Review written by Sophie Couard, March 10 2016.
The idea for the Stratosphere in Las Vegas came to life in 1990. It would be one of the highest casino hotels in the world with an observation tower of more than 550 meters. After many delays, a fire, budget and technical problems, the resort finally opened its doors April 30, 1996, with a height of 350m.
It is located in the far north of the Las Vegas Boulevard, and is often considered as a downtown casino, although it is technically still on the Strip. The location is not really ideal, especially as it is a little isolated. It is too far north from the casinos on the Strip and not close enough to those of downtown Las Vegas.
What is worse is that it has a reputation of being located in a rather dodgy area. In fact, behind the building and parking lot is wasteland, which is a little disturbing, but the main entrance is well lit 24 hours of the day, and restaurants and motels are nearby.
The location is surely the reason why the prices at the hotel are so low. Even if the Stratosphere does not impress every visitor, it knows how to give people a good time, especially as it offers some very interesting attractions.
A classic casino
I will start this review by talking about what is most important to most players - the casino. The casino covers an area of over 7,400 m², and offers lots of slot machines and table games. There are also a poker room and a room for sports betting available in the establishment. You can find out more about the areas in the following paragraphs.
The slot machines
There are over 1,150 devices in the Stratosphere casino. Among them are many slot machines, as well as video poker, and you can also find :
- several popular games inspired by cult films like The Hangover or the series Sex in the City,
- multiple games that give the chance to win a progressive jackpot.
There are also some devices for VIP players offering very high denominations between $1 and $25.
The table games
You can also find 53 game tables with traditional games from $5. Available games are :
- America roulette,
- three-card poker,
- let it ride,
- ultimate texas hold'em,
- fortune pai gow poker.
The poker room is open 24/7 and features 10 tables with Texas Hold'em. A big tournament with a buy-in of $50 is organised every day at 7 pm.
There is also a race & sports book area that allows you to bet on a wide range of sporting events. You can also follow the competitions on different sized screens, some larger, some smaller.
As it is always the case in Las Vegas, all game rooms are accessible to everyone. However, if you wish to play the games you will have to be an adult, that is to say, be at least 21 years old.
Everything available for a pleasant stay
In addition to playing casino games, the Las Vegas Stratosphere offers their customers a big range of other activities. You can find everything in this large complex that you need for a good time and a great holiday.
The hotel of the establishment has 2,124 rooms and suites spread across three different towers: Regency, Millennium and World. You can choose from :
- the deluxe guestroom,
- the stratosphere select,
- the deluxe premier view,
- the deluxe strip view,
- the grand suite,
- the oasis suite.
Overall, the rooms are very large, comfortable and pleasant, but the bathrooms are not great, as they are not very large and poorly equipped. The decor is beautiful and the rooms are always clean, which is greatly appreciated. Given the relatively low tariffs, the value for money is very good. However, it is not really the best hotel in Las Vegas, it is rather average.
Only a few restaurants
For a casino-hotel of this scale, the Stratosphere has surprisingly few restaurants. In fact, You can only find an American all you can eat buffet and 4 restaurants :
- the Top of the World that offers international cuisine,
- the McCall's that offers a very nice seafood and meat menu,
- Roxy's Diner offering many different American dishes,
- Nunzio's Pizzeria with a wide range of pizzas and calzones,
- Fellini's that specialises in Italian cuisine.
There are also some fast food places :
- Mc Donald's,
- El Nopal Mexican Grill,
- Chicago Hot Dog Construction Co,
- Carvery 108.
If you would like to have a drink or party then you can choose from :
- the 107 Skylounge,
- the Airbar,
- the Margarita Bay,
- the Cbar,
- the Images.
Very nice attractions
Aside from the casino, the main attraction of the hotel is the observation tower. At the very top are two terraces with beautiful views of the city and the desert, as well as four rides :
- Insanity (a carousel that spins you around 275m above ground),
- X-Scream (a catapult that sends you over the edge of the tower),
- Big Shot (a tower ride that goes 50m up in the air),
- Sky Jump (a controlled decelerator descent 250m above ground).
There are also other more traditional facilities :
- two swimming pools for the general public (Radius Pool for partying and the Resort Swimming Pool for families),
- a shopping centre (Tower Shops),
- a fitness centre,
- a spa (Roni Josef Spa),
- wedding chapels.
There are also different events and shows available :
- stand up comedy (L.A. Comedy Club),
- a homage to Michael Jackson (MJ Live),
- for adults (Pin Up – The Art of Sexy).
In conclusion I can say that the Stratosphere is not the finest hotel on the Strip, nor the coolest. However, if you are looking for a comfortable and clean room at a relatively low price, and you are willing to stay in not such a good location, the Stratosphere is a good choice. And if you enjoy the thrills and rides, the amusement attractions are a significant advantage of the resort.
There is not much to say about the casino, as it is a very basic games room. However, I have noticed that the payout rates are good, and this is generally more interesting than in other more prestigious establishments, such as Caesars Palace for example.