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The Best Hotels in Las Vegas – Summary
- Best Hotel on the Strip: Wynn Las Vegas • Encore at Wynn
- Best Luxury Hotel in Las Vegas: The Four Seasons
- Best Standard Rooms in Las Vegas: Venetian • Palazzo
- Best Boutique Hotel in Las Vegas: The Cromwell
- Best Hotel Pool in Las Vegas: Mandalay Bay • Delano • Four Seasons
- Best New Hotel in Las Vegas: Park MGM
- Best Las Vegas Hotel without a Casino: Waldorf Astoria
- Best Theme Hotel in Las Vegas: Paris Las Vegas
- Best Downtown Hotel (on Fremont Street) in Las Vegas: Golden Nugget
- Las Vegas Hotels with Indoor Pool: Platinum Hotel • Embassy Suites Convention Center • Baymont by Wyndham • La Quinta Inn & Suites
- Las Vegas Choice Hotels – good value hotels in and around Las Vegas
The 28 Best Hotels in Las Vegas – Updated for 2019
Best Overall Hotel in Las Vegas
The two connected sister properties have a reputation for high-end accommodations, retaining an upscale image despite serving a wide variety of interests. Deluxe shopping, dining, and spa services are balanced by three nightclubs and a rowdy summer pool party series; the underlying identity is to offer the best of the best. The hotel towers offer a variety of luxurious options, with penthouses and duplexes in addition to suites and villa. Even the standard rooms are given a glamorous touch. Designed by Steve Wynn, a major player in developing modern Las Vegas, the lobby puts a contemporary spin on a classic Sin City atmosphere, immersed in gold finishes and warm hues.
- Hotel Phone: 702.770.7000 (Wynn) or 702.770.7171 (Encore)
- Address: 3131 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The Wynn towers are within the north half of the Strip, near the Fashion Show Mall, Mirage, Venetian, and Palazzo, all easy to reach with pedestrian overpass bridges.
- Distance from Airport: 13-minute taxi ride will cost $20.
- In-House Restaurants: Cipriani (Venice-born Italian, open 11:30am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), SW Steakhouse (authentic Kobe beef, 5:30-10pm), Wing Lei (upscale Chinese, open 5:30 to 9:30pm weekdays, 10pm weekends), Lakeside (fresh seafood, 5:30-10pm, Sunday Jazz Brunch 10am-2pm), Mizumi (upscale Japanese, open 5:30pm to 10pm weekdays, 10:30 weekends), Costa di Mare (Italian seafood, 5:30-10pm), Andrea’s (modern Asian, open 6pm to 10:30pm weekdays, 11:30pm weekends), Tableau (farm-to-table breakfast and lunch, 7am-2:30pm), Sinatra (classic Italian endorsed by the estate of the late singer, 5:30-10pm), La Cave (small plates and wine, open until 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends) Allegro (casual Italian, 3pm-6am), Red 8 (Asian, open 11:30-midnight weekdays, 1am weekends), Jardin (elevated comfort food, open 7am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Urth Caffe (coffee and pastries, open 7am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Wazuzu (Pan-Asian, 11:30 to 10:30 weekdays. 1am weekends), Terrace Pointe Cafe (poolside dining, 6am-3pm), Charlie’s Bar + Grill (sports book restaurant, open 11:30 to 11:30pm weekdays, 1am weekends), The Cafe (coffee and light bites, 24 hours), Goodies on Demand (quick food, fresh to go, 6am-10pm), The Buffet (7:30am-9:30pm).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Visit the next-door Palazzo for Once (Japanese/Peruvian), Morels (French steakhouse), or Lagasse Stadium (sports bar with stadium seating and food by Emeril Lagasse). The Fashion Show Mall recently added Jeannie’s, an Italian restaurant inside Nordstrom’s that serves great pizzas. It’s right across the street, but at least a 10-minute walk.
- Casino: Yes. Each Wynn tower has its own brightly lit casino. High rollers can also enjoy the private invitation-only penthouse Sky Casino. The renovated sports book is one of the best on the Strip. It has comfortable seating, large 4K screens, and other high-tech features.
- Amenities: Both Wynn and Encore have their own pools, plus Encore Beach Club and an adults-only European-style pool, which are both adults only. Other amenities include spas, salons, and fitness centers for each property.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Villas have small private pools, but availability has been dramatically reduced for the general public. Guests in Tower Suites all share an exclusive pool area.
- Free Parking: Yes. Parking is free to anyone who spends at least $50. That automatically includes all hotel guests.
- Wynn opened in 2005. Encore opened in 2008.
- Wynn tower has 2,063 rooms, including 653 suites, “apartments” and villas. Encore tower has 1,679 rooms, including 338 suites and “apartments” as well as 16 three-bedroom duplexes and a single three-bedroom penthouse.
- Three-bedroom duplexes are on two floors of the Encore tower only. They were formerly available by invitation-only, but have now been opened up for public booking. Use is geared toward families of six to nine people and discouraged for use by large groups of friends (ie. bachelor or bachelorette parties).
- Fairway Villas overlook the lush Wynn golf course (although some views are more clear than others) and are on three floors in their own area of the hotel. The most exclusive ones are by invitation only. Those on the ground floor have private infinity soaking pools.
- The rooms range from 640 to 745 sq ft on the smaller end to 3,224 sq ft two-room villas and 5,829 sq ft three-room duplex. Regardless of size, common features include floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms, 4K televisions, and 507-thread count linens.
- Each room is fully automated, with controls on a small tablet, usually at bedside. Wynn is in the process of rolling out Amazon Echo devices in all of its rooms, allowing lights, TVs, and other controls to be voice-automated.
- The 18 hole par-70 Wynn Golf Club is the only golf course that’s part of a Las Vegas Strip resort. With vibrant landscaping, rolling hills, lakes, and a 37-foot tall waterfall, the course welcomes both hotel guests and outside visitors. The course was going to be partially eliminated to clear room for Paradise Park, a new outdoor entertainment district in development, but the Wynn reversed plans and will now keep it in full.
- The dining is spectacular. SW Steakhouse, and Mizumi are two of only a handful of restaurants in the country to serve true certified wagyu steak. Other highlights include Lakeside and Costa di Mare for seafood, Wing Lei for Chinese, and the Country Club steakhouse, which overlooks the golf course. La Cave is a more casual option for wine and shared plates while Sinatra offers an Italian tribute to a Vegas icon. The Wynn also has one of the very best buffets on the Strip; lines out front get long during busy hours. Per chairman Steve Wynn’s request, every restaurant has strong options for vegan cuisine.
- There are two casino floors. The Wynn has about 111,000 square feet of gaming space while the Encore’s gambling area is a bit smaller with a more intimate atmosphere. The exclusive “Sky Casino” on the top floor of Encore is by invitation only. There is also outdoor gaming by the pool areas.
- Le Reve-The Dream is a swimming and acrobatic show performed in the round inside the Wynn Theater. Often mistaken for a Cirque du Soleil production, Le Reve-The Dream is produced in-house, featuring amazing stunts and a moving, evolving stage immersed in water.
- The nightlife here is strong, with three night/dayclubs on the property. XS is the most indulgent, with elaborate gold decor, a busy dance floor, and an outdoor patio with a pool (which invites guests to hop in during the weekly “Night Swim” parties). Encore Beach Club offers the most flexibility with a tight DJ booth and VIP area that opens up to a massive pool deck, allowing guests to step away from the crowd and enjoy the scenery. Intrigue is the newest club and a little more intimate, with a small outdoor deck, waterfall, and secluded private lounge known as the Living Room.
- The retail space here is among the most luxurious in the world, featuring upscale tenants like Cartier, Chanel, Dior, Rolex, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Prada. There’s also the only Louis Vuitton location in the country that’s exclusively for women and an outpost of Salvatore Ferragamo, a celebrity favorite on Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. Wynn Plaza has a direct entrance from Las Vegas Boulevard and features brands like Omega and Yves Saint Laurent.
- The Wynn charges for both self-parking and valet, but parking is validated with a minimum on-property purchase of $50. The resort fee is $39 per night and includes internet for up to four devices, phone calls, two daily fitness center passes, and choice of daily newspaper. Only documented service animals are allowed.
Best Hotel Without a Casino in Las Vegas
Formerly known as the Mandarin Oriental, the Waldorf Astoria offers indulgence, tranquility and boutique-style attention-to-detail that’s possible when there’s less than 400 hotel rooms in the building. With units split between hotel rooms and residencies, the high-rise specializes in privacy, atmosphere and luxury. Modern and sophisticated with incredible views.
Waldorf Astoria: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.590.8888
- Address: 3752 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: Located on the edge of CityCenter, the Waldorf Astoria is incredibly convenient. Walk out the front door, take a few steps around a couple corners and on you’re on Las Vegas Boulevard, within easy walking distance to the T-Mobile Arena, The Park outdoor promenade, and other major destinations on the Strip. It’s also near fellow CityCenter neighbors like the Aria and Shops at Crystals.
- Distance from Airport: 10-minute taxi ride will cost $15.
- In-House Restaurants: Twist by Pierre Gagnaire (French fusion, only restaurant in North America by the famous chef, 5:30-9:30pm weekdays, 6-10pm weekends), Zen Kitchen (casual Asian, open early for breakfast, 6:30am-10pm), Tea Lounge (full tea service and pastries, 10am-4:15pm), Pool Cafe (poolside bites, 8am-4pm)
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Anything at the neighboring Aria should be on your list, especially Jean Georges Steakhouse, Catch (seafood), Carbone (Italian), and Bardot (casual French). The hotel is also around the corner from the Park MGM, where you can reach Bavette’s Steakhouse Nomad Restaurant, and Eataly (stations of Italian food) within a 10-minute walk.
- Casino: No.
- Amenities: 8th-floor rooftop pool, fitness center, and one of the best spas on the Strip. Business space is exceptional.
- Kitchens: Presidential suites have kitchenettes.
- Free Parking: No. Valet only. You can also pay to self-park at the neighboring Aria garage.
Waldorf Astoria: The Details
- Opened in 2009.
- Originally known as the Mandarin Oriental, the resort was rebranded as a Waldorf Astoria property in 2018 with little changing aside from some Asian-themed furnishings and the names of the house bar and restaurant.
- Has 392 hotel rooms and suites (up to the 22nd floor) with 225 additional units set aside for residential use (floors 24-42).
- Three presidential suites (up to 3,200 sq ft) are stacked in the same position on the highest hotel floors (20-22), and may come with a Baby Grand piano, view tub, eight-seat dining room, media room, and/or personal fitness room.
- Villa and Penthouse suites are between 1,040 and 1,700 sq ft , offering plenty of space for 2-3 people with wet bars, separate living room areas.
- All rooms are positioned to have Strip or city views, allowing the basic rooms (500 sq ft) to be dubbed Strip View Rooms. A soaking tub is in view of the bedroom, but can be covered by a sliding privacy screen. Like all rooms in the hotel, the furnishings are stylish and contemporary. Each television has a Philips soundbar.
- In addition to stunning high-rise views, common elements in each room include contemporary furnishings, a digital tablet to control room features and entertainment systems, a yoga mat, and a valet locker with a small door that opens to the hall. (This is useful for deliveries, ordering food without being disturbed, or having shoes picked up to be shined.)
- Parking is valet-only and $30 per night for hotel guests. Parking services for hotel guests and residents are kept separate.
- Hotel is perfect for those who want to be close to the action of the Strip, but can escape to a zen retreat at the end of the day. It’s also a popular choice for international travelers already familiar with the Waldorf Astoria brand.
- Guests enter through the front doors on the ground floor, but the check-in counter is on the 23rd floor in the hotel’s famous Sky Lobby. Featuring a gorgeous mid-level view of the Strip through floor-to-ceiling windows, the Sky Lobby also features the Sky Bar, Tea Lounge, and Twist by Pierre Gagnaire.
- The Waldorf Astoria is non-smoking and free of gaming, prompting a tranquil atmosphere where the focus is on hotel services and dining. There is no nightclub and no dayclub at the pool.
- The scent pumped through the hallways is called Bamboo Garden and is more subtle than scents in other resorts that are often used to cover up the smoke on a casino floor. It can be purchased in the gift shop and is similar to the smell of the bath salts that come complimentary in every guest bathroom.
- At 47 stories tall, the elevators to the hotel floors are kept separate from those used for the lobby, restaurants, and other common areas. Similarly, residences also have their own elevators.
- This was the first hotel in the world to introduce a Moet & Chandon champagne vending machine in its lobby. Users actually pay at the check-in counter and are given a gold coin to use for the machine.
- The hotel’s flagship dining spot, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, is the only North American restaurant by the Michelin-starred French chef. The decorative spheres that hang from the ceiling are meant to represent champagne bubbles, while the cracked-eggshell design of the plates and walls is symbolic of Gagnaire’s talent for molecular gastronomy.
- Other restaurants include Zen Kitchen (for sushi and other Asian cuisines) and a cafe by the pool. SkyBar is known for hand-crafted cocktails and stunning views that wrap around the side of the building. The Tea Lounge near the check-in counter is a great date spot, with small bites, tea tastings, and the scenery of the Strip through giant windows.
- The spa is among the most upscale and acclaimed on the Strip, with 17 treatment rooms and health/beauty services covering two floors. As in the rest of the hotel, stunning views are seen through large windows throughout. A separate traditional Chinese foot spa service is a welcome relief after a day of walking down the Strip.
- The pool deck on the 8th floor is shared by hotel guests and residents. Buckets of carbonated cocktails are a favorite for those relaxing on the elevated daybeds or one of 17 cabanas. There’s complimentary sunscreen, aloe, and sunglass cleaning services.
- There’s about 12,000 feet of ballroom and private event space, comprising three smaller rooms that can open together to accommodate up to 600 people. The space comes with lots of natural light and a balcony with Strip views.
- One of just a few resorts in the world and the only one in Nevada to receive Forbes’ Five Star award for its hotel, spa, and restaurant (Twist by Pierre Gagnaire).
- Resort fee is $45 (the highest on the Strip) and includes WiFi, tea and coffee service 6 a.m-10 a.m (on the 3rd floor), fitness center access, daily newspaper, and complimentary shoeshine. The hotel is not pet-friendly.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Waldorf Astoria.
Best Modern Hotel in Las Vegas
Mixing luxury, convenience, and contemporary style, the Aria is the opulent centerpiece of CityCenter. As one of the newer resorts on the Strip, the Aria feels modern, makes full use of technology, and is home to some of the very best restaurants in Las Vegas. With a sleek design, the Aria has an almost futuristic exterior and is the largest building in the world with LEED Gold status. It has more than 4,000 rooms but maintains an upscale feel throughout all of them with prices to match.
Aria: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 866.359.7111
- Address: 3730 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The Aria shares space in the CityCenter complex with the Waldorf Astoria, Shops at Crystals, and residential Veer Towers. With a centralized location, it’s within easy walking distance to the T-Mobile Arena, Cosmopolitan, The Park and other popular Strip attractions. The Aria also shares a monorail with the Vdara and Bellagio.
- Distance from Airport: 11-minute taxi ride will cost $16.
- In-House Restaurants: Catch (steaks, seafood in a social atmosphere, 5:30-11:30pm), Jean George Steakhouse (high-end steakhouse by Jean-Georges Vongerichten, 5-11pm), Carbone (supper club-style Italian, 5-10:30pm), Bardot (French bistro by Michael Mina, open until at least 2:30pm for lunch and 10pm for dinner), Sage (ulta-contemporary American by Shawn McClain, 6-10pm), Julian Serrano Tapas (Spanish, 11:30am-10:30pm), Lemongrass (Thai-focused Asian, 11am-2am), Blossom (Chinese, 5:30-10:30pm), Herringbone (California-coastal with great outdoor patio, open until 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Javier’s (Mexican, 11:30am-midnight), Aria Cafe (one of the better “generic lobby restaurants” on the Strip, 6am-10pm), Burger Lounge (grass-fed burgers to go, open 10am to midnight weekdays, 3am weekends), Five50 Pizza Bar (slices on the spot, 11:30am-12:30am weekdays, 10am-midnight weekends), The Buffet at Aria (7am-10pm), Aria Patisserie (24 hours), The Pub (bar food, famous for elaborate Bloody Mary, open until 11pm), Pressed Juicery (fruit and vegetable juices, 7am-9pm), Starbucks (5am-10pm).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Bobby’s Burger Palace (burgers by Bobby Flay) and the only Pinkberry on the Strip share space just steps away from the Aria on the Strip sidewalk. French fusion can be found at Twist inside the neighboring Waldorf Astoria. Take the tram to the Bellagio for even more restaurants, including Prime Steakhouse, Yellowtail sushi, and Picasso’s French fusion with fountain views.
- Casino: Yes. At 150,00 square feet, the gaming space is busy and sprawling, but within a bright, modern setting. High-limit poker areas and sports book are especially nice. The only casino in CityCenter.
- Free Parking: No.
Aria: The Details
- Opened in 2009.
- 4,004 guest rooms, including 568 suites. Deluxe guestrooms range from $149 to $799 while suites can range from $425 to $7,500. The main tower includes 258 suites. The second tower is a hotel-within-a-hotel known as Sky Suites, where the least expensive room is in the $700 range.
- Sky Suites has a private porte-cochere, check-in desk, elevators, and lounge – all much more quiet and secluded than the busy lobby of the main tower. Sky Suites offers one and two-bedroom Aria Suites (1,050-1,630 sq ft), one and two-bedroom penthouses (1,465-2,060 sq ft) and the spectacular Sky Villa, one and two-story retreats that range from 2,000 to 7,000 sq ft.
- All rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows, contemporary furniture, and walk-in showers with a sit-down bench. Every room is designed to have a corner view.
- Technology enhancements in every room include tablets for controlling the television, drapes, dining requests, and other features. A “Good Night” button turns off lights, TV, and music while closing the curtains at the same time. A WiFi connection of at least 1 megabit is guaranteed, the strongest in the industry. Rooms recognize radio frequency on key cards – no need to insert them into the door. Room devices recognize when remote control batteries and light bulbs are low, allowing them to be replaced before guest checks in. Each room has a 42 inch LCD HDTV with a smart panel that connects to laptops, game consoles, cameras, and MP3 players.
- Lobby is ultra modern with warm hues, contemporary furnishings, and a fine art collection that includes an 84-foot silver cast near the check-in desk designed to resemble the Colorado River and three stainless steel sculptures in the self-park entry lobby.
- Three water features were designed by WET, the same team behind the Bellagio fountains.The valet and taxi lanes are flanked by Focus, a 250 foot long curved water wall that’s 25 feet high. It complements Lumia, a fountain within the curve of the driveway that’s enhanced by colorful lights with the technology to illuminate in daylight. Latisse, a two-story water design made with stone and glass, can be found in the lobby by the casino.
- The restaurant lineup is stellar. On the second floor you’ll find Herringbone (sustainable seafood and contemporary farm-to-table cuisine), Bardot Brasserie (a French bistro by Michael Mina), Carbone (supper club Italian with a modern touch), and Jean Georges Steakhouse (by French chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten) along with The Buffet, featuring eight live-action stations representing global regions. Highlights on the ground floor include Sage (contemporary American by Shawn McClain), Javier’s (Mexican) Blossom (Chinese), and Jean Philippe Patisserie, a pastry shop with gelato. Catch serves steaks, seafood, and sushi with an incredible photogenic floral tunnel entrance. The Aria keeps its image upscale without any sort of food court, but has food to grab-and-go from Burger Lounge and FIVE50 Pizza Bar.
- Jewel is the newest nightclub on the Strip, opening in early 2016. The dual-level venue features LED lights, video screens, and themed private rooms that overlook the dancefloor. Bars are scattered through the resort, including the stylish Alibi Cocktail Lounge in the middle of the casino floor.
- The pool deck stretches across 215,000 sq ft with three primary pools, including the Sky Pool and Liquid, which is adults-only and features a day club atmosphere.
- The Spa & Salon covers 80,000 sq ft over two levels. Beauty and health treatments include a salt room, fire lounge, the first Japanese Ganbanyoku stone beds in the United States (heated mineral slabs installed into the floor), and a co-ed balcony with an infinity-edge pool that overlooks the resort’s pool complex.
- There’s 700,000 square feet of technologically-advanced meeting and convention space for up to 7,000 people.
- The wedding chapel is on the first floor of the convention center and can broadcast ceremonies for guests who can’t attend in person.
- Aria has won numerous awards for sustainability and is the largest structure in the world to be LEED Gold certified. The resort has a design that includes extensive use of natural light, a limo fleet that runs on compressed natural gas, smart technology to efficiently use energy in rooms, and an in-house recycling system. Recycled water is used for its water features.
- Smoking is prohibited in all rooms but is allowed on the casino floor and in some bars.
- Resort fee is $39 and includes use of gym, property-wide WiFi, phone calls, and digital newspaper access. Aria charges for self-parking and valet. Self-parking is free for MGM Resorts International’s M Life rewards club members with a level of “Pearl” or higher, achieved through dollars spent or signing up for an affiliated Mastercard. Pets are not allowed.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Aria.
Best Las Vegas Luxury Hotel
The Four Seasons mixes luxury and upscale accommodations with a tranquil atmosphere that feels like a true escape from the chaos of Las Vegas, despite being on the tail end of the Strip. Understated from the outside, with a winding circular driveway and fountain to signal the entrance, it shares space with the Mandalay Bay campus, uniquely positioned to serve as a private quiet retreat – free of gambling – while being just a few doors away from the shows, attractions, convention space, and casino of its larger neighbor.
Four Seasons: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.632.5000
- Address: 3960 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: On the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Russell, the Four Seasons is the last big resort on the south end of the Strip. It’s located on the top floors of the Mandalay Bay resort. A free monorail takes passengers to the Luxor and Excalibur (near the T-Mobile Arena and The Park). This is the closest resort to the “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign, which is just a 5-minute walk away.
- Distance from Airport: 10-minute taxi ride will be $16.
- In-House Restaurants: Charlie Palmer Steak (relaxed but upscale steakhouse, 5pm-midnight), Veranda (Italian plus breakfast and lunch, open until 11pm).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Walk to Mandalay Bay (for restaurants like Libertine Social, Wolfgang Puck’s Lupo, Yumi for Japanese, and Border Grill for inventive Mexican) or Delano for Della’s Kitchen for breakfast or Rivea for European coastal cuisine with incredible views.
- Casino: No.
- Amenities: Pool is quiet and secluded, but guests also have access to Mandalay Bay Beach and its wave pool and lazy river. Spa, salon, fitness center, and business center.
- Free Parking: No. Four Seasons only provides valet parking for a fee. Guests can also pay to self-park in the Mandalay Bay garage, but it’s a healthy walk to the Four Seasons lobby.
Four Seasons: The Details
- Opened in 1999.
- 424 rooms, including 81 suites.
- Standard rooms run from 500 sq ft to studios at 810 sq ft. Suites range from 810 to 2,225 sq ft with views that can include the valley, mountains, desert, and Strip. Common features include marble bathrooms, iPod docks, contemporary furnishings, office desks with ergonomic chairs, and 47-55 inch LED flatscreen TVs. Larger suites have a residential feel with large walk-in closets, crown molding, spacious bathrooms with large tubs, and distinct separation of rooms, especially the bedroom.
- The crown jewel accommodations are the lavish 2,225 Presidential Suites. There are only five of these – one in the exact same spot on each floor. They include wrap-around floor-to-ceiling windows with a 180-degree view of Las Vegas, living room, dining room table for eight, luxe master bathroom with soaking tub, powder room, and options to connect with one or two additional rooms. Views are spectacular.
- The lobby is decorated in an elegant art deco style. Hotel rooms are on the 35-39 floors of the Mandalay Bay tower, with their own exclusive elevators that also provide direct access to the pool or the Mandalay Bay Casino floor.
- Four Seasons prides itself on personalized, customized service; if a guest reports a food allergy at one restaurant, the rest of the hotel will know about it. People are also recognized frequently by name. The hotel reports that some guests have visited “hundreds” of times.
- The Four Seasons lacks the automated tech features (shade controls, tablet functions, etc.) found in other top resorts like the Waldorf Astoria, Wynn, and Aria. This could be a drawback or benefit, depending on your tastes.
- While most Strip hotels have their spas tucked away on higher floors away from busy areas, the Four Seasons has its spa immediately off an already peaceful lobby hallway. Awarded the rare and elite Forbes Five Star designation, popular treatments at the spa (which recently underwent a million-dollar renovation and feels brand new) include facials, stone massages, and eucalyptus steam rooms. There is also a nail spa across the hallway. The fitness center has a combination of weights and machines with floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the outdoor gardens and waterfall.
- Drink and dining options include Charlie Palmer Steak, featuring upscale food from the famous chef (and a notable off-menu tasting menu that changes daily), Veranda for breakfast, lunch, and Italian dinners (as well as a reputation for being a meeting spot for power brokers), and Press, an outdoor lounge with fire pits near the pool.
- A private swimming pool area with eight cabanas is within the Four Seasons’ borders, but guests are also granted access to the Mandalay Bay pool complex, which includes a wave pool, lazy river, and the adults-only (tops optional) Moorea Beach Club.
- In addition to Mandalay Bay’s massive trade show and expo center, the Four Seasons has its own 28,300 square feet of meeting space and ballrooms geared toward smaller groups. The hotel was also the first on the Strip to provide a separate kitchen for kosher events.
- The Fountain Terrace is a private outdoor area with a picturesque waterfall. It has room for about 300 people and is used for private events, weddings, and as an overflow lounge area when the pool gets busy.
- As part of its “Perfect Room” program, two guest rooms are taken out of service each day, and given a top-to-bottom evaluation to make sure everything from the wallpaper to the furniture is in top condition. Over the course of a year, every single room gets evaluated at least once.
- Unlike most hotels, you will never see a housekeeping cart in a hallway. The housekeeping staff retrieves equipment, supplies, and linens from stations on each floor, always working behind closed doors.
- Popular for businessmen who may be attending trade shows at Mandalay Bay but are seeking a more exclusive retreat at the end of the day. The hotel also draws golfers who enjoy playing at the Bali Hai Golf Club next door.
- The Four Seasons is the hotel closest to the southern end of the Strip. It’s across the street from McCarran International Airport and an easy walk to the Delano and Luxor in addition to Mandalay Bay. A free tram runs between the Mandalay Bay and Excalibur resorts, making it easy to reach the MGM Grand, Tropicana, the Park Theater, T-Mobile Arena and other attractions near the central part of the Strip.
- The resort fee is $39 per night and includes internet, phone, spa facilities and pool access. Pets are allowed (up to 25 lbs.) for an extra charge of $75 per night. Parking is paid-valet only, although paid self-parking is available at Mandalay Bay (and free for certain levels of the MGM Resorts M Life program).
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Four Seasons.
Best Standard Rooms in Las Vegas
Operated by the Sands Corporation as one hotel, the joint properties of the Venetian and Palazzo share an elegant Italian Renaissance theme that’s seen in the architecture as well as tourist-friendly touches like their famous gondola rides. Operating on a large footprint in the heart of the Strip, it’s sometimes hard to know when one resort ends and the other begins. The rooms follow an all-suite approach with even the most basic rooms nearly double the size of the Strip average. All bases are covered here, with exceptional reputations for dining, shopping, entertainment, nightlife, fitness and spa amenities, and convention space.
- Hotel Phone: 702.414.1000 (Venetian Hotel) or 702.607.7777 (Palazzo Hotel)
- Address: 3355 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The Venetian and Palazzo command a powerful presence in the mid-to-north section of the Strip. Sitting on the corner of Spring Mountain Road and Las Vegas Boulevard, guests at the property make full use of pedestrian bridges to reach the Mirage, Wynn, Fashion Show Mall and other nearby attractions. Head south, where The LINQ, Caesars Palace and the Bellagio are just minutes away by foot.
- Distance from Airport: 12-minute taxi ride will be $18.
- In-House Restaurants: Cut (steakhouse by Wolfgang Puck, 5-11pm), Chica (Latin fusion, open until midnight weekdays, 1am weekends), LAVO (Italian with party atmosphere, 5-11pm, Saturday brunch 10am-2pm, Sunday brunch 10am-4pm,) Morels (French steakhouse, open 8am to at least 11pm), Mott 32 (upscale Chinese, open until at least 11pm), Yardbird (southern comfort food, best fried chicken in Vegas, open 11am to midnight weekdays, midnight weekends), Factory Kitchen (upscale Italian, open until at least 11pm), Bouchon (French by Thomas Keller, 7am-10pm), Sugarcane (global, open 9am to 1am weekdays, 2am weekends), Delmonico Steakhouse (creole steaks by Emeril Lagasse, 11:30am-10pm), Solaro (poolside bites by Wolfgang Puck, 8am-4pm), Lagasse’s Stadium (sports bar with stadium seating by Emeril Lagasse, 11am-10pm), AquaKnox (seafood, raw bar, 12-10pm), Hong Kong Cafe (casual Chinese, open 11am to midnight weekdays, 1am weekends), Grand Lux Cafe (two locations 24-hours), Canyon Ranch Cafe & Grill (inside Canyon Ranch spa and fitness center, 7am-4pm), Black Tap (burger and beer, famous for elaborate milkshakes, open 11am to midnight weekdays, 2am weekends), Go Greek Yogurt (healthy soft-serve Greek yogurt, open until midnight), Juice Farm (fruit and vegetable juices, 7am-9pm), Espressamente Illy (Italian coffee, open 6am to midnight weekdays, 1am weekends), Starbucks (6am-10pm).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: The Grand Canal Shops that connect the two properties are loaded with restaurants large and small. Highlights include Buddy V’s (Italian by Buddy Valastro), Tao (upscale Chinese with nightclub), SushiSamba (Japanese fusion), Mercato della Pescheria (Italian with in-house stations), Once (Peruvian/Japanese), Carlo’s Bakery (pastries by Buddy Valastro), Grimaldi’s (pizza), Royal Britannia (British gastropub), Trattoria Reggiano (Italian) and a food court featuring Prime Burger, Lobster ME (amazing lobster rolls) and more.
- Casino: Yes. Each property has its own casino, although the one at the Palazzo is brighter, more comfortable, and benefits from more recent renovations.
- Amenities: Sprawling pool complex include several family pools and Tao Beach or the Aquatic Club for adults. Canyon Ranch is a spa and fitness center with rock climbing wall. Sands Convention Center includes business space.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Chairman Suites (3-4 bedrooms) in the Palazzo have their own private terrace and pool.
- Free Parking: Yes.
- The Venetian opened in 1999. The Palazzo opened in 2007. Together, they form the largest hotel complex on the Strip.
- The Venetian has 4,028 rooms. The Palazzo has 3,066 rooms. All are considered suite-level.
- Luxury Suites (650 sq ft) are the smallest options at the Venetian, yet still large with a separate sunken living area and oversized marble bathrooms. Bella Suites (700 sq ft) have two Queen beds. The Rialto (1,100 sq ft), Prima (1,400 sq ft), and Piazza (1,500 sq ft) Suites are bigger and more adventurous in design. For lavish high-end suites, the Renaissance Suite (1,980 sq ft) comes with a choice of theater room or gym, the Penthouse Suite (2,900 sq ft) has two master bedrooms, and Presidential Suite (5,200 sq ft) comes with a piano and palatial-style furnishings. The Chairman Suite (7,900 sq ft) is more contemporary and has up to four bedrooms.
- The quiet and secluded Venezia Tower, which opened at the Venetian in 2003 and has more than a thousand rooms, has its own check-in desk that’s open when the resort is busy.
- Room choices are similar at the Palazzo: Luxury Suites and Bella Suites (both 720 sq ft) are the most price friendly, while the modern Fortuna (940 sq ft) and Siena Suites (1,280 sq ft) take things up a notch. The elite-level suites include the Lago (1,943 sq ft), Penthouse (3,204 sq ft), Presidential (6,633-6,651 sq ft), and Chairman Suites (6,367-7,828 sq ft) with pianos, pool tables, separate dining rooms and expanded marble bathrooms among the furnishings.
- The Prestige club at the Palazzo includes its own check-in desk on the 23rd floor with a bottle of Prosecco on standby to welcome guests. It’s a small luxury “hotel within a hotel” with a private lounge and resort agents serving in a concierge capacity. An open bar and passed appetizers are offered daily between 5-8 p.m.
- The Canyon Ranch Spa runs between both resorts. It has anything and everything, including a 40-foot tall rock climbing wall and a full-size fitness center, nutrition classes, and acupuncture. Relax to the sounds of trickling water in the co-ed conservatory, a wave room where water reflects on the ceiling, or a Himalayan Salt Grotto. It has the most extensive fitness class selection on the Strip.
- Both hotels have their own expansive pool areas, connected by a deck that wraps around the property – totaling up to ten pools and four hot tubs over five acres. The Palazzo recently added the Aquatic Club, which offers an intimate party atmosphere for adults. The Venetian has Tao Beach, a popular dayclub in which topless sunbathing is allowed on a limited basis during the week.
- The restaurants are stellar and showcase world-famous celebrity chefs. Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and “Cake Boss” Buddy Valastro have multiple dining spots. Other top choice include Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, Yardbird (for the best fried chicken in Vegas), Sugarcane (global cuisine) and Chica with latin fare by Lorena Garcia.
- Tao is an Asian restaurant with a large nightclub on the upper level. In similar style, Lavo is an Italian restaurant with a sleek upstairs lounge for private events.
- The Grand Canal Shoppes houses more than 80 boutique stores, waterways with gondola rides, and live entertainment in St. Mark’s Square. It’s also home to Madame Tussauds and an 85,000 square-foot Barneys New York. The Atrium Shops provides a luxury spin on the department store concept, with numerous brands and counters (also a bar) under one roof.
- The Waterfall Atrium has seasonal floral displays, rotating art installations and a two-story waterfall under 55-foot tall atrium ceilings.
- Entertainment includes vocal group Human Nature. National touring acts often play the Venetian Theater.
- Both the Venetian and Palazzo have their own casino space, adding up to about 225,000 sq ft of slot machines, poker, and other games. The ultra-exclusive Paiza Club offers private gaming (on a limited basis) as well as food, drinks, and a lounge area for high rollers.
- Between the Congress Center, ballrooms, and the Sands Convention Center, the Venetian and Palazzo offer more than 2.3 million square feet of meeting and convention space.
- Resort fee is $45 and includes internet for unlimited devices, phone calls and two gym passes. An additional $40 upgrade includes half-off cocktails at casino bars and higher tiered Wi-Fi., and two lattes or specialty coffee drinks a day. Parking and valet is currently free. Pets up to 50 lbs are allowed for an additional charge of $75 per night. A deep cleaning fee of $500 may be applied if the room is left in rough shape.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Venetian.
6. The Bellagio
Best Hotel Lobby in Las Vegas
With its elegant design and famous fountain shows, the Bellagio is synonymous with iconic Las Vegas imagery. Add in the luxury accommodations, dining and attractions and you have one of the most in-demand hotels on the Strip. It’s also one that manages to stay both understated and indulgent at thame time. The Bellagio follows a classic Italian theme that disregards traditional Vegas neon in favor of soft tones and European-inspired architecture. The upscale shops and Conservatory keep the lobby crowded but the rooms, spa, and pool area are a welcome retreat for hotel guests looking to escape the tourist rush while still being in a prime location.
Bellagio: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 888.987.6667
- Address: 3600 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: Centrally located in the heart of the Strip at the Flamingo intersection. Pedestrian bridges lead to Caesars Palace to the north and Bally’s/Paris to the east. A long corridor connects to Vdara and a free train makes it easy to reach the Aria/Shops at Crystals. An escalator and covered walkway lead to the Strip sidewalk, where the Cosmopolitan is right next store. The Bellagio is the easiest Strip hotel to access from the Flamingo ramp off Interstate 15.
- Distance from Airport: 12-minute taxi ride will cost $17.
- In-House Restaurants: Two highly acclaimed French restaurants, Le Cirque (5-10pm) and Picasso (5-9:30pm), lead the culinary lineup. Other restaurants include Spago (reinvention of the Wolfgang Puck’s Beverly Hills original, 11:30am-10:30pm), Harvest by Roy Ellamar (elevated farm-to-table, 5-10pm), Prime (steakhouse with fountain views, 5-10pm), Lago (Italian tapas by Julian Serrano, open 11:30am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Yellowtail (upscale Japanese by Akira Back, open 5 to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Fix (classic American, open 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Michael Mina (incredible fresh seafood, 5:30-10pm), Sadelle’s (vintage bakery and breakfast), Jasmine (Chinese, 5:30-10), Juice Press (one of he better cold-press juice places on the Stri, 6am-11pm), Pool Cafe & Bar (open during pool hours), Noodles (Asian, 11am-2am), Starbucks (6am-midnight), The Buffet at Bellagio (7am-10pm), Bellagio Patisserie (with world’s largest chocolate fountain, open 6am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Walk next store to the Cosmopolitan for STK (social steakhouse), Block 16 (“Urban Food Hall” of regional favorites), or Momofuku (inventive Asian). Take the pedestrian bridge to Caesars Palace, where you’ll quickly arrive at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen, a stand alone restaurant near the sidewalk with a modern American menu. Otherwise, take the free train to Aria for Catch (seafood), Bardot (casual French), Carbone (Italian), and numerous other high-end choices.
- Casino: Yes. The sprawling casino floor is crowded and to be honest, has seen better days. Aside from the high limit areas, the gaming element doesn’t match the glamor found in the rest of the property. You’re better off walking next door to the ultra-modern casino at the Cosmopolitan or taking two pedestrian overpasses to reach the Cromwell, where the terms and games favor the player more than any other casino on the Strip.
- Amenities: Vast pool deck with tree-lined courtyards, spa, salon, and fitness center. Multiple wedding chapels and locations.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Villas have their own small private pools.
- Free Parking: No.
Bellagio: The Details
- Opened in 1998.
- 3,933 rooms, including 512 suites.
- The second tower (Spa Tower) opened in 2004. Fountain views there are from an angle.
- Standard rooms (510-626 sq ft) have upscale designs with double vanities and marble finishes in the bathrooms, rotating color schemes in the bedrooms, phone/mp3 docking stations, and 40-inch high-definition televisions that allow smartphone integration.
- Salone Suites (853 sq ft) are a nice upgrade with the bed in a corner, flanked by large windows on both sides and a spa tub in the bathroom. Other suites (1,020-3,001 sq ft) are designed with plenty of space in mind and artwork on the walls, contemporary furniture, indulgent Italian marble bathrooms, and separate dining areas. The Chairman’s Suite and the Presidential Suite (each 4,075 sq ft) are especially lavish, with a conference room, large wet bar and extra bedroom added. Views are spectacular – even to the west where mountain scenery replaces the Strip and fountain shows. Some suites include private check-in at the Chairman’s Lounge (with complimentary drinks and snacks).
- Ground floor villas (6,500 sq ft) have two bedrooms, five bathrooms, massage room, workout room, dry sauna, two fireplaces, formal dining room, and private patio with plunge pool.
- Rooms are eco-friendly with tech features to detect when people enter and leave, adjusting lights and temperature for efficiency.
- The lobby is magnificent, featuring more than 100,000 sq ft of gaming space (including 2,400 slot machines), luxury retailers like Omega and Valentino, and the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. The mammoth display of plants, flowers, and trees usually follows a seasonal theme and changes five times a year – it’s free and open round the clock, making it one of the most visited and photographed attractions in Las Vegas.
- The Fountains of Bellagio offer spectacular water shows on the nearly nine-acre lake that sits in front of the resort. More than 1,200 dancing fountains shoot as high as 460 feet in the air, synchronized to a wide range of music ranging from Luciano Pavarotti to Bruno Mars. Shows, easily visible from Las Vegas Boulevard sidewalks and surrounding hotels, are every 30 minutes in the afternoon and early evening, and every 15 minutes between 7 p.m. and midnight.
- Five outdoor pools are nestled among lush Mediterranean-inspired landscaping. The Cypress Pool is the most exclusive and secluded. Without a DJ or dayclub, the pools tend to be more quiet and serene than those of similar size at other Strip hotels.
- Spa Bellagio takes up the entire first floor of the Spa Tower. It has 56 treatment rooms with services and therapies based on the balanced themes of earth, water, fire, and wind.
- The fitness Center overlooks the pool complex and includes a studio with bamboo flooring for yoga, pilates, and boxing classes.
- There is enough meeting and convention space (more than 200,000 sq ft) to accommodate gatherings of up to nearly 6,000 people, including 50 meeting rooms and three large ballrooms. Tuscany Kitchen provides food for demos and private events.
- O by Cirque du Soleil features a cast of 85 acrobats, dancers, divers, and swimmers performing in, around, and above water. It’s one of the most thrilling and acclaimed Cirque productions on the Strip.
- For nightlife, Hyde Bellagio is a lounge and nightclub that has a gorgeous from-the-inside open-air view of the Bellagio fountains. Dance floor is tight.
- Two French restaurants, Le Cirque and Picasso (decorated with authentic paintings by the legendary artist), were honored with the AAA Five Diamond award and the Forbes Five-Star award in 2016. It’s the first time a single hotel could claim those designations for two restaurants at the same time. Other dining highlights: Harvest offers a contemporary spin on farm-to-table dining, Lago provides Italian-inspired tapas with sweeping views of the Bellagio fountains, and Michael Mina serves seafood and other modern American fare by the celebrity chef.
- The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art features a rotating gallery of museum-caliber exhibits. Two other galleries respectively showcase the photographs of Jeff Mitchum and the sculpted figures of Richard MacDonald.
- The Bellagio is the first Las Vegas resort to receive the AAA Five Diamond Award for 16 years in a row.
- Resort fee is $39 and covers internet, phone calls, and use of fitness center. There is a charge for valet and self-parking, although self-parking is free for certain levels of the M Life rewards club. The Bellagio is pet-friendly and welcomes dogs up to 40 lbs. or two dogs with a combined weight up to 40 lbs. with a $125 charge added per night for each dog.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Bellagio.
Best Quiet Hotel in Las Vegas
The perfect antidote to the noise and chaos of casino floors, the Vdara is modern, stylish, quiet, and free of both gambling and smoking. It’s also tucked away a bit from the bustle of Las Vegas Boulevard. The Vdara is considered a sister resort to the Aria and part of the CityCenter complex, although it sits closer in distance to the Cosmopolitan and Bellagio. The lack of restaurants and entertainment is by design to keep crowds to a minimum.
Vdara: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 866.745.7767
- Address: 2600 W. Harmon Ave.
- Location: Although Vdara is loosely considered part of CityCenter, it’s actually on the opposite side of Harmon Avenue and sits next to the Bellagio and Cosmopolitan. You can take a free train over to Aria and the rest of CityCenter or easily walk to the Bellagio through a long connecting corridor. The easiest way to reach the sidewalks of the Strip is by cutting through the entire lobby of the Cosmopolitan.
- Distance from Airport: 12-minute taxi ride will cost $17.
- In-House Restaurants: Vice Versa (more of a bar and lounge than a restaurant, good for small bites and cocktails, open for breakfast and closes at 1am weekdays, 2am weekends), Market Cafe (quick to-go bites, 6am-midnight), Pool & Lounge (casual poolside dining, 10am-4pm), Starbucks (6am-8pm).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: When walking over to the Bellagio, the first restaurants you’ll reach are Harvest (an excellent choice for fresh, sustainable food) and Michael Mina (exceptional fresh seafood flown in daily). Otherwise, take the free train to Aria (Carbone, Bardot, Catch, etc.) or the Waldorf Astoria for an evening of multi-course French dining at Twist. Walk next door to the Cosmopolitan for Rose.Rabbit.Lie, Jaleo, Estiatorio Milos, and much more.
- Casino: No.
- Amenities: Rooftop pool plus salon and fitness center. ESPA is one of the better spas on the Strip.
- Kitchens: Studio suites have kitchenettes. Larger suites have full kitchens.
- Free Parking: No. (Valet only.)
Vdara: The Details
- Opened in 2009.
- The Vdara considers itself an “all suite” hotel with a single tower consisting of 1,495 rooms (ranging from 500 to 1,650 sq ft) with prices anywhere from $149 to $2,000 per night. The hotel features floor-to-ceiling windows, including 250 corner units with stunning wrap-around panoramic views.
- Rooms are almost like mini-apartments with two hotplates, kitchenette, and wet bar in the studio suites, while larger deluxe rooms have full gourmet kitchens with stainless steel refrigerators, dishwasher, and four hot plates. Size of dinner tables and business workspace will depend on the room.
- Automated shades have wall controls, although bedside tablets are provided for convenience (and additional functions like ordering room service). Rooms have stylish furnishings, multiple flatscreen televisions and modern furniture. Bathrooms include both bathtubs and walk-in showers. Deluxe suites may have a stand-alone tub with a window view.
- Rooftop pool can be found on the second level. It’s for hotel guests only and is surrounded by 19 cabanas, some of which have their own semi-secluded dipping pools. The pool is heated and open year-round.
- The fitness center is modern but on the smaller side, matching the profile of the hotel. There’s a smoothie bar and free fruit-infused water stations. There’s also a salon and ESPA, a two-level wellness spa with 11 treatment rooms, three relaxation lounges and co-ed meditation room. Only naturally-sourced and ethically harvested ingredients are used in the products.
- There are no major restaurants, which is by design to reinforce the quiet and reclusive nature of the property. However, there is Vice Versa, a stylish lobby bar with an outdoor fire pit area that specializes in craft cocktails and small plates, as well as Market Cafe for on-the-go gourmet bites and of course, Starbucks. There’s also food service by the pool and in-room dining. If that’s not enough, nearby neighbors like the Bellagio, Cosmopolitan, and Aria are loaded with world-famous restaurants worthy of your attention.
- There is no self-parking at the Vdara, but valet service is provided for a fee.
- Vdara is connected by pedestrian walkway to the Bellagio and shares a free monorail shuttle with the Shops at Crystals and Aria.
- Vdara is one of the most pet-friendly hotels on the Strip. For an additional $75 per night, guests can bring up to two dogs with a combined weight of less than 75 pounds in the “VDog Suite.”
- Much like the guest rooms, the lobby features contemporary furnishings and limited edition artwork. Just outside is the “Big Edge,” a sculpture created from more than 200 boats, canoes, and kayaks.
- There’s more than 16,500 sq ft of conference space, which is on the small side compared to other bigger resorts, but it’s modern, tech-oriented, and has a ballroom (and breakout areas) for hosting around 300 people.
- Like Aria, the Vdara was designed with sustainability in mind and has been awarded the rare 5 Keys designation by the Green Key Eco-Ratings program. It shares a fleet of limos fueled by compressed natural gas with the Aria. The building is also designed to minimize water waste and is designed with windows to reflect light and reduce heat absorption.
- An additional resort fee of $39 is charged each night and includes in-room internet service, use of fitness facility and unlimited phone calls.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Vdara.
8. The Cromwell
Best Boutique Hotel in Las Vegas
The Cromwell is not only the best boutique hotel in Las Vegas, but it also has the best casino on the Strip, with gaming options not commonly found in bigger places. As one of the newer resorts on the Strip, the rooms feel fresh, contemporary, and stylish. The hotel is small, with less than 200 rooms, but it has two big attractions: Drai’s rooftop nightclub and the only major restaurant in the world by celebrity chef Giada de Laurentiis.
Cromwell: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.777.3777
- Address: 3595 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: You could argue the Cromwell has the absolute best location on the Strip. Sitting on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo, the resort is in the heart of the action. Unlike its neighbors who share the same intersection (Caesars Palace, the Bellagio, and Bally’s), the Cromwell has a lobby that opens directly to the sidewalk. It’s also just steps away from The LINQ and Harrah’s.
- Distance from Airport: 11-minute taxi ride will be $17
- In-House Restaurants: Giada (Californian-inspired Italian, first restaurant by Giada de Laurentiis, 5-10:30pm for dinner, 9am-3pm for weekend brunch), Eatwell (24-hour grab-and-go coffee, pizza, and other quick bites), Drai’s Cafe (casual daytime dining by the pool).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Pedestrian bridges will take you to Caesars Palace (for Guy Savoy, Old Homestead steakhouse, etc.), Bellagio (for Le Cirque, Picasso, Yellowtail, etc.), Paris (for Gordon Ramsay Steak, Mon Ami Gabi, Eiffel Tower Restaurant, etc.) in less than 15 minutes.
- Casino: Yes. Despite a relatively small size, the Cromwell casino has the most player-friendly terms and conditions on the Strip. Sports Book is very small. Fore more sports betting action, Caesars Palace offers more size and spectacle across the street.
- Amenities: Small fitness center, the only pool is the rooftop Drai’s Beachclub, but guests can use family-friendly pools at the Flamingo or Caesars Palace.
- Free Parking: No.
Cromwell: The Details
- Opened in 2014.
- 188 rooms, including 19 suites. Rooms are on four levels. (Floors 5-8).
- Most rooms are stylish with a contemporary French influence and warm dark colors. Common furnishings include Edison light bulbs, industrial-style fixtures, plush furniture, dark hardwood floors, leather-quilted headboards, and a “vanity bar” in the bathroom, offering items like shampoo and lotion. Use them and you’ll be charged appropriately.
- Deluxe and Luxury (Strip view) rooms are 360 sq ft. Parlor Suites (723 sq ft) have steam showers, upgraded minibars, hair straightener, and full refrigerator. Boulevard Suites (1,061 sq ft) are found on the four corners of the hotel and come with a working vintage pinball machine. Gallery Suites (1,411 sq ft) have a large living room with sectional seating and wet bar. There’s a single Cromwell Suite (1,730 sq ft) on the 8th floor with pool table, loaded bookshelves, and two additional connecting rooms that add up to a single wing (2,550 sq ft). It’s often reserved for celebrities and performers at Drai’s.
- Rooms with king beds have games of Checkers or Backgammon set up on the coffee tables. Game pieces are free to take as a souvenir.
- The Cromwell tends to draw savvy leisure travelers who have already been to Vegas before, and recognize the advantages that sometimes come with avoiding larger mega-resorts. Without desks or workspaces, the rooms aren’t geared toward business travelers.
- Bound is an upscale craft cocktail bar near the check-in lobby and truly one of the best places to get a drink anywhere in Vegas. The menu is curated by master mixologist Salvatore Calabrese. Additional bars can be found in the casino area.
- Giada is the first restaurant by celebrity chef and television personality Giada de Laurentiis. Serving a Californian take on Italian cuisine, it’s a big draw for out-of-towners and has an amazing view of the Bellagio fountains across the street through open windows. Giada also supplies small bites to Bound and a separate menu for in-room dining (with common fare like wings and burgers).
- Drai’s Nightclub and Beachclub sits on the 11th-floor rooftop. The pool is surrounded by two levels of cabanas that come with shared dipping pools. The view of the Strip is easily the best for a pool anywhere in Vegas. Drai’s Cafe offers a strong menu of small bites for poolside dining and has the only kitchen in the hotel aside from the Giada restaurant.
- The rooftop swimming pool is 21 and over. Families with kids have free access to the general pools at the Flamingo next door and Caesars Palace across the street.
- The Cromwell was the first hotel on the Strip to introduce e-key technology of simply waving your card in front of the lock to open the door.
- Coffee stations are by the elevators on floors 5 and 7, offering free coffee all day for guests.
- Was formerly known as the Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall & Saloon (and before that, the Barbary Coast) as a convenient spot that catered to locals despite the prime location. It was renovated completely into the Cromwell with an additional part of the building added to support the rooftop pool at Drai’s.
- Like the hotel itself, the 40,000-square-foot casino is on the small side but avoids overcrowding the floor with excessive slot machines. It has more table games than expected for a casino of its size. Terms and games are very player-friendly, including single “0” roulette, EZ Baccarat, 3-2 shoe and double-deck blackjack, and 100X odds craps.
- Drai’s Afterhours is downstairs from the lobby and the only holdover from the hotel’s previous incarnation. The late night party spot is favored by the industry crowd with two DJ rooms.
- There is no spa and no retail shops. A fitness center is surprisingly charming, with basic equipment, brick walls, and ground floor window views of the street outside.
- As part of Caesars Entertainment, paid valet and self-parking were recently introduced, although self-parking is free with Nevada state ID.
- The resort fee is $37 and includes internet, calls, and access to the fitness center. There is a charge for valet parking and self-parking. Pet-friendly rooms are available.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Cromwell.
Best Las Vegas Hotel Layout
Sleek, contemporary and full of energy, the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is a favorite of millennials and anyone who prefers luxury with a busy atmosphere and modern furnishings. By covering a relatively small footprint of fewer than nine acres, amenities, accommodations, and attractions are spread out vertically on multiple floors. It works to everyone’s advantage with two street-level entrances on the Strip directly off the casino floor and a convenient self-parking garage directly underground. Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub, the Chelsea Theater, and a lineup of modern restaurants, bring in plenty of foot traffic.
Cosmopolitan: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.698.7000
- Address: 3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The Cosmopolitan has a prime Strip location, flanked by the Bellagio and CityCenter. It’s also an easy walk to Caesars Palace, The LINQ, T-Mobile Arena, Planet Hollywood, and much more.
- Distance from Airport: 11-minute taxi ride will cost $16.
- In-House Restaurants: A trio of restaurants by Jose Andres: Jaleo (Spanish, open noon to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), é (molecular gastronomy, intimate seating by appointment only), and China Poblano (Latin/Asian, 11:30am-11pm). Other dining options include Zuma (upscale Japanese, open 5pm to 10:30 weekdays, midnight weekends), Beauty & Essex (stylish contemporary, open 5pm to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Estiatorio Milos (best Greek in Vegas, open 11:30am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Momofuku (inventive Asian fusion, 11am-11pm), Milk Bar (to-go desserts, open 9am to 1am weekdays, 2am weekends), Red Plate (upscale Cantonese, 6-11pm), Scarpetta (Italian, 6-11pm), Rose.Rabbit.Lie (modern American, 6pm-midnight), STK (steakhouse with party atmosphere, open 5:30pm to 11 weekdays, midnight weekends), Wicked Spoon (buffet that specializes in small bites on a grand scale, 8am-9pm), Va Bene Caffe (coffee, 24 hours Friday-Tuesday and 5am-1am Wednesday-Thursday), Starbucks (6am-10pm), Overlook Grill (poolside dining, 9am-3pm), Juice Standard (healthy drinks, 7am-11pm), Holsteins (gourmet burgers, open 11am to midnight weekdays, 1am weekends), Blue Ribbon (American, great raw bar, 5pm-midnight), The Henry (American, exceptional breakfast, 24 hours), Eggslut (gourmet breakfast sandwiches, open until 4pm weekdays, 7pm weekends). Block 16 Urban Food Hall includes Tekka hand-rolled sushi, Pok Pok Wing, Lardo pork sandwiches, Hattie B’s Hot Chicken, District donuts and coffee, and Ghost Donkey (speakeasy with amazing nachos) at various hours.
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Walk next door to the Bellagio, where you can visit Harvest (farm-to-table contemporary), Lago (Italian tapas), Spago (lakeside dining by Wolfgang Puck) within minutes. On the other side of the resort, take the pedestrian bridge to the CItyCenter complex for restaurants at the Waldorf Astoria (Twist) and Aria (Jean Georges Steakhouse, Sage, Bardot, etc.).
- Casino: Yes. At 75,000 square feet, the casino space is small for major Strip resort standards, but well structured with a modern feel, a high-tech sports book, and large windows facing the Strip.
- Amenities: Three separate pool areas, including Marquee Dayclub and rooftop Boulevard Pool, Sahra Spa & Hammam, Violet Hour Salon, fitness center, business center, and shops scattered throughout different floors of the resort.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Bungalow Suites have plunge pools.
- Free Parking: Parking is free for hotel guests only.
Cosmopolitan: The Details
- Opened in 2010.
- 3,026 rooms and suites.
- Built on 8.7 acres, the resort is vertical in design, with restaurants, bars, and attractions on multiple floors – as opposed to being lumped together on a sprawling ground floor lobby traditionally found in most Strip casino resorts.
- With the exception of the Palazzo, the Cosmopolitan has the only underground parking garage on the Strip – directly beneath the hotel and easily accessible by elevator instead of a long walk.
- Rooms generally share modern design, contemporary furnishings, and spectacular views. The Cosmopolitan is the only hotel or residential building on the Strip to have open-air balconies. They’re spacious enough to include patio furniture. The units on the north side are especially stunning, looking down over the neighboring Bellagio fountains.
- Standard rooms (610 sq ft) have a Japanese soaking tub in the bathroom that’s visible from the bedroom (but can be covered with shades for privacy). The Wraparound Suites (1,200) have nearly double the space with an expanded living room, dining area with Sub-Zero wine cooler, crystal chandelier and an outdoor 480 square-foot terrace that wraps around the corner of the building.
- Two-story Lanai Suites (800 sq ft) overlook the Chelsea pool and have a tropical theme with one bedroom, dining room, and two bathrooms.
- Bungalow Suites (1,695 sq ft) are three-level townhouse-style units that overlook the pool area of Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub. They each have private patios and plunge pools on the top floor and optional cabanas attached on the ground floor. Perfect for large parties. Custom furniture is designed to fit every inch of space.
- Boulevard Penthouses (2,000-5,000 sq ft) cover the top four floors of the Boulevard Tower and are individually designed based on themes of New York (straight lines, dark wood, and abstract decor) or Beverly Hills (curved shapes, limestone accents, and maximum use of space).
- West End Penthouses (2,400-3,700 sq ft) are among the most exclusive in the resort, sitting on the 60th and 61st floors of the west Chelsea Tower. Designed with light and dark elements, the units tend to show off eclectic artwork and unique touches like crystal-encrusted wall textures. The four most indulgent suites are on the 70th floor, with a private hallway featuring light effects that simulate the sensation of floating and the natural movement of the sun.
- Rose is a virtual concierge, available to guests by text, and able to respond in real time. The answers tend to be fun, with plenty of wit and personality.
- In a break from common practice, the casino is in sight of large windows showcasing the Strip. The Race & Sports Book was recently expanded and given a high-tech upgrade with bright LED video walls and high-def TV screens. The Talon Club is a speakeasy-style parlor for high-stakes players with 20 table games. The Reserve is an ultra-exclusive private gaming area nestled among the Boulevard Tower Penthouses.
- The dining lineup is especially strong, led by a trio of restaurants by Chef Jose Andres: Jaleo (Spanish with a impressive paella grill as the centerpiece), China Poblano (with Chinese and Mexican cuisine sharing the same menu), and é by Jose Andres (an intimate private dining room with an ever-evolving menu of 20 courses served only twice a night). Other highlights include Zuma (sophisticated Japanese), STK (a steakhouse with a nightclub atmosphere), Scarpetta (Italian), Estiatorio Milos (the best Greek in Vegas), Blue Ribbon (eclectic American and famous fried chicken), Momofuku (Noodle bar and Asian street food), and Beauty & Essex (with a stylish lounge vibe and a hipster-friendly pawn shop that’s more of a gimmick than an active business). Block 16 Urban Food Hall is multiple restaurants in one, serving regional comfort food favorites.
- There are several bars scattered throughout the resort. Three of them – Chandelier, Clique, and Vesper – are highly regarded for their craft cocktail programs. Chandelier is a visual spectacle, with its dazzling decor spread over three floors (and different drink menus on each).
- Wicked Spoon is one of the top buffets on the Strip and a leader in the trend of emphasizing small bites individually prepared to encourage a more deeper and diverse selection.
- There are three distinct pool areas. The Boulevard Pool has magnificent Strip views and a stage for national music acts. The Chelsea Pool is more private and feels like a park with secluded areas for privacy. Marquee Dayclub is a wild daytime pool party and nighttime lounge extension of Marquee nightclub – featuring DJs in three rooms, with seven bars covering 60,000 sq ft.
- Sahra Spa and Hammam has 30 treatment rooms, a salon, and two fitness areas. Beauty treatments are globally-inspired and include Turkish hammam baths and Arabian beauty rituals. Additional fitness centers can be found on the 14th floor of the Chelsea Tower and the 15th floor of the Boulevard Tower.
- The Cosmopolitan has a unique art program that includes art installations, digital art displays, and Art-o-Mat machines that dispense original artwork. The 65 foot-tall digital marquee out front also displays artwork.
- Shopping options are both eclectic and luxurious; highlights include Jason of Beverly Hills for contemporary high-end jewelry, Stitched for menswear, and Rent the Runway offering designer dresses often seen on Hollywood stars for a fraction of the price.
- The Cosmopolitan has 190,000 sq ft of conference space that spans the first three floors of the resort with seven ballrooms and 46 meeting rooms.
- The Cosmopolitan now offers parking free to hotel guests. Resort fee is $35 and includes internet and calls as well as fitness center and tennis court access. Dogs up to 25 lbs. are allowed with an added nightly charge of $50 per dog – and must be kept in a kennel when unattended in rooms.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Cosmopolitan.
Best Hotel View in Las Vegas
Although having the name of a complete fucking moron on its marquee is an instant turn off, the Trump International Hotel has long been known for elite luxury on the Las Vegas Strip. Free of both smoking and gambling, the resort attracts guests who are more interested in elite accommodations than slot machines. Located at a bend in Las Vegas Boulevard, the hotel has an amazing view – appearing to be in the middle of the Strip instead of alongside it. Connection to President Trump is now in name only with no other official affiliation otherwise.
Trump International: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.982.0000
- Address: 2000 Fashion Show Drive
- Location: Just barely west of the Strip, the Trump International Hotel is across the street from the Fashion Show Mall and within easy walking distance to the Wynn, Mirage, Palazzo, Venetian, and any other destination in the mid-to-north end of the Strip. For what it’s worth, the resort is also very close to a few of the most popular legal cannabis dispensaries in Las Vegas.
- Distance from Airport: 15-minute taxi ride will cost $24.
- In-House Restaurants: DJT (steaks and contemporary American, 6:30am-10pm), H2EAU (poolside dining, 9am-5:30pm)
- Best Nearby Restaurants: With only one major restaurant on property, you’ll be looking for additional culinary options. Fortunately, you’re just a 10-15 minute walk from the great restaurant lineups at the Wynn (Mizumi, Lakeside, Wing Lei, etc.), Venetian (Yardbird, Delmonico Steakhouse, etc.) Palazzo (Once, SushiSamba, Morels, etc.) and the Mirage (Heritage Steak, Osteria Costa, etc.).
- Casino: No. The closest casino is at Treasure Island, but you’re better off at the Palazzo or Wynn, on the east side of the Strip, which are much nicer, brighter, and cleaner.
- Amenities: Spa, fitness center, wedding venues, and rooftop pool on 7th floor.
- Kitchens: All rooms have full kitchens with refrigerators that can be custom-stocked.
- Free Parking: Yes, but parking is valet only.
Trump International: The Details
- Opened in 2008.
- 1,282 rooms, including 402 suites.
- Options include Superior or Deluxe (with a Strip view) studios (515-533 sq ft) or one-bedroom units (900 sq ft). Penthouse Suites are one-bedroom (1,400 sq ft), two-bedrooms (1,600 sq ft) or three bedrooms (around 3,000 sq ft. with 3.5 bathrooms).
- Common elements in the rooms include floor-to-ceiling windows, large bathrooms with marble furnishings, double vanities, walk-in showers, and spa tubs that sit underneath large windows. Italian marble floors can be found in the bathrooms and foyers. Kitchens are equipped with appliances by Sub-Zero, Wolf, Bosch, and Dacor. Television screens within the bathroom mirrors are being phased out due to maintenance issues with the manufacturer.
- Gold decor and furnishings are a theme, although the yellowish hues in the guest rooms have been given a more contemporary upgrade over the years. The exterior of the tower itself, reaching more than 600 feet into the Las Vegas sky, is encased in 24-karat gold-infused glass.
- The property is free from gaming and entirely smoke-free. Without a busy casino floor, the lobby is more quiet and elegant than most others on the Strip. Fresh floral decorations are changed frequently.
- The building sits slightly west of Las Vegas Boulevard, allowing it to enjoy its own space away from the tourist crowds. Views are spectacular, especially to the south where it faces a bend in Las Vegas Boulevard, making the hotel appear to be in the middle of the Strip rather than alongside it.
- Rooms are divided between hotel, timeshare, and residential units. At 64 stories, the Trump International is the tallest residential building in Las Vegas.
- The Fashion Show Mall is directly across the street – convenient for international guests eager to shop in popular high-end American stores. Other attractions within an easy walking distance are the Wynn, Encore, Venetian, Palazzo, and Treasure Island resorts. Shuttle service is available to these and other Strip locations.
- DJT Restaurant is the main dining spot, with private dining rooms as well as an open area just off the lobby that serves a breakfast buffet. The menu for lunch and dinner is big on steaks, craft cocktails, and other familiar American fare. In-room dining offers organic, vegan, and gluten-free dishes. There’s also a convenient grab-and-go coffee and snack counter in the lobby.
- Pool area is on the 7th floor and features a sundeck, cabanas, and casual food bites served by H2(EAU). The pool is open to hotel guests only and includes complimentary sunscreen and fruit-infused water.
- The Fitness Center overlooks the pool and offers yoga classes. The spa has nine treatment rooms. Options include a “flight” experience of multiple 30-minute experiences, some of which are exclusive to Las Vegas.
- The hotel features intimate office and meeting room space near the North Deck – an outdoor patio area that offers a sense of privacy and is also a popular spot for weddings. Penthouse meeting space has spectacular views from 60 floors above the Strip.
- Trump International is very pet-friendly (with a limit of up to 25 pounds). Gourmet treats, a plush dog bed, and a food bowl are even provided. Dog walking services can be arranged through the concierge.
- Trump Kids program offers special activities and services for children, including kiddie cocktails and coloring books.
- Trump International is popular for international travelers from China, the United Kingdom, and Australia. It also has an affiliation with Hainan (an airline that provides direct flights from China to Las Vegas), with Chinese-language food menus for crew and staff.
- Donald Trump campaign merchandise was sold in the lobby gift shop during the 2016 election. That’s no longer the case as Trump resigned from the Trump Organization before taking office.
- Parking is valet only with no charge. Resort fee is $35 and includes internet service, phone calls, in-room coffee and bottled water, shuttles to the Strip, shoeshine service, and $25 spa credit.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Trump International.
Best Hotel in Summerlin
As the most luxurious hotel and casino in the affluent Summerlin community, the Red Rock Resort features contemporary desert architecture and caters to both tourists and locals with its wide array of amenities. Sitting on 70 acres, the resort is close to the majestic Red Rock National Conservation Area, but also features clear unobstructed views of the Strip. The casino, restaurants, and entertainment options are kept separate from the hotel tower, avoiding the confusing sprawl sometimes found in Vegas resort lobbies. The Red Rock is the first billion-dollar luxury resort to be built off the Strip and is the crown jewel of the Station Casinos portfolio.
Red Rock: The Basics
- Phone: 702.797.7777
- Address: 11011 W. Charleston Blvd.
- Location: The Red Rock Resort is 10 miles west of the Strip in Summerlin. It’s in walking distance to the Downtown Summerlin outdoor retail and dining complex, City National Arena (where the public can watch the Vegas Golden Knights practice), and a new minor league baseball stadium. The Strip, airport, or Downtown is easy to reach with a car, taxi, ride-sharing service, or hotel shuttle.
- Distance from Airport: 26-minute taxi ride will be $61.
- In-House Restaurants: T-Bones Chophouse (fine dining steakhouse, open until 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Masso Osteria (excellent wood-fired Italian by Scott Conant, open 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends with Sunday Brunch 10:30am-2pm), Hearthstone (rustic casual, open 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends with Sunday Brunch 10:00am-3pm), 8 Noodle Bar (Asian, great pork belly, open 11am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Lucille’s (barbecue, open 11am to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Yard House (beer and bar food, open 11am to midnight weekdays, 1am weekends), Grand Cafe (casual, open 24 hours), Feast Buffet (8am-9pm), food court open round the clock includes Panda Express, Rubio’s Mexican Cantina, Fatburger, Capriotti’s sandwiches, Villa Italian Kitchen, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, and Starbucks.
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Walk next door to Downtown Summerlin and try Andiron (steak and seafood), Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Public School 702 (gastropub fare), Makers & Finders (great local coffee), or Grape Street wine bar and restaurant.
- Casino: Yes. Clean and contemporary is centrally located away from the hotel towers. Sports book has been given a major upgrade in recent years and is popular with locals. Screens are huge and ultra high-def.
- Amenities: Large pool deck, spa, salon, fitness center, Red Rock Lanes bowling alley, Kids Quest children’s venue, Regal Red Rock Stadium 16-screen movie theater.
- Kitchens: Larger suites have full refrigerators.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Villas suites have a private pool on outdoor deck.
- Free Parking: Yes.
Red Rock: The Details
- Opened in 2006.
- 796 rooms and suites, from 500 sq ft for a standard room to up to 7,500 sq ft for a penthouse-level suite. They include 81 suites in five distinct styles: Signature Suites (1,000-1,500 sq ft), Luxury Suites (1,545-2,060 sq ft), Presidential Suites (2,060-2,575 sq ft) and Villa or Grand Villa Suites (2,575-3,090 sq ft). Seven penthouse-level suites sit on the top floor of the hotel tower and range from 2,400 to 7,500 sq ft.
- The penthouse level suites each have their own distinct style with specific names. For example, “180” features a 180-degree view that includes both the Strip and Red Rock Canyon while “Twist” has four distinct circular rooms, including a large bar.
- The standard rooms are more stylish than most of the basic-level rooms you’ll find at other (more expensive) Vegas hotels and feature voice-over internet protocol phone, 42″ plasma television, iHome clock, guest robes, and 15″ LCD television in the bathroom.
- The villas on the ground floor are extravagant and include pool tables, large wet bars, and private patios with lounge furniture and small pool.
- The property is laid out in a convenient horseshoe-shaped design with the swimming pool in the center. Hotel guests will have either Strip views or mountain views overlooking the pool.
- The resort features a warm palette of red, gold, and brown to complement the natural surroundings, with red sandstone columns being a prime example. Venetian plaster walls and gold-leaf ceilings show off the lavish nature of the property, while more than three million crystals were used in chandeliers to give the casino a little “Old Vegas” flair.
- The casino is rare in that it features lots of natural light and a convenient circular layout with the Lucky Bar in the center and the main restaurants along the edges. There are more than 3,000 slot and video poker machines, 60 tables games and a sportsbook that seats more than 200 people and was recently renovated to include a 96-foot 4K Ultra HD video wall.
- The dining spots are designed to offer something for all tastes. Top restaurants include T-bones Chophouse for steak, 8 Noodle Bar for Asian, Masso Osteria for Italian, and Hearthstone for fans of rustic creative cuisine with sustainable ingredients. Some restaurants feature outdoor patios. A food court near the casino is busy with familiar options like Starbucks, Ben & Jerry’s, and Fatburger.
- Guests tend to be repeat Vegas visitors looking for an alternative to the Strip or a good value for luxury accommodations, trade show or conference attendees, locals enjoying a staycation or people visiting friends or relatives in the Summerlin area.
- Free shuttles run regularly to the Strip and McCarran International Airport. The resort is also in walking distance from the practice facility and offices for the Vegas Golden Knights NHL expansion franchise and Downtown Summerlin, an outdoor retail, dining, and entertainment complex.
- Resort is family-friendly with 72-lane bowling alley and movie theater on the property. Kids Quest is an indoor recreation area for children up to 12 years old, providing fun and interesting activities in addition to daycare services.
- The swimming pool sits as the centerpiece of the property, sitting on three acres with a main swimming area surrounded by smaller dipping pools. The pool area isn’t open to locals, which allows hotel guests to enjoy a leisurely atmosphere without having to fight over lounge furniture. Cabana rentals are available. The poolside deck is sometimes used for food and wine festivals as well as summertime concerts by national touring acts.
- The Red Rocks Spa features 23 treatment rooms, including a VIP suite. The 25,000 square foot facility is very contemporary and in addition to the familiar pampering, offers customized medical and wellness services. It’s also the first non-medical facility in the country to offer Lancer facial and body treatments. Locals can sign up for yoga and other classes for as low as $10.
- Resort fee is $39 and includes phone calls, in-room internet, fitness center, shuttles, concierge services, shoe shine, and daily newspaper. Parking is free.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Red Rock.
Best Comeback Hotel in Las Vegas
Once known as a party hotel that had been passed by in recent years, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino has made a remarkable comeback with renovations, additions, and improvements across the board. More than a great value, the Hard Rock is a great hotel – period – with a rock star attitude and atmosphere that lives up to its name. Guest rooms at all price points have a new feel with a modern style and contemporary furnishings. A top spot for dining, shows, and pool parties.
Hard Rock: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.693.5000
- Address: 4455 Paradise Rd.
- Location: By being just a mile-and-a-half east of the Strip, the Hard Rock is convenient to tourist attractions while having a little bit of breathing room of its own. You can walk to the Strip, but a quick cab or shuttle is a better bet, especially in hot weather. The Hard Rock is also near the airport and a number of worthwhile bars and restaurants.
- Distance from Airport: 8-minute taxi ride will cost $12.
- In-House Restaurants: MB Steak (upbeat, sexy steakhouse, opens 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Nobu (less upscale than the version at Caesars Palace, 6-10:30pm), Culinary Dropout (gastropub with famous pretzel bites, open until 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Mr, Lucky’s (legendary 24-hour diner), Pizza Forte (grab-and-go slices by the family behind Ferraro’s, open 11am to “very late”), Fu Asian Kitchen, Pink Taco (Mexican, 11am-10pm), Goose Island Pub (featuring the Chicago beer, open until 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Oyster Bar (raw bar, seafood, open 11am to 10pm weekdays, 2am weekends), Fuel Cafe (coffee, open 6am to 5pm weekdays, weekends 7pm), Juice Bar (coffee and healthy drinks, open 7am to 2:30pm weekdays, 5pm weekends), Dunkin’ Donuts (24 hours).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Walk across the street to Ferraro’s (a family-owned Italian restaurant that’s among the best in town) or Big Chicken (a venture by Shaquille O’Neal that serves awesome crispy chicken sandwiches). The Lotus of Siam (nationally recognized Thai food) and Bandito (modern, healthy Mexican) are both about 15 minutes away by foot.
- Casino: One of the more fun casinos to hang out in. The gaming area is surrounded by the Hard Rock’s collection of music memorabilia while sharing the bright and vibrant energy and decor of the hotel itself.
- Amenities: Multiple pools, Reliquary Spa, Kelly Cardenas Salon, fitness center, shopping.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Some penthouses have balcony plunge pools, which overlook the main pool complex below.
- Free Parking: Yes.
Hard Rock: The Details
- Opened in 1995.
- 1,504 rooms, including 448 suites.
- The lobby areas extensively feature music memorabilia and exhibits devoted to rock and pop stars – including full drum sets.
- The HRH Tower was added in 2010, offering an all-suites philosophy where everything is designed with luxury in mind. The tower has its own porte-cochere and check-in lobby. Every room has its own separate living room. Tech features include soundbars for the TVs and an AMX Touch Panel music system preloaded with 2,000 songs and playlists. The rooms have at least two flat screen TVs, floor-to-ceiling windows, and mix dark leather with cream-colored furnishings. Rooms begin at 700 sq ft. with a number of individually-themed and uniquely furnished suites ranging from 1,257 to 4,276 sq ft. Some on the top floor have their own outdoor dipping pool.
- The Paradise Tower was added in 2009 and is close to the meeting space area, making it popular for convention guests. Leather, wood, and silver-studded velvet give these rooms an especially strong rock star vibe. Standard rooms and deluxe rooms range from 476 to 604 sq ft. A Penthouse Suite (3,436 sq ft) has three king beds and a spa tub in the living room. The Pool Villa Suites (1,080-1,861 sq ft) have tons of wow-factor. Each one has an outdoor patio with TV and is uniquely decorated with a theme. (Ask for the one with a mural of a gorilla on the wall.)
- The original Casino Tower has seen some dramatic upgrades, especially with decor, artwork, and bathroom remodels that include new vanities, tile, and lighting. Most rooms have French doors that open to reveal great views. Standard rooms are around 460 sq ft with mid-level suites 540-900 sq ft. Extravagant over-the-top suites include Lucky Eight Suite (with three sleeping areas, a round bed, and a dining room spread over 2,600 sq ft) and the Penthouse Real World Suite (4,950 sq ft), which has a pool table, built-in aquarium, and single-lane bowling alley. It was featured on MTV’s The Real World and has counted Axl Rose among its celebrity guests.
- Rock n’ roll artwork and photos can be seen throughout the hallways – even the elevators feature black-and-white images of Van Halen, The Who, Queen, and other rock icons.
- There are a handful of bars scattered throughout the property, but the Circle Bar in the center of the lobby is a legendary hookup spot. It’s more refined these days; recently renovated and surrounded by performers on swings.
- Five pools are spread out over nearly five acres. Paradise Beach features swim-up blackjack and is home to Rehab, the pool party that’s credited with kicking off the dayclub trend back in the 90s.
- Restaurants include MB Steak (a new social concept by the family behind Morton’s Steakhouse), Nobu (for Japanese fusion), Culinary Dropout (a casual gastropub), Oyster Bar, Pink Taco, Goose Island Pub (featuring craft beer by the Chicago brewery), and Pizza Forte.
- The 60,000 square feet of casino space includes Dragon Salon, which offers pai-gow and other Asian favorites in the HRH Tower.
- The Joint packs the power and high-tech amenities of a modern arena into a 4,000 seat venue. It’s seen concerts by plenty of big names over the years, including short-term residencies by the likes of Guns n’ Roses, Kiss, Journey, and Def Leppard.
- Vinyl is a much smaller venue for touring club-level acts and is the regular home for Raiding the Rock Vault – a supergroup made up of players who were successful in the 80s.
- The Joint and Vinyl can also be incorporated into 110,000 sq ft of conference and expo space, which already includes 40 meeting rooms.
- Magic Mike Live! is an erotically-charged all-male dance revue based on the hit movie series.
- Even the shops have a rock n’ roll vibe with a clothing store by Affliction, a John Varvatos boutique, and Hart & Huntington Tattoo Company.
- Reliquary Water Sanctuary & Spa has a co-ed Roman bath, sauna areas, and treatments that include the Drumsticks Massage – where the body feels the drumming and tapping of bamboo reeds.
- Sitting on the corner of Harmon and Paradise, the Hard Rock is an easy drive (or a long walk) to the Strip. It’s also close to the airport and across the street from a number of convenient shops and restaurants. (Try Ferraro’s for Italian, Gangnam Asian BBQ, Origin India, and Hofbrauhaus – a brick for brick re-creation of the famous German beer hall.) The Hard Rock is also the closest major hotel to UNLV (University of Nevada, Las Vegas).
- Resort fee is $33 and includes internet, phone calls, fitness center access, and shuttles to-and- from the Strip. Parking and valet is free. Pets are generally not allowed.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Hard Rock.
13. The M Resort
Best Las Vegas Desert Oasis Hotel
A smart choice to get more for your dollar if proximity to the Strip isn’t important, The M Resort is the first major hotel drivers from Southern California see when approaching Las Vegas on Interstate 15. The structure has a striking modern design that matches the luxurious amenities and accommodations inside. While most Vegas Strip hotels tout location as their best asset, the M Resort offers fine touches instead. With less than 400 rooms, the hotel is able to focus on boutique-level service while providing elements typically found at a spacious ultra-contemporary resort. It almost feels like a mini-version of the Aria.
M Resort: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.797.1000
- Address: 12300 S. Las Vegas Blvd, Henderson
- Location: Just off Interstate 15 south of the Strip, The M Resort is a “non-location” that allows guests to focus on their hotel stay rather than their surroundings, although it’s convenient for those with relatives in southwest Henderson and Southern Highlands or who want to travel the interstate on their own terms. Shuttles, included in the resort fee, travel to the airport 11 times a day and the Strip 5 times a day (with the Tropicana as the drop-off point).
- Distance from Airport: 19-minute taxi ride will cost $34.
- In-House Restaurants: Anthony’s (steakhouse serving prime cuts, 5-10pm) Burgers and Brews (7am-10pm), Jayde Fuzion (Asian, 5-10pm), Marinelli’s Pasta Bar (casual Italian, 5-10pm), Studio B (best buffet off Strip, extra seafood on weekends, open until 8:30pm), 16 (cocktail bar with small bites and great views on 16th floor, 6pm-midnight), Vig Deli (sports bar with sandwiches, 10am-7am), Baby Cakes (bakery with coffee round the clock).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Anything off-property will require at least a short drive, but Michael’s (vintage romantic steakhouse at the South Point casino), The Stove (eclectic breakfast and lunch), and Kaiseki Yuzu (high-end Japanese in Silverado Ranch) are all relatively close.
- Casino: The gaming area is comfortable with a modern feel, and doesn’t interfere with other amenities or attractions on property. It’s modern, convenient and draws local regulars. There’s nothing else that compares in the area.
- Amenities: Scenic M Pool, DayDream adults-only dayclub, Sap Mio, fitness center.
- Free Parking: Yes.
M Resort: The Details
- Opened in 2009.
- 390 rooms, including 39 suites.
- Each room has floor-to-ceiling windows, clean modern furnishings, Bose sound system, flat screen television, TV screen within the bathroom mirror, and automated controls of lights, shades, and entertainment systems. The bathrooms have marble countertops with double-vanities, tubs, and walk-in showers.
- Choices include the M Resort Room (550 sq ft), Executive Resort Room (590-625 sq ft), Classic One-Bedroom Suite (1,095 sq ft with separate living area and sofa), Flat Suite (1,440 sq ft with panoramic windows, a glass sliding door, and bar table), and the spectacular two-story Loft Suite (2,400 sq ft with an upstairs bedroom that looks over the first floor and is surrounded by tall windows).
- The building is uniquely designed so that 70 percent of the rooms have Strip views, made easier with a higher elevation of 400 feet looking over the Las Vegas Valley. The remaining 30 percent have mountain views.
- The pool area features two large infinity-edge pools with an expansive deck large enough for more than 6,000 people. It has cabanas, daybeds, and penthouse patios – elevated VIP areas for up to 30 people with a lounge and private lawn. DayDream is an adults-only pool party that’s a nice alternative to the crowded and hectic dayclubs on the Strip.
- With 92,000 sq ft of casino space, highlights include a high-tech sports book and high-limit poker.
- Entertainment includes concerts from national acts by the pool and at the 2,300-seat M Pavilion.
- The dining options fly under the radar compared to some of the more overhyped restaurants on the Strip. Anthony’s is an underrated steakhouse with a creative menu, Jayde Fuzion serves sushi and other Asian cuisine, and Burgers & Brews mixes casual bites with craft beer. Studio B is considered one of the better buffets in Southern Nevada and includes all-you-can-drink beer and wine in the price.
- The Hostile Grape is a stylish wine bar near the pool. It has a deep selection with one of the largest ergomatic systems in the United States serving hundreds of wines in one, three, or five-ounce pours.
- Spa Mio offers spa and salon treatments with 16 private rooms, sauna, steam rooms, and whirlpool baths. A nice touch is the Moroccan oil products in the showers.
- A rooftop lounge is reserved for weddings and other private events. Marriage ceremonies can also be conducted near the pool.
- There is 92,000 sq ft of conference and meeting space, much of it with bright natural lighting and views of the pool and the Vegas skyline.
- The M Resort offers deals and discounts for locals, including happy hours and access to the pool.
- Sitting on St. Rose Parkway and Las Vegas Boulevard, the M Resort is about 10 miles away from the Strip. It’s near local attractions like the SPEEDVEGAS race track and the Lion Habitat Ranch. It’s also close to the Southern Highlands and Henderson communities like Silverado Ranch, Seven Hills, and Anthem.
- The resort fee is on the low end ($24.99) and covers internet, phone calls, fitness center, daily newspapers, and shuttles to both the Strip and airport. Pets are generally not allowed. Parking and valet is free.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: M Resort.
14. Mandalay Bay & Delano
Best Hotel Pool in Las Vegas
With a golden tropical island theme, Mandalay Bay is one of the busiest resorts on the Strip, yet complemented nicely by the quiet and stylish Delano tower. Together, the hotels cover a large footprint, offering the kind of attractions and sprawl found in giants like Caesars Palace and the MGM Grand, but with a cleaner and more contemporary layout. The property features a mammoth selection of quality restaurants, the Shoppes at Mandalay Place, an indulgent beach and pool complex, two spas, and the Mandalay Bay Events Center (consisting of an indoor arena and some of the largest trade show space in the world.) The Delano is a welcome retreat, with a sophisticated lobby that’s free of gambling. A third hotel, the Four Seasons, shares space on the campus.
Mandalay Bay and Delano: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702-632-7777 or 702.632.7888
- Address: 3960 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The hotels sit on the far south end of the Strip and along with the Four Seasons, are the closest major resorts to the iconic “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas” sign. Mandalay Bay shares a free shuttle train with the Luxor and Excalibur and is across the street from McCarran International Airport.
- Distance from Airport: 8-minute taxi ride will cost $14.
- In-House Restaurants: Mandalay Bay: Stripsteak (amazing Michael Mina steakhouse, 4-10pm) Aureole (updated American by Charlie Palmer, great wine program, 5:30-10:30pm), Lupo (Italian by Wolfgang Puck, open 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Kumi (inventive Japanese by Akira Back, open 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Libertine Social (contemporary American with great cocktails, 5-10:30pm), Red Square (contemporary, known for vodka program, 4-11pm), Foundation Room (great sky-high views on patio, open 6pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Border Grill (gourmet Mexican, open until 10pm), Fleur (small plates by Hubert Keller, 11am-10pm), Seabreeze Cafe (casual breakfast and lunch, 7am-2:30pm), House of Blues (Southern comfort food, open 7am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Citizens (24-hour lobby restaurant), the Noodle Shop (Chinese, open 11am to 10:30pm weekdays, 12:30am weekends), 24-hour food court includes Bonanno’s New York Pizzeria, Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs, Subway, Johnny Rockets, and Pan Asian Express. Delano: Rivea (European cuisine by Alain Ducasse with great views, 6-10pm), Della’s Kitchen (farm-to-table breakfast and lunch 6:30am-2pm), 3940 (coffee and pastries, open 5:30am to 2pm, 1pm on Tuesday).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Charlie Palmer Steak at the adjacent Four Seasons offers a more understated and quiet steakhouse experience, Ri Ra Irish Pub serves authentic Irish bar food at the Shops at Mandalay Place, Tender at the Luxor (reachable by 2nd-level pedestrian walkway) has unusual game like boar and elk to go along with steaks.
- Casino: The Delano has no casino, but Mandalay Bay more than makes up for it with 135,000 square feet of gaming space. Sports book could use an update, but is large, comfortable, and centrally located on the casino floor.
- Amenities: Multiple pools, Mandalay Bay Beach wave pool with lazy river, adults-only Moorea Beach Club, Daylight Beach Club, Spa Mandalay, fitness center, Bathhouse Spa and Gym at Delano, wedding chapels.
- Free Parking: No (although valet at Shoppes at Mandalay Place is free for short-term visits).
Mandalay Bay and Delano: The Details
- Opened in 1999.
- Mandalay Bay has 3,211 rooms, including 436 suites. Delano has 1,117 rooms (all considered suites).
- The less expensive rooms at Mandalay Bay are colorful with blue and gold tones, which matches the hotel’s tropical theme. Standard rooms (550 sq ft) and basic suites (610-786 sq ft) have floor-to-ceiling windows, lighted closets, seating for three people, and entertainment docks for connecting phones/devices to the 42-inch TV. When you walk in, the television is already on, playing relaxing music to artistic images – a welcome touch. Stylish work areas are good for business travelers attending events at the convention center.
- Larger suites are designed in less vibrant modern tones. Sky View Suites (1.050 sq ft), Panoramic Suites (1,450 sq ft with two bedrooms), and Vista Suites (1,705 sq ft) have premium/extended sweeping views. Conference Suite (2,170 sq ft) has 65-inch LED TV, wet bar, and conference table for 10. Media Suite (2,170 sq ft) has two large plasma televisions (65 and 46 inch), surround sound audio, and an entertaining parlor.
- The Delano features light tones and furnishings. Following an all-suites approach, the rooms begin at 725 sq ft and include separate living room and large bathrooms. The Two-Bedroom Suite (1,142 sq ft) and Penthouse Superior Suite (1,642 sq ft) have corner views that wrap around the building. The furniture and beds are incredibly comfortable. Other perks include floor-to-ceiling windows, large high-def televisions, and media hubs for charging and connecting personal devices.
- Mandalay Bay is loaded with restaurants. Just a few of them include Fleur (small plates by Hubert Keller), Aureole (modern fine dining by Charlie Palmer that saw a recent dramatic revamp), Stripsteak (Michael Mina’s only Las Vegas steakhouse), Lupo (Italian by Wolfgang Puck), Kumi (Japanese and Korean fusion), Border Grill (south-of-the-border cuisine by Susan Feniger and Mary Sue Milliken), and Red Square (Russian-themed casual dining with a vodka vault and private vodka lockers).
- Delano’s dining options are more reserved: Rivea (contemporary Italian and French with sweeping views from the 64th floor), Della’s Kitchen (farm-to-table fare for breakfast and lunch), and 3940 Coffee + Tea.
- Notable bars and lounges include the Foundation Room (formerly a private club that sits on the top floor of Mandalay Bay with spectacular views), Eyecandy (energetic lobby bar with a dance floor), the Franklin (Delano lobby bar with a great whiskey selection), and Skyfall (top floor craft cocktail lounge with fantastic views next to Rivea).
- Mandalay Bay Beach is a massive 11-acre pool oasis. The centerpiece is a large wave pool (creating waves up to six feet high) that washes up on more than 2,700 tons of sand. There are also four swimming pools, a lazy river, cabanas, gazebos, bungalows, and the Moorea Beach Club for adults-only topless sunbathing on an upper deck. The beach hosts a nighttime concert series featuring national acts during the summer.
- There are two spas on property. (Three if you count the one at the Four Seasons.) Spa Mandalay is 30,000 square feet with 23 treatment rooms and a fitness center that overlooks the tropical lagoon. The Bathhouse covers 14,000 square feet over two levels at the Delano.
- The Shoppes at Mandalay Place offers 100,000 square feet worth of retail space that also serves as a walkway between Mandalay Bay and the Luxor. It includes restaurants and bars – most notably RiRa Irish Pub (imported brick by brick from Ireland) and Minus5 Ice Bar (where everything, from the shot glasses to the seats are made from ice in a frigid environment – so take advantage of the complimentary fur coat).
- Lots of entertainment on property. Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil features acrobatic recreations of the pop singer’s most iconic moments and videos, the Mandalay Bay Events Center draws national headline acts and sports events with a 12,000-seat arena, and House of Blues is home to national touring acts and residencies by Carlos Santana and Billy Idol.
- Light Nightclub welcomes big-name DJs who perform against a massive video wall. Daylight Beach Club is a daytime pool party that’s separate from the rest of the pool complex and has its own parking and entrance. It also hosts monthly night-swim parties dubbed Eclipse.
- The Shark Reef Aquarium has 14 major exhibits showing off more than 2,000 water-based animals. There are a few land-based creatures, like the rare Komodo Dragon. Certified divers over 18 have an opportunity to swim among 30 shark species.
- Plenty of options for weddings, including three chapels and ceremonies available at the Shark Reef aquarium, on the beach, and in the tropical surroundings of the Valley of the Falls in front of a waterfall.
- The Mandalay Bay Convention Center has more than 2 million square feet of meeting and convention space, making it the fifth largest expo center in North America.
- $35 resort fee covers internet, phone, and fitness center access. There is a charge for parking and valet (including a second valet port for the Delano). Pets generally aren’t allowed at Mandalay Bay, but the Delano is very pet-friendly. Up to two dogs are allowed, with a maximum combined weight of 100 lbs., for a $75 additional nightly fee per dog.
15. Caesars Palace
Best Iconic Las Vegas Hotel
This iconic Strip property recently celebrated its 50th anniversary and despite its Roman theme, is more closely identified with classic images of Las Vegas than any Italian culture that inspired it. Located in the heart of the Strip, Caesars Palace is a massive property that puts its sprawl to good use, offering a little something for everybody while retaining high standards of quality and extravagance buried among the kitsch. Despite its long history, the hotel and casino has stayed up to date, and often ahead of the curve, with frequent renovations, and evolving attractions. It’s rare that a Vegas resort lasts this long, especially while remaining in high demand.
Caesars Palace: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 866.227.5938
- Address: 3570 Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: You couldn’t have a more centrally located hotel on the Strip. Caesars Palace commands the northwest corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo, putting it near The LINQ, Bellagio, Cromwell, Cosmopolitan, Paris, Planet Hollywood and much more.
- Distance from Airport: 14-minute taxi ride will cost $18.
- In-House Restaurants: Restaurant Guy Savoy (one of the best French restaurants in the country 5:30-9:30pm), Old Homestead Steakhouse (4:30-10pm), Rao’s (Italian as good as the New York original, 5-10pm), Mesa Grill (Latin fusion by Bobby Flay, 11am-11pm), Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen (contemporary American with windows overlooking Strip, 11am-11pm), Mr Chow (upscale Chinese, 5-10pm), Nobu (upscale Japanese, open 5pm to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Bacchanal Buffet (best buffet on the Strip, 8am-10pm), Beijing Noodle No. 9 (casual Chinese, open 11am to midnight weekdays, 2am weekends), Gordon Ramsay Pub & Grill (casual but crowded, open 11am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Searsucker (gastropub with great Old Fashioned cocktail menu, open 5pm to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Cafe Americano (24-hour generic lobby restaurant with patio seating), Pronto by Giada (coffee, breakfast, wine, lunch by Giada de Laurentiis, 6am-midnight), Brioche by Guy Savoy (grab-and-go coffee and pastries by Guy Savoy, open 6am to midnight weekdays, 2am weekends).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Pedestrian overpass takes you to the Bellagio within minutes for Spago (contemporary dining by Wolfgang Puck), Le Cirque (French fine dining), Lago (Italian tapas) and much more. If calorically dense comfort food is more your thing, cross the street for Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at The LINQ.
- Casino: Yes. Caesars Palace has one of the biggest and busiest gaming spaces on the Strip. It’s good for the masses, but you’re better off taking the pedestrian bridge to the Cromwell, which has the most player-friendly casino terms on the Strip.
- Amenities: Massive Garden of the Gods pool complex, Venus adults-only topless pool, Qua Baths & Spa (one of the better spas on the Strip), Forum Shops at Caesars, Appian Way Shops, large convention, business, and trade show space, multiple wedding chapels.
- Kitchens: Villas come with kitchen areas equipped for catering large meals.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Villas have private or shared deck with plunge pools and direct access to the Garden of the Gods pool area.
- Free Parking: No.
Caesars Palace: The Details
- Opened in 1966.
- Sitting on 85 acres, the property has 3,960 rooms and suites spread among six hotel towers.
- The original Roman Tower was renamed the Julius Tower with 587 rooms renovated in 2009. The Octavius Tower (opened in 2012) is the newest tower as well as the most luxurious and quiet. It’s also the most tech-friendly, featuring interactive automation. The Palace Tower is close to the conference space while the Forum Tower will get you to the casino the quickest. The Augustus Tower is the second newest and at the south end of the resort.
- Nobu Tower serves as its own resort-within-a-resort as the Nobu Hotel. Rooms feature Japanese-inspired decor and artwork, including 18 suites. The Nobu Villa sits on the roof.
- Truly a hotel that offers something for everyone, rooms can range from basic to beyond luxurious with a wide variety of suites, penthouses and nine villas (which often include multiple rooms, marble floors, private dipping pools and furnishings that could include an aquarium or baby grand piano – as well as perks that include direct access to the hotel pool).
- The lobby represents classic Vegas casino sprawl; hallways, outside doors, and even bathrooms can often be tough to find. The floors are well worn but surrounded by statues and furnishings that live up to the Roman theme, as well as up-to-date restaurants and attractions that are among the most popular on the Strip.
- Top dining spots include Restaurant Guy Savoy (the only North American restaurant by the French culinary master and possibly the best French restaurant on the Strip), Nobu for Japanese fusion and casual spots by celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsay and Bobby Flay. Two fantastic New York imports include Old Homestead Steakhouse and Rao’s, an Italian restaurant that’s a welcome relief to those who’ve dealt with the original’s notoriously long reservation list. The food court features a few regional favorites that you’re unlikely to find elsewhere in Vegas.
- Bacchanal Buffet helped redefine the Vegas buffet experience by focusing on small bites instead of large portions, offering more variety and up to 500 dishes a day. Lines are long outside the entrance, so expect a wait to get inside.
- There are at least nine bars on property. Highlights include the Montecristo Cigar Bar, Fizz for champagne, Vista for craft cocktails, and Cleopatra’s Barge, in which tables and a small stage sit inside a large wooden boat.
- The Garden of the Gods is a massive five-acre pool complex with eight pools surrounded by sculptures, fountains, and landscaping on three levels. Venus is an adults-only dayclub where topless sunbathing is allowed.
- Caesars Palace has a long history of top-flight and well-paid entertainment, hosting big names from Frank Sinatra to Shania Twain over the years. The largest stage on the property is The Colosseum, an elegant 4,300-seat venue that hosts national touring acts as well as a rotating lineup of resident headliners that currently include Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, Elton John, Reba with Brooks & Dunn, Mariah Carey, and Jerry Seinfeld.
- Absinthe is a raunchy circus show that’s definitely not for kids. It takes place in a big-top tent outside the hotel on a patio. It’s one of the most acclaimed and popular shows in Vegas.
- Qua Baths & Spa is among the very best spas on the Strip. At 50,000 sq ft, it’s full of dipping pools and relaxation areas that are worth a visit – even if you don’t book a reservation in one of 51 treatment rooms. A fun option is the Arctic Ice Room, where temperatures drop to rejuvenate your body while light snow falls from the ceiling.
- The Forum Shops at Caesars, although independently operated, shares the classic Roman theme of the hotel and connects directly to the casino. The nearly 700,000 square foot mall is loaded with upscale shopping, galleries, and its own impressive lineup of restaurants, including the Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak & Snow Crab and Sushi Roku.
- Long escalators lead to 300,000 sq ft of meeting space, convention areas, and ballroom facilities.
- In a town loaded with expensive nightclubs, Omnia may be the most impressive one of all. The 75,000 sq ft hot spot has several rooms, including a sweeping outdoor terrace that overlooks the neon glow of the Strip. The main room features headliners like Calvin Harris and Zedd, but the main attraction may be a 22,000-pound high-tech chandelier that changes shape, moves to the music, and lights up in different colors while traveling at four feet per second over the dance floor. The long lines outside the venue are hard to avoid, even if someone promised to put you “on the list.” Rule of thumb: the more you spend, the better you’ll be treated.
- Wedding venues include three indoor chapels and two outdoor gardens.
- Resort fee is $39 and includes WiFi for two devices, phone calls, and access to the gym. There are some pet-friendly rooms with a limit of 10 lbs. There is a charge for valet and self-parking as well as valet services at the Forum Shops.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Caesars Palace.
16. Park MGM
Best New Hotel in Las Vegas
The newest resort on the Strip was renovated from the Monte Carlo over a slow two-year transition without the traditional Las Vegas implosion. The Park MGM is designed to complement The Park outdoor promenade near the T-Mobile Arena and bring new life to what was a relatively neglected part of the Strip for years. The overall image and the rooms themselves are relatively understated, but the new attractions (including restaurants and a theater) are generating lots of welcome excitement and energy.
Park MGM: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.730.7777
- Address: 3770 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The Park MGM is next-door to the T-Mobile Arena (home of the biggest music and sports events in Vegas) and The Park outdoor promenade. It’s also close to New York-New York, which has seen its entire Strip-side facade renovated and is right around the corner from the Waldorf Astoria and the rest of CityCenter.
- Distance from Airport: 11-minute taxi ride will cost $16.
- In-House Restaurants: Bavette’s Steakhouse (open 5pm until 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Eataly (stations of Italian food, in-house restaurant, and retail all in one, some components open round-the-clock), Best Friend (Asian by Roy Choi, open until at least 10pm), NoMad Restaurant (stylish American cuisine by Daniel Humm), NoMad Bar (cocktails with full food menu), Primrose (great for brunch and breakfast, outdoor patio, open 7am to 9pm weekdays, 10pm weekends), La La Noodle (Pan-Asian, open until at least 10pm), Moneyline (bar food at the sports book, open afternoons until 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Starbucks (6am-10pm).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: The Park outdoor district has several restaurants, including Saki Rok for Japanese, California Pizza Kitchen, Beerhaus (beer hall with snacks and games), and Shake Shack. Venture in the opposite direction for Bobby’s Burger Palace, Pinkberry, and Twist (elegant French fusion on the 23rd floor of the Waldorf Astoria) on the south edge of CityCenter.
- Casino: Yes. Gaming space dominates the lobby between the hotel check-in area and the Strip entrance by Eataly. High-limit areas by NoMad are more secluded and comfortable. Sports Book is a vibrant social hub with a cocktail bar and food from Moneyline.
- Amenities: Outdoor pool deck, spa, salon, fitness center. Business and meeting space is among the most modern and tech-friendly on the Strip.
- Free Parking: No.
Park MGM: The Details
- Opened in 2017.
- Has 2,700 rooms plus 293 luxury suites at hotel-within-hotel NoMad Las Vegas.
- The Park MGM was completely remodeled from the Monte Carlo as a joint venture between MGM Resorts and the Sydell Group. The image of the property now has a light European influence with pastel colors and rustic touches in the lobby.
- Standard rooms (400 sq ft) are on the small side but have modern decor and a variety of artwork. Bathrooms and accent walls come in solid colors like deep red and olive green. Overall, they’re a bit more quirky than you might expect, but a good value for the incredible location. Spend a little more on Nightingale or Nighthawk suites (700 sq ft with two televisions). The Skylark Suite (900 sq ft) adds a dining room. “Get Well” options include an air purification, infused shower system to reduce chlorine, dawn simulator alarm clocks, and aromatherapy. Building is positioned for most rooms to have some sort of Strip view. Peacock hospitality suites (700 sq ft) can connect to another guest room.
- The lobby has multiple self-check-in kiosks, making it easy to avoid long lines, even during busy hours.
- NoMad is the luxury component of the hotel with rooms on the top five floors. NoMad has its own separate entrance, lobby, bar, restaurant, and pool. The concept stays away from an overly sterile modern image, instead opting for vintage New York-inspired style and character.
- The “classic rooms” at NoMad have oak hardwood floors, velvet furniture, mahogany desks, Bellino linens, and smart high-def televisions. The Grand Suite (700 sq ft) also includes a larger entryway, sitting area, and vanity with a pedestal tub in the bathroom. The NoMad Suite (1,200 sq ft) adds a dining room, freestanding high-top bar, and oversized luxury bathroom with spacious walk-in shower.
- Park MGM’s restaurants are a big draw. Bavette’s is a dark and mysterious Chicago-style steakhouse with a speakeasy hidden in the back. Best Friend is a new concept by Roy Choi for Asian street food while Primrose is perfect for daytime dining, whether at the art deco-inspired bar, library-style lounge, or outdoor patio. However, the true highlight is Eataly, a marketplace and restaurant all in one. Explore a variety of handmade pasta, pizza, steaks, and other forms of Italian cuisine (in-house or to-go) from a number of unique stations.
- The on-property Park Theater is one of the most modern and high-tech entertainment venues in the country, seating up to around 5,000 people. It’s home to residencies by Lady Gaga, Cher, and Bruno Mars. The Park MGM is also next door to the T-Mobile Arena, which welcomes national touring acts and is home to the Vegas Golden Knights hockey team.
- On the Record is a new nightlife concept – a club, speakeasy, and lounge all in one. Juniper has the largest gin selection on the Strip, but offers a variety of both inventive and classic cocktails.
- The pool deck was completely rebuilt from the old one at the Monte Carlo. It consists of three separate pools, which are easy to reach and aim to be a relaxing retreat. No wild dayclub parties here. There’s music, but it’s kept at a reasonable level. A good choice for families who want to take it easy.
- The Park MGM spa is small compared to ones found in larger Vegas hotels, and known for its plant cell facial. The salon is in a unique triangular room, designed to encourage social interaction.
- The resort fee is $37 and includes unlimited Wi-Fi, phone calls, fitness center access, and boarding pass printing. Dog-friendly rooms are available. There’s a charge for both valet and self-parking. The garage gets busy during big events at the T-Mobile Arena, but is usually easy and convenient with a pedestrian bridge that leads directly to the check-in lobby.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Park MGM.
Best Hotel Landscaping in Las Vegas
A quiet escape from the madness of the Strip, the JW Marriott sits on the edge of Summerlin, a west valley community that’s composed of upscale homes, shopping, and golf courses. The immaculate grounds of the hotel feature lush green grass, trees, waterfalls, and ponds. The Rampart Casino – popular with locals – is operated as part of the property but considered a separate brand. Rooms include deluxe furnishings, open balconies, smart technology, and marble bathrooms with large spa tubs. The resort is also close to the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, making it a great retreat for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
JW Marriott: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.869.7777
- Address: 221 N. Rampart Blvd.
- Location: JW Marriott is on the eastern edge of Summerlin and close to the Rampart exit off the 95 expressway. It’s across the street from the Tivoli Village outdoor retail and dining district. It’s also an easy drive to the casinos, shops, golf courses, and other attractions of the Summerlin area.
- Distance from Airport: 25-minute taxi ride will cost $54.
- In-House Restaurants: Hawthorn Grill (steakhouse, open 6am to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Shizen (Japanese, 5-10pm), Spiedini (Italian, open 5pm to 9pm weekdays, 10pm weekends), Promenade Cafe, Clubhouse Deli (underrated sandwiches), Starbucks
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Walk across the street to Tivoli Village, where Echo & Rig is a strong candidate for the best off-Strip steakhouse in Vegas. Honey Salt is about a 5-minute drive away (or 15-minute walk), providing farm-to-table contemporary American. The same complex also has North Italia (modern Italian) and Flower Child (healthy casual), which are both worth your attention.
- Casino: Yes. Rampart Casino is 50,000 square feet of gaming that’s operated separately from the main JW Marriott property and its amenities. Red Rock Resort is a nicer casino alternative, but about a 10-minute drive away. Suncoast Casino is within walking distance and slightly better.
- Amenities: Pool with waterfall, fitness center, wedding locations, spa, volleyball courts.
- Kitchens: New Aviation and Penthouse suites have kitchens.
- Free Parking: Yes.
JW Marriott: The Details
- Opened in 1999.
- 548 rooms, including 79 suites.
- Just barely on the eastern edge of Summerlin, the JW Marriott is a top choice for west valley visitors who prefer a more intimate boutique hotel experience over the larger Red Rock Resort.
- Rooms inside the two six-story towers (the Spa Tower and Palms Tower) offer mountain or Strip views.
- Standard rooms (560 sq ft), Junior Suites (845 sq ft), One-Bedroom Suites (1,050-1,100 sq ft) and Two-Bedroom Penthouse Suites (1,950+ sq ft) all feature similar luxury features – just with varying degrees of size, space, and furniture. Suites wrap around the corner of the building. Those on the ground have large patios, but the ones on higher floors offer an opportunity for Strip, mountain, or golf course views. New Aviation Suite has modern decor and balcony views from bedroom with kitchen and dining room. Penthouse Suite has wraparound terrace, updated minimalist modern decor, separate kitchen, and dining room.
- Nice touches include reading lights built into headboards and bedside phone charging stations. Bathrooms feature contemporary vanities, walk-in rainfall showers, and corner jetted tubs. Coffee machines and refrigerators are included in all rooms.
- Smart tech features control temperature, fans, lights, and TV – which are all automatically returned to original settings when guests leave the room.
- The grounds are stunning and are a popular spot for weddings. More than 3,500 trees can be found among the grass, walkways, gardens, and water features. Hundreds of palm trees were imported from Iraq.
- The 11,000 square foot pool has a tall waterfall and four 25-yard swimming lanes. It sits alongside two smaller spa pools, private cabanas, a cafe, sand volleyball courts, and bocce ball courts.
- The hotel is close to the Summerlin Parkway, about a 20-minute drive from the Strip or downtown. It’s also close to Red Rock Canyon, Tivoli Village, and the Downtown Summerlin outdoor retail district.
- The hotel says its customers are about 25% international and draws heavily from Americans in Southern California and the Midwest. It’s also popular with golfers eager to play on at least eight courses within just a few minutes of the resort. They include TPC Las Vegas, Angel Park Golf Club, and Bear’s Best Las Vegas.
- The resort is actually two brands on a single property, with the JW Marriott sharing space with the 50,000 square foot Rampart Casino – a popular spot for locals as well as hotel guests and has 1,400 slot, video poker, and keno machines.
- Food options include the new Hawthorn Grill steakhouse, Spiedini Ristorante for Italian, and Shizen for Japanese. Outdoor seating is recommended. Nestled among the lush landscaping is an herb garden, growing everything from cilantro to celery, that’s used by the culinary team.
- There’s a fair share of wildlife with ducks, rabbits, and even roadrunners on property.
- Spa Aquae includes the spa, salon, and fitness center within a 40,000-square-foot facility. In-room services are available. The yoga studio and outdoor hydrotherapy circuit pool are especially popular.
- More than 100,000 square feet of space is dedicated to corporate gatherings and special events, including 35 meeting rooms with spacious reception foyers.
- Resort fee is $30 and includes WiFi, phone, spa and fitness center access, and two free bottles of water per day in the room. Parking is free. There are three valet ports which are free as well. No pets allowed outside of service animals.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: JW Marriott.
Best Big Hotel in Las Vegas
A titan on the Strip, the MGM Grand is heavy on amenities and attractions, while bringing a certain degree of chaos that comes with being one of the most popular mega-resorts in Vegas. The emerald exterior of this sprawling monster, originally inspired by a Wizard of Oz theme, makes the hotel one of the easiest to spot in the Vegas skyline. The six-acre pool complex includes the Wet Republic dayclub and the restaurants (led by a small army of celebrity chefs) are among the best in Las Vegas. The attached MGM Grand Garden Arena is popular for concerts, boxing, and other big events.
MGM Grand: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 877.880.0880
- Address: 3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The MGM Grand sits in a prime location on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana, within walking distance of neighboring resorts like the Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and Tropicana. It’s also arguably the closest Strip hotel to the airport.
- Distance from Airport: 6-minute taxi ride will cost $12.
- In-House Restaurants: Joël Robuchon (incredible French fine dining, 5:30-10pm), L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (slightly more casual French fine dining, 5-10pm) Craftsteak (modern steakhouse by Tom Colicchio, 5-10pm), Morimoto (upscale Japanese by Masaharu Morimoto, 5-10pm), Fiamma (Italian, open 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 10:30pm weekends), China Tang (fine dining Cantonese, 5-10pm), Greek Sneek (a rare Greek restaurant in a casino, 5-10pm), Pub 1842 (burgers and bar food from Michael Mina, open until 10pm), Crush, (American, small plates, open until 10pm), Tap (sports bar with exceptional food, open 11am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill (open until midnight Mon-Tues, 6am Wed-Sun), Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House (seafood by Emeril Lagasse, 11:30am-10pm), Hakkasan Restaurant (fantastic Cantonese cuisine next to Hakkasan Nightclub, open 6pm to 10:30pm weekdays, midnight weekends), MGM Grand Buffet (open 7am to 9:30pm weekdays, 10pm weekends), orner Cakes (coffee and pastries, ), Cabana Grill (poolside dining), Starbucks, Subway, Blizz (frozen yogurt), Starbucks (24 hours), Hecho en Vegas (Mexican, 5-10pm), Dapper Doughnut (open 8am to 10pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Sports Deli (New York-style deli, open until 11am weekdays, 3am weekends), Avenue Cafe (breakfast and lunch, 6am-2pm), Pieology (pizzas cooked quickly on the spot, open 11am to 10pm weekdays, 1am weekends), Food court includes Pan Asian Express, Bonanno’s New York Pizzeria, Haagen-Daz ice cream, Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs, Original Chicken Tender, Tacos n’ Ritas, and Johnny Rockets burgers (24-hours).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Cross the pedestrian bridge to the west side of the Strip for Saki Rok (Japanese) or Bavette’s (Chicago-style steakhouse) and Eataly (stations of authentic Italian cuisine) at Park MGM.
- Casino: Yes. The MGM Grand’s casino is one of the largest on the Strip, a sprawling collection of slot machines and betting windows. You’ll find what you’re looking for, but the Tropicana across the street might offer a more relaxed atmosphere.
- Amenities: Pool complex, lazy river, Wet Republic dayclub, multiple wedding chapels and venues, Topgolf putting complex, Cristophe Salon, Grand Spa & Fitness Center, the Barbershop at MGM Grand.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Skylofts have infinity-edge spa tub. Select Mansion villas have Jacuzzi tubs and indoor pools.
- Free Parking: No.
MGM Grand: The Details
- Opened in 1993.
- 5,044 guest rooms, including 751 suites, spread out over four towers.
- A $160 million renovation project was done in 2012, including upgrades to every room in the main tower, a massive structure with centrally located elevators and corridors that reach out in four directions. The top two floors feature the Skyloft – 51 two-story loft-style luxury suites that range from one bedroom (1,400 sq ft) to three-bedrooms (6,000 sq ft with room for up to nine people).
- The Mansion is an ultra-exclusive secluded collection of 29 private villas that aren’t generally available to the public. They can’t be reserved online and are set aside for “qualified guests only.” They’re secluded from the rest of the property and nestled among a quiet Tuscany-style courtyard with sizes ranging from 2,400-12,000 sq ft.
- Clearly, the hotel is large enough to have something for everybody. While the elite accommodations are among the very best on the Strip, the regular rooms and basic suites (anywhere from 350 to 950 sq ft) have a routine feel despite some recent upgrades in furnishings, fair prices, and often stunning views. Bathroom products and towel supplies tend to feel understocked. No coffee makers.
- The upper-level suites overdeliver, including the Skyline Terrace Suite (two levels of 1,300 sq ft with an 800 sq ft outdoor terrace), Penthouse City View Suite (1,250 sq ft) and Marquee Suite (1,500 sq ft with two master bedrooms and 180-degree Strip views).
- Three luxury condo towers, Signature at MGM Grand, sit on the edge of the property. They come with their own amenities, including swimming pools and fitness centers, but residents are given access to the hotel’s pool complex, spa, and other features. The rooms are fully furnished and can be offered to guests as luxury suites through the hotel rental program when not in use by private owners.
- Staywell rooms have health-focused features, including vitamin-C infused showers, air purification system, and aromatherapy devices that offer a nice scent when first entering the room – but your nose gets used to it quickly.
- The MGM Grand sits in a prime location on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana, sharing the intersection with the Excalibur, New York-New York, and Tropicana casinos. The entire south and middle of the Strip is within walking distance, including CityCenter, The Park, and the T-Mobile Arena.
- The resort is instantly recognizable due to its glowing emerald exterior and 45-foot-tall lion statue, the largest bronze sculpture in the United States. The elements are a nod to the hotel’s former Wizard of Oz theme.
- Expect lots of walking. The self-parking garage is a bit of a hike and requires a detour through The District shopping area before reaching the lobby. The 170,000 sq ft casino floor defines classic Las Vegas sprawl, spreading out in all sorts of directions to reach entertainment and dining attractions. Always busy and always full of energy, the MGM Grand is perfect for those thriving on the energy and excitement of Las Vegas, but not a top choice for those seeking a peaceful retreat.
- The pool complex is massive. Sitting on nearly seven acres, it has five pools, a lazy river, and the Wet Republic dayclub – one of the largest pool parties in Vegas with top-name DJs (like Steve Aoki and Calvin Harris), cabanas, champagne showers, and models hired as servers.
- Restaurants at the MGM Grand are led by an army of celebrity chefs: Joel Robuchon (famously dubbed “Chef of the Century” in France), Michael Mina, Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Masaharu Morimoto, and Tom Colicchio. Hakkasan restaurant (for Cantonese and craft cocktails) sits alongside the multi-level flagship Hakkasan nightclub, one of the largest and busiest party spots on the Strip.
- Stage entertainment is diverse and includes illusionist David Copperfield, Ka by Cirque du Soleil (with an Asian theme and an impressive floating stage), dance troupe Jabbawockeez, and Brad Garrett’s Comedy Club. The MGM Grand Garden Arena (the largest indoor arena in Las Vegas until the opening of the T-Mobile Arena in 2016) has seen plenty of concerts, awards shows, and boxing events over the years.
- Shopping includes a mall area with a food court on the ground level and The District, an underground plaza that also includes CSI: The Experience, an attraction based on the TV show.
- The MGM Grand Conference Center is a stand-alone building with views of the pool complex. At 380,000 sq ft, it has enough ballrooms and meetings space for up to 10,000 people.
- Resort fee is $37 a night and covers internet, calls, and access to the fitness center. There is a charge for valet and self-parking (with free self-parking for certain levels of the M Life rewards program). The MGM Grand is not pet-friendly.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: MGM Grand.
Best Unexpected Surprise Hotel in Las Vegas
The best hotel in Henderson if you prefer a Mediterranean-style escape to the M Resort’s modern spin on luxury. The grounds feature lush landscaping and a beautiful pool area that’s far more convenient, scenic, and relaxing than the often chaotic and crowded ones on the Strip. The spa is uniquely charming and attractive as well. A perfect escape for people who love the Las Vegas Valley and want to be close to the Strip – but don’t want to be on it. It’s also an ideal choice for those visiting relatives in the East Valley/Henderson area. The resort sits next to The District, an outdoor shopping and dining promenade and plaza, and is one of three luxury properties (along with Red Rock Resort and the Palms) under the umbrella of Station Casinos.
Green Valley Ranch: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.617.7777
- Address: 2300 Paseo Verde Pkwy.
- Location: The crown jewel of the southwest valley in Henderson. Green Valley Ranch is just off Interstate 215, making it easy for tourists and locals with cars. Strip and airport are both easy drives. Other than exploring The District outdoor complex next door, plan to drive or call a cab if you’re leaving the resort.
- Distance from Airport: 17-minute taxi ride will cost $35.
- In-House Restaurants: Hank’s Fine Steaks (open 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Pizza Rock (best pizza in Vegas, smaller menu than the Downtown original, open 11:30am to midnight weekdays, 2am weekends), Bottiglia (Italian, 5-10pm, Sunday Brunch 10am-3pm), Borracha (Mexican, open until 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Tides (seafood, 11:30am-10pm), Turf Grill (quick bites near sports book, 11am-7pm), Grand Cafe (casual contemporary 24-hours). Highlights of open-late food court include Fatburger and Slice House featuring Pizza Rock pies sliced to go.
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Highlights in The District, which neighbors the resort include Settebello for great Neapolitan pizzas, Shake Shack (a novelty for those who don’t have one back home), Crazy Pita (fast food Mediterranean), and Rachel’s Kitchen, which leans toward the healthy side.
- Casino: Yes. The only real casino in the Green Valley Ranch area of Henderson. It gets crowded, but gaming space is kept away from restaurants and amenities. Bingo nights are popular, even with a younger crowd.
- Amenities: Expansive pool deck, The Pond adult pool with waterfall, Salon & Spa (possibly the best off the Strip), 10-screen stadium seating movie theater, Kids Quest play venue for children.
- Kitchens: Penthouse Suites have full kitchens.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Villa Suite has private courtyard with plunge pool and Jacuzzi.
- Free Parking: Yes
Green Valley Ranch: The Details
- Opened in 2001.
- 495 rooms, including 80 suites.
- Standard rooms are 500 sq ft. Suites come in 10 styles, ranging from 700 to 4,000 sq ft. The Executive Suite (715 sq ft) is a great deal with pool views (with optional balcony) and a small sitting room. The Grand Suite (950 sq ft) has a sunken bathtub and jacuzzi, wet bar, and dining room for eight people. The Mediterranean Suite (2,000 sq ft) has two master bedrooms, a dining area for 10 and an optional patio with outdoor fireplace. The Villa Suite (2,500 sq ft) has a private courtyard with pool, jacuzzi, wet bar, and gas grill. The Penthouse Suite (4,000 sq ft) has two bedrooms, a dining room for 10, double-sided fireplace, baby grand piano, full kitchen, and bar.
- Pool area is spectacular and covers eight acres with stylish cabanas and lush landscaping that includes immaculate hedges and a grape vineyard. The main pool features a sand bottom that extends to create a small beach. The Pond is a small pool geared for adults with a DJ, though not nearly as rowdy as dayclubs on the Strip.
- The spa and salon are in a category of their own and a big draw for locals as well as hotel guests. The separate structure overlooks the pool, with the salon surrounded by tall glass walls to let in lots of natural light. The spa has 22 treatment rooms and a co-ed steam room, jacuzzis, and relaxation areas. It also has its own pool and parking area.
- The outdoor area that includes the pool is known as The Backyard. It has a number of different areas that can be used for weddings and other private functions to augment the 69,000 sq ft of meeting space (featuring four ballrooms and 39 meeting rooms) indoors.
- Entertainment includes the 2,000-seat Grand Events Center, which draws national touring acts, and a 10-screen movie theater by Regal Cinemas, which serves beer and wine.
- Just like hotels on the Strip, the restaurants here are designed to cover a lot of ground. Borracha serves Mexican while Bottiglia specializes in Italian and has a great weekend brunch with an outdoor patio. Hank’s is probably the top steakhouse in Henderson, although the menu is almost identical to T-bones (a sister restaurant at the Red Rock Resort). Definitely try Pizza Rock at least once for the legit best pizza in Vegas, courtesy of chef Tony Gemignani. Tides has a bit of an identity problem, combining sushi with New Orleans-inspired seafood on the menu.
- The District at Green Valley Ranch is an outdoor shopping and dining plaza with a “Main Street” atmosphere. It includes lofts and apartments on the upper floors above the shops. An extended section across the street from Green Valley Parkway has Whole Foods as an anchor tenant.
- As with all Stations Casinos properties, Green Valley Ranch caters heavily to locals who are drawn to the expansive gaming space, which includes 2,300 slot machines, 50 table games, a 400-seat bingo room, and a recently renovated sports book with large 4K video screens. Discounts are also offered to locals for staycations, the spa, and pool access.
- The resort is a big draw for regional tourists (from California and Arizona) who travel to Vegas frequently. Shuttles will take guests to and from the airport as well as the Strip.
- Despite its Henderson location, the hotel claims to be more convenient than its busier counterparts, saying the time it takes to leave the airport, check-in, and arrive in your room is less than it would take to do the same in a crowded Strip lobby. Shuttles will take guests to and from the airport as well as the Strip.
- Kids’ Quest is an indoor recreation area for those as young as six weeks and up to 12 years old.
- Green Valley Ranch was the filming location for the Discovery Channel reality show “American Casino” for three years.
- Resort fee is $39 per day and includes internet, phone calls, access to fitness center and spa, airport and Strip shuttle, daily local newspaper delivery and shoeshine, No charge for self-parking or valet parking. Not pet-friendly.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Green Valley Ranch.
Best Las Vegas Hotel for Millennials
Large and full of energy, Planet Hollywood is possibly the most stylish and glossy property under the Caesars Entertainment umbrella. Its concept has shifted from a classic movie theme to a more stylish contemporary image in recent years. The changes are seen in the modern decor in the rooms and the installation of the 7,000-seat Axis Theater that’s hosted long-term residencies by Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, and others. The makeover extends to a lineup of unconventional suites that may include a bathtub in the living room or a couch that hangs from a swing. It’s also a busy shopping destination with the integrated Miracle Mile Shops.
Planet Hollywood: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 866.919.7472
- Address: 3667 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: Centrally located in the heart of the Vegas Strip, Planet Hollywood is in a prime location near the Bellagio, Cosmopolitan, Caesars Palace, CityCenter and next-door to Paris Las Vegas.
- Distance from Airport: 8-minute taxi ride will cost $14.
- In-House Restaurants: Strip House (saucy steakhouse), Koi (Japanese), Gordon Ramsay Burger (some of the best burgers on the Strip), YOLOS (Mexican), Pin-Up Pizza (known for giant slices), P.F. Chang’s, Ringer (wings, pizza, burgers), Cafe Hollywood, Earl of Sandwich, Spice Market Buffet, Starbucks
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Miracle Mile Shops has numerous additional dining options, including Cabo Wabo (Mexican and tequila), Ketchup burgers, and Chipotle. Walk directly across the street for the great restaurants at Cosmopolitan (STK, Estiatorio Milos, etc.) or Bellagio (Harvest, Le Cirque, etc.)
- Casino: Yes. Nearly three-acres of casino space is full of noise and energy and towering ceilings that rise above the open mezzanine level.
- Amenities: The Scene pool deck (with Flowrider wave pool), Spa & Salon by Mandara, wedding chapel, Miracle Mile Shops.
- Kitchens: PH Bay Suite has a spacious kitchen. Mega Suite has butler pantry with refrigerator(s).
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Jetted tub faces living in select Panorama Suites.
- Free Parking: Yes. However, there is a charge for valet.
Planet Hollywood: The Details
- Opened in 2007.
- 2,567 rooms, including 295 suites.
- Lobby features dark colorful hues, large chandeliers, and a second-level mezzanine that overlooks the casino floor.
- Room designs include the Hollywood Hip Room (450 sq ft) with oversized bathrooms and pieces of Hollywood memorabilia on the walls, Ultra-Hip Room (430 sq ft) with refrigerators and coffee makers included, Resort Room (560 sq ft) with double vanities in the bathroom and a work desk, Resort Vista (570 sq ft) with marble bathroom floors, two 42-inch televisions and five Strip-view windows.
- The suites are on the adventurous side. The Strip Suite (850 sq ft) has a spacious open floor plan, large circular tub, and tall window views of the Strip from behind the bathroom vanity. The Panorama Suite (1,255 sq ft) lives up to its name with floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping around a curved wall – offering sightlines of the Strip from the bedroom and living room. An optional 500 sq ft room can be added on. The Boulevard Suite (1,400 sq ft) is designed for entertaining with a wet bar, conversation pit with wraparound furniture and options to add pool, ping pong, or foosball tables. One or two-bedroom options are available. The Apex Suite (1,900 sq ft) is an expanded version of the Boulevard Suite with more vibrant panoramic views.
- For the true high roller, the Mega Suite spans two-stories on the 50th and 51st floors with 180-degree views of the Strip. It includes a spa, fitness room, full bar, dining room with butler pantry, and two refrigerators that can be fully stocked upon request.
- None of the restaurants here are ultra-fine dining. Even the three best spots are on the casual side: Strip House is fantastic with perfectly charred prime steaks, a 24-layer chocolate cake for dessert and black-and-white nude photos on the wall. Koi blends Asian and Californian cuisine in a stylish setting. Gordon Ramsay Burger offers gourmet burgers from the celebrity chef and has a tasty house-made ketchup for the fries. Quicker options include Pink’s Hot Dogs (based on the legendary L.A. location), Pin Up Pizza (with giant slices measuring 15 inches long) and Yolo’s Mexican Grill (with 60 choices of tequila).
- A big draw at the property for both millennials and high rollers is The AXIS, a state-of-the-art theater that seats about 7,000 people and specializes in long-term residencies by chart-topping acts. Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez, Pitbull, Lionel Richie, and the Backstreet Boys have all done big business on its stage. The theater is in a half-circle formation with pristine sound, video effects, and cocktail tables offering bottle service.
- Gallery Nightclub closed in 2013. For those who love the nightlife, a few clubs are within easy walking distance, including Chateau at Paris, Marquee at Cosmopolitan, and Hyde Bellagio.
- The casino space spans nearly three acres and includes the Pleasure Pit, featuring go-go dancers and games of blackjack and roulette in which the dealers are beautiful women dressed in skimpy lingerie.
- Even the wedding chapel incorporates a Hollywood theme, offering the bride and groom a red carpet entrance complete with paparazzi and a celebrity interview.
- The pool complex overlooks the Strip and is loaded with cabanas for rent. The North Pool is all-ages while the South Pool is 21-and-over only (and includes a bikini contest every Saturday between Memorial Day and Labor Day with a $500 prize at stake). FlowRider is a small enclosed wave area for surfing or bodyboarding.
- The spa features 25 treatment rooms, including services based on European and Balinese traditions. Make a point to visit the sinus-clearing eucalyptus steam room.
- The Miracle Mile Shops sit conveniently (or inconveniently, depending on your perspective) between the hotel and the self-parking garage. Stretching a little more than a mile, the retail complex sits in a semicircle design with more than 170 stores, 15 restaurants (among them, the Cabo Wabo Cantina featuring the tequila made famous by Sammy Hagar) and a few intimate theaters offering small-scale productions designed for tourists.
- The resort sits on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Harmon (which, unfortunately, doesn’t have a direct exit from Interstate 15). However, the location is incredibly convenient and in the middle of all the action on the Strip – next door to Paris and across the street from CityCenter, the Cosmopolitan, and the Bellagio.
- Formerly known as the Aladdin – famously remembered as the spot where Elvis and Priscilla Presley were married – and rebranded under the Planet Hollywood name. At this point, the resort has little to do with the chain of movie-themed restaurants, although one can be found down the Strip inside the Forum Shops at Caesars.
- Resort fee is $37 and covers internet, local phone calls, and access to the fitness center. Planet Hollywood charges for valet, but self-parking is free since the garage is shared with the Miracle Mile Shops. Dogs are allowed at no extra charge. Just book a pet-friendly room.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Planet Hollywood.
21. Paris Las Vegas
Best Theme Hotel in Las Vegas
One of the most easily identifiable resorts on the Strip, Paris Las Vegas makes the most of its French theme, especially with an impressive half-size replica of the Eiffel Tower, which includes its own restaurant and a 46-story-tall skydeck. The hotel tower itself is modeled after the famous Hotel de Ville in Paris and includes subtle touches like hallway and elevator signs with additional French lettering. A large and busy resort with dining, entertainment, and nightlife, Paris Las Vegas has benefited greatly from recent renovations. It’s also home to Gordon Ramsay Steak, the first and best Las Vegas restaurant from the celebrity chef.
Paris Las Vegas: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.946.7000
- Address: 3655 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: Paris Las Vegas sits in a prime location in the central part of the Strip with gorgeous views of the Bellagio fountains directly across the street. Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, The LINQ, and other prominent attractions are also just a short walk away. Paris connects directly to sister property Bally’s, almost like one large expanded resort.
- Distance from Airport: 11-minute taxi ride will cost $17.
- In-House Restaurants: Gordon Ramsay Steak (stylish steakhouse by the celebrity chef, open from 4:30pm to 10:30pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Martorano’s (Italian by Steve Martorano, famous for meatballs, 4:30-11:30pm), Eiffel Tower Restaurant (great views from inside Eiffel Tower, 11am-midnight), Mon Ami Gabi (classic French with patio seating, 7am-11pm), Hexx (contemporary American with in-house gourmet chocolate program, 6am-midnight), Beer Park (rooftop beer and barbecue, open 11am to 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Burger Brasserie (French spin on burgers, 11am-midnight), Le Village Buffet (7am-10pm), Sekushi (Japanese, open 11am to 1am weekdays, 2am weekends), Yong Kang Street (dumplings and noodles, 10am-3am), Le Cafe Ile St. Louis (coffee and small bites, open 6am to 11pm weekdays, 2am weekends), JJ’s Boulangerie (sandwiches and soups, 7am-2am)
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Elite-level restaurants at the Cosmopolitan (Milos, Jaleo, Beauty & Essex, etc.) Bellagio (Spago, Prime, Lago, etc.) and Caesars Palace (Nobu, Old Homestead, Guy Savoy) are all across the street and only about 10 minutes by foot.
- Casino: Yes. 85,000 square feet of casino space is colorful and high-energy, twisting between bars and elevated platforms with go-go dancers. Walk to the adjacent Bally’s for another full casino of gaming without having to go outside.
- Amenities: Soleil Pool (with scenic location underneath Eiffel Tower and “French Villa” cabanas), two wedding chapels, business center, fitness center, Spa by Mandara, shopping at Bally’s Promenade, which includes upscale French brands.
- Free Parking: No.
Paris Las Vegas: The Details
- Opened in 1999.
- 2,916 rooms, including 295 suites.
- Classic Rooms (390 sq ft) have traditional French-influenced furnishings. Similar size Burgundy Rooms and Red Rooms have been renovated with modern furniture, art, and deeper hues. Remodeled Classic and Elegant Suites (860-1,000 sq ft) have additional living rooms. Some have whirlpool tubs. The Charlemagne Suite (1,000 sq ft) has vibrant purple colors, contemporary furniture, a separate dining area, marble bathrooms and Eiffel Tower views.
- The famous Napoleon Suite (3,400+ sq ft) recreates the era of the French Revolution with a Versailles theme that includes classic red and gold furnishings, long dramatic curtains, a baby grand piano, and three bedrooms. The price starts at $4,000 per night.
- The property stretches across 24 acres with true-to-life replicas of Paris landmarks, including a 50-story version of the Eiffel Tower (exactly half the size of the original) and the Arc de Triomphe. A facade of the Louvre features statues of French historical figures while a Paris Opera House facade faces the casino. The hotel tower itself is modeled after the famous Hotel de Ville.
- The casino is more colorful and vibrant than most in Las Vegas. The 85,000 square feet of gaming space sits underneath 40-foot-ceilings painted to resemble a bright blue sky and is surrounded by images to mimic the street life of Paris – along with a few go-go dancers. A cobblestone path lined with ornate street signs winds through Le Boulevard District – a shopping and dining area that includes Le Village Buffet, which is notable for its must-try crepe station.
- Current entertainment options include raunchy comedy hypnotist Anthony Cools and comedian Jeff Civillico, who mixes stunts with family-friendly comedy.
- Chateau Nightclub has a scenic 10,000 square foot outdoor patio that overlooks the Strip and sits underneath the Eiffel Tower. There’s also an indoor area better suited for club-goers more interested in dancing.
- Gordon Ramsay Steak is the first of what would eventually become five restaurants in Vegas for the British celebrity chef. Further dining highlights include Mon Ami Gabi (for classic French), Martorano’s (Italian by Steve Martorano) Burger Brasserie (a French take on an American burger joint), Hexx (American fare with top-notch desserts made with its own in-house single origin chocolate factory), Beer Park with second-level outdoor views of the Strip, and the Eiffel Tower restaurant (a romantic spot 100 feet above the Strip).
- The meeting and convention space are modeled after the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles with mirrored arches and crystal chandeliers. It includes one of the largest ballrooms on the Strip and offers 140,000 square feet of total space.
- Wedding options include Chapelle du Paradis for up to 100 guests with a cherub and hummingbird theme. Chapelle du Jardin is for smaller garden ceremonies.
- The spa is not quite as large or indulgent as some of the others found on the Strip.
- Paris Las Vegas was heavily marketed toward the gay community during the Great Recession as a way to counteract a drop in tourism. It remains popular with LGBTQ tourists.
- Resort fee is $37 and covers internet, local phone calls, fitness center. The hotel charges for both self-parking and valet. The parking garage is shared with the Bally’s sister-resort next door, although it never seems to be particularly more or less congested than the average garage on the Strip. Two dogs up to 50 lbs. each are welcome with an additional charge of $85 per night plus $100 refundable deposit.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Paris Las Vegas.
22. SLS Las Vegas
Best Hotel on the Las Vegas North Strip
The best hotel in the north end of the Strip is a bit disconnected from most of the action, but is an incredible value in a solid location. Renovated from the old Sahara resort, the SLS Las Vegas feels like a mixture of vintage and modern eras. A change of ownership has brought in even more renovations and the restaurant lineup is strong enough to compete with resorts in busier parts of the Strip.
SLS Las Vegas: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.761.8700
- Address: 2535 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: On the corner of Las Vegas Blvd and Sahara where the Strip ends before merging into Downtown. The SLS is in walking distance to the Stratosphere and close to the Convention Center. It’s also near some rough neighborhoods. Don’t explore without being properly informed beforehand.
- Distance from Airport: 14-minute taxi ride will cost $20.
- In-House Restaurants: Bazaar Meat (adventurous steakhouse by Jose Andres is one of the best in town, open 5:30pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends) Cleo (excellent Greek and Mediterranean, 5-10:30pm) Katsuya (Japanese, 5-10:30pm), 800 Degrees (pizzas made on the spot, 11am-9pm), Umami Burger (with beer garden and in-house sports book, 11am-10pm), Northside Cafe (odd mix of breakfast, comfort food, and Chinese 24-hours), The Perq (coffee, 5am-midnight).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Golden Steer Steakhouse (a Las Vegas classic that’s just a 5-minute walk away), Top of the World (fine dining at the top of the Stratosphere, 10 minute-walk plus elevator ride), the Goodwich (best sandwiches in Vegas, worth the 10-15 walk, but stick to daytime only).
- Casino: Yes. The relatively small 60,000-square-foot casino doesn’t sprawl like others on the Strip and looks great thanks to recent renovations. All sports wagers are kept to in-house betting window at Umami Burger. Nothing else in easy walking distance is better.
- Amenities: Foxtail Pool, two rooftop pools, The Spa, Fitness Studio, FedEx business center, wedding chapel, and limited in-house retail.
- Free Parking: Yes.
SLS Las Vegas: The Details
- Opened in 2014.
- Has 1,615 rooms, including 289-rooms all-suite Grand Tower. Other towers include Story Tower and World Tower, which all utilize a clean modern decor and functionality.
- The 26-floor Grand Tower is formerly The W hotel-within-a-hotel, but has been re-absorbed back into the SLS. It remains the luxury tower at the resort with its own dedicated valet, check-in lobby, and lounge.
- Most Grand Tower rooms are large studios (322-490 sq ft) or one-bedroom suites (632-955 sq ft), with double shower heads, new carpets, and white colors. The layouts are designed to encourage social interaction with comfortable couches, drinks, and snacks. Nespresso machines are refreshed with new coffee pods daily. Mirrors on the ceiling have a playing card design that’s perfect for taking selfies when lounging in bed. Bluetooth speakers are in both bedrooms and living rooms.
- Story Towers suites (440-675 sq ft) and World Tower suites (540-730 sq ft) are more minimalist yet modern. The most extravagant accomodations were designed by Lenny Kravitz, and come with a rock n’ roll style. They include the World Clyde King Suite (1,075 sq ft) and Grand Designer Suite (1,267 sq ft). The two-level Story Tower penthouse (3,300 sq ft) is the most lavish, with two bedrooms, dining room, living room, and private outdoor patios.
- The parking garage can be accessed from both Las Vegas Boulevard and Paradise Road.
- A convenient hotel for convention and trade show attendees. The Las Vegas Monorail has a stop near the front entrance and is only a two-stop journey to the Las Vegas Convention Center. Hotel is also popular for those who want to be close to Downtown while still staying on the Strip.
- The SLS is on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sahara, within easy walking distance to the 1,149 foot-tall Stratosphere and Circus Circus. The Golden Steer Steakhouse is also nearby – a historic “old school” restaurant that was once a favorite of Frank Sinatra and the Rat Pack.
- Two entertainment venues include the Sayers Club (intimate with comfortable leather sofas) and the Foundry, which hosts larger music and comedy events for up to 1,800 people.
- Foxtail, the main resort pool, is on the ground level by the casino. It’s surrounded by cabanas with a “floating” bar at the center of the pool. Its dayclub image has relaxed considerably over time. The SLS also has two rooftop pools: the Grand Pool and Retro Pool Lounge.
- The fitness center in the Story Tower is available to all guests. The Fitness Studio, with a chic design based on music and fashion, is exclusive to Grand Tower guests. It’s open 24 hours to help accommodate business travelers.
- The SLS Spa is located in the Grand Tower. Steam showers in the locker room are a nice touch, along with the candles and scented oils by the entrance. The image is lively, energetic, and vibrant compared to most other spas on the Strip. It shares the 3rd floor with a salon.
- There are 15,000 square feet of meeting space on three floors. Companies and events can buy out the entire Grand Tower, which houses the conference areas.
- The best restaurants at the SLS include Bazaar Meat (an eclectic steakhouse by Jose Andres), Katsuya (Japanese), Cleo (Mediterranean), Umami Burger (with an outdoor beer garden and sports book.)
- Resort fee is $37 and includes WiFi, phone calls and access to the fitness center. The only pets allowed are service animals. Valet and self-parking are free.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: SLS.
23. Golden Nugget
Best Downtown Las Vegas Hotel
The largest and most luxurious resort in the historic downtown area of Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget sits alongside the tourist-driven Fremont Street Experience and is within easy walking distance to bars, restaurants, shops, and attractions. Notable for a variety of room options between four different towers and a popular pool area, which includes a shark tank with a water slide that passes through it. A historic hotel and casino that’s been associated with the neon marquees of downtown for more than 70 years – with famous “Vegas Vic” just outside. Winner of the AAA Four Diamond Award each year since 1977.
Golden Nugget: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.385.7111
- Address: 129 E. Fremont St.
- Location: The Golden Nugget sits on the southwest end of the Fremont Street Experience, perfectly located to take advantage of the most tourist-driven part of Downtown. An Uber or Taxi ride to the Strip is about 10 minutes.
- Distance from Airport: 19-minute taxi ride will cost $33.
- In-House Restaurants: Vic & Anthony’s (steakhouse, 5-11pm), Chart House (seafood with large aquarium, open 11am to midnight weekdays, 1am weekends), Grotto (Italian with pizza oven, open 11:30am to midnight weekdays, 1am weekends), Lillie’s (Chinese & Japanese, 5pm-midnight), Red Sushi (open 4pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends) Cadillac (Mexican with strong tequila selection, open until 11pm weekdays, midnight weekends), Claim Jumper (24-hour casual American), The Buffet (7am-10pm), The Grille (quick bites near the casino, open 7am to midnight weekdays, 4am weekends), Starbucks at Carson Tower (open 5am to 4pm weekdays, 8pm weekends), Starbucks on Fremont Street (5am-midnight weekdays, 24-hours weekends)
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Oscar’s Steakhouse (with plenty of Old Vegas charm is just a quick 5-minute walk to the Plaza), Pizza Rock (on 3rd St. and Ogden is about 10 minutes by foot, best pizza in Vegas), and Carson Kitchen is about a 15-minute walk east (best casual restaurant in Downtown).
- Casino: Yes. Casino space twists and turns throughout the lobby and is commonly crowded. Plenty of alternatives are nearby, including the gaming areas at Binions, the Golden Gate, and other Fremont Street destinations. Your best bet is El Cortez (about a 15-minute walk east), which has the most player-friendly gaming in the Downtown area.
- Amenities: Pool (includes waterslide through the shark tank, adults-only area, and two levels of cabanas), spa and saloon, fitness center, business center, small retail area.
- Kitchens: Refrigerators are furnished in all Rush Tower Gold Club Rooms and some suites. One can be delivered to any room for a daily charge of $33.90.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Whirlpool tubs in two-level spa suites.
- Free Parking: Yes (for hotel guests with validation).
Golden Nugget: The Details
- Opened in 1946.
- 2,419 rooms, including 175 luxury suites and nine penthouses spread across four hotel towers.
- The Carson Tower is the most economical and is popular for families with kids. Rooms are very basic. Gold Tower tower rooms are a step up and have a more contemporary style, including granite counters in the bathrooms. The Rush Tower is the newest tower with larger rooms and views that can include Strip, mountain, or pool views. The Spa Tower is the most secluded (and where the spa is found, hence the name). It features spacious elegant two-level 1,200 sq ft suites with elegant staircases and whirlpool tubs that overlook the lower level.
- Has seen several ownership changes over its seven decades, including notable Vegas figures like Jackie Gaughan, Kirk Kerkorian, and Steve Wynn who opened its first tower in 1977 and expanded its identity as an upscale resort. The property was bought by its current owner, the Houston-based Landry’s corporation, in 2005.
- Landry’s has invested more than $300 million in ongoing renovations since the purchase. Much of the gold imagery favored by Steve Wynn has been toned down, replaced by silver tones in some of the room and lobby furnishings.
- Restaurants include Landry’s-owned concepts like Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse, Chart House (with a 75,000-gallon aquarium), Grotto for Italian, Red Sushi, Cadillac Mexican & Tequila Bar, and Claim Jumper (which handles in-room dining as well.) Starbucks has an outdoor patio on Fremont Street.
- Bars include Troy Liquor Bar (nightclub with dance floor and balcony overlooking Fremont Street), Rush Lounge in the center of the casino, and H2O, an outdoor poolside lounge.
- The pool area is popular with both guests and locals. At the center is The Tank, a 200,000-gallon water tank filled with sharks and other exotic fish with an enclosed water slide that passes through the middle. There are also two levels of cabanas and the adults-only Hideaway pool (designed as a quiet retreat and not a place where going topless is allowed).
- The Golden Nugget Spa has a $20 fee and has seen recent upgrades and renovations, featuring herbal steam rooms, saunas, and body treatments. There’s also a full-service hair and nail salon.
- The Golden Nugget Casino features more than 1,400 slot machines, tables games, and sports book. Poker was gone for nearly 18 years before returning in 2004. Since then, the poker room was given an upgrade with 13 smoke-free tables in a plush semi-enclosed room. There are also high-limit gaming areas.
- Meeting space includes conference rooms and ballrooms. The Tank by the pool can be rented for private parties or events. Wedding packages are available and take place at the chapel, outdoor balcony at Gold Diggers, or poolside.
- Ballrooms are also used for concerts by national touring acts (especially classic rock bands), and for annual whiskey, wine, and beer festivals.
- Retail shops include d’Ono jewelry and watches, high-end apparel by Nineteen Forty-Six boutique, and sweet treats by Chocolate Box.
- The Golden Nugget paid more than a million dollars for the largest gold nugget currently in existence. The 61-pound “Hand of Faith” is on display in the hotel lobby.
- Casino doors open directly to the Fremont Street Experience, a five-block pedestrian mall that’s closed to traffic. It sits underneath a canopy equipped with 12 million LED lights and expansive sound-system that plays themed shows on the Viva Vision overhead video screens – usually once an hour during evenings. The area is famous for its parade of neon marquees, costumed street performers, souvenir shops, bars, and restaurants like the notoriously shame-free Heart Attack Grill. Historic casinos nearby include the Plaza, California, El Cortez, Fremont, Binions, Downtown Grand (formerly Lady Luck) and The D (formerly Fitzgeralds and Sundance.)
- The famous smoking neon cowboy known as “Vegas Vic” can be seen just outside the hotel on Fremont Street. It was restored in 1998, although its hat was trimmed down to fit under the Fremont Street canopy.
- Dogs are allowed for $60 upcharge (and $100 deposit) per night. Resort fee is $32 and covers fitness center access, in-room internet, bottled water, complimentary parking, newspaper and coupons. Validated parking and valet service is available for guests.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Golden Nugget.
24. The Mirage
Best Entertainment Hotel in Las Vegas
Known as the property that kicked off the “megaresort” era on the Strip, the Mirage has plenty of style and attractions, along with a bit of kitsch due to its tropical theme. The erupting volcano in front of the resort is an iconic Las Vegas image. Designed by Steve Wynn and eventually falling under the ownership of MGM Resorts, the Mirage is home to a number of long-running shows, including The Beatles LOVE, a Cirque du Soleil production featuring music and imagery from the groundbreaking pop group.
Mirage: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.791.7111
- Address: 3400 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The Mirage has a prime spot in the mid-to-north end of the Strip, with an overpass walkway to the Venetian and Palazzo on the other side of Las Vegas Boulevard. A free tram travels between the property and next-door Treasure Island. The Wynn, Forum Shops at Caesars, and Fashion Show Mall are also nearby and in easy walking distance.
- Distance from Airport: 16-minute taxi ride will cost $25.
- In-House Restaurants: Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak (great steaks on wood-fired grill, open 5pm to 9pm weekdays, 10pm weekends), Osteria Costa (Italian, open 5pm to 9pm weekdays, 10pm weekends), Otoro (Japanese with robata grill, open 5pm to 9pm weekdays, 10pm weekends), Stack (steaks, burgers, and seafood, open 5pm to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Pantry (24-hour breakfast and comfort food), The Still (sports bar with lots of TVs, open until midnight), Carnegie Delicatessen (New York-style deli, 8am-11pm), LVB Burger & Bar (great gourmet burgers, open 11am to midnight weekdays, 2am on weekends), California Pizza Kitchen (open 11am to midnight weekdays, 1am on weekends), Cravings (buffet with 11 carving stations, open until 9pm), Starbucks (5:30am-1am), Roasted Bean (coffee and pastries, open 5:30am to 8pm weekdays, 10pm weekends), Blizz (frozen yogurt, open 8am to 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends).
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Talk a 10-minute week across the street to Yardbird at the Venetian (best fried chicken in Vegas). It also takes about 10 minutes to reach Once (Asian-Peruvian) at the Palazzo or S.W. Steakhouse, Lakeside, Cipriani, Mizumi, or any of the other great restaurants at the Wynn.
- Casino: Yes. The 100,000 square foot casino is full of energy, serving as the central hub of the hotel floor.
- Amenities: Mirage Pool (includes waterfalls and lagoons in tropical setting), spa and salon, fitness center, small shopping mall.
- Kitchens: Suites have refrigerators. Lanais and villas have expanded wet bar areas with fully stocked refrigerators.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Lanais and villas have their own dipping pools.
- Free Parking: No.
Mirage: The Details
- Opened in 1989.
- 3,044 guest rooms, including 281 suites.
- Hotel is a single tower with “arms” of hallways that extend from the center. Basic rooms are 394 sq ft and include iHome dock for iPods, blackout shades, desk, mini bar, and large flat screen HDTV. Bathrooms are on the small side. Suites are 1,251 sq ft to 1,628 sq ft with magnificent views and a separate living room. Ground floor villas range from one-bedroom (1,650 sq ft) to three bedrooms (8,554 sq ft) with a private backyard and dipping pool.
- The Mirage lobby includes a towering dome atrium that’s 80 feet high with palm trees, about 700 bromeliads, and other plants. A 53-by-8 foot aquarium with 20,000 gallons of saltwater near the front desk features vibrant artificial coral and nearly 1,000 forms of sea life, including sharks, stingrays, and porcupine fish.
- An extravagant show known simply as the Volcano is free to those gathered on the Strip in front of the resort (8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Sunday-Thursday with an additional show at 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday). The spectacle features flames and fireballs set to music, climaxing with an eruption 60 feet into the air.
- Entertainment is a big draw here, with residencies by Terry Fator (singer and ventriloquist who won America’s Got Talent in 2007), multi-platinum R&B group Boyz II Men, and The Beatles LOVE, one of the most popular and acclaimed productions in the history of Cirque du Soleil. It features the music of the iconic group (remixed by longtime producer George Martin), accompanied by dancers and stunt performers in a custom 2,000 seat theater. It’s also the reason the Mirage has the only retail shop in the world devoted exclusively to merchandise officially licensed by the Beatles. The Aces of Comedy series features big names like Jay Leno, Ray Romano, and David Spade performing in the Terry Fator Theater.
- IOAK is a 16,000 sq ft nightclub, based on the original in Los Angeles and sharing its affection for celebrity guest appearances.
- Swimming pools are all saltwater and surrounded by tropical-style foliage and waterfalls. Bare Lounge consists of two adults-only dipping pools where topless sunbathing is allowed.
- The restaurants tend to be on the surrounding outskirts of the 100,000 sq ft casino floor. Dining highlights include Tom Colicchio’s Heritage Steak, the adventurous LVB Burgers & Bar, The Still sports bar, and Osteria Costa for Italian. Cravings buffet has 11 carving stations.
- Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat includes white tiger and lion cubs as well as a pool of bottlenose dolphins.
- The Spa & Salon features a wide variety of rejuvenation treatments, including yoga classes poolside and “among the dolphins” in an underwater viewing area.
- The Mirage shares a free shuttle train with the Treasure Island resort next door.
- Resort fee is $37 and includes internet, calls, and fitness center access. A fee is charged for parking and valet. Self-parking is free for certain members of the M Life rewards program through MGM Resorts.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Mirage.
25. Luxor Las Vegas
Best Gimmick Hotel in Las Vegas
A spectacle of architecture and design, the Luxor goes all-in with its elaborate Egyptian theme. A holdover from an era where properties were defined by gimmicks, the hotel’s main tower is a massive black pyramid, shooting a powerful beam of light from the top that can be seen for miles at night. It’s possibly the most unique and distinct part of the Las Vegas skyline. The pyramid has an open layout inside, with rooms kept to the edges and hallways that look down on the center floor. Egyptian features are everywhere, including outdoors where a replica of the Sphinx sits facing Las Vegas Boulevard.
Luxor: The Basics
- Hotel Phone: 702.262.4000
- Address: 3900 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
- Location: The Luxor has a convenient located toward the south end of the Strip, sandwiched between Mandalay Bay/Delano/Four Seasons and the Excalibur. Free shuttle train between these resorts makes it easy to reach T-Mobile Arena, CityCenter, MGM Grand and other mid-Strip attractions. The Shoppes at Mandalay Place are within an elevated pedestrian walkway connecting Luxor and Mandalay Bay.
- Distance from Airport: 8-minute taxi ride will cost $16.
- In-House Restaurants: Tender (steakhouse, 5-10pm), Public House (sports bar, open until 10pm weekdays, 11pm weekends), Rice & Company (sushi and noodles, 5-10pm), The Buffet at Luxor (7am-10pm), Pyramid Cafe (casual breakfast and lunch, 7am to 1pm weekdays, 2pm weekends), Backstage Deli (round-the-clock New York-style deli with sandwiches), Starbucks Cafe (coffee and snacks 24-hours), Blizz (frozen yogurt, 7am-10 weekdays, midnight weekends), Luxor Food Court (Johnny Rockets burgers, Bonanno’s Pizzeria, L.A. Subs, Nathan’s Famous Hotdogs, Original Chicken Tender, all open 6am to midnight)
- Best Nearby Restaurants: Ri Ra Irish Pub (authentic Irish bar food and breakfast in adjacent Shoppes at Mandalay Place), Rivea (10-minute walk, mix of French and Italian by Alain Ducasse with 64th-floor views at Delano).
- Casino: Yes. 120,000-square-foot casino covers the main floor, but is a little dark. Take pedestrian walkway to Mandalay Bay for a more vibrant and brighter gaming experience.
- Amenities: Large outdoor pool deck with cabanas, Nurture Spa & Salon, wedding chapel, Shoppes at Mandalay Place.
- Kitchens: Penthouse suites have kitchen with refrigerator, premier suites have refrigerator in wet bar.
- Private Pool/Private Jacuzzi: Ask about “Spa Suites” which are Pyramid Suites with elevated jetted tubs underneath the bedroom window. They’re more of a retro throwback than a luxury element.
- Free Parking: No.
Luxor: The Details
- Opened in 1993.
- The Luxor has 4,400 rooms, including 487 suites. The main tower of the jet black resort is a massive pyramid (where the elevators travel at a barely-noticeable sloping angle) and two additional 22-story conventional towers, which some guests prefer due to the newer rooms and straight up-and-down elevators.
- Pyramid Rooms are the most basic (420 sq ft) with “premium” rooms having slight furnishing upgrades. Tower Premium Rooms (449 sq ft) are the least expensive in the vertical towers and included an expanded armoire. Tower Elite Rooms are a similar size, but include a wet bar. Pyramid Suites (up to 770 sq ft) and Tower Suites (up to 780 sq ft) have an extra room and soaking tub. In addition to a living room, Tower Premiere Suites (up to 1,050 sq ft) also have a breakfast nook and nicer bathrooms. The two-bedroom penthouse suite spans 3,000 square feet with open floor plan, two dining rooms and views through floor-to-ceiling windows. It may include a pool table.
- Most rooms serve their purpose, with the prime Strip location and Egyptian theme being the main draw. Rooms along the exterior of the main structure have angled windows that line up with the pyramid shape, offering great views with unique paneled curtains. The furniture is routine but a few interesting surprises show up here and there, like a bathtub with a window view in some of the bedrooms. Beds are comfortable and by far the best part of the furnishings.
- The non-pyramid Tower Luxury Suites have floor-to-ceiling windows and a more contemporary feel. The towers rooms have only gotten better with recent upgrades, making them a great value on the Strip and a better choice over the more kitschy, dated pyramid options.
- Design elements are elegantly crafted and include statues, obelisks, and a recreation of the Great Sphinx of Giza that sits near the front entrance by Las Vegas Boulevard – it’s a glossy replica with the nose intact (unlike the original).
- The strongest beam of light in the world shoots from the top of the pyramid tower nightly, although it now shuts off during early morning hours as an energy-saving measure. The distinctive light is usually the first element of Vegas someone would notice while driving in from Southern California at night.
- The Luxor’s restaurants lack the buzz found with those in some other Strip resorts, but Tender steakhouse is an underrated gem, featuring unconventional cuts of meat (like boar and elk) and an amazing burger topped with shrimp. Rice & Company offers sushi and other Asian cuisine, and Public House is a beer-oriented sports bar. There’s Starbucks for everyone, with three locations on property.
- The casino features more than 120,000 square feet of gaming, with more than a thousand slot machines and video poker/keno machines. In addition to blackjack, craps, and poker, there’s also mini-baccarat and pai gow. Complimentary blackjack, craps and roulette lesson are offered at noon every day.
- The five-acre pool area has four pools, a few whirlpools, and more than 20 private cabanas. “Temptation Sundays” is a longtime weekly pool party geared towards the gay market with $10 entry for hotel guests and $20 for everyone else.
- Two French-themed wedding chapels are on the property; one for up to 60 guests and another for up to 100 guests. There’s also a spa for massage and beauty treatments and a fitness center.
- The entertainment lineup is loaded with Criss Angel’s Mindfreak Live!, Blue Man Group, Carrot Top, and Fantasy (one of the better adult cabaret shows on the Strip with live singing.) “Bodies: The Exhibition” features displays dedicated to the human body (and can be graphic for those not informed about it in advance) while “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” exceeds all expectations with a dedicated staff, compelling designs, and the largest piece of the doomed ocean liner’s hull ever recovered.
- Luxor is an easy walk to the Camelot-themed Excalibur resort on one side, and Mandalay Bay on the other side (with the Shoppes at Mandalay Place in between). All three resorts are connected by a free shuttle train, making it easier to get to the MGM Grand, T-Mobile Arena, and other prime destinations in the center of the Strip.
- The resort charges for both self-parking and valet services (although free self-parking is available for certain levels of the MGM Resorts M Life rewards program). Dogs are allowed and the only pets allowed on property. All rooms are non-smoking. The nightly resort fee is $35 per night and includes internet, phone calls, and fitness center access.
- How to Book: Booking.com will usually have the best rates: Luxor.
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