Laughlin, Nevada.

When one hears the place Nevada, the first thing that comes to mind is Las Vegas.  Maybe even Reno.  But never Laughlin, am I right? I, too, have never heard of Laughlin before.  As a child, my family and I often go to Reno to play arcade and carnival games in Circus Circus and then we take a side trip to snowy Lake Tahoe.  As my sibling and I grew older, our family started to frequent Las Vegas as well.   Both Reno and Las Vegas were common destinations for our family but never Laughlin.

"Laughlin is the third most visited casino and resort destination in the state after Las Vegas and Reno, and is one of the top 5 destinations for American RV enthusiasts."

Day 1

So last month, when my mom got her VIP invitation from Harrah's Laughlin for a complimentary 5-day stay (including airfare!), I went with her to see what this place was all about.   While waiting for our flight and munching hungrily on my CPK roasted turkey sandwich, I researched on places to visit and things to do while we're there.
"Laughlin is a census-designated place in Clark County, Nevada, United States.  Laughlin is a port located on the Colorado River 94 miles south of Las Vegas.  Directly across the river from Laughlin is Bullhead City, Arizona."

I found out that Laughlin, aside from being a gambler's paradise, was actually a summer destination!  Since it was located right beside the Colorado River, families went there to enjoy the beach and other water activities.  Another plus factor that this place has is that it's located right between two great tourist attractions: The Hoover Dam (where they supposedly hid the all-spark for all you Transformer fans) and the Grand Canyon.  I wasn't done with my research when our plane arrived already.  Harrah's chartered an aircraft for their VIP guests.

Just like a true gambler's nook, the flight attendant started with a betting game.  Mechanics: everyone who's interested will drop a dollar bill, with the passenger's seat number written on it, in a bag.  After collecting everything, the flight attendant will draw out a bill and whoever it belongs to will win the whole bag.  Sadly, my lucky dollar bill wasn't that lucky.  Boo.

Since our flight was in the evening, we arrived in Laughlin late at night.  We landed at Bullhead City in Arizona since it was the airport nearest to Laughlin.  Arizona and Nevada are only divided by the Colorado River so it took us about 10-15 minutes max to get to Harrah's Laughlin.  When we got there, the hotel staff greeted us with necklaces, complimentary drinks, and instructions to get to our room.

We stayed at tower one which was where the main casino was.  I was expecting a musty smelling room since that always was the case in older Nevada hotels but the one they gave us was nice!  No funky smell at all.

The sheets were soft, the pillows were fluffy!  I so wanted the coffee maker that made only a cup of coffee at a time.  

Almost as important as the bed is the bathroom!  It was also nice and clean.  The towels were soft and fluffy, too, like the pillows.

Toiletries-wise, nothing would beat my Shangri-la Boracay experience but I'd have to say, Harrah's toiletries seemed like a good collection.

I can't specifically describe how their toiletries are since I brought my own L'Occitane stash but if it's from Gilchrist and Soames, I'm guessing it's pretty good.

After freshening up, I went down to roam around the main casino.  Since drinks were always on the house for preferred guests, I downed a glass of fresh strawberry margarita before going to sleep.

Day 2

As soon as i woke up, the first thing I did was peek through our window hoping to see the Colorado River. And there it was!  Our room had a really good view of it.

Since it was a good sunny day out, my mom and I went down to the docks to explore the other amenities of Harrah's.  There are nice places to hang out: the beach area and the pool area.  I didn't go to the pool area because there were tons of people already there and went to the beach instead.  Although their beach is nothing compared to the white sand beaches in the philippines, I'd take it after the grueling cold and wet weather we experienced in Southern California (which is weird because it usually never rains over there!) 

After talking to some people from Laughlin, my mom and I found out that to get to the different hotels along the strip, we had to ride something called the 'Water Taxi'.  Fare is $10 per person per way.

Since you pay the same amount regardless of the distance, we asked the driver to take us to the hotel on the farthest side of the strip from harrah's --- Don Laughlin's Riverside Hotel.

Thinking there was nothing interesting to see in the Riverside Hotel, we walked to the next hotel on the strip --- The Aquarius.  But ooooh boy.  I forgot that the hotel is home to a classic collection of the most unique autos ever made!  Shoot.  I missed the chance to have a photo op there. 

But that's ok.  Thinking about the dinner we had at the Aquarius made all of those bad feelings go away.  A tip for newcomers in Laughlin: Get a membership card in every hotel that you go.  Aside from the fact that the card is free, it gives you tons of discounts and freebies!

In the Aquarius, cardholders get 30% off their daily buffet.  Mom and i were lucky enough to go there on a Friday --- it was ribs + seafood day!

The seafood selection was absolutely divine and heavenly.  The king crab was really KING SIZED, the oysters were so fresh, and the lobsters were huge!

I didn't know where to start.  There was so much food!  I thought that a good strategy would be to get all the non-seafood items first.

Then after a plate or two, attack the seafood items!  I had like five or six rounds of seafood but took a picture of only the first plate since I had to used my hands to crack open the humongous crabs.

Aside from this monstrous selection, guests get to fill their glasses with either beer or wine.  Wow!  This was the first buffet I've had that gave out bottomless alcohol.  

As if these weren't enough to kill me by gluttony, there was still dessert to think of.  Oh my oh my oh my.  Pudding, cake, fondue --- everything and anything i could wish for!

I think I had two rounds of dessert before i gave up.  Good thing they also served complimentary coffee or else I would've fallen asleep on the table right then and there.

Day 3

I woke up late afternoon of the next day since I was up all night (thanks to all the sugar in my bloodstream c/o the Aquarius buffet) playing plants vs zombies.  I kind of got tired of seeing casinos so I asked my mom if we could visit The Preferred Outlets at Laughlin.  I thought things would be much cheaper since we were actually in the outskirts of Nevada but I was wrong!  Shopping was much more expensive there.  Plus, there wasn't much to see in the outlets.  The only shop i liked was the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory.

Like yesterday wasn't enough sugar for me but the store was so inviting!  

Day 4

We were supposed to go on a trip to the Grand Canyon but my mom was a bit tired.  Going alone was not an option for me at the risk of getting lost and never being found (paranoid!) so we decided to visit the rest of the strip.

To my Filipino readers, it's like this.  The side of Harrah's is similar to Boracay's Station 1.  It's high-end and a little bit quieter with less people, less children.  After a few hotels, starting with Colorado Belle,  is Laughlin's party place akin to Boracay's station 2.  Plus, it was St. Patrick's Day when we went there so the Irish were having a blast.  There was merriment everywhere! 

My favorite hotel facade would have to be The Colorado Belle which is shaped like a huge, huge ship.  From the outside, it's the perfect tourist backdrop to any picture.  But as I went through the hallways where the rooms are located to get more pictures, I felt like I was in a haunted ghost ship!  Eerie!

Day 5

Our last day in Laughlin.  Since we were leaving around lunchtime, my mom and I decided to stay in Harrah's.  Well, what else is there to do but eat?

Harrha's buffet was nothing compared to the Aquarius but there were still tons of food. I think I still had seafood hangover from Aquarius because I kept getting shrimps!  No king crabs or lobsters on this buffet though.

The best part of Harrah's buffet is the dessert table but hunger prevented me from taking a picture of the spread.  Another favorite of mine is the make-your-own-coffee table.  They had selections from cappuccinos to cafe mochas.  Foam all you want.  it's all up to you.  Dessert + coffee is always heaven to me.

All-in-all, I would have to say that it was a good trip. Laughlin may not be Las Vegas nor Reno but I don't think it's trying to be any of those places at all.  It has this distinct rustic charm that I never thought I'd get attracted to.  And the next time we go back there, I want to see the Grand Canyon, the Hoover Dam and, what they call, the London Bridge.

Yes, for sure, there'll be a next time for me :)



  1. I haven't been to Laughlin too... I didn't know that it's a good place to visit. And those king crabs are huge.

    I'm in SoCal again, just arrived here the other night. xoxo

  2. leah. really? wow. lucky you. hating the hot and humid weather!! i rarely go out of the house. a/c is my best friend right now. hehehe.

  3. Your post is still great even written in a state of sleeplessness.

  4. artist. thanks! great paintings you have on your site :)

  5. mother! you ARE the true-blue jetsetter! at least you got some summer sun while you were there! ;)

    and this is a good entry to break the blogger's block ;)

  6. wow. it's a great place! love the beach, i'm curious about water taxi. and love the food! omg. seafood and desserts are really delicious!

  7. ..the beach looks so great , I wish I could be there and jump in the water ..and run around the sandy beach ..ehh ..dreamin ; ) the food looks delicious too ..

    thanks for stopping at my blog ; ) Kinder Bueno ; ) can't stop eating them , honestly , I thought after some time I will be bored of them , but no - just wanna more and more and it's usually at the evening when I checking the blogs and writting the comments's morning now here ; ) but believe me till evening I will have Kinder Bueno in my hands ; )))

    Ellinelle xxx

  8. koryn. hopefully this won't be my single entry for this month! thanks mother :)

    meilinda. yup, food was delish!!

  9. ellinelle. have you tried kinder bueno white? it goes great with coffee! :)

  10. lovely photos joei! although i have to say, reading your posts always makes me crave for food... ;P

  11. clare. hey! i see you've been visiting blogspot now. hehe. don't do the automated posts thing anymore. it's much more fun when we get to interact :)

  12. I have heard SO many wonderful things about Laughlin; but now that I've seen these pictures I am convinced that I need to take a vacay there ASAP!! :)

  13. Glad you're back, we missed you! It sounds like you had a really fun trip :)

  14. erika. i wanna go back, too. this time i'm taking a side trip to see the grand canyon (was only able to see the bryce canyon during a trip to arizona years back) and the hoover dam :)

    leia. thank you! i missed reading your blog as well. hopefully i got rid of my blogger's block already ;) and great blog revamp! i like your new template. hi to sherin!

  15. lovely post :) great to see you back here

  16. ..I tried white as well , it's delicious as well : )

    ..yeah , let's exchange links , I am following you now ; )you have nice blog and a lot of interesting reads and pictures ..

  17. ellinelle. thanks! same with your blog :) added your link already!

  18. knk. thanks for visiting! i'll visit your blog in a minute :)

  19. You've made that place sound totally vacay worthy!

  20. Hello :P Are you back in the Philippines! HOpe you had wonderful vacation. I enjoyed your post and I'm thinking you really had fun. Welcome back to blogging too :)

  21. kristin. have you been there? :)

    mommy judy. yes, im finally back! (and hopefully back to blogging as well :))

  22. Hey very interesting blog!


Thank you for the love!

I enjoy meeting fellow bloggers and readers from all over so feel free to comment and I'll get back to you as soon as I can :)

♥ joei