The question is: What sort of experience do you get for that money? Is it high value or is it one of these you-get-what-you-pay-for situations? Are you looking for amenities like the free shows like the Treasure Island shows offered to their guest? To find out we went to the Las Vegas resorts with the three cheapest rates on the day we did our booking: the Palace Station, Fiesta Henderson and Boulder Station. Here’s what we found . . .
Palace Station Hotel and Casino
Most of the rooms at the Palace Station Hotel fall into one or two categories: courtyard and tower. The cheaper rooms are the courtyard ones. A few of them are cheerful. Most are old and unpleasant. Some are downright nasty, providing a level of comfort and cleanliness that’s somewhere between a homeless shelter and a Turkish prison.
Instead of booking one of the Palace Stations’s ultra-cheap courtyard room and hoping for the best, Spot Cool Stuff highly suggests confining your gambling to the casino and booking yourself a tower room. When we were making our 2-night midweek reservation on hotels.com with their second night free deal the tower rooms were $17.50 per night, compared to $12.50 for the courtyard rooms. For those extra $5 you’ll get a room that, while not the suite at the Bellagio, will at least be clean, airy, comfortable and an absolutely excellent value. The Palace Station’s tower rooms are similar to what you’d expect at a Comfort Inn, or at Harrah’s or Excalibur on The Strip. “Basic nice,” we’d describe them as.
As for the Palace Station Hotel itself, it is “basic nice” too. There’s a decent casino and sports book. The Palace Station pool does not come close to making our list of the best in Vegas but it would be considered more than reasonable were it located in most any other city. Jack’s, the hotel’s Irish pub, is a more-than-reasonable hangout too. None of it is over-the-top Vegas extravagant, but nor is it cheap-feeling.
Note that the Palace Station is *not* on the Strip (as some ads claim). From the Palace Station it is a little less than a mile walk to Circus Circus and a little over a mile to Wynn. The way is unpleasant, especially in the desert heat, and involves crossing under an interstate. A taxi ride between the Palace Station and The Strip is around $7~$10.
Fiesta Henderson Casino Hotel
The following groups will be disappointed with the Fiesta Henderson Hotel:
Anyone coming to Vegas for a wild, free-wheeling time. The patrons of the Fiesta are mostly retired elderly and “wild” would appear no where on the list of adjectives you’d use to describe them. The Strip is about 20~30 minutes away by car from the hotel.
Swimming pool lovers. The pool at the Fiesta is small and sad and not at all what you want in a desert resort.
Tall people. The ceilings are generally on the low side here and many of the shower heads are placed at a height that makes you wonder whether they were installed by a cadre of children plumbers.
Those looking for a Vegas-style themed hotel. The Fiesta’s Mexican theme is barely discernible and there’s really nothing about this resort that would make you go WOW.
That said, if you are short, sedate and simply looking for a place to play slots and bet on horses in peace, then the Fiesta is your place. The casino has low limits and the sports book is a comfortable place to wile away an afternoon. The whole place is clean, the rooms are comfortable, and the staff is significantly more friendly than they are at most of the expensive Strip resorts.
The Fiesta is also a good choice too for families on a budget making a car trip through the American Southwest. Parking at the Fiesta is free and there are plenty of kid-friendly restaurants. In fact, perhaps the best part of the Fiesta is the surprisingly good all-you-can-eat buffet; it’s $7 for adults, $6 for kids 4 to 10 years old. Not only is it inexpensive to sleep at the Fiesta, it is inexpensive to eat here too.
Boulder Station Hotel and Casino
The Boulder Station Hotel and Casino is about as generic a Vegas resort as they come. Really, when you go to find Las Vegas hotels, if there were one hotel that should have a bar code for a logo above the words VEGAS RESORT in black stenciled letters it would be this one.
The generic nature of the Boulder Station means that there’s nothing particularly superlative about this place. There is an 11-screen movie theater attached to the property, though we doubt you’ve come to Vegas to watch movies. The hotel also has the “Kid’s Quest” where parents can deposit their children (between 6 weeks to 12 years old) to play video games and do art projects under supervised care while the parents go play slots or take in a Vegas show. (Kid’s Quest is open until 1am on weekends).
Being generic also means that there’s nothing particularly wrong with the Boulder Station either. It is about 8 miles from The Strip—you’d probably find it more economical to rent your own car for a stay here rather than keep paying taxi fares. The pool is very simple, a square concrete hole in the ground filled with water. Perhaps the worst feature is the hotel’s buffet—do your digestive system a favor and stay away! The hotel has plenty of other good restaurant options.
Besides that, you can expect clean, big~ish rooms, and a pleasant nice~ish stay. The Boulder Station Hotel might not bring you to nice heights of luxury. But it won’t sink you to new depths of it either.
Do you have experience with any super cheap Vegas accommodations? Or a question about them? Our comments section won’t cost you anything: