I’m well into planning mode for our big trip to the Southwest, which means I have to start researching hotels. I love the planning of trips almost as much as I do going on them; it is part of the fun for me. There are times where the planning starts to drive me, and Sharon, a little crazy (edit by Sharon: a LITTLE?!?!?! hahahaha!!!).
Part of our trip will be a stay in Las Vegas. Due to the number of activities suggested to us when we asked for help with planning, we extended our stay there to 3 nights. It’s been a
while since I’ve been to Vegas so I needed to brush up on my hotels. Many of the places I know aren’t there anymore (or have new names) and there are so many new hotels!
I would say the MOST AGGRAVATING thing when comparing hotels was the number of added fees you needed to worry about. It was also VERY DIFFICULT to find out what these charges were without looking at multiple websites and having to go right up to confirming a room to see a list of all of the charges (one of our readers pointed out that the website Las Vegas Jaunt publishes an updated list of resort fees). I ended up breaking out the pencil and paper and making a spreadsheet to keep everything organized. This is an important lesson to learn: what appears to be the best price room, oftentimes is not.
After my initial research, I narrowed down my search to three properties:
The twenty-something year old me would have stayed here without a second of doubt. Staying in a pyramid, how cool is that? But I’m not that kid anymore and I read reviews before I consider staying anywhere. Fortunately, it does appear that the Luxor, whose rooms had been starting to show their age, is cleaning up its hotel as of late. Reviews seem to be mostly positive and they have recently renovated some of the rooms. I find it very honest of them that they offer separate prices for the renovated and non-renovated rooms. The pyramid rooms are listed at 420 square feet, that feels a bit smaller due to the slanted exterior wall.
- Resort Fee – $34.01 per night (after tax)
- Self Parking Fee – $10 per night
- Room Charge (Cleo King Deluxe room) – $497.80
- Total for room, fees and parking – $629.83
Tropicana Las Vegas – A Doubletree by Hilton
I always have something for staying at a hotel that has managed to survive when all of the other hotels have been demolished. The Tropicana does have a good location on the Las Vegas Strip and the entire hotel was renovated in 2011. They did change the theme to a Miami Beach style and that was a bit of a letdown as there would not be much of the “Old Vegas” left. The room size on the website says they are “Up to 450 sf.” The prices looked good so I dug a little deeper.
- Resort Fee – $29 per night (before tax)
- Self Parking – FREE
- Room Charge (2 Queen Deluxe Paradise Tower) – $547.97
- Total for room, fees and parking – $646.61
The free parking and lower resort fee made the Tropicana and Luxor prices almost identical, even with the Luxor originally looking like it would be $50 cheaper.
Since it looked like I’d be paying a decent amount for a room no matter what, I decided to see how much a higher end hotel would cost. I always have to remind myself not to fall into the trap of finding one hotel after another that cost “just a little more” and eventually end up paying double what I was originally planning. With that in mind, I looked at the next hotel.
The Delano, as in Franklin Roosevelt, is a non-casino hotel located in the Mandalay Bay complex on the south end of the strip. One difference with this hotel is that all rooms at Delano are 2 room suites measuring 725 square feet. I looked at this hotel because it was showing up on American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts website. The hotels in this program are available to people who have a Platinum American Express card (or above) and tend to be ultra-expensive places that we’d never stay at. I always look because, sometimes, you’ll find a moderate priced hotel and you still get all the perks. First, here’s the pricing breakdown:
- Resort Fee – $39.68 per night (after tax)
- Self Parking – $12 per night
- Room Charge – $695.01 (King Suite Room)
- Total for room, fees and parking – $850.00
Besides a two room suite with 300 more square feet of space, here are the American Express Fine Hotel & Resorts benefits for this hotel:
- Noon Check-in, when available
- Room Upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Daily Breakfast for two people ($30 per person/day)
- Guaranteed 4PM Late Check-Out
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- $100 property credit to be used during stay
I reworked the math and here’s what I came up with
- Total for room, fees and parking – $850.00
- Property Credit – (-$100)
- Breakfast for 3 days (max value $180, value to us -$60)
- Wi-Fi Credit (-$15)
- Adjusted Total – $675
The final breakdown of pricing for each hotel is as follows:
Luxor – $630
Tropicana – $646
Delano – $675
Guess which one we are staying at? I hope we get to use our $100 property credit here.