The Plaza Hotel & Casino Downtown Las Vegas
By Steve Beauregard
There are ten hotels in downtown Las Vegas. And here I’m talking about the safe, walk able, tourist area of downtown. There are dive motels that are technically located downtown, just east of the Fremont Street area, but this list consists only of places that normal people would stay at.
There are seven hotels on Fremont Street in Las Vegas, while the other three are just steps away from the action. Two other hotels in downtown Las Vegas, the Las Vegas Club and Binion’s, are currently closed.
(Go here to find some fun things to do on Fremont Street.)
The ten open hotels are listed as follows: The Plaza Hotel and Casino, Main Street Station, The Californian, Downtown Grand, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Fremont Hotel and Casino, Four Queens, The D Las Vegas, and the El Cortez.
Here’s a brief rundown of each of these downtown properties:
Plaza Hotel and Casino
Anchoring the extreme west end of Fremont Street, The Plaza Hotel and Casino has 1,003 rooms – all of which were remodeled in an extensive 2011 makeover of the hotel.
The resort, whose address is 1 Main Street, was built in 1971, over the site of the former Union Pacific train station depot, (hence it’s former name “Union Plaza.”)
Most people will recognize the Plaza’s signature front entry way. It’s an old-school Las Vegas look of millions of tiny lights welcoming cars and guests to the resort. The lights, and hotel frontage have been seen in numerous movies, including “Casino” and “Back to the Future Part II.”
Golden Gate Hotel and Casino
Right across the street from the Plaza, the Golden Gate is one of the oldest buildings in Las Vegas, having been built in 1906. (Las Vegas was officially established a year earlier in 1905).
The newly renovated Golden Gate has 106 rooms, making it the smallest hotel downtown (but one of the coolest too). It’s decked out in a vintage Vegas Rat Pack era decor and is home to some of the best pancakes in Las Vegas at Du-Par’s on the main level.
The Golden Gate recently (2012 that is), underwent a $12 million expansion, with a new 5 story tower that houses 16 luxury suites in addition to its 106 rooms.
The hotel/casino is owned by a Detroit transplant named Derek Stevens, who also owns the D Las Vegas down Fremont Street.
Just down the block from the smallest hotel in downtown Las Vegas (Golden Gate) sits the largest hotel downtown, the Golden Nugget.
With four different towers, 9 penthouse suites, another 175 suites, the Golden Nugget has 2,419 rooms total. It’s widely recognized as the most luxurious hotel in downtown Las Vegas, with some of the finest restaurants in the area, and downtown’s finest spa.
The resort is also known for “The Tank” – its $30 million dollar swimming pool complex consisting of three levels, and a waterslide that takes riders through a 200,000 gallon aquarium full of sharks.
Four Queens Hotel and Casino
Nothing fancy, the Four Queens has 690 standard, no-frills rooms. There’s excellent fining dining downstairs, Hugo’s Cellar, which always gets great reviews, along with the Chicago Brewing Company restaurant.
(Go here to learn about how you can upgrade your hotel room with the $20 Trick in Las Vegas).
If you’re just looking for a simple place to crash in-between the gambling, partying, shows and eating, the Four Queens may be your place, as it offers some of the lowest room rates downtown. (Plus they don’t charge a resort fee).
Fremont Hotel and Casino
Opened in 1956, the Fremont Hotel and Casino is similar to the Four Queens, in that it’s a simple, average, affordable hotel in a fantastic, convenient location, right in the center of Fremont Street.
The Fremont has 447 rooms and very basic, (some would say boring) swimming pool up top. The hotel does not charge guests a resort fee.
The D Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
What until very recently was called “Fitzgerald’s” the the D Las Vegas Hotel is clean, comfortable, newly remodeled hotel that has become a great addition to the downtown Las Vegas hotel scene.
You cannot miss the giant D tower, at 34 stories, and with 638 renovated rooms, it’s the third largest hotel downtown. Like with most other downtown hotels, the swimming pool here is nothing to write home to Mom about, but overall the D Las Vegas has good rooms and reasonable rates, all in a fun casino atmosphere.
Main Street Station Casino Brewery Hotel
First off, you have to love this hotel’s name, as it combines almost everything I love in life.
The Main Street Station is just north of the Plaza Hotel, a block off of Fremont Street.
Built in 1977, and has Victorian-era theme. The hotel has 406 rooms, but overall the property is probably more known for the popular Triple Seven Brewery onsite.
It has also been featured on the Travel Channel – specifically the portions of the actual Berlin Wall found in the men’s restrooms in the casino.
California Hotel and Casino
Attached via a walkway to Main Street Station, (the two hotels share the same ownership), the California Hotel and Casino is known as a favorite for visitors from Hawaii for some reason.
With 781 rooms, it is the second largest hotel in downtown Las Vegas. Because it’s a block away from the action on Fremont Street, you can typically find very good room rates at the California.
(Additional articles: Stay on the Las Vegas Strip or on Fremont Street downtown?).
Here’s a typical room a the newly remodeled Downtown Grand
Formerly the Lady Luck back in the day, the brand new Downtown Grand opened in October of 2013 after the completion of a reported $100 million in renovation.
Self-described as “industrial chic,” the Downtown Grand sets two blocks north of Fremont Street. It has two different hotel towers, with a total of 634 rooms. As might be expected with what is basically a brand new hotel, rates are a little higher than many of its neighbors to the south on Fremont Street. Its bed and pillows get great reviews, if that’s important to you.
Another notable feature of the Downtown Grand is its pretty rooftop pool/bar/restaurant area called “Picnic.” Other than the Golden Nugget, it’s the nicest pool area in downtown Las Vegas.
Situated in the Fremont East District, which, unsurprisingly, is east of Fremont Street Experience, the El Cortez is on the National Registry of Historic Places.
The small hotel has 363 rooms and offers some of the most bargain-priced rooms downtown. It’s also very nearby the new, trendy bars popping up on East Fremont Street.
With downtown Las Vegas continuing to be a bright spot in the area’s economy, there’s always a chance the two closed hotels will reopen soon. Until then, these ten uniquely different hotels should be able to accommodate all different tastes.