parking is free. I hope it stays free. Yeah, absolutely, I love that. The best part, All right! If you're not subscribed, Please Subscribe. Remember to hit that notification button or anything else you want to tell these nice people. Miss Paula, that'll do it for today.
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