Having relatives who live in Las Vegas makes it fun to go to Vegas again and again, to stay in different hotels and check out all the amenities. So this writer is pretty familiar with the Las Vegas Strip and outskirts.
This Las Vegas hotel review is of “The Best” in various categories on and near the Strip. It does not include Downtown Las Vegas.
Best Room Deal on the Strip –The Flamingo Hotel & Casino – There may be cheaper rooms on the Strip, but not so up to par with the bigger theme hotels. Although the Flamingo is not a “theme” hotel in today’s sense of Las Vegas, it dates back to original Las Vegas so has historical value, but has been renovated in recent years. The rooms are as nice as some of the rooms at the more expensive hotels. Even the standard rooms are well appointed, clean and attractive with modern bathrooms.
$ – $$. Standard Room Price per Night: Depending on the time of year. This price is for springtime, when the weather is ideal: $79.00 weeknights to $130.00 weekends.Off-season is summertime when it’s very hot. Prices may be lower.
Best Room Deal off the Strip –Sam’s Town – A few blocks away from the glittering strip is the Sam’s Town Casino and Hotel Complex. Sam’s Town has a fun Old West theme, the center of which is a gorgeous mountain and waterfall with animated forest and mountain animals that “perform” in an Americana laser presentation on the hour each evening. Plenty of restaurants.
$. Standard Room Price per Night: Depending on the time of year. This price is for springtime, when the weather is ideal: $40.00 weeknights, $80 weekends.
Most Overrated Standard Rooms for the Price – Caesar’s Palace – Caesar’s Palace is the hotel that kicked off the Theme-Based hotel trend in Las Vegas in the early 70’s. Everything had to be bigger and better. This is a great place to shop, eat, and look around at the Roman Empire influence. But the sleeping rooms are overrated. As far as Las Vegas reviews go, I’ve seen just as nice at some of the lesser-priced hotels.
$$$. Standard Room Price per Night: Depending on the time of year. Also done for springtime: $160.00.
Hotels to check out for other reasons (click on the names for virutal tours):
Best of “Old Las Vegas” – Sahara – Although the rooms have been renovated, Sahara’s ambiance has been left looking like the days the Rat Pack (Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin et al) roamed the halls and stayed here. Ownership has maintained and refurbished the original look of an Arabic Palace on the outside. Check out the Coffee Shop which has been re-done to its original appearance from the late 1950’s.
Most Diverse Décor & Food – New York, New York – Decorated to look like New York City inside and out, this Hotel & Casino is complete with near life-size replicas of the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge. Walking through the casino, shop and restaurant areas you will see representations of many different neighborhoods in the Big Apple – Manhattan, Soho, areas that look like right out of the movie “West Side Story”, and real New York style pizza and deli food. Not to mention a whole Coney Island with a roller coaster ride. Check out the Times Square Lounge with dueling pianos.
Most Romantic – The Paris Hotel, of course! Another theme hotel, with the Arc du Triumph and the Eiffel Tower both at three-fourths the size of the real things in France. The Paris has a glittering lobby that will make your eyes dance. It is a smaller, more compact casino but a stroll through the shop and restaurant area is just like being at the real Rive Gauche (Left Bank).
The Paris is rivaled for its romance only by the Gondola Rides at The Venetian Hotel.
Yuppiest Hotel – Planet Hollywood. The Aladdin was bought out, its Arabian environment stripped, and replaced with uneventful dark wood and cold stainless steel, which I guess the designers thought Gen X’ers would like. Some of the great restaurants are still there, though, and there are some beautiful, diamond-like pillars at the entrance to welcome you.
Best Hotel Shopping – Planet Hollywood‘s redeeming feature is the magnificent shopping at its indoor Desert Passage, which still replicates a Moroccan Street Market.
Best Buffet in Las Vegas – The Carnival Buffet at Rio. I have done a previous Las Vegas review featuring The Rio Buffet, and can’t stop talking about it. For the price (about $26.00), it far outweighs buffets at the other hotels, and when you leave you may far outweigh it, too!