Both Sides of the Coin
Las Vegas offers luxury lifestyles and incredible bargains.
Las Vegas is for everybody. Yes, Lamborghini escorts and palatial suites await high rollers, but $19.99 buffets and pinball arcades can be just as nice. There are plenty of lavish—if impractical—options worth gawking at, but this desert metropolis also offers some fantastic value for your dollar. Which is the better option? That’s up for you to decide.
Sin City Hostel
Hostels are perfect for adventurers on a budget, and Sin City Hostel ranks among the best. This adult-only lodging offers coed and women-only bunk rooms at around $30 a night. With the savings come plenty of opportunities to meet new friends in a relaxed, welcoming setting. Best of all, Sin City Hostel is a short walk to the hip Art District and blocks full of breweries, restaurants, and pubs.
Palms Resort / Hardwood Suite
Las Vegas specializes in one-of-a-kind experiences, including this basketball court-themed hotel room. And by themed, we mean there is literally a locker room and Murphy beds built into a half-sized court. That’s not to mention the attending butler, secret whiskey room, and billiards lounge. These courtside tickets will cost you around $20,000 a night.
Head to southwest Las Vegas for delicious Latin comfort food and wonderful vegetarian and vegan concoctions. Whether ordering three Argentina Tacos or the Brisket Gordita, you’re looking at about $12 or less for your entire meal, a real bargain given the incredible spread and rave reviews. For the real deals, stop in on Tuesday for your $2 tacos.
Joël Robuchon Restaurant
Welcome to the only three-star Michelin restaurant in Las Vegas. Joël Robuchon is among one of the most exquisite dining experiences anywhere in the Southwest. It’s also one of those places where the prices aren’t on the menu. Before drinks, anticipate at least $120 a plate or around $500 for the popular 16-course experience. Your meal does come with bread, however!
Antique Alley Mall
With 65 businesses and more than 12,000 square feet of space, you’ll probably find whatever you’re looking for at the Antique Alley Mall. Toys, jewelry, clothes, art, memorabilia, furniture, and every imaginable category of collectible from the past 200 years are ready for perusal. Antique prices have a wide range, of course, but you’ll certainly put your dollars to good use.
House of Bijan
Socks: $95. Beanie: $680. Dress shirt: $1,650. Shawl: $2,800. Loafers: $3,800. Bijan—located in the Wynn Hotel & Casino—ranks among the most expensive boutiques in the world. Specializing in luxury goods for men, this outfitter offers only the finest accessories and apparel. Exclusivity is another reason for the eye-watering price tag. Bijan’s wares are produced in small batches, so you’ll likely never bump into another person with the same yellow alligator leather wallet ($1,880).
The Golden Tiki
Let’s cut to the chase: affordable libations aren’t difficult to find in Las Vegas. In casinos statewide, folks can get their drink for “free” while actively gaming (remember to tip your server). That said, we’re talking about the best value for your dollar, and it would be a challenge to do better than this tropical island tavern located just one mile from The Strip. Prices for beer and cocktail here are average, but don’t be afraid to make it a memorable night by getting your drink in a Souvenir Tiki Mug or their famous Dole Soft Serve Float. Also, there’s a good chance your table will be visited by a magician or a roving guitarist from the house surf rock band. Reservations recommended!
This panoramic parlor on the 23rd floor of the Waldorf Astoria offers an unrivaled view of the Las Vegas skyline. Their refined cocktail menu is here to tell the city’s story: The Spanish Trail ($21), Prohibition ($29), Sinatra ($23), Golden Knight ($24), and many others. Skybar offers its share of high-end tasting experiences, including two ounces of Remy Martin Louis XIII for $400 and a half ounce of 30-year Macallan whiskey for $450.
Where have all the coin slots gone? These days, it’s all paper vouchers, but in the city’s early days, casinos were rife with the pleasing plink of cold, hard coinage spilling into outstretched arms. The good news is that a handful of locations have kept up the old ways, including penny and nickel slots at the El Cortez and quarter-run mechanical horse races at the D Casino.
“If you need me, I’ll be in my private casino,” is a refrain not often heard around The Strip, but high rollers who need to get away from the hoi polloi can play alone if they’re willing to put up $300,000. Once these high-caliber gamblers are sequestered in one of Bellagio’s luxurious Villas, they can request any table or slot machine they wish to play. No word on if Mr. Bond will be present.
Luv-It Frozen Custard
Everyone loves Luv-It Frozen Custard. Heck, the mayor of Las Vegas proclaimed May 5 as Luv-it Frozen Custard Day and gave the shop a key to the city. This downtown establishment has been slinging sweet treats since 1973, and the prices are from the early 2000s. Get your specialty sundae (like the Cherry Yum Yum with cherry pie topping and crushed Oreos) for $5.75 or snag a double scoop cone for just $3.95.
Introducing the King Kong Sundae Challenge. Your opponent is—among many other accoutrement—24 scoops of ice cream, three lollipops, a whole can of whipped cream, and sparklers (don’t eat those). While it’s more party fare that decadent dessert (it serves 12), at $99 the King Kong is one of the most expensive desserts in town.