When in Las Vegas, where to stay?
March 3, 2008 8:24 AM   Subscribe

[your personal recommendations-filter] Stayin in Las Vegas in May. Help me find a suitable accomodation that won't break the bank. Bonus-karma-points for personal pointers to the best way to visit Grand Canyon, when we're in those necks of the wood.

Girlfriend and I will be in Las Vegas in May. What's a suitable hotel to stay at - looking for your personal experiences. We're looking for a nice, clean and (yes) cheap hotel.

We're also trying to get out to Grand Canyon at some point: Will it be easiest to book a tour, rent a car or get there by Greyhound-bus (if that's even possible). Again: Your personal experiences and recommendations are most welcome.

Heck, anything that will make our stay enjoyable in the city of sin is welcome. We're just an ordinary European couple passing through the Nevada desert en route to some friends. Go ahead, throw us a curveball (if that's the correct use of the phrase).
posted by Rabarberofficer to Travel & Transportation around Las Vegas, NV (17 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Cheap Hotels with Great Locations: Barbary Coast or Imperial Palace
posted by tiburon at 8:46 AM on March 3, 2008

Right turn of phrase.

How long are you going to be iin Las Vegas? Do you have any goals? Most likely someone will suggest a property on the strip or near the strip or in the Old Vegas section of downtown. What people will suggest will be based on what you want to see or do.
posted by mmascolino at 8:46 AM on March 3, 2008

Can't help with the Grand Canyon thing...I've never done it from the north side...but I can help with Vegas. Business is off a bit and LV hotels are feeling the pinch. The are decent deals available at most of the strip hotels if you will be visiting midweek...MGM might be your best bet for all the bells and whistles of a big strip hotel. I was just there on Wed/Thurs of last week and the casinos were like a ghost town on Wed night. If you are there over a weekend the strip deals might be harder to find but there are some good alternatives. My favorite is the newly renovated Golden Nugget downtown. Its really nice with rooms at least as nice as the strip hotels and awesome service at downtown prices.
posted by cyclopz at 8:52 AM on March 3, 2008

I've heard that if you Priceline a 5-star hotel on the Strip for $99 a night, you wlil end up in the Venetian. That may not be your idea of cheap, but it's certainly a good price for the hotel, and perhaps worth a try if your budget will stretch that far.
posted by kindall at 8:55 AM on March 3, 2008

Cheapo Vegas which I'm 99.999% positive I found by looking at Posts tagged with Vegas was helpful when comparing hotels last December. They have a fairly accurate map of the strip (and other areas) and decent short reviews of each property.
posted by togdon at 8:59 AM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]

In Vegas threads, I always give the advice kindall just gave. If you can Priceline a Strip 5-star (i.e., the Venetian) for an amount in your budget, do it without hesitation. The rooms and service are outstanding (although I wouldn't pay full-price for them; "regular" Vegas hotel rooms are much too nice to spend a lot on a fancy place).

If you're at all interested in a nice pool, though, you might want to consider MGM Grand or the Flamingo, which are both reasonably-priced and are meant to have great pools. The Venetian's pool is lackluster and doesn't get enough sun.
posted by uncleozzy at 9:07 AM on March 3, 2008

Barbary Coast is now Bill's Gambling Hall and Saloon. It is still a terrific value for the location.
posted by Jacqueline at 9:19 AM on March 3, 2008

I highly recommend the Artisan. I stayed there a couple years back and really dug the place. It's entirely covered in art, including the ceilings. All the rooms have a featured artist, and they've got a great bar. It's a non-gaming hotel so you won't have to deal with the clanging of slot machines when you head down to the lobby heavily hungover in the early afternoon. They've also got a really cheap bloody mary special on the weekends. It's off the strip, so if you want the whole "staying on the strip in Vegas" experience it's not for you. It is located near several strip clubs, so if that's your thing it's a great spot.
posted by Jawn at 9:22 AM on March 3, 2008

As a family we met my newlywed niece and her husband from Europe in Vegas. We stayed at Bill's Gambling, a smaller superclean place on the strip. My niece and her husband wanted to do a mule trip down the Grand Canyon. Since it is almost impossible to book it on the South Rim on the spur of the moment, we decided on the North Rim.

Our driver picked us up at 6 AM, drove us to the North Rim, passing through beautiful country, ranging from desert to mountains. Our guide was very informative on the geography and history of the areas, we passed through Colorado City, we got an earfull on Mormons and their marital habits. The ones that wanted the mule trip went down on beautiful, healthy animals. Some of us went to additional lookout points. We were back in Vegas by 9 PM, ready for the night life (some of us went to bed).

Is doable in one day, but our excellent guide said she likes the overnight tours better, since they take in National and State parks.
posted by francesca too at 9:23 AM on March 3, 2008

Last summer we stayed at Excalibur for $50 per night.

Don't use the phoe, internet, minibar, room service, pay-per-view movies, etc .....
Just get the room and you'll be fine.

Anyway I think most of the hotels in LV offer similar rates. Rooms in LV are so damn cheap.
If you are looking to Motel 6 or Super 8, you might be able to find even cheaper.
posted by WizKid at 9:29 AM on March 3, 2008

I was just in Vegas and I have a few probably idiosyncratic quick tips: 1) Be very aware that things on the Strip will be much farther apart than you think they will be. Each of those "blocks" on the handy maps you come across are like 1/4 mi. long - it's a huge place. 2) I can recommend the breakfast buffet at Main Street Station casino downtown, if you find yourself near there. 3) If you're a geeky type who wants to go to Star Trek Experience at the Hilton (it was great fun), get your tickets at one of the half-price ticket places. 4) Bally's south tower is icky, north tower is nice; cheap Strip hotels might be hard to find if you're not a regular Vegas gambler. 5) We (40 somethings with good records and insurance on our credit card) got a car for a great weekly rate for under $9 a day via Priceline. 6) With a car you can drive out to the wonderful Valley of Fire State Park for a day. Also, nearly every casino has free self-parking ramps if you don't want to walk endlessly between properties. 7) Great Thai food = Lotus of Siam, in a strip mall off Saraha; very good Indian food = Tamba (on the strip 10-15 min walk south of Bally's / Paris). 8) Grand Canyon - booking a tour might be quickest and easiest, but if you want flexibility you might want a rental car to be able to drive yourself along the South Rim road stops, or all the way around to the North Rim (long drive); if you plan to stay overnight anywhere at the GC be sure to book a room/cabin well in advance. 9) Don't forget your sunblock.
posted by aught at 9:47 AM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Hi all - I'm overwhelmed of your knowledge and the speed by which you divulge it.

Until tonight, I've never heard about Priceline - but now I'll look into that service. Thanks!

Francesca Too -- do you remember the appr. price and name for the guide-service to the north rim?

Cyclopz -- thanks for the mid-week-tip (that I should have worked out by myself).

Aught -- great collection of pointers.

Thank you all for you brainpower.
posted by Rabarberofficer at 9:59 AM on March 3, 2008

I stayed at Terrible’s (owned by a company of service/gas stations in Nevada [Terrible Hurst’s]) several years ago, and found the rooms and pool area very nice for the price. Their casino was a dog & pony show, which included a McDonalds. It’s a (long) block from the strip, on Paradise. You’d do well to get a cab (major mode of transport in town, since public transit is pretty bad.) to get to the Strip; it’s quite a hike on foot. Imperial Palace was a hole, but I’ve heard it’s been cleaned-up. My sister, her husband, and son got a great package for a weeks stay, meals, plus airfare from Hawaii, for less than the flight alone to LA, which is where family is/was. Everyone opted to go to Vegas. You might want to check for such deals. The Priceline option sounds great as well.
Like cyclopz, I’ve never been to the North Rim of the Canyon, it’s the South Rim that’s the most trafficked, and with most attractions. There are tour companies in Vegas, that specializing in trips to the Canyon, including pricey, but what seem to be worth every penny Helicopter Tours, from Vegas. This site’s Grand Celebration Tour is to drool over. By car or bus, it’s nearly 300 miles one way. Here’s a good site that covers your options.
posted by JABof72 at 10:25 AM on March 3, 2008

If you find you don't have the time to see the Grand Canyon, you could rent a car and head to Red Rock Canyon, which is a short drive outside of Vegas. It's not the Grand Canyon, but it's gorgeous.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:11 AM on March 3, 2008

Here the link to the company. We were a group of seven and paid a little over $1200 that icluded admission and sack lunch. The mule rides were separate and if I remember correctly, about $70 per person.
posted by francesca too at 12:38 PM on March 3, 2008

I found this right after I got back from my trip to Vegas. Obviously not a sure thing, but could definitely be worth a shot.
posted by Kupo? at 2:03 PM on March 3, 2008

How about an expensive curveball? Onlyconnect and I took a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon when we were out there 1.5 years ago to celebrate our anniversary and the wedding of jonmc and pips. No, it's not cheap, but it was fantastic. Fly out in the afternoon, fly through the canyon for a while, land in the canyon for a late champagne lunch, and then fly back out of the canyon into the desert sunset. You reach the city just as darkness has decended, and then buzz along the strip over top of all the lights. Like I said, fantastic. MeMail me or onlyconnect for details if you're up for it.
posted by NortonDC at 2:27 PM on March 3, 2008

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