I’ve had the opportunity to stay at three different hotels in Las Vegas. I’ve stayed at two in the downtown area and one on the strip, on two separate trips. These are my thoughts on those three hotels:
Aria Resort & Casino
The Aria is the best hotel I’ve stayed at in Vegas. Modern, elegant, and comfortable, it has everything necessary to make your stay in the city complete.
I was impressed from the very beginning of my stay, entering the lobby and being greeted at check-in by a man who welcomed us and gave us several ideas on what to do while in town, along with some entertaining stories.
From there, we walked through the casino to access the elevator to our room on the 16th floor. It was quite a long walk down the hallway, and this was our least favorite bit about the hotel. When we wanted to leave, it seemed like it would take at least 10 to 15 minutes just to get out to the front entrance or ride share pickup area.
The room, however, was immaculate. As soon as we entered, the shades automatically drew open to reveal the sunlight and a semi-spectacular view of the pool below and the southern part of the Strip. The entire room was wired to a tablet that sat at the side of the bed, and we were able to control lighting, the shades, TV, and the air conditioning from the tablet.
The features of the hotel were excellent. It’s possible to stay an entire week at the Aria without leaving the hotel (but who wants to do that, right?!). There are enough restaurants not to repeat a meal during your stay, and a shopping mall, The Shops at Crystals, attached to the hotel. We also were able to enjoy the pool, although for just a short time.
I can’t really think of any negatives other than the time it took to get out of the hotel. Staff was friendly and attentive, housekeeping did a fantastic job cleaning the room, and the casino floor was enjoyable to play on.
Downtown Grand is located in downtown Las Vegas, a block from Fremont Street. It’s a new hotel and features many of the modern amenities and luxury of hotels on the Strip. Although we only stayed two nights, we enjoyed the room very much and thought it was a great value. The only negative was the noise level. It was difficult to sleep.
El Cortez Hotel & Casino
One of the oldest hotels in continuous operation in Las Vegas, the El Cortez is a great option if you’re looking to save some cash. With rooms for every taste and budget, we stayed in one of the basic rooms. The room wasn’t anything special but it was comfortable and served its purpose.
El Cortez has earned a place in Vegas history, opening in 1941 as downtown Las Vegas’ first major resort before being sold four years later to Bugsy Siegel, Meyer Lansky, Gus Greenbaum, and Moe Sedway. The group sold it a year later for a US$166,000 profit – to the same man they bought it from, J. Kel Houssels.