Affordable Strip Hotels: Stratosphere or Luxor?

Very different in some aspects yet comparable in others, which of these two resorts suits you best? The following list will hopefully help you decide:

Both in the mid-price range, and both offering great room deals often, they almost stand on opposite sides of the Vegas Strip; if location is an issue for you, you may want to consider the following:

Luxor is in the South Strip area; you will need to take its free rail shuttle service to go to Excalibur (a very short ride), from which you can walk to MGM Grand and NYNY; you will still be in the South Strip area but from there you can walk, if you are fit and the heat does not bother you (if it’s summer), to the busy and popular mid Strip, where great buffets and great attractions await.

Stratosphere too is not perfectly located, standing on the North side of the Strip; from here it’s not easy to walk all the way to mid Strip. There are new resorts coming up near Circus Circus (which is relatively close to Stratosphere, yet still some distance), but the area around Stratosphere is just not particularly appealing, with the exception of small wedding chapels scattered around (some of them are cute – we have a video depicting this area – it’s the last section of our Vegas Strip video). If you exit the Stratosphere, the surrounding area feels a bit isolated and ‘unkept’; this means that, if it’s your first time, this is not a resort I would recommend. Both the Deuce and the Express buses stop right outside, so you can arguably reach mid Strip easily, but the Deuce can be very slow (it stops everywhere) and overcrowded on peak hours.

If you plan to rent a car, the location issue becomes irrelevant.

Rooms – Both resorts offer remodeled affordable rooms; the Pyramid rooms at Luxor are still not all entirely remodeled and may still feel a bit too ‘closed-in’ (because of the roof slant and the size itself) and unappealing due to their facing the casino directly (the corridors are all directly open onto the casino, there is no wall on one side); however, the Tower rooms at Luxor are large and well appointed. The Stratosphere has spacious remodeled rooms throughout.

Amenities – the pool area at Luxor is very nice but it can be extremely crowded on peak periods; the Stratosphere pool, nicely located on the 8th floor, is perfectly adequate too. Neither resorts have buffets worth visiting unless you have a discount or a 2 for 1 offer (which you may have when booking a room, though bear in mind that those 2 buffets are really not worth going if you are seeking a memorable experience or want particularly good, varied dishes). If you seek a place with an affordable store nearby, Stratosphere can arguably be a better choice since it’s ‘close’ to a Walgreens/CVS/7eleven store (not a nice walk, though), whilst Luxor is in the middle of nowhere once you are outside (and stores inside are ridiculously expensive – we once paid 7 dollars for one bottle of water at a store inside the resort).

Stratosphere offers thrill rides on top of its tower, well worth going if you don’t mind being scared; moreover, its top boasts a good quality restaurant offering great views of Vegas and a good experience overall.

Clubs and bars – neither are at the forefront of the Vegas club/bar scene, but of course they both have bars; Luxor has a nightclub, LAX, which is fairly popular.

Gym: Comparable, good gyms; Luxor’s stays open until 8.30pm (which is already an improvement over some other mid-range resort gyms, some staying open only until 7pm or even earlier!) and Stratosphere offers a 24-hour fitness centre (key-operated). I personally love 24-hour gyms, especially when I am in a place like Vegas, where I may need to walk off the buffets calories.

Casino: we like the variety of slot machines at the Stratosphere casino; Luxor’s is modern but somehow its layout is wanting and the machines are, perhaps, not as varied. If you are on a budget, maybe Stratosphere offers more variety penny slot machines.

Overall we’d say Stratosphere offers more (with the exception of the Luxor LAX club, although if clubbing is your objective you may opt to experience the must-go clubs in Vegas); its location is still far from ideal, though in 2016, with the new Asian-themed resort, things will probably change.

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