Our Recommended Hotels in Las Vegas
In most cities, a hotel is just a place to stay while you see the sights. But in Las Vegas, the hotels ARE the sites. Choosing a hotel is one of the most important decisions you'll make when planning your trip.
Over 41 million people visited Las Vegas in 2014, and 5 million of them were attending a convention. Vegas is, in fact, a big convention destination—they hosted over 22,000 conventions in 2014 alone. When a major convention is in town, you can expect hotel rates to go up.
The Vegas hotel industry is one of the best run in the country. The average occupancy rate of a hotel in the United States is only 64.4%. But in Las Vegas, they average 89.1%. And they still manage to offer room rates well below most major destinations.
On this page we've offered some tips for choosing the right hotel. We've recommended some properties in categories based on price range too, and also the best places to stay if gambling is not your thing. If you want to skip straight to our recommendations, please just click on one of the following categories.
Choosing Your Las Vegas Hotel
The biggest factors involved in choosing your Las Vegas hotel are budget and location. In fact, when working at Hotels.com, those were the two questions we asked to narrow down what to offer our customers.
Those aren't the only factors, though—especially not in Vegas. Here are some questions to answer, that will help you to narrow down your choices.
- What kind of gambling (if any) are you planning to do?
- What type of budget do you have?
- What are you going to do and see?
If you don't gamble, what are you going to Vegas for anyway?
We understand some people aren't interested in the gambling. If that's the case, you might want to focus on hotels which don't have casinos. They're rare, but they're there. Scroll to the last section of this page for some recommendations.
On the other hand, if you like gambling, what kind of games do you like to play? Some hotel casinos offer better games of a certain type than others.
Here are some examples.
If you're looking for the best budget blackjack casino with the lowest house edge, El Cortez is where you want to play. You'll either want to stay there or somewhere near there. You can play in single deck games there with a $5 per hand minimum. The house edge, if you play with perfect basic strategy, is only 0.19% there. They'll be happy to take bigger action, too. They have tables with a $1,000 per hand maximums.
On the other hand, if you're a casino whale and a huge high roller, $1,000 per hand might be too little for you. If that's the case, think about the Palazzo, which offers games with a $20,000 per hand limit. Other options include Aria and the Bellagio, both of which offer tables with a $10,000 per hand limit. The house edge at both properties is only 0.29%.
If you're a craps player, think about the Stratosphere. They allow you to place an odds bet of 10X your pass or don't pass bet. Main Street Station is also an option to consider—they allow 20X odds. The best craps casino in town, though, is the Casino Royale, which offers 100X odds. With those kinds of limits, you're playing as close to an even money game as you'll ever see.
Roulette players should find casinos which offer European roulette, which is distinct from single zero roulette. Not only does the game offer a wheel with only one zero, it also offers half losses on all even money bets. The house edge for a standard roulette wheel is 5.26%. On a single zero roulette game, it's 2.7%. The house edge on the even money bets on a European wheel is only 1.35%.
Casinos offering European roulette include Aria, Bellagio, Mirage, and Wynn. If you want to play the European roulette games, be prepared to play for a minimum of $100 per spin. These games are found only in the high limit rooms. If you're a budget roulette player, you'll be stuck with the standard American games, but you can find those at any casino in the city.
If you're a sports bettor, you might be more interested in which casinos have books with relatively high comp rebates. The Westgate Las Vegas Resort and Casino offers the best rebates in town on sports bets: 0.45%. Other properties offer nothing, 0.2%, or 0.25%.
Video poker players are looking for the best odds, too. Depending on their preferred game and stakes, they have a wide range of hotels and casinos to choose from. A surprisingly large number of casinos offer full pay Deuce Wild, which has a 100.76% payback percentage if you play perfectly. But one hotel has the best odds in town for video poker players - El Cortez.
They offer a "Downtown Deuces Wild" game which has a 100.92% payback percentage when played correctly. Other properties offering full pay Deuces Wild games include Aliante, Boulder Station, Fiesta Henderson, Fiesta Rancho, Palace Station, Santa Fe Station, and Texas Station.
Full pay Jacks or Better is also available at many casinos. That game has a payback percentage of 99.54%. Some gamblers prefer it in spite of the lower edge. Some of the better hotels and casinos where you can find full pay (or "9/6") Jacks or Better include Bally's, Bellagio, Caesars, Cosmopolitan, Excalibur, Four Queens, Gold Coast, Golden Nugget, Luxor, MGM Grand, Mirage, and Monte Carlo.
Of course, you're going to have a budget for your entire trip. How much you want to spend makes a big difference in terms of accommodation. But even the lowest rollers can usually stay somewhere much nicer for their dollar in Vegas than they can anywhere else.
Most travel agents and hotel booking services use 3 broad categories for budgets and amenities.
- First Class (or Mid-Range)
- Budget or Economy
These are often represented by star ratings. Luxury hotels are in the 4 and 5 star category, while first class hotels are in the 2.5 to 3.5 stars range. Anything 2 stars or less is usually considered a budget property.
Don't stress out about how nice the property is, especially if it's your first visit. Besides the lowest budget properties in town, most casinos and hotels in Sin City offer clean, comfortable rooms with all the standard amenities you'd expect.
Luxury properties have nicer restaurants and additional amenities (like on-site spas) that might not be available at a more moderately priced first class or mid-range property. First class properties almost always have a restaurant on site, although it might not be considered gourmet. Budget accommodations usually focus more on providing you with a clean room and a roof over your head.
Prices are all over the place in Las Vegas. They're especially dependent on when you're visiting. Mid week hotel rates are generally 30% to 50% lower than Friday/Saturday night stays. But casinos who are forecasting low occupancy rates lower their rates even more. At the same time, hotels that are close to reaching maximum occupancy raise their rates accordingly.
The raising and lowering of hotel rates based on occupancy levels is known as "revenue management". The goal of each hotel's revenue management department is to maximize the amount of dollar revenue generated from room stays. They do that by carefully monitoring supply and demand and pricing their rooms accordingly.
The average nightly rate for a hotel room in Las Vegas is $117. If you're budgeting for a trip, you might start with that amount and proceed from there. Budget travelers can easily find accommodations for 25% of that, though. Luxury travelers can find plenty of beautiful properties for $200 a night, but they can spend almost as much as they want if they want to really go in style.
We already covered some of the best hotels based on gambling activities. But most people aren't just there for gambling. Some like fine dining, others enjoy spa treatments, and we've met folks who go to at least 2 shows a day. Some travelers are there for a convention.
In any of those cases, choose a property convenient to those activities. Conventions are usually the easiest. They'll have a list of hotels to choose from. Otherwise, take a look at the amenities available at the recommended properties below.
Best Luxury Hotels
Luxury hotels are the ones on the booking sites with 4 or 5 stars. They offer top notch service, accommodations, and dining. No one should have to wait in line to check in at a true luxury hotel. You should also be able to check out quickly and easily.
The décor in such a property should be attractive and consistent throughout. All furniture should be of excellent quality. Rooms should be odor free. Even the artwork is supposed to be better than average. That might mean original art, but it can include numbered prints or photographs.
All luxury hotels should offer excellent restaurants and bars. Room service is a necessity—no hotel lacking room service can call itself a "luxury" property. Other amenities often include fitness centers, swimming pools, laundry service, and a concierge.
Here are our recommendations in this category.
Now here are some details about each one.
AAA has awarded Encore their Five Diamond Award every year since it opened in 2008. As far as luxury hotels in Vegas goes, it's still relatively new, so everything still looks and smells fresh. The property has over 2000 rooms and over 74,000 square feet of space on the casino floor.
You should stay at Encore if you love Garth Brooks, as he has a permanent show there. The Sinatra themed steakhouse, named (appropriately enough) Sinatra, is unforgettable. The property also has 3 pools at Encore Beach Club, a 50,000 square foot slice of heaven on earth.
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is one of only six hotels in the United States to have three Forbes Five Star Awards. It is, in fact, considered one of the best hotels not just in Las Vegas, but in the world. If you're a fan of design, the Asian style theme will amaze you.
The property is also famous for its Fine Art Collection. The shopping and entertainment center at the hotel is also famous, with over 500,000 square feet of attractions. The spa has 17 treatment rooms with views of the Las Vegas Strip.
The Mandarin Bar is one of the most upscale in the city, with breathtaking views. Twise by Pierre Gagnaire is one of the finest French restaurants in town. The MOZen Bistro features multiple regional dishes from Japan, India, and Thailand. And the Tea Lounge and Pool Café offer lighter fare and more casual dining.
Travelers who enjoy a lot of space love Palazzo Resort Hotel Casino. It's an all-suite property—each suite starts at 720 square feet, which is almost twice as large as the average hotel room in Las Vegas. And that's just their smallest room. You can upgrade to a larger suite that will accommodate more people.
They offer a full range of amenities including a business center, spa, multiple pools, room service, and wedding services. In fact, this might be one of the best places in Vegas to get married, especially if you're fond of an Italian theme.
They also have both indoor and outdoor Gondola Rides. Madam Tussauds is one of the most amazing wax figure museums anyone has ever seen, too.
But the real attraction here is the food. The list of celebrity chefs with restaurants on site is a who's who of famous chefs. They include Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Buddy Valastro, Daniel Boulud, and Thomas Keller.
The Bellagio is a modern Las Vegas staple. It's hard to imagine walking the Strip and not seeing the iconic Bellagio Fountains. The Bellagio is so "Vegas," its rear border is Frank Sinatra Drive. This is no musty old Vegas tourist trap, either – The Bellagio is a proper resort, operated by MGM Resorts.
A recent renovation to the tune of $70 million has helped the resort get back to AAA Five Diamond status, an honor its taken home a total of fourteen times in the seventeen years of its existence. The first hotel to earn the award more than ten times in a row, the Bellagio is home to 3,950 guest rooms and 116,000 square feet of gaming space.
What's available at the Bellagio? How about a legitimate fine art gallery, from owner Steve Wynn's private collection? You'll find a themed indoor and outdoor botanical garden and conservatory on the property, the only of its kind in Vegas. The garden changes seasonally, so that every time you visit there's something different. And, of course, the Fountains of Bellagio. if you've never seen the resort's dancing waters display before – it's an amazing sight to see in person.
A stay at Bellagio means easy access to the sights of South Las Vegas Boulevard, a lovely (and clean) room, multiple dining options, and the amenities you'd expect from a major resort chain.
You won't find as many five-diamond luxury hotels anywhere in the US like you do in Las Vegas. The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino is one of them, located right next to Harrah's on the east side of the Vegas Strip.
At one time, the Venetian Las Vegas was the largest hotel and casino in the world, with more than 4,000 rooms, another 3,000 suites, and a 120,000 square foot casino. When the Venetian Macau opened, it eclipsed the Vegas location. Clearly, Venetian is all about size.
The inspiration for just about everything at The Venetian is "Venice." Aside from Venetian-inspired architecture and food, the rest of the features are pure Vegas. From the miniature Guggenheim museum on the ground to the famous Blue Man Group acting as permanent artists-in-residence, the Venetian Las Vegas puts you in the middle of classic Vegas.
Sheldon Adelson spent $1.5 billion opening this property in the late 1990s, and near-constant renovation means it's a beautiful (if cavernous) collection of rooms aimed at families and gamblers alike.
Best Mid-Range Hotels
The following hotels are our top recommendations in the mid-range category.
Below are some details about each of these recommendations.
Treasure Island could be the prototype mid-range Vegas hotel. On the one hand, it offers amenities like sixteen on-site restaurants and bars, floor-to-ceiling windows, and modern furnishings. On the other hand, the prices are significantly lower than at the luxury spots mentioned above.
Treasure Island has gotten rid of some of the pirate-chic décor and attitude that dominated on the property for years. The property has made a shift up-scale, opening mid-range retail shopping and dining that compliments its amazing location across from the Wynn and adjacent to the Venetian and Encore.
You can upgrade for a few extra bucks to a Strip view, and other high-end amenities and rooms are available with upgrades or by paying cash. The attached Fashion Show Mall and tram to the Mirage make the on-Strip location of Treasure Island even more valuable. Treasure Island is known among Vegas guests for its massive, inexpensive, and high-quality TI Buffet, and don't forget to check out Mystere, the longest-running Cirque du Soleil show in the world.
Though the Las Vegas Hilton has been renamed a billion times (currently it's called the Westgate Las Vegas), those of us who remember the Vegas of yesterday probably still call this prime Strip location the Hilton. The Hilton is famous among gamblers for having the largest sportsbook in the city, and one of the largest in the world. If you came to Vegas to bet on sports, you have to check out the Hilton.
At one time, the Hilton was the largest hotel in the world. A major part of the Vegas Strip skyline for decades, the Hilton is now home to affordably-luxurious rooms and amenities. Basically, if you expect to find it at a decent hotel chain, it's available at the Hilton, but usually kicked up a little. After all, this is Vegas.
The attached Las Vegas Country Club makes for nice views, if you prefer not to have views of the Strip. The rooms are a bit on the small side, an average of 400 square feet, but that's the sacrifice you make by spending a little less for a prime piece of Las Vegas real estate.
Paris is a 300-room hotel styled after the classic cobblestone pathways and boutique shops of Paris. The décor will catch your eye, with wrought-iron lamps, replicas of the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. One of the best features about Paris is its on-Strip location, nestled among several five-star luxury properties.
Paris isn't one of the "it" properties in Vegas, but it is a high-quality and affordable spot with high-end amenities. Guest rooms include marble features, full-size tubs and showers, a free coffee maker, and a complimentary morning newspaper. As an added bonus, you can check in at Paris from the airport, with your room key in hand before you even get to your rental car.
The building's Eiffel Tower Restaurant, located halfway up the massive Tower replica, is among the most romantic dining spots in the city. The hotel's large rooftop pool sits in the shadow of the Tower, with tennis courts and a concierge desk located nearby.
Planet Hollywood is the new property built on the site of the classic Aladdin Hotel, the spot where Elvis and Priscilla Presley were married in 1967. Built for a cost of $1.4 billion, Planet Hollywood is roundly acknowledged as one of the best quality hotels in the city, for its combination of luxury and affordability.
As Planet Hollywood is the flagship property of Harrah's Entertainment, it has all the latest and greatest features to hit Las Vegas. All 2,500 of the main hotels' guest rooms have been renovated in the past five years, and reviews frequently cite the views from the guest room. The casino is just over 100,000 square feet in size, with an attached spa that's at least as popular as the casino.
With the addition of the PH Tower, the hotel grew by 1,100 units, and added cabanas and an indoor-outdoor pool complex. Like all the mid-range hotels on this list, you should expect smallish rooms with modern furnishings and amenities like marble countertops.
The Mirage ushered in the new era of Las Vegas. Opened in 1989, the Mirage was the first of a decade's worth of new resort and hotel properties, and was the first themed hotel to open in the city. The Mirage is meant to be like a deserted tropical island oasis in the middle of the Nevada desert. The famous Mirage volcano erupts every quarter-hour, and the grounds are protected by a pair of White Tigers in a little piece of the rainforest. You can even buy a ticket to see rare exotic animals kept on the grounds.
The Mirage has won its share of Four Diamonds, more than any other mid-range hotel in the city. The hotel is such a popular tourist stop that it can get pretty crowded on weekends. We'd describe the rooms as just one step below luxury, with lots of marble in the bathrooms and nice comfortable beds and chairs.
The hotel's 13 restaurants and bars serve everything from buffet food to authentic Japanese cuisine. The attached 95,000 sq. ft. casino offers a race and sports book. Pro-tip: buy a hotel package through the Mirage's website, rather than just paying for the room. Not only will you save money, but you'll get access to lots of fun on and off the Strip.
Best Budget Hotels
The table below shows our recommendations for the best budget hotels in Las Vegas.
Here are some further details on each of the above hotels.
Staring directly onto the new Fremont Street Experience, The Plaza is one of the grand dames of downtown. But don't think this is some stuffy old motel – management have made some major changes and renovations to improve guest rooms. The interior is all brand-new, they've gone out of their way to advertise that they now offer more comfortable bedding, and every guest room and suite has marble counters and other fixtures.
Renovations aside, The Plaza is where you go for campy Las Vegas fun. Okay, so it's off the Strip, but Vegas is done-up with taxis and buses. How can you pass up the chance to play miniature golf in the Swingers Club lounge? We'd also recommend eating a rare ribeye inside the big glass dome of Oscar's Steakhouse.
We could go on about the cool kitschy things at the Plaza. Make sure you sign up for a Plaza rewards card - you get a free slice of pizza, among other goodies. The casino at this hotel is one of the last in Vegas to still host live bingo – and if you've never played bingo in the city of sin, you just haven't lived. Maybe you're a poker player without a fat wallet? You're in luck – the Plaza's tournament buy-ins are the cheapest in town.
Some call it gaudy – others call it a fitting tribute to New Orleans. No matter what you think, this off-strip casino-hotel has no doubt caught your eye. It's built to look like a city block of the French Quarter of New Orleans plucked up and put down on West Tropicana Ave.
Orleans is known for having a "family-friendly atmosphere." It's true – for a Vegas property, the rooms are inexpensive and a bit larger than you'd expect. You can rent a mini-fridge, a useful tool for travelling with babies or children. The casino will also hook you up with a free coffee maker to use during your stay. Pro-tip: you can get free Wi-Fi inside the Seattle's Best Coffee shop located on the casino level.
What else makes Orleans a great family spot? The Orleans operates a 24-hour bowling alley, with arcade games and other kid-friendly indulgences available around the clock. A four-screen cinema plays the top movies of the day, and for kids under the age of 13, drop-off childcare, provided free of charge.
The biggest downside for most people is the property's distance from the Strip – but don't worry, the Orleans will shuttle you there for free.
The Stratosphere Tower is one of the major landmarks of Las Vegas, the tallest observation tower in the United States. The separate Stratosphere Hotel is no slouch, either, with more than 2,400 rooms and a casino totaling 80,000 square feet of gambling space. The Stratosphere also has the distinction of being the only Strip hotel that's actually inside the city limits of Las Vegas.
Stratosphere is a decidedly low rollers affair, popular with families (especially those with young kids) and a stop for lots of Vegas tour groups, thanks to the tower. But after a recent renovation, and the opening of special Stratosphere Select rooms and amenities, it's an easy choice for "best budget Vegas hotel."
As an added bonus, you'll get free admission to the tower for your entire guest list, and you can take the bus (with a station right at the property) or a monorail trip to the Strip or into downtown.
The Monte Carlo is operated by the same group that runs the Bellagio – think of the Monte Carlo as Bellagio Lite. The Monte Carlo offers a big casino, resort hotel complex, extensive shopping and dining venues, and a Vegas-style entertainment complex. It's right on the Strip, and it is known as a budget-class resort.
You can take your pick of several amenities to improve your stay, for a fee, or you can cheap out and skip the flat-screen TV, smartphone and tablet docking station, and Wi-Fi access. The Monte Carlo's giant "lazy river" and massive outdoor pools (including a sand volleyball court) is famous even among locals as a great place to see and be seen.
Looking for a more luxurious experience? The Monte Carlo opened a boutique hotel on the top floors. Called Hotel32, it features 52 lofts, accessible only via private elevator. Each loft comes with its own Suite Assistant, on-call for the duration of your stay. Hotel32 even gives each guest an iPhone so they can be in immediate contact with hotel staff and make changes to their stay from anywhere. It's a snazzy little oasis of luxury inside an otherwise budget-conscious Strip casino.
Rio is an off-Strip Caesar's property that's made a name for itself as a slightly-tacky but very affordable alternative to inflated Strip hotel room rates. Rio keeps guests off the Strip by offering a ton of free shuttles to all over the Strip and downtown Vegas.
Even if you're not into the neon and pastel color schemes (reminiscent of Miami Vice-era 80s television), you'll appreciate the size of Rio's hotel suites, which are larger than other more-expensive properties at 600+ square feet. Best of all, if you want to escape the poorly-reviewed dining and nightclub scenes at Rio, just take a quick walk over to the Palms.
Best Non-Gaming Hotels
If you want your hotel to be away from the gambling, we recommend the following places to stay.
Below is some additional information about each one of these hotels.
Alexis Park is the premier non-gaming property in Las Vegas. Just two miles from the airport, Alexis Park is composed entirely of suites – 495 of them to be exact. The property's winding pathways, outdoor pools, and lush vegetation put you about as far from the Strip as you can get (when you're surrounded by the Strip).
Each "room" is like a duplex apartment – white stucco walls, marble and glass furnishings, a wet bar, and high-speed Internet access are standard in every room. You can upgrade or downgrade your amenities to match a stay at Alexis Park to any price point.
If you want to stay in the hustle and bustle of the city but aren't interested in gaming, Alexis Park would be a stellar choice. The rooms are among the best-reviewed in the city, the property itself has been renovated as recently as 2014, and you can hold meetings for up to 1,800 people in this largest of non-casino meeting room and conference center complex.
Palms Place is another all-suite hotel, this time off the Strip in a far more calm area of metro Vegas. Studio rooms are a lot larger than what you'd find near the casinos, at 650 square feet and up. Every suite is equipped with a full kitchen and two giant TV screens.
Palms Place is a luxury-leaning hotel with affordable rates – there's not much about the property that would indicate that it's not a full luxury suite resort. With just 600 rooms, your stay at Palms Place will never be too crowded.
Guests at Palms Place are more likely to be into the full-service health spa, fitness center, and pool complex available on-site than they are in casino gambling. But if anyone in your party is interested in gambling, the Palms next door has a massive casino floor typical of Las Vegas – so you can get the best of both worlds.
If you're looking for something more all-inclusive than a suite, check out Wyndham Grand Desert Resort. All suites have full kitchens, washer and dryer, pull-out sofas, and a spa in the master bathroom. The Wyndham is a Mediterranean-style resort, with a lagoon-style pool, two fitness centers, free Internet access, and an activities center with daycare and entertainment for kids.
If you change your mind about gaming, the Wyndham will shuttle you all the way to the Strip and back for free, 24 hours a day. Other amenities available are competitive with other luxury Vegas properties – concierge service, valet parking, on-site restaurants and bars, and complimentary daily housekeeping.
Fortune is an example of a quiet and inexpensive Vegas hotel that doesn't have a casino on-site but is located to cater to gamblers on a budget. By staying away from the casinos, you can save a ton of money and sleep in a quiet environment, without the families and bachelor parties common at Vegas casino resorts.
Fortune is just two blocks from the Strip, three miles from the airport, and a much cheaper stay than any of the rooms at the nearby casinos. But you get what you pay for – in this case that means very little in the way of amenities. For example, the on-site fitness room is made up of two exercise machines and a hot tub. The pool is more like what you'd find at a Best Western in Chicago than at a property this close to the strip.
The Fortune works because lots of Vegas visitors want to stay in an inexpensive, quiet, low-feature room and spend the day exploring the city and gambling to their heart's content. For those guests, an upgraded suite at the Fortune (which costs about as much as a low-end room in a Strip casino resort) is way better than struggling to afford a venue with amenities they won't use.
Adjacent to the Vegas Convention Center, halfway between the Center and the Strip, is the Royal. The Royal is a contemporary-styled group of "suites" (between 450 and 1,250 square feet) with no attached casino. Guests are within a short drive of several flagship casino properties – the goal here is to give people an inexpensive place to stay, rather than a luxurious Las Vegas vacation spot.
An outdoor pool, fitness center, and on-site restaurant make the Royal a convenient home base for exploring downtown, the Strip, and the rest of the metro Vegas area. Like other big Vegas hotels, the Royal has a concierge staff, a meeting room, and a business complex.
A Final Word
Choosing a hotel in Vegas is more like choosing a destination. The right hotel can help turn your trip into something memorable. A bad hotel can dampen the mood of your entire stay.
These tips should help you choose an appropriate hotel for your budget and your interests. The city has something for everyone, regardless of how fat or thin your wallet is.
Author: Brad Johnson
Updated: October 2015
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