Everyone knows of the Las Vegas Strip. Big hotels with thousands of rooms. Some of the best dining to be found anywhere. World class entertainment. And of course the casinos, with table games and slot machines as far as the eye can see. But when it comes time to plan your vacation, staying off the strip can present some advantages.
Most of the hotels and casinos located off the Strip are referred to as ‘local’s casinos.’ This is due to the fact that locals, those of us who live and work in Las Vegas, do not frequent the Strip casinos that often. We prefer to stay close to home and have found that many of these casinos offer amenities similar to those on the Strip. And the best part is the prices you pay for these amenities are less than what you would pay in those better known casinos on the Strip.
The Green Valley Ranch Resort is by far one of the best off-strip hotels in Las Vegas.
Actually, Green Valley Ranch is not located in Las Vegas, but in the city of Henderson. It is easy to travel to the Strip either by car or taxi and your no more than 15 minutes away. Room rates generally start from $139 a night, of course this depends on what time of year you are planning to travel to Las Vegas. The décor of the rooms is comfy and contemporary without being overly modern and intimidating. When you reserve your room and when you check-in be sure to ask for a room that offers a view of the Strip.
There are so many dining options at Green Valley Ranch you will never need to have a meal at the same place twice. On the high-end you will find Hank’s, a steakhouse and martini bar. Or you may prefer some Asian fare or sushi at China Spice. If an Italian meal is more of you liking then head over to Terre Verde. Sure there aren’t big-name celebrity chef’s attached to these restaurants but you also won’t pay the big prices for those chefs, as you will at the restaurants located on the Strip.
One of the local’s favorites at Green Valley Ranch is The Original Pancake House. A Las Vegas institution since 1953, The Original Pancake House serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and it is all reasonably priced. But as the name suggests they are famous for their breakfasts, especially their huge omelets and the incredible variety of pancakes. Whether you plan to go for breakfast, lunch or dinner you must order breakfast.
The Feast Buffet and the Grand Cafe both offer great value and quality food. The buffet can get very busy on the weekends and in the evenings. Try to stop by for breakfast or lunch during the week or arrive early for dinner. When the local’s are out on force on the weekends, there will always be a wait, but usually you will never wait longer than 20 to 30 minutes. The menu at the Grand Cafe covers breakfast, lunch and dinner and they are open 24 hours.
After the sun sets you can put on your dancing shoes or if you just prefer a cocktail or two you have options without traveling to the Strip. How about a hearty beer at Quinn’s Irish Pub or a drink in the center of the casino at the Drop Bar. If you wish for a little more excitement head outdoors to Whiskey Beach and party under the stars and around the pools. You can even take off those dancing shoes and run your toes thought the sandy beach.
If you want to take in a show you probably should head to the Strip. The only entertainment at Green Valley Ranch, besides the movie theaters, is the occasional concert in the Ovation club or at Whiskey Beach. If you are looking for something on the caliber of Cirque du Soleil or Celine Dion plan a evening on the Strip and book your tickets well in advance.
Shopping at Green Valley Ranch does not come close to the offerings on the Strip, but you can spend a nice relaxing afternoon at The District. Located adjacent to the casino, The District has small shops and big name stores such as Sharper Image and REI all in an outdoor setting. There are also many restaurants most offering outdoor terraces.
If you plan on doing some gambling during your stay one of the first things you should do is sign-up for their players club. The Boarding Pass, as they call it, gives you more generous rewards than the casinos on the Strip. You can even sign-up before you leave home on their website. The rewards can add up fast and who wouldn’t like a free meal?
The Ritz-Carlton is located on the shores of Lake Las Vegas. The style is that of an Italian resort with its marble fixtures and lake views. They have a health club and a spa. You can sign up for all sorts of activities such as stargazing, desert and mountains hikes, tai chi, and fly fishing on the lake. They offer yoga classes and you can play golf on three different courses. Right next door to this fabulous resort is an Italian village with over forty shops and restaurants for your shopping and dining needs. If you are worried about how to get back and forth from this quiet setting, they do have shuttles that run back and forth to the strip until two in the morning.
Other top hotels Off-the-Strip:
Red Rock Casino Hotel & Spa
Palms Casino Resort
JW Marriott Las Vegas Resort & Spa
Wyndham Grand Desert
Off-the-Strip casinos often offer better slots payouts and other gaming advantages and promotions to keep locals as regular customers.