If anyone tells you Vegas is expensive, they lied.
Okay, so they only lied a little bit and yes, it does depend on what you want to do. But we categorically proved that a 2-week trip to Vegas doesn’t have to cost the earth.
Lee had been to Vegas before – twice – so we had expert insider knowledge on where to stay and what to do. If you’re looking for a budget option, there are a few hotels available:
- Circus Circus – comes with free circus acts daily and is a great family option (circa $16 per night)
- The Luxor – a little more expensive but still a budget option and closer to the main part of the strip (circa $32 per night)
- Flamingo – one of the oldest hotels on the strip and has its own flamingo habitat (circa $35 per night)
- Excalibur – if you love King Arthur and want to experience daily medieval tournaments (circa $27 per night)
- The Strat – of course – (circa $28 per night)
Now if you really want to do Vegas on a budget, the Downtown hotels are so much cheaper but you’ll have to work out how you’re getting to the strip, although Downtown definitely has it’s perks and own entertainment too.
When you come to booking a Vegas hotel, you’ll notice – like a lot of the hotels I’ve seen in the US – they can often look a little dated. We’d earmarked the Stratosphere because Lee had stayed there before and they’d recently had a complete refurbish – more on that later.
We actually got an amazing deal and were able to take advantage of a flash sale from BA so the whole two weeks cost around £580 each (including flights and luggage).
Take a look at my holiday planning tools here for how we get the best deals.
We chose the Stratosphere mainly because of the price, but also because (as I’ve already mentioned) they’d recently been refurbed and this made such a difference. After a disappointing experience at the Ramada in Kissimmee, Florida back in 2013, I didn’t want to be stuck with another room that didn’t feel clean or well looked after. And if that meant I had to pay a bit more, then so be it.
Top tip: if you want to get a good deal, you have to be patient. Considering we had plenty of time to book our trip, we’d waited for something more within budget to crop up.
Whilst many of the hotels on the strip are now going through a refurb process, at the time, there wasn’t much to choose from.
The room was amazing. Fresh, clean, spacious; it was ideal.
The only downside – we soon discovered – was our bathroom was a wetroom, and as a result, wasn’t the prettiest. But I think that had more to do with the choice of mustard yellow on the walls and floor…ew.
Location-wise, I’m not sure the Stratosphere would be my choice second time around.
Technically, it’s on the strip, but it’s a good half-hour walk from the top of where you want to be, and considering the strip is a couple of miles long, it’s over an hour’s walk from New York-New York, Excalibur and the Luxor.
And when you take into consideration just how much walking you do there anyway, that’s a hefty add on. We ended up getting an Uber most days, and even then my feet hurt.
There is a monorail stop at SAHARA but it’s still a bit of a walk, and I wasn’t overly convinced the monorail was that much cheaper than hiring an Uber anyway, especially if you’re up for sharing your ride.
The staff at the Strat were amazing. It really was top notch service. Those at the front desk, working by the pool, on the casino floor, they were all really friendly.
In all honesty, we didn’t interact much with the hotel staff outside of our check-in, although a lovely casino floor attendant spotted we were a little lost at one point and stepped in to help. Now that might sound weird, but you’ve got to remember this hotel alone had nearly 2,500 rooms. It was weird. It was pretty much a self-contained village; you had everything from cafes, restaurants and shops to live entertainment, a huge Sports Book and its own McDonald’s.
I think this is one of the things I like most about Vegas hotels; the facilities.
We spent two mornings relaxing by the pools; first trying out the adult-only pool on the roof, and then the more family friendly one. Neither were busy. We were visiting in June, one of the hottest month, but schools were still in session so it was still pretty quiet.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the fact that you had to hire shade. Seems odd, but for the adult-only pool, there was pretty much no respite from the 42° heat. For some, this is heaven. For me with my super pasty skin, it’s not ideal.
We soon learned that this was the norm for pools in Vegas; if you wanted shade, you had to pay for it.
We ate in one of the restuarants, grabbed lunch from a poolside bar and regularly visited the Starbucks for breakfast, all of which were perfect. There was something for every occasion; late night snacks after getting in, morning breakfasts on the go before heading out and midday quick bites if we were stopping by for a change of clothing.
Did I forget to mention it has its own mini themepark on the roof? I can safely say we did not partake – I’m a thrillseeker, but some things toe the line… However, it does give you a pretty good view of the strip and residents of the hotel get discounted entry.
The free parking was also a perk, and another reason why we’d chosen The Strat; we needed somewhere inexpensive to keep the pickup for those days we spent walking the strip.
It was a great hotel, and one that I would definitely recommend. It’s only downfall; location was a bit tricky but not impossible.