Where to Stay in Las Vegas for your First Time

There are dozens of fancy hotels and casinos in Las Vegas. For someone traveling to Vegas for the first time, it’s tough to make a decision on where to stay. You’ve probably done some researched, checked out a few places, and now you’re stuck having to make a tough decision. The good news is it’s very hard to make a BAD decision. However, we want to help you maximize the enjoyment of your vacation. So we’re going to help you choose the best place for YOU to stay based on your budget and desires.

Let’s start with the best of the best – Bellagio, Aria, Cosmopolitan, Venetian, Wynn, Caesars Palace. These aren’t just 6 of the best hotels in Las Vegas. They are some of the biggest and best hotels in the world. They all have fabulous restaurants, posh nightclubs, large fancy casinos, incredible rooms, and much more. It’s not cheap to stay at these places. If your budget is unlimited, we absolutely recommend staying at one of these hotels. But you should expect to pay at least $200 per night, and usually more.  Be sure to also check the latest Las Vegas promotional codes for these hotels and see if you can save more money.

Where to Stay in Las Vegas for your First Time

You don’t have to stay at one of those 6 hotels to have a great time, be located right near the action, and to have a comfy room. There are many other hotels on the Strip that are more reasonably priced. Take one of our favorite’s for example – The Mirage. This is one of the first mega resorts on the Strip. Its Hawaiian theme is very creative and not cheesy like some of the Vegas hotels. The rooms at Mirage are spacious, comfortable, and always clean.

The exterior is quite pleasing on the eyes. In fact, it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing hotels in town. But what we really love about Mirage is the atmosphere of the casino floor, their buffet (arguably the best in town), the location, and the value. Mirage isn’t cheap but you get many of the same amenities of Bellagio, for example, for about half the cost. Since this is your first time in Las Vegas, you’ll love Mirage’s location. It’s right next to Caesars Palace and across the street from Venetian in the central part of the Strip. That’s exactly where you want to be because many of the best hotels, restaurants, shows, casinos, and clubs are located right in the middle of the Las Vegas Strip.

Additional Hotels Perfect for a First Timer

We want you to maximize the enjoyment of your first trip to Las Vegas. A big part of doing that is staying in the right hotel. Mirage will cost about $130-$150 per night during the week and more on the weekends. If you want to keep costs down a bit more than that, below is a list of hotels right on the Strip that are more affordable. These hotels all have the amenities you need on your Las Vegas vacation and you’ll love the rooms. If you really want to stay cheaply in Vegas, try Riviera or Circus Circus (far North part of Strip). They don’t have the nicest rooms and the location isn’t the best, but they are cheap. If you want good value for your money at a hotel in a prime Strip location, try one of these…


Bally’s isn’t the fanciest casino, but it’s clean and generally has a pretty good atmosphere. The real draw of Bally’s is the location – right across from Caesars Palace. You can’t beat the location. If you’re going to Vegas during the week, you can stay at Bally’s for under $100. Check out the Bally’s hotel deals here.


Luxor is located on the far South part of the Strip, right next to Mandalay Bay and Excalibur. The central part of the Strip is where much of the action is, but there is a lot to do farther South. You are within walking distance of Monte Carlo, New York New York, Tropicana, MGM Grand, Excalibur, and Mandalay Bay. Luxor has a very cool pyramid exterior that looks awesome at night. The standard rooms are pretty basic – clean, comfy, and fairly spacious. The casino floor isn’t anything special, but there are a few decent show options on site (Carrot Top, Criss Angel, Fantasy).

Planet Hollywood

Formerly (and briefly) Aladdin Hotel and Casino, Planet Hollywood is somewhat of a forgotten in the South Central part of the Las Vegas Strip. But it’s an excellent, affordable place to stay. The location is great because it’s a short walk to MGM Grand and right across the street from City Center (home to fabulous shopping, dining, nightlife, and some of the best hotels on the Strip). On-site, there is much to do. Planet Hollywood has one of the most attractive casino floors, which includes a decent poker room. Attached to Planet Hollywood are The Miracle Mile Shops – home to dozens of your favorite shops. Planet Hollywood is a great place to drink, party, gamble, shop, eat, and just plain have a good time.

Golden Nugget (Fremont Street)

If you wish to stay away from the main Strip, head down to Fremont Street where there is plenty of action. The best downtown hotel is Golden Nugget. It’s an old-school Vegas hotel with many new-school amenities. The Fremont Street Experience features an evening night show that you absolutely cannot miss, affordable tasty grub, cheap booze, a party atmosphere, bright lights, and a band playing nightly. All you have to do is walk outside and the action is right there if you stay at Golden Nugget.

Author - Tom at Vegas Unzipped

Tom Hamilton - Author

Hi, I am Tom, and I love Las Vegas. You may see me lounging at the pool, catching a late-night show, or trying my luck at craps while out in Las Vegas.

I hope my tips and information can help people plan an enjoyable vacation and do so while saving money.

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