how to choose las vegas hotel

How To Choose A Las Vegas Hotel

Did you know that 14 of the world’s top 25 hotels are located on the Las Vegas Strip? With a cumulative total of more than 62,000 rooms up for grabs on this four-mile stretch, choosing the right homebase for your Las Vegas adventure can feel as risky as going all-in with a pair of twos.

Each casino-resort on the Strip offers its own unique ambience and set of amenities. If you’re having trouble narrowing down your choices, start by asking yourself one question: What are your priorities? Do you just need a place to crash between adventures or nights on the town, or are you looking to kick back in the lap of luxury? Keep reading to get our tips for booking right hotel for your Vegas vacation.

Priority: Luxury

Vegas is well known for its cheaper-than-average room rates, so it’s a great city to indulge yourself and splurge on something a little more luxurious than your average hotel room.

If your idea of luxury is being pampered head to toe, look for a hotel with a good spa. Most hotels have them, but the Mandarin, Aria, Palazzo, and Venetian are all renowned for their lavish and relaxing spas.

If you prefer dining on Michelin-starred fare, choose a hotel that’s home to one (or more) of Vegas’s famous fine dining experiences. Wolfgang Puck’s Cut at Palazzo, the Delmonico Steakhouse at the Venetian, and the Michelin-starred Aureole at Mandalay Bay are all top choices for fine dining on the Strip.

Priority: Budget

If budget is your top priority, consider staying off the Strip. Hotels on the Strip may be cheaper than similar hotels rooms in other cities, but they’re still more expensive than off-Strip or downtown resorts. Downtown Las Vegas is a great, budget-friendly alternative to the Strip. Learn more about visiting and staying in downtown Las Vegas.

Don’t forget about resort fees when you book. Every hotel charges resort fees—sometimes more than $30 per night on top of the regular room rate—to cover incidentals like WiFi, newspapers, and other amenities. Here’s what you can expect to pay at some of the most popular casino-resorts:

Hotel
Resort Fee (per night)
Hotel
Resort Fee (per night)
Excalibur$30Cromwell$37
Monte Carlo$30Paris$37
Rio$30Planet Hollywood$37
Bally's$35Aria$39
Flamingo$35Bellagio$39
Harrah's$35Caesar's Palace$39
The Linq$35Palazzo$39
Vdara$39
Venetian$39
Last updated: February 6, 2018. Resort fees via LA Times.

Priority: Location

If you want to stay close to the heart of the action, stay on the Strip. The Strip is also a good choice for first-time visitors because of its proximity to all the things that earn Vegas it’s raucous reputation while still allowing easy access to spots like Downtown Las Vegas, or excursions beyond the city limits.

PRO TIP: Hotels in the middle of the Strip (between the Venetian and the new City Center Aria) offer the best access to the rest of the Strip.

If you’re more interested in exploring the cultural and historic core of Las Vegas, Downtown offers a more relaxed feel and is only a few miles north of the Strip. Bonus: it’s also home to a number of unique restaurants, casinos, and attractions, including the popular Fremont Street Experience.

Priority: Family

If you’re traveling with your kids, choosing a hotel may be a bit more difficult. Make sure you do your research before you book, and choose a hotel that doesn’t offer adult-only shows (which will be advertised throughout the resort) or require you to cross the casino floor to make it to the rooms.

Popular choices for families include:

  • Mandalay Bay: This luxurious hotel has a multi-pool complex complete with wave pool, lazy river, and sandy beach, making it a great choice for families who love kicking back poolside. The shark reef is also popular with kids, and the rooms are easy to access without crossing the casino floor.
  • Circus Circus: This popular resort offers many family-friendly activities, including a live circus performance every day on the hour from 11AM till midnight. It’s also conveniently located right next to Adventuredome, a sprawling 5-acre indoor theme park.
  • Orleans: Orleans is technically located off the Strip, which makes it a great choice for families hoping to avoid the rowdy atmosphere Vegas is renowned for. It has a supervised playzone, as well as an arcade, bowling alley, and movie theatre, and even a free shuttle service to the Strip every half hour for parents who still want to enjoy that classic Las Vegas experience.

Priority: Exploring & Activities

There’s no shortage of things to do in and around Las Vegas; from dayclubs and lounging poolside to shopping and world-class shows and performances, there’s something for every visitor:

las vegas hotels circus circus midway

Circus Circus midway acts. Image by Suzy S Photography via Flickr.

  • Pools: If you want to spend most of your time partying or relaxing by the pool, find a hotel with a great pool or dayclub. MGM Grand, Caesar’s Palace, and Mirage are all well-known for their excellent pools. For more information on dayclubs and pool parties, read our guide.
  • Shopping: Every hotel has a selection of stores and boutiques, but some (such as Caesar’s Palace and the Venetian) also have interconnected shopping malls if you’re looking to splurge on a proper shopping spree.
  • Shows: Most hotels also have a show on offer. If there’s one you simply have to see, book a room at that hotel—sometimes you can get a discount on your show tickets. Plus, traveling between hotels can also take a lot longer than you might expect.
  • Exploring: Las Vegas is perfectly situated for exploring a number of popular nearby locations. Guided day tours departing from the Strip are available to many of these breathtaking spots, including the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, and Red Rock Canyon. Discover more off-Strip activities and excursions beyond the city limits in our Ultimate Guide.
grand canyon south rim

Grand Canyon

Experience the rugged North Rim, soar to the South Rim in an airplane or helicopter, or try the West Rim Skywalk on a guided Grand Canyon tour.

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Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge

Hoover Dam

Explore one of America’s most spectacular feats of engineering and journey deep inside the Hoover Dam on one of our Hoover Dam Tours.

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red rock canyon suv tour

Red Rock Canyon

Only 15 miles west of Las Vegas, Red Rock Canyon is the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the Vegas Strip.

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Priority: Gambling

If you’re in Las Vegas to gamble, consider staying off the Strip at places like the Palms, Hard Rock, Rio, Orleans, or Gold Coast. Downtown and off-Strip hotels generally have lower table minimums and better odds, and they’re more popular with the locals.

Happy Hunting

Deciding where to stay when you visit Las Vegas can be one of the most fun—and most challenging—aspects of planning your getaway. From downtown Las Vegas and off-Strip hotels to the flashy casino-resorts of Las Vegas Boulevard, there are accommodation options to suit every Vegas visitor’s needs and desires.

Learn more about Las Vegas hotels and resorts and get more tips for choosing the perfect place to stay in our Ultimate Guide to Visiting Las Vegas