One of the more common questions by Las Vegas first-timers is where to stay. Because we like Vegas newbies, we put together a few Vegas hotel tips and pointers to help you choose best. Before we figure out what hotel and resort for you to stay at, it’s best to decide which part of Las Vegas you want to stay.
Choosing which part of town.
Before choosing your hotel, it is important to decide which part of Las Vegas you want to visit the most. There are three distinct areas to choose from: the Strip, Downtown, and off the Strip.
There are pros and cons for each section, so we will breakdown what are often considered the most important elements of each. If you plan on staying at your hotel and casino for the majority of your trip, choosing your actives will be more important as some casinos offer more entertainment, nightlife, and gaming options than others.
Las Vegas Boulevard is where the action is at. If you’re looking for the best shows, entertainment, nightlife, and food, look no further. The Strip makes transportation easy and everything is a short walk, bus, or cab ride away. Drawbacks about the Strip are high rates on weekends, outrageous resort fees, and large crowds.
We suggest staying as near to the center of the Strip as possible. This will make transportation between your activities as minimal as possible. If you’re looking for a luxurious experience consider Bellagio, Wynn, Encore, or Aria. For the budget-minded visitors try Harrah’s, Flamingo, Luxor, Circus Circus, or Excalibur.
If you want a more classic experience, head Downtown towards Fremont Street. A huge advantage of being downtown is cheaper food and buffets, more consistent room rates, lower resort fees, and less walking. Downtown Las Vegas also has some shows and entertainment, but not as high-profile like the Strip. Cons to Downtown is transportation to and from the Strip /airport, lack of nightlife and entertainment, and smaller casinos.
Everything in Downtown is so close together, there isn’t one hotel location that really trumps another. If you’re looking for an incredible pool experience, check out the Golden Nugget and the water slide that goes through their shark tank. If you’re looking for a classic Las Vegas gaming experience try the oldest hotel in Downtown, Golden Gate. Most hotels are around the same price depending on availability and time of year. So be sure to check around for the one in your budget (keep in mind some hotels Downtown charge higher resort fees than others too).
Off the Strip
Off the Strip and away from Downtown there are plenty of hotel resorts to choose from. The more popular are Palms, Rio, and Hard Rock. If you want to get away from the fast-paced, bright lights, head towards the hills and try Red Rock Casino. Pros of staying off the Strip is that the food comes cheap, rooms are fairly priced, and things are less crowded. Much like Downtown, most off Strip casinos don’t have a lot of nightclubs. But some offer great entertainment like Rio with Penn and Teller or Hard Rock with great concerts.
When you are planning to stay off the Strip, make sure you have a car or that you’re planning to stay at the resort for the duration of your stay. Some of these hotels offer shuttles, but those can get busy and take extended amounts of time to reach the Strip or Downtown.