Las Vegas hotels
There are over 140,000 hotel rooms in Las Vegas, and there's never been a better time to book one: Due to a surfeit of new construction dating from the end of the boom, plus a decline in visitors, Las Vegas hotels have been offering discounts (think $99 weekday rates at Strip hotels) and other incentives (such as spa and dining credits) to fill all those guest rooms. The hotel deals in Las Vegas are likely to keep coming through 2010, and possibly beyond, as some hotels that were delayed by financial troubles slowly come online. The game-changer, MGM's CityCenter, partially opened in early 2010. But when you've got over 16 million square feet designed by world-renowned starchitects like Foster, Libeskind, and Viñoly, you can partially open and still make an impact. Over the past few years, Las Vegas hotels have been adding celebrity-chef restaurants; first-rate spas; and lavish, generously proportioned guest rooms. These amenities have become standard for any new project in town, and CityCenter has raised that bar with, if nothing else, its sheer size. At completion (a moving target if ever there was one), the development will increase the number of upscale hotel rooms in Las Vegas by 15 percent when its four hotels (including a Mandarin Oriental) are fully operational.
As for the hotels in Las Vegas that have been in the game for a while, which should you choose? The hotels on the Strip (also known as Las Vegas Boulevard) are the biggest and glitziest in Las Vegas; that's where you want to stay if your agenda includes casino-hopping, fine dining, shopping for luxury goods, and generally diving into the scene. By contrast, staying downtown (at the Golden Nugget, for instance) is a good way to save money, though don't forget to factor in taxi rides to and from the Strip. If you're looking for a quieter experience, with spa treatments and outdoor activities, consider an off-Strip resort such as Green Valley Ranch or the Red Rock.