You want to go to Vegas, drink to excess, marry a stranger with a face piercing, then get a tattoo on your privates but you can't. Because you're not a millionaire. Good news! The city’s visitor stats haven’t swelled to nearly 43 million people per year thanks to high rollers and celebrity guests alone. The magic of Vegas is its ability to give you what you want, including a comfy room and an in-hotel shark tank at a very reasonable price. At these amazing (and cheap) resorts—many within earshot of not-to-be-missed Las Vegas attractions—you’ll save some cash to splash on food, or spend foolishly at the slot machine around 5AM.
Best cheap hotels in Las Vegas
Don’t let the price tag fool you. This non-casino hotel 30 minutes from the airport is far more glamorous than its room rate suggests. Set along the surprisingly beautiful man-made Lake Las Vegas, the Westin has a delicious Middle Eastern feel with hanging lanterns, ornate tile work, terra cotta tones and an indoor-outdoor aesthetic that encourages you to make good use of the pool and expansive patio overlooking the water. This is the place to to heal yourself after a draining 24 hours at the slot machines – what it lacks in table games or pumping nightclubs it makes up for in standup paddle board lessons, beachy bonfires and access to an 18-hole golf course right next door.
A fresh addition to the notorious Caesars family, this center-Strip casino underwent a complete renovation and rebranding in 2014, so the rooms feel contemporary and fresh, and the whole resort still has a bit of that new hotel shine. Designed with younger visitors in mind, the Linq offers rooms for a crowd with two queen beds and an extra lofted bunk (starting around $69) – good if you're hoping to make new friends. Affordable spa treatments (hello, Himalayan salt cave) are a massive plus, there are also in-room fitness carts stocked with yoga mats and foam rollers available to guests free of charge. Best of all, the Linq Promenade, packed with restaurants, bars and shops, is just a few steps away.
Once the celeb and nightclub capital of the casino corridor, today the Palms is a little more laid back. But many of the ingredients that made it such a hot spot are still in place, namely slick rooms with sensational views (book the Ivory tower, recently redesigned by Klai Juba), tasty restaurants (try N9ne Steakhouse or Andre Rochat’s Alize), party options (Ghostbar Dayclub turns afternoons debaucherous all winter long) and one of the best concert venues in town with a lineup that’s had a welcome refresh (Niall Horan fans, keep it together).
Set just off Las Vegas Boulevard, Lucky Dragon has an emphasis on giving guests an “authentic Asian experience.” What does that mean? Multilingual signage and staff; table games popular with Asian gamblers; restaurants serving seafood, bao, modern Chinese cuisine and Chinese street food; and an indoor/outdoor tea lounge with a menu unlike anywhere else in town. The decor is modern and very glam, from the well-appointed guest rooms to the resort’s visual centerpiece, a spectacular 23-foot glass dragon chandelier in the center of the casino floor.
The now-Hilton originally opened way back before Paris became an It-girl as a Ritz-Carlton, which means just about everything at the lakeside resort is a little more lovely than you would expect. That goes for the opulent interiors, the elegant pool and the formal garden, which leads to a “village” of shops and cafes where you can grab a bite or a souvenir. Two Jack Nicklaus golf courses are within easy reach and there’s shuttle service to the Strip for when you want to get your Vegas on. The best of both worlds, with a view to boot.
The Monte Carlo is in its final days. By the end of 2018, the property will undergo a $450 million transformation into two new hotels: Park MGM and a Vegas location of NoMad Hotel. But why should you stay in a hotel that’s also a construction site? Because the price is very right. For now, rooms are starting around $80, and you have access to the brand new Park Theater (Cher residency, anyone?), the Park dining corridor and T-Mobile Arena (hopefully Chris Brown doesn't tempt you, but Justin Timberlake might). Most of the Monte Carlo is still operating as usual, and though the pool is closed for renovations, guests get free passes to Mandalay Beach or the MGM pool.
You want a comfortable hotel with a famous name and all the trimmings at a price that will leave plenty of cash left over to blow in the casino. May we introduce the Golden Nugget. This Downtown hotel is a close cousin to the Strip’s mega resorts, complete with glitzy casino, an array of restaurants, live entertainment and a one-of-a-kind pool, which boasts a massive shark tank and a three-story water slide that zips safely through it. Look for rooms in the modern Gold or Rush towers, and when you’re done exploring the onsite features, step out the front door to enter the madness.
In 2013 the former Lady Luck casino in Downtown Las Vegas reopened as the Downtown Grand, a sprawling, 600-plus room resort with a fresh urban flavor courtesy of a $100 million makeover. Inside the property, there’s a full suite of gaming options, a beautiful pool that is also home to the biggest downtown roofdeck party in sin city, a couple of eateries and rooms starting around $30 per night. Outside, there’s all of Downtown Vegas, from the most debaucherous haunts, to more innocuous delights like well-crafted pies at Pizza Rock. And for esports fans, Downtown Grand is the place to be, host to regular tournaments and a dedicated esports lounge.
For an only-in-Vegas experience, it’s hard to beat the Luxor, the glistening black pyramid with a spotlight that shines into the heavens and a sphinx guarding the front door. It's opulent and ridiculous, and while it’s not the newest kid on the block, this hotel still ticks all the boxes: clean, comfy rooms, a massive casino, an array of eateries and shows like Blue Man Group. There's also a spa, sexy pools, and a chapel to get married in, obviously. Plus, its connection to Mandalay Place means you get two resorts’ worth of restaurants, bars, shops and games at your fingertips.
This old-school hotel in the heart of Old Vegas got a head-to-toe makeover in 2014, transforming a worn out property into a properly hip boutique hotel. Today, the Oasis has 44 rooms and suites (modest by Vegas standards)—including dog-friendly crash pads and the 5,000-square-foot penthouse featured in a recent season of MTV’s Real World. Unlike most of its neighbors, there’s no gaming or smoking. But to be honest, that might be a bit of a relief after you've lost all your cash and passive smoked one million Marlboro Reds. Instead, you’ll find bike rentals, a co-working space, a lobby library and the Gold Spike next door with a 24-hour restaurant and backyard full of games.
There are no pirates (in costume or otherwise) on the premises at this laid back casino – all the more reason to visit. Come for the location—right on the corner of the Boulevard and Spring Mountain Road, Treasure Island is in a fancy neighborhood (across from Wynn and Palazzo with Mirage right next door) at a price point usually reserved for a few blocks off-Strip. You won’t find famous restaurants or a swanky club onsite (though there is a resident Cirque show), but there are plenty of those within walking distance should you feel the urge to splurge.
Spread yourself out at this veteran hotel, where every room is a suite and the baseline footprint is 600 square feet. Opt for an updated Samba room in the Ipanema Tower, then explore the carnival-themed casino, take a dip in the pool, indulge in the famous seafood buffet, play the black-lit mini golf course or zipline 800 feet from one casino tower to another at up to 33 miles per hour. It's like a kids adventure playground, but for adults with credit cards and grown-up naughty streaks. While it's not directly on the Strip, there's a free shuttle right to the heart of the action, and with the money you save on your stay, you should be able to afford an Uber or ten.