As an Arizona resident, I’ve been making the quick trip up to Vegas ever since they started taking my really bad fake ID’s around 15 years ago. Over the years, I’ve stayed at pretty much all the resorts on the strip. When I was younger I would try to stay at the “coolest” place I could afford. This meant pool parties, clubs, popular restaurants and all that. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that if I’m in Vegas, it’s usually for work or another person’s event. This time I ditched the Cosmo and opted for The Westin Las Vegas Hotel, Casino & Spa.
In this case, my cousin was turning 21 and a bunch of our family decided to head up to celebrate with him. Let me start off by saying that Vegas hotel pricing is extremely higher on weekends than it is during the week. Like 2-3x higher. So I jumped on hotels.com and looked at all the popular places on the strip for a Saturday night stay. Not surprisingly, even the rather downtrodden hotels on the strip were running close to $200/night, with the nicer properties around $350. Throw in a resort fee that most are charging and it started to get depressing.
The Westin Las Vegas To The Rescue
Out of curiosity I decided to jump on my SPG app and see if there were any properties around the strip. It turns out they have a Westin right behind Bally’s and Flamingo. If you see this location on a map, you’ll notice that it’s closer to “center strip” than the Luxor, Mandalay Bay, Wynn, and many more. Much to my surprise, there were rooms available for $160/night. Sounds like a plan. I had a decent stash of Starwood points to redeem a free night, but this didn’t seem like a great way to spend 10,000 points. The rate was low enough that using a travel card and earning points was a better proposition.
Upon arrival at McCarran International, I opted for a taxi instead of an uber. The Westin Las Vegas is due North of the airport and one of the easiest strip area hotels to get to. My taxi rate was $15 including all the airport surcharges.
The lobby is pretty much dominated by the decent sized casino with the check in being tucked into the right side after entering. I’m an SPG gold member due to annual spend on my Starwood Amex. The key features of SPG Gold are upper level rooms and late checkout, which could come in handy for a Vegas trip. The check-in was quick and I was headed up to the 16th floor. I shared an elevator with a few British Airways pilots and we lamented the demise of the 747 in our short trip up the tower.
My room was standard for a Westin, which isn’t a bad thing. The heavenly bed is their trademark and it always provides a good night’s sleep. Overall the room was clean, and very comfortable. Sadly, many of the Vegas strip “resorts” can’t measure up in that department. Especially in the price range I was paying. I snapped a few photos and was off to the new Top Golf, which is a quick 10-minute walk away.
Given the short nature of my trip, I didn’t check out any amenities like the spa or restaurant. The front desk mentioned that they have a 24-hour Starbucks on site, which I thought was a nice touch. There’s hundreds of restaurants and bars within a 15-minute walk from the hotel, many highly rated. I’d recommend skipping the hotel restaurant.
This location isn’t about amenities. It’s about the proximity to the strip while still earning points and staying in a clean room. In that regard, The Westin passed with flying colors. I’d highly recommend The Westin Las Vegas if you want to be near the action and aren’t worried about staying at the “cool” spot.