Seeking Vegas Hotel Info

My gf and I are planning to go to Vegas on Tues (8/17) and returning on a red-eye Saturday night (8/21). We got airfare for $373 and I have $200 in travel vouchers so we’re flying there for $86/person round trip. Not bad. :slight_smile:

Anyway, I’ve never been to Vegas before but I’ve been checking out a number of websites ( seems great) trying to figure out what hotel to stay in. I know some people advocate staying off the strip to get a cheaper hotel, but since this is my first time I’d like to stay on it. So far, I have received the following quotes per night over the 4 night stay.

Stratosphere: $49/night
Sahara: $51/night
Excalibur: $58/night
Tropicana: $69/night
Flamingo: $78/night

The stratosphere looks nice, but it seems kind of far off the strip. Also, it doesn’t seem to have a great pool. The Sahara seems like a nice deal and supposedly has a decent pool, but it is still at the end of the strip. I’ve heard that the Excalibur is not that nice and most people seem to stay away from it. Now, both the Tropicana and Flamingo are supposed to be nice and have great pools, though I’ve heard the Flamingo is one of the nicest in Vegas.

I’d appreciate any thoughts anyone has about those hotels and the prices quoted for them. I’m interested in hearing about the facilities, the location, the pool, and overall value of the hotel. Also, if anyone knows of any special codes or promotions for some hotels, I’d appreciate knowing those, too.


Check the Rio. It is nicer than some of the others on your list and all the rooms are suites. I got rooms for $49.00, just before Xmas and for $69.00 in March. The drawback to the Rio is that it is a block or two from the strip.

I have a poorman’s guide to Las Vegas (a word doc.) written by a guy at work that has a lot of good info about where to stay, what to do, and where to eat. If you want a copy, send me an e-mail and I’ll send you the file by return.

If you want to have some fun see Tony and Tina’s Wedding. It was playing at the Rio. We also saw Rita Rudner at New York New York.

And by all means, check out the malls in Caesars Palace, Bellagio, and the Venetian.

LV is a great place. Have fun!

OK - just going from your list:

Stratosphere: $49/night = nice place, REALLY crappy neighborhood, but does have the fun factor with the roller coaster and bungee jump thingie on the top. Pool nothing to write home about.
Sahara: $51/night = kittycorner from Stratosphere, nice coaster and the good news is that the new monorail now ends there, so you can zip down to MGM Grand in no time ($3.00 ticket, or something like that). This is right next to Wet N Wild - a very good water park.
Excalibur: $58/night = eh…it is ok…rooms kinda small…of your list this would be my last choice.
Tropicana: $69/night = now THIS is a swimming pool! Hotel is slightly older so the rooms are not as fancy, but it is located in the middle of things and I would probably go here.
Flamingo: $78/night= close second choice, and they have a great buffet there. Also Gladys Knight performs at the showroom there, you are also smack dab in the middle of the Strip. I have heard the pool is good, but I don’t know first hand.

Have a great time - and to be honest, all of the hotels on your list are just fine and the only “old” one is Tropicana. And like most tourists here, you will only be in the hotel room when you are too tired to stand, and once you wake up, you are off and running again - so it doesn’t really make an iota’s difference if you stay at the Bellagio or Motel Six.

I’ve stayed at the Excalibur and the Tropicana. I’d go with the Trop - great swimming pool, easy location for getting to and from anywhere - especially the airport. I like the Garden Rooms (I think that’s right; anyway, they’re the ones behind the casino area) better than the Tower Rooms (the ones near the front lobby).

Nothing really wrong with the Excalibur, but I just didn’t think it was worth the money they were asking - the rooms are rather small (as DMark said) and bland.

I haven’t stayed here, but when I was considering going to Vegas a few months ago with some friends, my wife found this place, a condo complex off the Strip which had two bedroom condos for a little less than a hotel room in one of the casinos. The complex sounded pretty nice – lots of pools, jacuzzis, etc. Just an FYI.

I thought Excalibur was like an even tackier Medieval Times. And tons of kids running around, for some reason. I think it aims at the families. I didn’t stay there though, just walked through from Luxor.

Had friends from Germany who stayed at a similar type place on the Strip, about three miles south of Mandalay Bay. There are actually quite a few places like that scattered around Las Vegas.

The good part of staying there: Inexpensive (but you had to rent by the week only, no daily rate) they had multiple small pools and jacuzzis, each room had a little kitchen and the place was clean.

The bad part of staying there: Lots of families with lots of kids and lots of people who are staying there for weeks/months until they get settled. This meant that it was loud in the AM with parents going off to (find) work and the kids running up and down the stairs and it was also loud at night with so many rooms, so close to each other.

These places are great for longer visits, or when hotels are booked up for conventions, or if you and three friends want a really cheap place to crash, or if you are moving here and want to wait to see where you are going to be working before you settle on an apartment. But for the short term visitor, I don’t really know if the minor savings over a hotel room is worth it.

Of the hotels you listed, I would go with the Flamingo, even though it was the most expensive on your list. Reason being, it’s central location. The Strip is a big place, 4 miles long, I think, so the central location is key. We usually alternate spending one day adventuring north to visit casinos in that direction, with another day venturing south. Plus, the Flamingo is very nice without being pretentious or way too expensive, a la Bellagio, et al. Whatever you decide, have fun and good luck!

I really, really like Bally’s.

Rates are cheap, it’s Center Strip, right across from the Bellagio, meaning you could very likely have a room with a view of the gorgeous fountains that the folks at the Bellagio pay an arm and a leg for. It connects to Paris, right next door.

Rates last year were just around $100 a night. They’ve got some good little nightspots, the pool was nice (large, with a bar (not in the pool) and private cabanas for rent) though not as lush as some of the more expensive hotels. Still, very nice, clean, and comfortable.

The casino isn’t as happening as the larger, newer joints, but since it’s walking distance to those, it doesn’t really matter much.

Unless I hit the jackpot, Bally’s will be my hotel of choice when I make a trip to Vegas.

I’ve stayed at the Excalibur. It’s fine if you’re just looking for a place to crash, but if you’re looking for upscale you’d be disappointed. The only other place I’ve stayed at is the MGM–I don’t know what the rates were (I was a convention speaker, and the marketing folks took care of the arrangements). The rooms were, again, okay but forgettable, but there’s a better selection of restaurants in the building.

Don’t forget, they have the new monorail open now too.

I have stayed at the Flamingo many times. Great location.

The Statosphere isn’t off the Strip, exactly, it’s just the very northern end of it. If you stay there or at the Sahara, you’ll probably wind up making up the difference in room rates on cab fare just getting up and down the Strip. Even going 3 or 4 hotels down can turn into a bit of a hike; you don’t realize how huge those properties really are till you’re walking past them in 100-degree heat.

Excalibur was swarming with kids when we went to Vegas a few years ago, and I doubt things have changed since then. It, Treasure Island, and Circus Circus are at the top of my list of Vegas Hotels I Will Never Book. They’ve got a pretty fun, pretty cheap dinner show, though.

It’s almost impossible to beat the Flamingo for location, though. It’s pretty much right there in the middle of everything, which is great. We stayed next door at the Imperial Palace, which was ridiculously cheap. (It was perfectly adequate, but nothing to write home about. The pool’s nothing special, either, but we were too busy with other stuff to worry about the pool.) Dr.J really liked the Barbary Coast, which IIRC is right behind the Flamingo. The rooms there are terribly nice, and you can get out to the Strip without having to wade through the casino like in some of the hotels. They don’t have a pool, though.

First choice - Flamingo
Second choice - Tropicana

This is based upon location. Flamingo is right in the middle of things and they have a nice pool. Trop has a nice pool also, and you’ll be close to the casinos on that end. The distance between the two is far, but it’s not an impossible walk, and there are places to stop along the way. In comparison, the walk from Sahara to Flamingo seems harder.

One word about the Trop. They have three levels of standard rooms - the garden room, the island tower, and the paradise tower. If you are gong to be out and about a lot, getting a room in the paradise tower (closest to the strip) will save a lot of walking through the casino. Of course, they charge $20 more for these rooms. The cheap rooms are the garden rooms.

Of the hotels you’ve listed, I’ve stayed at the Stratosphere and the Tropicana (twice). I really wasn’t impressed with the Stratosphere. It’s alright; perfectly serviceable, but nothing special, and its location is definitely a strike against it. Especially since this is your first time to Vegas and you want to stay on the Strip. While the Stratosphere may technically be part of the Strip, it’s really not ‘part’ of the Strip, if you follow me. The price is right, but for a little extra money, you can do much better.

Echoing Dag Otto, the quality of the Trop really depends on which tower you’re in. The first time I stayed there, I was in the newer tower, and enjoyed it. The second time I was in the older tower, and was thouroughly unimpressed. It does have one of the nicer pools in town, though. I’d recommend it, but try and get in the newer tower.

I’ll be staying at the Mirage for the first time next week. I can’t wait! I haven’t been to Las Vegas in way too long. Enjoy your trip!

The Mirage just totally renovated their buffet, and according to early reports, it is now one of the best in town! Check it out while you are there and let me know…I have some visitors coming into town Labor Day and was thinking of taking them there to try it out. (Currently, I think Paris has the best buffet, followed by Bellagio and then by Green Valley Ranch Casino).

Mirage is a good choice - you’ll like it there. Have fun!

Well, of the list you gave, I have to agree, the Tropicana is probably the nicest, with the Flamingo a close second.

I used to looove the Trop. It was my first choice, mainly for the size of the rooms, the pool, and the casino.

Then they took out the craps pit under the stained glass in the center of the casino, and filled it with more slot machines and a freakin’ trapeze acrobat act on Friday and Saturday nights.

To hell with that.

Besides, I go downtown and to Henderson now. Why play $10 minimums on craps and blackjack when you can go to Nevada Palace or El Dorado and put 50-cents on the pass line and get 10x odds?? Or place minimum $1 and $2 blackjack bets?? If you want to gamble, those are the places. They even play better music.

The Strip really sucks these days, and you can’t even find a decent three-reel slot machine anymore… they’re all those crappy video slots that print out slips, unless you play dollar or higher coins.

I second the recommendation for Bally’s. For a while, I was going to Las Vegas at least twice a year for trade shows (but mostly to goof off). I have stayed at most of the hotels you mentioned, and Bally’s is the one I stay in consistently now.
Considering that it is located smack dab in the middle of everything, the rates are quite reasonable. It is right across from Bellagio and Caesar’s, and right next door to Paris. Everything else is either up or down the strip from it. The rooms are generally large, and the pool is decent. Overall, I think it is a great value.

As others have mentioned, cab fare can eat up your hotel savings, so I say go for something central, clean and comfortable.

One last thing in Bally’s favor is that it is not a big “destination” name, so perhaps the restaurants are a bit less crowded. This is a big plus when you are standing in line for breakfast while nursing a hangover.

Thanks! I’ll try and talk my friends into going to the buffet for one of our meals, and I’ll let you know! I totally agree about the Paris and Bellagio’s; I’ve tried them both and would also rank them in that order.

I would go with Flamingo. It’s very close to the Monorail, which I rode yesterday.

The new Mirage buffet is very good. For lunch, get there early, so you don’t have to wait in line for too long.

  1. Deciding to stay at a hotel actually ON the Strip is an excellent idea. Don’t be talked out of it. Yes, by going off-Strip you can (maybe) pay less, but when you get there you’ll realise it’s just not worth it in terms of the extra hassle and taxi fares you’ll need to get around.

  2. Location is everything. The more central the better. Hence best to avoid the Stratosphere. has good maps showing every hotel on the Strip.

  3. Having chosen your hotel, you can either get the phone number and deal with the hotel directly or use one of the many websites that let you book online. If at all possible, deal directly with the hotel or at least call them to confirm your booking. First time I went I booked via and everything was fine. Second time I did the same and when I turned up the hotel had no record of my booking at all - even though I had all my paperwork, my confirmation number and so on. This was late on a Friday night, when Vegas had three big conventions in town and more or less everywhere was full. The hotel blamed the people at and vice-versa. It was sorted out. did eventually find me somewhere to stay, but it took about 2 hours to resolve all this mess. So if you do book online, get the hotel itself to confirm it.

  4. Of the ones on your list, Tropicana is good.

  5. One extra tip: the Boardwalk. It’s not as popular as some others, but I think it can be an ideal choice. It has a relatively good, central location. It’s relatively inexpensive. It’s opposite two big general stores for all your needs (these are rare on the Strip). It’s near a good internet cafe, if you need that sort of thing. Best of all, it doesn’t have its own late-night big shows (just a small bar cabaret) which means it gets less busy than other places, which means less crowds and hassle and noise when you actually want to get some rest. I stayed there once and had a great time.