Las Vegas Hotel Hopping

Last week I vacationed in Sin City for a few days. Sadly, I didn’t hit the jackpot so I can’t quit my 9 to 5. However, I did manage to stay at three hotels without breaking the bank. My weapons of choice? I utilized and my hotel membership benefits.

Rio Las Vegas

Browsing, I found a four star hotel on the Las Vegas westside. After booking, it turned out to be the Rio Las Vegas. Their website proudly proclaims that they are an all suite hotel. They weren’t kidding as their standard room was a suite and definitely had a “wow” factor I wasn’t expecting. Their phone staff was second to none as they were very personable and seemed to go the extra mile when dealing with their customers. My toilet was acting up, the operator apologized profusely, and quickly sent an engineer to fix the situation. I enjoyed wireless internet in the room which was covered by the resort fee. All told, Rio cost me about $60.

Tropicana Las Vegas

Next we stayed on the south side of the strip at the Tropicana, which is also a four star hotel on It felt like a Florida resort, but the walk to our tower was longer than expected. Since it is a Hilton Hotel, we did enjoy a delicious chocolate chip cookie normally found at DoubleTree hotels. Ironically, this time, we had a faulty smoke detector battery. The good news is the engineer also responded quickly and replaced our battery in no time. I also enjoyed wireless internet in the room which was also covered by the resort fee. What stood out was their larger than normal shower area. Rather than have a standard rectangular tub, Tropicana had a wide, spacious, oval. The price was comparable to Rio’s $60.

Hooters Casino Hotel

Years ago, I stayed at Hooters for a concert. I signed up for a club membership and it paid dividends. Last week Hooters emailed me two free nights if I stayed there in October. I quickly called and asked what’s the catch? They just wanted to get more clients to the hotel. It worked as we ate lunch in their restaurant and I paid tuition to learn more about their casino games. The hotel is a little older so there is no wireless internet, just wired. Mrs. Buck complained about a sore back as the mattress was a little beaten up. I can sleep on hardwood floors so it didn’t bother me. Finally, checkout times are an hour later at 12 noon rather than 11:00 AM at Rio and Tropicana. Excluding the restaurant tab and the casino tuition, my Hooters stay did end up being free.

Final Thoughts

All deals included a Shutterfly photo book. This gift swayed us from other travel websites and the hotel websites themselves. Out of these three hotels, Rio came out on top. It costs more, but the suite, the view, and the service was worth it. I forgot to mention, the bed was wider and more comfortable than the other two. The bigger question is which hotel is second place? Since I didn’t have any back discomfort, I would choose Hooters. Who can argue with free? But since “a happy life is a happy wife”, Tropicana takes second place by default. But since the price is comparable to Rio, the real debate would be which is the better deal? Rio at $60 or Hooters for free? I suppose it boils down to length of stay. $60 vs free for a night is a toss up, but what about $300 vs free for five days?

How do you decide on hotel accommodations?

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8 Responses

  1. Arlee Bird says:

    Not sure that I’d want to keep moving to different hotels. I’m a loyalty kind of guy so I usually stick to the same places. In Vegas I used to stay at one of the Marriotts closer to the strip because I’d get points and free breakfast buffets. Then they started getting too expensive so I switched to Harrah’s after having stayed there through my company for a trade show. I joined the loyalty club that includes Harrahs and started racking up points and getting special promos from them via e-mail. Last few Vegas trips my wife and I have been staying at Harrahs. Decent rooms with a good location and the right prices. Usually when we’ve stayed it’s been about $39 a night with a few premium nights where the price went up to about $59. That’s where I’d probably stay if we went back to Vegas.

    Never tried Priceline. I’ve been going with Orbitz lately for other stays and getting some good deals and the Orbitz Bucks as well. That helps after you’ve accumulated some stays. We’ve gotten one free room from them this year.

    • Buck Inspire says:

      Thanks for sharing your hotel tips Lee! Will have to look into Harrahs and Orbitz for next time! Don’t travel that often so didn’t think my loyalty points would add up to much. Need to change my tune!

  2. krantcents says:

    I like 4 and 5 star hotels at a discount. I usually use though. In some instances (not Las Vegas) I like B & B accommodations too at the beach for example. I used a variety of sites to find interesting and inexpensive good (4 or 5 star ) hotels in Europe.

  3. I’m probably the only one on the face of the Earth at my age that hasn’t been to Vegas. I have never really wanted to go, but lately I want to see what all of the fuss is about.

  4. I know that I and my wife would not be happy staying at three different locations in Vegas. We like to get to a destination and treat our hotel as a home base. Sounds like the Rio would be great if we got the price you did.

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