A trip to Las Vegas always comes with the big decision of where to stay. There are so many hotels to choose from, both on and off the strip, that offer different amenities, price points, and experiences. There are plenty of luxury hotels in Vegas, but if you’re looking for something more moderately priced, read on for our review of The Orleans.
Set off-the-strip, The Orleans is an upper-middle-range hotel boasting a Mardi Gras theme. The property isn’t nearly committed to its concept as other themed hotels, such as Paris, Luxor, or the lower-end Excaliber. Instead, The Orleans works on a subtle vibe – you know it’s there, but it isn’t shoved down your throat.
The exterior is inspired by the French Quarter while the interior adopts the Mardi Gras theme with some 3D masquerade masks that hang over the casino floor. And a group of ceramic alligators, decked out in their best southern attire, greet guests at the entrance with saxophones in hand. At Christmas time, the gators don some festive, seasonal garland, but even that is not overdone.
While some tourists might be uninspired by a Las Vegas hotel that has chosen to downplay its Vegas-ness, we found it to be somewhat refreshing. As silly as this might sound, the parking lot impressed us because The Orleans is one of the very few hotels that allow for self-parking in a lot that is NOT located half a mile from the hotel property. Instead, it stretches the length of the hotel and covers several entranceways, which makes parking quick and easy and so is accessing the hotel and casino, without having to involve a paid parking lot or a valet that requires tipping. Plus, it was a breath of fresh air to play at a casino that wasn’t overly loud and beyond crowded, like you tend to find at the Flamingo, Harrah’s, or The Mirage.
The buffet is quite enjoyable. We found it to be well-varied and comparable to the bigger hotels but at a fraction of the price. And, overall, The Orleans felt comfortable with a resort type of vibe considering the onsite bowling alley, movie theater, gift shops, and an arcade, plus 15 dining options that range from snack shops to quick bites to casual and fine dining.
The budget-friendly Orleans contains 1,886 guest rooms containing flatscreen TVs, coffeemakers, and the standard hairdryer and desk, but much like the rest of the hotel, they are understated. The setup is vaguely reminiscent of something found in New Orleans with French Provincial furnishings but the vibrancy of the Mardi Gras theme is missing. The style of furniture mixed with lackluster decor tends to make the rooms look dated. For something more upscale and modern, you might want to consider booking the Executive Suite, or perhaps the 2-bedroom Louisana Suite if you’re traveling in a group or with kids who want their privacy.
The hotel offers a lovely and attractive pool. It’s certainly not the biggest you’ll find in Vegas, but it’s relaxing and refreshing without the threat of rowdy pool parties so you can feel comfortable lounging around with family. Once again, like the rest of the hotel, the pool is understated. But in a sea of over-the-top hotels, we didn’t see this as a bad thing.
PROS: The Orleans is budget-friendly with plenty to offer. The hotel is clean and well maintained and the staff is friendly. The buffet is excellent (the price has increased approx $5 since the renovation; however, it is still reasonably priced compared to most on The Strip).
CONS: Located off the strip and well past the action, there isn’t much within walking distance. It’s best to have a car if you opt for this hotel. Although the regular guest rooms are clean and comfortable, they could use some modernizing.