How To Choose a Hotel in Las Vegas (The Ultimate Guide)

With over 50 major resorts in Vegas, and more than 150,000 hotel rooms available throughout the city, how on earth are you supposed to choose the right hotel in Las Vegas for your visit? It’s an important decision, as your choice of hotel can make or break your visit to one of the most amazing cities on the planet!

The way to choose a hotel in Las Vegas is to determine the hotel with the best location to meet your trip priorities, balanced with your budget, required amenities, and nearby activities. Looking at these factors together will reveal which hotel is the right choice for your trip to Las Vegas.

If you’re planning a visit to fabulous Las Vegas, and aren’t sure where to begin when it comes to picking the right hotel, then this guide is for you! Keep reading to discover the most important aspects of selecting the right hotel in Nevada’s most well-known city.

How to pick a hotel in Las Vegas.

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Discover our top picks for hotels on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown! We'll tell you the best hotels in every price range from budget-friendly to luxury.

The Best Location For Your Las Vegas Hotel Room

We’ve all heard it before when it comes to traveling and choosing the best hotel: Location, location, location! And that definitely applies to Las Vegas, as well. First, let’s talk about the three main areas people choose to stay in Las Vegas, and identify the best one for your hotel.

Las Vegas Strip Hotels

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Balcony Rooms at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas

A major part of a Las Vegas hotel’s value is how close it is to other major attractions. Most notably, the four miles of resorts, attractions, casinos and thrills known as the Las Vegas Strip. Many of Las Vegas’s best and biggest hotels and resorts are located along this section of Las Vegas Boulevard.

The end points of the Strip are defined by the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino at the southern end of the Strip, and the Strat Hotel, Casino, and Skypod (aka The Stratosphere) on the Northern end. In between these two hotels is 4.3 miles of some of the most famous mega resorts, shopping and attractions found anywhere in the world!

If you’re staying on the Strip you can be assured of being close to the vast majority of the biggest shows and attractions found in Las Vegas. Even if where you want to go is at the other end of Las Vegas Boulevard from your hotel, it is easy, and relatively inexpensive, to get there either by walking, taxi, Uber, or even hopping on the Las Vegas monorail.

All of that said, there’s really only one main thing to consider when you are looking for a Las Vegas hotel: do you want to stay on the Strip, or off it? Being on the Strip means you’re right in the heart of all the action! But even on the Strip some hotels are in a better location than others when it comes to nearby resorts and attractions.

Here are some of my top recommendations for hotels on the Strip. These are all hotels located in the mid-Strip area that provide excellent walking opportunities, and plenty of other nearby resorts to visit. Follow the links to check the current room rates at vegas.com.

Las Vegas Strip Map Downloadable PDF

Be sure to download our FREE map of hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. It shows where all the hotels are located and what is nearby each property.

Off-Strip Las Vegas Hotels

Staying directly on the Strip, however, isn’t your only option. If you’d like a quieter or less expensive stay, you can opt to stay off-Strip. Sometimes staying off-Strip means just a block or two away. In other cases, it could mean staying at a hotel that’s several miles away from Las Vegas Boulevard altogether.

Choosing a hotel that’s near, but not on the Strip provides several advantages and one major disadvantage. A hotel that’s just off the main strip will give you the same basic access to the resorts, shows, and attractions found on the Strip, but often at a significantly reduced rate.

Not only are the hotel guest rooms generally less expensive, everything from restaurants, drinks, spa treatments, on-site attractions, and resort fees are less expensive in many cases.

Off-Strip hotels are also somewhat removed from the hustle and bustle. While it’s fun to get out and enjoy the crowds and chaotic energy on the Strip, many people like the ability to come back to a hotel with a much calmer and quieter atmosphere. Staying at a hotel even just a block or two off the Strip can provide some relaxing time to decompress.

The one disadvantage to staying just off the Strip is that distances are often exaggerated in Las Vegas. A block or two off the Strip can still be quite a distance to walk, especially after a long night, or during the heat of summer. Of course, you can always grab an Uber to eliminate this disadvantage, but naturally that will add an additional expense.

The following are some hotels I’d recommend if staying off, but close to, the Strip sounds appealing to you:

Your other option is to choose a hotel that is a couple of miles or more from the Strip. There are several beautiful and amazing resorts that have everything you need to have a fun-filled and relaxing vacation without ever leaving the property.

The following properties are ideal if you only plan on visiting the Las Vegas Strip once or twice during your stay, and would like a much more chill trip to Vegas:

Downtown Las Vegas Hotels

Finally, you could instead choose a hotel located in Downtown Las Vegas. Downtown, on or close to Fremont Street, is where Las Vegas first began. Many people come to Las Vegas and never leave the walkable downtown area. Downtown is home to many attractions and activities including the Mob Museum, Container Park, The Neon Museum, and the biggest, wildest street party you’ve ever been to, The Fremont Street Experience!

Take a virtual walk through the Fremont Street Experience!

Recommended Downtown Las Vegas Hotels include:

If you’re worried that selecting a downtown hotel will keep you from the Strip, know that the downtown area is just a 15-minute car or Uber ride to the center of the Las Vegas Strip.

How To Choose The Las Vegas Hotel Location For You

Now that you know the three main location areas to choose from, you should be in a much better position to decide the Las Vegas location that’s best suited for you and your traveling companions.

Keep in mind that:

  • Hotels on the Strip are closer to many attractions, but also tend to be very crowded, and more expensive
  • Hotels off of the Strip can be a short way (or a long way) away from many attractions, but generally cost less
  • Hotels in downtown Las Vegas have a different, but very cool, old school Vegas vibe, and are generally less expensive than hotels on the Strip

PRO TIP: If you’re a first time visitor to Las Vegas, I’d highly recommend that you stay on the Strip or at a hotel not far off the Strip. Resorts on the Strip are the best locations to get the most out of your first trip to Vegas.

Factoring Budget Into Your Las Vegas Hotel Choice

The MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip is a great choice for families with kids.
MGM Grand on the Las Vegas Strip

Once you’ve decided what part of town you want to stay in, it’s time to include your budget requirements into the equation. Naturally, one of the biggest deciding factors when choosing a hotel is whether you can afford it. The good news in Las Vegas is that there are budget-friendly, mid-range, and luxury priced hotels in every area of the city.

So, for instance, if you’ve chosen the Strip as your ideal location, you will easily find a hotel to fit your budget, no matter how big or small. The real icing on the cake is that, even on a budget you can find an affordable mega-resort on the Strip with plenty of fancy amenities, shows and attractions.

Here’s a break down of some the most popular hotels on the Strip in each budget range:

Luxury Las Vegas Hotels (On the Strip)

Mid-Range Las Vegas Hotels (On the Strip)

Budget-Friendly Las Vegas Hotels (On the Strip)

Now, you might expect the big flashy hotels in Las Vegas to be very expensive, but the standard rooms actually aren’t nearly as costly as you might think.

The reason for this is that most of these hotels have casinos on the property that they hope you’ll spend a bunch of money in if you stay at their hotel, so it makes sense for them to offer pretty great rates for the actual rooms themselves. 

2 Tips To Save Money on Las Vegas Hotel Rooms

Now, I can’t give you exact prices for different hotels, because they fluctuate all the time. However, I can tell you the two things you can do to get the lowest possible Las Vegas hotel room rates.

Visit during the low-season – While Vegas doesn’t really have an off-season, there are two times of the year when things slow down a bit. These times are July/August and November/December (except for Thanksgiving week). Las Vegas hotels are generally going to be cheaper during these slower periods (Vegas hotels try to attract guests with lower prices during these times).

Visit during the week – Weekends in Las Vegas are busier and more expensive than weekdays. If you’re willing to visit during the middle of the week, you can often save money on your room. If you’re concerned that Vegas won’t be as fun during the week, check out our article: Is Las Vegas Still Fun During the Week? Let’s Find Out

It’s also important to understand that the more popular hotel names are going to cost more, even if they don’t offer much more in the way of amenities. Oftentimes, the popular identity of a hotel makes it more pricey than others. For instance, Caesar’s Palace is going to cost more, and Hilton Grand Vacations is going to cost less: but they offer roughly similar amenities.

Getting the Best Hotel Rate

  • Booking a room in the off-season or on weekdays is cheaper than usual booking times
  • Hotels on the Strip are likely to have higher rates overall than hotels off the Strip
  • Popularity costs money: famous hotels will charge more than less famous ones

Las Vegas Resorts: Amenities, Luxury, Pools & Resort Fees

Pool area at the Luxor Las Vegas
The pool at Luxor Las Vegas

While choosing the hotel in the right location with the right budget are, without a doubt, the two most important criteria, there are some other things you will want to consider as you get close to making your final decision.

Luxury & Amenities

Luxury accommodations and hotel amenities are important considerations as well. It is safe to say that the mega-resort hotels in Las Vegas are all quite luxurious, even some of the more budget-friendly options. However, that doesn’t mean they are all equal.

You will be just as overwhelmed with many of the sights at a budget-friendly hotel like Luxor, as you will with the sights at a luxury hotel like Bellagio, but if you want high-thread count linens, and a more luxuriously furnished room, Bellagio will offer a lot more than the Luxor.

Fact of the matter is, most hotels in Vegas tend to offer the same basic amenities and luxuries, with only minor differences in services. It’s the quality of the amenities that raise a hotel to luxury status. So if over the top luxury is important to you, you’ll definitely want to select one of the more luxurious hotels.

Resort Pools

The one amenity difference that I think is most important (for me and my family at least) is the resort pool. Las Vegas is well-known for having some absolutely incredible pools. If you’re traveling during the warmer months, the hotel pool is definitely worth considering. Do you want to relax by a beautiful outdoor pool in a serene environment, have full on water park fun, or want to experience one of Vegas’s famous pool parties?

Vegas has them all, but not every resort has them all. If a pool is important to you, here’s a list of some of the hotels with the best pools in Las Vegas and what they’re known for.

  • Mandalay Bay (mid-range) – 11 acre pool deck with three pools, a lazy river, a giant wave pool, and a sandy beach. Fun for everyone!
  • Mirage (mid-range) – The Mirage has one very big pool! It’s like swimming in a tropical lagoon with multiple waterfalls!
  • Circa (luxury adults only hotel) – A rooftop pool in downtown Las Vegas with a 40-foot tall LED TV to watch the game. It’s a pool and a sportsbook combined.
  • Golden Nugget (mid-range) – Imagine a gorgeous pool with a 200,000 gallon aquarium filled with sharks right in the middle of it. There is even a clear water slide that shoots down through the middle of the shark tank!
  • Caesars Palace (luxury) – A pool named “Garden of the Gods” has a lot to live up to, and you won’t be disappointed. A relaxing pool surrounded by Roman architecture.
  • Luxor (Budget) – A large pool with a great view of the pyramid shaped hotel.
  • Cosmopolitan (Luxury) – The Marquee Dayclub is one of the spots where you’ll find hundreds of people drinking and dancing to a live DJ.

While staying at a hotel with the kind of pool you want is ideal, the good news is that you can enjoy many (but not all) of Las Vegas’s resort pools without being a guest of that particular hotel. Check out our article: Best Pools in Las Vegas for Non-Guests: The Tourist’s Guide for more info about that.

A Word About Resort Fees

Almost every major Las Vegas hotel charges a resort fee. This daily fee is on top of your nightly room rate, and it covers many of the hotels amenities including, access to the pool area, fitness center, and business areas. Resort fees also generally cover room and resort wide Wi-Fi service.

Unfortunately, resort fees are non-negotiable and are billed whether you use any of these amenities or not. There are a few bigger hotels in Las Vegas that don’t charge resort fees. You can find a list of these in our article: 21 Las Vegas Hotels Without Resort Fees.

Vegas Activities: Gaming, Shows & Attractions

There’s plenty to do in Vegas, undoubtedly. But there are some things you can only do at certain places. For instance, while nearly all Vegas hotel casinos offer your typical games like slots, video poker, blackjack and craps, they don’t all offer sportsbook operations.

This of course means that you need to pay attention to what activities and games are offered on the casino floor at any particular hotel if those things are important to you. The Venetian, Bellagio, MGM Grand and Wynn offer top poker rooms, while Caesar’s Palace has one of the best sportsbook offerings. You have to make sure the hotels you’re looking at have what you want.

Other important forms of entertainment around Vegas include shows, such as live performances, large production shows, comedy clubs, magic shows, etc.

So, if you’re interested in one of the several Cirque du Soleil shows playing in town, you’ll need to check and see which hotel properties the show or shows you’re hoping to see are playing at. This is not to say that you can’t go to a show playing at a hotel other than your own, but it is convenient if one or more of the shows you want to see is playing either in your hotel or nearby.

The same is true of attractions. Being close to the attractions you’re most interested in, will save you from spending a lot of your vacation time trying to get where you want to go.

Restaurants in Las Vegas Hotels

Something else to factor in to your hotel search is food. One feature of Las Vegas hotels and resorts, is that they are filled with restaurants! Everything from a burger and fries type restaurant, to celebrity-chef owned fine dining. Many of the biggest hotels have literally dozens of food options. Everyone likes to eat, but if you’re a true foodie, you’ll think you’ve died and gone to heaven in Las Vegas.

You’ll typically find that each property covers all the bases from cheap, quick eats, to high-end restaurants, but as a general rule if you plan on doing a lot of fine dining, you’ll find more options at a luxury hotel. Hotels particularly noted for their fine dining include Wynn, The Venetian, Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace and MGM Grand.

If on the other hand, you’re into more simple or fast fare, you’ll find more of these options at a budget or mid-range hotel. So while you’ll never go hungry in Las Vegas, it’s a good idea to note if the hotel you’re considering has the type of food you’ll be most happy with.

Recommended Reading: Here’s What it Costs to Eat at Hell’s Kitchen Las Vegas

Use Your Las Vegas Vacation Priorities To Determine the Best Hotel

The best affordable and luxury hotels in Las Vegas.

Naturally, what you want to do on your vacation should be a major consideration when choosing a hotel in Las Vegas. It used to be that people only took a Vegas trip for the casinos, but nowadays there is so much to do and see that visitors come to town to experience all sorts of fun activities outside of the casinos.

What Do You Want to Do on Your Vacation?

  • Do you want the luxury hotel experience, with in-house restaurants and casinos?
  • Do you just want to tour the city for its sights?
  • There’s no need to pick a luxury, five-star hotel that offers things you aren’t interested in.
  • Perhaps you’d prefer a non-smoking hotel.

Taking the time to figure out what your Vegas priorities are, will help greatly in figuring out how to choose the right Las Vegas hotel.

In other words, maybe you’re headed to Las Vegas, but have no interest in going to casinos or anything like that. In that case, securing a hotel with an onsite casino won’t be a high priority. There are plenty of other things to do in Vegas, like visiting Red Rock Canyon, in that case staying in a hotel near that area of town may be much more desirable.

Vacation priorities can also extend to some other things, such as the number of people you are traveling with. The more people in your group the more you’ll want to be in an area that contains multiple things to do in order to satisfy everyone.

If it’s a trip for the whole family, certain hotels will be more desirable than others that might interest you if visiting without kids. If you’re planning a family trip with the kids, check out my article: 9 Best Las Vegas Hotels for Kids and Families (On The Strip).

Choosing the right hotel in this regard is all about laying out a plan: what do you really want to do in Vegas, and will booking a particular hotel make it easier to do it? If so, it should definitely be placed higher on the list.

Choosing Your Vegas Hotel

Ultimately, choosing a hotel in Vegas isn’t so much about avoiding bad or sketchy hotels and finding the rare good one. Most of the hotels in Vegas are very nice: it’s one of the most popular vacation destinations in the country, after all.

No, the real challenge is finding out which great hotel offers exactly the things you want, and at a price you are happy with. You’re not trying to pick one good apple out of a batch of bad ones, you’re comparing many good apples to find the best, and paying the least while doing it.

That in and of itself can be challenging, but if you remember everything we’ve discussed in this how to choose a hotel in Las Vegas guide, you can make the process much easier.

If you find you’re having trouble deciding between two or more hotels, check out our Las Vegas Hotel Comparison Guide where we directly compare dozens of Las Vegas hotels head-to-head to help you make the right choice.

Or if you’d like, check out our top 3 hotel recommendations in each budget range. These are the best of the best hotels for budget-friendly, mid-range, and luxury properties in Las Vegas.

Thanks for visiting, and enjoy your trip to Las Vegas!

References:

https://traveltips.usatoday.com/stay-las-vegas-first-trip-there-12822.html

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