The best places to stay in four price ranges: budget ($), moderate ($$), expensive ($$$), and luxury ($$$$)

$

Main Street Station

Downtown neo-Victorian gem filled with antiques and treasures from around the world. Spacious, if basic rooms have plantation-shuttered windows with views; 406 rooms and suites. Triple 7 brewpub great for sports fans. Short walk to the Fremont Street Experience. 200 N. Main Street; tel. +1 702 387 1896, 800 713 8933. www.mainstreetcasino.com

$$

Golden Nugget

“Raved about for the swimming pool’s shark-tank waterslide—instantly transforms 40-year-olds into squealing kids again.”—Jen Leo, Las Vegas correspondent, Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal Blog (travel.latimes.com/daily-deal-blog). Go glitzy downtown in 1,970 high roller–style rooms and castle-like suites. 129 E. Fremont Street; tel. +1 702 385 7111, 800 846 5336. www.goldennugget.com

Hard Rock Hotel

“Less about Vegas excess or Hard Rock Café kitsch, and more of an old-school Hollywood or rock star fantasy.”—John Speranza, senior editor, TabletHotels.com. Sexy “crash pad” suites have plasma TVs, Bose sound systems, stocked minibars; 647 rooms and suites. Summer “Rehab” pool parties are glam. 4455 Paradise Road; tel. +1 702 693 5000, 800 473 7625. www.hardrockhotel.com

New York-New York Hotel

“A cheesy but effective way to cure my homesickness. Plus, the dueling piano bar is always packed.”—Juliana Shallcross, senior editor, Hotelchatter.com. Small Park Avenue rooms evince art-deco style; delish spread of budget-priced eateries; 2,023 rooms and suites. 3790 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 740 6969, 866 815 4365. www.nynyhotelcasino.com

South Point

Get more bang for your buck south of the Strip. Oversize rooms have plasma TVs, clock radios with iPod docks, brand-name toiletries; 1,350 rooms and suites. Outdoor swimming pool, spa, cinema, and bowling alley. Free Strip shuttle service. 9777 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 796 7111, 866 791 7626. www.southpointcasino.com

The Palms

“Posh accommodations include the Hugh Hefner Sky Villa and Hardwood Suite complete with a basketball half-court.”—Juliana Shallcross. Waterfall pool bars and tattoo parlor; Moon and Playboy Club nightclubs; rock-star attitude required; 703 rooms and suites. 4321 W. Flamingo Road; tel. +1 702 942 7777, 866 942 7770. www.palms.com

$$$

Bellagio

“Marks the attempted re-imagining of Vegas as a high-end, high-class destination, plus three words: Cirque du Soleil.”—John Speranza. Mediterranean garden pools, svelte shopping, top-flight lakefront restaurants and lounges with fountain views; 3,993 rooms and suites. 3600 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 693 7111, 888 987 6667. www.bellagio.com

MGM Grand

“A good mix of fancy and reasonable rooms and rates from the Grand Tower to The Mansion, plus a smorgasbord of dining options and nightlife.”—Juliana Shallcross. Ultramodern West Wing rooms exhibit bold design; secluded “The Signature” suites often have mountain-view balconies; 5,044 rooms and suites. 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 891 7777, 877 880 0880. www.mgmgrand.com

THEhotel at Mandalay Bay

“Sleek in-room decor. During the day, kick it at Mandalay Beach’s wave pool; after dark, don’t miss Mix lounge atop the hotel.”—Juliana Shallcross. 1,117 chic contemporary suites; bold, art-filled lobby, skyline Strip views from Mix lounge; mod, Far East–inspired bathhouse spa. 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 632 7777, 877 632 7800. www.mandalaybay.com

The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Las Vegas

“Lake? Las Vegas? Only slightly more anachronistic than Bellagio’s fountains. Go on, indulge.”—Andrew Dean Nystrom, senior editor/producer, Travel, Los Angeles Times (travel.latimes.com). Far from the Strip, serene Mediterranean-style resort affords family-friendly water sports, Jack Nicklaus–designed golf course, and shopping and entertainment at MonteLago Village; 349 rooms and suites. 1610 Lake Las Vegas Parkway, Henderson; tel. +1 702 567 4700. www.ritzcarlton.com

The Westin Casuarina

A small hotel and casino just off the Strip. Close to the action without being in it. Business-minded amenities and service such as a business center, meeting rooms, free high-speed Internet access, and one-bedroom executive suites with laptop-size safes; 826 nonsmoking rooms and suites with extra-comfy beds; advanced workout facilities. 160 E. Flamingo Road; tel. +1 702 836 5900. www.westin.com/lasvegas

$$$$

Four Seasons Hotel

“Everything Vegas isn’t: blissfully theme- and casino-free. Brunch and high tea at Verandah are sublime.”—Andrew Dean Nystrom. 424 guest rooms and suites on high-level 35th to 39th tower floors only; fitness facilities for early arrivals. 3960 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 632 5000. www.fourseasons.com/lasvegas

Venetian

“A bizarre folly of a theme-park Venice elevated by fanatical attention to detail and solid luxury-hotel basics.”—John Speranza. All-suite casino hotel with 24-hour concierge level in Venezia Tower; world-renowned health spa at Grand Canal Shoppes; 4,027 suites. 3355 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 414 1000, 877 883 6423. www.venetian.com

Wynn Las Vegas

“Sequel to the Bellagio: bigger, swankier, so impossibly over-the-top it had to be named for Steve Wynn himself.”—John Speranza. Five-diamond resort rooms show off sophisticated restraint in a land of excess; intimate VIP check-in for gated, condo-size Tower Suites; 2,700 rooms and suites. 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard S.; tel. +1 702 770 7100, 877 321 9966. www.wynnlasvegas.com

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