While the Las Vegas Strip tends to get the headlines, properties away from the center of gambling gravity are giving those famed mega resorts a run for their money. These resorts are full of the amenities vacationers want, but are also smaller in size and attract fewer people. That makes for a stay that, for many, is more relaxing and manageable. Expert Vegas-goers will appreciate the chance to see resorts they’ve never visited before, while newbies may prefer the more tranquil tempo and scaled-back atmosphere.
Loews Lake Las Vegas offers a more serene view than the Strip
Downtown Las Vegas has enjoyed a renaissance during the last few years. Fremont Street offers direct access to casinos, more than 60 restaurants, specialty shops and a wide variety of free entertainment. The highlight is Viva Vision, an amazing light show that takes place at night.
Taking a trip to the other side of Las Vegas is a great way to have a memorable Vegas experience, but at a price that can be as little as half the one found center-Strip.
A King Room at the Red Rock
Near the resort’s namesake mountains, Red Rock is heavy on hip style and is the most expensive casino resort ever built on a per-room basis. It opened less than two years ago about 10 miles west of the airport. The 800-plus rooms feature such amenities as a 42-inch, high-definition plasma TV, Bose sound system with iPod connectivity, in-room martini bar and 15-inch LCD TV in the bathroom.
Gourmands can enjoy Red Rock’s nine restaurants, including such specialties as barbecue, Japanese, Mexican and Italian. There is also a food court, 16-screen movie theater, 25,000-square-foot spa, 72-lane bowling alley and the Rockwell Group-designed Cherry nightclub. For more information, call 866-767-7773.
About a 10-minute drive from the Strip, Sam’s Town is a country-western themed alternative to the Strip featuring 650 rooms and suites. A glass-enclosed atrium called Mystic Falls Park features waterfalls, live trees and birds. It’s also home to an extensive western wear shop, movie theater, food court, 100,000-square-foot casino and an RV park. Travel agents can submit their number right through the hotel’s online reservation system for commission eligibility. Call 702-450-8300 for more property information.
Green Valley Ranch
Located in neighboring Hendersonville, the Green Valley Ranch is a 400-room casino resort that opened in 2001 and saw a $110 million renovation last year. The property is Mediterranean in style, featuring exposed stone walls, ornate vaulted ceilings and mosaic floors.
The pool area, known as the Backyard, combines Vegas chic with a vineyard vibe. This three-acre area includes a zero-entry pool, sand beach and vanishing-edge waterfall. There is also a full-service spa. For more information, call 702-617-7777.
Nestled in the center of a revived downtown, the Golden Nugget finished a massive two-year renovation project last year that cost more than $170 million. The most notable change is The Tank, which incorporates an aquarium with the pool, allowing guests to swim inches away from sharks and other marine life. Gold Diggers, a nightlife venue with a 180-degree oversized balcony offers views of the Fremont Street Experience, the Viva Vision lightshow and the First Street performance stage.
Agents can book rooms through the general reservation system and get 10 percent commission. For groups, call Director of Sales Sandi Schroder at 702-386-8220.
Lake Las Vegas
About a 30-minute drive from the Strip, the Lake Las Vegas Resort is set on an amazing 3,592 acres. There are two hotels at the resort: The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas and the Loews Lake Las Vegas Resort. Amenities include three signature golf courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Weiskopf, a 320-acre private lake and the quaint MonteLago Village. There is also a full-service marina with watercraft rentals and yacht cruises.
Loews Lake Las Vegas features 493 guest rooms, including 46 suites that were renovated a little more than a year ago. There is a 9,000-square-foot spa, as well as an adults-only pool. It also features Marssa, featuring Master Sushi Chef and Executive Chef Fuji Fujita, a local culinary superstar. For more information visit www.loewshotels.com/en/hotels/lake-las-vegas-resort/overview.aspx or call 702-567-6000. Commission is 10 percent.
The five-year-old Ritz-Carlton features 349 luxurious guest rooms including 35 suites, a 30,000-square-foot spa, extensive meeting and function space, a special Nights Without Neon feature, and the award-winning Medici Café and Terrace. For more information, visit www.ritzcarlton.com or call 702-567-4700.
The centerpiece of the Lake Las Vegas experience is MonteLago Village, a $500 million shopping, dining and entertainment complex. It features the 40,000-square-foot Casino MonteLago, which is themed to resemble a 17th-century Tuscan winery. There are also multiple dining experiences, including Auld Dubliner (702-567-8002), an authentic Irish pub designed and crafted in Dublin and then shipped overseas, and Bistro Zinc by Joseph Keller (702-567-ZINC). This New Orleans-style restaurant is also home to a cooking school with classes open to the public.
Lake Las Vegas Deals
Free gas at Montelago Village Resort
Summer packages at the Ritz Carlton
Sushi classes for kids at Loews Lake Las Vegas