Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Despite its shortcomings -- the small pool, the cramped rooms, dated, off-site gym, and minimal service -- this 765-room time-share hotel has a quality location (a short walk from the central Strip) and its clean, modern rooms (renovated 2008) all have balconies. But given that there are plenty of bigger and more exciting hotels with far better features directly on the Strip at typically better prices (a result of the economy) there's no great reason for you to visit the Polo Towers unless you're a member of its vacation club.
The standard Studio rooms are clean and modern, but they're also some of the smallest ones on the Strip. Even worse, you have to rearrange the furniture in order to pull the Murphy bed down from the wall. It's a hassle, believe me. In Vegas -- a city known for posh accommodations at incredibly cheap rates -- you can do better.
But if that's not reason enough to avoid this hotel, there's also the lackluster amenities. The small pool doesn't offer drinks service, and there are no fun features (save a few spray fountains at the separate "water park" for kids). The off-site fitness center is large, but it has pretty dated equipment by Vegas standards. There's no business center. And while many other time-share hotels also lack restaurants, casinos, and shows on-site, they at least make up for this by having big rooms with full kitchens -- not the case here (you'll have to upgrade to the one-bedroom suite).
Only the most basic services -- porters, a concierge, and free (though limited) daily housekeeping.
For the most part, regular, non-time-share guests are treated like any other guest at any other Vegas hotel. That is, they get all the customary services expected -- prompt porters, free daily housekeeping, room service, a concierge (available 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.), and room service (provided by an off-site restaurant).
But there is no poolside drink service (or even a bar near the pool) and the housekeeping only really clears your trash, replaces towels, and makes your bed. Unlike at other time-share hotels, such as the Cancun Resort, the housekeepers do not wash your dirty dishes or regularly vacuum the carpet.
Located on a safe and quiet side street, just behind the Hawaiian Marketplace, a shopping and dining complex on the Strip. Big hotel-casinos like the MGM Grand and Planet Hollywood are only about a five-minute walk away.
Located about 200 hundred feet from the Strip, Polo Towers is on a narrow side street behind Hawaiian Marketplace, a shopping and dining complex. The hotel is only a five- to 10-minute walk from the quality casinos and fine (or affordable) dining at the MGM Grand or Paris hotels. Compared to some of the other time-share hotels, like the Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Las Vegas Strip, the Polo Towers has a far more convenient location.
The immediate area around the hotel is trafficked mainly by guests of the Polo Towers. It only takes a minute to get to Hawaiian Marketplace, which has fast-food and ethnic restaurants, a foot-massage parlor, a cigar shop, stalls selling curios and cheap clothes, and an entertainment center where bands perform throughout the day and night. Walk north on the Strip and you'll find ample convenience stores and gift shops.
Most guests like to explore all the big properties along the Strip. In order to do so, you can hop in a cab -- they are easy to find at virtually any time. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the Strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3 to ride. There's also a monorail system, which stops at MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah's/Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara. A single-ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, a cab is often the least expensive option.
Virtually every hotel on the Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.
The rooms are spread out over three towers and furnished in either of two distinct styles: contemporary and minimalist with lots of dark wood and muted colors; or ornate, Tuscan-inspired decor, marked by textured fabrics and stylized metalwork (the hotel calls these rooms "villas").
The standard Studio room is among the smallest you can get on the Strip, though at 313 square feet, it's still fairly large compared to many hotel rooms around the world. The real problem with the Studio is that it was actually designed to be a living room for the one-bedroom Suite (which is 617 square feet and comes with a fully-equipped kitchen). In place of the bed, there's a sofa in the center of the room and a Murphy bed on the wall behind the sofa. Each night, you need move the heavy sofa and coffee table out of the way in order to pull the bed down from the wall. Once the bed is down, it takes up the majority of the space in the room, and you have to cram all of the furniture in front of the balcony entrance.
Once set up, the bed is actually more comfortable that you might think: The mattress is thick and firm and the pillows, which are stored in the closet, are soft and fluffy. In addition to the bed, the sleeper sofa can accommodate one other person, though it's quite narrow.
Electronics include a 27-inch flat-screen TV, a DVD/VHS player, a CD player/radio (there's no iPod hookup), and a bedside clock. Instead of a full kitchen, there's just a small area with a microwave, a coffeemaker, and an empty mini-fridge. A strong Wi-Fi connection is available ($13.95 for 24 hours).
Located on the 22nd floor roof deck of Tower III, the pool -- restricted to 30 people, max -- is tiny by Vegas standards. It's long enough to a swim a lap in, but considering that there are 765 rooms in the hotel, there's only a small fraction of guests who can use the pool at any given time, not to mention the single Jacuzzi. The pool is open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., but there are designated pool times. Guests of any age can use the pool between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., but after 5 p.m. it is strictly "Adult Time," during which no one under 16 is allowed in the pool area.
Lounge chairs are made of black metal -- a poor choice, given that they become searing hot under the desert sun. Cabanas are free, but they tend to fill up quickly. Umbrellas are also scarce. There's no drink service. but there are barbecue grills available for free on a first-come, first-served basis.
Guests have free access to the large fitness center located in Hawaiian Marketplace, the shopping complex next door to Polo Towers. There is no direct access to the fitness center from the hotel, which means you have to exit the hotel, stroll over to the next building, and take the escalator to the 2nd floor, where the gym is located. The dated equipment doesn't come with TV monitors, but it's kept in good condition and the brands are reputable (strength-training machines from Cybex and treadmills from Life Fitness). The gym is open Monday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sundays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Massages and spa treatments are also available at the fitness center.
The Pony Express Logo Shop & Mini Mart sells basic snacks and souvenirs as well as milk and canned goods. It's located on the ground floor of the hotel, next to a DVD rental machine. It's open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Unlike most time-shares that have washer/dryers in the rooms, the Polo Towers has coin-operated washers and dryers on about every third floor. Laundry detergents and softeners are available in vending machines in each facility.
With its apartment-style suites and a water park just for kids, this is a good -- not great -- place to bring young children. Board games are available at the front desk, free of charge. Rooms also include DVD players, and DVDs can be rented from a machine in the lobby. But its kids' water park and play area -- a shallow pool with sprinklers around the corner from the hotel -- hardly compares to the amazing pools at both Mandalay Bay and the MGM Grand. And even when you compare the Polo Towers to other time-share-style properties, like the Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Las Vegas Strip, its features and activities are much less exciting.
The one-bedroom Suites are large enough to sleep a family of four. For a two-bedroom suite, the adjacent studio room can be booked along with the one-bedroom suite in order to sleep seven.
For kid-friendly food, there is an outside service that delivers directly to the room. The Order Inn menu includes options like pizza and pasta.
Clean, but housekeeping doesn't do a full daily clean-up. Tidy grounds, except for the pool after family hours.
Renovated in 2008, the rooms are modern and clean. But unlike other time-share hotels, like the Cancun Resort, the daily housekeeping doesn't include vacuuming the carpet or cleaning the kitchen. Basically, they just make the bed and change the towels.
The pool deck has similarly limited cleaning service. By 5 p.m., you're likely to spot a number of strewn towels and askew lounge chairs.
Just an on-site deli with grocery items -- no sit-down restaurant. You can eat at the nearby Hawaiian Marketplace, which has fast-food and ethnic restaurants, or dine at one of many area mega-hotels.
Like most time-share hotels, there is no on-site restaurant. There is a deli on the ground floor that sells canned goods, milk, coffee, and bagels, but the hotel doesn't offer room service. Instead, they provide a menu from Order Inn, a third-party food-delivery service. The menu includes salads ($9.95), burgers ($6.50), and pastas ($12.95). Delivery is available from 11 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
Fortunately, the hotel is located just outside the center of the Strip, where it only takes a short walk to find food. Polo Towers is directly behind Hawaiian Marketplace, an open-air shopping and dining complex, where there are a few ethnic restaurants and not much else. But if you walk north along the Strip, you'll soon come across Smith & Wollensky, a famous steak house, as well as the many fine dining restaurants at the MGM Grand, including the decadent L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon, where you can get inventive, thumb-size tapas (for $30 each!) created by the "Chef of the Century".
If you walk five minutes south on the Strip, you'll reach the patio of Trader Vic's in the Miracle Mile of Planet Hollywood. The menu consists of Chinese-American fusion, with entrees averaging $28. The food is mediocre, but the view of Bellagio's dancing fountains is unparalleled. It's worth it to at least have a frozen margarita while listening to live reggae on the terrace.
Attracting mostly time-share members, the 765-room Polo Towers has clean, modern rooms and a prime location about a block from the central Strip. But its pool is small and no-frills, its fitness center has dated equipment, service is minimal, and the small, standard guest rooms only have inconvenient Murphy beds that pull down from the wall.