Even if you are not really interested in gambling, you definitely have heard about Las Vegas. This city attracts attention – it is a place where dreams come true and hopes get blown, spontaneous (or not that much!) weddings are organized, but most importantly, it is a place where you can forget all about your problems (if only for a while) and just have a good time.
This city is represented on a great scale in modern mass culture. It is home to a good deal of popular movies and TV shows. That comes as no surprise because everything here aims to entertain slot machines and roulettes every day 24/7. If there is a city that never sleeps, it is without a shadow of a doubt Las Vegas.
We should not forget that Las Vegas is not only the heart of gambling industry; it is also one of the largest global entertainment centers. Not everyone visiting here is interested in casinos and gambling, some people just want to enjoy the great cultural life of the city – concerts and shows that are held here year-round. For example, the world famous Cirque du Solei or Jersey Boys. Some people come here only to experience the holiday atmosphere. After all, Vegas is a real children's playground for adults. Here you can have fun without a fear of being judged.
There are also people who come to Las Vegas to participate in conferences, expo shows, and seminars, and this whole gambling “stuff” is just like a background noise for them, they come to Vegas to work. Finally, there are people who are not really interested in seeing Las Vegas at all (imagine that!), from here they go, for example, to Grand Canyon, or drive all the way to Californian beaches.
Why are we talking about goals here instead of best districts to live in? Probably because choosing the right hotel in Vegas largely depends on your goal – what is it that you plan to do here?
What Area is the Best to Stay in Las Vegas?
The main and obviously most popular goal of coming to Vegas is to have some fun, play in a casino, and take a look at numerous hotels that are great tourist attractions in and of themselves. If you recognized yourself in this description, you should go straight to Strip.
Las Vegas Strip is a part of Las Vegas Boulevard that extends over 4.2 miles. Strictly speaking, the Strip is situated beyond the administrative limits of the city and belongs to its suburbs, but it is not really important because everything we know about Las Vegas you will find right here. Here you will see the largest hotels and casinos. It seems as if every new hotel tries to out-do everyone else.
Accommodation cost in Las Vegas is pretty reasonable. You can find a good hotel in the middle of the Strip – that means right in the thick of things – for just $70 per night. It is not surprising because hotels receive their principal income from their infrastructure: a casino, restaurants, and stores located on the territory of the hotel. As a rule, people who stay in this particular hotel, will spend their money right here too, often not leaving for any other place because there is no real need to do that. Everything a guest wants or needs is right there – within an easy reach. That is why hotels in Las Vegas try to attract guests by offering them additional discount coupons for shows, drinks credits, etc.
So, when you choose a hotel, consider that most of your time you will spend in its own little world. Check in advance what shows will be available in the city during your stay, decide if you only want to play in a casino or maybe would love to feel adrenaline rush by trying some of the exciting rides and rollercoasters.
Always keep in mind that many Americans come to Las Vegas on weekends and holidays which means that prices will double or even triple. So, if your dates are flexible, plan a visit to Vegas during the week – you will save a lot.
Also, it is recommended to choose a hotel in the middle of Strip. The reason is pretty simple. You would definitely want to see other hotels (and they are without a doubt worth seeing!) and that means you will have to walk a lot. By the time you reach your own hotel, you will hardly have energy to do anything at all. If you travel by car, you should know that the afternoon and evening traffic is really bad. The car speed would be more or less the same as the speed of the pedestrian, and finding a parking spot will be very challenging. Actually, every hotel has valet parking for guests but to find a spot you need to be really lucky.
It makes sense to walk which means that the best option for you is a hotel in the middle of Strip. I recommend choosing one of the Harrah's chain hotels. The chain is huge and when you check in you will get a lot of discount coupons that can be used in all hotels in the chain. The best location in the center of Strip have Paris (4 stars, rate ranges from $80 to $250 for a standard room depending on the time of your visit), Caesars Palace (4 stars, rate ranges from $150 to $400), Flamingo (3 stars, prices from $110 to $250).
It is interesting that Paris is French-inspired (it even has its own Eiffel Tower), and Caesars Palace uses Roman architectural style. Here you will find the Coliseum, Roman baths and even the famous Trevi Fountain. And Flamingo is known for its casino because it was the very first casino that opened in Las Vegas. It was named after the girlfriend of the founder – her nickname was Flamingo. Nowadays, you can see the real flamingoes in the hotel park.
If you want to live in a 5-star hotel by all means (even though 3 stars in Las Vegas is a really good deal), then you can choose Venetian or Bellagio. They have a very convenient location. But prices here are different, too – on average $300 per night. Both hotels have their own identifying features. Venetian, as the name suggests, demonstrates everything Venetian: canals, gondolas, and Venetian sky. Dancing fountains of Bellagio attract tourists’ crowds daily but you do not have to stay in this hotel to enjoy the show. By the way, Ocean's Eleven was shot here.
If you search a more budget-friendly option, Bally's Las Vegas offers rates starting at $50 per night is located nearly across Bellagio and is a part of Harrah’s chain, so you will be able to use their coupons and credits.
All hotels on the Strip provide a great level of comfort; here you won’t have to deal with the problems of non-functioning elevators, noise, and dirty towels. But here you might have to deal with another “problem”: hotels in Las Vegas are so huge that some of the rooms are located incredibly far from the elevator and it can take you quite some time to finally reach your room. When you check in, ask for a room closer to an elevator if it is important to you, and definitely ask for a room on the top floors – the city view from there, especially in the night when the city is brightened up by lights of numerous hotels and entertainment centers, is incredible!
However, you should still pay attention to what other travelers say about particular hotels. Some of hotels might not be the best option for newlyweds, because they are usually occupied by groups of single people; or maybe some hotels are not great for vacation with kids. In the end, the final choice is yours.
If you travel with children take a look at the hotel New York New York. Here you will see many recognizable architectural elements of New York: the Brooklyn Bridge, the Liberty Statue, the Central Station, Manhattan skyscrapers. Plus, here you will also find rollercoasters, a pool and the two-storey Hershey's Chocolate World. Prices range from $120 per night.
If you plan a wedding ceremony in Las Vegas, then Bellagio, Venetian and Paris have amazing wedding chapels for you where you will have a beautiful ceremony. Just remember that you have to organize everything well before your date because these chapels are booked for many months in advance.
The Fremont Street, just like the Strip, is one of the most famous streets in Las Vegas. It is a part of the downtown. For a very long time this area has been a center of entertainment in Las Vegas. Only in the last decade of the 20th century this center gradually shifted to Strip where new modern resorts were built.
However, you will see that there are nice accommodation options and places to see in this district too. There are such famous hotels and casinos here as Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, Golden Nugget, Binion’s Horseshoe and many others.
Here I recommend taking a look at the Golden Nugget hotel. It is located at the end of the street close to the city center, and if you plan your trip for the middle of the week, the room will cost you around $60-80 per night. The hotel boasts spacious rooms, comfortable beds. In addition to default entertainment areas you will find here pools with sharks and slides. In the city center there are various cafes and restaurants, and prices are quite reasonable. It is still a little too far from Strip but for many tourists it is more of an advantage than a disadvantage.
Not to mention, that walking down the Fremont Street can be as entertaining as exploring the Strip. For example, Fremont Street Experience features a 90-foot-high LED video screen canopy that covers four blocks of Fremont Street. The system was designed and engineered by LG Electronics in 1995 to attract more tourists to this district.
In this district of Las Vegas (historical downtown) you will also find local museums. If you want to take some rest from the gambling madness, museums can be a great way to relax. For example, there are Mob Museum and Neon Museum within an easy reach from this area.
Las Vegas Airport
If you just pass through Las Vegas and need a place to stay overnight but then plan to move closer to the Grand Canyon or rent a car and have a road trip to California, the best option you might have is a hotel near the airport. In this case you will not have to drive through the city and waste time on that, instead you can take rest before your trip. But if at some point you decide to check out some of casinos in the city, you can easily reach there thanks to shuttle buses that will bring you right to the Strip. Or you can rent a car, because the renting center is also right there.
In the airport area you can take a closer look at such hotels as Homewood Suites Las Vegas Airport (Hilton): starting from $160 per night, rooms with kitchen and complimentary breakfast, and La Quinta Inn & Suites Las Vegas Airport South: starting from $89, rooms with a fridge, a microwave, and a coffee maker, free Internet, parking and complimentary breakfast.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Hotel in Las Vegas
In conclusion I would like to discuss in more detail the characteristics of hotels in Las Vegas that you should keep in mind before choosing the place to stay. First of all, as you already know, most hotels (especially those located on the Strip), are large entertaining centers that keep a hotel, a casino, restaurants, stores, rides and rollercoasters, concerts and shows under one roof. You can spend one whole day in the hotel and never find out all of its secrets. Plan your time accordingly because most probably you would also want to learn a secret or two in some other hotels.
The hotels rates, as a rule, do not include breakfast, taxes and the daily resort fee. Each hotel decides independently what is included in this daily resort fee. In most hotels it covers Internet in the room, phone calls, and access to a gym. You can’t refuse to pay, even if you do not plan using any of these services.
Many hotels offer drinks and snacks credits for various amounts, usually $10-25 per day of your stay. As a rule, you will know about it before the booking, so it makes sense to watch out for these offers. The credit can only be used on the territory of the hotel. The list of places where you can use the credit is printed on the coupon that you will get.
Finally, to play in a casino, you have to be of age according to the US laws. That means you have to be at least 21. Your age should be proved by a valid document. So, if you look very young, keep your passport or driving license with you at all times.
Las Vegas is a place worth visiting. Go there, have fun and may the odds be ever in your favor!