Treasure Island Hotel and Casino, constructed in 1993, is a property on Las Vegas Boulevard with a Caribbean pirate theme. Amenities include an outdoor swimming pool in a tropical setting, on-site massages, 10 restaurants, and six bars and lounges. Room rates are as low as $41 plus a $29 resort fee per night. The resort fee includes access to the fitness center, two buffets for the price of one, two cocktails for the price of one, in-room local telephone calls, and high-speed Internet access.
Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino is the most luxurious hotel in downtown Las Vegas. There are seven restaurants, including the Chart House, which has a 75,000 gallon aquarium. The hotel has a three-story water slide that plunges by way of a secure tube through a shark tank. Suites in the Spa Tower are two-level, with living and dining areas, a wet bar, and large bathrooms featuring a two-person spa tub. Nightly guest room rates start at $63 with a $20 resort fee.
Wynn Las Vegas, a 5-star resort on Las Vegas Boulevard, is the winner of multiple travel awards, including more Forbes Travel Guide Five Star awards than any other independent hotel company in the world. There are 2,716 rooms in this 50-floor curved bronze-colored building. The property has an 18-hole golf course, two award-winning spas, 10 restaurants, and three nightclubs. Room rates at the low-end average $151 per day. A mandatory $29 daily resort fee, added to all guest room bills includes unlimited local and continental US long distance telephone calls, Internet access, fitness center access, and the printing of boarding passes. The Salon Suite is $900 per night, and the mandatory daily resort fee is $140.
The rate for a two-bedroom bi-level 3,000-square foot SKYLOFT at MGM Grand is $1398 per night plus a mandatory daily resort fee of $168 (including tax). There is one king bed and two queen beds.
Airbnb is an online marketplace for people looking to rent a room in their home, or their entire apartment, condominium, or house, with travelers looking for less traditional places to stay. There are more than 1000 Airbnb listings for properties in Las Vegas, with rates ranging from $15 per night to $100 and up, all with a service fee averaging $30. Some owners will pick you up at the airport, and some will let you use their kitchen. You will probably save money if you stay in someone's home instead of at a hotel-casino, but you will have a lot less flexibility.
Las Vegas entrepreneurs, realizing that not every visitor likes staying in a hotel with 2,000 to 3,000 rooms, purchased smaller neglected properties and spent tens of millions of dollars transforming them into boutique hotels. The first boutique hotel, an independent property, was the Cromwell, a $186-million renovation of the Barbary Coast. Amenities at this 188-room hotel include an 11th floor roof top swimming pool and a 260-seat Italian restaurant run by celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. The property provides a free breakfast buffet in the casino bar every morning which includes freshly squeezed juice, an oatmeal bar with a lot of add-ins, and a station preparing made-to-order omelets.
There are many hotels on Las Vegas Boulevard that are close to McCarran International Airport.
Luxor Hotel and Casino, shaped like an Egyptian pyramid, has a fully intact sphinx in front of the building. This hotel, the sixth-largest in the world, has 4000 guest rooms, 442 of which are suites, and nine restaurants. The hotel has four swimming pools and a health spa. Rates start at $40 per night.
Excalibur Hotel and Casino is a family friendly property. This MGM Resorts International hotel has a castle theme with medieval references and a dungeon arcade. The dinner show features jousting battles reminiscent of England centuries ago. Rates start at $28 plus a $20 resort fee per night.
Rates at New York–New York Hotel & Casino start at $72 plus a $28 resort per room per night. Where else can you see Washington Square, the Chrysler Building, and the Statue of Liberty in the same field of view? There are 13 restaurants and bars, several of which are branches of ones found in Manhattan (New York City).
If you cannot afford to travel to Paris, France, consider staying at Paris Las Vegas. A feature of this hotel-casino on Las Vegas Boulevard is a half-size Eiffel Tower. There is a restaurant at the tower’s 110-foot level. Travel to the top of the structure at night for a memorable view of the American “City of Lights.” Depending upon when you travel, room rates are as low as $97 to $154, with a resort fee of $25.
If you don’t want to travel vicariously to Paris, consider a virtual trip to Venice, Italy. Stay at The Venetian and let a singing gondolier take you on a ride along the Grand Canal in an authentic gondola from Venice. Enjoy a meal at a celebrity chef’s restaurant.
The best time to travel to Las Vegas is any time you want to take a break — the weather at home is cold and snowy, weekends are boring, your favorite entertainer is headlining a show, you want to get married without a lot of fuss or expense, there is a championship boxing match you want to see. Winters are cool, with average temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees. Summers are very hot with daytime temperatures over 100 degrees. Bring a sweater or light jacket if you are vacationing in Las Vegas during the summer. Desert temperatures can drop considerably in the evening, and air-conditioned buildings are sometimes uncomfortably cold.
The few days before and after New Year’s Eve are very crowded, as are the days before and after the Fourth of July. Make your travel plans as early as possible during these holiday periods.
The best part of downtown Las Vegas is Fremont Street Experience, a pedestrian mall and attraction venue on the five westernmost blocks of Fremont Street and some adjacent streets. Four of Fremont Street’s blocks, part of the area called Glitter Gulch, have a barrel vault canopy 1500-feet long and 90-feet high. Las Vegas is known for never turning off outside casino lights, with one exception. The bright outside lights of all building under the canopy, including those of the casinos, are off during the sound and light show on Fremont Street’s Viva Vision screens.
Travel down Fremont Street on the SlotZilla Zip Line. Designed to resemble a slot machine, the lower level of the zip line is 77 feet above the street. The upper level zip line is 114 feet up. Adventurous people fly on the upper zip line in a prone position — think Superman flying over the streets of Metropolis.
Enjoy free concerts held on three stages under the Fremont Street canopy. There are no seats. Find a wall against which to lean.
No matter what hour in the 24 you are driving, traffic anywhere near Las Vegas Boulevard (the Strip) is generally bumper-to-bumper. Most of the streets intersecting the Strip in the central part of this major thoroughfare are one-way. This creates difficulty returning to the street you want if you miss your turn.
Some hotel-casino properties offer self-parking, but it is expensive, and the walk from the parking lot to the building is long. There is valet parking, but the line of cars waiting in line for a parking attendant is often backed up on to street.
Park your car at your hotel, and take a taxi, a bus traveling along the Strip, or the Las Vegas Monorail.
Shared shuttle buses or vans, which hold six to 20 people, offer door-to-door service from the airport to your hotel. You won’t have a non-stop ride unless you are staying close to the airport. The vehicle will stop at several properties both on and off Las Vegas Boulevard.
Neon signs are everywhere in Las Vegas. Many of the iconic designs are part of the city’s history. A non-profit organization, dedicated to keeping these works of art from ending up in a dumpster, established the Neon Museum. The organization conducts one-hour guided tours of the Neon Boneyard, broken, preserved, and restored signs. The museum recommends advance ticket purchases for a specified tour time.
The Museum of Organized Crime & Law Enforcement is in Downtown Las Vegas. Popularly known as the Mob Museum, this facility shows visitors both sides of the criminal activity story. Purchase tickets online for a stated time interval.
The Las Vegas Car Museum on Las Vegas Boulevard features exotic cars from the 1920s to the 1980s. Go online, select a desired date and arrival time, and buy your museum access ticket. For an extra fee, you can arrange to test drive one of these speed-loving vehicles.
Las Vegas does not have a professional sports team. Multiple attempts to bring pro football to Las Vegas have failed. Thomas & Mack Center on the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campus is a multi-purpose stadium. Attend UNLV’s Runnin’ Rebels basketball games, watch rodeo championship events, and have a great seat for a live boxing match.
Elvis Presley married Priscilla Ann Wagner in an 8-minute ceremony at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas in 1967. This event started the craze of having short wedding ceremonies with Elvis themes at hotel-casinos and small wedding chapels on and off the Strip and in the downtown area.
The Aladdin Hotel site is now home to Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino. The resort, capitalizing on the Presley wedding occurring at their site decades ago, offers an Elvis and Priscilla hotel and wedding package, complete with Elvis and Priscilla impersonators.
Some Elvis impersonators sing, some walk the bride down the aisle, and a few pick the bride and groom up at the airport. Armed with the proper license, there are Elvis impersonators who perform wedding ceremonies. Some chapels have arranged for Priscilla impersonators to serve as the bride’s attendants, and for Elvis impersonators to serves as groomsmen.
When you have reservations for a performance in a large hotel-casino showroom and get to the front of the line for seating, immediately and quietly hand the person doing the seating a tip. You will receive a seat with a better view of the stage, often much closer.
Many showrooms include drinks in the price of the show tickets, with all drinks being brought to you before the performance begins. Ask for ice in a separate glass.
People working in the restaurants, souvenir shops, and hotels and motels — both with and without a casino — all wear a name tag. When you meet someone, immediately look at their name tag, and address them by their name when interacting with them. You’ll receive much better service or a more helpful reply to your questions if you do.
Have a stack of one dollar bills handy, and tip the people who help you. They’ll remember you the next time they see you, and will give better service then, too.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.
© 2015 Hipmunk, Inc. Hipmunk is a trademark of Hipmunk, Inc.