Las Vegas is sometimes referred to as the “Ninth Island,” in that so many people from Hawaii end up here. And those trading in their own paradise for ours, just for a visit, like to stay at the California, which has manufactured its own brand of “Aloha.” A Hawaiian theme touches all the public areas of the hotel, from casino dealers decked out in gaudy Hawaiian shirts to restaurant menus heavy with Island faves such as saimin, moco loco, and the ever-popular oxtail soup.
Guestrooms depart from “island style” (thankfully, we'd say). Like sister properties the Downtown Fremont Hotel and Main Street Station, rooms are understated but comfortable (to be honest, they appear to be cookie cutters of each other), with standard amenities all at decent prices. Other than the Hawaiian theme, staying at one of these hotels is just like staying at any of the others in the same family. But for the value, and if you really need to get your spam musubi fix, the California does in a pinch.
- Grace Bascos