The 900 pound gorilla of locals' casinos is the Station chain, operators of the very popular Green Valley Ranch, Sunset Station, and more. But Coast Casinos (and parent Boyd Gaming Group) gives the big guys a run for their money with Orleans and this property Suncoast.
Located in the northwest part of town The Suncoast offers many of the kinds of perks and fun entertainment diversions that the other locals' joints offer but in a slightly shinier package that makes the hotel feel more like something you'd find on The Strip (albeit a smaller, and less gaudier version of it).
There is no discernable theme other than the sort of gilded golden sunshine implied by the name and brought to life with mirrors, acres of marble, and plenty of windows. The main casino area is a high-ceilinged, brightly lit affair that despite an architecturally airy design still feels quite crowded and a bit overwhelming for my tastes.
Sticking with current traditional design, the edges of the casino are lined with restaurants (everything from buffet to café to fine Italian and steakhouse) and other diversions including a 500-seat showroom, bars and lounges, and a 16-screen movie theater.
Upstairs are a few more machines, a bingo hall, meeting rooms, and a bowling alley offering 64 lanes (split on two sides with a common center aisle) and touch-screen scoring. There is also a small pool and workout room for guests.
There are 440 rooms on 10 floors and here is the spot where that Strip hotel feel is a big plus. The standard accommodations are big (around 550 square-feet) and elegantly designed with small sitting areas if you get one king bed and large TVs with cable and pay-per-view movies, two-line phones, high-speed Internet access, irons and boards, hair dryers, and more. Bathrooms are quite nice also - large with dual sinks and another phone in case you just can't wait to talk to someone.
I was really impressed with the look and feel of these rooms and even though you're not going to be looking out the window at the bright shining lights of The Strip, the rolling green golf course view I saw out the window was lovely.
Rates, which were almost inappropriately high when the place first opened, have come down a lot making this a bargain, especially considering everything you get on site. Weekdays are as low as $37 and rarely go above $50 while weekends start around $90 and go up from there (plus a $17.99 per night resort fee).
My biggest complaint about the Suncoast in the past has been the service. Although efficient and certainly competent I have come to expect a much more friendly vibe at these types of hotels than I found here. Brusque is the word that came to mind - something I've run into at other hotels in the Coast Casinos chain.
So despite the great rooms, the terrific entertainment offerings, and the often generous casino I feel that there are other locals' hotels that do a better job than this one. I actively encourage you to keep The Suncoast in mind when making your next Vegas vacation plans but I wouldn't suggest putting it at the top of your list.