Updated: Jul 26, 2018
When I turned 21 six years ago and was planning my first trip to Las Vegas, I vowed to never stay in the same hotel twice. There are SO MANY hotels in Las Vegas that I wanted to be able to have a different experience each time I went to Las Vegas.
Some tips for getting the best deal:
If you can, don't only plan to go on the weekend. Prices are always at a premium. If you can go during the week you will score some amazing deals
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Keep reading if you want to learn all about the hotels I have stayed in, which I would recommend and what entertainment you are close to at each location (these are listed in no particular order).
$ - $25 - $75 $$ - $76 - $125 $$$ - $126 - $175 $$$$ - $176 - $225 $$$$$ - $226 - $500+
Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino $$ - $$$$
Why Stay Here: I love staying at this hotel for trips where I am looking to relax and be removed from the crazy action of Las Vegas. One of the biggest selling features of this hotel is their pool area. They have a great lazy river (not the largest among the hotels in Las Vegas, though), and a large wave pool. I spent hours here just utilizing their pool area. This hotel features an aquarium exhibit that is worth going to at least once. I have heard great reviews!
What is Nearby: Though this hotel is at the end of the strip, there is a free monorail that will take you to the Luxor and end at Excalibur. Though it doesn't go too far, this will save you from walking two "Vegas" miles (in the extreme heat). Surrounding hotels include: the Luxor, Excalibur, and Tropicana.
Food Options: There are a ton of options from sushi, to American to Italian food. I have noticed that a majority of the food options here are higher end dining, however, there is a food court further from the main action of the hotel casino.
Excalibur Hotel Casino $ - $$
Why Stay Here: One word: Inexpensive. I stayed here in my early 20's when I had to carefully budget my vacations because I still didn’t make much money. The hotel tower we stayed in had not yet undergone renovations and we could tell. For us, we didn’t care. We crammed 6 girls in 1 room and I celebrated an amazing birthday weekend. One of the benefits of this hotel was the pool area. Though the pool wasn't super decked out with a theme like other hotels, the pools were large and not crowded!
What is Nearby: Staying at this hotel, you are at an intersection with Tropicana, New York New York, and MGM. This is a great location to be in if you are there to party. MGM has a great day and night club.
Food Options: This hotel has some great, inexpensive food options including Dicks Last Resort. If you eat here, go into it with an open mind and be prepared to be insulted.
The Signature at MGM Grand $$ - $$$$
Why Stay Here: If you are traveling with large groups, this is the hotel to stay at. I stayed in this hotel with 10 other girls. They have a cool feature that allows you to enclose 2 rooms and make them essentially one large room. Since this hotel is also affiliated with the MGM name, you are able to use all of the MGM Grand's amenities. The MGM Grand, in my opinion, is the ultimate entertainment hotel. The pool area had a multi million dollar renovation a few years ago. They have the best "lazy" river and multiple pools. They have a day club called Wet Republic and an world renowned night club called Hakkasan.
What is Nearby: Step outside (if you really have to leave) and you are sharing an intersection with the Tropicana, Excalibur and New York New York. You really can't go wrong with this spot.
Food Options: There are so many food options you won't get bored. There are Wolfgang Puck options, and fast food options.
Why Stay Here: Central location. The Miracle Mile shopping mall is here as well! In it you will find some amazing restaurants with some great happy hours. This hotel also features Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Jennifer Lopez. If you are planning to see any of these, plan to stay here for easy access!
What is Nearby: Even more central on the strip, you will be directly across from the Cosmopolitan hotel and the Bellagio. If you luck out with a room that overlooks the fountain you can have an amazing show right from your room. Not so lucky, you can make your way to the front to Cabo Wabo and get an outdoor seat for the show!
Food Options: In my opinion, this has the best food options. There is a food court, sit down restaurants and all the Miracle Mile restaurants. You won't go hungry in this hotel.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino $ - $$$
Why Stay Here: Rock and roll fan? This place is for you. This hotel is decked out in memorabilia and the colors of the hotel are very rock and roll themed. Love day parties? This hotel is also for you. The hotel chain is known for their Rehab pool parties. They are a must go to at least once in your lifetime.
What is Nearby: This hotel is off the strip, so I would only recommend staying here if you aren't interested in coming and going from the hotel a lot. It isn't a quick walk to the strip especially in the dead of summer.
Food Options: Hard Rock has a lot of great food options including well known names like: Nobu and Pink Taco
Monte Carlo Resort and Casino $ - $$$
Why Stay Here: Monte Carlo has recently undergone an exterior face lift. They have added a bunch of new shops and restaurants making it an appealing, central place to stay on the strip. Monte Carlo also has a smaller version of the Mandalay Bay pool area including a small lazy river and small wave pool. The pool area does get shade cover later in the afternoon though.
What is Nearby: Close to Monte Carlo is the CityCenter. This is an upscale shopping center. You are also across from MGM and Planet Hollywood.
Food Options: This hotel has one of the better locations when it comes to food. You have some nice sit down restaurants and some cheaper fast food options.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas $$ - $$$$
Why Stay Here: This hotel screams luxury. When you enter the hotel, the first thing you see is a 3 story pink chandelier. It is probably the most photographed thing in this hotel. When I stayed here, we lucked out and got a room that faced the Bellagio fountain so we enjoyed the show while getting ready for the evening.
What is Nearby: This hotel is very close to the CityCenter which has a lot of high end shopping. It is also right next to the Bellagio and across from the Paris.
Food Options: There are some fun food options. We loved eating at the Overlook bar and grill. This restaurant and pool area was only available to people staying at the hotel so it was not as crowded.
Flamingo Las Vegas - Hotel & Casino $ - $$
Why Stay Here: If you stayed here longer than 2 years ago and didn't like it, you should probably give it another try. Flamingo has been working to update their hotel the past few years. I was given the tip when I checked into the hotel to ask for a higher floor room, which at the time, were the remodeled rooms. More may have been remodeled by now. The main floor of the hotel has been updated and features clean white and pink décor and a large casino. The pool is awesome too. If you are traveling without kids, head to the Go! Pool, which is adults only.
What is Nearby: Depending on what you are planning to do on this trip, arguably this is the best location on the strip. It is directly across from Caesar's Palace which has entertainment, shopping and a shiny new club. Right outside the Flamingo is the new Linq promenade. The Linq high roller (largest Ferris wheel) is at the end of this promenade and there are tons of awesome restaurants and bars. I found this was a more down to earth part of Vegas where beer pong, giant jenga and discounted drinks can be found.
Food Options: This hotel has great food options. If you don't see anything you like, head out to the promenade where you are sure to find something to eat! The first Inn N Out on the strip can be found in an alley in the promenade. There is also a Margaritaville.
Mirage Resort and Casino $$ - $$$
Why Stay Here: I loved staying here for the location. The hotel to me is pretty basic, but they do have a nice pool area and the Beatles Cirque show which we ended up seeing
What is Nearby: The Wynn and Encore are across the street and close by. When I stayed at the Mirage, I ended up going to the Encore beach club during the day and XS and Surrender at night. Being at the Mirage gave us great access to these spots.
Food Options: I have been to the Mirage buffet, Cravings several times. I have always enjoyed eating here! California Pizza Kitchen is also a great choice and is probably a restaurant you would recognize.
Why Stay Here: This is a fun hotel. It is still pretty central on the strip and has the famed Sirens of TI. I saw it a few years ago after the show was revamped and personally, I am not a fan. The show was redone to be so much more sexualized and the acting is TERRIBLE. I left about 10 minutes into the show. This show also has a great, affordable Cirque de Soleil show: Mystere. I have seen this show 2 times and I love it!
What is Nearby: Across the street are the upscale hotels: The Venetian, The Palazzo, Wynn and Encore. Be prepared to spend some money eating at the Wynn and Encore. The Venetian is a fun place to hang out. The interior is a replica of how it would feel to be in Venice. There is a canal in the middle and you can even take a gondola ride!
Food Options: They have a pho and Mexican restaurant here. Don't be expecting the $6 a bowl price tag that you can probably find back home, but it is good when you have a hangover! Make sure you check out Kahunaville! There are always people handing out coupons for drinks so you can get good 2 for 1 deals here. At night, this place is pretty fun and actually has really good food!
Why Stay Here: If you are looking to have a different Vegas experience then what is offered on the strip, then I recommend staying at the Golden Nugget. This hotel is located on Fremont Street downtown. I love this hotel because the pool area was renovated about 5 years ago and now features a shark tank with a slide that goes right through the middle!
What is Nearby: Fremont Street is unique because the major hotels here all feed out into a pedestrian only street that is covered by an LED ceiling. At night there is a light show which is amazing. I love Fremont Street because everything is cheaper and it is a different crowd. You don't feel like you have to be super dressed up to be here.
Food Options: The hotels will have nicer sit down restaurants but there are also a lot of cheaper options here. Almost any type of food you can think of.