I’m getting ready to head out to Las Vegas for meetings and was thinking about all the great (and some not-so-great) hotels I’ve stayed at there in the past. So, here’s Brad’s Best Hotels in Las Vegas Guide:
Best View: Undoubtedly, the Bellagio wins hands-down. Spend the extra money for a fountain view and you won’t be disappointed. I must have watched dozens of fountain shows during my last stay. The movement of the water to the music is almost mesmerizing. Keep the TV channel turned to the music channel and you’ll almost instinctively run to the window each time a show starts.
Best Service: The Wynn takes the top prize, despite being a mega-hotel. One disclosure on this choice: I was staying at the “Tower Suites” at the Wynn. It’s basically a separate hotel within the Wynn hotel – separate entrance, check-in area, bellman, concierge, etc. You pay a premium price for these services, but they are well worth it in my opinion. Each morning when I walked out the private tower entrance, the doorman addressed me by name and would ask if I needed a ride to the convention center – this even happened with doormen I hadn’t even spoken to before. This hotel has figured out that communication between staff members to identify and greet guests makes people feel good.
Best Biggest Room: If you want a room the size of a palace, the only place to go is Caesar’s Palace! Big rooms and big whirlpool tubs in the bathroom are a signature item of this hotel. My only complaint with Caesar’s is the propery itself is just too big for my tastes. It’s a trek to go virtually anywhere within the hotel, especially if you’ve got on-site meetings to attend.
Best “At Home” Feeling Room: The Venetian wins this one with their all-suite rooms. I loved the the couch area with the TV and other amenities in the “downstairs” living room area. Granted, it’s only about three steps down from the bedroom level, but even this minor elevation difference makes it feel like a truly separate room. BTW, if you’re looking for a great snack or quick meal, check out the food court at the Venetian. The Sicilian pizza is fantastic (and inexpensive)!
Best Honorable Mention: My first visit to Vegas was to the Mirage. That was back in the day when the Mirage was the hottest, most amazing hotel on the strip. The huge fish tank behind the check-in desk and the tigers in the lobby were elaborate. By today’s Vegas standards though, they pale in comparison to others on the strip. This hotel is still worthy of an honorable mention though since it’s a solid, nice property even if it is a bit dated.
Not-So-Great Hotels: No best of hotel list would be complete without a few tidbits of places to avoid. The Flamingo (pink carpet = way too tacky!) It may have been legendary back in the day, but that day has certainly passed. Nice staff that works there and a terrific location on the strip, but I still would forgo the 70’s look and feel for something a bit more modern. The Hilton (Star Trek theme = no dice for me)! I stayed there for a convention once because that was the “official” hotel. Worn-out hotel, mediocre service, a bunch of old men at the tables, and worst of all, a Star Trek theme! Some may love it, but unless you’re and 80 year old Trekkie, go elsewhere! Lastly, to finish out the not-so-great list – Treasure Island. How do I put this eloquently? It’s a dump! The Sexy Sirens pirate show is cool out front! The nightclubs are cool. The Mystere show is cool. The service and the rooms however resemble a Days Inn or worse. One disclaimer: I was staying on one of the top “premium” level floors. I can only imagine how much worse it would have been in a “regular” room on a lower floor. Fortunately, my stay was only one night so I escaped with little more than a rough night’s sleep.
I hope that you’ve enjoyed my little unofficial Vegas hotel guide. Stick with one of the properties I’ve listed above and you’ll enjoy your stay. Heck, even if you stay at one of the not-so-great hotels, you’ll still have a great time! After all, it’s Vegas, baby!