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Las Vegas Hotel Location Guide

Pros and Cons of Las Vegas Hotel Areas

This comprehensive guide helps you pick the best Las Vegas hotel location.

You'll find out the pros and cons of various Las Vegas hotel areas with an emphasis on convenience and cost.

Your topics below include

Las Vegas Strip—North and South
Fremont Street - Downtown
Convention Center—UNLV (University of Nevada)
UNLV (continued)
Las Vegas McCarran Airport
West of Strip
Northwest Las Vegas—Summerlin (weekend values)
Boulder Highway Strip
Nellis AFB - Las Vegas Speedway - North Las Vegas

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Las Vegas Monorail

Because traffic and parking can be such hassles on the Las Vegas Strip and because you may wish to drink, consider staying near the Las Vegas Monorail even if you have a car.

The monorail runs between the Sahara (soon to reopen with a new name) and the MGM Grand via the convention center. This train adds immensely to the convenience of being on the South Las Vegas Strip and on the southernmost portion of the North Strip.

You'll find monorail stations at

  • MGM Grand (Luxor, Monte Carlo, etc.),
  • Bally's/Paris-Las Vegas (Bellagio, etc.),
  • Flamingo/Caesars Palace,
  • Harrah's/Imperial Palace (Mirage, Venetian, etc.),
  • Las Vegas Convention Center,
  • LVH (formally the Las Vegas Hilton), and
  • The Sahara (now closed), the closest stop to the Stratosphere.

See the monorail website above for other hotels near these stations.

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South Las Vegas Strip

South Strip hotels offer the most convenient and fun packed Las Vegas hotel location. Try to stay on the this part on the Strip if you can get a good price. I love to stay in this area.

Most people can easily walk between all the hotels and casinos here.

South Strip hotels include the Aria, Bellagio, Luxor, MGM Grand, Cosmopolitan, Mandalay Bay, Monte Carlo, Paris, Planet Hollywood, Bally's, New York - New York, and more.

North Las Vegas Strip

In recent years, the super deluxe Wynn and Encore hotels opened on the southern portion of the North Strip. These and the nearby 5-star Venetian, often one of the best values in Las Vegas, add luster to the image of the North Strip.

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Because no definitive boundary separates the north and south strips, North Strip hotels may also include the Mirage, Harrah's, Caesar’s Palace (You must see its Forum shopping mall), Treasure Island, and Imperial Palace depending on who is classifying them. As of this writing Priceline puts these in its North Strip zone.

The problem with the North Strip comes when you move north from these hotels and the Encore and Wynn.

Significant portions of the North Strip beyond the deluxe hotels were cleared for new condo and other projects that never materialized due to the recession. You will even see buildings abandoned during construction.

Walking along Las Vegas Boulevard (the "main street" of the Strip) in these areas does not compare to walking along the South Strip.

A few portions of the North Strip beyond the top hotels have actually become a little seedy. I do not want to make too much of this though. No part of the North Strip will remind you of a slum.

The North Strip, especially its southern part, sits reasonably central to the action compared to many Las Vegas hotel location neighborhoods. This zone offers more lower cost hotel rooms, especially on weekends.

My recommendation? You need not worry a moment If you book a 4- or 5-star hotel on the North Strip. Their locations are fine.

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Fremont Street Area—Downtown Las Vegas

Fremont Street downtown hosts the original Las Vegas fun area. The CBS show "Vegas" features this fascinating and historic neighborhood.

The “Fremont Experience” light show sparked some much-needed revitalization in the downtown area. It has become a major Las Vegas attraction.

Although downtown hotels were built long ago, the Golden Nugget remains quite deluxe, with an AAA 4-star rating.

The Nugget features one of the few swimming pools in Las Vegas to operate year-round. Keep an eye on its shark tank though and take care on its 3-story water slide!

The cheapest downtown Las Vegas hotels tend to be marginal—even sleazy. Be very cautious about booking these.

Use care when walking off Fremont Street at night. Stick to Fremont and other busy streets.

Convention Center—University of Nevada Las Vegas

President Obama's implication that you cannot have a serious business conference in places like Las Vegas severely hurt Vegas convention business. This caused and still causes meetings to take place in other cities, often much more expensive ones, because corporate executives want to avoid potential criticism.

The continued loss of meetings means that hotels, especially those near the convention center, are hurting for business on weekdays. This means incredible potential values for you.

The Convention Center and UNLV areas put you close to the Strip, with monorail stations at the Convention Center and LVH hotel in this area.

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More on UNLV - University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Priceline sometimes offers this as a separate zone.

Often overlooked by visitors, the UNLV area puts you convenient to the action and often saves you money over Strip hotels.

Adjacent to the main area of the Strip and near the airport, you are also close to Belz Factory Outlet, Ethel M Chocolate Factory, and other attractions. Moreover, you are very close to the airport, not far from the Convention Center.

Las Vegas McCarran Airport

Staying near the Las Vegas airport places you near but not at the Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and other large casinos at the south end of the South Strip.

This zone, which adjoins the airport on its south and west sides, gives you another chance to save some money without sacrificing much convenience.

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West of Strip

The West of Strip area (along and west of Interstate 15) allows you to be near the Strip without paying Strip prices.

University of Nevada Las Vegas students love the vibrant Palms Resort & Casino here.

Just a mile from the Strip, the Palms' clubs are filled with single, fun-loving party hardies in their 20’s or 30’s. If you want to connect, this may be your place. The pool scene (closed in winter) also is outstanding.

The Orleans, a local favorite, attracts an older crowd. Its popular breakfast buffet packs 'em in.

Your proximity to the I-15 freeway makes it easy for you get around.

Further out, the West of Strip neighborhood becomes a bit run down, but you'll often save money there, while remaining reasonably convenient to the Strip if you have a car.

Remember though that you may drink in Las Vegas. That means you may want to pay extra to be closer to the action and not so dependent on driving or expensive taxis.

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Northwest Las Vegas - Summerlin

A bit far from the Strip, hotels in Northwest Las Vegas, the Lakes, and Summerlin cater mainly to business travelers and to locals who favor their casinos.

As a result, this is a great area to find room values on weekends. Northwest Las Vegas and Summerlin may be your best chance to get a first class or deluxe hotel for a great price during the busiest periods elsewhere in Las Vegas.

Rent a car if you stay in this area.

Boulder Strip

The Boulder Highway runs between downtown Las Vegas and Henderson (and onward to the Hoover Dam).

This was the traditional "motel row" in Las Vegas, but larger casino hotels favored by locals have developed over the years.

Because Vegas residents know the odds on games, video poker is the game of choice. Traditionally, you find looser slots where the locals gather.

This area lacks the "elegance" of the Strip (to put it mildly), but you'll find great values on meals and entertainment. Casinos and restaurants here depend very heavily on repeat business.

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Henderson - Lake Las Vegas

Hotel casinos in fast-growing Henderson, a major suburb of Las Vegas, cater to locals.

You are a bit far from the Strip, but very close to Lake Mead and Hoover Dam. New freeways (the I-215 and I-515) make it easier for you to reach most parts of Las Vegas, including the Strip.

Henderson offers values on modern resort-style hotels that feature golf and tennis and a wide selection of moderate cost accommodation.

Note that Priceline's Henderson zone does not include the entire city of Henderson.

Nellis AFB - Las Vegas Speedway - North Las Vegas

The Priceline hotel zone around Nellis Air Force Base and the Las Vegas Speedway is packed with budget and moderate cost accommodation.

You won't find fancy places or often much atmosphere, but may save quite a bit of money in North Las Vegas.

You are reasonably close to the Fremont Street fun area, and the I-15 gives you quick access to the Strip.

Have fun in your Las Vegas hotel location and best of luck!

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