- No sit-down restaurant on site
- No on-site casino
- Short drive from the Strip's best dining
- Frequent lines for service
- No on-site entertainment
Ask a cab driver to take you to the Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Strip (or the "HGVC"), and chances are he'll take a moment to think about where it is. Though the hotel has the all-important Las Vegas Boulevard South address (better known as the Strip), this 1,228-room two-tower structure is off the typical tourist radar -- mostly because it's a time-share property that regular travelers fail to consider. The majority of guests are time-share owning families part of the Hilton Grand Vacations network, or conventioneers who take the free, five-minute shuttle ride to the Las Vegas Convention Center.
The hotel is cut off from most of the action on the Strip, and the nearest casinos and sit-down restaurants are a five-minute walk away at Circus Circus and the Sahara -- less exciting properties, both well past their prime. Unless you're willing to walk 20 minutes to the Fashion Show Mall and the Wynn for quality dining and entertainment, you'll be stuck in this insular hotel which has just enough features to occupy a family on a short vacation. This includes two bean-shaped pools with water sprays, an activity lounge with games like foosball and chess, a modern, fully-equipped fitness center, and a small spa with the usual array of treatments.
The highlight, though, is the rooms: large and sunny one- or two-bedroom apartments, each with a full kitchen and washer/dryer. Other time-share properties on the Strip, like Polo Towers and Marriott Grand Chateau offer the same, but their location next to mega hotel-casinos means they don't have the wide, sweeping room views and open spaces of this 10-acre property.
A time-share hotel with all the service standards of a typical hotel in Vegas -- concierge services, room service, daily housekeeping, and porters on hand.
With 1,228 rooms, this is a time-share hotel that handles a large volume of guests daily, most of them traveling in groups. Bellmen greet guests outside the entrance to help with luggage and staff members are posted in the lobby to help direct guest traffic. But long, 20-minute lines are inevitable at any large Vegas hotel, even at the deli counter.
Free daily housekeeping is available for non-owning guests. Room service is available from the on-site Marketplace Deli from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. And poolside service at Waves Bar & Grill is surprisingly fast and friendly, mostly because their menu is a short list of quick-order items.
On the north end of the Strip, a long walk or a short drive from the major hotel-casinos, though Circus Circus is a short walk away.
Located on its own 10-acre property, HGVC is at the northern end of the Strip. There's not much in the immediate vicinity save for the 24-hour CVS pharmacy beside the hotel, where you can pick up toiletries or snacks. To get to a casino, plan on walking about three minutes south to Circus Circus. Across the street from HGVC is the currently stalled construction site of the upcoming high-profile, luxury hotel, the Fontainebleau Las Vegas.
But the heart of the action is about a 20-minute walk (or a short cab ride) away, which will take you to the Fashion Show Mall, Treasure Island, and the Mirage. If you're out past 10 p.m., you'll have to show your room key card to re-enter the Hilton Grand hotel.
Most Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big properties along the densely packed three-and-a-half mile long stretch of hotel-casinos known as the Strip. Cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. 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, and the Hilton. 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 Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.
Large, sunny rooms and suites with contemporary furnishings and modern appliances. Studios are akin to a typical hotel room, but the suites have all the trappings of a city apartment -- including a full kitchen and a washer/dryer.
Each of the large, bright rooms look like cozy Pier 1 showrooms, with a melange of patterns and colors.
If you're traveling solo or as a couple, the studio room should be sufficient, though it lacks the full kitchens. Studio rooms include a microwave, coffeemaker with free Starbucks packets, and a mini-fridge. Studios don't have washer/dryers like the one-bedroom suites, but there are guest laundry facilities that are free to use in the hotel.
At 723 square feet, the one-bedroom suite is substantially larger, and is a great choice for small groups or families. It comes with a spacious living room, dining area, private bedroom with a king-size bed, and a fully-equipped kitchen, which includes a stove-top, an oven, a dishwasher, blender, and pots and pans. Both come with a full set of utensils and plates. Plus, there's a washer/dryer inside the closet.
The suite bathroom has a soaking tub and a separate shower area. Unlike at other HGVC properties in Vegas, however, the tub doesn't have whirlpool jets. Bath products are La Source by Crabtree & Evelyn, and they include bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, and body lotion.
As for electronics, studios have a 27-inch flat-screen TV and a DVD player. In the suites, the bedroom has a 27-inch flat-screen TV, while the living room has a 32-inch flat-screen TV, a DVD player, and a Bose theater system. Movies can be rented from the DVD rental machine in the hotel's business center. Pay-per-view movies and 75 TV channels are also available. Safety-deposit boxes are available upon request. And, unlike the great majority of hotels in Vegas, Wi-Fi is free.
Compared to the other HGVC in Vegas like the HGVC at the Convention Center, this property has a much nicer pool. It's actually two large, bean-shaped pools separated by a bridge and an outdoor dining area. The pools are heated, and have water sprouts that are turned on every once in a while to the great delight of kids. Both pools are 3.5 feet deep all around, though there's no official kids' pool. On one side, there's a basketball hoop and on the other side is a volleyball net.
There are hot tubs and at least 200 lounge chairs around the pools to accommodate the many guests vying for a spot in the sun. Cabanas can be rented for $100 for 3 hours or $175 for the entire day. They include a flat-screen TV, mini-fridge, and a safe. Like other time-shares, there are barbecue grills around the pool available for guests to use, and grill items are available at the Marketplace Deli. Refreshments and additional poolside snacks are available from the Waves Pool Bar & Grill.
Like the pool, the Grand Vacation Spa sets this hotel apart from the other Vegas time-share properties. It's a small spa with average-priced treatments ($100 for a 50-minute Swedish massage), and the spa menu is more limited than, say, the Spa at Trump. Still, it's a great feature to have on-site.
The fitness center has modern machines from a mix of reputable brands including StarTrac and Precor. There are seven treadmills facing six flat-screen TVs, four exercise bikes, an elliptical, and a number of weight machines, free weights, fitness balls, and exercise mats. You can get a great workout here, then splash in the pool right outside.
Across from the gym is an "activity lounge" with table tennis, billiards, chess, foosball, and several board games. There's also a large-screen TV, couches, and a computer station. If you want to avoid the noise and activity of the lounge, head to the business center, which has three PCs and two printer/copiers. Internet use costs $.89/minute.
Also on-site is the Marketplace Deli, which carries convenience items like toothbrushes and magazines. Items are slightly more expensive than at the 24-hour CVS that's a three-minute walk from the hotel.
One of the best family hotels on the Strip -- a non-gaming property with large suites that have fully equipped kitchens, a kid-friendly pool, an activity lounge, and a handful of kid-friendly food both on-site and nearby.
Targeted toward families, this hotel lacks the smoky casino and risque entertainment found at many other hotels on the Strip. Instead, it has a big, 3.5-foot deep pool with spray fountains and an activity lounge with table tennis, billiards, chess, foosball, and several board games.
The fully-equipped kitchens in the suites are great for families -- especially as you'll likely get tried of eating the same five or so snack options at Waves Pool Bar & Grill. The Marketplace Deli has some kid-friendly food, like cereal, chips, fruit bars, bacon, and eggs. The Sahara hotel, which is a five-minute walk from HGVC, has kid-friendly restaurants such as NASCAR Cafe, along with its less-than-average buffet.
Baby-sitting service can be arranged through the hotel's guest services.
Shining. Shimmering. Splendid.
Part of this sunny hotel's charm is its gleaming tiles and dust-free interiors. The rooms are about four years old, but everything has held up very well.
Waves Pool Bar & Grill serves a decent poolside lunch, and the Marketplace Deli has some salads, snacks, Starbucks coffee, and breakfast sandwiches, but for a sit-down restaurant, you'll have to head out.
Waves Pool Bar & Grill is a fine option while lounging in the sun. This shaded poolside restaurant has a limited menu of sandwiches and other fast-and-easy snack items, as well as smoothies, pina coladas, beers, and margaritas. My expectations weren't high, but the spicy pulled chicken ($8) on lettuce leaves was actually very good, and quite filling. Paired with a strawberry smoothie ($5), it was the perfect (and cooling) mid-day snack. While the restaurant has proper tables and chairs, most guests opt to take their food away in to-go boxes and eat on the deck tables by the pool. Waves, however, is only open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The Marketplace Deli, a mini-grocery/cafe, has sandwiches ($6), salads ($7), pizza, and Starbucks coffee. Breakfast sandwiches are quite good, like the ham-and-cheese croissant. Room service is available from the deli from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. The menu includes deli platters that can serve eight to 10 people.
But for a more substantial meal, you'll have to walk five minutes north to the Sahara. The Sahara buffet, just off the Sahara's musty old casino, is nothing exciting, but for $14.99, it's one of the cheaper deals in Vegas. (Just be warned, there's no lunch buffet Monday through Friday.) Or you can head to the NASCAR Cafe for American diner food.
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