“ Address: 325 E. Flamingo Road, Las Vegas, Nevada 89169. „
When I go to Las Vegas I rarely stay in just one hotel for my stay. I like to spend a few days in Downtown Las Vegas and enjoy the old style Vegas before heading down to somewhere either on the Strip or preferably just off it.
My latest stay coincided with New Years' Eve which is always a very popular time to be in the city, and as a result it's also very expensive too. Being the tightwad I am, I refuse to pay more than £100 for a hotel room in the city...it's possible to get a decent room midweek for less than £25 any other time of the year after all!
My plan had originally been to stay at the Comfort Inn on Paradise Road. I stayed there several times when my husband was alive but they had really hiked their rates for the New Year weekend. I found the Ramada Las Vegas on Expedia, and it was far more reasonably priced, coming up at £70 per night for two nights and a mere £36 per night once 2012 had kicked in.
Even although I knew exactly where the hotel was and have actually stayed at the two properties which sit either side of it, I had no idea what it was going to be like but reviews on Trip Advisor were generally positive so I decided to book.
The hotel is situated on Flamingo Road which runs to the east of the Strip. It sits between Koval Lane and Paradise Road and while it's perfectly possible to walk to the Strip it will probably take you at least 20 minutes which is fine in cooler weather but could be a problem in summer. This area is served by the RTC 202 bus which runs every 15 minutes to and from the Strip on Flamingo Road. There is a stop close to the hotel.
The hotel is sandwiched between the Tuscany Hotel and Suites on one side and the site of the derelict Key Largo property on the other. I have fond memories of staying at both places when my husband was alive although even I am willing to concede that the Key Largo was a dump and it's probably for the best it's closed down.
~~Check in and First Impressions~~
The hotel is rather nondescript and it can be easy to miss the entrance as the road which takes you to the hotel is some distance from the large red Ramada sign close to the reception area.
Although it is possible to park your car outside the reception just before you check in I decided to park close by and walk up because it was busy when we arrived.
The lobby is actually quite impressive. There is a sweeping staircase in the centre with the reception to one side and a small dining area to the other. This area is where breakfast is served.
I was welcomed warmly and was asked for a credit card and my passport before my room was allocated and we were given two card keys. The hotel is split into three blocks and we were in block two which was great because that was where I had parked the car. Our room was on the ground floor and things didn't get off to a brilliant start because you need to use your room key to open all doors apart from that at reception and my key didn't open the door to our block. Fortunately it worked on the second door just around the corner.
The separate blocks are low rise with three stories and their own lift, making them easily accessible for the disabled. There is designated disabled parking too.
Our ground floor room was quite dark, probably not helped by the copious use of dark green in the room décor. Having said that our room looked out onto an adjacent block and as a result that cut out a fair bit of light too. Had we been allocated a room on the other side of the corridor I suspect the room would have been brighter.
I'd booked a two bed room and that's what I got, with two queen beds. Each bed had four pillows and there was an open wardrobe area next to the door on the way to the bathroom. The hotel had no safe which meant I found myself leaving valuables either locked in my suitcase or driving around with them in the boot of my car.
There was an old CRT TV inside a cabinet which also had a chest of drawers underneath. Next to that was a desk and chair. The room also had a fridge which sat underneath what looked like a small kitchen sink. This seemed a little out of place as there was no microwave or hob but there was a kettle and tea and coffee making facilities so it would be useful for cleaning up if you make use of these.
The bathroom led off from the wardrobe area which was also home to a large mirror which had dressing room style lights above it. My daughter loves mirrors (it's an autistic thing) and she was delighted by this one and the other three mirrors in the room. The bathroom had a small tub with shower above, toilet and wash hand basin. Some toiletries were provided including shampoo, conditioner, body lotion and a shower cap as well as hand soap. The maid had also left enough towels and flannels for 4 guests meaning there was no danger of us running out.
The shower was much better than the one we had in the Golden Nugget and was much easier to use too. Hot water came on almost instantly and you could adjust the water pressure by turning the shower head round if you so desired. The shower curtain was thin but didn't stick to you (that's my pet hate in hotels).
The beds were very comfortable. Each bed had a top sheet, blanket and bedspread which was all we needed to stay warm. The room did have climate control which was blasting cold air on our arrival. Although the weather was unseasonably warm during our stay there was no need for air conditioning so we switched it off and never turned it on again.
The TV had a decent picture but there was a very limited range of channels. My daughter was rather annoyed there was no Adult Swim (the evening version of Cartoon Network) but she lived! If you like to stay at a hotel with lots of TV this may be a problem as you really only get the main networks and a couple of extra channels here.
We had free wifi in our room and it was brilliant. Following the poor wifi which we had to pay extra for in the Golden Nugget it was refreshing to encounter a wifi service which was fast and reliable.
Maid service was very good. We generally went out fairly early each day and didn't get back to our room until at least 3.00 pm and the room was always made on our return.
The hotel includes breakfast in the rate. Continental breakfasts in US hotels tend to be very samey in style and the Ramada's is no different. They offer scrambled eggs and sausage as a hot dish and you can use a waffle iron to make your own fresh waffle. In addition to this they lay on bread - along with a couple of toasters - muffins, cereal, fruit, juice, tea and coffee.
The best thing about breakfast at the Ramada was the waffles, and I clearly was not the only person to think this as the queue of people wanting to use the machines was always long.
The hotel has a large swimming pool area which is located in a central area just off the breakfasting area. In spite of the warmer weather it was still too cold to use the pool assuming we had packed swimsuits anyway, which of course we hadn't. There is a small Jacuzzi pool and there are plenty of seats and loungers by the pool. There is also a small gym located near to the pool.
The hotel runs a free shuttle to the airport if you don't have a car and they have a small shop area selling snacks and drinks just to the side of the reception desk. You pay the reception staff for your items.
My daughter and I spent 4 nights at this hotel and it will definitely be one to consider for our next trip to Las Vegas. The location was excellent for us as it was a short drive to all the attractions we like to visit on the southern side of town and is small enough to be easy to navigate. Parking your car close to your room is easy too.
Because of the New Year holiday we were given a parking permit to show on the car whenever we parked up and on New Years' Eve itself there was a roadblock in place to ensure only guests parked on the property. I liked how they did this having found it hard to park on other properties at the same time of year in the city in the past.
Security was good in other ways too. You needed to use your key card to access the hotel blocks and also to access the pool area. On New Years' Eve someone decided to start partying around 4.00 pm in their room, playing really loud music. I called reception to complain and a security guard had the noise off within ten minutes. It didn't come back on again either.
My only real gripe was the fact the room key would sometimes stop working. It would work for one door but not for another and there were a couple of times when I had to dig out the spare key we had been given and for some strange reason that would work.
Breakfast was chaotic too. On the first morning it wasn't too bad as there were two waffle making machines out and the buffet seemed to be replenished on an almost constant basis. Unfortunately the next day the waffle machines were down to one and when we arrived there were no plates, no bananas and no butter, with coffee running low too. It didn't help that when I did manage to get the last plate and made a mess of the first waffle I made, an "obliging" guest picked it up for me and threw the entire plate and its contents in the bin...meaning I couldn't even make a fresh waffle till more plates arrived.
To be fair the hotel was very busy over the New Year weekend and perhaps underestimated how busy it was going to be that morning. We skipped breakfast on our third day, returning just before we checked out on the last day of our stay to find it much calmer and far better organised.
There is no casino on this property so if you want to gamble you will either have to go to the Tuscany next door or walk down to the intersection of Flamingo Road and Paradise Road to visit Terrible's. The Bougainvillea Restaurant in Terrible's is worth a visit too. They do a wonderful Prime Rib dinner there for $10. It's not much further to the Hard Rock Hotel and if you want something to eat there I recommend Mr Lucky's café inside...you can get a steak with garlic mash and salad dinner for $7.77 there. It's significantly smaller than the meal you get in Terrible's but we found it perfectly adequate and a refreshing change from what I started to call "huge plates of cow".
We will be back to the Ramada Las Vegas. We spent the final two nights of our holiday back at the Super 8 on Koval Lane but we preferred our room at the Ramada and the service we received there.
The fact a decent breakfast is included in your room rate makes this a bit of a deal - especially for families. Rooms can sleep up to four so if you get a room for the night including breakfast for 4 people for the lower rate of £36 per night it's a steal.
The only minor complaint is with the TV. Even the Super 8 had upgraded their TVs to the flat screen variety so I would hope it's something Ramada plan on doing soon and perhaps throwing in a few more channels. A safe in the room would be a great addition too.
Everything else was fine and for the money we paid we felt safe, secure and comfortable and most importantly, we felt welcomed and valued. When the time came to check out we were thanked profusely, in stark contrast to my experience at the Golden Nugget.
If you want to stay in Vegas and be close enough to the Strip but away from the worst of the mega resorts then it's worth considering the Ramada. Sure it's not as luxurious as the Bellagio but its clean and comfortable with free wifi and breakfast included in the rate - which saves your money for more fun things in the city. While having a car is more convenient, you don't need one to stay here thanks to a reasonable amount of things to do within a ten minute walk and the Strip about 25 minutes away, the free airport shuttle and the fairly regular bus to the Strip.
All told, this was a bit of a find and I'll definitely be back.
Ramada hotel located in the Paradise neighbourhood of Las Vegas, just a mile from the famous Strip.