I want to take my mom to Las Vegas to see Barry Manilow, among other shows...and to do some intense shopping (the shopping was fabulous on my last visit), but where would be the "best" place to stay, among all those imaginative hotels? Where are the best deals "on the Strip"? We don't want to stay far away from all the exciting energy, but don't have to be in the middle of it, either. Thanks...
–Lisa, Hendersonville, Tenn.
P.S. We don't care a thing about gambling...just good food, good shows, good shopping!
It's practically impossible to say what the "best" place on the Strip would be without knowing you or your budget; but if you're not too picky, you can probably save a bundle on your hotel. Before you book, make sure to call the hotel itself and speak with the manager on duty or the director of sales to see if there are any special deals on offer (don't call the 800-number, as this takes you to an off-site reservations center that almost certainly won't have the leeway to make you a great offer). Don't hesitate to negotiate; Las Vegas hotels are practically the definition of a buyer's market at this point.
Keep your eye out for special deals. With the economy slumping, and Las Vegas hit particularly hard, deals abound. On LasVegas.com, for example, rooms were recently being offered at the Stratosphere starting at $26.95, at the Excalibur for $36.95, and the MGM Grand for under $70. These aren't the swankiest hotels on the Strip, but they're not the shabbiest, either. Vegas.com was offering similar deals the last time I checked.
And if you're into shows, a number of hotels are offering discounts to those, too, with Cirque du Soleil's KÀ being a popular option. When you're negotiating your room rate with the hotel, mention that you're interested in shows, spa services, dining, and shopping. That might prompt the sales manager to throw in some free dining coupons and/or spa services to close the deal. And if nothing else, it shows the manager that you're not a total cheapskate, which could make him more likely to offer you a deal to attract this sort of spending to his property.
As for Barry Manilow, he plays at the Hilton Theater (attached to the Hilton hotel, of course). The hotel does offer a special "Barry Manilow Premium Package," which is fairly pricey at $692 for two nights' accommodations. However, it includes two tickets to his show (which start at $95 for the nosebleed section) and a $75 credit for the Hilton's restaurants.