Sahara

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Address: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd S, , Las Vegas, 89109, United States

Star rating:

4

Once the Rat Pack's favourite hangout, the Sahara is now a decent budget bet.

When I think of Vegas, I think of the glory days - of Frank, Sammy and Elvis. Most of the hotels from that era are gone, but the Rat Pack's favourite hangout, the Sahara, is still here, and I love it for that. No, it's not exactly trendy anymore - it's more of a budget hotel - but the casino still takes you back to its glory days with glitzy chandeliers and Moroccan-style woodwork between the slot machines. The rooms are nothing special, but they're consistently among the lowest priced on the Strip (particularly at weekends). God bless the Sahara for trying.

Location
3.6
90%
Eating/drinking
3.6
90%
Leisure facilities
4
90%
Service
4.1
90%
Value for money
4.9
90%
Bedrooms
3.9
90%
Public areas
3.9
90%

Location

On the northern end of the Strip. It's a long walk to the action from here (at least half an hour to the Wynn, about 45 minutes to Caesars) so it's not ideal. Also, the area around the hotel is something of a sketchy wasteland - I wouldn't walk around there after dark. However there is a monorail station directly behind the hotel, and a cab will cost around $6 to the centre Strip.

Bedrooms

Like many other budget hotel rooms in Vegas, the Sahara rooms are nothing special. However, they're clean, they do contain everything you need, and they're certainly no worse than the entry level rooms at, say, MGM Grand or even Caesars, which you'd be paying a lot more for. The Arabian theme that's so prominent in the casino is only alluded to in the rooms (a fancy mirror here, a camel-shaped lamp there) but they're a good size and, normally, a great price. I bagged a room for US$1 when I stayed here, as part of a promotion, and although I was lucky, rates are consistently low - this past summer, they've been guaranteeing the lowest prices on the Strip on weekends.

Public areas

Although I love the look of the casino - old style glitz, conjuring up that Ocean's 11 feeling - I can't ignore the fact that, as one of the cheapest places around, it has a clientele to match - and since the bar sells $1 beers, there are a lot of people drinking as if their lives depended on it (I once came in and got a whiff of the after effects). On the plus side, it's rarely very busy so you never feel cramped. It's a hike through the casino to the hotel lobby, which is annoying.

Eating and drinking

There's nothing much here. The House of Lords steakhouse has a $29.95 four course set menu, the Caravan Cafe serves sandwiches and the like, and the NASCAR Cafe has a burger-filled menu.

The $1 hot dogs from the NASCAR bar are pretty much as grim as they sound. The bar sells $1 beers to help them go down, though, as does the main casino bar. But brace yourself to be propping it up with over-indulgers.

Leisure facilities

The pool is tiny for the size of the hotel, but I do like its layout and it's always been pretty empty when I've passed by. It's quieter and less frenetic than some of the busier pools.

When it comes to entertainment, there's a resident Rat Pack show, a Comedy Stop (which actually pulls in some decent names) and Rick Thomas, who performs magic with the aid of tigers. Oh, there's a tattoo parlour as well, in case you want to really remember your Vegas trip.

Service

Everyone's pretty friendly (especially if you're sober) but it's nothing spectacular. The one exception is the older man at the main casino bar, who's been there for decades and looks like he just came back from delivering Frank and Dean room service.

Who stays there

People on a budget - so there are groups of young people and young couples, but there's a pretty good mix.

Price advice

$6 daily resort fee.

Amenities

  • Business Centre
  • Fitness Centre
  • High-Speed Internet
  • Parking
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
  • Swimming Pool

Recommended for

  • Backpackers / Students
  • Escaping the crowds
  • No fuss

Pros & Cons

  • Historic hotel
  • Cheap rooms
  • Poor location
  • It's seen better days
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