This most common question I am asked about Las Vegas is which hotel to choose.  The dirty secret is how little it matters, particularly to a first time or infrequent visitor.  Nonetheless, Las Vegas hotels are a huge part of what draws people to the city in the first place and any serious guide necessarily spends a good deal of time talking about them.  In addition, the majority of the attractions and activities are located in one of the hotels or nearby.

Here are few general tips about Las Vegas hotels:

  • First time visitors should stay on The Strip.  It is where most of the attractions are and is where you want to be.
  • Always book your room directly with the hotel.  If you find a better rate on a travel site, call the hotel directly and they should match the price.  Most problems with room reservations are a result of booking with a third party.
  • If you have gambled before, you should have joined several player’s clubs.  If you log in to the player’s club websites of companies like Caesars or MGM, you may already qualify for room discounts or possibly free hotel stays, even if you’ve never been to Las Vegas before.
  • Watch out for the “Run of the House” room category.  It is usually the least expensive choice but typically means you get whatever rooms are left over when you arrive.  Sometimes it works out but it’s a gamble.
  • Another gamble is the so-called Twenty Dollar Trick.  It involves discretely slipping the desk clerk a tip and asking nicely for a complimentary upgrade.  Usually you just get a high floor or a better view but suite upgrades are possible.  Your mileage may vary.
  • Room rates vary dramatically from season to season, week to week and even day to day, depending on what’s going on in the city.  If you can be flexible with your trip, you could save hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars.
  • Most Las Vegas hotels are huge with over a thousand rooms.  Though they may be luxurious and offer numerous amenities, don’t expect a great deal of personalized service.
  • Finally, be aware of extra fees.  Resort Fees and parking fees can end up costing more than the room rate and hotel taxes add even more to your final bill.  A $40 room can end up being a $100 one.

Hotels in Las Vegas are generally grouped by whether they are on the Strip, in the Downtown area or somewhere off the Strip.  There are advantages and disadvantages to staying in any location.  Follow the links for more tips about each area.