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Downtown or strip?

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Atlanta, Georgia
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5 posts
20 reviews
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Downtown or strip?

In May I am making my first trip to Vegas. I look forward to walking around taking in the sights of the strip and the Freemont experience, visiting the neon and pinball museums and hiking outside of town. However, even after reading many reviews and forum answers on TA, I still cannot figure out where to stay.

I am in my 40s and value a good night's sleep. Hotel pool, clubs and casino do not matter to me at all. I read a New York Times travel article mentioning a stay in the cabana rooms at El Cortez downtown, checked it out and for $35 a night, I was pretty much sold. Then I mentioned my trip to friends and got inundated with hotel recommendations. Of those I narrowed it down to The Encore (based on high hotel rating and 30% off early booking making it just affordable for my visit) or the Cosmopolitan (I do like the idea of sitting on a balcony admiring a great view). So I can afford those places, but it is a fair chunk of change for me. Would I be better off staying downtown and driving the rental car to the strip for the two days of sightseeing I plan to do there or will I miss out by not being near most of the action? Any thoughts?

Yankee
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7,293 posts
2 reviews
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1. Re: Downtown or strip?

C'mon now. If downtown was so great, if the El Cortez was so great, rooms wouldn't cost $35 a night vs $135 for a nice room on the Strip.

The Strip is a lot nicer with a lot more to do. Downtown is favored by folks that like to gamble for 12 hours a day.

Hilltown...
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62 reviews
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2. Re: Downtown or strip?

Definitely stay on the strip for your first visit. I recommend going downtown one night - not during the day.

Wailuku, Hawaii
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855 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Downtown or strip?

Since this is your first trip stay on the strip! I love downtown but I have been to Vegas over 20 times. Save that for the next time. You will be happy when you are around all the action.

Based on what you said, I think you would enjoy Cosmo. I have not stayed there but have read how amazing those wrap around decks are.

Have fun!

Santa Barbara...
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503 posts
6 reviews
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4. Re: Downtown or strip?

There are nice places to stay on the strip that don't have the high rates like Cosmo and Encore and are at a higher standard then El Cortez. Check Trip Advisor's hotel reviews and look at the Traveler's photos, not the hotel's advertisement photos :). We like the MGM And Monte Carlo, they're nice properties with decent rates. Good luck and enjoy you're planning.

Norfolk England
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5,825 posts
83 reviews
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5. Re: Downtown or strip?

Hi

Those hotels are like chalk and cheese, no comparison. Yes you could stay at the El Co and drive in to the strip but it depends on what standard of luxury you want. If you are in Las Vegas for long enough then I would just stay downtown 1 or 2 nights, it is fun downtown at night but fairly quiet in the daylight hours. They are like 2 different beasts imo.

Clive

California
Destination Expert
for Las Vegas
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41,359 posts
4 reviews
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6. Re: Downtown or strip?

Why are you going to Las Vegas instead of New Orleans, San Francisco, or San Diego? Whatever the reason and whatever you are looking for, you will find it on the Strip.

Anyone who would recommend that you stay anywhere else on your 1st visit is doing you a disservice by taking their preferences into account, and making them more important than yours.

Atlanta, Georgia
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5 posts
20 reviews
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7. Re: Downtown or strip?

Thanks so much for the replies! The verdict is unanimous for the strip so I guess that is where we will be. Leaning toward the Cosmo still cause of the view Darn, I was hoping the Vegas regulars would think downtown would be perfect.

I'll be in Vegas four nights, I even thought of splitting trip between cheap and expensive places, but that might be too much of a bother. I keep reading about long check-ins. I am more used to small boutique hotels and b&bs so the whole Vegas thing will be a very different experience for me. But they say you gotta see it at least once in a lifetime.

Sioux Falls, South...
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6,608 posts
335 reviews
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8. Re: Downtown or strip?

By all means, stay at on the strip for your first trip! You can't get much better than a fountain view room at the Cosmo if you can afford it!!

Dallas, Texas
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for Boston, Orlando, Walt Disney World, Las Vegas
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9. Re: Downtown or strip?

The Strip for your first visit indeed.

California
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for Las Vegas
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41,359 posts
4 reviews
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10. Re: Downtown or strip?

You know this doesn't have to be an either/or situation. There are an awful lot of fine choices between the economy of Downtown and the luxury of Cosmopolitan.

For instance if view matters, the view from a Strip View room at Treasure Island is superior to that from Cosmo at 1/2 the price. And the Strip view from the right room at Mandalay Bay trumps them both.

Maybe you might do a little more research, and find you have a lot more good options than you think.