Staying on the Las Vegas Strip – whatever your budget
The Strip is the heart of Las Vegas, a four-mile-long, multi-lane highway lined by one enormous billion-dollar casino resort after another. It’s the epicentre of the city, whether you’re looking to gamble, party or just soak up the Las Vegas craziness. So it makes sense that you’d want to stay there if you can, but is it affordable? On my trip to Vegas last spring I ended up staying in five different resorts on the Strip, ranging from budget to luxury. Yes that’s a lot of unpacking and repacking for one trip, but moving around meant I got to try out the facilities at different resorts and could take advantage of hugely variable prices – one night at Paris Las Vegas cost me £50 but the next night would’ve been £200. So after testing them out, here are my suggestions to help you find your perfect stay on the Strip, whatever your budget.
Prices given are the average price for a double room on a weeknight and don’t include resort fees where they apply (prices as of March 2014).
Got £25? Try the Stratosphere
You might think that if you’re on a budget you’ll have to stay off-Strip, but with so much competition some resorts offer super-cheap rooms in the hope that you’ll spend big in their casinos. The cheapest options are usually at one end of the Strip, like the Stratosphere to the north. It’s in a slightly scruffy area with not much around, but it’s an easy two-mile bus ride to the central Strip or Fremont Street. £25 a night gets you a refurbished ‘Select’ room, with two queen beds and a en-suite with bath. You don’t get much in the way of extras, but rooms are spacious and clean. The casino has a few eating options, with the American diner and Starbucks good for breakfast. There’s also a pool at the base of the tower (but a shortage of sunbeds so grab one early), in prime position to watch people jumping off the tower. You also get unlimited access to the observation deck at the top of the tower when you stay there (normally $18).
Other budget options include the Luxor, Excalibur and Circus Circus.
Got £60? Try the Tropicana
If you’ve got a bit more to spend, head down at the south end of the Strip to the vintage-style Tropicana. It’s one of the few original 1950s casinos, but was completely renovated by new owners Hilton in the last few years. It still has the retro entrance, but inside it’s been done up in tropical ‘South Beach style’. Everything is bright and airy – lots of white walls with greenery and flashes of bright orange. We stayed in one of the standard Paradise Tower rooms, but you can also upgrade to a bungalow near the pool. All have plantation-style shutters and rattan furniture to go with the theme, along with a big flatscreen TV, safe and decent desk area if you need to work. The lagoon-style pool is a good place to relax, surrounded by palm trees and gardens with loungers and cabanas. And there are a few food options, ranging from a beach café and Italian restaurant to the more upscale Biscayne steakhouse.
For a similar price you could also try Treasure Island, New York New York and the MGM Grand.
Got £100? Try Paris Las Vegas
Up the budget a bit more and you can be right in the heart of the Strip at Paris Las Vegas. We stayed in a huge corner room, done up in Versailles-era French style, with antique-look dark wood furniture, gold and blue decor and a pink marble bathroom. Although they’re not the most modern, rooms come with coffee maker and fridge, and had armchairs next to the window to make the most of the view of the Bellagio fountains. They’ve gone all out with the Parisian theme, with their own versions of the Arc de Triomphe, Hôtel de Ville and Louvre. And of course there’s the Eiffel Tower – with a big octagonal swimming pool beneath the tower’s legs as well as the Château nightclub on the lower deck and a restaurant and observation deck at the top. Gordon Ramsey has a steakhouse here, and there’s also a Parisian crèperie and bakery, and the Mon Ami Gabi bistro on a veranda overlooking the Strip.
Other options around the same price include the Aria, Vdara and Mirage.
Got £150? Try The Bellagio
The Bellagio might not be the most over-the-top luxurious hotel on the Strip, but for me it’s classic Las Vegas. It’s where you still feel like you might come across Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jnr propping up the bar. The resort is one of the largest on the Strip with almost 4000 rooms, but with a high staff to guest ratio you wouldn’t know it from the service. It’s set back from the bustle of the Strip, behind the lake with its famous fountains. The rooms are decorated in muted colours in understated, elegant style with Italian furniture. There are 16 places to eat around the Bellagio, one of which has $100 million worth of Picasso paintings decorating its walls. There’s also a designer shopping centre where you can stock up on your Armani and Chanel, a spa, indoor botanical gardens, Cirque du Soleil show and five pools outside, where you can reserve a luxury cabana complete with a supply of iced towels.
If you’re splashing out, also try the Wynn, Cosmopolitan, Caesar’s Palace or the Mandarin Oriental.
Have you been to Las Vegas? Which is your favourite place to stay on the Strip?