Most residents of Las Vegas—the locals—never go anywhere near the Strip. They prefer to play, eat, be entertained, and occasionally stay at casino-hotels in their own neighborhoods, partly because of convenience, but mostly because it usually costs a lot less money. All of the following hotels are admittedly located away from the main tourist areas, but if you have a car at your disposal, you can save yourself some dough by being flexible with your location. Several offer free shuttles to other sister properties.
Just south of the Strip along I-15 is Silverton, 3333 Blue Diamond Rd. (tel 866/946-4373 or 702/263-7777; www.silvertoncasino.com), a delightful ski lodge–themed hotel and casino with a warm casino, surprisingly stylish rooms (considering how cheap they usually are; figure in the $40–$75 range), and several affordable restaurants. The sports-minded may want to stop here just for the massive Bass Pro Shops attached to the complex offering everything from skis to the boats with which to pull people wearing them.
About 5 miles west of the Strip along Boulder Highway are several locals’ hotel options. The biggest and most well-known is Sam’s Town, 5111 Boulder Hwy. (tel 866/897-8696 or 702/456-7777; www.samstownlv.com). In addition to the second biggest casino in town (behind only MGM Grand), the western-themed property has a 56-lane bowling alley, an 18-screen movie theater, more than a dozen restaurants, bars and lounges, and a big indoor atrium with a silly light and laser show. The rooms are nothing to write home about, but they are fine, especially for the bargain-basement prices they go for. Another favorite is Boulder Station, 4111 Boulder Hwy. (tel 800/683-7777 or 702/432-7777; www.boulderstation.com), which has more than 300 guest rooms, a 75,000-square-foot casino, movie theaters, restaurants, bars, and a concert venue. Rates usually run from $75 to $125 a night, but rooms can be had for as little as $49 per night. Arizona Charlie’s East, 4575 Boulder Hwy. (tel 888/236-9066 or 702/951-5900; www.arizonacharlies.com) features 300 minisuites, a 37,000-square-foot casino, several restaurants, and a casino lounge. It’s only a step or two above budget accommodations, but still very well maintained and usually priced like the former. Lastly, the Eastside Cannery, 5255 Boulder Hwy. (tel 866/999-4899 or 702/856-5300; www.arizonacharlies.com) has a casino, several restaurants, bars and lounges, and 300 very stylish rooms that rival the Strip for amenities and decor but are miles away in terms of price.
Just down the street, you’ll find locals’ favorite Sunset Station, 1301 W. Sunset Rd., Henderson (tel 888/786-7389 or 702/547-7777; www.sunsetstation.com), with 450 fairly basic hotel rooms but a host of amenities like a bowling alley; movie theaters; an outdoor amphitheater; a really nice, low-limits casino; lots of restaurants; a very good buffet; and more. Meanwhile, nearby Fiesta Henderson, 777 W. Lake Mead Dr., Henderson (tel 888/899-7770 or 702/558-7000; www.fiestahendersonlasvegas.com) is a Southwestern-themed joint with basic yet comfortable lodgings, plus plenty of gaming options, restaurants, bars, movie theaters, and more. Things are cheap here, with rooms going for as low as $30 a night during the week.
On the north and west sides of town are several smaller properties popular with locals. Fiesta Rancho, 2400 N. Rancho Rd. (tel 888/899-7770 or 702/631-7000; www.fiestarancholasvegas.com) is similar in concept and execution to its sister property mentioned above. In addition to the 100 rooms, there is a big casino and a regulation-size ice-skating rink, complete with equipment rentals and lessons. Prices go as low as $40 a night. Right across the street is Texas Station, 2101 Texas Star Lane, North Las Vegas (tel 800/654-8888 or 702/631-1000; www.aliantecasinohotel.com), which (unsurprisingly, owing to its name) has a “Yeehaw!” theme covering its basic motel rooms, bowling alley, movie theaters, big casino, and one of the best steakhouses in town, Austins. If you continue north—about as far north as you can go without running into a mountain—you’ll find Aliante Casino and Hotel ★★, 7300 Aliante Pkwy., North Las Vegas (tel 877/477-7627 or 702/692-7777; www.aliantecasinohotel.com), a beautifully done resort with smallish rooms that are gorgeously decorated with all of the latest amenities. The facility boasts several restaurants, bars and lounges, a Strip-worthy pool, and a big casino, all wrapped up in warm design elements. It’s a solid 25-minute drive from the Strip without traffic, but with prices as low as $29 a night for rooms this nice, it might just be worth it.
Reliable Chain Alternatives
Most people who come to Las Vegas want to stay in one of the big megaresorts on the Strip. But sometimes budget, timing, or just your own personal taste may necessitate a more traditional approach to lodging. Just about every hotel chain has at least one outlet in the city and all offer the kind of reliable, comfortable, and often affordable accommodations that they are known for. Here are some examples, all of which are located within a mile or two of the Strip so you can have the best of both worlds.
Best Western Mardi Gras, 3500 Paradise Rd.; tel 800/634-6501
Best Western McCarran, 4970 Paradise Rd.; tel 800/275-4743
Candlewood Suites, 4034 Paradise Rd.; tel 877/226-3539
Clarion Hotel, 305 Convention Center Dr.; tel 702/952-8000
Courtyard by Marriott, 3275 Paradise Rd.; tel 800/661-1064
Courtyard by Marriott, 5845 Dean Martin Dr.; tel 800/321-2211
Embassy Suites, 3600 Paradise Rd.; tel 800/362-2779
Embassy Suites, 4315 Swenson St.; tel 800/362-2779
Fairfield Inn by Marriott, 3850 S. Paradise Rd.; tel 702/791-0899
Fairfield Inn Suites, 5775 Dean Martin Dr.; tel 702/895-9810
Hampton Inn, 4975 S. Dean Martin Dr.; tel 702/948-8100
Holiday Inn Express, 5760 Polaris Ave.; tel 888/465-4329
Hyatt Place, 4520 Paradise Rd.; tel 702/369-3366
La Quinta Inn and Suites, 3970 Paradise Rd.; tel 800/753-3757
Las Vegas Marriott, 325 Convention Center Dr.; tel 702/650-2000
Renaissance Las Vegas, 3400 Paradise Rd.; tel 702/784-5700
Residence Inn, 3225 Paradise Rd.; tel 800/677-8328
Residence Inn, 370 Hughes Center Dr.; tel 702/650-5510
Staybridge Suites, 5735 Dean Martin Dr.; tel 800/238-8889
Super 8, 4250 Koval Lane; tel 800/454-3213
Travelodge, 3735 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; tel 800/525-4055
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.