You’ve booked your Vegas flights, you’ve excitedly announced it to all your mates on Facebook, and you’ve had a thorough read of my 10 essential things to do in Las Vegas (OK, OK, shameless plug…).
But now comes the big question: where’s the best place to stay in Las Vegas? If you’re anything like me before I went, you’re vaguely aware that there is a long Strip featuring hotels inspired by buildings all over the world. But should you go for the hotel that looks like the Egyptian pyramids? Or the 5* hotel with in-built Venetian canals? Ooh, or what about the one that looks like a massive circus?
Don’t worry – I get ya. Picking a hotel in Vegas is probably the hardest thing you’ll ever have to do in terms of holiday preparation. (Well, apart from learning how to play poker). But don’t worry. Here’s a run down of all your options in order to help you decide where to stay in Vegas!
(p.s. Just so you’re aware – this post does contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a tiny commission at no extra cost to you!)
On The Strip
The Strip is the beating heart of Las Vegas. First thing’s first, choosing where to stay ‘on the strip’ isn’t as easy as it sounds. The Strip is 6.7km long (or 4.1 miles), so don’t make the same mistake as me and think it’ll be easy to walk from one hotel to another 10 doors down. My feet still haven’t forgiven me…
The Strip itself can be separated into three areas (I’ll call them the ‘North’, the ‘South’, and the ‘Centre Bit’ for now.) During my six nights in Vegas I stayed in the South section (at The Luxor), and the central area (at The Venetian). Both had their own pros and cons, so it’s best to consider what you want to see and do while you are in Vegas. Here are which hotels I would consider to be in each of the three areas:
The Luxor was a little run-down in the rooms (and the elevators that go up at an angle), but it was super cheap and ridiculously fun inside. Inside the pyramid, all the corridors overlook the centre of the resort, which can give you a bit of a heart attack when you step out of your room in the mornings.
Yeah…see what I mean? Not good for those with a fear of heights…
Inside the pyramid you’ve got clubs, cafes, restaurants, and even the amazing Titanic Exhibition. You’d probably expect the rooms to be noisy seeing as they’re overlooking all this, but I honestly can’t remember that being an issue. Must be some pretty hardcore soundproof doors!
The rooms themselves are basic, but hey – it’s pretty cool for the novelty factor. Who else can say they’ve stayed in an Egyptian pyramid?!
PRO TIP: Staying in the South part of the Strip (in hotels including the Luxor, Mandalay Bay, New York New York and Excalibur) gives you easy access to the famous Las Vegas sign. And you’ll also be in prime position for watching planes taking off and landing at McCarran airport which is parallel.
As for the centre area of The Strip, many of the luxury hotels like The 5* Venetian, The Wynn and the Bellagio are clustered together. I would say that if you’re after the parties, the concerts and the all-round experience, this is the best area for you. Angie from Silverspoon London (aka the QUEEN of luxury) whole-heartedly recommends the Wynn hotel…so that’s some pretty high praise indeed.
Our stay in a suite at The Venetian has completely ruined all my future hotel experiences. With two comfy double beds, a separate sitting area overlooking the pool, and a marble bathroom, I was in 7th heaven.
If it’s a budget stay you’re looking for, then the North of the strip is a great place to start your search. The Vegas monorail connects the Northern hotels to those as south as MGM Grand, so you’ll be spoilt for ways to get around during the day or after a night out.
In particular, the Stratosphere hotel, right at the top of The Strip, was offering rooms for around £20 a night when I was looking last summer (excluding resort fees, a pesky add-on that can range from anything from $5 to $50 per room per night depending on the hotel. Check here for the different hotel resort fees.)
Kylie from Between England and Iowa is a particular fan of the Stratosphere. She said the rooms were “clean, well-priced and quiet,” and she even had a perfect view out over The Strip! “An added positive,” she added, “was as a hotel guest you got free entrance to the Stratosphere Tower and discount on the ‘Sky Jump’.” Adrenaline junkie? You need to stay here!
- The Strip is best if you’re only staying for a few days, you want to be near everything, and you want to experience the typical Vegas vibes
- Stay centrally if you’re after the more luxurious hotels
- But don’t be put off by staying in the north or south areas of the Strip – you’ll still be near all the attractions, and the bus and monorail system will get you anywhere in no time
So, you’ve decided that The Strip isn’t the place for you. But that’s OK, because there are lots of other alternatives. Including Downtown Vegas – one of my favourite places in Vegas!
As our taxi driver said as he drove us to Fremont Street (pretty much ‘The Strip’ of the Downtown area): “This is where all the city’s unusual people flock in the evenings.”
Is he right? I have absolutely no idea. But we did see a Chippendale out on the street, so it had that going for it.
Downtown Vegas feels a lot grittier and a whole lot more retro than the Vegas Strip. It’s like you’ve just stepped back to the 1970s, with old neon signs up above hotels. If I went back to Vegas, I would definitely stay here!
I’ve seen rave reviews of the Golden Nugget hotel all over the place – and the pool looks absolutely INCREDIBLE. The casino area felt a bit dingy, but that just added to its overall charm.
- Downtown Vegas is perfect for those wanting to see a different side of Vegas – although areas around Fremont Street can apparently be a bit rough in the evenings
- The Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Express bus provides convenient transportation down towards the strip ($8 for a 24-hour all access pass)
Not a fan of The Strip OR the Downtown area? Well, luckily there is one other alternative – staying in the areas around The Strip.
As I had no real experience of visiting this area, I turned to a blogger in the know: Sophie from Luggage Tags and Ticket Stubs. When she was in Vegas she stayed at Sam’s Town (“the one The Killers named their album after”). And she loved it! Just look at her posing up a storm:
Around 10 minutes away from Downtown on The Boulder Strip, Sam’s Town is great if you’re looking for a bargain. And it’s even got its own bowling alley, cinema and fountain show. Shuttle buses run every 20 minutes or so to/from Downtown. And it’s right on the highway so if you’re renting a car you can just drive off to places like the Grand Canyon and the Valley Of Fire.
- Staying off the strip is great for those with their own cars who want their independence
- Buses run regularly to Downtown Vegas
- Often works out cheaper than hotels on The Strip