Staycation at Sahara Las Vegas

The Sahara Las Vegas originally opened in 1952 and is currently owned by the Meruelo Group.
Photo courtesy of The Sahara Las Vegas

Several weeks ago I was going through a stack of papers on my desk and ran across an envelope. I wondered what was in the envelope. Oh dear – it’s a certificate from the Sahara Las Vegas for one night and a $50 food credit. The certificate had been given to me by a friend who no longer wanted to use the auction item she had won. I’d forgotten all about it. The deadline for using the certificate was just weeks away. I immediately called the Sahara and after a couple of fumbles, ultimately made a confirmed reservation.

I hadn’t been to the Sahara since the most recent owner, (the) Meruelo Group, had purchased the property (in 2018) and the next year changed the name of the resort from SLS back to Sahara Las Vegas.

Parking is free at the Sahara. My gentleman friend parked the car and we met at the Sahara entrance, a lovely entrance I must say. I checked in and again, with a few fumbles, also received the $50 food credit on my credit card.

Checking in at The Sahara Las Vegas is done midst bright lighting, a bit of golden fringe on light fixtures and lots of what we assumed was marble.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Our room was on the 19th floor. A rather crowded elevator included a Sahara staffer who responded to a couple who noted they had waited for the elevator for 10 minutes. The staffer whispered to the couple that maybe the 10 minutes wasn’t so bad, saying that the previous week this particular bank of elevators didn’t operate at all and folks had to walk the stairs! Oh my–Thankfully, up and down, up and down, during our visit, we never had to wait for elevators.

Our room was not one of those fancy SLS rooms; it was rather plain but nice with a refrigerator, working TV, nice restroom and a decent view. Later that night the bedding turned out to be so comfortable both of us waited to take our 19th floor room home with us.

The Tangier Bar, (one of Mark Sedenquist’s favorite watering holes on the Strip) awaiting customers during our walk.
Photo by Diane Taylor

Our first stop after settling in was a walk around the perimeter of the Sahara’s first floor. We noted a very comfortable lounge area, a closed buffet, the Bazaar Meat restaurant, Chickie & Pete’s Crabhouse and Sports bar, the Uno Mas restaurant featuring street tacos, several bars, an entrance to the Monorail (the Sahara is the Monorail’s last stop), a pool area, ads for comedian Eddie Griffin, a box office, a couple retail stores, a Starbucks, a huge casino with slot machines and table games and on the walls, large photos of celebrities who have been part of the Sahara’s 70-year history. Clearly, however, the Sahara had plenty of room for more visitors, though being with a smaller crowd in a big space wasn’t bad either.

When time for dinner arrived, we both knew we wanted to sample the street tacos. We had a wonderful waiter who explained everything and we each ordered three tacos. They were so delicious I would go back just to eat those tacos again. Our bill was something like $46 and we were able to make it total $50 and added cash for the rest of the tip.

The Sahara casino is plenty large for gamblers to do their thing.
Photo by Diane Taylor

We knew that the Magic Mike Live show played at the Sahara and we decided to go, knowing nothing about the show even though Magic Mike the movie, the newsletter, the TV show, etc. has taken on a life of its own. Our two tickets, the least expensive tickets we could buy at the box office with a locals discount, came to $113. We were seated in the balcony of the very interesting custom built Magic Mike Live theater. We were clearly the oldest, by several generations, folks in the audience. Lots of good looking well-dressed young women (and a few guys) were below and beside us, seemingly well aware of what was about to happen. We were Magic Mike virgins imagining this show included many barely dressed men asking for bills to be shoved in their thongs.

We were wrong. The. show was almost lap-dance free and was quite enjoyable. Some 12 men and 2 women were in the cast. Lots of dancing, acrobatics and fun. Yes, those young women screamed when the men took off their shirts, but nobody (at our 7:30 pm show) was asked for tips.

Loved those dance numbers at Magic Mike Live.
Photo by Diane Taylor

I quite enjoyed the all-male dance numbers–in regular street clothes, no tights–lots of testosterone. Late in the show we were able to see a dancer/acrobat lady cast member do her thing–she was wonderful. Yes, a few rather sleazy remarks were made by MCs along the way, but all in all we had a good time. And yes, some of those male dancers were so athletic, they climbed up to the balcony and flirted a bit with the 30-somethngs, but once the show gave them a call, they were gone. The show was slick ad obviously well rehearsed. Like I said, we were obviously THE oldest folks in the crowd, but that got us lots of help from the ushers.

Mae West and friends on the wall of the SAHARA Las Vegas.
Photo by Diane Taylor

The next morning we went downstairs to see the Azila pool area to take photos. The Azila was closed when we arrived, but some folks were going in and out the doors, so, we lifted the ropes and went to the pool area. I took a few pictures and was soon told “the pool opens at 10 am”. I said I knew that, but I just wanted some photos. Then another person cane and said again that we had to wait until 10 am, so we left. I went into the casino for about 20 minutes and made my donation. Then we got back in line to enter the pool area. By that time several other people were there. We were told we needed a picture ID to get into the pool area–not our room key–just a picture ID. Just as I was about to enter the pool area, the attendant spotted the camera I was holding and said “no cameras in the pool area”. I was surprised. We decided not to ask if cell phones were banned as well and simply left the line, went up to the room, packed and left the Sahara.

Camera comment aside, we’d had a great time. For us, thumbs up!


3 responses on “Staycation at Sahara Las Vegas

  1. My last Staycation was when it was The SLS and my room was one of the “strange” ones, I think I would prefer a more traditional room.

    Glad you had a good time.

  2. Great information. I’m trying to figure out what to do with a last minute week off, and don’t want to go far. Maybe I’ll try the Sahara.

  3. Your proofreader took the week off? If you want to correct:
    “waited” s/b”wanted” to take our 19th floor room home
    Re the pool, “then another person cane” — s/b came
    The show was slick “ad” obviously well-rehearsed — s/b “and”

    Loved your staycation report. I continue vicariously enjoying them!

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