The Golden Nugget is one of 7 Hotels on Fremont Street
By Steve Beauregard
Despite its iconic status and popularity, there are surprisingly few hotels on Fremont Street in Las Vegas.
In fact, Fremont Street is home to just seven open hotels. These range from very low priced hotels with dated, bare bones rooms, to contemporary resorts with elegantly appointed suites rivaling the luxury found on the Strip.
It’s surprising there aren’t more. I love staying right on Fremont. Staying at a hotel directly on Fremont Street offers you the convenience of easy access to the pulsating action on this wacky, exciting pedestrian boulevard, while allowing you a quick escape back to the quiet and comfort of your hotel room when the party is over.
Unlike the Strip, where going back to your room after a night out may involve taxis, trams, buses and/or literally miles of walking, “calling it a night” on Fremont Street means taking a few steps into a casino and into a nearby elevator up to your room. The downside is that rooms facing Fremont are subject to the loud noise of whatever band is playing on the street below you. If this bothers you, be sure to ask for a “quiet side” room when checking in.
So if you plan on crashing right in the heart of the action, here are your seven Fremont Street hotel options: The Plaza Hotel and Casino, Golden Gate, Golden Nugget, Fremont Hotel and Casino, Four Queens, The D Las Vegas, and the El Cortez.
(Additional articles: Stay on the Las Vegas Strip or on Fremont Street downtown?).
A couple of side notes: While another casino, Binion’s Gambling Hall, does have a tower and hotel (I stayed there on my bachelor party), the hotel is currently closed due to slow business.
The same also applies to the Las Vegas Club Hotel and Casino which, despite its name, does not have an operating hotel. Owners have hinted about converting the property’s 400 hotel rooms into condominiums, but nothing has been announced.
(Here’s a quick look at the Golden Nugget)
Please also note that this list only contains hotels physically located on Fremont Street. More specifically, it’s about hotels in the bustling tourist area under, or very nearby, the large canopy under which the Fremont Street light show takes place. (You can go here for a full list of hotels in downtown Las Vegas).
While Fremont Street stretches for miles, I’m only counting the touristy downtown area Fremont hotels. While other hotels, may be, technically, located on Fremont, Street, they are situated blocks east of the Fremont Street Experience in areas that are pretty sketchy, and not for people on vacation. Unless your vacation involves the purchase of crack.
I’m also not counting other hotels (some of them very respectable) that are within a block or two of Fremont Street, such as Main Street Station, The Californian, and the Downtown Grand.
Here is a quick rundown of the seven hotels currently open on Fremont Street:
Plaza Hotel and Casino
Formerly the Union Plaza, you’ll recognize this hotel as Biff’s headquarters in “Back to the Future II.”
I stayed here in 2005, when it was run down and dirty. Since then however, the resort has undergone a $35 million renovation to its 1,003 rooms (in 2011). The hotel upgraded its rooms furnishing by purchasing all the furniture that wasn’t needed when the luxurious, planned Strip resort, the Fontainbleau, halted construction in 2009.
Rates here can go in the $90 a night range for a Saturday. While their pool is modest, it’s location on the rooftop offers fantastic views. The Plaza Hotel and Casino charges a $12 daily resort fee.
One of Las Vegas’ oldest hotels, this hotel had the city’s first phone number (“1”).
Like the D Las Vegas down the street, this boutique hotel is owned by Derek Stevens. Also like the D, the resort and rooms have been renovated, from top to bottom.
On a recent Tuesday, rates were $9 for a room. That’s correct: $9. Of course, that doesn’t include the $20 resort fee and taxes, but still: $9. The Golden Gate has just 106 rooms, and 16 new suites.
The Golden Nugget is the “golden” standard for Fremont Street hotels. It’s the kind of place that would fit it seamlessly amongst the fancier Strip resorts.
By far the largest hotel on Fremont Street, the hotel has just over 2,400 rooms. With many different towers and suites, rates here can be all over the map, but nightly fees for a Saturday always seem to be in the $100 plus range.
The Golden Nugget does not charge a resort fee, although it does charge a nightly $5 “Downtown Destination” fee, ostensibly a fee designed to help you enjoy the Fremont Street Experience light show. Bleh.
In addition to being the most luxurious hotel on Fremont, the Golden Nugget has, by far, downtown’s best pool area and spa.
This hotel, which opened in 1966, boasts 690 rooms, including 45 suites. A very affordable resort, it has small, basic rooms, with coffee makers and 32 inch flat TVs. The big selling point with the Four Queens Hotel and Casino (other than its fantastic location in the heart of the action) is that it is one of the few remaining hotels in Las Vegas without a resort fee.
On a recent Saturday night, when Strip hotel rooms can run into the $300 range easily, a room at the Four Queens could be had for $34 a night.
Fremont Hotel and Casino
Not much to say here, other than it has 447 rooms and (more importantly), margaritas at the main casino bar that cost just one dollar.
For reasons that escape me, Fremont Hotel and Casino rooms can often go (on weekends) for much more than competing properties. Their weekday rates, on the other hand, are very competitive with places like the Four Queens and The D. By the way, the Fremont Hotel and Casino does not charge a resort fee.
The D Las Vegas Hotel and Casino
The new kid on the block is what used to be Fitzgerald’s, and it’s a wonderful new addition to the Fremont Street Hotel scene.
The 638 newly remodeled rooms are clean, modern, and attractive. And while The D may not have the Golden Nugget’s level of luxury, it doesn’t have its higher prices either.
Four Queens Hotel & Casino
Derek Stevens, owner of the D, has done a remarkable job with this property, and if you’re looking for a clean, contemporary, affordable hotel room, the D Las Vegas Hotel is good compromise between the low rent Plaza, and the high-end Golden Nugget.
Just a block away from the Fremont Street Experience, the El Cortez is in the heart of the upcoming Fremont Street East district. The iconic hotel was once owned by Bugsy Siegel. Believe it or not, it hasn’t changed its sign or exterior since opening in 1941.
Popular with locals, the El Cortez is another Fremont Street hotel where you can get extremely cheap hotel rooms, especially during the weekday, when some of the hotel’s 364 rooms can be had for just $19.
As for the reviews of El Cortez’s rooms? Let’s just say that you get what you pay for.
Overall, the seven hotels listed here should give you plenty of options to experience the downtown party while providing quick access for you to enjoy all of the gun things to do on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.