At a glance: The Park MGM is an all new hotel and casino which has replaced the Monte Carlo. This Strip property is situated close to the action, making it a great choice for any visitors. The décor has a Park Avenue grandness, or as some might say a Manhattan or Metropolitan vibe. The rooms are solid, modern, and clean, with a nice appeal. There are some great dining options on-site, as well as Eataly, which offers a unique attraction. Don’t forget On the Record nightclub, which offers a scene unlike anywhere else in Vegas.
At a glance: Known for its Egyptian theme and pyramid shape, the Luxor is a popular choice for visitors. We admit the rooms, and property, need a bit of a makeover, but this is a competitive choice which offers great value. The pool area is large, and given over to a lounge area for people wanting daybeds or cabanas. They are quite cheap compared to other resorts. The Luxor also boasts access to shopping, and is in walking distance of many other popular casinos and attractions. The HyperX eSports Arena is also on-site, making this the destination for professional gamers.
At a glance: We’re not going to lie, Excalibur is the economy option on the South Strip. But it is still a fun choice for those weekend visits. If you just need a room for sleep while you go out and party, this might be a good choice. It is also a better family property than Circus Circus, which we do not recommend. It is centrally located, and there are some decent restaurants, with a solid mix of fast casual. Even the Buffet at Excalibur is surprisingly good, with some menu items they do not have elsewhere. The Tournament of Kings is also a show many might enjoy. That said, the property is in need of some attention.
New York-New York
At a glance: Honestly, New York New York is a better property than we expected. The theme is cartoonish, but fun, and is at least unique. Nothing feels generic. The rooms are well priced and decent, which makes this a great base of operations for tearing up the Strip. The available restaurants are also great, and the casino floor is exciting. There is a surprising amount of walk-through traffic, which means your table games or winning reel at the slots will always have spectators. Plus, there is a roller coaster. We feel the staff do a good job of engaging people here, which can make for a better experience as you join a slot tournament or other giveaway event.
At a glance: If water, the sun, and sand are your thing, then definitely come to Mandalay Bay. Their pool area is the best in Las Vegas, hands down. The rest of the hotel will meet your expectations, with good rooms, large clean spaces, and an engaging atmosphere. This is the South most point of the Strip, so it is close to McCarran International Airport, but a bit further from any of the big casinos. There are some good dining options, but chances are you will want to step out for some other restaurants. While you are here, check out the nearby shark aquarium, and take the tram up to the Luxor and Excalibur.
At a glance: This is not one of the large casino hotels, but makes up for in style what it lacks in size. Centrally located, the Cosmo is happening place, where many come to see and be seen. The table games always attract crowds, and are a great place to show off your rolls. The big attractions here are the Wicked Spoon buffet, and the Marquee day and nightclub. There are plenty of other great restaurants and shopping options, including Stitched for men’s suits and fashionware. Try to find all the hidden secrets, like Secret Pizza, or the Ghost Donkey Bar. Or, just have a cocktail at the Chandelier. Don’t forget, some rooms have their own terraces, which are a great way of enjoying the Strip.
At a glance: The Cromwell is the home of Drai’s nightclub, but is also a small casino and boutique hotel. The small size is deceptive, as it provides a swanky and even sexy experience for hotel guests. The rooms are sensuous, with great and decadent décor. It is also centrally located on the Strip. The casino is fun, and well appointed. You never feel crowded, but there is always good energy, even in the later hours. Plus, while you are here, try Giada’s for a great meal.
At a glance: This Miami beach themed hotel and casino needs a little bit of a touch up around the property, with some added attention to the rooms. But it is still a great budget choice for the South Strip. The pool area is quite becoming, and a great place to lay out in the sun. But the dining options are only average, and may be disappointing to some guests. Of course, a big draw is the Laugh Factory, which generally has a great line-up of local and visiting comedians. That said, the parking lot is a bit confusing. We would like to see more of the Tropicana, but think it needs major renovation.
At a glance: The Aria is a centerpiece property at CityCenter. Perhaps the most up-market hotel casino owned by MGM Resorts International in Las Vegas, the Aria brings a classy and modern atmosphere to the Strip. This is the less edgy version of the Cosmopolitan, fit for convention attendees or people not looking for all the flash and dazzle on display, or the attention of the crowd. The dining options are as you expect, with everything else on the Strip close at had. We highly recommend the Aria Buffet, as it is one of our top three buffets in Las Vegas. The rooms are all quite nice and modern, most with excellent views of CityCenter and the Strip. The pool area is classy, and the casino floor beautiful. Our only complaint is the difficulty getting comps, so gambler should be aware that they will need to buy their own drinks.
At a glance: The Bellagio is an iconic hotel and casino, with its fountain the very image of what it is to take in the Strip. Its architecture resembles that found in the small town of Bellagio near Lake Como in Italy, and has a palatial feel that is as decadent as it is massive. The casino floor stretches on and on, and is typically packed. The rooms range from economy to gorgeous suites, and are all on-point for their price, with many discounts and packages offered throughout the year. Guests will find a number of restaurants available for their pleasure, many with exceptional views of the fountain. There is even a good deal of luxury shopping on the property. Our only complaint is the Buffet at Bellagio, which is not competitive. There are better options for the price. We recommend anyone to take the free tram to the Aria, and visit their buffet. It is cheaper, and better.
Paris Las Vegas
At a glance: The Eiffel Tower has become an icon of the Strip, and attracts people to come stay at the Paris Las Vegas. The theme here is quite nice, and the interior space of the casino impressive to first-time visitors. We actually like how the hotel rooms do have a Parisian theme, and the Napoleon Suites are exceptional if you have money to spend. If you prefer earning your points with Total Rewards, this may be your best choice, as the prices are reasonable. We are not great fans of the Le Village Buffet, but many adore it, and consider the crepes here to be the best. Our favorite is the Beer Park, which is a great hang out for having a cold drink, playing some pub games, and people watching. It is better than getting a cabana at any resort pool.
At a glance: Tucked away on the Strip, Bally’s is often overlooked, but is a great option for those that want to be in the heart of the action, but don’t want to pay a lot. As a small property, it does not have the high-class appeal or sexiness of the Cromwell, but holds its own all the same. The big seller here is the Stirling Brunch, which costs over a $100 per person, but provides a true buffet experience with all you can eat lobster, filet mignon, and a Bloody Mary bar. The rooms are nothing special, and the pool area is also a little cramped. But that means if you are a repeat customer, you will soon be a VIP and receive exceptional service.
At a glance: Most people will be more familiar with the LINQ Promenade than with the hotel and casino. The property is swanky, and almost a bit futuristic. We are not quite sure what the theme is, except modern, trendy, with just a touch of being economical. Currently, they are unveiling a host of upgrades and enhancements, including virtual reality games, the Fantasydome, and swanky sportsbook. The on-site eSports lounge is also a new selling point, bringing in a younger crowd. There are other plans going forward, but it remains to be seen which of them will happen. Our only complaint is the pool area, which is a tad disappointing. But let’s be fair, most people come to Las Vegas for other reasons.
At a glance: Located at, or inside, the Miracle Mile shopping complex, this hotel casino is one you should know. The Zappos Theater is always home to big shows, and you will want to see what’s on offer whenever you swing by Vegas. There are also a great selection of suites here. If you are planning a bachelor or bachelorette party, or just getting the gang back together, take a look at the room offerings. You might find the perfect match for your needs. The casino is a little small, and can sometimes lack the critical mass of gamblers, but is still decent. The Spice Market Buffer is also something nice to try. It won’t be the highlight of your trip, but probably will not disappoint you.
At a glance: Caesars Palace is gigantic. It goes on and on, and is always busy. If you stay here, not only will you not have to leave, but it will be difficult to find your way out. Rooms run from spartan, to super-luxury villas. Most guests will give high marks for the Garden of the Gods Oasis, which has seven pools each with their own theme. There is something here for singles, and for families, with enough compartmentalization that no one feels like their style is being cramped. You will find some truly wonderful dining options, and the real spectacle of the Bacchanal Buffet. This buffet is an experience in its own category, with more than 500 menu items. The casino floor is also quite nice, with some of the most decent video poker machines for any Strip property. We also recommend checking out Absinthe. No one knows how long it will last, so get your tickets while you can.
At a glance: People always go on about the free Bellagio fountain show, but the volcano at the Mirage is more interesting in our opinion. We are actually great fans of the interior décor of the Mirage. The rotunda with its jungle plants is a delight to see, and the casino is always busy with excitement. We do feel like some parts of the property need an upgrade, and are a little disappointed in our room experience, but do not think that is typical of most stays. We recommend this property for groups looking to have a good time.
At a glance: They got rid of the pirate show. Really, that’s all we have to say. In truth, there is not much reason for this hotel to be called Treasure Island. The entire theme is gone, and the rooms look generic. The dining options are still a bit tropical and fun, so that’s something. We actually think the best thing might be the Corner Market Buffet, since it offers an eclectic selection of foods and flavors. Have some bulgogi, or try a protein bowl. It is a nice change, but might be more expensive than it’s worth depending on your tastes. The pool area is a bit more accessible, and might be an attraction for some, since you can secure a cabana with a minimum food and beverage purchase. It won’t be as nice as down at Mandalay Bay Beach at the other end of the Strip, but will be less crowded.
At a glance: This place is surprisingly busy. We don’t understand the appeal, except that it is a cheaper option on the Strip. People seem to love the slots here, and you will get comps. It won’t be top shelf, but it will be free. Parts look a little like a rundown mall, and the rooms are only passable. The buffet also gets mixed reviews, and it is not our favorite. Of course, some people love it. They are at a midpoint of the Las Vegas Monorail, which is nice, as it is cheap and easy to head from here to the convention center, or MGM Grand. Oh, and there is the Carnival Court, which is a free, nightlife attraction which combines the open air, bands, drinking, and gambling.
At a glance: This is an off-Strip property, which means a couple things straight away. It is not a mega resort, and will not be as happening or action packed. It will also be cheaper. The food here is decent, affordable, and will satisfy. But the big draw is probably Penn & Teller, as they do regular shows that attract huge audiences. The Carnival World Buffet is also a decent mid-tier buffet, and does have a wide selection. We wish it could be a little better, but it still wouldn’t be as good as either the A.Y.C.E. Buffet at the Palms, or Studio B at the M Resort. Your best dining option will be VooDoo Steak, since it comes with a view. The same goes for the VooDoo nightclub, which has a perfect view of the city. We do note, some people are disappointed with the size and condition of the gaming rooms, and the rooms in general.
At a glance: Are you looking to get packed into a hotel room? Try the bunkbeds at Flamingo. This is a budget hotel casino on the Strip that accepts what it is, and doesn’t put up any silly arguments. You will find things are actually quite clean, partly because everything is a bit bare and streamlined. Though there are upscale options, most people will be happy with the food court for a quick fix, and go off to roam the Strip and have some fun. The Paradise Garden Buffet is noteworthy for offering some tasty Cajun dishes, and for a lovely waterfall view. There are some other party-themed restaurants, such as Carlos ‘n Charlie’s and Margaritaville. As for entertainment, well … Most might enjoy X Burlesque, which is actually pretty fun to watch.
At a glance: At the North end of the Strip, the Strat, formerly Stratosphere, is identified by the tall tower looming over everything nearby. This property is undergoing some renovations and updates to match the name change, which is a good thing. The place has needed a bit of care and attention for a while, and this might go a long way toward helping elevate the property in the opinion of guests and locals. For the most part, it currently has the feel of a budget casino, but one far from the action. Until the Drew and Resorts World are completed, the North Strip will feel empty, which tends to cause a vicious cycle of people leaving to more active scenes down the way. There are some neat things to do, such as rappelling off the tower, or going on the roller coaster. But we are disappointed in the food, and buffet. It is only so-so, with a good portion of the property looking like a dying mall.
At a glance: Don’t. It really doesn’t matter what deal they are offering, or if a friend told you they had a good time here. You can find other cheap alternatives with better amenities. Circus Circus is a bit dirty, run down, with a depressing feel. It loses money every day, and will probably be torn down and rebuilt within the next decade. It styles itself as kid and family friendly, but overstates this. The Adventuredome is underwhelming and expensive. You would be better off going to Six Flags, or another theme park. Lucky the Clown is also a scary mascot, and the circus theme really does not resonate with the modern age. Even paying the low cost for a room, you will feel cheated.
At a glance: The Sahara, formerly SLS, is actually a nice property, and we feel bad they are suffering on the North end of the Strip. Once the Drew and Resorts World are completed, we think business will pick, but until then you can reap the benefit of great deals. The Sahara has a nice and modern interior which has recently been updated. The lines are clean, the restaurants quality, and the staff is available and friendly. They really do try to make for a good stay. Even the pool area is pleasant. Really, with the deals and packages available, this is a great choice that will provide value for your dollars. Plus, it has convenient access to the Las Vegas Monorail, meaning the rest of the Strip is easily reachable.
At a glance: Even if you are not staying here, everyone should visit the Venetian and take in the Canal Shoppes. This is an incredible hotel and casino that really succeeded with their theme. The décor is interesting, engaging, and makes you feel you are someplace special. And the casino is immense. With some of the best shopping and restaurants on-site, you will be happy with your stay. But you will need a map, since it can be hard to navigate for newcomers. The rooms are quite nice, and though more expensive, offer great value. You’ll also find they tend to take care of gamblers here, so if you want to be a VIP you will get comped. Just remember, even if you get free rooms and upgrades, you still have to pay the taxes.
At a glance: This casino hotel is attached to the Venetian, where the two are nearly the same. Everything available at the Venetian is available at the Palazzo. The rooms are slightly different, and feel more upscale. The lobby is also a bit more grand. We feel they cater to a slightly more select crowd, but that is just opinion, and things don’t really differ that much.
At a glance: It is hard to describe the Wynn. The style is unique, and almost like Alice in Wonderland, if it was all about luxury and crystal and decadence. There is a whimsical feel that has to really be seen to be understood. Everything feels like it is super expensive, too. The rooms are all great, and a bit on the pricier side. The restaurants are also more expensive, but all worth the cost. We also would not the Wynn Buffet is one of our top three picks, offering the best dim sum, and some truly inspired menu items. It will not disappoint. The shows and shopping are all great, with a new mall opened that has even more boutique brands. A big draw is the Encore Beach Club, so get ready to have a party here with all the beautiful people.
At a glance: Like the Palazzo is connected to the Venetian, the Encore is connected to the Wynn. This second hotel casino offers very much the same experience as the Wynn, with the two attached by a long and luxurious corridor. It takes no more than a couple of minutes to go from one to the next. The rooms are comparable, but the Encore casino is bit more interesting in our opinion. Smaller, it has a more elite feel, and is surrounded by great restaurants, and the beach club.