Las Vegas the Easy Way: Five Off-Strip Hotels to Consider

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Las Vegas the Easy Way: Five Off-Strip Hotels to Consider
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Las Vegas beckons with its dazzling lights and electrifying energy, but the iconic come-ons can come with a hefty price tag. Venturing beyond the Las Vegas Strip, however, brings a world of benefits for both the budget-minded visitor and peace-seeking traveler.

While money has little meaning in a city where $5000 can disappear with the draw of an Ace, people looking to stretch their bucks or spend it on the city’s plethora of unusual attractions can stay off the Strip or even far from the neon skyline and enjoy not only significantly lower lodging rates but often fee-free stays, complimentary parking, and curtailed chaos. Off-strip hotels offer a quieter atmosphere, often close-in views of the surrounding mountains, and tend to bring on better rest. The action is always within reach but one does not have to bathe in it.

Gamers enjoy better odds, smaller antes and accessible games in these off-Strip finds and for those who want to explore beyond the casinos, consider that off-Strip locations are closer to family-friendly attractions as well as natural desert wonders, such as Red Rock Canyon, or all the historic gems with quirky surprises that can be found around Fremont Street.

The following is a look at off-Strip hotels to book, each for their own appealing reasons.

Lexi Las Vegas
Las Vegas, the city of flashing lights and relentless entertainment, has long been a beacon for adult indulgence. Now, it caters to a new kind of euphoria with its first and only cannabis-friendly hotel, located west of the Las Vegas Strip.

The once famed Artisan Hotel Boutique is now The Lexi, with 64 new accommodations given to cannabis-friendly hospitality.  A new concept by Arizona-based Elevations Hotels and Resorts, the property presents Palm Springs earth tones and desert-inspired decor for calm and cool partaking. The Lexi eschews the smoky casino floors and, instead, provides a comely fourth-floor consumption lounge with plush armchairs, curated playlists, and a focus on relaxation – not revving. Find CBD products on property and nearby in this THC-friendly town. Also find a cool rooftop pool, comfortable balconies, onsite dining and bar, and like-minded guests to experience a friendly and hassle-free side of the city. Added benefit: pets are allowed here minus the restrictive room policies and sky-high nightly rates. Rack rates start at $170.

Aliante Casino Hotel and Spa
Find the Aliante Casino Hotel Spa in North Las Vegas, an area that is just now seeing new growth but for many years remained a local’s secret of easy navigation and wide open spaces. Opened in 2008 the nine-floor, 202-room property is now a piece of the Boyd Gaming portfolio but the hotel brings more of an open resort feel than a hardcore gaming appeal.

The expansive casino floor features all the favorite table games and slots, in a relaxed and spacious ambiance. There's also a dedicated poker room for serious hold ‘ems and a state-of-the-art race and sportsbook for catching the big game.

But true to its name, Aliante also boasts a substantial luxury spa with some detox and pick-me-up specials. Several restaurants on-site, cater to a range of tastes, from casual pub fare to upscale steaks. A large pool complex with a waterslide and comfortable cabanas keeps the action moving – although more family than Spring Break in purpose and feel. The Aliante Showroom brings concerts, comedy acts, and other live entertainment. And, for those needing at least one full Strip experience, a complimentary shuttle service ferries guests to and from the heart of the action.

Rooms are comfortable, spacious at 600 square feet, and affordable (ADR $118) with complimentary indoor and outdoor parking. Nine suites with views of the Spring Mountains run 730-1,500 square feet.

Retreat on Charleston Peak
Get out of Las Vegas, way out, and the result is a different vacation. For those seeking a taste of serenity amidst the desert landscape, the Retreat on Charleston Peak offers some unique and unforgettable moments. Find the retreat in the foothills of the Spring Mountains around 40 minutes from the Strip heading north and passing Aliante. Turn left at Kyle Canyon Road to Mt. Charleston, a ride worth taking if only to experience the breadth of the destination at 7,700 feet. Stop and stay at the Retreat for views of the entire Las Vegas Valley.

The Retreat is more old Vegas than new – and old in Vegas terms means 1980s. The 62 rooms including six suites on a low-rise sprawl are comfortable and cabin-like, but the real attraction here is the calm, the quiet, the views, the starry nights. From cozy studios to sprawling villas, each accommodation offers a private balcony or patio for immersing in the scenery. The accommodations are designed for relaxation with fireplaces, gourmet kitchens, and deep soaking tubs in many units.

But don’t expect bustling nightlife. There's no casino but there is an on-site spa and a proportional infinity pool, although temps there tend to be around 10 degrees cooler than in the city. Hiking and biking trails weave through the surrounding mountains, and horseback riding stables may or may not be operating nearby.

A complimentary shuttle takes guests to the Strip and the canyon restaurant onsite, keeping the taste local. Mt. Charleston’s sparkling hiking spots are just up the road, as is peak skiing at Lee Canyon Ski Resort. Standard rooms start at $174. Pets are welcomed with a small nightly fee.

Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa
Station Casinos is known for offering a solid, balanced resort experience in Las Vegas far from the bustling Strip. This hotel opened in 2006 in Summerlin on the west side of Las Vegas and made its calling card its proximity to Red Rock Canyon with those stunning sandstone formations and trails just minutes away. Red Rock still channels the glamour of old Vegas in its backlit igneous elements and abundant Swarovski crystal flourishes, remaining contemporary and comely, even for the pampered traveler.

Standard rooms run large, around 500 square feet with views of the mountains to the west, or the massive pool complex, complete with waterfalls, a lazy river, and private cabanas below. The pool scene gets quite lively in the warm months with live concerts. The property, around 20 minutes drive from the Strip, recently completed a $35 million renovation, mostly in the culinary areas, which are numerous. All are connected to a sprawling outdoor shopping mall (with an Apple store!) and a megaplex of movie theaters. If that is not enough, there are the hotel’s bowling alleys.

Red Rock would be considered compact by Strip standards – 800 rooms here, rather than 4,000, but with a hefty choice of dining options (sadly, the notable FEAST buffet is gone). The spa received an overhaul in the recent renovation and offers wellness and body toning sessions; and a robust menu of specialty spa treatments, such as Thai massage, cranial-sacral manipulations, and reflexology.  The spa is also a scene-steeler for meeting events and group celebrations. Red Rock rates start at $149, although a $50 resort fee and added hotel taxes bring that nightly rate to $219. Dogs are not allowed.

Station Casinos opened its 17 property, the 209-room Durango Hotel and Casino, on the Southwest side of Las Vegas in December. All the desert tones and sparkle are complemented by original artworks, large comfortable accommodations, and a curated food and beverage collection. Rates start at $200 before fees and taxes. Parking at both properties remains complimentary.

Circa Resort & Casino
While Downtown Las Vegas may not feel like an “escape” from Las Vegas, it is an escape to another face of Las Vegas, even another time, and can be quite refreshing for seekers of streamlined fun, funky and creative styles, and bargains galore. The latest property to accent the rising skyline there is Circa, a 35-story tower casting a long shadow over famed Fremont Street and maintaining a mega rooftop pool scene for those who still want a bit of “Strip” life.

The property’s 512 rooms start at 403 square feet and include suites with living rooms and floor-to-ceiling bunkbeds. All bathrooms are spacious with dual sinks and rain shower stalls with excellent pressure. Large closets, a desk, free wi-fi, and a free and clear mini-fridge add to the amenities as does the breathtaking view of the surrounding desert and mountains from the upper floors (or bird’s eye view of the pool scene from other room locations). The property is a personal labor of love for co-owner Derek Stevens, who designed the downtown new-build with all the must-haves he would expect in a hotel room for a comfortable stay.

Around the property, find Vegas Vicky – a neon throwback from the Glitter Gulch days. Also, find what Circa presents as the World’s Largest Sportsbook – a triple-story stadium sporting a 78-million hi-def screen that takes ten people to operate. The expansive stadium pool is also the place to watch the game. It is big enough to hold 4000 people, mostly in arena seats overlooking six pools, two spas, a swim-up bar, and a 143 x 40-foot, 14-million-megapixel LED screen. The 30 cabanas on the top tier run $1000 a day but can contain a dozen pool-goers.

As for culinary adventures, it’s Barry's Downtown Prime for the classic steakhouse experience. Project Pie allows guests to build their pizzas and a western sunset from the heights of rooftop bar, Legacy Club, will not disappoint.

Circa stands by its adults-only rule and that means checking ID at all the doors no matter what the age as an added measure of security and also as a way to keep the public areas calm and quiet. What Circa does not have is that frenzied feeling, even as one traverses the casino to enter the frenetic life under the canopy of Fremont Street. There, it is still possible to find all the bargains that Las Vegas is (or was) known for -- $11 surf & turf dinners, $7.95 prime rib, and other come-ons, but the venerable 50-cent shrimp cocktail is long gone.

Room rates at Circa start at $119 exclusive of a $50 hotel fee, taxes, and $25 a night parking fees inside its famed “Garage Mahal,” temple to the venerable automobile and pocked with unusual art installations. Dogs are not allowed.