When looking for places to stay in Las Vegas the choice is pretty simple. Do you want to stay in a Huge luxury Hotel Casino on the strip or are you looking for something else? The vast majority of people stay in one of the large resort complexes either on or just off the Strip. But there are a few other options. Our rundown of the Best Places to stay in Las Vegas will guide you through our favorite Strip Hotels, and then give you the other options for accommodation in Las Vegas.
While most people just check into a Mega resort, and there is a lot to be said for that, there are some other options that can save you cash and still give an awesome Vegas experience.
Where to Stay in Las Vegas?
Essentially there are 3 options when choosing where to base your Las Vegas Trip. The First option is right on the Strip, the Second is Off-Strip and finally, you can choose to stay in the Classic Downtown Las Vegas Area. But the truth is even this is not as straightforward as it seems, Some strip hotels are further from the action than some Off-Strip hotels, and some Off-Strip options are so all-encompassing you won’t need to leave the resort at all (but you should).
Las Vegas Strip is the section of South Las Vegas Boulevard that encompasses the majority of Las Vegas’s big resort Hotels and casinos. Starting at Mandalay Bay at the South end to where the Strip ends is actually a bit unclear; some consider the Wynn/Encore the end, while it technically stretches as far as the Stratosphere! So around 3-4.5 Miles depending on your measurement. That’s nearly as big as the lower half of Manhattan! So don’t assume a strip hotel is actually close to anything!
Should we Stay on the Las Vegas Strip?
This is the first question you should ask yourself and really the answer is pretty simple, if at all possible yes! The Strip is the hub of the action, where it all takes place, and being on the Strip is awesome. However Remember some hotels are miles from the Center of Vegas and really can’t be classed as Strip Hotels, so look past that to make sure the Hotel you are looking at really is a proper Strip Hotel.
It is probably worth clarifying what we consider the Centre! Basically, The Belaggio! Really everything radiates out from there so any hotel in close proximity to the Belaggio is very central indeed.
Hotels like the Wynn, Mandalay Bay, Stratosphere, and Luxor, are so far from the center they really are not strip hotels at all. But remember these Hotels Welcome Millions of guests every year, and most people go away happy, just remember if you are staying off-strip or in one of the more remote strip locations you will spend a lot of your time traveling to the more central areas.
Really when you weigh everything up, we just prefer the central hotels. Getting an Uber every time you are heading out or walking 2 miles just to see the Fountains, gets really old really fast and there are some amazing hotels, right in the middle, with jaw-dropping views and amenities, for pretty similar prices to the more awkwardly located Hotels!
We take a look at our Favorite Strip Hotels Below and get in real detail here
Other Strip Options
While the Strip is the home of the MEGA Casino and resorts, and most people who choose the strip, stay in those, there are a few Budget hotels, that get you the strip location but are a bit cheaper and a more no-frills experience. Remember all Casinos are open to all so it is only a pool you will be missing out on if you choose to stay elsewhere.
The issue is, these Hotels are only a touch cheaper than the Big Resort hotels, as these monsters have so many rooms they can offer them at bargain prices to get you in and get you spending, so, on the whole, we avoid the really budget hotels on the strip in favor of something a bit more…fantastic!
The Great thing about the Off-Strip hotels is they really do go the extra mile to compensate for the fact they are not on the strip. This can be in a number of ways, better rooms, cheaper prices, amazing pools and amenities, and even scrapping Resort Fees. Often all of the Above!
We really love some of the Off-Strip Resorts, and we highlight several below. While staying off the strip does have its downsides, most are only as far from the center as the outlying Strip Hotels, and most offer a whole lot of hotel for your money.
Still, being in the heart of things is one of the most important parts of being in Vegas. Every time you want to hit the strip you will need a cab or taxi, as all the shows and things you want to see will be located somewhere else, It’s all a faff and often people really regret not staying On-Strip, and central, you really do underestimate how far you will have to walk while staying in Vegas. Don’t make it harder on yourself.
It is mostly first-timers that choose these hotels as they just don’t realize how far everything is, it looks so close on a map! More experienced Vegas Guests always pick central Strip properties, unless there is a specific feature of another hotel they really like!
Staying Downtown is a completely different experience altogether. This is old-time Vegas the way it used to be before the mega-corps got hold of it and built their monstrosities! Downtown really is like a living and breathing museum.
We utterly love the place and would recommend everyone take a trip down there! But newbies or first-timers in Vegas probably shouldn’t stay there. The experience is so far removed from what people expect from Vegas, for most it would be a rude awakening. If this is your first trip to Vegas just Visit Downtown on an evening, take it in, and enjoy it, then after getting a feel for it, if you think that’s more your style try staying a few nights there next trip!
Don’t Stay in one place!
We never seem to stay in one hotel when in Vegas, even before the blog (where we intentionally stay in multiple hotels to try them all) we found reasons to change hotels during the trip. We are not sure why, we don’t do this anywhere else, but in Vegas, there is just too much to experience and different hotels are so completely different from each other Choosing one is just SO hard, so we mix it up, a few nights here, a few there, and your trip is so much more complete!
We also use My Vegas Rewards, to snag free nights and then move to a new hotel after.
As we mentioned before one of the main benefits of staying in the strip is the location. You need a Central hotel and one with all the glitz and glamour you expect. Now most people start to think about staying off-strip as they are under the impression they will save a ton of cash, This is not always true, you will often get more for your money, but Vegas hotels are incredible value regardless.
When you compare Strip Hotels with other Cities or other locations, they are truly astoundingly good value, Even the BEST hotels in Las Vegas can be found at reasonable prices, These sorts of rooms and hotels in other US cities would be 2-3x the price.
Still, we have broken things down into three price categories, Top-End, Moderate, and Budget, so as you can see there is something for EVERYONE on the strip!
Top End $$$
Probably the most famous Casino Hotel in Vegas. Its Iconic fountains are one of the most enduring images of Vegas nights. While the incredible shows are free to all, there is something pretty special about staying in one of Las Vegas’s iconic hotels. The Hotel offers Italian Classical Elegance and this is the theme throughout the Hotel. The Bellagio is a must-see when in Vegas but staying here really makes you feel very special.
While we have put this into the top bracket it can be surprisingly cheap at certain times. and could easily fall into the mid-range pricing, we have seen prices as low as $150! But the higher-end rooms are always very pricey and deservedly so.
We have stated the importance of Location and really the Bellagio IS the center so it just doesn’t come any better than this!
After being almost muscled out of Vegas by MGM, Steve Wynn decided to fight back by building the Ultimate in Vegas Luxury hotels. What we ended up with is the Wynn complex comprising of the Wynn and the Encore. Combined they are the 7th biggest hotel in the world and regularly win awards. Unanimously recognized as one of the best hotels in the world. Steve Wynn completed one hell of a fightback.
Staying at either the Wynn or the Encore, it doesn’t really matter which, is an incredible experience. You really are experiencing one of the best hotel offerings in the world. While Prices are STEEP, they are not unthinkably expensive, with prices often as low as $299. And when you consider what you are getting for that it’s phenomenal Value
The Downside of the Wynn is the poor location, it really is right at the far north of the strip, but with a hotel this good you might make an exception.
This Super Modern Luxury hotel is one of the Vegas New Breed. Its ultra-stylish modern design exudes luxury. But this is a clean modern interpretation of Luxury. Expect clean lines and minimalist architecture. If you are looking for old-school luxury, Aria may leave you cold. It doesn’t have the charm and character of more classical Hotels. You will find everything you need from a hotel here with stunning pools and incredible dining options, along with a huge casino.
If an ultra-stylish modern hotel is exactly your thing you will adore Aria. The location is excellent, but it is set so far back that the daily hike to and fro the Strip gets old pretty fast, Still once on the Strip you are right in the middle of everything.
Mid Range <$200
Overall probably our favorite Vegas Hotel. It’s enough Luxury for us without being too expensive. While once-in-a-lifetime trips can more than justify the splurge on the top end, hotels like Caesars are perfect for return trips / regular trips. The Palace is a very opulent hotel that caters to manufactured luxury. That is everything looks very grand and opulent like what would befit an emperor’s Palace. But really it’s all a bit fake, but it looks great from a distance, very Disney-like!
The Location is what really gives Caesars an edge, it really is right in the middle of everything. And of course thanks to a certain alcohol withdrawal-based film, Caesars is always busy and popular. The pools are always a very lively place to be.
This often-overlooked hotel has two huge things going for it. It’s basically the perfect location and the simply amazing Fountain View rooms! Get a room on a high enough floor and this is basically the BEST view of the fountains in all of Vegas, better even than the Bellagio fountain rooms!
We are not huge fans of the theme, and the rooms are basic, if decently appointed, and the pool is pretty dire! But that view! And right outside your door is everything, for the price you pay for a Fountain view the Planet Hollywood is almost unbeatable!
We love the Mirage for its Polynesian theming. Really we just love all things Hawaii and this is as close as you can get, without visiting the islands. The incredible Volcano Is a must-see but not really a reason to stay. However, the clever blend of Polynesian and modern luxury is every reason to stay. Along with a very tropical-themed pool complex and loads of shows, clubs, and restaurants on-site. We often think the Mirage is very underrated, well not underrated but overlooked. It is every bit as good as its rivals, and has added Hawaii Magic!
Budget (strip) <$100
This makes the list as it’s our favorite Casino. The one we actually do some gambling in! Why? Min Bets are low and the drinks flow freely. But we are not reviewing the Casino, but the hotel. And while it’s not the best on the strip it’s also not the most expensive! And the location simply couldn’t be better. Right across the Strip from Caesars, you can sit in your hotel room thinking of all the money you’ve saved, Before blowing all that money in a slot machine!
While it may lack a small amount of the luxury of the higher echelon hotels it’s still a very well-appointed establishment. The rooms are all modern and tastefully decorated, and for the price, you pay It’s out of this world compared to other US Cities! We really do have a soft spot for this legendary Hotel and quite happily stay here when on a budget trip!
A bit like the Mirage this probably makes the list as we just love anything New York-based. While we admit the hotel is a VERY poor substitute for the real thing it’s still a very fun place to stay and commands a great position on the Strip. Rooms can be had for really bargain prices and it’s really a far more upmarket experience than its pricing suggests.
Staying Off the Strip
By Off-Strip, we mean near the strip but not technically on the actual strip. These offer almost all the advantages of strip hotels while often offering lower prices than equivalent Strip locations along with a lot more Bang for your Buck. They are not too distant from the strip so you can still get to the strip easily enough, Expect to become very friendly with the local Uber Drivers. The fact these hotels are off-strip really helps these resorts up their game to attract clients.
Best Off-Strip Hotels in Las Vegas
A top-quality Las Vegas hotel with all the trimmings of a top resort, but at a lower cost due to its off-strip location. The Palms is a very lively resort that has a fantastic reputation, especially with the young. Often a haunt for the odd celebrity as well.
Huge Suites, an incredible pool, one of the BEST Bars in Vegas (Voodoo Rooftop Lounge), Great Dining Options, and a generally fun lively atmosphere really make Rio one of our favorite Hotels in Vegas. If only it was on the Strip eh!
Prices here can be as low as Strip Motels and you get so much more for your money. If you are looking for a fun and relaxing break with no need to leave the resort the Rio can be just what you are looking for. And Uber’s are Cheap, right?
Mandalay Bay (+ Delano)
Ok, this is firmly on the Strip but it is so far out we just can’t call it a Strip Hotel! Anything off resort* will require a Lyft, Taxi, or Uber (or maybe a bus?) and the whole experience is exactly like an Off-strip hotel, so let’s call it what it really is!
It is however a phenomenal property. The pool is one of the Best in Vegas, there are tons of great restaurants, a good Buffet, amazing rooms, the Foundation bar with stunning views of Vegas, and Even a Shark-filled aquarium. It’s a great place to spend time, but you can’t get away from the fact that every time you want to check out the strip you will need a ride!
*Actually the one thing you won’t need a ride for is the Vegas Sign, this is the only hotel where the sign is an easy 5-10min walk!
Staying in Downtown Las Vegas
Staying Downtown is a completely different experience to the Strip. We don’t really recommend it to Vegas newbies more for people who have done the strip and are looking for a new experience. This is more like Vegas of old, but a more disneyfied safe recreation. Rather than the crazy Mob ran sin city of yesteryear.
The Casino / Hotels of Downtown really is a unique experience and something that is highly recommended if you think that’s your kind of thing. Maybe tag a couple of downtown nights onto a more conventional Strip stay? just to see if it’s your kind of thing.
Best Las Vegas Downtown Hotels
A real Icon of Downton Las Vegas the D is seriously legendary! Plush rooms and Elegant Vegas Style, if a bit tacky we love the D, and feel this is Downtown Vegas exactly as it’s meant to be!
Again, The Four Queens just oozes old-school, Las Vegas. The rooms are a little more Dated than the D but the feel is like stepping back in time. It has that old Hotel smell and really feels like staying in a Museum! While the pool is small and crappy, it’s on the roof which is pretty cool!
The Golden Nugget
Iconic Hotel with an amazing pool and fantastic Casino. The Golden Nugget is styled as a pretty plush upscale hotel, but like all things Downtown it’s Old School Luxury, Marble Pillars, Stone floors, Wood, and leather details. We love it.
The Pool is really something else. While most Downtown pools are to be avoided the Nuggets is a real Gem, It even made our Best Pools in Vegas list! The star attraction is the Shark Tank right in the center allowing you to swim alongside Jaws! There is also a Slide right through the middle of the tank! Awesome!
We have not mentioned Prices, but just rest assured all downtown Hotels fall squarely in the Budget category, normally well under $100 a night, sometimes under $50!!! They really are a blast and fantastic value, but you are missing that modern Vegas Experience that you only get on the strip, it’s well worth staying a few days Downtown as well, but we recommend this more for repeat visitors.
Best Ultra Budget Hotels
For some people, a low price is all that matters. The reality is that often a hotel is nothing more than a place to lay your head. The money could be better spent on other things. With this in mind, there are a number of REALLY cheap motels that are perfectly adequate for a base-only stay.
There are options very close to and a bit further away from the strip for those really looking to maximize their stay. Really these Motel type places are nothing more than a room so are much the same as each other. You won’t be staying in them long so that’s all that matters. Really our only advice is to base your decision on price and location. They will all adhere to a basic level of cleanliness so you won’t have to worry there.
This option isn’t for everyone and is not really recommended to anyone but the absolute bargain hunters. Prices in Vegas are really cheap even for pretty incredible hotels so scraping the barrel really is only for the most budget-conscious travelers. And even then, C’Mon, live a little!
A seriously cheap hotel with NO resort Fees in a fairly central location. The Casino Royale is a fun casino with low limits and lots of free drinks. There is even a pool, sort of.
Great Location, and erm, well a great location, cheap as chips, and the rooms are always clean and decently maintained. It also has a great location, did we mention that?
Villa / Apartment
A popular way of finding accommodation now is to rent a whole villa, house, or apartment privately. We find this a great way to visit a large number of locations. However, we have never really had much success in Vegas. This is quite surprising as to us it seems an ideal place to rent a villa. This doesn’t mean you won’t have more luck finding the property to suit you. Just for us, the hotels offer a better proposition. Sites such as VBRO and Homeaway are our “go-to” sites for privately rented properties. And they give you some backup in the unlikely event of issues.
You can also try Air B&B to try and find unique or cheaper alternatives to the hotels. Either shared or whole accommodation options are available through the app. Again in Vegas, we have never felt the need. But you can always try it and see if there is something to suit you.
Where to Book Las Vegas Hotels
Often people book a package holiday to Vegas and often that is a great option, especially if you are coming from outside the US. However, It can be cheaper if you book flights and accommodation separately. Not always but often. It also offers a lot more flexibility. We rarely ONLY stay in Vegas and it’s just part of a wider trip so booking separately is a must.
There are hundreds of booking sites out there all with the cheapest prices and best service. Our favorite and the one we use time and again is booking.com.
We often find it has the cheapest prices even when we extensively search most other sites. We also just get on with the interface and find it easy to find the hotels we need. The FREE cancellation is also a major reason we use it. you can find the hotel you want, book it. Then begin the search to see if you can beat the price.
If so, great, cancel and rebook at the lower price. If not you have your accommodation sorted. We often find that after booking prices drop and could have got the room cheaper. With booking.com that’s no problem you can simply cancel and rebook at the lower price…we have done this countless times! Not all hotels are bookable with free cancellation but a good number in Vegas are.
Note – Most big Hotels in Vegas Charge the First night at booking onto your credit card as soon as you book. This does not affect your free cancelation and if you Re-Book at a lower price the Original is refunded automatically without question within a couple of days, we have tested this, promise, many many times!
We can’t write about staying in Vegas without mentioning Resort Fees. The nemesis of all Vegas travelers. Part of the reason the hotel prices seem so cheap is a large portion of the cost is kept hidden. Then slapped on at the end as a resort fee!
These not-insignificant fees would be fine if they were optional. They cover things like the use of the pools, Phone calls, Gym use, etc… but if you don’t want to use the facilities you still pay the fee. This makes them mandatory and is just a way of making the headline figure look smaller. It’s all a bit underhand!
The way we see it is, we just accept it as part of the cost and factor it in when making our decisions. Almost all Hotels charge them so there is very little choice to avoid so we just add them to our room price when considering which hotel. Complaining endlessly about it won’t help, and taking it out on the employees won’t help. You just need to accept it or not come to Vegas, Unfortunately, it’s creeping into most places in the United States now. Maybe soon it will be outlawed but if that happened the resorts would just raise their prices, You would still have to pay it, it would be just included in the headline price.
Booking.com Now includes ALL compulsory Charges in their headline price. This makes the comparison between hotels really easy and you know exactly how much you will have to pay.
Have Your Say
Where do you stay in Las Vegas? Are you a strip-only type of person or have you tried the other options? Let us know in the comments below. Also, feel free to ask us any questions. We love hearing about anything Vegas-related.