Stay: July 2012
The Tahiti Village Resort is a time-share complex located in the southern part of the Las Vegas strip, a few blocks south of the Mandalay Bay. It was built in 2006, I believe, but it went bankrupt soon after, when the Las Vegas real estate market crashed. The complex not only failed to sell out, but you can now buy time shares on e-bay for $1 - that's how eager owners are to unload them and put an end to the yearly maintenance fees. To deal with the surplus of unsold suites, Tahiti Village also markets itself as a hotel. I found it while looking for a hotel with a good pool in Vegas and booked it through Orbitz (prices on its own website were higher). I'm glad I tried it once, but I wouldn't go back.
The best part of Tahiti Village Resort is the pool complex. It consists of a fairly large pool and a lazy river. They are both heated, the pool too much IMHO, specially for a Las Vegas summer.
The pool resembles a puzzle piece, with several low-depth entrances. It's fairly deep in the center of the pool, about 4'6", a rarity in Las Vegas. It has a small kiddy beach in one alcove and an area to play waterpolo in another. There are plenty of "noodles" for swimming and relaxing (we found out that laying on your back on the water with one under your neck is pure bliss) as well as sand toys. All in all this is a great family pool and indeed it was filled with families (but fortunately we stayed during the week, so it wasn't too crowded). I would not recommended for the childless.
I'd say the same about the lazy river. It's shorter and less complex than the one at the MGM Grand, and for that reason much more child friendly. The kids had a blast going around and around (with us, of course) and the free tubes were great - though I find they're really not necessary. The best part? There were no drunken twentysomethings standing on the sides and crowding the way.
So, if you have younger kids and you are looking for a hotel with good pools, you could easily do worse than Tahiti Village. But if in addition to a nice pool complex, you want well appointed rooms, you may want to look elsewhere, or at least get one of the larger suites. We got the Moorea, a 1-bedroom deal, and were disappointed by both the design and the furniture.
My main complaints about the room is that it was dark (the sunlight from the bedroom window barely reached the living room) and that it didn't have a table or a desk. What's the point of providing a kitchenette and then not making a space available for someone to eat? And who, in this day and age, does not provide the space for guests to use a computer? It's a good thing that laptops are called that, as the only place to put them is your lap! For me, the lack of a table and/or desk is a fatal flaw.
The other problem with the design of this suite is the bathroom - the single sink has barely 4 inches or so of counter-top around it, so there is very little space for toothbrushes, toothpaste, brushes, contact lense cases, etc. I found that terribly annoying. There is also nowhere in the bathroom to dry clothing - given that the main attraction of this complex is its pool, a clothesline above the tub would have been a good touch.
The suite itself is nicely appointed, but not more so than your average Residence Inn (if only it was as well designed!). It's showing signs of age, however. The laminate on the bathroom mirror had started to come off, and the rugs had stains. Indeed, the hallway rugs are so stained as to be almost gross. Cleanliness also leaves some to be desired. My husband found several pins on the carpet - when he stepped on them!
On the plus side, the bed and pillows were very comfortable and there was plenty of storage room for us. The sofa bed is queen-sized (rather than your usual doubles) and it wasn't too bad comfort wise.
Another issue - albeit I knew of this in advance - is internet access. The hotel is wired for internet, but you must pay an additional $10 day if you want it to work in your room, and another $7 if you need to rent a wireless modem. There is free wireless but only at the main lobby and the "lounge" on Tower 5. That said, the internet connection was fairly quick.
As far as maintenance goes, it's sad to know that owners are paying so much for it. The faucet in our bathtub was messed up - it would leak when the shower was on, and the bathtub drained very slowly. The room comes with a small fridge; the freezer wasn't cold enough to keep popsicles frozen, but a soda can we left below it froze during the night and exploded! Some of the issues seem to be design flaws: the peepholes are screwed in from the ouside of the door, so anyone can easily unscrew them and remove them, leaving a hole in the door about 3/4" in diameter. This is a useful feature when you lock yourself out and need to wake up your sleeping husband inside the room, but it raises privacy/security issues (if you are the paranoid type).
We didn't deal too much with the staff, but all our interactions were very pleasant. We found them to be professional and friendly. Note that after you check in, you are directed to the "concierge" for your parking pass. In Vegas "concierge" is another word for "time share reservations agent". Their primary job is to get you to agree to go to a time share presentation in exchange for show tickets. I was curious about doing one of the Tahiti Village tours - just to experience the strong-arm sale techniques -, but the gifts are not very valuable. We could get a $100 voucher to Pampas, a misnamed Brazilian restaurant that has coupons all over the place and gets bad reviews or 4 tickets to the Rio buffet, which we could have used but which they probably get for less than $50. Their show tickets were all to minor Vegas shows. They will sell you others at a discount - but you can get them just as cheap at discount counters. In any case, if you do decide to do one of these time share tours, remember that all size suites at the Tahiti Village can be bought for $1 on E-bay.
Finally, when I made reservations at the Tahiti Village I didn't realize it wasn't a hotel, so I was surprised to find out that we had no daily cleaning service. By in large I didn't mind, but it would have been nice to have been able to get more towels/toiletries. Also, while they have a coffee maker, they only had one coffee bag and a couple of sugar/cream packages - enough for one day but not the three we stayed. If you do want daily cleaning service, you can pay for it at $35 a day.
Like many other hotels in Vegas, Tahiti Village charges a $10 daily "resort fee". Of course, you don't get anything for it that you would actually pay to get (except, perhaps, for the use of the tubes in the lazy river), but it's a way of making their rates look cheaper. But when you start adding all those fees, Tahiti Village may actually end up being more expensive than similar properties on the strip.
Tahiti Village Resort and Spa
7200 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV