Which Vegas Hotel is Better for Your Needs and Preferences? For a quick list of comparisons, go to our 2nd menu (the one on the left of the page or at the bottom if you are reading through a small device). We hope we can help you choose the best hotel for you. Here let’s briefly clarify the types of hotels in Vegas:
Which Vegas Hotel is best for you among Upscale Vegas Hotels and choices? If money is not an issue and you want the very best luxury from your Las Vegas hotel choice, then of course you will probably narrow it down to (not in any order) Encore/Wynn, Venetian/Palazzo, Bellagio, Mandarin Oriental and the Four Seasons. For some, Delano may be a good option too. Out of these 4 choices, Encore, Palazzo and Bellagio will give classical luxury, second to none and, often you may even find a great hotel deal well worth the 5-diamond hotel experience you will enjoy. Venetian/Palazzo has the best casino for slot play out of these choices, followed by Wynn/Encore; Mandarin and Four Seasons don’t have casinos, of course. Bellagio is great for everything, from dining to customer service to its spa and its really great gym (the best, probably); the only downfall is if you want to enjoy penny-slots (perhaps going max-bet all the time, if money is not object), because Bellagio has really too few of those, unfortunately.
But, Bellagio still excels in top restaurants, the best buffet in Vegas, the best hotel lounge, the best gym, the best customer service, and so on. Four Season is a fantastic choice if you don’t care about being mid-Strip and just want sheer pampering and be a little out of the Vegas crowds (though Mandalay Bay is getting noisier by the week, with their shift in target niche). Mandarin Oriental is the new, chic and modern yet reminiscent of old Asian style and decor. As per rooms, some of my favorites are at the Encore: ultra comfortable, very spacious, higher-end finishing, fabulous channels; you feel as if you were in your own high end apartment (except for the lack of kitchen, of course). I love the huge, wrap-around sitting area at the Encore suites.
If you want to go for ‘ultra-modern’ you may consider Aria or Cosmopolitan: they are both great in different ways, although the level-entry rooms of Aria (for example), are not soundproofed as much as I expect from a 5 star hotel.
Which Vegas Hotel is best if you seek Mid-Range but still Excellent? Mandalay Bay (great pool area, great rooms, a good casino, but the location is lacking and so are your dining options); Caesar’s Palace (excellent gym, some of the largest regular rooms with 2 bathrooms – at least in the Palace Tower, since the remodeled Julius Tower seems to mainly offer tiny rooms); Mirage (great location, excellent pool area – especially if you secure a seat by the waterfalls – good gym, great casino, great dining options inside and all around, good rooms but for the lack of a foyer area; very comfortable beds). There are many other mid range resorts and this is where you need to do your most research because not all of them offer top-class service or everything you may require. Our sub-section under ‘Which Las Vegas Hotels?’ (on the menu) cross-checks a large number of mid range resorts, as well as the cheaper ones.
Which Vegas Hotel is best if you are on a tight budget? You will still have great options:
If you are on a tight budget and don’t mind being slightly off-Strip (but well connected to the Strip via free shuttle services), Gold Coast and The Orleans are always a great cheap choice; other fantastic choices are downtown (such as the great value El Cortez and the unique Main Street Station), though downtown is connected to the Strip not by free shuttles by 2 bus services, one being the ‘Express Bus’ (the Downtown and Strip Express bus, excellent and modern) and the other being the very slow, stopping-everywhere 24/hour Deuce. Gold Coast is among our favorite in terms of value-resorts in Vegas, offering a great free shuttle service to mid-Strip. We love its proximity to the delicious Palms buffet; we also love the fact that its gym – basic but ‘good enough – closes at 10pm (though it’s not as good as the 24-hours gyms in the remodeled yet cheap downtown hotels, nor as good as the 24-hour gym at the cheap Hooters in South Strip); we also like its casino (a favorite among locals), though we think it does not offer much for playing for visitors (it’s locals-oriented in our opinion). Main Street Station (hotel and casino) is just a gem to be enjoyed, visually; a piece of beautiful history not to be missed, even if just passing-by. Moreover, Main Street station buffet is where you may end up on the expensive week-ends, since their buffet is amongs the cheapest (though that great in terms of quality) in Las Vegas.
The Plaza Hotel and Casino in downtown Vegas these days, having been completely remodeled, offers fantastic value for money. Modern rooms, a modern casino, a good food court area, cafes, a fantastic 24-hour gym and a decent sunny pool on the 5th floor. Highly recommended and probably the cheapest of the still-very good hotels in Vegas during the weekend. Their pool has salt water, so that makes for a great alternative, and much healthier too. If you want to spend a few more dollars and stay downtown the Golden Nugget (in the middle of the action on Fremont Street yet with beautiful auxiliary exits on the other sides) offers enough elegance well worthy of a higher-class hotel, eat least in the public areas; having said this, it has lately plummeted in quality (some rooms are just not good enough) despite the remodeling and, probably what I would describe as an identity crisis (is it modern, is it low-budget, is it classical, is it reminiscent of historic Vegas? We just can’t figure it out).
If you are on a budget and you still want a decent pool and a gym Gold Coast is probably a safe bet.
Affordable Strip Resorts. Some of the cheap Vegas hotels are lacking in decent amenities; if you don’t mind the noise of Excalibur, this would be the best choice if you value a great pool area and a great gym, whilst enjoying a fun casino and of course being on the Strip (albeit South-side). On the other side of the Strip, Circus Circus is offering some inexpensive rooms, pleasantly remodeled (still in a budget style, but we did not mind staying there, provided you don’t opt for the motel-style rooms, at the bottom of their price range). In a more popular area of the Strip, there’s Linq’: its proximity to the Ferris Wheel (or, as it’s called here, the ‘High-Roller’), has been an excuse to increase prices; the location remains a good one, on the Northern part of the ‘mid’ strip (near Mirage, TI and Venetian, but also close enough to Caesars, though not so close to the Vegas City Center where the beautiful, modern Aria stands).
The Monorail issue: is it prudent to choose a hotel based its proximity to the Monorail? The Monorail in Vegas is certaintly the fastest way to go from place to place once you are actually on the train. However, getting to a Monorail station is quite a different matter. Therefore, besides that fact that you need to work out, according to your itinerary and your chosen set of activities once you are in Vegas, whether you will be using the Monorail a lot or not, I suggest you bear in mind a few things:
– all Strip hotels with a monorail connection, which in theory is inside or next to the resort, are a significant distance away from the actual monorail station. You are looking at walking for about 10 to 15 minutes from your hotel room (from your hotel room to the monorail station on the strip, no matter which hotel). Even Las Vegas hotel (former Las Vegas Hilton), which has a very close monorail station, has some sort of a short maze from and to the actual hotel entrance, though still the shortest and most practical distance to and from the monorail.
– Staying at the Westgate (former LV Hotel and LV Hilton), when you need to be on the Strip all the time or most of the time, is not going to be worth it just on the base of its Monorail proximity; you may be better off stay at MGM Grand or even somewhere mid-Strip (connected to the monorail if you need to) and make the Strip your base, than having to stay off Strip all the time, especially at a place like Westgate, where you simply can’t even enjoy a decent buffet or pool area at the resort, and where I have yet to find a good restaurant despite the high prices.
In order to properly determine which Vegas hotel is best for your trip, you can also check our section titled ‘Best of ..‘ (top menu): it highlights each feature facility (best pools, best gyms, best spas, etc) so you can choose which resorts provides what you are really looking for. If you want to make the best of your trip, knowing which resort or hotel is going to be best for you will help a lot. If, during my first few visits in Vegas, I had known what I know now, I would have saved the money I spent in totally unsuitable hotels.
First of all, you need to decide if you want to opt for the most expensive resorts (and of course find a great hotel deal on a great room or suite) or if you are going to save money on accommodations and splash out, perhaps on other things, such as shopping, excursions, shows or just casino gambling. We have therefore divided our tips according to your chosen budget.