Weekends and certain holidays can be very expensive in Vegas. If you are on a budget you will probably spend a long time looking for an affordable place. I did, and I settled for a ‘cheap options’ which proved to be a huge mistake. However, there are great options and we’ll talk about them as well on this page.
I like to go for the best deals in Vegas, the best value for money, especially when it comes down to hotels and resorts. I like some luxury but I often opt for a compromise in order to stay for free (comped) or to pay a minimal amount and save the rest of the money for other aspects of my trip.
Because of this, some weekends prove to be extremely expensive, especially those falling on special events taking place in Las Vegas. The type of person I am, it is hard for me to spend three or four hundred dollars for one room when I know I can pay nothing or a tiny amount for the same room just 2 nights later. Thus, when it comes to weekends, I tend to move out of the main Vegas resorts and opt to stay in cheaper options. Sometimes it works out, especially if some of the good but cheap downtown hotels have availability and have not increased their prices too much (thus costing about 50 dollars per room per night, which is a great deal in Vegas during a ‘hot’ weekend). Hotels like El Cortez provide a cheap rate and more than decent accommodation.
Alternatively, off-Strip resorts such as Gold Coast and The Orleans are still affordable during weekends, whilst Strip resort ask prohibitive rates.
If you want to pay even less and you can’t get a comped room, you will probably consider motel-style options off-Strip. If you do, make sure you don’t make a mistake, as I did twice! Always read reviews but never trust forum reviews completely: this because everybody has different standards according to expectations and price paid. If you can:
– always opt for a new place, so that, no matter how basic it is, the carpets, doors and various fixtures and fittings are new. One of the worst experiences is to stay in a room where the carpet is dramatically worn or stained, or where the dirt has never been removed properly and it is now ‘caked in’. You won’t feel comfortable taking your clothes off in an environment like that; the same applies to walls and doors.
– if you are not driving, make sure that its either located close to important amenities to you (such as stores or larger resorts), or that it offers a free shuttle to the ‘better’ areas. This because, if you make a mistake and the place you have booked reveals to be awful, you can at least go out often and enjoy yourself, without the added inconvenience of paying for cab rides (which can be expensive) or struggling with local (= not designed for tourists) buses.
– call the establishment directly and ask questions about the amenities or services that matter to you, such as gym or pool hours, or the type of breakfast served. Many ‘cheap’ motel-type establishments offer breakfast in theory but it’s nothing more than basic or ‘chemical’ coffee and a dry, cheap croissant: not even worth getting up early for.
Among my biggest disappointments was my stay at the Ramada Hotel on 325 E. Flamingo Road. I chose it because it was close to the decent Tuscany Suites and a possible walking distance to mid Strip; moreover, the reviews of the websites I was using (Agoda) were all good to very good and the photos provided were also more than acceptable. I though I was going to stay in a relatively modern, very clean, well equipped, comfortable yet affordable off-Strip hotel: but, after checking in at the beautiful reception area, I realized immediately I was in a cheap, run-down, dirty and depressing motel: awfully old, worn out and stained carpet throughout, odor of booze permeating the corridors, many doors had stains at the bottom as if they had all been kicked repeatedly by a drunk mob. The TV belonged to a past century and both beds (2 queen beds) seemed to cause a terrible itch, to the point that I kept scratching all night for reasons that, to this day, are beyond my comprehension.
Conclusion: depending on your standards and expectations, paying an extra 30 to 40 dollars a night for a Vegas hotel you are familiar with and are confident with, during a weekend, may be the better option after all. Otherwise, opt for the downtown options we listed or for the off-Strip options we listed.