Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Best Hotels on Strip

* High Priced

1. Venetian/Palazzo
- Neat, split level rooms. Some of the nicest hotel rooms in Vegas for the price. Great shops, nice pool, vast array of restaurants, nice casino, one of the top sportsbook. Never been to Palazzo but noted bc it is affiliated with Venetian and has received rave reviews since it’s 1/08 opening.

2. Wynn
-I used to be down on the Wynn until I gave the hotel a second chance. Now I'm hooked. Make sure you request a strip view as that made all the difference in the world. The restaurants and bars are fantastic here. The service throughout the casino is even better. Even the bufet is fantastic. Overall, this is my favorite hotel in the city.

3. Bellagio
- Nice, upscale shops, great restaurants, beautiful casino. Nice pool. Fantastic Service.

3. TheHotel at Mandalay Bay
- See review of MB below. This is the more upscale section. If you've got $$ to spend, check out the suites. They are amazing.

4. Four Seasons
-Next door to Mandalay Bay. Gorgeous hotel, impeccable service, but very $$. If you want seclusion and luxury, this is your place. No casino, but it's connected to Mandalay. My favorite thing about Four Seasons is the pool. So relaxing and such wonderful service (love the passed fruit and cold cucumbers!)

5. Encore
-I have yet to stay here, but if it's anything like Wynn, it's the way to go.

* Mid Range

1. Mirage
- Perfect central location. Fantastic pool, great bars/lounges, decent rooms, seems to be drawing a younger crowd lately. Had a recent renovation and the rooms are much more hip than the previous rooms.

2. Caesars Palace
- Perfect central location. Still considered one of the more upscale hotels, but comes at a cheaper price than Venetian and Bellagio. Great shopping, great restaurants, nice pool. Ask for the newer tower.

3. Paris
- Perfect central location, fantastic restaurants.

4. Mandalay Bay
- Some will disagree on this one, but I love MB because it has the best restaurants and best nightlife of any hotel on the strip IMO. Rooms are nice, decent shopping, nice sportsbook, great casino, and one of the most popular pools in town (lots of kids though)

5. Planet Hollywood
- A new casino designed to be more hip than the former Aladdin, fantastic mall/shops, lots of restaurants, lots of bars/lounges. I’ve heard the new club is good but I’ve never been. Rooms are decent. For the price, it’s worth it. Check priceline—it’s a frequently discounted hotel.

6. Treasure Island
- Nothing special, other than a great location. Some decent restaurants and clubs. Pretty good casino. Overall a good choice, especially if you get a good rate.

* Cheaper

1. Bill’s Gambling Hall
- looks like a hole in the wall, but it’s actually a decent place to stay with a perfect location.

2. Bally’s
- Older than most hotels on strip, but perfect location

3. Harrahs
- This is a good deal and great location, but only if the price is right. The rooms are much smaller than most on the strip, in my experience. Check out the Carnaval Court—an outdoor bar with flare bartenders, a band, and a dance floor area connected to the hotel.

Runners up: MGM (nice, but not the most central location), NYNY (across from MGM, tons of kids), Luxor (too far south and nothing special, but decent pool).

* Best Hotels Downtown (about 2-3 miles from central strip, about $15 cab ride)

1. Golden Nugget
- This is a 4-5* hotel, touted as one of the nicest in Vegas. Not the best location if it’s your first time in Vegas or you want to be near the strip. If you want to stay downtown, it’s your best bet. Newly renovated, multi million dollar pool with shark tank and water slides. It’s amazing.

2. Main Street Station
- One of the only other downtown hotels I would recommend. Nice, clean and has some great restaurants. Like I mentioned for Golden Nugget, recognize that this is downtown, not on the strip.

* Best off-strip Hotels

1. Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa
- About a 30 minute drive from the strip but perfect if you want a casino but want away from the hustle and bustle. One of my favorite shopping areas in Vegas/Henderson—an outdoor mall with shops and restaurants. Great restaurants, really nice casino, fun bars/lounges, nice spa. Shuttle to strip, but it’s rumored not to be very reliable. If you don’t rent a car and they won’t offer you an airport shuttle, it may not be worth it to stay here—taxi will be at least $30 each way.

2. Lake Las Vegas (MonteLago, Ritz, Loews)
- About an hour drive from central strip but again, perfect if you want casino but away from action. On Lake Las Vegas, but the only swimming that I'm aware of is at Loews. Beautiful location. Of the three, the Montelago is the best price and has the most to do. Lots of little outdoor shops, outdoor concerts on the water, wine tasting, etc.

3. Red Rock Resort
- About a 30 minute drive from the strip, close to Red Rock National Park. Awesome pool, great restaurants, fun bars/lounges/clubs. I hear they are adding on and the construction is LOUD, so if you are going in the near future, keep that in mind. Same with Green Valley Ranch—no car may be a problem.

4. Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
- Very young, hip crowd. Awesome pool, but can get absolutely crazy on Sundays during the summer when they hold their epic “Rehab” event. Fun bars/clubs. Decent rooms with actual balconies (rare in Vegas). Wide range of restaurants, from expensive to very reasonable/cheap. Not close enough to the strip to walk, and taking a taxi back and forth may cost you!

5. Palms
- Similar to the Hard Rock but bigger. More restaurants, but most are pretty pricey. Crappy buffet, so be forewarned. Nice rooms, really young and crazy crowd. Known for it’s clubs. Great pool. Like Hard Rock, they have a big pool party on Fridays (Ditch Fridays), so it can get pretty crazy.

6. Rio
- Nothing special. The first “all-suite” hotel in Vegas, so the rooms are pretty spacious. Great restaurants. Love the wine cellar. Otherwise, there isn’t much to see and do. It’s directly across from the Palms, so if you want the Palms nightlife for a cheaper price, stay at the Rio. Famous for their seafood buffet—pricey, but darn good.

7. JW Marriott-Summerlin
- Gorgeous rooms, gorgeous pool, not much other than that. Consistently one of the highest rated hotels in town, but there isn’t much to do other than spa and pool. Nearby shopping, located in one of the nicer Vegas communities.

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