Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino, widely known as simply the Rio, was Las Vegas’ first all suites hotel and casino, opening back in 1990. It was originally designed as more of a locals casino, one of many that have been built in the Las Vegas area which primarily cater to local residents, as opposed to the larger ones which are more tourist oriented.
It was originally built by Las Vegas design and construction firm Marnel Corrao Associates, who have been around the scene for many years and have worked on projects going back as far as the old Stardust, to some of the most glittering hotels in the city these days, including the Bellagio and Wynn Las Vegas.
The Rio went through some significant expansion in the 1990’s, bringing it up to the standards of the top casino hotels in the city, and was sold to current owners Harrah’s Entertainment, now Caesar’s Entertainment, in 1999, for $888 million.
The Rio is now famous for its being the home of the World Series of Poker, which was fully moved from its birthplace at Binions in 2005. It also features the Penn and Teller Theater, which the two illusionists have performed at since 2001.
The blue and glass windows of the hotel towers at the Rio make it stand out as a Las Vegas landmark, and the property has kept its Brazilian flavor, having been named after the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro.
In addition to their hotel and casino, they also have a 160,000 square foot convention center, which plays host to many large conventions that come to Las Vegas, and also have a huge wine cellar with over 50,000 bottles.
The Features of the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino
The entry level accommodations at the Rio start with a classic suite with a king or two queen beds, with floor to ceiling windows offering a view of the strip or the mountains, sofa, in room safe, ironing board and iron, and hair dryer. All of the suites here offer floor to ceiling windows in fact, with either strip or mountain views.
The amazing thing though is that you don’t pay suite prices for this, or even hotel room prices, as these suites start at only $30 a night. Of course you can spend more, and a lot more in fact, but the value here is incredible, especially for travelers on a budget.
For just $230, you can get a night’s stay in one of their Masquerade suites, offering a very expansive 1,600 square feet, a 180 degree view of the city and the mountains, and both a separate living room and dining room.
Moving much further up the ladder, the Penthouse suites offer 3,100 – 5,220 square feet of living space, very luxuriously appointed, complete with swirling staircases, a grand dining room, and a whirlpool tub. There are several other higher end suite choices here, depending on how much you want to spend.
For the true high rollers, their Palazzo Villas offer 1 to 6 bedrooms and up to 13,950 square feet, and these are true mansions, complete with your own private pool and 24 hour butler service.
So everyone is extremely well taken care of here, from those seeking the most economical to the most luxurious.
The dining here is headlined by the upscale Voodoo Steakhouse on the 50th floor, which features excellent food along with their famous Witch Doctor cocktail. The lobster bisque in particular is said to be the best in the city.
All good Vegas hotel casinos have a buffet, and the Rio boasts the Carnival World and Seafood Buffet, although you can get a lot more than seafood here and they have over 300 items available.
The All American Bar and Grille specializes in dry aged beef and seafood cooked over a mesquite grill. Guy Fieri’s El Burro Burracho will take care of all your Mexican cravings. The Royal Indian Bistro serves up authentic North Indian cuisine, and KJ Dim Sum and Seafood offers Chinese fare.
There’s also a Vietnamese restaurant, the Hash House, a wine tasting room, a sports deli, and a Starbucks.
Shows include Penn and Teller, Chippendale’s, Rock of Ages, comedian Eddie Griffin, and the topless revue X Rocks, as well as live music at Masquerade Village every Friday and Saturday night.
There’s also the Voodoo Beach Pool with a zipline, several bars and nightclubs including the Voodoo Rooftop Nightclub and Lounge offering amazing views of the city, the Rio Spa and Salon, a tattoo parlor, a convention center, shopping, and several golf courses nearby.
The Casino at the Rio
The casino here is of average size as far as large Las Vegas casinos go, and they do offer all the gameplay and excitement that one would expect from a large Las Vegas casino.
The casino here definitely takes on the Rio theme, and while some large Las Vegas casinos have moved away from themes quite a bit, this is not the case here, as you are immersed in a Brazilian Carnival atmosphere.
The Brazilians celebrate Carnival for just 5 days a year, however Carnival goes on here every day of the year.
There are 1,200 slot and video gaming machines to choose from here, from classic reel slots to the latest and greatest video ones, as well as lots of video poker machines. You can play for modest payouts, all the way up to live changing progressive jackpots.
There are also over 80 of the most popular casino table games in the world to enjoy at the Rio casino. Games offered include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Baccarat, EZ Baccarat, Texas Holdem Poker Bonus, Ultimate Texas Holdem, Mississippi Stud, Crazy 4 Poker, Three Card Poker Six Card Bonus, Fortune Pai Gow Poker Progressive, and Let it Ride.
Players who use their Total Rewards card receive rewards for every bet they make here, and it only makes sense to get one and use it as who doesn’t like free rewards.
The Rio also has a poker room where you can pit your skills against other players, rather than playing against the house with the casino poker games. Their poker room hosts the World Series of Poker every year in fact so it’s a good one. It is on the smaller side with only 14 tables but offers lots of poker action around the clock and hosts daily tournaments as well.
You can play poker online anywhere in Nevada with them, as they own the state’s largest online poker site, WSOP Nevada, as well as having a WSOP online site in New Jersey.
Their sports book lounge has been recently updated and is now state of the art, and is also on the smaller side compared to some of the bigger ones in town, but you only need one seat, and they have everything you need here and then some, in a more cozy atmosphere that more resembles a bar than a sports book.
Keno is available 24 hours a day either at their Keno lounge or at various restaurants and bars around the complex, which can be played for as little as $2.
The Rio certainly does have a lot to offer, especially if you’re looking for a little Brazilian spice to your Las Vegas stay.