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“I enjoyed the El Cortez” 4 of 5 stars
Review of El Cortez Hotel & Casino

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El Cortez Hotel & Casino
2.5 of 5 Hotel   |   600 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101   |  
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Ranked #111 of 269 Hotels in Las Vegas
San Fernando, CA
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
“I enjoyed the El Cortez”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 27, 2005

The hotel is old but charming.I am 26 years old and I must admit I only saw a few people who were either my age or younger(less than a hand full).
It is definately oldschool, but I happen to like that.
The rooms are large but they have a small bathroom.The bathroom does have a window that opens for fresh air.
My favorite part about the El Cortez is the blackjack.They have $3 tables with good rules and still pay 3:2. I love the side bet also.
This Hotel/Casino doesn't compare to the strip mainly because of its location and clientel (sp?). But it is a fun experience.I understand this hotel is not for everyone though. If you love and are use to staying on the strip than this Hotel is probably not for you.
If you are like me and just go to Las Vegas to have fun, drink, and gamble with low limits than it's worth a try.

  • Stayed April 2005
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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958 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
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A TripAdvisor Member
1 of 5 stars Reviewed July 23, 2005

When I told the cab driver where I was staying, he did a double take. That should have been my warning but since I had no where else to go, I was stuck.
To say this place is tired is an understatement. Upon entering, it took me about 10 minutes to locate the 'front desk'...which is little more than a recessed kiosk. I got to the elevator and into my room.
The room was cavernous...very large and covered in old stained pink carpeting. The doors rattled and the lock didn't seem secure. At night, I wedged a chair against the door for added protection.
This was a huge room but the sparse furniture in the room was all set around the walls and made the room uncomfortably large. The bed was set against one wall and the small tv was set all the way across the room on an old dresser. It was so far away, the remote didn't work unless I got out of bed and walked up a few feet.
The casino itself is old...old...old. Carpeting is old, stained and tired. Much like the elephant's graveyard, I truly believe this is where gamblers to go die.
I played some texas hold 'em there and true to some of the 'press' the owner sat down and played with us. He was a nice enough guy but has some serious health problems and drank himself into a stupor while playing. The drink lady obviously knew him well and had been there for years. She was visibly concerned about his health and questioned his drinking...which just aggrevated the owner. It was not a pleasant scene and was actually depressing. The owner eventually staggered away.
While at the table, I struck up a conversation with the guy next to me. We were having a pleasant conversation and this particular dealer ragged on us incessantly about 'table talking'. I like social games and that's half the fun but this guy ragged us to the point that we quit tipping him. The other guy eventually told the dealer to go ---- himself and left and I followed suit.
The casino is a block off from the Fremont Street Experience and block you have to cross is a concern. The cab driver warned me not to be out at night in that area. He said there were a lot of crack heads and they were known to mug people. I ended up playing downtown a lot but made my way back before dark each evening.
Careful Kitty's is ok. It's an old diner. Food was alright and the service was friendly.
There were lots of old tired-looking people hanging around who appeared to have health related problems. I'm truly sorry for these people but I was there to have fun and it was just depressing.
I went back there once with my girlfriend to show her the place. She couldn't believe I actually stayed there. She played some slots and then said that the place 'creeped' her out and she wanted to leave NOW...
I'll stay downtown anytime and actually prefer it to the strip but I'll never make this mistake again. The room was cheap but I paid a much higher price by sacrificing my enjoyment.
I've been to Vegas many times and this was, by far, the worse experience I've ever had.

  • Stayed March 2003
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 1 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 2 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
79 helpful votes 79 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 6, 2005

Wow, I was really impressed with this place. I visited the casino in Nov 2004 and received a room offer with a weekend rate of $35. I took them up on that and was really glad I did. Just the casino alone has been cleaned up and refurbished since my last visit. I hadn't seen the rooms before, but I was VERY pleased. The room was HUGE (I had a tower king room). The check in clerk was very nice, checked us in early around 11am, and offered us a strip view (which we took and was very nice).

The room had obviously been recently remodeled. The bathroom was a little small but not uncomfortable. There was the bedroom area and a semi seperate sitting area. This room was easily worth twice what I paid for it, especially for a weekend in Vegas. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed June 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 15, 2005

My husband and I stayed June 4th and 5th at the El Cortez. Our room was neat and decorated very nicely. We loved playin at the casino and I actually won$2800.00. on the second night there playing keno. For Friday and Sat. nights, you can't beat the price and it keeps us away from the crowded strip on the weekend. We will definitely stay there again!

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Elk Grove, CA
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
47 helpful votes 47 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed June 6, 2005

The El Cortez Hotel in Vegas is a great little hidden gem as long as you know what to ask for and as long as you know where you are in the neighborhood. The hotel has a great old school feel to the lobby and casino. Plenty of different slots, video poker and some basic tables... If you are staying in the main part of the hotel, not the motel house, or the extension, but the recently upgraded rooms, then you are in for a treat. The rooms are excellent. Great, tasteful and clean... the bathroom still maintains an old 70's look, and it almost feels like you are in a submarine since the enclosure comes up and over your head. Other than that the deal is incredible and hard to beat. The cost for those rooms are next to nothing compared to some less than respectable hotels on the strip. Just keep in mind, you are located well off the strip and a few blocks from fremont experience. Some say its just a short walk, but its what you have to walk through to get there. The neighborhood is not the safest nor is it the cleanest. I am a single man in my 30's and would not dare walk the dark street to get to fremont experience. I preferred to stay at the El Cortez. Last note, food is just ok, stay away from the steak, and they don't serve to-go orders yet...

Was this review helpful? Yes 11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed May 29, 2005

We stayed here on the Friday and Sat night of our trip when the rooms on the strip were more than we were wanting to pay. We went in with low expectations and they were exceeded the rooms are basic but clean. The front desk staff was very friendly and helpful we were pleasently surprised the only complaints we had was the water in the shower was tempermental going from icy to scalding without touching it. The service at careful kittys was poor also the busgirl got our tip as she did most of our serving. Metting the owner of the casino was excing to me his hidey ho how ya doin made my day.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A TripAdvisor Member
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 8, 2005

Stayed at the El Cortez April 30 through May 2. Here's the rundown:

Although the front desk clerk was a tad cranky (in her defense, the front desk seems to be understaffed), she was quick and let us check in early. We got a room on the 14th floor (Room 1414), which was very large and clean. The bathrooms are tiny, but everything was clean and functional. Comfortable beds, and a very comfy loveseat to lounge on while checking out the view of the mountains. I also dug how the elevators to the rooms are right inside the casino - no hiking through 4 miles of hallways to get to your room. The three nights we were there were quiet. Maid service was efficient and thorough.

We only ate once at Careful Kitty's Cafe while we were there. Food was marginal - probably wouldn't eat there again. Didn't get a chance to try Roberta's.

I enjoyed the casino. Yes, it's a little rough around the edges, but that only added to its charm. Easy to navigate, and the cocktail staff was decent. I only play slots, and found a good variety to choose from. While I didn't hit anything big at the Cortez, the slots are much looser than those on the Strip. The clientele is mostly middle-aged, blue collar, and low-key. There are a few "character" types there, but I found them much less annoying than the look-at-me people and hoardes of college kids learning how to drink at the mega resorts. The casino in general had a relaxed vibe.

The location of the Cortez was outstanding - just maybe a half-block walk to the main Fremont Street scene. As for this being a "rough stretch" to walk down, I didn't think so at all. I did see a couple of working girls and a homeless person, but big deal! It's a city. Don't bother them and they won't bother you. (However, I would not recommend walking down Las Vegas Blvd. from downtown to the Strip. It didn't appear to be a war zone per se, but there were a lot of vacant lots, boarded up buildings and dealers. Take the bus or a taxi.) I loved how it was just a few steps from the hotel to the Fremont Street action with its plentiful and accessible variety of casinos, food, and shopping. I've always stayed on the Strip before, but the Cortez has converted me to a downtowner. My husband doesn't care for the Vegas thing at all, and even he had a good time.

All in all, I'd stay there again. If you're a low maintenance kind of person who wants somewhere clean, comfortable, and safe to stay and play, this is your scene. I'm looking forward to going back.

  • Stayed May 2005
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about El Cortez Hotel & Casino

Address: 600 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Nevada > Las Vegas
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#13 Best Value Hotel in Las Vegas
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:2.5 star — El Cortez Hotel & Casino 2.5*
Number of rooms: 300
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Constructed in 1941, the El Cortez Hotel and Casino is the oldest consistently running gaming property in Las Vegas. It is located in the Fremont East Entertainment District in historic downtown Las Vegas.With 362 hotel rooms including the Cabana Suites, El Cortez features full-pay single deck 21, 10x odds on craps, state of the art roulette and over 1000 slot machines. El Cortez is proudly affiliated with Michael Gaughan's South Point Sports Book.Dining options at El Cortez include: Cafe Cortez, The Flame Steakhouse, and Subway. The property also includes a gift shop and full-service beauty and barber shop. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
El Cortez Hotel Las Vegas
El Cortez Hotel And Casino
El Cortez Las Vegas

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