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Las Vegas Hotel Tips

5 March 2009, By:
So you're going to Las Vegas for the first time? How do you choose among the many available hotels?
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We'll give you a few tips to make your choice easier. Of course, everything depends on what you're looking for. Once you know that, the following pointers should help you find a suitable shack for your stay in Las Vegas.

Plan for a really hot experience

Remember that Las Vegas is in the middle of a desert area, and in the summertime, temperatures reach pretty astonishing levels. When you look at a map of Las Vegas, it's easy to underestimate the distance between two points. "It's just a three block walk."

You need to realize that a block in Las Vegas is pretty damn huge area. Walking three blocks when the thermometer shows 110 F (43 °C) is not within everyone's abilities, quite frankly.

So don't plan on living several blocks away from the place where you'll be spending most of your time if it can be avoided. If you don't mind taking a cab most of the time, obviously. Those are really well-cooled, on the contrary.

The location

Should you stay in a hotel on the Strip (Las Vegas Boulevard), off strip in a hotel like the Gold Coast, or in Las Vegas downtown (Freemont Street etc.)? There's no simple answer to this question, it depends on what you're planning to do in Vegas.

Again, living far away from your "target area" could cause you some annoyance. If you plan on playing poker at the Bellagio, Caesar's Palace and Flamingo, it's probably smarter to live in that area than downtown. Or if you're going to Vegas for the WSOP, staying at The Rio or the Gold Coast will put you in a sweet spot.

Imagine that you're coming out in the hot Las Vegas night after seven hours of poker, exhausted from all the tension and concentration. You just want to go to your room, have a shower and then soar down for a nightcap in one of the bars. What sounds better then, standing in line for a cab or just strolling over to your nearby hotel?

The house casino

If the purpose of your Las Vegas trip is to play poker, try to figure out which casino is the best for your kind of game and see if you can stay in that very hotel. Several things speak for this game plan.

First, again, it's so much easier to just take the elevator up to your room after the game, and even more so if you're on a short break. In the end, this comfort will help your game.

If you plan on playing poker in several casinos, stay in one of them. Why not one that's centrally placed among them?

For example, if you'll be playing at the Bellagio but find the room rates a bit on the steep side, staying in Bill's Gambling Hall or Bally's puts you at a comfortable walking distance while saving you quite a few big blinds. If you're not the veritable high roller, that is.

When you play in your own hotel, you'll usually be able to get a discount on the room rate. All of the following hotels belong to Harrah's, and your playing in any of them earns you their Total Rewards points: Caesars Palace, Paris, Harrah's, Flamingo, Rio, Bally's and Imperial Palace.

The pool area

While in Vegas, you'll definitely want to take advantage of the fabulous warm weather, and the only reasonable way to do this is by trotting down to the pool area of your hotel. (Make sure it has one.)

The hotel pool area is for free and it's nearby. Pools at other hotels are more distant oases, and usually they'll put a charge on your bathing.

So if you have a tie between several hotels, make sure to pick one where the pool area is nice and reasonably large. A waterfall is a plus, as they have it at the Flamingo.

Make your research on a site like On, you can read what other visitors actually thought of their hotels.

The restaurants

There are plenty of good eateries in Vegas, regardless of if you're into breakfast buffets, big burgers or fine dining. If you're interested in good food, you'll probably be all around the place to try out exciting places.

Fine dining at the Palms

But for the basic food intake, which should just be fast and all right and not cause you any headache, your hotel is your pantry. Make sure there are some decent restaurants in your flavor.

A good-sized breakfast buffet at a decent cost is a big plus. After all, you'll probably enjoy it on a daily basis. Also, if you come in late and find all eateries closed, that's a bummer.

Varied foods early and late is a good reason to prefer one hotel over the other.


If you plan on profiting from the abundant nightlife in Las Vegas, why would you be as far away as possible? Granted, you'll probably be riding those cabs back and forth between the water holes, the bars and the shows.

But there's nothing wrong with starting or ending the night in a place nearby, right? If there's a really cool place in the immediate surroundings of your hotel, chances are you'll turn it into a second home. You'll talk up the staff and get friendly prices and you'll never more wish to leave this warm, laid back city.

As a last word, if you stay a while in Las Vegas, consider moving around a bit. If you stay ten nights at the Mirage, maybe you could spend the last two nights at the Wynn.

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