By Valerie Moloney
The last time I was in Vegas, I passed out in the middle of the night (not from what you think) and later found my husband down $400 at the Luxor blackjack table at 5 a.m. The trip wasn’t a whole bust – we saw a revue, hotel hopped and ate our weight in buffets – but I’m craving a Sin City redo since little did I know that I was pregnant with my first at the time. Mama needs a cocktail, and a girls’ weekend.
Help me decide between these cheap Las Vegas hotels.
- Tropicana Las Vegas
I’m feeling the old-schoolishness of the Trop. Its free-form 4-acre pool – among the best in Vegas – is a spot I could see myself busting out the white sunglasses and retro one-piece before settling back indoors, where a warm South Beach-meets-Havana theme pervades in orange, brown and white. And the cheapie in meal gets giddy about the moderate room rates and other on-site amenities such as the Mob Experience and comedy club. More reasons not to spend money on cabs to find entertainment elsewhere.
- Luxor Hotel
I’m a past Luxor guest, having chosen it the first time for the cheap rooms rates and to have the experience of spending the night in a pyramid. It’s every bit as kitschy as it is gargantuan. The casino buzzes, and there’s always the likelihood of running into Criss Angel and Carrot Top on the way to LAX.
- Vdara Hotel & Spa
My 30s do not resemble my 20s. I need at least six hours of sleep, a facial every season and a bar sans Coors signs and Golden Tee. That’s why Vdara, just as luxurious but more affordable than other 5-star hotels near the Strip, appeals to me. Deluxe and Vdara suites feel like the vacation condo I would want to own someday – complete with city views, kitchenettes and a spa and salon downstairs offering things like snakeskin pedicures and feather hair extensions. Because in Vegas, wildlife is a perfectly acceptable uniform, not a trend.
Valerie Moloney, who publishes the Orbitz and CheapTickets blogs, would like to challenge Manny Pacquiao to a sing-off the next time he karaokes at Mandalay Bay.