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El Cortez - Our new favorite place to stay!

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels & Casinos' started by alburtis26, Jan 14, 2016.

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  1. alburtis26

    alburtis26 Tourist

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    My wife and I have been going to Vegas for over 25 years (started in '89, staying at the Sahara). Back in '90 we stayed at the Dunes, got married at the Riviera,we were in our 20's, the Mirage had just been built, most of the hotel/casino's were "old school (Dunes/ DI / Stardust etc...) and that was the "Vegas" we fell in love with. When our children were born, we stopped going. When they got older, and we could justify leaving them with grandparents while we went, we started going again (2001). We stayed at a renovated Sahara, and felt nothing like the original. We stayed at the Riviera and(the year we took kids and grandparents along - they wanted to see where we got married) Circus Circus. The Riv still had that feel. We loved it. Always got a clean room, staff was always friendly, decent rules on tables.
    We stayed on the south end of the strip last June, had a nice room, but didn't feel right. Everyone has different tastes, and it just seemed that everything we enjoy about Vegas was missing from the south end (other than the comedy shows - we love stand up - Trop/ Brad Garrett- very good shows).
    This time we stayed at the El Cortez. My wife has developed a hatred of elevators, and we asked for a low room. The gave us 2nd floor, tower. It was perfect. With stair access, a coffee pot and fridge, and it was CLEAN. We knew going in that the bathroom was small (and it was), but we only used it for what we would use a bathroom for at home and it was plenty big enough for that! And it was CLEAN.
    The casino is like a memory. Blackjack pays 3/2, one or two decks, aside from hitting s17, it was just like '89. You can even hear coins hitting in the slot machines. Dealers were very friendly.
    If we go in the summer, we may have to think of somewhere with a pool (maybe). But the only way we will stay somewhere else is if a pool is required (our daughters are over 21 now and may want to come with us). All of our spring/fall/winter stays will be here. This is the Vegas we fell in love with!
     
  2. mescalita

    mescalita High-Roller

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    Ha! The ElCo isn't for everyone, but some of us love the old place. Great low-roller gambling, some of the best blackjack in Vegas, comps come easily, and good people working there. Next time try the Cabana Suites - not really suites, but very comfy, and not expensive at all. Last summer Downtown Grand was letting El Cortez guests use their pool gratis.....
     
  3. merlin

    merlin VIP Whale

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    I love the el-cortez, but those dealers are generally not friendly.
     
  4. shiner18

    shiner18 Tourist

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    We have been going out for the last twenty years and have seen all of the changes also. Have to agree with you bigger is not always better. To each his own and can't wait until our next trip.
     
  5. Marky147

    Marky147 High-Roller

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    Did my first 5 trips on the strip, and had a super time at the Wynn/Palazzo etc.

    However, I did find it a little stuffy, and often felt like some people were looking down their noses. That's fine, as I was well aware that my friends and I weren't the general clientele of the properties :D

    Moved to the Nugget in 2011 for a few days, which turned into my whole 2 week trip in 2012, and I've never stayed on the strip again.

    So much more laid back downtown, and the people are much friendlier, too.

    Have only popped into the El Cortez briefly when I went down to try and get a shave one morning. Barbers were shut, but spent a little time exploring, and could feel the history in the place when I was driving around inside.
     
    Double digits!
  6. Nevada1278

    Nevada1278 Low-Roller

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    I love the place. And have started getting some nice offers from them too, which helps. Yes, there are a few quirks which some find off putting. But the waitresses know me and what I drink, and I win most of the time. What more could you wish for?!
     
    Las Vegas December 2016
  7. dhlamar

    dhlamar Low-Roller

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    I can't get past the small bathrooms, it's hard to take a shower when standing under the shower head the water hits your stomach!!!!!
     
  8. Morpheus7272

    Morpheus7272 Low-Roller

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    I completely agree with this.....it's got the most "old vegas" feel of what's left. Long live the El Cortez!!
     
  9. Aplayer2

    Aplayer2 Low-Roller

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    Try staying at El Cortez Cabana Suites--huge bath smaller room.
     
  10. tom.mckenzie

    tom.mckenzie Low-Roller

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    I still like the place. I like it less now that they have combined the coffee shop and Roberta's/The Flame into a single eatery (Siegel's). I'm liking Siegel's better than when it first opened, but I dislike having fewer options. I really like the Parlour bar. One of the long-time bartenders there, Scott, always remembers my face and that I like IPAs. I don't go there often enough to expect him to remember my name - but I'm just impressed that he remembers my tastes in beer.
     
  11. Danamrak

    Danamrak Low-Roller

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    Nice review on the place....might have to check it out next time in Vegas. Do agree love the downtown better than the strip.
     
  12. The Stig

    The Stig VIP Whale

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    I have stayed there twice, first time was 2012 and then again last October, both times it was a guys trip. The guy who organises the trip likes and Downtown and loves the El Cortez so we always stop there. I do like it and stopped in the tower both times and always found it clean and staff are great as well. Although my solo trips always have me stopping on the Strip I always go Downtown and I will always visit El Cortez for some VP.
     
  13. benbrownjr

    benbrownjr Low-Roller

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    I stayed there for the first time Dec and loved it. Now everyone talks about the cabana suites and the tower but there is a 3rd room type called the vintage rooms. These are the original rooms that opened with the hotel in 1942. Now there is no elevator to these rooms and the stairwell for it is next to the craps table but the rooms are large and being over 6 feet tall I had no problem with the shower. I was in room 2201 which is on the corner above the sign with 2 windows looking out on Fremont st. Now I have to admit the club across the streethas a 2nd floor dance floor and the music was loud but the room was nice.

    NOTE: for you movie buffs that same hallway was used in the movie Casino with Sharon Stones final scene as she is stumbling down the dark hallway. Of course they have redone the hallway but if you stand by the stairs you will recognize it.
     
  14. Franken Dean

    Franken Dean Newbie

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    Has the El Co had any makeovers recently? As in a simple new coat of paint, and the casino carpet replaced. Not really talking about the rooms more the casino floor.
     
  15. kevthegrad

    kevthegrad Tourist

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    Fell in love with the Cortez this past June. My trip report detailed it. We stayed at the Nugget but played blackjack daily for hours at the Cortez and it just feels like old Vegas. Love it.
     
  16. Morpheus7272

    Morpheus7272 Low-Roller

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    The unique smell (combination of smoke, BO, desperation, and sadness) of the ElCo has lessened in the past 18 months or so. And I miss it.
     
  17. Bondy3

    Bondy3 Low-Roller

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    I would like to stay there, my Wife has some issues with staying at non-strip places, but I want to stay there, to experience the 'old vegas charm'. and non-crap BJ rules
     
  18. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

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    Oh No! that overwhelming smell of Avon perfume and desperation made me smile every time I walked into the place.
     
  19. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    El Cortez was the first ever hotel I ever stayed in in Las Vegas, waaaaay back in the 70s. Then I discovered the Strip and seldom stayed downtown. :)

    Last year I had to take a trip on short notice and one of my options was the ElCo.

    At check-in I asked for one of the vintage rooms just for old time's sake. It was very OK but the room was smaller and the stairs were higher and steeper than I remember. :)

    Oh well .....
     
  20. Aplayer2

    Aplayer2 Low-Roller

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    I have stayed at El Cortez many times in all the different rooms. Most people don't know among the Vintage rooms there are a few suites. I have gotten free upgrades several times just by asking. On the same floors as vintage rooms, same tiny bath more sqft. The suite is about twice the size of a regular vintage room but has an alcove and a large sitting area with a sectional couch. One suite has a nice wet bar with fridge. These are old rooms not redone since the seventies probably. Real old school,,,you know Benny partied at that bar.

    I enjoyed the vibe --probably not for every ones taste.
     
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