A building’s looming height is often associated with grandeur. The Stratosphere Tower, standing at 1,149 feet, is the Stratosphere’s attraction that dominates the Las Vegas skyline, makes tourists marvel and is one of the reasons why the hotel is a success.
My family and I stayed at the Stratosphere hotel, which is separate from the tower, during our Vegas trip three years ago. We chose this hotel primarily because of its affordable rates. On weekdays, it drops as low as $35. On the weekends, the price ranges between $85 to $250. It is located at the north end of the Strip, which some tourists might find inconvenient as they hop from one hotel casino to another. It is an ideal location though if you want to be situated close to both the Strip and the downtown area, which features the Fremont Street Experience.
There are 2,444 rooms all in all, and you get the usual amenities (cable TV, pay-per-view, phone, alarm clocks, hairdryers) in each. I wasn’t particularly too keen about those because it was my first time in Vegas and I didn’t intend to spend most of it in my hotel room. There’s additional fee for Internet access but with all the sights and entertainment the Sin City has to offer, why bother? Our room didn’t have a very good view but it didn’t affect me too much. The room was clean (upon our arrival that is), the bathroom was spotless and equipped with shower needs, the ventilation is just right, and the bed was nice and comfortable. For me, that’s all that matters. If you’re the high maintenance type, maybe you wouldn’t be as satisfied. You can perhaps try their Premium View Guest Rooms, or the Star Suites, which feature a marble entrance, a spa tub, and a separate shower.
Other hotel amenities include a fitness center, a salon and spa, an outdoor pool, laundry services, tour assistance, flower and gift orders, and retail shopping. Of these, I only tried the pool, which was a pleasant experience. It is truly a place for the family because there were a lot of kids accompanied by parents, swimming and lounging by the pool. The whirlpool was relaxing and the waterfall was a good background for photos. My ten-year-old cousin enjoyed herself a lot that she didn’t want to leave.
Guests of the hotel have a one-time free access to the Stratosphere Tower observation deck at certain hours of the day, which is around the afternoon when it’s not too busy. The regular price of this attraction is $13.95 for adults and $10 for children. I heard the view is more spectacular at night. Guests have discounts on their admissions during the night time. My family and I went early afternoon. The lines going to the elevator were long, but it wasn’t too long a wait. Later on, I found out why. The elevator moves in such an incredible speed that it ranked sixth in the list of the world’s fastest elevators. It moves 549 meters per minute, or it takes you 109 floors up in 36 seconds. How amazing is that? I barely even felt we were moving. On the observation deck, I was treated to a breathtaking view of the whole city and the surrounding landscape. It really felt like being on top of the world. For the thrill-seekers, there are three electrifying rides which are not those for the faint of heart. These are the Big Shot Ride, Insanity Ride, and X-Scream Ride. I am content with just watching the braver guests as they were tilted and propelled and spinned at 1,149 feet from the air, thank you very much.
There is also a one-of-a-kind revolving restaurant that takes you 360 degrees in about 80 minutes. You can enjoy your food while taking in the magnificent changing views of the city. For the romantics who want an extraordinary wedding, there is a chapel in the tower called Chapel in the Clouds located 800 feet above ground.
For the gamblers, you will surely find something to like in the 80,000-square-foot casino, with games such as slot machines, video poker, blackjack, roulette and a lot more. For clubbers, you will be happy to find that there are four clubs to choose from. For other entertainment, two shows are featured regularly: American Superstars, which highlights your favorite celebrity impersonators, and Bite, an erotic show which puts a spotlight on the hottest villains at the moment – vampires.
Staying at the Strat was a memorable experience. Other than minor problems with my room card key, I have no complaints. Will I stay at the Strat again on my next visit? I’m going to say no, not that I don’t want to but because I’m up for variety and I want to try what other Vegas hotels have to offer and experience the city in a whole other way. Anyhow, I will definitely recommend Stratosphere hotel to first-timers and to tourists looking for affordable rates.