No matter your budget and preference of amenities, you should be able to find a hotel that suits you in Las Vegas. The desert gambling capital offers more hotel rooms than any other American city, both as part of casino resorts and standalone chain hotels. Most lodging options are clustered in the main tourist areas of the Strip and Fremont Street.
The Strip -- officially named Las Vegas Boulevard -- features some of the world's most famous resorts including Bellagio, Caesars Palace and The Venetian. As a general rule, the newer properties are closer to the south end of the Strip and the older (and cheaper) hotels are located toward the north end. Go farther north and you will hit the downtown area of Las Vegas. Fremont Street is home to some of the oldest casino hotels in the city. These properties offer fewer amenities but generally very attractive rates.
Las Vegas serves up plenty of chain hotels and motels among its many lodging options. Most that are located on Las Vegas Boulevard tend to be on the fringes of the Strip to the north and south, making them farther away from the city's main attractions -- the casinos themselves. You may be better off looking for one of the budget casino hotels on the Strip, such as Riviera, Imperial Palace or Circus Circus, which tend to offer similar (if not better) rates than chain hotels, with more amenities.
If you stay at a casino resort and want to partake in the games, know that practically all casinos offer the most popular forms of gambling such as slots, blackjack and craps. Top poker rooms in town can be found at Bellagio and The Venetian. Sign up for players club cards before you play. Use the card when you gamble, and you could earn comps such as free meals or discounted hotel rooms.
If you book a hotel away from the Strip or Fremont Street, you should strongly consider renting a car if you want to explore the city and surrounding area. The Strip itself is four miles long from one end to the other, which can prove a difficult trek in the summer. City buses regularly run up and down the Strip and to Fremont Street. The buses can be slow, but fares are reasonable.
- "Fodor's Las Vegas 2010"; Andrew Collins et al; 2009
- "Frommer's Las Vegas 2009"; Mary Herczog; 2009
- bellagio image by anupio from Fotolia.com