Whether you're a Vegas newbie hoping to make your first time in Sin City special, or you're a well-seasoned Vegas veteran, ready to hit the Strip again for the umpteenth time, there's one thing we all have in common. If we're going to shell out a few thousand to stay in the desert, we want to make sure it's worth it, and that means choosing the right hotel. Luckily (and you're going to need all the luck you can get in Vegas) we've got you covered as far choosing where to say.
It doesn't matter why you're coming to Vegas, maybe you watched The Hangover a few too many times and convinced yourself you can count cards. Maybe you're down to see the Golden Knights win the Stanley Cup. Or maybe your work is flying you out for the week for a convention, and you'll just place a quick bet on red between discussion panels. Either way - business or pleasure - Vegas is the place to treat yourself. Go big or go home (or in this case, stay home)!
The hotels in Vegas are massive, and it's easy to find yourself spending your entire day in your resort. Breakfast by the pool, afternoon cocktails, followed by reservations at your resort's hottest restaurant before hitting up a show hosted by, you guessed it, your resort. They're not messing around in Vegas. They know you want to see it all, so the resorts do everything they can to draw you in and keep you there.
In Vegas, your resort will be like your family (yes, I ripped that quote off from Harry Potter...) and if you make the wrong selection, you'll be stuck with a dinky casino, crowded pool, and a room that'll give you nightmares. So sit back, relax (you won't have much time for that in Vegas) and find out which hotels you should stay at and which ones you'd better not.
20 Bellagio (Worth It!) - For Those Who Want To Feel Like Royalty
You can't go wrong with the Bellagio. How would you like to just casually look out your floor to ceiling hotel window and see their famous fountain, which is on every single person's bucket-list of things to see in Vegas. At the Bellagio you'll get a bird's eye view of the water shows in all their glory. You'll feel like a king staring out from above while everyone else below leans over the barrier from the street to watch.
No trip to Vegas is complete without a stop by Bellagio's fountain, but the Bellagio is so much more that that. It's also host to what Tripsavvy calls the best restaurant in Vegas, Le Cirque. AAA Five Diamond, Five Stars from Forbes, I mean, French cuisine doesn't get any better than this. Literally!
Oh, did we forget to mention Bellagio is home to the Cirque de Soleil sensation, O, as well?
Bellagio is top notch in every way. The location is spot on, the rooms are gorgeous, the service is stellar, and there's everything you could ever need in the resort, including a jaw-dropping casino and stores galore. We just hope you have a nice big credit limit, because it's going to cost you! However, don't be intimidated by the $300 dollar a night price tag! For the Bellagio, and each of the other top 10 hotels in Vegas, there are always deals!
Check out websites like Vegas.com, or even Expedia or Kayak, and you'll find you can save on hotel costs if you buy airfare and accommodation at the same time. Even over holidays and weekends, you can save up to half by bundling!
Staying at the Bellagio isn't so impossible after all.
19 Circus Circus (Eh, Maybe Not) - For Starters, The Clowns Are Creepy Enough
The hotels to avoid are not necessarily ones with the lowest rating, or ones with the most complaints. In fact, most of the hotels you should avoid are actually quite popular for both paying guests and visitors. But if you're heading to Vegas and about to book a hotel with decent ratings at a decent price, thinking it won't be so bad, it's worth noting that these ten resorts have some red flags that may make you rethink your decision (some more than others).
First up, Circus Circus. There was a time when this place wasn't so creepy, I'm sure.
Apparently, Circus Circus is meant to be appealing to children, but the rundown resort, which was once an icon and highlight along the Strip, is now a slightly creepy shadow of what it once was. The circus acts are hit or miss and the games aren't all they're cracked up to be.
If you're thinking of staying there, think again. There are other places you could take your kids to that will put a bigger smile on their face, instead of a grimace.
If you book with Circus Circus, get ready to want to shower with your socks on, inhale way too much smoke due to poorly ventilated areas, and have fun making your way towards the centre of Vegas, since you're not exactly in the heart of the action.
18 Venetian (Worth It!) - A Portal To Venice
If you've already been to Vegas, whoever you talk to about your trip will ask if you visited the Venetian. If you haven't been there, the Venetian is one of the first things people recommend.
Here's the 411, in case you weren't aware. Vegas is a hodgepodge of different city landmarks and cultures. You have replicas of the Eiffel Tower, the Sphinx, the Statue of Liberty and so many more.
The Venetian is, of course, themed, but it's the classiest themed resort on the Strip. When you walk in, the Italian inspired architecture takes your breath away. You can even take a gondola ride, like in Venice, only here, in this version of St. Mark's Square, as you take in the sights from your romantic boat ride, your eyes will be drawn up to the ceiling where you'll find a perfectly painted blue sky, with clouds so realistic they look like they're moving.
Once again, the Venetian is no one-trick pony. There's lots to see and do. Nightclubs, food courts, swimming pools, celebrity chef restaurants, and even a Carlos' Bakery like in New Jersey! There's something for all tastes, and all budgets (okay, maybe not ALL budgets, but Vegas on a dime isn't easy).
17 Flamingo (Eh, Maybe Not) - It's Like Stepping Into A Time Machine (And Going Back 30 Years)
Let me start by saying, Flamingo was one of the highlights of my trip, but as much as I enjoyed the Flamingo habitat (yes, there are live animals to visit in the centre of the hotel) and the gift shops (which were cute and Flamingo themed), the first thing that crossed my mind when walking into the somewhat shabby and dated venue was, "wow, thank God I'm not staying here."
Walking into the Flamingo is a bit like stepping into a time machine. The casino falls flat, the air is thick with smoke, and it doesn't have any of the grandiose you get with the other Strip hotels. The faded pink exterior of the once shiny flamingo gives you a clue things aren't exactly up to par here.
I don't know a lot of Donny and Marie fans, and seeing their show promoted throughout the resort, tacky fridge magnets and all, was a bit too much for me. In my mind, Donny and Marie scream 70s, or 90s, depending if you prefer the variety show or the talk show version of the duo. There's just a vibe at Flamingo that's stuck in the past, like the Osmond siblings.
So when you're going to book, even though it's a good location, I vote finding a more up to date resort to stay at. Make a quick trip to the Flamingo instead. Your lungs will thank you.
16 Cosmopolitan (Worth It!) - Fresh, Modern And Staking Its Claim
If you're looking for a modern resort on the Strip, that isn't too caught up in any theme, and won't cost you two month's rent for a weekend, the Cosmo is great! Out of the top 10, Cosmo is one of the most affordable.
Vegas is not a city people typically visit for its history, which is why the Cosmopolitan, which opened in 2010, is quickly becoming one of Vegas' top hotels. It's fresh, new, trendy, stylish and all those fun adjectives you'd associate with a place named after the famous cocktail.
The location is second to none. You have a view of the iconic Paris Eiffel Tower and balloon from your balcony, you're steps away from the Bellagio, which is steps away from Ceaser's Palace which is steps away from...well you get it, everything is close to the Cosmo.
But why leave? We know, there are places to see and people to meet, but this resort-on-the-rise is the go-to spot in the city for afternoon pool parties at the Marquee (or a more relaxed pool-side afternoon with something they call "dive in movies" where you swim, sip on cocktails, and enjoy a hit blockbuster on a big outdoor screen).
Whatever your preference, these spacious modern rooms, the stellar view, and the perfect mix of restaurants, bars and slot machines makes Cosmo a big hit for any type of traveller. Just make sure you get in line early for Eggslut, because that's the longest breakfast line I've ever seen (then again, breakfast by the pool is even better, I recommend their bottomless mimosas!)
15 Stratosphere (Eh, Maybe Not) - It's Not In New Vegas Or Old Vegas, But An Unflattering Middle
Stratosphere is one of the hotels that marks the end of the Strip. What that means is, the Stratosphere is pretty damn far from the main hustle and bustle (aka the fun). Factor in the cost of taxis to all your shows and restaurants, and you won't be saving much money by opting for Stratosphere.
Let's start with the pros. Well, this resorts has a pretty terrifying ride, where you can spin from the top of the iconic Stratosphere tower. That's cool! And it's dirt cheap, so that's hard to resist (but you're charged resort fees, so don't let that $50 a night price tag fool you).
The cons. Location is a big one. It's not close to old Vegas or new Vegas, it's kind of just forgotten in the distance. The rooms are in bad shape, yet you still have to pay a $40 resort fee (which is the same charge you'll see for some of the 10 best Vegas hotels) only you don't get the service. One guest mentioned in their review that they never saw any of the employees smile their entire stay. Yikes! Finally, if you stay here you better be patient. The service is slow, you wait in line for your room, and again if you attempt to eat at the restaurant on site.
All in all, if you're really excited about the ride, take a taxi there, but don't subject yourself to a full Vegas trip at Stratosphere, it will be a big let down.
14 Wynn (Worth It!) - Think Wynn, Think Luxury, Think Money
FYI, Wynn is the highest rated five star luxury resort company in the world according to Forbes Travel Guide. When I think Wynn, I think money, I mean luxury, definitely luxury!
Don't be fooled, Wynn might look like a garden oasis, but it's actually a bustling metropolis just like all the other massive Vegas resorts along the Strip. Each resort on our list is a mini city, equipped with shopping centres, pools, bars, shows, endless expanses of slots machines and so many beautiful backdrops it'll be easy to snag the perfect Instagram photo.
Plus, their resident show, The Dream, is set in an incredible aquatic theatre with a whopping one million gallons of water to create their very trippy, very impressive rival to Cirque de Soleil.
Wynn and Encore, essentially one in the same, are renown for their service. If you're paying for a nice hotel, Wynn has countless years of offering guests the best service and amenities money can buy. And after a big day on the town, doesn't that sound nice!
13 Hooters (Eh, Maybe Not) - New Hotel, Outdated Concept
Does anyone stay here or visit this place? Hooters used to be cool, back when short shorts were taboo. Vegas has evolved a lot over the last few decades, but the Hooters image has not.
That's a pretty common theme with the hotels to avoid in Vegas. If they're outdated, you'll feel like you visited Vegas in the 90s, and you won't really get the full Vegas experience. But what's crazy about this resort is that it's not even old! It's actually relatively new and renovated, but it's just the tacky, old-school Hooters concept that turns people off.
Hooters serves mediocre food at decent prices with somewhat cute girls who are always keen to take photos and hang out with you. But is that enough? Vegas has so much to choose from, and the best thing Hooters has going for it is the price tag. The shows are "meh," the pool, okay, the location could be better, could be worse.
But if you come back from your Vegas vacation and one of the words you use to describe it is "okay," you did something wrong!
12 Aria (Worth It!) - With Everything You Need, You'll Never Want To Leave
Aria has everything! I mean, we get it, people want pools, bars, restos and good service, what more could there be? Aria figured it out with their 8 billion dollar City Center complex, shared with Mandarin Oriental and Vdara. Together there's more than 500,000 square feet of shopping and entertainment to be experienced. That includes Liquid dayclub and Haze nightclub, the perfect spots to catch your favorite DJ playing live.
One thing we haven't mentioned yet are the buffets in Vegas. It's something you have to try. Forget everything you know about sub-par buffets back home, with luke-warm food that makes you feel queasy if you eat too much, not to mention the MSG headache that follows. Vegas buffets are as spectacular and overwhelming as the city itself, and Aria is host to one of the best, humbly called The Buffet.
If you're interested in high tech rooms, fast and easy service, clean lobbies and casino floors, friendly staff, lots of shopping, and yummy food, you won't even need to leave Aria. Like I said, they have everything!
11 Luxor (Eh, Maybe Not) - A Pricetag For What It Used To Be
I'll admit, I have an unwatched copy of Mindfreak, aka Criss Angel, in my cupboard, and there's nothing wrong with a good magic show, but the Luxor lost it's lux a while ago.
Just last month someone stayed at the Luxor and tore the place to shreds, saying their upgraded room had dirty shower water, poorly patched walls, old furniture, and a not so great cleaning service.
The pyramid shaped hotel is cool, although those pyramid rooms still have an old 70s vibe. The Egypt theme and sphinx are fun. I'm down for a good travel theme every now and then, but they're not so exciting you'd want to go out of your way to visit, like you would with the Paris or New York hotels.
What's not acceptable is the price tag. Unlike the other hotels on this list, you'll be paying a pretty penny to stay at the Luxor, because it used to be a key destination in Vegas. For the rooms you sleep in and the service you get, your money is best spent elsewhere. Sorry Criss Angel, I guess I'll just have to watch you on my dusty DVD at home!
10 Ceaser's Palace (Worth It!) - A Symbol Of Vegas For Decades
This isn't the real Ceaser's Palace, is it? Did Ceaser live here? Umm... well no, but that doesn't make this place any less spectacular.
When I think Vegas, the first place to come to mind is Ceaser's Palace. It's been a symbol of Vegas for years, and the hotel is committed to maintaining their rank as the best place to stay in Vegas.
When you walk inside Ceaser's Palace you can't help but be swept away. The lobby is immense, and you find yourself just standing there gawking instead of heading over to reception to check in. Everything inside Ceaser's Palace is jaw-dropping and dripping in elegance (or extravagance, depending on how you see it). Enjoy the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis, and don't miss the Qua baths and spa, and how can you miss Omni Nightclub or the Montecristo cigar lounge! Walking around here will feel like taking a trip to Europe.
We're talking about the best places to stay, so that means sleeping there, eating there, shopping there, gambling there. Ceaser's Palace is pricey, you just have to take one look at the photo above to know that. If it's not in the cards for you, at the very least you have to visit. But if you can work it out and find a deal to stay at Ceaser's Palace, you won't regret it.
9 Treasure Island - You Might Search For Treasure But Find Something Else Instead...
Once upon a time Treasure Island was a lot of fun for families, kids, couples, you name it. Not everyone wants to go for glamour at Vegas, and Treasure Island is (or maybe, was) a good time! I ate at Señor Frog's, which is part of the Treasure Island complex, and had an absolute blast! No complaints there.
But according to recent reviews, the hotel is slipping, and slipping fast.
If you stay at Treasure Island you'll find yourself paying twice as much as Hooters or Flamingo (other hotels to avoid), and half as much as Cosmo and Paris (hotels you'll really enjoy). But lately there have been reports of mold, bed bugs, slow bad service, ladies of the night hanging around and more. For every terrible review there are two or more good ones, but still, it makes you think...
I mean, it's Vegas, we can let a few things slide, but I wouldn't expect bed bugs and mold from a once popular hotel along the Vegas strip! So maybe save your pennies and opt for another hotel.
8 MGM (Worth It!) - Everything You Need, Plus A Lazy River!
MGM is one of the biggest hotels on the Strip and one of the original classics. They may not have so many traditional bronze lion statues anymore after renovating and updating, but the hotel still has its original charm!
Ranked #2 on Trip Advisor for best value, MGM has everything you need and more. Plus there's a lazy river, how cool is that! It may well be the only time you get to be lazy and relaxed in Vegas.
One of the reasons it's great to stay at MGM is because there are so many top notch shows. Imagine seeing Cher and then casually hitting the pillow about five minutes later! Maybe you're into magic? David Copperfield likes to hang out (you know, do shows) at MGM. There's a constant in and out of huge stars and artists, that even if you don't stay at the MGM, there's a good change you'll end up there at some point.
As one of the largest hotels on the Strip (try not to forget anything in your room or it might be a long walk back) it'll feel like a microcosm of Vegas within the real Vegas. The pools, the restaurants, the shows, the rooms, the service, it'll all been said before, but it's all top notch at MGM.
7 Excalibur (Eh, Maybe Not) - An Oversized Lego Set
If you're wondering why Excalibur is on the list, it's because things are going south. Just yesterday a guest reported finding cockroaches in their room! Cockroaches! And Excalibur is not a dinky cheap hotel, you can find yourself paying $150 a night for this place! So be warned.
It's not good to judge a book by its cover, but when I was driving by the Excalibur the first word to pop into my head was "let-down". It looks like an oversized lego set, and maybe that was the aesthetic they were going for, but it just reminds me of 80s special effects in movies. That stuff just doesn't slide anymore! It's a castle for god-sake, there's potential to be really cool! Instead it looks more like a joke.
But there are definitely more important things than looks, for sure. So how about I just leave this Trip Advisor review, posted June 2018:
"Dirty rooms, hair in the towels, dead bugs in the window sill, boogers smeared in the bed skirt, toenail found in the sheets, brown stuff smeared on the closet, dirty bathroom floors. Had to move rooms three different times! Very rude workers, no good."
6 Four Seasons Hotel, Mandalay Bay (Worth It!) - It's TripAdvisor's Number 1
If you're driving along the Strip you may see the Mandalay Bay sign off in the distance.
It's farther away from the hustle and bustle of the centre of the street, but it's well worth the extra cost of a cab. The Four Seasons Hotel is rated #1 on TripAdvisor out of all 300 hotels in Vegas, and that's saying something!
If you're wondering why this is a two in one hotel, the Four Seasons Las Vegas is located on the top floors of the MandalayBay Resort. The Four Seasons has its own private lobby and separate bars, restaurants and pools, so you get to enjoy the taste of being VIP when you pass through the already gorgeous Mandalay Bay resort and get to the even nicer, even more exclusive, Four Seasons.
So what makes it #1? It's predictable to say service, but it's the little things. The way you're greeted even before you step into the elevators. You feel like a celebrity. Plus, your room is exquisite, and your bed feels like a cloud.
Don't miss the Shark Reef aquarium, and the wave pool within Mandalay Bay, and take a nice deep breath inside the casino, because it's one of the only ones in Vegas that is smoke free!
5 LINQ, Formerly Imperial Palace (Eh, Maybe Not) - You'll Probably Need A Map
LINQ is attracting some attention because it's new, has decent ratings on Hotels.com, and is pretty freaking cheap! It has a nice location, some pretty photos, and they have all the essentials, a pool, casinos, yada yada yada. But our list of places to avoid isn't made up of the worst hotels in Vegas, you're obviously smart enough to know how to avoid a 1 star hotel with bad reviews. Instead this is about helping you find the best Vegas experience to enhance your trip, while avoiding places that will fall flat.
The LINQ was recently completely redone, and for good reason. Imperial Palace was not working out, and would have also made our list for worst hotels to stay at in Vegas. LINQ is a step up, but not enough.
For example, this is prime real estate along the Vegas strip, but this new hotel is badly organized, with countless guests calling the resort confusing and easy to get lost in (even though it's nowhere near as big as any of our top ten resorts). For example, rooms numbered 302 are on the second floor. Who does that? They need a few more maps and signs, and better organization.
As far as the rooms go, the lights in the room regularly blow a fuse, the sheets have had stains on them, and if you go to complain, you'll find yourself in a line at reception with other people experiencing problems. Save yourself the hassle and skip the LINQ.
4 Palazzo (Worth It!) - For That Real And Exclusive VIP Access
Palazzo and Venetian are sister resorts, so if the gondola rides and Italian architecture had you drooling, you're about to fall in love with Palazzo. Ornate details are absolutely everywhere to be seen, but it's not just how picture perfect this resort is, it's all about a little something called Prestige Level.
Think about the worst things in Vegas, the crowds, the impossibility to get a chair by the pool, the cost of absolutely everything, from bottles of water (I paid as much as $12 for a Fiji water bottle!) to your morning coffee and breakfast. Everything adds up, and it adds up fast.
If you opt for the Prestige Level experience at Palazzo, you skip the line, skip the crowds, get reserved seats by the pool and have drinks, snacks, meals, and yes, even 5-7 cocktails, included in your package. It will absolutely bring your Vegas experience to the next level.
Even if you aren't ready for the VIP experience, Palazzo plays host to some of the cities best wining and dining, including Bouchon, serving french cuisine by top American chef, Thomas Keller, CUT, a five star steakhouse by Wolfgang Puck, and more!
3 Tropicana (Eh, Maybe Not) - You Get What You Pay For, Plus Some Extra Waiting
We all know the stereotype of getting married in Vegas, and Tropicana boasts a nice wedding package and a cute ceremony room to get married in, that isn't Elvis themed. But the resort just isn't what you'd want for your wedding, even a Vegas shotgun wedding! Tropicana is one of the old classics along the quieter parts of the Vegas strip, but part of the resort is still stuck in the 70s.
In the words of visitors, it's low-key and average, and that's fine, as long as you don't get one of the rooms with damp carpets, peeling paint, or old stained furniture. The pictures look great online, but not all rooms are upgraded, and you don't want to be stuck in one of the cigarette smelling rooms, especially for a wedding!
Another big problem is service. They seem to be understaffed, and any request (including check in and out) take longer than you'd expect. Imagine on the big day, how stressed you'd be waiting twenty minutes for someone to get back to you about a question. Not okay!
You get what you pay for at $50 a night, I guess.
2 Paris (Worth It!) - Because Flights To Europe Are Expensive
It may not be everyone's taste, but the Paris is one of the themed resorts on the Strip where you'll want to stay! Unlike the other resorts in the top ten, Paris is less glitz and glamor and more about quaint and cozy when it comes to the rooms and decor. And unlike some of the other themed or older resorts, Paris keeps things clean, renovated, up to date, and well air conditioned.
One of the benefits of staying at Paris is the price. Match that with the absolute stellar location (right across from the Bellagio, you can get a fountain view from your room if you're lucky) and you can't go wrong.
The pool is adorable, still maintaining the Parisian theme, of course, as it's right at the base of the Eiffel Tower replica (which is half the size of the original, in case you were wondering). Don't forget to visit the Eiffel Tower viewing deck during your stay, it's one of the best views of Vegas.
You'll experience how glamorous Vegas can be if you stay at one of the major resorts on the Strip (which is really the best place to stay if you want the full Vegas experience). Now it's time to see which resorts and hotels you should cross off your list when it comes time to book your accommodation.
1 Manor Suites (Eh, Maybe Not) - Spare Yourselves And Your Pets The Nightmares
Manor Suites is the hotel with the worst rating on Trip Advisor out of all the Vegas hotels (among nearly 300). Even if Manor Suites wasn't one of the places you had considered staying at for your Vegas weekend, it's crazy to see how many things can go wrong in one place.
First of all, if you're going to have dirty rooms, at least lower your room rates. Manor Suites is actually one of the most expensive on our list of places to avoid. That may be because they allow pets, which sets them apart from most other Vegas hotels.
Second, this place is actually a motel, which means you have lots of interesting characters milling around. A pair of female visitors said they felt uncomfortable just walking to their room because they had to pass people they assumed were very sketchy. These ladies slept with their clothes on, over the sheets, afraid to even fall asleep!
Finally, there's an endless list of complaints over the the years, including mold, dirty rooms, uncleaned sheets, cockroaches, and cigarette smell so strong it sticks to your clothes. If you're looking for a place for you and your pooch, keep looking, this motel will give you nightmares... and a rash!
Sources: Trip Advisor, Trip Savvy, Quora, Hotels.com, Forbes