Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Like other off-the-Strip hotels near the Las Vegas Convention Center, the 3,174-room Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino aims to attract the business travelers who congregate every year at the 3.2-million-square-foot facility. With 200,000 square feet of its own meeting space and a full-service business center, LVH (formerly LVH - Las Vegas Hotel & Casino ) can tout a business-friendly infrastructure. So it's no surprise that clip-on name tags are the most common fashion accessory among guests. The beer-bong-toting youth brigade found at Strip hotels don't tend to make it this far afield.
The largest off-the-Strip Vegas hotel, the 30-story structure sits on 64 acres of land, dwarfing other properties by the convention center. Unlike smaller neighboring business hotels like Renaissance Las Vegas or the Marriott Suites, Westgate doesn't skimp on Vegas fixings. The hotel supplements its convention-friendly amenities with the same kind of gambling and entertainment options that tourist-magnet Strip hotel-casinos offer.
When it opened in 1969, it was the largest hotel in the world. While it's since lost that title, "world's largest" continues to be an important theme. At 279 feet high, the sign at the hotel's entrance is the world's largest freestanding sign. And the casino houses the world's largest sports book (300 seats).
The hotel has a long history of booking big-time performers. In 1969 it helped revive Elvis Presley's career with what would become a seven-year string of concerts. An Elvis Presley statue at the entrance commemorates those performances.
The hotel offers nothing more than the conventional array of guest services -- bellmen, concierge, room service -- but it's all done quickly and professionally.
Perfectly acceptable for a mid-tier Vegas hotel, service entails a standard series of courtesies. Bellmen hail cabs and help with luggage at the entrance. The concierge is open from 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. (the front desk can help with after-hours requests). Room service is available 24 hours. The staff is professional and quick to respond. Check-in and checkout each took less than five minutes. Room service arrived fast, delivered on a cart with a white tablecloth by a waiter in a bow tie. A request for extra towels was met quickly too, and included extra toiletries that I hadn't even requested.
The Westgate website notes that the property is "just a few blocks from the Las Vegas Strip," but bear in mind that Las Vegas blocks are quite long. Plus, not all sections of the Strip -- the densely packed three-and-a-half-mile-long stretch of hotel-casinos -- are equally appealing. From the hotel, it's a 20-minute, five- to -six-block walk to the popular Wynn. Less-hip spots like Circus Circus and the Riviera are closer. So you'll likely want to take a cab or hop on the monorail, which stops at the the Westgate as well as the MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah's/Imperial Palace, the Convention Center, and the Sahara. A single-ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. On the plus side, the blaring lights and music of the Strip are far enough away that they won't impede your sleep.
Even though no buildings sit between the hotel and the convention center, the door-to-door walk takes at least 10 minutes (the monorail stops at both locations). The Las Vegas Country Club abuts the rear of the property. The hotel offers special privileges for guests who want to use the club's golf course and other facilities, but as of this writing the country club is closed for construction.
The 15-minute cab ride to McCarran International Airport costs $15 to $20.
The understated decor in the rooms -- an off-white-pink-and-orange color scheme, a dark wood desk and bureau -- is unadventurous but welcoming. My classic room had a view to the west, where I could see the Wynn and the Encore. The bed, covered with four pillows and a cylindrical red cushion and a smooth duvet, yielded a great night's sleep.
The spacious bathroom is split into a toilet/shower area and a sink/vanity area with plenty of countertop space. Pink tiling covers the floor and walls, and the fixtures are relatively new. Aside from a few markings on the wall, the space is inviting. The hotel carries La Source products by Crabtree & Evelyn.
At 400 square feet, the classic room is the same size as the average Strip hotel room. Grand rooms have 200 extra square feet and a tub-shower combination. Resorts Club rooms offer access to the resorts club, which provides free wine-and-cheese receptions. Suites run as large as 10,000 square feet.
Fairly unremarkable by Las Vegas standards, the pool is far smaller than the outsized pools at Strip resorts like the Flamingo or the Mirage. Its plain cement deck, with relatively little foliage, doesn't add much. The only thing that stands out is the adjacent mini fitness center, which allows guests to take in the pool scenery while pedaling on exercise bikes or doing tricep pulldowns.
Despite those shortcomings, Westgate's pool trounces what you'll find at fellow convention center hotels like the Renaissance Las Vegas and the Marriott Suites, and during the day it gets steady foot traffic from business travelers cooling off with a cocktail from the poolside bar and families with small children playing on the shallow ledges.
The spa is well-outfitted but not deluxe. With signs in the whirlpool area exhorting guests to "Relax" and standard blue-and-white tiling, an upgraded YMCA comes to mind. In the lounge, a staff member was relaxing on the couch watching the flat-screen TV. The range of treatments is standard: full-body, 50-minute Swedish massages for $100, seaweed mud treatments for $50. Click here for a complete list.
With 11 pieces of cardio equipment, an array of strength machines, and a set of free weights, the fitness center will get the job done. However, it's in a windowless room between the men's and women's spa areas, with not much open space for lifting free weights. Use of the spa and the fitness center costs $20 a day. The facilities are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Westgate has six tennis courts on the grounds, and they rent for $20 an hour. The pro shop, open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., provides a variety of services, including ball-machine rental for $35 an hour, $75 private lessons, and $25 tennis clinics.
The business center caters to large-scale meetings with printing services that include binders, newsletters, business cards, and name tags. A notary public is also on hand. Individual guests, meanwhile, will find the same nickel-and-diming that's common in most large Las Vegas resorts. Black-and-white copies cost 30 cents per page, but bulk rates are available. Internet stations cost 79 cents per minute, and printing costs $1 per page. Handling charges apply for incoming and outgoing packages. Click here for the full list of services and prices.
Unlike other hotels near the convention center, Westgate has a gaming floor, and it's substantial enough to compete with the big casinos on the Strip.
The large, 74,000-square-foot casino sets the Westgate apart from other business hotels in the area, many of which lack gaming options altogether. Guests will find the typical slots and table games, as well as the world's largest sports book (300 seats, 28 gigantic TVs, and one ginormous 15'-by-20' TV). For the uninitiated, the hotel sponsors free lessons in most table games every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The hotel has a proud history of drawing iconic Vegas entertainers. On the scene since 2005: Barry Manilow.
The Westgate, then called the International Hotel, booked Barbra Streisand for its 1969 opening night. The hotel also helped relaunch Elvis Presley's career in 1969 with what would become a seven-year string of concerts. (The hotel immortalizes those performances with an Elvis Presley statue at the entrance.) In the 1970s, iconic Vegas piano man Liberace played on the property. Other entertainment options include the Sin City Bad Girls topless revue and Cheap Trick.
Away from the Strip and demure for Vegas, Westgate is appropriate for families. But the hotel doesn't offer much in the way of kid-friendly entertainment.
Parents can feel comfortable bringing kids to the hotel -- removed from the Strip, it doesn't bank on female flesh for entertainment, and its servers tend to dress demurely. The hotel provides baby-sitting services and cribs. And the pool has lots of space for young ones to splash around (though there's also plenty of drinking by the pool), and tennis courts can be rented. However, Westgate also doesn't offer much else for kids to do.
From top to bottom, extremely clean, except for a few marks in the bathroom.
Aside from a few minor smudges in the bathroom, the hotel gets high marks for cleanliness. I found no stains on the carpets or furniture, and the sink was immaculate. Even the smudges on the tiling near the shower were hardly noticeable.
Guests at Westgate can pick from a solid array of dining options, though the hotel lacks the top-of-the-line culinary experiences that other major Vegas resorts deliver. And while none of the restaurants are out-and-out cheap, many offer decent value for the price.
The buffet serves a wide mix of cuisines, from salads and steaks to Chinese stir-fry to tacos and burritos. Vegas diners can find better buffets in town (try the Spice Market buffet at Planet Hollywood), but they'll pay twice as much for them. Only $15, the buffet dishes out above-average food at a low price.
The row of restaurants just past the casino includes a low-lit Zen garden complex with three dining options. The fanciest is Benihana, located on the second level. The hibachi tables look out onto a waterfall and wooden bridge, the hibachi chef puts on a good show, and the food is as savory and delicious as you'd expect butter-laden meats to be. For $50, it's not cheap, but it's a much better value than the fancy teppanyaki over at the Flamingo, Hamada of Japan, a 20-year-old Vegas institution and hot spot for business dinners. You can find customer reviews of the Benihana here, at Yelp.com.
Room service arrived promptly, 14 minutes after I ordered. The bill for my ham-and-cheese sandwich with pasta salad came to $20.65, including taxes, fees, and tip. Room service is available 24 hours a day.
Convenient to the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino (formerly LVH- Las Vegas Hotel and Casino) is a quiet alternative to Strip hotels, particularly for business travelers and conventioneers. With big-name entertainment, a sizable casino, and quality dining options, the resort doesn't have to be all work, no play.