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Circus Circus Reno

1 rating: -3.0
Hotels and Resorts

elegant rooms and suites, exciting gaming action, sensational dining choices to satisfy any appetite and free world-class circus acts are just a few reasons to choose circus circus reno. our hotel accommodations, recently renovated and refurbished, reflect … see full wiki

1 review about Circus Circus Reno

Circus Circus, Reno, NV

  • Mar 21, 2008
  • by
Pros: the stay was free

Cons: old, tired, wornout and smelly

The Bottom Line: "All you friends gather round
'Cause the circus left town"
~ Eric Clapton

Due to an unfortunate airline choice, we were put up at Circus-Circus as guests of the airline. Coming off a four day stay at Silver Legacy, this was far from our choice of hotels to stay over, but considering the other offer was a low budget Best Western, we took our chances. Previously, during another Reno trip, we had wandered through Circus-Circus by curiosity. All it took was that quick jaunt through to convince us we would never want to make this a hotel of choice while in Reno.

Check in/out
One of the few hotels we have found in Reno, Circus-Circus lobby is directly off the shuttle drop off from the airport. Others require you to traverse through the gaming area to find the hotel desk. The lobby was probably once pretty but now looks tired. They did have 3 attendants on duty, so check in was fairly quick even though they stuttered a bit with the airline voucher. Check out was even better since we simply slipped our keys in the envelope provided and dropped them in a remote checkout box.

From this point you have, depending on your room, two choices. If you are lucky enough to be housed in the main tower, elevators are directly off the main lobby. Our tower, the Sky Tower, was offsite, requiring us to catch their tram which runs along the outside perimeter of the hotel, up on about the 3rd or 4th level. Kind of a unique idea if you didn’t have to schlep your goodies through the entire Midway of the hotel to get there.

The room
Our accommodations were in the double queen room. They are available in both the North and Sky Tower. Our room had a connecting door to the next room, which would make it one of their mini-suites, if that is your wish. Our room was about 350 sq ft with two queen beds, picture window overlooking downtown Reno, desk, entertainment center and single night stand. The color theme, according to them, was in light rust. With striped drapes, flowered carpet, geometric print coverlet, it was all a bit too much for the senses. Eerie clown pictures adorned the walls. Hey, it’s a theme, what can I say?

The beds were comfortable, pillows soft, blankets decent. The room temperature was a bit of a hassle to control so we finally gave up and just bundled up and shivered. I must admit, we are rather spoiled from our Silver Legacy stays and were predisposed to not like this place anyway.

The bathroom was rather cold and austere after the jarring color scheme of the bedroom. The tub surround was a cold and forbidding looking granite like material that didn’t match anything else in the room. I guess it was their attempt at an upgrade. The tub had long ago lost its’ non-slip factor and with nothing to brace against, it was a bit harrowing to enter and leave without sliding all around. It did provide a wonderful pulsating showerhead though and plenty of hot water.

As far as toiletries, they were strange little containers, two provided in the tub area. You would, normally, assume one would be shampoo and the other conditioner, but since neither was marked and the consistency was the same, who knows. Generally we would carry along our own amenities, but with the toiletry restrictions anymore on airlines, we just use whatever is available at hotels so we have our own selves to blame on this one.

The towels were early American double 00 sandpaper, disguised as toweling material. Thin and scratchy, but several were provided. Toilet paper received a zero rating from me since it was single-ply and cheap. A hair dryer hung on the wall, coffee service on one corner of the vanity, ice bucket on the other. The doorless closet housed the iron and ironing board.

The tiny 19” TV offered cable and pay-per-view. The only cute feature was the dog kennel channel. I was scratching my head because I knew there wasn’t a racetrack on premises, at least none I was aware of, so I couldn’t figure out what this was all about. Didn’t take long to find out. It was the nanny-cam for the Hound Hotel. In case you are wondering …

Hound Hotel
Not that we utilized this feature, but I think it deserves mention. Kudos to a hotel that recognizes some people cannot travel without their pets. They offer accommodations for your dog with a total of 8 kennels. It is all climate controlled for the doggies comfort. Shelving is provided in each kennel for your personal pet storage and they have a store for necessities. Surveillance cameras let you watch your pet from the comfort of your hotel room.

The kennels are 5’ x 4’ and run $10 per day, $25 deposit. The hotel keeps the common areas clean but you are responsible for cleaning your own kennel. Cute idea.

Other rooms available include single king bedroom, mini suites, VIP suites and executive suites, for humans.

Our airline provided us with tickets for dining which would be honored at any eating facility in the hotel. As soon as we checked into our room, we looked over the dining selections. We were delighted to see they had a 24-hour dining room available since we had already eaten a large breakfast and figured we could wait until later to have our evening meal. Right …

Our intended restaurant, Americana Cafe, is supposed to be open 24/7/365. Since they touted home-style meals just like mom made, it sounded like a perfect choice for us. We aren’t fancy diners and prefer eating food we can recognize and pronounce. Unfortunately we discovered this restaurant closes at 10 pm and re-opens at 6 am. Their sister restaurant, Main Street Deli, fills in for them during their down times. Not exactly as advertised since I think 24/7 means the actual restaurant, not a deli on the corner.

We did have breakfast at the Americana. Wasn’t anything like mom made, just standard restaurant breakfast food accompanied by a rude waitress. Two eggs, meat, taters and toast, along with juice, ran $17 for the two of us so the pricing seems in line with just about anywhere else. As far as other foods available, when they are open, they had burgers, steaks, chops, served family style. Overall the appearance came off as a Bob Evans or similar chain restaurant setting.

We ended up eating our evening meal at the Main Street Deli. Two hot dogs, bowl of soup, drink and a couple of pastries ran $15. Dogs were $2.50 each and for once weren’t those nasty, salty, Nathan’s hot dogs. They offer a full ice cream shop featuring Dreyers and pastries are from Krispy Kreme. Their main stay are deli sandwiches which are supposed to be freshly carved meats but they were pre-made and plastic wrapped. I don’t consider that freshly carved, sorry.

I tried a bowl of their navy bean and ham soup. I mean, seriously, how can you screw up ham and beans? Let me attest to the fact, it is highly possible. It was more like a carrot & onion soup. There was something else in their as well that smelled horrible. The beans were few and far between and the ham had absolutely no flavor and was diced so tiny it passed as a navy bean. It ran $2.50 for the bowl. Rather, it was a Styrofoam cup, disgusting.

However, the lemon danish and cinnamon roll were good. Of course, they weren’t made on premise but purchased. Krispy Kreme isn’t a favorite of mine but it was the best thing we had the entire time we stayed at the hotel. Sad.

Other restaurants available include The Steakhouse, Kokopelli’s Sushi, Bonici Brothers Pizzeria and Courtyard Buffet.

Shopping at the Circus
Veranda Store gift shop is the place to shop for puppy needs you might have forgotten for your Hound Hotel guest. It also carries logo products from the hotel and well as kids favorites. This was the only store I saw in my travels through the hotel, which were extensive since I was in a wheelchair and had to go in areas you wouldn’t normally pass through in general travel from one area to another.

However, they also boast The Jewelry Store, The Lobby Store, The Logo Store, The Country Store and Apparel Express, which seems to set itself apart from the others since it doesn’t have the word The included in its name.

Their slot area, with about 1200 slots, was old and tired looking. It also wasn’t very populated even early in the evening. Some machines are coin in/coin out type and some are E-Z pay with paper payouts. They also have a sports book area with bar, table games and a poker room.

Of course, what they are mostly known for are their live circus acts, free of charge, in the Midway section. They have 10 different acts, which rotate on a daily basis. I never could find a place were I could access the Midway section which really didn’t matter to me anyway with all those young-uns running around. I did find one area that wasn’t blocked by vendor carts, where I could look down into the Midway. It contains all those carnival type games where you can win stuffed animals. It was a mass of yelling, screaming children. I don’t know the hours, but it isn’t open 24 hours a day.

Other amenities
Fitness center open 7 days a week, 5:30 am to 10 pm. They also have an on-call masseuse. In room wireless internet, business center, complete convention and catering facilities and the wedding chapel are all available. The wedding chapel is located in the Sky Tower and they put quite the package together for the blushing couple.

Free shuttle service to and from airport and plenty of on-site parking.

Overall impression
Circus-Circus is definitely geared toward family entertainment. If you are traveling with children, this would be probably the only casino environment I would recommend. Maybe it is just me but casinos and children just don’t seem a good mix so Circus-Circus found a way to overcome this.

The rooms are definitely tired and in need of a good overhaul. They bordered on depressing. To top it off, the place reeks. You can smell the cotton candy booth all over the place, even hours after it has closed down. When the live circus acts are in place, if they are animals, you can smell it all over the casino.

If it hadn’t been forced on us, we would never have stayed there. Unless we are forced again, we won’t return.



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