There are tons of hotels in Las Vegas, and picking the right one at the right location and within your budget isn’t easy.
In this post, I will break down different things you need to consider when picking your hotel for your next Vegas trip. Then, I will also show you how you can search for the best deal available through the Internet.
Things to consider
I can’t emphasize this enough. This is one of the most important things you need to consider when you are picking a hotel in Vegas, especially if you plan on visiting the strip. Choosing a hotel that’s at or close to the center of the strip gives you easy access to everywhere. Sure, it might be 20-30 or even 50 dollars more than the hotel located the end of the strip, but most of the time it’s well worth your money.
Image credit: screenshot from vegas.com
The thing is, you most likely will be walking on the strip to explore Vegas. Let’s suppose you stay in the south of the strip at Luxor, and you walk all the way up to Venetian, now you are tired and want to get back to your room. You then take a taxi back to your hotel. Even though it’s not that far, it can cost you 15-25 dollar on taxi fare depends on traffic, and imagine if you take a cab more than once per day, the cost can add up.
If you choose to stay in a hotel either on north or south end of the strip, just be prepared to walk a decent amount of time. Avoid staying off the strip, as it would just give take you more time and cost more money to get to the strip.
I personally recommend staying at or close to the center of the strip, especially if it’s your first time coming to Vegas.
Image credit Photographer Charly Chen
The second most important thing is budget, figure out how much your party is willing to pay for the hotel, it doesn’t have to be an exact number, but preferably a range. Obviously, hotels at the center of the strip are priced higher than the ones at the end of the strip since everyone wants to be at the heart of the action. Knowing how much you are willing to spend will narrow down the selection by a lot.
Center of the strip hotel selections
Luxury five-star hotels: Bellagio/Aria/Mandarin Oriental/The Cosmopolitan
Good four-star hotels: Caesars Palace/Cromwell/Paris/Planet Hollywood/Vdara
Economy budget-friendly hotels: Bally’s/Harrah’s/LinQ/Flamingo
Near the center of the strip hotel selections
Luxury five-star hotels: Wynn/Encore/Venetian/Palazzo
Good four-star hotels: Mirage/Treasure Island/Trump/NY-NY/MGM Grand
Economy budget-friendly hotels: Excalibur/Luxor
In general, hotels aren’t so expensive compared to other major cities unless you are coming in during the weekend or on holiday. Plus, staying at a nice hotel is one of the fun parts of a Vegas trip, so I wouldn’t necessarily recommend hotels other than the ones listed above, especially ones that are off the strip.
One thing to keep in mind though is the resort fee. Basically, all Vegas hotels charge a mandatory resort fee (which gives you access to their fitness center, pool, and wifi). Even though the price of the room is low, keep in mind to add these fees to your hotel budget as you will have to pay them during check-out. Resort fees can be ranging from $20-40/night depending on hotels, in general, the better a hotel and the better the location is, the higher the resort fee.
Paris Hotel, Image credit: Vegas.com
Most of the hotels have its own theme, some are unique like Paris hotel that has an Eiffel tower and NY-NY has the theme of New York City. Caesars Palace has a theme of the ancient Rome, while Bellagio has an Italian style. So after you sort down your list by location and budget, it just comes down to your personal preference.
Also, as mentioned above, you are paying a mandatory resort fee, so might as well find out what they have to offer in their amenities, especially check out some photos of their pool. However, remember, you only have access to the regular pool. If it says that it’s a day club (like Marquee), other pool parties with DJs, or adult pools, you will most likely need to pay a cover charge.
Pool at Mirage, Image credit: Vegas.com
Pick the hotel that fits your style or has a theme that you would enjoy. After all, even if it’s a five-star hotel that you don’t like, it wouldn’t be worth it. On the contrary, if it’s only a decent four-star hotel and you love it, then it’s well worth it. So it all comes down to personal preference in the end.
Last but not least, rooms. Most people never stayed in a suite or better (penthouse). However, Las Vegas is a destination full of awesome resorts. There are some amazing suites at a reasonable/affordable price if you come at the right time.
Overall, there are four different room types: Room/Suite/Penthouse/Villa
Some hotels also have “Tower room” that is in a separate section of the building. In some cases, those Tower rooms can be priced higher than a suite as well even though it’s essentially same room(slightly bigger perhaps). It just gives you more privacy with their Tower guest elevator and lobby.
As for suite, they mostly come with a large living area with a couch, sometimes even a guest half-bathroom. They are still studio unless it specifies “one bedroom”, then that means living room is separated from the bedroom.
I’ve never stayed at anything beyond Penthouse, but suites are much more attainable. A lot of times when the hotels are slow, the suites can be between 150-250/per night, which isn’t bad at all. Some hotels even built all their rooms as suites like Venetian & Palazzo, Vdara, and Rio.
Luxury King Suite at Palazzo, Image credit: Vegas.com
How to find the best deal?
Now that I’ve given you some insight on what to consider when selecting hotels, we’ll get to the part on how to actually find the best deal for the hotel you’ve chosen.
Use your favorite booking site and see what they offer
This is the easiest way, if you are a loyal customer of Expedia, then you might as well book through them and accumulate points. However, this is probably not where you’d get the “best” deal, but it saves you time.
Go to Vegas.com(and use promotion code if there is one)
Vegas.com is dedicated to putting up competitive price out there. After all, they look to help Vegas travelers all way possible and that’s what they specialize in. They will always have up-to-date promotions for Las Vegas hotels. There were times when I was checking price both on Vegas.com and Expedia, and Vegas.com put up the latest promotion let’s say “Get 2 buffet per stay” while Expedia hasn’t had that offer up yet.
In addition, they have promotions going on from time to time that gives you an extra discount on top of good deals, which is really nice.
Use a price comparison site like Trivago
Trivago is a site that helps you search for hundreds if not thousands of online booking engines at the same time and return you with a result of the best offer available on the internet.
Image credit: screenshot from Trivago.com
This site gives you the peace of mind that you are getting the lowest price on the Internet. However, it does not include the price you could get with casino membership, which we will talk about next, nor does it include the discounted price you could get with a travel agent (like me).
Although keep in mind that sometimes the best deal you find here is not from a provider that you’ve heard of. Those smaller companies sometimes have worse customer service or slower respond times, so even though you might save a few dollars, I’m not sure if it’s worth it to go with a company that you’ve never heard of, I’ll leave that for you to decide on your own.
Go to hotel’s official site and sign up for their casino membership
Image credit: screenshot from Mlife.com
There are different casino membership you can sign up for and they can get you a really good deal. The main purpose of these casinos is to invite you to gamble at their property, therefore, they are willing to sacrifice a little bit of their room’s profit to get you in the door. During your trip, if you gamble enough, I’m sure they will comp your room next time you come.
Here’s a list of casino membership you can sign up for:
1. Total Rewards – Caesars Entertainment
Properties: Caesars Palace/Paris/Planet Hollywood/LinQ/Flamingo/Harrah’s/Bally’s
2. Mlife – MGM international
Properties: Bellagio/Aria/Mirage/MGM Grand/Mandalay Bay/Luxor/Excalibur/NY-NY/Circus
3. Club Grazie – Sands corp.
4. Wynn Red Card – Wynn Resorts
5. Station Casinos
Properties: Green Valley Ranch/Red Rock Resort/Palace Station/Texas Station
If you are not a big time gambler then I would recommend you find alternative ways to book your hotel. Once you sign up, they will often time send a lucrative offer to keep you coming. A quick fact here for you is, casinos make more money on their slot machines and table games than their room’s profit.
I’ll be honest, I’ve used some of the comps in the past, some of them were truly amazing. However, I’ve also lost a lot more money at the table, so it really depends on how you see it.
Search for flight+hotel package on large OTAs(Expedia/Priceline)
There are advantages and disadvantages of booking air and hotel together.
Image credit: screenshot from Priceline
1.More discount if you are flexible with travel dates/time. When you see a hotel+air package that’s at an amazingly low price, often times, when you click through you’ll find out that you have to fly super early in the morning like 6 am, or red-eye flights that take off right before midnight, which makes you sleep on the plane overnight.
2.Make things easy. Once you booked the package you don’t have to worry about both flight and hotel. You can also book a package that includes car rental. Although I don’t recommend renting a car in Vegas unless you have specific plans that you need to get to certain places by car.
1. Less flexibility. You get to choose only one hotel during your trip, which is fine if you only plan on coming for a couple days. If you are coming for more than 3 days, and book your flight and hotel separately, you can book two different resorts to get an entirely different experience on the same trip.
2. Even harder to make changes to your reservation. If you don’t plan on making any changes at all, that’s good. Because most of the packages don’t allow any changes, refunds of any types.
Use a Las Vegas travel agent like me
This may sound like I’m self-promoting, and I am! There are other travel agents out there just like me that are willing to help. There are certain restrictions for online booking sites that they have to follow and one of them is to maintain a minimum public rate, that means even if they want to sell at a lower price they can’t. Most of the time we can offer a better deal through phone or e-mail.
If you are working with a travel agent and they help plan your whole trip without a “service charge” then you probably are not getting a lot of discounts on your hotel since that’s how they make money. After all, Travel agents work hard to put together your trip plan and make sure that things are planned to its best, they spend a lot of time and effort, therefore they deserve some credit, right?
Although if you were to book through me, I also wouldn’t charge any fees and would try my best to get you the best deal. But if you want me to assist you in planning as well, then there’s a small fee for that.
The best way to reach me is through e-mail: email@example.com
You can also reach me at my work phone: 702-213-2459.
You can also fill out a form for hotel quotes by clicking here.
Other tips & tricks
- If you are flexible with travel dates, come in during midweek
Weekends are when most people have their days off and hop on a plane to Vegas. As a results, price for hotels is on average two to three times higher on weekends than during weekdays. Also, holidays and conventions will draw lots of people into town, so if you plan on spending on a lower budget, you probably need to avoid coming during those times.
- Sandwich trick at check-in
If you didn’t get the suite you wished, that’s okay. You still have one more shot at it when you check-in. As a lot of you may already know, but this trick still works from time to time. Simply stick a $20 dollar bill between your ID and your credit card at check-in and kindly ask if there are any comp upgrades available. If there is, then think of it as the front desk person doing you a favor and the $20 dollars bill is a tip for him or her. If it doesn’t work or if they don’t have upgrades available for you, they would often just give you your $20 dollars back, no harm’s done.
I hope this article was helpful to you. If you have any other tips or trick that you would like to share, feel free to comment below.