My annual (for now) Caesars Diamond status features a nifty benefit: a yearly $100 credit towards a “Celebration Dinner” redeemable at select restaurants on Caesars properties.
I had only a few weeks left until my 2022 Celebration Dinner expired. My wife and I keep threatening to visit Vegas again by ourselves — but don’t know when we can squeeze in a quick trip.
So, I cashed in the Celebration Dinner during a recent business trip to Vegas. My per diem is built into this particular client’s rate agreement — so the Celebration Dinner was a great way to save some money while enjoying a good meal.
But redeeming the reward turned into a time-consuming errand that really didn’t make Caesars Rewards shine.
Caesars Reward Dinner: Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill
A colleague/good friend of mine and I ventured to Caesars Palace for a late lunch.
Both of us ate at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill previously and were downright hungry. So, we decided to eat there.
The restaurant is located near the Coliseum showroom, which currently hosts Adele’s concert. It’s near a small food court and a short walk from the Forum Shops.
“For an authentic English pub experience, look no further than Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill,” says the restaurant’s website. “The celebrity chef serves up traditional British pub fare in an elevated style. You’ll find all of his signatures like fish and chips, Beef Wellington and sticky toffee pudding.”
When in Rome (or Caesars Palace — it’s not too far off, right?), you have to eat the restaurant’s native cuisine, right?
So, being the cultured food and drink enthusiasts, we, of course, ordered hamburgers and fries.
Yes. Burgers and fries (or chips, I guess, in this situation).
And, my goodness, were they fantastic.
Hamburgers and I are no strangers. We’ve loved each other for several decades. (Just ask my doctor. She’ll tell you.)
The Grilled Pub Burger is truly one of the best hamburgers I’ve ever eaten. Hands down. It’s topped with English sharp cheddar cheese, applewood smoked bacon, lettuce, and tomato.
The burger seemed to boast an extra pinch or two of salt to make it especially savory — but not overly salty. The meat was tender and practically melted whenever I took bites.
I usually order my hamburgers cooked to medium rare. I’m lucky if I get them pinker than medium well about 85% of the time.
But Gordon Ramsay’s chefs nailed it on this one. The burger was cooked perfectly.
My friend ordered hers medium — and that, too, came out just right.
The fries were golden and tasty. The only note here is that they could’ve been a bit crispier.
My friend ordered a tequila and soda. She said it was good — but nothing too exciting. (El Jimador is apparently the house tequila.) I ordered a double Old Fashioned with Bulleit bourbon. It was great.
Finally, Edith was our server and did a wonderful job.
The subtotal came to about $101. Perfect! (We didn’t plan it that way.)
I presented my Caesars Diamond card and American Express® Gold Card when the bill came. The $100 Celebration Dinner credit would be debited from my Diamond card and I’d pay the balance with my Gold Card because that earns 4X American Express® Membership Rewards® points at restaurants.
That’s when things went off the rails.
”Our Systems are Down”
Here’s one the “gamer got gamed!” troll brigade will eat up. (And then spit back out because there’s a happy-ish ending.)
Ms. Edith came back with my Diamond member and Gold credit cards. She apologized and said the Caesars Rewards system was down. That meant she couldn’t process my Celebration Dinner.
I ended up paying the entire tab with my American Express® Gold Card. All said and done, I was out of pocket about $130 (including tax and tip).
We walked over to the Caesars Rewards desk to see what could be done to remedy the situation.
A rep confirmed that systems were down. (Can you imagine gambling and not having your gameplay tracked? Yikes.) She told me to come back the next day and they’d figure out something. Luckily, my schedule allowed me time to do that.
So, I got up the next morning and walked from Mandalay Bay to Caesars. (I made the trip in about 45 minutes; I skipped trams and decided to hoof it the entire way.)
The Caesars Rewards system worked again. Hooray! A rep told me to go back to Gordon Ramsay’s so they could refund my Amex Gold card and then try the Celebration Dinner charge again.
The hostess graciously helped remedy the situation. She refunded the entire amount — including tax and gratuity — to my Amex Gold card. The $100 Celebration Dinner credit was successfully applied to my “new” tab. I had a remaining balance of about $2. I used Caesars points to zero that out.
I was concerned Edith’s gratuity would be affected. The hostess assured me Edith was paid out the day before and received the tip.
But it wouldn’t be right if I left Gordon Ramsay’s hanging $20 for Caesars’ system glitch. Can the restaurant afford it? Sure. But gratuity isn’t included in the Celebration Dinner. And fair is fair. So, I gave a $20 bill to the hostess and told her to put it in the store’s tip pot or do whatever her manager recommended.
Between dealing with Caesars Rewards a couple of times, my return roundtrip to Caesars Palace, and for the refund to be processed, I ended up losing about two hours or so of time. That’s where the “no such thing as a free lunch” comes into play. As someone who is self-employed, losing two hours of work time can be costly. I knew I could make it up at some point. And I did, getting extra work done in the Vegas Amex Lounge, during my flight, and Lyft ride home. (Thank goodness for rush hour traffic!) But instead of using some of that time to rest and maybe read, I had to catch up on work time I missed — because Caesars didn’t have their act together.
But on the bright side, I enjoyed a fantastic meal for only about $20, and got in some good exercise. And Caesars Diamond status has otherwise been fairly good to me.
I used my 2022 Caesars Rewards Celebration Dinner at Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Las Vegas. The food, drinks, and service were all great. Unfortunately, the Caesars Rewards computer systems glitched out and caused me a headache. Everything worked out in the end. Definitely a #FirstWorldProblem.
Have you visited Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill in Las Vegas? Where have you enjoyed your Caesars Rewards Celebration Dinner? Please share your experiences in the below Comments section!
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