Just outside the bright lights, bawdy shows, and grandiose structures, there's a Vegas that stretches beyond that dense, 3.5-mile-long line of hotel-casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard known as the Strip. Slightly removed from the incessant hustle are a number of hotels -- located anywhere from a five-minute walk to a five- to 10-minute taxi or shuttle ride from the center of the action -- that offer closer proximity to the Las Vegas Convention Center, a quieter night's sleep, or, at times, a bit more bang for the buck.
But the downside to any off-the-Strip property is -- you guessed it -- its distance from the Strip. Walking under the Nevada sun is no easy feat, and many of these hotels are surrounded by long, shadeless roads and empty lots. Some hotels offer a shuttle service to the Strip during the day, but you're likely to get stuck taking cab after cab if you want to drink and dine and play on the Strip all night -- and that can get expensive quick. But then again, a few select hotels, such as the Hard Rock or the Rio, are large enough and wild enough that many guests never bother to leave.
Many off-the-Strip lodging options are time-share hotels or condo-hotels (some with fully-stocked kitchens) or just your average, bland business hotel. In general, these are places with a decreased emphasis on fine dining, posh pool scenes, swank design, fun entertainment, gambling, and many of the other things that draw people to Vegas in the first place. But what they do have, occasionally, is value -- especially for a family or a large group. Check out the Las Vegas Hilton (featuring Barry Manilow) or the Marriott Suites, both right by the Convention Center, or try the Gold Coast, which is typically dirt cheap, but plenty clean.
Some of the more traditional, outrageous Strip-style hotels can be found about a five- to 10-minute drive from the Strip. The Palms and Hard Rock hotel-casinos, for example, are two of the most infamous party hotels in Vegas -- just take a look at these photos of the Hard Rock pool -- and both have great spas, gyms, and restaurants (though, maybe not as great as some of the other leading hotels on the Strip). For an even more affordable party hotel, check out the Rio or the Hooters hotel-casinos.
|Airports:||McCarran International Airport|
|Peak:||Oct. 1 - May 31|
|Off-Peak:||June 1 - Sept. 30|
|Electricity:||120 V, 60 Hz|
|Tipping:||15-20% at restaurants|