Almost everyone visiting Las Vegas needs a hotel room and there are many ways to receive a cheaper rate when booking. I will list them here in order of effectiveness, but remember a little effort searching now can help you save a lot of money for gambling or partying later.
1. Deal Websites
If you are looking for just a hotel room, and not a flight, deal websites are the best places to find cheap rates. You can look on Deal News or Slickdeals for some of the best rates in Las Vegas. To find deals pertaining to hotels, just type “Las Vegas” into the search box and most of the deals found in the search will pertain to hotels. I have seen rates for $69 a night at Planet Hollywood Towers and $39 a night at MGM Grand. Both deals are fantastic, so do not rule out finding a great deal on a third-party website.
2. Southwest Vacation Packages
This might seem surprising to people, but if Southwest services your nearest airport you may be in for a load of easy savings. When you book your hotel and flight at the same time both the hotel and the airline are subsidizing their prices, which means more savings for you. I would not have believed it either, because I feel like most vacation packages do not save you much money. Luckily, I learned quickly and have booked many vacation packages from southwest.com, but only after searching for better deal unsuccessfully.
If you are looking to stay in Vegas for the weekend but have flexible flight times it is often cheaper to leave Monday rather than Sunday. You get an extra night in the hotel for less money! The main reason for this is because flights on Monday are usually cheaper than Sunday flights so you can extend your stay and keep more money to yourself.
Southwest vacation packages are not ticketless. This means they send you your plane tickets in the mail, and if you lose them you will have to pay for a new flight. This also means you cannot check in using your credit card when you get to the airport and to save time you should go through the assisted check in line.
Hotel: The Wynn
Room Type: Resort King
# of Nights: 5 (Thursday through Tuesday)
# of People: 2
Flight: San Jose, CA to Las Vegas (Direct)
Cost: $800 total ($400 per person)
Dates: June 17, 2010 through June 22, 2010
Vegas hotels are most expensive Thursday through Saturday and June is a very popular time for people to go to Vegas. During this weekend many events were going on including the World Series of Poker, a North American Poker Tour event, and a MMA fight to name a few. Weekend rates at the Wynn can easily be over $200 a night and flights from San Jose to Vegas are about $150 each so I received the rooms at less than 50% of their normal rates.
Searching through a third-party travel site is a great way to find hotel deals. I prefer Kayak because it searches many of the other websites such as Orbitz and Priceline, but usually Orbitz has the cheapest rates. To find the cheapest hotel you are willing to stay at just enter the dates of your trip and sort by price. If you want a particular hotel Kayak is still a good place to look for low rates and all you need to do is enter the hotel’s name.
1. The hotel prices on Kayak include estimated taxes. The reason for this is because of taxes and fees associated with the third party website. Orbitz is straightforward with their fees but oftentimes the other sites Kayak searches are not, so please do not assume you will get the price listed. Make sure you double check the end price on the site you chose to purchase from.
2. When you book through third-party sites you are not always guaranteed how many beds your room will have. If you need two beds check your hotel’s website to make sure they offer two beds for your room type, and call the hotel to request a room with two beds a few days after booking. The worker will usually be more than happy to help you out and it is very likely you will receive two beds when checking in.
1. Orbitz almost always has promotion codes you can enter during booking to save $25 to $75 depending on your length of stay. The best deal I have seen is 15% off any stay, but it was only available for 72 hours.
2. Hotel fees are usually based on how many people are staying in the room. If you say you have 2 people staying in the room instead of 3 or 4 you can save a lot of money in fees.
Room Type: Tower Room
# of Nights: 5 (Friday through Wednesday)
# of People: 2
Dates: May 23, 2008 through May 28, 2008 (Memorial Day Weekend)
This deal is pretty good considering it was Memorial Day weekend. I found the deal on Kayak, and booked through Orbitz. I also had a $75 promotion code for a 5 night hotel stay, which made this deal even better.
Almost every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip has a social media employee tweeting about their latest deals. This means if you follow every hotel on Twitter you are bound to see great rates offered. Sometimes the links tweeted are only advertised using Twitter, so it is a legitimate source for finding deals. I have seen $20 room rates at Hard Rock and $24 rates at Excalibur.
5. Sign Up for Each Hotel’s Email List
Some of the best deals can be sent directly to your email address. If you do not mind the spam MGM, Palazzo, and the Venetian send a lot of deals through email. Oftentimes these emails will have special links where you can book the hotel at a cheaper rate then if you just went to the hotel’s main website. These deals may also include free extras such as slot play, discount show tickets, club passes, and much more.
Hotel: The Venetian
Room Type: Venetian Luxury
# of Nights: 4 (Sunday through Thursday)
# of People: 2
Dates: July 11, 2010 through July 15, 2010
$119 a night is pretty good for a suite at the Venetian. Not only that but it included extras such as $40 off Phantom tickets, $10 off your bill at Lagasse Stadium, line passes to LAVO Nightclub, and $25 in slot credits.