The point is, finding a hotel room in Las Vegas is not hard; it’s finding the right one for you that can be challenging. Do you want a luxurious suite where you can lounge in bed and order room service, or basic accommodations where you’ll dump your luggage and then not see the room again until you stumble back to it as the sun is coming up the next morning? Do you want classic Glitter Gulch glitz or contemporary Sin City glamour? High tech or low cost? Las Vegas has all of the above and just about everything in between.
The rack rate is the maximum rate that a hotel charges for a room. It's the rate you'd get if you walked in off the street and asked for a room for the night. Hardly anybody pays these prices, however, especially in Vegas, where prices fluctuate wildly with demand.
Low seasons like the insanely hot summer months and parts of December and January offer the lowest rates where a room at a hotel like Aria Las Vegas that would go for north of $250 during a busy time can be had for as low as $129. Of course the law of supply and demand cuts both ways -- during peak periods that same room could go for over $400 a night.
The best prices can usually be found online at each individual hotel website or through their social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. All usually offer cheaper rates, special discounts, and sometimes even give low-price guarantees. A recent check of hotels like Mandalay Bay, where they'll quote $200 a night as their base rate, showed rooms for as low as $79 midweek.
As far as room prices go, keep in mind that our price categories are rough guidelines, at best. If you see a hotel that appeals to you, even if it seems out of your price range, give them a call anyway. They might be having a special, a slow week, or some kind of promotion, or they may just like the sound of your voice (we have no other explanation for it). You could end up with a hotel in the "expensive" category offering you a room for $60 a night. It's a toll-free call or a few clicks on a website, so it's worth a try.Price Categories
Very Expensive $250 and up
Expensive $150 and up
Inexpensive Under $100
Even though Las Vegas is back on its economic upswing, room rates have stayed a tad lower than in other cities in order to stay competitive. Hotels, however, have found new ways to increase their bottom line, mainly through the addition of nefarious “resort fees.” These extra charges are tacked on top of the nightly room rate and variously include things like Wi-Fi access, entry to the fitness center, printing of boarding passes, local and toll-free phone calls, and the like. Some hotels throw in extra goodies like bottles of water, discounted cocktails or meals, and credits for future stays. So try to take advantage of all the fee covers, because even if you don’t, you still have to pay the fee. We indicate which hotels charge resort fees and include their current prices, but do note that the amount, and what they include, changes often; ask when booking your room or take some time to read the fine print if making arrangements online.
Up until recently, if you wanted to bring Fido or Fluffy to Vegas with you, your options on lodging were fairly limited, with only one major hotel on the Strip allowing pets (the Four Seasons). Now, more hotels are jumping on the pet-friendly bandwagon, including all of the Caesars Entertainment properties. Their popular PetStay program allows dogs up to 50 pounds to get a taste of Sin City. There are fees associated, of course, and there are plenty of restrictions, but you get amenities like food and water dishes, recommended dog walking routes, and more. The program is offered at Caesars Palace, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, Harrah’s, the Flamingo, Bally’s, Rio Suites, and the LINQ. For more information on PetStay, check out www.caesars.com/petstay. You can also contact the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (tel 877/847-4858; www.lasvegas.com) for information on other pet-friendly accommodations in town.
In most cities, a "boutique" hotel is one that offers some sort of unique experience in a smaller package than the bigger chain properties. That's true in Vegas as well, but on a significantly larger scale. Whereas most true boutique hotels have only a few dozen rooms at most, in Vegas having a few hundred still puts you on the smaller end of the size scale. And because most of the major hotels are unique experiences in and of themselves (Paris! Venice!), the boutique properties have to try a little harder to stand out.
The Artisan Hotel, 1501 W. Sahara Ave., (tel. 800/554-4092 or 702/214-4000; www.artisanhotel.com) is one of the more notable entires in the genre, offering a one-of-a-kind feeling in a much smaller package. It contains 64 rooms all done in a deliriously over-the-top art collection theme. Paintings and sculptures cover every square inch of the joint and each room features its own reproductions of masterworks from artists like Cezanne, Da Vinci, van Gogh, and others. It's gaudy and ostentatious, but we don't mean that in a bad way (really!). A small but gorgeous pool has regular parties and the on-site restaurant and lounge are popular among the hipster set. Noise can also be an issue here because of its stone's throw proximity to I-15.
Heavily themed hotels faded away in the 1990s, but may make a return with the proposed Resorts World Las Vegas. The Asian-inspired, $7-billion project from Malaysia-based gambling giant Genting Gaming will have at least 3,500 rooms, a 175,000 square-foot casino (the biggest in Vegas), a 4,000-seat showroom, an indoor waterpark, a panda habitat, and replicas of the Great Wall of China and the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian. It will be located on the North Strip in place of the old Stardust and should open by late 2020.