Newest Review: ... in the 'party capital of the world'. Able to walk to the stratosphere from the Treasure Island Hotel, but it was quite a walk, it looke... more
An amazing hotel / theme park with the best view in Vegas
Stratosphere Tower (USA)
Member Name: lm09
Stratosphere Tower (USA)
Advantages: Great price, good rooms, free drinks when gambling and an amazing restaurant
Disadvantages: Not the greatest location for touring casino's
I stayed in the Stratosphere Hotel in LAs Vegas in July 2004. My wife and I chose the Stratosphere firstly as it was then one of the cheapest of the 'big' hotels to stay in on the strip but second because it sounded amazing.
A few quick stats for you first of all. The Stratosphere tower is the 2nd tallest free-standing building in the Western hemisphere, only behind the CN Tower in Toronto. The tower itself is 350 meters tall (over 1,000 feet). The hotel has 26 floors and around 2,500 rooms. Alan Partridge fact coming up - the lifts in the Stratosphere are the fastest in America at 20.5mph!!! Enough stats for now me thinks!
On arriving in the lobby which, at the time, we thought was really plush (after exploring some of the more central hotels it was - in truth - a fairly lame lobby) with massive fish tanks, bordering on aquariums behind the desks, we were really impressed. We had paid around £60 a night for the room (booked through Kuoni as part of a package) so when we were taken to our room we were bowled over.
Our room, on the 16th floor, was by no means the highest, but from our window we had amazing views over Downtown Las Vegas and the valley. At any time of day or night the view was incredible with the perfect blue sky and endless sunshine framing the city. From here you could really see the geopgraphy of Las Vegas (it really is a city built in a desert like valley). The room (views apart) was massive with a huge, queen size double bed. It also had a well stocked if expensive mini bar and a huge and very nice bathroom.
Right, down to business then, the Casino hall like everything else in this place is huge and again without experiencing some of the more central hotels it is great. In the Stratosphere you also get free drinks while you are gambling so you never need to buy a drink just drop a few chips into the cheapest one armed bandit and drink away. I am not a big gambler or a frequent casino goer (I've been twice in my life) but when in Vegas!!
The hotel has seemingly endless eating options including an all you can eat buffet which is ok. It also has numerous specialist restaurants dotted around, Japanese, French, Mexican and Chinese to give you a few. To be honest the food was all just average in those which we tried (Mexican and Chinese).
However, for the real dining experience in the Stratosphere you need to book. The tower has a restaurant built right in the top, called the Top of the World, this has to be the best place in Vegas to eat. The restautant is a revolving one that slowly spins as you eat giving amazing 360 degree views out over Las Vegas and right down the strip. If the view doesn't get you the food will. While it is a lot more expensive than the standard eateries the food is high quality dining and the service is top class. If you are staying make sure that you at least book yourselve in for one meal in the Top of the World.
Whilst eating if you are revolved into the right spot at the right time, you may see something green suddenly dangle past the window. Whilst you will see planes coming in to land at McCarran airport and helicopters whizzing by, the green thing is nothing to worry about. It is just the rollercoaster ride built on top of the tower, 350 meters up - as you do. At the time of out visit there were two rollercoaster rides on the top of the tower, the Big Shot and X Scream. If the Big shot was on the ground at a regular fairground you would probably give it a miss. You sit in it and it just shoots you straight up in the air and then back to earth, oh did I mention all that with a G force of 4G's quarter of a mile up. X Scream on the other hand is pretty unique. This one, whilst not as fast (in fact not fast at all) just dangles you strapped in your seat over the edge of the tower so you can really appreciate what 350 meters up feels like! Since our visit a third ride has been built called Insanity to Ride. For those of you not into the rides 5 unlucky gamblers have taken a bungyless bungy jump to their deaths since the hotel was opened in 1996!
Just below the rollercoasters is another 360 degree viewing platform that offers great photographs down the full length of the strip. It is an odd feeling standing in the tower and being higher than planes coming in to land at the nearby airport.
At the time of our visit (2004) all guests were given two free tickets to the Viva Las Vegas show which was a really good show. Having both comedy and some musical sections it was a good hours entertainment. Alas though drinks had to be paid for during the show!
The only downside of the Stratosphere hotel is its location. The hotel is at the far end of the strip and being the furthest north means that it is 4 miles from the southern end of the strip and a good mile from the 'real strip' if you like. It is a good 20 minute walk to get to any of the big hitting Casinos such as Treasure Island, Mandalay Bay and The Venetian. This being Las Vegas the location wasn't a massive problem for us. Taxi's are cheap and frequent and the drive down the strip to wherever is amazing but for some this may be a downer.
For us though for the price we paid and the experience we had I would 100% recomend the Stratosphere hotel as a great place to stay during a hedonistic visit to the party capital of the world.
Summary: A great place to stay if your in Vegas - the greatest year round party city