I just booked my airfare for my fall trip to Las Vegas, I’ve arranged for the time off from work, and now comes the fun part: Figuring out where to stay. In the past, I’ve stayed at 2 hotels per week in Vegas to hedge my bets (in case I don’t like one of them, I still have hopefully fond memories of the other). Last winter, I stayed at 4 (not by choice), which was insane; even 3 was too many. I won’t do that again. This trip, I would like to stick to just one hotel, since I’m spending a couple of days in San Diego before I get to Las Vegas, and I’ll have to change hotels once already when I change cities. As I’m trying to narrow down all my choices for this trip, I’m looking at the following criteria:
- A hotel on the Strip
- A hotel I’ve never stayed at before (I’d like to add to my collection of hotel reviews)
- Something conveniently located, since I won’t have a car
- A hotel with a quiet pool
- Something a bit more upscale than my last few trips
- I’d like to spend $150 or less per night
If it weren’t for that last item, this almost might be easy. But it’s not. These are the hotels I’ve looked at so far:
Pros: I’ve always wanted to try these. The location is terrific, and the place exudes class. I’ve heard the pools are quiet and relaxing.
Cons: Price. It’s very rare to get a deal for less than $150 here. Unless a screaming deal comes along, I doubt I’ll be able to afford it.
Pros: I love this whole property. It’s so beautiful. I spend a lot of time here every trip. And since I didn’t make it to the real Italy this year, I can at least pretend I’m there by staying here. They have some great restaurants, and I like the idea of a suite. I’ve heard the Palazzo has a quieter pool.
Cons: Just price, but I have a deal sitting in my email inbox right now for $119/night through all but one night of my trip. Right now, this one is the leader of the pack.
Pros: This is another property with a great location. I’ve heard the pool area is beautiful and not the rowdy party scene that others are. I love all the entertainment and great restaurants available on-site.
Cons: Aside from the fact that it is a huge property and very spread out (read: lots of walking), the biggest con is the prohibitive price. I don’t have any current offers from them. (Sob.) I did get an offer last week for a Classic Room for $79/night, but I decided to pass. First, because it was one of those “high pressure” deals where you have to book within a short window of time (I don’t like being rushed) and second, the classic rooms haven’t been updated in a long time. If a decent price comes along for one of the other rooms between now and then, I’d consider it.
PH Towers Westgate
Pros: Great location, nice pool area, connected to Planet Hollywood via the Miracle Mile shops, these are suites. I like that it’s a non-smoking hotel. Good prices – I could get a Studio Suite for $119/night.
Cons: I was sold on this place until I heard reports that loud rap music plays at the pool all day. That’s a dealbreaker.
Pros: I really love the public areas of this hotel, the restaurants that are available, and public sitting areas, and the fact that they have live music on site. I’ve heard there’s at least one quiet pool (the Bamboo Pool). The location is terrific, and it’s the newest kid on the block, so I’d like to think the rooms are still in great condition.
Cons: It sounds as though they still haven’t fixed the customer service issues that plagued them when they first opened, and it sounds a bit too much like a party scene for me. This one’s probably a no.
Pros: Great location, rooms look lovely, the average price for all 5 nights is right.
Cons: I really don’t want to tangle with the Vdara Death Ray out by the pool (I burn easily as it is), and there’s no casino in this hotel. If I wake up at 3am and want to go do something, I’d have to leave the hotel. This one’s probably a no.
Pros: Lovely hotel, one of the newer ones on the Strip, I’ve heard great reports of it. As I understand it, the pool area is nice. It has great restaurants and a show that appeals. Right now, the average price per night butts right up against my cap, before hotel fees and taxes are thrown into the mix.
Cons: I’m not too concerned about the Legionnaire’s thing; they’re obviously taking steps to address that. It would be unwise not to, with the media watching like a hawk. But when I walked through this property at Christmas, it didn’t feel very “warm and welcoming” to me. I’m not real excited about it.
The Signature at MGM
Pros: The suites look terrific, it gets great word of mouth, and it’s attached to the MGM, with all that property offers. There are plenty of pools to choose from, so there’s bound to be a quiet one in the bunch. The price is also right.
Cons: It’s a long walk to anywhere.
Mandalay Bay or THEhotel
Pros: I’ve always liked this property; it’s lovely and offers a lot of great restaurant and entertainment options. They have one of the best pool areas in town.
Cons: It’s a bit too far South on the Strip for me, since I don’t have access to a car. I have a feeling I’d spend a lot of money on cabs. Right now, THEhotel is out of my price range and even Mandalay Bay is butting up against my spending cap before adding in fees and taxes (or cab fare).
So that’s where my hotel selection process is at. I’m starting to feel a little underwhelmed with my choices. A quiet pool in a luxury hotel does seem attainable, but not easily for under $150/night. At this rate, I might just have to fall back to a place I’ve already stayed before, like TI or MGM Grand. (I’d love to stay at Bellagio again, but haven’t seen any good deals for it recently.) In the meantime, you can bet I’ll be monitoring any Vegas hotel deals I see online.
What are your criteria for the perfect hotel in Las Vegas? Is it price, star level, amenities, location, pool area, or something else entirely?