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El Cortez- First Time in LV

Discussion in 'Downtown Hotels' started by ThomasX4, Dec 3, 2016.

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  1. ThomasX4

    ThomasX4 Tourist

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm stopping over in Las Vegas for 2 days (Dec 11-13) on the way to SLC for a friend's wedding as i've never been before (and it was actually cheaper this way than flying straight from Toronto. No clue why).

    I booked at the El Cortez as the rate i got online was really low ($20/night). How is it? Basically I'm looking to cram a lot into the 40-some hours i will be there, so i only need a decent place to sleep a few hours and shower. I also don't gamble, so the casino part doesnt need to be great, tho i do enjoy good cheap food.

    Should i be looking at other places Downtown? Would El Cortez do late checkouts or hold my bag? (my flight doesn't leave until around 430pm on the tuesday, would rather not carry my bags around LV for the day)
     
  2. merlin

    merlin MIA

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    It'll be fine, yes the bell desk will hold your bags, tip the guy a few bucks when you retrieve them.
     
  3. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    So long as you appreciate you're only paying $20 per night, you should be fine. El Cortez is one of the oldest casinos downtown and it definitely has a vintage feel and smell but the rooms are clean from what I've experienced.

    What type of room did you book? I've stayed in the Tower rooms and enjoy the funkiness of them. The Cabana rooms are said to be small but refreshed. I imagine at the price you got, you will probably be getting a Pavilion room. These rooms are above their parking garage. I've never stayed in one but recall the check in person telling me the walls are thin. If you're a night owl they are probably fine but if you're the type that wants to go to bed at 9 and have a good nights sleep, that may not work.

    There have been a few on here who just wanted a cheap place to crash and have rented the Pavilion rooms. I can't recall reading any complaints about it - you get what you pay for. Keep in mind they do have a resort fee of $10.95 per night as well.

    While I wouldn't normally recommend it for someones first trip to Vegas it does sound like it's exactly what you are looking for. I don't know about late check outs but they will hold your bags for you no problem. They have a free ride to the airport as well so that could save you $40 too (sign up when you check in as they use a car that only holds 4). The restaurants are a good value downtown for cheaper eats.

    So long as you realize and appreciate that you are renting an older room in an older casino you should be satisfied with what you get. If you go in thinking you are renting a $100 room for a great discount, you will be disappointed. I also think you'll have a hard time finding anything else downtown for that price.

    I'd say go for it and enjoy the adventure!
     
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  4. wishman35

    wishman35 VIP Whale

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    If you booked a Pavilion room - take note that those are like motel rooms with exterior entrances. With the $11/night resort fee making it more like $30-31/night, did you compare the pricing to Four Queens or maybe the Cal? They have a 20% off with $10/day food/drink credit for $48/night on those nights at Cal, and Four Queens is $40/night. The extra few bucks will probably give you a better experience. Four Queens being right on the Fremont St experience and giving you a better overall experience. El Cortez is a decent walk for a first timer off the main drag. Most of us enjoy it as fanatics- but I wouldn't do it my first time.

    You should also consider Priceline Express Deals - where from what I can tell 3 star Fremont Street is Four Queens or Fremont at $34/night - no resort fee. Probably similar pricing to what you have now. If you are 100% sure of those dates - Priceline Express Deals is a good option since its prepaid/non refundable but saves you money.

    If you can spring for a bit more - you can do Harrah's or Flamingo and a full center strip experience on those nights for low $30s/night but pay a resort fee of $29/night. Use code INSIDER if you book on their website to save a few bucks.

    I know people look to just have a place to rest the head - but there is also something to say about spending a few extra bucks you will blow in a machine or on a coffee that will get you a better overall experience, especially on your first time! :)
     
  5. Roginator

    Roginator Tourist

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    I think I would have spent a little more and stayed on the Strip. So much more to see.
     
  6. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

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    ^ he's right the strip has much more to see. Porn slappers, costumed characters and crowds everywhere. There is nothing wrong with downtown.

    However, as far as El Cortez is concerned I'd spend an extra couple bucks and get a room in the Cabana Suites, well worth it
     
  7. ThomasX4

    ThomasX4 Tourist

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    You make good points. I'm not opposed to spending a few extra dollars for a better experience, that why I figured I would ask as opposed to just settling for the cheapest like I do in most cities :p

    Seems like it would be worth it looking around a little more...I'll have to do some research on here...
     
  8. duffer1991

    duffer1991 Low-Roller

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    I am also a fan of downtown, and have really enjoyed Boulder Highway the last few visits. I also agree that you might want to upgrade to the cabana suites. I have a coupon from the Las Vegas Advisor that I can send you. It is $45 for the first night, and second night free.

    Let me know if you are interested.
     
  9. wishman35

    wishman35 VIP Whale

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    Awesome offer Duffer.

    Thomas - just a note before you decide on Cabana suites at El Cortez, they are across the street from the main building. Not a big deal - but if you want to take your elevator down and be in the casino, spring for the tower room. They are usually only a few bucks more. All of El Cortez's rooms are a few dollar difference. I wouldn't go for the cheapest room unless you are really on a tight budget.

    For Cortez I would go Tower room - otherwise look at Four Queens, Fremont, or the Cal downtown. If you want to consider strip - do Harrah's or Flamingo based on those nights being the cheapest and middle strip to give you a good first time experience. I am sure Luxor and Excalibur are that cheap also but dont even consider the far south strip for your first trip. Just not worth it when you can do Harrah's or Flamingo for the same cost. Room quality between all of them is negligible.
     
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  10. FullPay

    FullPay When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro

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    From a value side looking for a serviceable room downtown is your best bet. Take a bus or Uber to the Strip then come back downtown and enjoy the Fremont experience. If I weren't a gambler I would lay ten to one odds that a night drinking slushies on Fremont would beat any forty-five minute walk on the Strip.
     
    Laughlin! I
  11. dmr

    dmr Registered Abuser

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    El Cortez was the first LV hotel for me, way back in the 1970s. A couple of years ago I stayed there in a "vintage" room just for old times sake.

    It was fine, but the room was smaller than I remember and those stairs were higher and steeper than I remember. :)
     
  12. Miller12pack

    Miller12pack High-Roller

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    ElCo has always been my favorite casino. I don't stay there anymore since the tower rooms went non smoking, but still gamble a lot there. Do not stay in a vintage or pavilion room. Go for tower, and you will love the place. Cabana suites are fine, but they are not connected to the casino. You will love the place.
     
  13. Foos

    Foos High-Roller

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    My vote would be for the Cabana Jr Suite, very nice rooms for the $ and Free Candy And Fruit too
     
  14. woodsie

    woodsie VIP Whale

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    It depends on the kind of person you are. If you are in to "vintage" stuff then staying at the El Cortez for your first trip might actually be kinda of a cool way to get introduced to Vegas. It's true that The Strip is what people normally think of when it comes to Las Vegas but a downtown adventure going in with no previous experience would actually be pretty cool.

    There's also something to be said for starting at the bottom and working your way up on subsequent trips. If you stayed at The Wynn, then it'd be all downhill on future trips if you stayed anywhere else.

    There's nothing fundamentally wrong with the El Cortez. I think people get spoiled when it comes to hotels in Vegas because the quality/price is so good. El Cortez is 100x nicer than some of the dumps I've stayed at in any other part of the country.

    I'd go for it OP. You'll get to see Vegas from a perspective that few people do on a first trip and it won't be a bad perspective by any stretch. Downtown is a good time.
     
  15. makikiboy

    makikiboy VIP Whale

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    If you are just looking for an inexpensive secure place to lay your head then the El Cortez should be fine. Just remember that even though it is $20 a night you probably have to pay another $11 or so a night for the resort fee.

    I think it all depends what you want to do in vegas. If you are looking at the El Cortez as your home base as you drive around or travel all around Vegas then it will be good. If you will be spending more time on the strip then it might be better to pay $20 or so more to just stay on the strip, then you don't have to rent a car which will save you even more money.
     
  16. IxAccDnf

    IxAccDnf VIP Whale

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    if you really want to do it on the cheap...Las Vegas Hostel...15 bucks 4 beds to a room..i'm guessing they dont have a resort fee
     
  17. eaglejohn

    eaglejohn VIP Whale

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    Just make sure you get a top bunk LOL
     
  18. ThomasX4

    ThomasX4 Tourist

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    I'm learning so much just in this thread...thanks guys!

    Sounds like cabana rooms are the way to go (the 20 deal was vintage, I have free cancellation before Dec 8 so that's now out).

    how do the cabana rooms compare to the 4Q/Fremont rooms? that $34 Priceline deal is Def one of those 2 (3 star with no resort fee)

    Basically the things I wanted to do- knowing that I likely won't get to ALL of them this time- were a mix of sights on the strip (the strip itself, the cool hotels, counts customs, etc) , and north of the strip (mob museum, binions), hence why I initially went downtown along with the price savings
     
  19. Foos

    Foos High-Roller

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    I am staying for a week Dec 13-20 at the 4 Queens, but I would have rather stayed at the Cabana Suites...my normal Home Base.
    The cabana suite rooms are much nicer (IMHO) than the 4 Queens or the Fremont...larger flat screen TV too
     
  20. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    The cabana rooms are probably a little nicer than 4Q/Fremont. Since you won't be spending much time in the room though, the 4Q/Fremont casino location on Fremont Street would be better for a first timer. They are probably in the best location of all casinos downtown if you want to be in the action.

    El Cortez is a 5-10 minute walk from Fremont Street and still has that $10 resort fee. It's a great place to stay for $20 but 4Q/Fremont for $34 is a great price and better location.
     
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