Many families travel to Las Vegas, Nevada every year. For my family, it's an easy warm-weather getaway from our home in Utah, or a convenient stopping point on a Southern California road trip.
Though there are actually lots of great family activities in Las Vegas, the city earns its “Sin City” reputation. That can make it tricky to choose a family hotel in Las Vegas – especially because “family-friendly” will mean different things for different people.
That’s why I teamed up with Expedia.com to share this guide to choosing a family hotel in Las Vegas.
Some families will want to avoid casinos entirely. Others will want to be in the center of the action. Child care options will be a top priority for some. Price is an important consideration for most of us.
Regardless of your priorities, I can help you sift through the options and pick the best hotel for your family. Once you know the features you want, search all of Las Vegas' family-friendly hotels on Expedia.com.
Best Time to Book
Las Vegas has a reputation for cheap hotel rooms and lots of them. It's only partly true. Las Vegas is more popular than ever, and newer, more luxurious hotels are built every year. This drives up prices, especially during peak times.
You can still find a rock-bottom prices on great rooms, if you don't travel at the same time as everyone else. Visit mid-week or during the winter or summer for the best bargains. If you pick a weekend in the spring or fall, New Year's Eve, or any 3-day weekend… expect to pay full price.
In a quick Expedia.com search for a hotel for 3 nights on the Las Vegas Strip, I found a weekend sale for $227/night at TI – Treasure Island Hotel and Casino. When I moved my dates ahead just a few days to mid-week, the price dropped to $93/night for the same room.
Watch for Hidden Fees
Many hotels charge resort, parking or extra guest fees on top of the advertised rate. Extra guest fees are for more than two guests (including children) per room. Parents traveling with their children are less likely to spend time and money in the casino, so hotels have little incentive to give their best rates to families.
Most Las Vegas hotels charge resort fees, but you can still find a handful that do not. Free parking is still fairly common in Las Vegas – even on the Strip.
Here's an example I found on Expedia.com for one night in a well-known hotel on the Las Vegas Strip.
- Advertised rate: $186
- Extra guest fee: $50
- Taxes and Fees: $31
- Resort Fee: $45
- Total: $312
That's a difference of 67%! It doesn't mean that you shouldn't stay at this hotel, but be sure to read the rate details before you book so you won't be surprised by the bill.
When most people think of Las Vegas, they think of the Strip on Las Vegas Boulevard. If you want a traditional Vegas vacation, and want to stay in the center of the action, then the Strip is the place to be.
Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas is the city's other gambling hub. This older neighborhood has recently been revitalized, but not necessarily with families in mind. You won't find as many rides, shops and other over-the-top attractions, though the Golden Nugget's new shark pool is really cool. If you want the “old Vegas” experience, look downtown.
You don't have to venture more than a few blocks from the Strip to start seeing lower prices and fewer fees – especially that pesky extra guest fee. We've found that many off-Strip hotels offer nearly all the benefits of an on-Strip hotel and often have a free shuttle to the Strip.
If you're looking for someplace quiet with a family-friendly atmosphere round-the-clock, look at the resorts in Las Vegas' suburban areas. Las Vegas' year-round warm temperatures and dry climate make it a great destination anytime you need to relax and soak up some sunshine by the pool, at the spa or on the golf course. These resorts generally welcome families.
Hotels Without Casinos
Believe it or not, it is possible to book a hotel without a casino in Las Vegas. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, there are 30+ non-gaming hotels in Las Vegas. It's a diverse list, including moderately-priced hotels and luxury resorts. Most of the Marriott brands in Las Vegas are casino-free.
Check Out the Pool
The hotel pool is my kids' favorite part of any trip, and it's warm enough to swim outdoors almost year-round in Las Vegas. Bigger resorts will have amazing swimming pools with beaches, lazy rivers, water slides and more.
Some Las Vegas resort pools will be more family-friendly than others. Generally, families will have the pools to themselves until noon. Once the “what happens in Vegas” crowd wakes up, it can be a little iffy. Your pool may be family-friendly all day or it may become a party zone by afternoon. Read reviews to get an idea of what to expect.
Some major resorts have multiple pools, with adults-only areas that can help keep the main pool fun for kids. Off-Strip resorts, smaller hotels, and non-gaming hotels are more likely to have family-friendly pools all day.
When you consider a hotel, look at the onsite entertainment too. Hotels that feature all-ages arcades, rides, museums, animal attractions, restaurants and shows are more likely to be a good choice than hotels that advertise risque entertainment. Even if you don't plan to see a show intended for adults only, you may not want to walk past ads in your hotel all day long.
Amenities to Watch For
Want to enjoy the grown-up side of Las Vegas? Some hotels have kids' clubs and others can help you find reputable child care during your stay.
Many hotels just off the Strip offer free shuttles to partner hotels on the Strip and other popular Las Vegas destinations.
Free WiFi is common, but not guaranteed. Check for it before you book.
Free breakfast can be found at some hotels, but not generally the big hotels on or near the Strip.
My family enjoys visiting Las Vegas, but we're choosy about where we stay. I hope these tips will help you pick the best hotel in Las Vegas for your family.