Should I Stay At The El Cortez Hotel Casino In Downtown Las Vegas?

I’m thinking of staying at the El Cortez? I like the nostalgic thought of “old Vegas” but I want somewhere clean and nice. Also, is that part of downtown Las Vegas safe?

Lynn D.

el cortez las vegas lobby interior
The Lobby Stairs of the El Cortez Hotel Casino Las Vegas

The El Cortez is an often overlooked gem. If you want traditional, stay in their normal rooms (not the newer, hipper, more expensive Cabana suites across the street). The traditional rooms are clean and well-kept.

Located on East Fremont Street, it is a quick 2 block walk from the Fremont Street Experience. It is generally very safe, and surrounded by a number of great bars and restaurants.

The El Cortez has a full gambling casino with slots, table games, a sports book, and even keno! The slots are loose, and the table games have low limits with good rules.

Locals love their Parlour Bar happy hour with $5 appetizers, 1/2 priced draft beer, and 2-1 cocktails. Their other bar Ikes has similar (minus the appetizers) from 11PM – 1 AM.

Click for more info: El Cortez Hotel Casino Las Vegas

Riviera Las Vegas – Access Vegas Readers Love It!

My sister and I stayed at the Riviera last spring and the room we had there was excellent. They have indeed been re-doing the rooms. We stayed in the Monaco tower which had all new refurbished rooms. The staff there was great and we had a great time. The food was also great at Kady’s with large portions and very tasty.

Novel from Frisco, TX

I stay at the Riviera & one other Casino every Month. Yes,  EVERY Month and have for many years. When the good times were rolling, other Strip Casinos treated people like we were lucky they let us in their precious door. Since I go to Vegas every Month, I have stayed at 90% of the Strip Casinos. I will no longer step foot into an MGM Mirage property due to the insulting treatment I received from their hosts. Harrah’s properties destroyed their players club and their Slot & Video Poker pay tables. Now, of course, they want me back. Too bad.

I was always treated as a welcome guest at the Riviera, even when times were good. To me, that’s the measure of who gets my business. Over the years, I have gotten to know most of the employees in most departments. The Riviera is struggling to stay alive right now & as such has had to make a lot of cuts in personnel. Many of my friends are on lay-off call back status. This naturally translates into less service in every Department.

The housekeepers are killing themselves to clean many more rooms with less staff but I still get a big smile, sometimes a big hug and a big welcome back from them. That’s much more important to me than how often the carpet gets deep cleaned. Every department treats me like they’re glad to have me back.

Yes, you will notice some things that are not up to snuff, but they’re doing to best they can to stay in Business during these tough times. I’d rather have an elevator floor not cleaned as often as it used to be than to have no Riviera at all.

You want clean elevator floors, go stay at the Wynn where 2 Months ago it took me 3 HOURS to check in and the service was terrible. OK, they had a phone in the bathroom. I was too exhausted from checking in to use it. I’ll trade in glitz and pretend glamor for genuine hospitality any day.

The Riviera gets my business and I hope, I hope they make it through these dark days. I overlook the little things they just can’t help and enjoy the friendly spirit in spite of their fear of losing their jobs.

Judy Hinkley

Hi, love your newsletter and I just went back a couple weeks and read that you needed some people that stayed at the Riv recently to write a quick review…..My girlfriend and I stayed there Easter weekend, and I had heard that a number of rooms were renovated, most notably the Monaco tower, and I was going to ask to get upgraded to that tower when we checked in, but we were put in there anyways. We were quite happy with it, carpets looked almost brand new, flat screen tv, and clean. Ya the view was of the back end looking at the Hilton and stuff like the air conditioner looked like it was 50 years old….didn’t matter I knew not to expect a 5 star room for the price, like I said it was clean and updated..

A couple of the towers looked like they hadn’t been updated though….can’t remember which ones and I was looking from the outside anyways, but for sure Monaco is OK

Keep up the good work, hope to be back in the summer

Dale from BC Canada

Ted Responds:

Lots of love for The Riviera. No question that it is an older property but with so many people wanting to do Las Vegas “old school” it sounds like an option to check out.

Readers, what has your experience with The Riviera been? Add comments below!

Ted Newkirk
CEO, Managing Editor