Why you should stay in a Las Vegas hotel off the Strip

You say you love Las Vegas, but how much do you really love this town? If you haven’t ventured off the Strip yet, we’re about to show you just how cool it is to stay in a Vegas hotel away from the glittering lights.

What’s awesome is most of these hotels offer complimentary shuttle transportation to and from the Strip. Another reason to stay in an off-Strip resort is the rooms are usually less expensive. Also, you get a taste of the local life and avoid the crazy crowds that typically take over the Strip.

We can really go all day why you should give it a shot, but we’ll let you read for yourself.


Wine tasting? Wine not? M Resort’s Hostile Grape Wine Cellar remains one of our favorite things to do in Las Vegas. Photo courtesy of M Resort.

M Resort
12300 S. Las Vegas Blvd.
Ahh…M. the first thing we notice the second we walk into this off-Strip resort its refreshing scent. The 390-room boutique M Resort opened more than six years ago, but still smells brand new. We can’t tell if it’s flowers or magical unicorn dust, but that pleasant smell that greets everyone means a lot — especially if you’re used to smelling smoke from other hotels.

That’s not the main reason to stay here, but it’s one of the things you’ll remember long after you leave. M Resort is located in Henderson on St. Rose Parkway, not too far from Interstate 15. Since it’s not a huge property, you won’t have to trek through a huge casino to get from point A to point B. We also like how there’s a coffee and pastry shop open 24/7. Plus, you can’t beat $5 blackjack. Even frugal locals like us can put money on that.

Fun fact: This hotel has received a four-star rating from the Forbes Travel Guide every year since its opening in 2009, naming it as one of the finest hotels in the world. “Top Chef” filmed its sixth season here.

Unique activities: Head to Hostile Grape, a one-of-a-kind wine cellar lets you create your own tasting experience. Load up a pre-paid wine card and get to drinking: These wine dispensers automatically pour one, three or five ounce glasses. There are more than 160 wines by the glass to choose from. You may need to dance it out at Ravello Lounge, which offers live entertainment on the weekends.

The pool is great too and always a hit with the locals and visitors. While the dayclub closes during the winter season, the main pool stays open (weather permitting). Since 60 degrees during the winter time isn’t considered cold to most folks in the country, it’s a nice retreat to enjoy year round. During the warmer months, the pool offers live night entertainment.

Splurge: Stay in the Loft Suite, a stylish two-level suite features floor-to-ceiling windows. The wow factor (besides the view) is its master bedroom with a glass balcony that overlooks a stunning solid-marble bar with seating for six. Other features include a steam shower with a skin-conditioning vitamin-infused shower head and 500 thread-count sheets and contouring pillows create the ultimate comfort. Suites start around $1,500 and can go up to $3,000.

You can also treat yourself to a spa treatment at Spa Mio. Spa Mio has been named one of the only Forbes Four Star Spas in Las Vegas.


Good morning, mountains! This is a nice change from the Strip, right? Photo courtesy of Red Rock.

Red Rock Casino, Resort and Spa
11011 W. Charleston Blvd.
There are many reasons to love Red Rock. The standard room measures 500 square feet, which is spacious for a room of its kind. The hotel also has a bowling alley and movie theater, so that gives you things to do during the day. If you’re a sports fan, this Vegas hotel has a new sport book with a 32-yard-long LED display with 24 million pixels, showing 4K Ultra HD.

The location is also a plus. While it’s a good 20 minutes from the Strip, you’ll discover a bevy of things to do here. The nearby Downtown Summerlin outdoor shopping plaza has the best ice cream sandwiches at CREAM, upscale dining at Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill and popular shops like Forever 21, and Sephora.

Fun fact: Red Rock has 3.1 million pieces of Swarovski crystals throughout the property, prominently displayed in crystal chandeliers in both the lobby bar and Lucky Bar, among elsewhere. Red Rock had its share of fame: Nelly did his music video, “Body On Me” at this hotel a few years ago. The 2008 movie “21” shot some scenes here too.

Unique activities: This hotel has a Red Rock Adventures program, since it’s so close to Red Rock Canyon. You can go on hikes, go rock climbing or go horseback riding.

Bingo just got cool with the hotel’s Rock Shot Bingo. The bingo room transforms into a party atmosphere with a live DJ, emcee, black lights and glow sticks. For only $25, you can play all-electronic games for the chance to win cash and fun prizes like VIP pool passes, bottles of booze and more. Any time someone wins a game, everyone at that person’s table gets a shot to celebrate. Score!

Splurge: Stay in one of the Villas at Red Rock, where you’ll enjoy your own private patio and pool. Rooms range from 2,500 to 3,090 square feet. If you really want to go all out, the Ultimate Suite has penthouse style suite that’ll have you singing, she’s a bad mamma jamma.


We may be far from the Mediterranean islands, but this building definitely gives us that vibe. Courtesy of Green Valley Ranch.

Green Valley Ranch Resort and Spa
2300 Paseo Verde Parkway
Located in Henderson on Green Valley Parkway (just off the 215 freeway), it’s only a quick 10-15 minute drive from the Strip, depending on traffic. While it’s really not that far from the Strip, the Mediterranean-inspired Green Valley Ranch makes you feel miles away. If you’re here during the summer months, the hotel’s pool is like a trip to the Mediterranean with its whites and blues, complete with a beach and a sand-bottom pool area.

Fun fact: Green Valley Ranch had its share of Hollywood glory. “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation” shot several scenes here, as well as the show “Las Vegas,” who used many of the hotel’s exterior shots for its fictional hotel, Montecito Resort & Casino.

Unique activities: Does eating an endless amount of gourmet pizza count as a unique activity? Owned by World Pizza Champion Tony Gemignani, Pizza Rock uses only authentic Italian ingredients and organically-grown produce. You can wash down your meal with one of 30 craft beers on tap.

Splurge: The Spa at Green Valley Ranch is so worth it. It has a private outdoor lap pool exclusively for guests, a steam room and much more. The couple’s room offers a private outdoor cabana area. There is also a co-ed Jacuzzi and steam room.

After you feel spiffy and refreshed, end the evening with a stay at Hank’s Fine Steaks & Martinis. It offers amazing cuts of meat and seafood in a gorgeous dining room. It also has one of the best happy hours in town featuring half-priced martinis, 4 p.m. – 7 p.m. daily. Half-priced martinis in themselves are reasons to splurge.


You might be looking up the whole time you’re at Downtown Grand’s Art Bar. Photo by Steve Marcus / courtesy of Las Vegas Weekly.

Downtown Grand
206 N. 3rd. St.
We gotta show some love for downtown, a very popular hangout for locals and tourists alike. Located on 3rd Street and Ogden Avenue, Downtown Grand used to be Lady Luck Hotel & Casino. It has two towers, with more than 600 newly remodeled rooms. The hotel opened two years ago, so it’s fairly new. It also has a very urban, hip vibe – think New York’s artsy scene.

Fun fact: It took  seven years until the property was up and running again. It cost a total of $100 million to revamp the hotel.

Unique activities: Hit up Art Bar, which showcases eclectic art installations from local artists. The bar offers a decent wine selection. You can order a glass, kick back and browse through art books. But you might be too busy gazing at the ceiling, which includes art from virtually every time period. We can’t wait to see some Basquiat artwork here.

Downtown Grand is also a quick walk to Downtown3rd Farmers Market, held every Friday from 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Located near the corner of Stewart Avenue and Casino Center Boulevard, you can buy fresh fruit, veggies and all the fun goodies you see at a farmers market.

Splurge: Open during the warmer months (March – October), we say go all out and get a cabana or daybed at the hotel’s outdoor rooftop pool. The daybeds offer shade to keep you away from the scorching sun. If you plan on being here at night, you can catch live DJ music.


The Palms’ Ivory Suite is so hip and swanky. And the views aren’t too shabby, either. Photo courtesy of the Palms.

Palms Casino Resort

The Palms is kind of considered a Strip property since it’s so darn close. It’s located on Flamingo Road (west of Caesars Palace) and a short drive from Las Vegas Boulevard. But hey, we wanted to include it anyway because we love it.

The Pearl’s 2,500-seat concert venue is seriously one of the best showrooms in town. This blogger already saw R&B/soul artist Maxwell here twice. Start your night at Social, the hotel’s center bar has some of the most delicious mixed drinks in town. Try the Bubbly Black Rose, which consists of Plymouth gin, lemon juice and blackberry syrup. A popular one is the S’mores Mudslide Meme – Baileys, Kahlua and Pinnacle vodka. The bar is in a great location too — you’re in the center of the casino. We’re sure after a few drinks, you’ll be grooving to the live acts that perform here.

Fun fact: Most of you know that “The Real World: Las Vegas” was filmed here in the early 2000s. What’s cool is that the suite still has the “Confessional” room. How fun would it be to spill your feelings in here? But we have a confession of our own: This suite costs a pretty penny at  $10,000 per night.

Unique activities: While its sister property Palms Place has a pool that’s open year round (weather permitting – it gets a bit windy in the winter and spring), you can also have a blast during the day at Ghostbar Dayclub, better known as GBDC. They have festive costume parties, but we honestly love how you can party like it’s 1 a.m. (when its’ really 1 p.m.). Plus, it helps us deal with our summer pool club withdrawals.

Splurge: Stay in the two-story Sky Villa, which has a hip, sexy appeal of a Vegas nightclub. Spanning 9,000 square feet, it has its own glass elevator, a glass-enclosed pool showcasing gorgeous views of the not-too-far-away Strip, private terraces, massage and fitness rooms, a sauna and even a butler on the weekends. Or, if you’re a Barbie lover, the Hot Pink suite is a fun and spunky choice.


Stay toasty by this relaxing firepit with a view that even leaves us locals speechless. Photo courtesy of The Westin Lake Las Vegas.

The Westin at Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa
101 MonteLago Blvd.
There’s a beach here, a firepit, a lake…honestly, what’s not to like? It’s a vacation from your vacation. If you plan on being here for a few days (or if you experienced the Strip already), this is an amazing retreat to truly get away from it all.

Fun fact: This hotel was named one of the world’s best hotels by Travel + Leisure. The manmade lake you see here is 3,600 acres. Expect to see gondolas, yachts and other fun water rides (which you can experience as well).

Unique activities: Speaking of lakes, being next to one certainly has its advantages. You can paddleboard, kayak or if you have kiddos (or a kid at heart yourself!), you can build sandcastles at the shore. You can also hit the green at Reflection Bay Golf Club, designed by golf legend Jack Nicklaus.

The Village at Lake Las Vegas next door has fun events throughout the year, like its monthly wine walks held on the first Saturday of each month. You can also hit up Sunset & Vines, which has wine tasting every Tuesday evening. Or, just sprawl out on the grass right by the water, relax and completely lose track of time.

Splurge: We say splurge on a fancy dinner with views of the lake at Marsa Steakhouse and Sushi. This AAA-Four-Diamond award-winning restaurant serves everything from Wagyu steaks to fresh sushi and sashimi. There is also 15 sakes available. We’ll drink to that.


Most folks take their Vegas jackpot winnings back home, but my dad decided to stay here instead. That’s how I left Seattle almost 20 years ago. I moved from greenery and rainy days to hot summers, palm trees and desert. As much as I love my hometown, I decided to stick around Vegas. This city just has so much to offer. You don’t even have to be a gambler, bar hopper or an all-night partier. I love Vegas for its awesome vegan-friendly spots, concerts, swanky hotel suites and spas so big, they’re like castles. The pool scene is not too shabby either, which is why I love taking stay-cations. Besides living it up -- Vegas style -- I’m hanging out with my handsome hubby, adorable baby girl, two cats and super-fluffy Shih-Tzu. I’m also a huge fan of '90s music, shows and movies. You can find me on Google+ and Twitter.