If You’re Planning a Las Vegas Vacation Check Out These Hotel Reviews First

27 Nov

I recently came home from my second Las Vegas vacation in the past two years, so we’re going to take a break from healthy living posts today so I can share my knowlege of the best hotels on the Strip with you. After all, who knows what you could catch from staying in a dirty Las Vegas hotel? There’s so many hotels on the Strip and the surrounding area that it’s basically impossible for someone who has never visited the area to know where to book a room. I hope this post inspires all of you who have never been to this fabulously fun city to plan a vacation there immediately!

Check out this list of Las Vegas hotel reviews before you book your next trip to Sin City:

The Bellagio: Arguably the most prestigious hotel on the Strip, the Bellagio is nothing but class. This gorgeous hotel is situated right in the center of the Strip, where all the action goes down. The Bellagio is famous for its beautiful fountain shows that run approximately once every half hour. It is also home to the Cirque du Soleil, O show.

Caesar’s Palace: This snazzy hotel is the next door neighbor of the Bellagio. This massive hotel is superbly classy, in a fun and trendy way. It’s also a popular concert venue for stars such as Celine Dion, Elton John, and Janet Jackson. Stay here for a few days and live like a Greek god. There’s also a mall, tons of restaurants, clubs, and shows to entertain you with.

Paris Las Vegas Hotel: Get a little taste of the city of lights in one of the brightest cities in the United States. The Paris Las Vegas hotel is a classy establishment designed to make you feel like you’re in Europe. Located directly across the street from the Bellagio, you’ll have a front row seat to see the famous Bellagio fountains dance around. For the “real” Paris experience, take a ride up the hotel’s Eiffel Tower, and spring for a romantic dinner inside. If you’re looking for nightlife, Paris Las Vegas is also home to the popular club, Chateau.

Who knew the United States had their own Eiffel Tower?

Bally’s Hotel Las Vegas: If you’re looking for a no frills hotel in a great location, and one that doesn’t look like the free clinic, Bally’s is your place. I stayed here during my first trip to Vegas, and really enjoyed it. This hotel is attached to Paris, and is probably the best low-cost spot on the Strip. Important note: If you decide to stay at Bally’s, make sure to book a room in the North Tower. It costs a little more, but after seeing the scary, scary condition of the South Tower, we were happy to fork over the extra cash. The North Tower is actually really nice though. Whatever you do, avoid Jubilee, the hotel’s musical disaster of a show at all costs. Even if they offer to pay you. It’s that bad.

Mirage Hotel Las Vegas: I recently stayed at the Mirage hotel Las Vegas, and it is fabulous! I can’t say enough good things about this place. The hotel is island themed, with a beautiful indoor garden, a dolphin habitat, a volcano that erupts at night, and a pool area that will make you think you’ve been transported to a beautiful Hawaiian island. The rooms have been recently updated and are spotless. It’s also home to the Cirque du Soleil, Beatle’s LOVE show, trendy club 1OAK (opening New Year’s Eve).

Check out the pool at the Mirage Las Vegas.

The Venetian Las Vegas/ The Palazzo: If you’re looking for romance in Vegas, this is where you need to stay. These beautiful Vegas hotels are built to look like the inside of an Italian village. Take a ride on a gondola, then stroll through St. Mark’s Square with your special someone. Prepare to be impressed, because these sister hotels are like nothing you’ve ever seen before. There are also a number of high-end stores to do a little shopping in, numerous shows playing nightly, and the Venetian is home to hot spots Tao and LAVO.

Inside the Venetian.

Treasure Island Hotel Las Vegas: I haven’t spent much time in this hotel, but I did have dinner here once, and was accosted by a man trying to rub lotion on my face another time… Anyways, it seems pretty nice. I get the idea that it’s nicer than Bally’s, but not as nice as say it’s next door neighbor, the Mirage. If you’re on a budget, this would probably be a great choice. Plus, the Cirque du Soleil show, Mystere lives here, and they have on-site Pirates. Now that’s a win-win.

Wynn Hotel Las Vegas/Encore:  Ooh la la, if you want luxury in your Las Vegas vacation, stay at one of these two hotels! You’ll pay a premium for them, but I’d say it’s definitely worth it. These hotels are located a little bit further down the Strip, so they’re probably better suited for the more mature crowd, who doesn’t want to club hop all over the Strip (or who can afford the cab rides). Don’t worry, there’s more than enough to do in these hotels to keep you occupied, as they boast shopping, clubs, restaurants, shows, and of course casinos. They’re even fit for royalty as Prince Harry was spotted clubbing at Encore club, “XS,” and Wynn club, “Tryst,” the last time I was in town.

Fancy garden inside the Wynn/Encore.

MGM Hotel Las Vegas/The Signature: Judging by the casino area, the MGM hotel Las Vegas, and its fancy pants sister, The Signature, seem really nice. The casino area is absolutely massive! There’s tons of restaurants, bars, shows, activities, shops, and even real lions to keep you busy, if you’re not a gambler. The MGM Grand is also home to Cirque du Soleil show, KA. Actually, during my last visit Christian Bale stopped by the MGM Grand to see KA… Anyways, although this hotel is really nice, it’s also pretty far down from the central Strip area. On the plus side, the monorail has a stop here. So if you don’t mind riding the monorail everywhere, or paying for cabs, this could be your place.

Lions cage in the MGM Grand.

New York New York Hotel Las Vegas: This is a fun hotel! Obviously by the name, I’m sure you could guess that the inside is modeled after New York City. There’s also a roller coaster on the roof. It’s located directly across the street from the MGM Grand, which you can easily access by footbridge over Las Vegas Blvd. We also saw the best show ever here, Cirque du Soleil’s, Zumanity! This hotel seems like it would be a good place for families and groups of the 25 & under crowd. Remember though, it’s pretty far down the Strip, so be prepared to pay for cabs, ride the monorail, or strap on those walking shoes.

View from the footbridge from New York New York to the MGM Grand.

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas: If you want glitz and glamour on your Las Vegas vacation, no one has more than The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. This hotel is brand new and b-e-a-u-t-i-f-u-l!  The Cosmopolitan boasts a number of snazzy restaurants, hot spot Marquee, and a three story Chandelier Bar. It also has an amazing central Strip location, right next door to the Bellagio. You’ll pay a premium for it, but it’s worth every penny.

The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Vdara Las Vegas: Alright, I must confess that I haven’t actually been inside of Vdara, Las Vegas’s new all-suite hotel. It was one of my top choices for our stay, but we decided to go with a hotel that has a casino. Besides the lack of casino, I’ve only read great things about this place. It’s got a great location,  next door to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas.

Imperial Palace Las Vegas: The only good thing about this hotel is its prime location on the Strip. Otherwise, it makes the Howard Johnson look like the Four Seasons. We ventured into the Imperial Palace Las Vegas to check out the casino, and it definitely stood out as the most depressing hotel on the Strip. It’s like stepping inside a giant smoke cloud of bad decisions. The hotel is super dark, filled with shady individuals, depressing decor, and appears to have never been updated. The casino boosts “dealertainers,” a.k.a. dealers who supposedly look like celebrities and can impersonate them. We saw a 60-year-old Christina Aguilera. Word to the wise, this is Vegas, if a hotel can’t get an actual celebrity, take that as a red flag that there’s a problem.

Aria Hotel Las Vegas: Okay, again this hotel wasn’t built yet on my first trip to Vegas, and we didn’t make it there on my most recent one, but I’m completely confident that it’s nothing short of super swank! It’s brand new, it’s conveniently located right next door to Vdara, and it’s home to the Elvis Cirque du Soleil show and the fabulous hot spot, Haze. If you can afford the lofty price tag of the Aria hotel Las Vegas, you’d be crazy to pass it up!

View of Aria from the Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino.

Planet Hollywood Resort and Casino/ Planet Hollywood Towers Westgate: If you’re young and trendy, Planet Hollywood is your place! This ginormous hotel complex is home to Holly Madison’s Peepshow, a mall, nightclubs, comedy clubs, and countless restaurants and bars. The Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino is located right in the center of the Strip, next to the Paris Las Vegas hotel. These two hotels really do seem to be geared towards the younger crowd party crowd though, so keep this in mind when booking.

Harrah’s Las Vegas: We decided to check the casino in this hotel out, because it was across the street from the Mirage, where we were staying. And ohmygosh, were we glad to leave! I’d say it’s better than the Imperial Palace and the Excalibur, but you still couldn’t pay me to stay there. Both the outside and the inside of Harrah’s Las Vegas look dingy and depressing. There’s absolutely zero Las Vegas sparkle in here, unless you count the ashes falling from patrons cigarettes.

The Flamingo Las Vegas: Everytime we walked by this hotel, the party seemed to be raging on. The casino area looked kind of old and dingy. I’ve heard their pricey “Go Rooms” are super nice, and well worth the money, but that the regular rooms are pretty gross. If your heart is set on the Flamingo Las Vegas, I’d recommend spending that extra money and springing for a “Go Room.”

The Flamingo Las Vegas is home to Donny & Marie Osmond's show.

Mandalay Bay Hotel Las Vegas/THE Hotel: These hotels are so, so nice! They would be perfect if they weren’t located way down at the very beginning of the Strip. If you’re in town with young children, they’re a great choice, because you probably don’t care to be right in the middle of the central strip craziness. The Mandalay Bay compound is huge, complete with restaurants, shopping, shows, and of course casinos. It is really, really far down the Strip though, so probably not the best choice for anyone who wants to get the whole Vegas Strip experience.

Luxor Hotel Las Vegas: If you really enjoy darkness, a lot, this might be your perfect spot. Luxor is a giant pyramid, which of course lets in very little sunlight. I wouldn’t call this place a dive, because it’s not, but it really just didn’t do it for me. Carrot Top is a headliner at this hotel, if that says anything for you… Not only is it somewhat of a dungeon, it’s also located way down at the beginning of the Strip, and is connected to Mandalay Bay. Basically, if you have to stay here, don’t dread it, but really, for the price, you can find something way better.

Excalibur Las Vegas: The only reason to step foot in this hotel is to see Australian studs strut their stuff in, Thunder From Down Under. Then get out of there! This dark and dank hotel oozes cheap, dirty nastiness. It even smells depressing. You can get rooms for as cheap as $26 a night, yet you can’t even buy dinner for that price in most Vegas restaurants. Do you really want to stay in a hotel room that costs less than you’ll pay for a few tacos?

Rio Las Vegas: From the outside, the Rio Las Vegas is intriguing. Even though it’s located off the Strip, it’s so bright that it really stands out. Totally Vegas! We had a rental car one of the days that we were in town, so we decided to check it out. Unfortunately the inside was not nearly as captivating. Both the people inside and the decor were downright depressing. It looked like 1985 threw up and no one cared to clean up the mess. The only saving grace for this place is that they’ve somehow managed to secure good entertainment, as the Rio is home to Penn & Teller and the Chippendales. Also, this place is not only off the Strip, it’s also not within walking distance, so you’ll have to catch a free shuttle or pay for a cab to get to the fun part of Vegas. Save your money and spring for a room on the Strip.

The Palms Las Vegas/ Palms Place: You’ve seen the Palms Las Vegas resort on MTV shows such as The Real World and The Hills, as well as E! shows featuring Playboy bunnies. There’s no mistaking it, this place is hot! It’s also owned by the family of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Adrienne Maloof. If you’re young and hot, there’s plenty of clubs, bars, pools, and restaurants to entertain you and your fellow hotties at the Palms. And, how cool is it to be able to say that you’ve partied at the Palms (for the record, I have)? Plus, you never know who you’ll run into… The only downside to this hot spot hotel is that it’s not on the Strip, and it’s not within walking distance.

The Palms Las Vegas Resort is super trendy.

Now that you know the best places to stay during your Las Vegas vacation, check this blog out to read restaurant reviews to find the  best places to eat!

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