These days deciding which area of Vegas is best for a break or a longer holiday is challenging, mostly because of the many new or remodeled resorts in so many different areas. So, which location is better for your needs?
Both the Strip and downtown can be extremely lively, loud, noisy and cheerful. However, the most popular Vegas clubs are, at present, mostly on the Strip. If you don’t want to take a cab to a club you could choose the resort which has the club you want to go to; otherwise, you are most likely going to take a taxi, which means that the difference between a hotel downtown or on the Strip is minimal, financially speaking.
The majority of the high-end resorts are on the Strip as well as in some off the Strip areas, quite far away, such as the M Resort. Downtown is mostly where you can find excellent value resorts, newly remodeled, such as Plaza. Golden Nugget is the most famous resort in downtown Vegas, where customer service used to be excellent (less so since the remodeling) and they enjoy fierce loyalty from its guests and casino visitors; its ground floor pool area is now ‘hip’ and fun for everybody but – I think – too small and too crowded, besides being only marginally exposed to the sun.
Some of you will want to go downtown anyway to witness the famous ‘Fremont Experience‘. It’s certainly a must-see if only to see a piece of history; some hotels and casino maintain the character of ‘old Vegas‘ in a truly magnificent way, especially Main Street and part of El Cortez (but there are more!). But the downside, in our opinion, are the cheap shops scattered along Fremont Street; if you want a tacky souvenir, this is where you come; if you don’t, you’ll have to tolerate it. Here you will also ‘enjoy’ a large number of street performers (well, people dressed up in costumes, some of them very unhappy if visitors don’t pay for photographs) and, lately, live bands of varied skill. The live bands, mostly during busy seasons or during weekends, are extremely loud; you are advised to bring ear plugs if you have delicate hearing.
Let’s go back to the Strip vs Downtown Vegas. In brief, if you want to enjoy a great pool, being steps away from a popular nightclub, and don’t mind the loud, busy, ‘wild’ weekend crowds, then the Strip is for you. If you can go out of your resort, get a cab (or rent your own car at minimal expense) and go to the high-end, popular places on the Strip (lounges, clubs, restaurants, buffets), then all that matters is what kinds of facilities a resort offers; for that, we have created a section titled Best of Vegas (one of the sections on our top menu), which hopefully can help you choose the resort most suitable to your needs.
If you want value for your dollars, 24-hour gyms and better casino loyalty programs (in terms of what you get for your gambling), any off-Strip resort will be better for you, from downtown Vegas (Plaza, El Cortez) to higher-end places such as the M Resort, Silverton, to the value resorts such as Gold Coast or the Orleans.
Otherwise, if you are driving (so distance is not a problem for you) and want a great modern peaceful casino to play in, in an excellent, modern, beautiful resort offering better value for your money, then you could consider the likes of M Resort, Red Rock or the smaller but beautiful Silverton.