If you’ve already told yourself that you’re indeed one of those party animals that wants a memorable experience full of luxury and modern amenities – and you are willing to spend coin to get it – then you should to move early to lock down a good room rate at one of the top Las Vegas hotels. Take it from us experts: there are a handful of magnificent Strip resorts that are head and shoulders above the rest of them, ones that offer all the trappings you desire in the central location you want and are conveniently right smack dab on The Strip.
There are many reasonably priced and solid options on and off the Vegas Strip, but the Las Vegas that most out-of-towners want to experience is the one of sheer opulence, fast money, gluttonous excess, glitzy sensory overload, and high-stakes swings in fortune. And of course, Las Vegans (hilarious, but yes that’s what they’re called) play the fiddle in tune because “a fool and his money are soon parted” as the old saying goes.
Here, in order of our highly experienced customer service staff’s preferences, is our Discotech top 10 list of hotels you want to visit – and stay at, if you can – on the Las Vegas strip in 2020:
1) Aria – $$$$ – Center Strip
A glittering center-strip jewel rising from the desert floor, Aria is one of the largest hotels on Planet Earth: 4,004 rooms, including 568 suites and two distinct AAA Five Diamond hotel products. State-of-the-art rooms and suites are a given; for the more discerning client the exclusive Sky Suites – 1,000-7,000 square-foot villas with private check-in and elevator, dedicated lounge, goodie bags, and Sky Pool access – offer even more opulence and white-glove service. Even better, Aria houses arguably the best collection of upscale dining options – CATCH, Javier’s, Lemongrass, Carbone, Din Tai Fung, and Sage, to name a few – of any Strip resort. They know that the way to your heart… and your wallet… is through your stomach, don’t they?
Closest nightclub to Aria: Jewel (inside resort on first floor);
Closest dayclub to Aria: Liquid (inside resort on second floor)
2) Wynn/Encore – $$$$$ – North Strip
With its ubiquitous red and gold interior decor – lucky colors to the wealthy Asian clientele that often frequent its casino floor tables – the Wynn and Encore have always been on of the most luxurious properties on the Vegas strip. In recent years, they’ve traded in their elitist vibe – without sacrificing any of the luxury – for a more high-energy fashionista cool to target those aspirational Millennials of the aughts and teens that now have money to burn in 2020. Sleek, modern rooms showcasing Steve Wynn’s famed attention to detail start at 640 square feet and offer floor-to-ceiling windows, signature Wynn Dream beds, luxe linens and marble bathtubs. But the big draw for the hipper, younger set remains the on-site entertainment options, including nightlife venues that continue to showcase the hottest musical talent in the world including The Chainsmokers, Drake, and Diplo.
Closest nightclub: XS (inside resort on first floor)
Closest dayclub: Encore Beach Club (on resort property outdoors)
3) Cosmopolitan – $$$$$ – Center Strip
A popular hotel choice and rendezvous point for the beautiful twentysomethings and thirtysomethings of the world since the day it opened, The Cosmopolitan continues to stand out from all other high-end resorts on the Strip by maintaining its modern style and sophistication while consistently adding new attractions. The choice of well-traveled and well-heeled young foreigners as well as in-the-know locals, Cosmo attracts the cool kids crowd with its buzzy pool/bar scenes and its cadre of Instagram-worthy restaurants. (Our favorites: Eggslut, Momofoku, Beauty & Essex, and of course the Secret Pizza speakeasy.) Spacious, boldly decorated rooms with amenities like Japanese soaking tubs and spectacular views from outdoor balconies – it’s one of the only Strip properties to have them, for safety reasons – await wide-eyed and deep-pocketed hotel guests. It’s a resort you often never leave upon arrival, because the five-star experience is to be had whether you’re chillin’ in your room or wildin’ out in the 24-hours-a-day party atmosphere on the Cosmo casino floor.
Closest nightclub to Cosmopolitan: Marquee Nightclub (in resort on second floor)
Closest dayclub to Cosmopolitan: Marquee Dayclub (second floor / Las Vegas bottle service available)
4) Venetian – $$$$ – North Strip
Now one of the oldest four-star-and-up properties on the Strip, Venetian has aged gracefully: it’s every bit as fetching, well-maintained, and fun-loving as a botox-blessed Italian cougar. Grandeur and opulence inspired by the charming canals of the great city of Venice (duh!) is the overriding aesthetic, from grand white marble columns to blue-hued painted cloud ceilings to the trademark canal that winds through the Shops at Venetian, complete with singing gondoliers and hawking merchants. Venetian originally pioneered the now common “all-suite” accommodations with rooms featuring separate sitting areas, grand bathrooms and spacious layouts larger than most Milanese apartments. If money’s no object, book your stay at Prestige at the Palazzo – a massive spread which comes with continental breakfast, a live piano player on request and complimentary wine – and secure the Stage Cabana at the newly renovated Tao Beach for an epic and indulgent Saturday afternoon scene.
Closest nightclub to Venetian: Tao (in resort on second / third floor)
Closest dayclub to Venetian: Tao Beach
5) The Linq – $$$ – Center Strip
Surprised to see this 3-star property on the list? Don’t be. Much like that of a Vegas Fight Weekend headliner, the Linq’s penchant for punching above its weight when it comes to luxury has long been known among hardcore Vegas insiders and locals, and you’re likely still in the dark. The youngest sibling in the Caesars family – and perhaps the one with the most spunk – the Linq was renovated, rebranded, and relaunched in 2014 with an emphasis on targeting fresh-faced Millennials. As a result, the rooms are very modern, contemporary, and ultra-clean and the casino floor still has a bit of that “new car” smell and look. The “affordable luxury at its finest” extends to the fabulously comfortable rooms; there are also room options for a crowd that have two queen beds and an extra lofted bunk, which is good if you’re hoping to make new friends or one of your crew decides to join the Vegas jaunt last-minute. On-site luxurious spa treatments and hangover IV services are great perks; there are also in-room fitness carts stocked with yoga mats and foam rollers available to guests free of charge. But what sets this hotel head and shoulders above the rest: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. It’s right smack in the center of action, walking distance or a $6-8 Uber / Lyft from practically every Vegas Strip resort where you’d want to party and meet friends (or strangers). And if you’re too partied out to wander far from your bed? No problem, you can step right outside the hotel and spend your hard-earned paycheck enjoying numerous award-winning restaurants and bars at the Linq Promenade, or even getting some fresh air and sun onto your face by flying high above the strip on either the High Roller ferris wheel or the FLY LINQ zipline.
Closest nightclub to LINQ: Omnia (@ Caesars Palace across the street)
6) Bellagio – $$$$ – Center Strip
With its world-famous Bellagio fountains out front-and-center mesmerizing Las Vegas Strip visitors with dancing water light shows every 15 minutes, the Bellagio is the epitome of understated elegance. Visitors with refined tastes and a preference for decades-old wine over stiff cocktails will enjoy a stay here: Bellagio lavishes visitors with spacious rooms and suites that are classic in look and feel yet referbished with all modern trappings (fast wi-fi, mood lighting, and soaking tubs). The magnificent horticultural gardens on the first floor near the main lobby rotate seasonally and are worth a visit and a few pictures on every Vegas trip. Insiders tip #1: Bellagio has the most luxurious sports book in Vegas, and demand for seating is through the roof every Saturday and Sunday during football season. Insiders tip #2: Bellagio also has the liveliest yet most friendly poker room on the strip, with games at all levels running 24/7 and chatty regulars who will smile and tell you great stories in between competitive hands.
Closest nightclub to Bellagio: Mayfair After Dark (in resort on first floor)
7) Caesars’ Palace – $$$ – Center Strip
The casino resort that defined Las Vegas luxury for baby boomers was re-introduced to and lionized by the 40-and-under set via the 2009 smash-hit movie “The Hangover.” A decade later, Caesars’ Palace continues to be a must-visit resort on the Strip, owing to proximity features like a sprawling pool area, the hottest club in town (Omnia), a massive shopping center (Forum Shops), and nearly 4,000 comfortable rooms and suites. Architecturally, guests are transported back to the time of Maximus via impressive sights such as the Forum Tower, the Augustus Tower, and eloquently carved statues of historical figures offering bold welcomes (and can’t-miss selfie moments). Feeling extra baller this weekend? Grab your entourage and follow in the famous footsteps of Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift, or Drake to rent out the 10,300-square-foot Nobu Villa with its massive terrace, steam shower, and game room.
Closest nightclub to Caesar’s Palace: Omnia (in resort on first floor)
8) Sahara – $$$$ – North Strip
Formerly the SLS Casino, this resort is under new ownership and relaunches as the Sahara in early 2020 (funny enough, it had been called the Sahara for decades prior to SLS taking over). Once again, the property has been fully gutted and carefully remodeled to make way for a hip, modern, luxury-oozing hotel halfway between Downtown and center Strip. Discerning guests will opt for a room in ultra-posh the all-suite Lux Tower with its French motifs and exclusive in-room dining menu. For regular guests, one of the 1,500-plus Philippe Starck-designed standard rooms with numerous artistic touches will suit them just fine. The casino floor eatures a 50,000-square-foot casino floor with 600 slot machines and 60 table games, as well as a visually arresting giant LED cube in the ceiling and some of the most underrated mid-level dining options in all of Vegas (Northside Cafe is one of our personal favorites).
Closest nightclub to SLS: XS (@ Wynn next door)
Closest dayclub to SLS: Encore Beach Club (@ Encore next door)
9) Mandalay Bay – $$$$ – South Strip
The giant Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino is every bit as luxurious as the other resorts on this list, it just no longer exudes that “exclusive” feel as do many of the others. It offers a ton of family-friendly amenities (wave pool, streaming lazy river pool, shark reef aquarium, kid-friendly eateries), and that mainstream appeal is what brings constant crowds and long lines especially in the summer. Add in intermittent air traffic noise (it’s across from McCarran) and inconveniently long rides to center or south Strip locations, and the venue can take on the feel of Disneyland instead of Sin City. Which is fine if you’re with young ones and don’t want to (or can’t) stray too far from home base: all of the hotel’s 3,209 rooms underwent renovations in 2016 with TVs, minibars, bathrooms with separate tubs and showers, and ultra-comfy beds, so why not “staycation” and lord over your temporary castle?
Closest nightclub to Mandalay Bay: / Light (in resort on first floor)
Closest dayclub to Mandalay Bay: Moorea (on resort property outdoors) / Daylight (on resort property outdoors)
10) Park MGM Hotel – $$$ – South Strip
Formerly the Monte Carlo Resort and Casino, the upscale Park MGM Las Vegas opened in 2018 after a multimillion-dollar renovation, providing a casual and cool atmosphere catering to younger travelers (mid-twenties to early-thirties). The rooms and pool are slightly above average but so new that you’ll be happy with them; the true stars of this resort are the restaurant offerings. The goal from the get-go was for Park MGM to be a foodie haven, and with ultra-hip(ster) offerings such as Eataly and Roy Choi’s Best Friend that box has been checked. The speakeasy and nightclub On the Record – the upscale brainchild of LA-based Houston Hospitality, one of the most successful nightlife brands in Hollywood – blasts 80s, 90s, and 2000s hip-hop and is packed nightly with nostalgic millennials (and older millennial wannabes) from open to close (also check out more Vegas hip hop night clubs here). On top of that, you can go gaga for Lady Gaga, turn back time with Cher, or kick off your golden night watching NHL’s Vegas Golden Knights (next door at T-Mobile Arena). For those of you that love that new new, this is the walk in the Park that you want to take.
OK, so you’ve just scrolled through and wrapped up all your research to maximize your Vegas hotel accommodations experience! What’s the next step? Line up your day or night party plans for your Vegas well in advance, and set aside the appropriate budgets using our Discotech app. Our app – available in both the App Store and Google Play and featured on BBC Travel and highly reviewed on Yelp! – will put you and your crew another huge step closer to your hassle-free Vegas vacation!