The hotel was quite inexpensive at around £60 per night for the 3 of us, no meals included. We had the usual large double bed, plus another single for Little Bird and the room was pretty big with views over the pool. If you like a more contemporary hotel room this might not be for you, but it was perfectly adequate for our first few days. I would say, however, that finding a bed around the pool could get difficult at times as this was a very busy hotel, with mostly American guests, but there were other nationalities staying there too.
From here, we were a very short walk to a bus stop and for $8 each per day, you could travel up and down from Downtown to the Strip in the newer part of town, as many times as you liked. The buses did get very busy though and it was often standing room only.
Due to being very jet lagged on our first afternoon we unpacked, had a few hours by the pool and then headed out for pizza and salad at a great bar/restaurant we found Downtown, before retiring to bed. We restrained ourselves from having one of these burgers that was on sale from a burger bar down the road. (Please excuse the quality of this photograph, there was a reflection from the glass window).
The next day after a few hours by the pool, we headed up onto the Strip which is the name given to the main street along which all the new resort hotels and casinos have been built in recent years. We caught the bus up to the furthest end of the Strip from where we wandered back through some of the huge resort hotels with a view to booking a few days at the end of our holiday. The first we visited was our absolute favourite, The Mandalay Bay, however, at $700 for two nights it was a bit beyond our budget, but fabulous if you can afford it.
After wandering through a few hotel resorts (they all interlink along the strip and you hardly have to come out into the open if you don't want to) we had had enough and ventured out onto the Strip itself to do a bit of shopping and sightseeing from the outside. Little Bird was excited to visit some of the US shops she'd heard about on You Tube. We plumped for the Planet Hollywood Mall for our shopping as it contained some of the stores that Little Bird was desperate to visit such as Bath and Body Works and Sephora. I personally enjoyed shopping at Bettie Page which is a retro clothing shop selling new retro style clothing for all sizes and I ended up treating myself to a pair of Navy high-waisted shorts. For anyone into vintage style fashion, especially those looking for bigger sizes, this store is great and they sell internationally through their website. (We later saw another store on Hollywood Boulevard and there are more throughout the US.) Visit their website at bettiepageclothing.com Do bear in mind that US sizing is generally more generous than in the UK.
All shopped out and legs aching from walking up and down the Strip in 39 degrees C of heat we got back on the bus and headed back to the hotel for a well earned rest. That evening we were pretty tired so we ate in the hotel restaurant and then had a soak in the hot tub (this was the view from there)
before wandering out into the Downtown area to see the neon lights which famously light up the street. There were bands playing and lots of things going on up and down the street. The atmosphere was great and the lights were an amazing sight and definitely give a feel for a bygone age. I took a few photos to share.
We had one more morning in Las Vegas before we headed off on our road trip. On our final morning we partook of the buffet breakfast at our hotel, which incidently, is one of the cheapest in town at $10.99. This included as much as you could eat and there was such a variety on offer from cooked food to fresh fruit/pastries/cereals, that it was really good value compared to paying separately for everything as we had done the day before in the hotel café. A good breakfast inside us and our last morning in Las Vegas was spent by the pool before packing up and getting a taxi to the depot to pick up the Campervan.
Las Vegas is a fun party city with a large personality and lots of fun things to do. It does, however, easily part you from your money and after a couple of days we were looking forward to experiencing a different and slower kind of life in the US. More about that in another post.