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El Cortez Hotel & Casino
Ranked #89 of 263 Hotels in Las Vegas
Reviewed April 27, 2013

On our first night in Las Vegas we decided to hit up Fremont Street and see what all the commotion was about. Trying to find parking was a bit hard so we decided to Valet at El Cortez. We saw a sign on the door that said "Valet for Paying Guests Only". I was okay with just walking straight to Fremont Street and just leaving the car but my husband and our friend felt bad and wanted to gamble here a little bit. So in we walk. Completely different then any other Casino we had been in so far. This was like 'classic' Vegas. This wasn't fancy or stuck up. This was like Come, chill out, and play some slots or card games. We walked by the 'poker room' which was small, about 4 tables. Only 2 games going. The guys asked how much to buy in and they found out it was 1/3 with only a $20 buy in. They plopped down their $20 and had a seat. I decided to try it out as well. The boys did pretty well. Me not so much. I did another $20 buy in but lost it all in about an hour. I walked around a bit and decided to try some Roulette ($1Min, .25 chips) since I had never played before. The people at the table were a lot of fun and very helpful. And I hit some numbers pretty fast. The boys eventually found me here and I left up. We ended up walking around Fremont Street and then went back to get our car. We absolutely loved El Cortez! The rest of our time in Vegas we mostly stayed on the strip visiting those Casinos but on our last day the boys had a special request, they wanted to go back to El Cortez. The gambling is much more affordable and we had such a great time the first time.

The boys went straight to Poker and they probably played for about 2 hours before they both went broke. Not bad for a pretty cheap buy in. They were playing against local/regulars. But it was affordable and fun so they didn’t mind. I watched for a while, wandered and made my way back to the Roulette table. Had a great time going up and down. Most of the people at the table were beginners. I hit numbers a few times and then the boys ended up joining me and realizing how awesome Roulette is. After that we cashed out and on our way out saw that there was a blackjack table for $3. It was some weird blackjack with an extra bet after the first dealer card. I ended up cashing out at over $50. So I did pretty well. It was a lot of fun and all of the dealers were super helpful with questions and even going above and beyond to tell us if we were doing something wrong or about to make a stupid bet. Haha. I absolutely loved El Cortez and honestly out of all the casinos we went to it was my favorite. It might not be as fancy or nice as some of them but it is down to earth and a great experience.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank dazyabbey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed April 25, 2013

This was our first visit to Las Vegas. After gambling at Binions, our group decided to go down the street to El Cortez. Just the walk alone to the hotel was dark, creepy and felt dangerous. The casino room had a dismal atmosphere, unlike the upbeat, lively atmosphere of Binions. The two black jack dealers we encountered at the Royal Match Black Jack table were not helpful with beginners. The game itself was a little confusing at first and the dealers acted irritated when asked for simple instructions about the game. I bet on royal match and ended up getting the same suit. I wasn't sure where to place my cards and when I asked the dealer, she grabbed the cards out of my hand with a disgusted look on her face and placed my cards on the proper spot on the table. Yes, I understand that beginner card players may be annoying because of our inexperience but we are paying customers and shouldn't be made to feel incompetent. Another note: The gin and tonic I ordered from the cocktail waitress was watered down and tasteless. The service was so slow that we didn't see the waitress again for what seemed like an hour. I would never visit this casino again.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled with friends
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3  Thank Sherry D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 25, 2013

I stayed at the El Cortez this past week while visiting Las Vegas for work. I decided to stay here primarily because of the price since I booked it the day of. It was also nice to find a hotel that didn't charge a resort fee now that just about every hotel in Vegas does. I was pleased to find such an affordable hotel the day of, but that was the last pleasant surprise I would have on my trip. Check in was smooth and uneventful, received a coupon book at check in for free slot play $5 of any on site restaurant and a couple others I didn't use. Because I bored three cheapest room available I got one of the vintage rooms which are located just above the casino floor. Because of their location, even though it's a no smoking floor, the smell of smoke permeates the entire floor and my room smelled like someone had been smoking in it just before I walked in. In addition to that only one light in the room worked so my room always felt like a dungeon. When I brought this up to the desk I didn't even receive an apology, I was just told "we can't move you because all the other vintage rooms are reserved."
the on site subway and cafe Cortez both provide affordable options with decent food and service. I enjoyed my breakfast at the cafe Cortez one morning, although service was rather slow ask the staff I ran into were very friendly. Overall, if you don't mind the smell of smoke this hotel can be a great value for you. Rooms are cheap, dining options area cheap, but as everywhere else you get what you pay for. The only time I would stay here again would be if I got the cabana rooms which looked a world apart from the rest of the hotel.

Stayed: April 2013, traveled on business
1  Thank Pieperjm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2013

When we first got up to our room, it was outside and it looked like it was an apartment building rather then a casino. We asked to go back to the front desk to request a new room as I felt unsafe in those rooms. The lady at the front desk was wonderful. She got us a nice suite which she said was a downgrade from the room we did have but man it was SO nice compared to the outside rooms. The rooms was very big and roomy and would for sure stay here again but make sure we get us the same suite!!! We didn't eat at any of the places inside of the casino but I heard from a lot of locals that their steakhouse in amazing.

  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank YumYuminWhittier
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 20, 2013

Another fantastic trip to the El Cortez. I usually give 5 stars but deducted one this time because of a continuing problem with a pit boss there.The hotel is filled with warm, friendly people, and the Elvis impersonator in the Parlour Bar is 2 die 4!! His name is John Brooks and he is the absolute best Elvis impersonator I have ever seen, and I have seen a lot of them. He is a MUST SEE! He is there on Friday and Saturday nights.
Our room is always clean and comfy. There is a lot of very loud music from across the street until the wee hours of the morning, but we always feel like, "hey, this is Vegas!"
Food is always great and you earn comps fast on the Players Card. This is our favorite gambling place in Vegas. We are a retired couple with lots of time to travel.
The only "fly in the ointment" is a pit boss in the pit where they have their $3 BJ, and other games. He is an African American man that wears glasses, and I did not get his name, but he seems to really hate his job. He is very, very rude to the players and also to the dealers, who admit they are scared of him. I know that twice he did not record my play to my Players Card after letting it sit there for an hour, then snapping at me, and throwing my card at me, without even looking at it, when I asked if he could enter it, as I was ready to leave. Everyone at the table that knew about him said they don't know why he works there and several had had run-ins with him. We now try not to sit in his section when he is there. Watch out for him, and don't count on him reporting your play. Something about reporting your play really irks him, badly, and he will snap your head off. He is the only blemish at the El Cortez, and I wish they would have a talk with him about his hateful attitude. We are regulars at The Cortez, 2-3 times a year, for a week each time. This man treats the players like dirt, everytime we have seen him.
Other than that, we always have a fabulous time and the Cortez even gives you a free ride to the airport when you leave, with the nicest, and most informative driver! The Flame Steakhouse is wonderful, old school Vegas, and when you check in they give you a voucher for a free bottle of wine with dinner there. Very NICE!
El Cortez, I always give you 5 stars, but this time that pit boss was so rude and hateful, that I deducted a star because of him. He always is, but this time he was particularly nasty, not just to myself and my Husband, but many other players, also. If he will stop being so hateful and rude, I will be back to 5 stars. He acts this way everytime I come, and other players complain about him, too, some of them calling him "a piece of work". We are there to have a vacation and to have a great time, not have some guy who hates people and his job treat us all like dirt. We are spending most of our $$'s at The Cortez, and are dedicated repeat customers, so feel we deserve better treatment from this guy.
We have stayed at almost every hotel in Vegas in the past, including the 5 star resorts, and we now choose the El Cortez over them all.

Room Tip: If you want a fabulous view of the strip and the Strat tower, and can live with some very late music...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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4  Thank persians2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

I stayed at this hotel April 13-15, 2013 because of the location to Fremont St. I am so disallusioned with the strip and want more of the 'old' Vegas style. I never even noticed this hotel until I was looking for one near Fremont and this one offered a great nightly rate. I saw good reviews and it wasn't right on the Fremont Experience so I thought it would be a lot quieter. I had stayed at the Four Queens once and had to listen to the music all night on Fremont.

When we got there we were greeted by very nice people. The hotel is old but seemed nice enough. We wanted to stay in the tower to get away from the smoke and noise that I had read about in other reviews. I did not notice excess smoke in the casino. We went to the room and was pleasantly surprised with the size of the room. It was large, had a seating area and a balcony. They put us on the top floor facing the strip which was great. We put our stuff down and went to the cafe in the casino because we were starving. The waitress was great and so was the food. They had given us $5 off coupons per person and our prime rib meal with drink only cost us $20 for both. We then went off and explored Fremont. When we had had enough, we came back to the hotel and was amazed at all the bars that were hopping with tons of young people. The hotel is about a block from the Fremont Experience and I had never noticed those bars before. Tons of kids everywhere. Then, in a parking lot across the street, was some kind of 'party' going on. We decided to check it out and all is was was LOUD LOUD Music and vendors selling drinks and food. We were puzzled why everyone was making this such a big deal. Anyway we went back to our room for some sleep. Got to the room and we could hear the music as if it was inside the room. It was so loud! We decided to go out on the balcony and check out the view of the strip to only find the balcony door locked. We called to have it unlocked and they said the fire marshal made them keep all the balcony doors locked. Such a disappointment. By now, we just wanted to go to bed. I pulled back the covers to find one blanket about as thick as tissue paper. I had to call housekeeping to get another. I asked for two but they said only one per bed. Huh? I thought it was always a policy to keep the customer happy. My husband and I had a king size bed and when we got in, we both rolled towards the middle of the bed. The mattress was bowed down in the middle and hard as a rock. We were too tired to do anything about it and finally passed out.

The next day we went out and had a great day but did not stay too late as our flight home was at 8am. We went back to the room somewhat early and my husband decides to flip the mattress and see if that would help the bow in the middle. He took the mattress off and the frame that holds the box springs was broken in the middle. He got under the bed and snapped them back into place, put the box springs back on the frame, then the mattress back on. We remade the bed (all of this while we are on vacation) and got into bed. Slowly the bed started bowing back down in the middle. We gave up. Even though that block party was over, we could still hear the music from Fremont St and all the bars. We talked to the front desk and asked them to give us a wake up call at 5:30 so we could get to the airport by 7. We never got our wake up call! My husband woke up at 6:50 and we had to get dressed, find a taxi and get to the airport to catch our 8:00 flight. We did make it, but it was one of the most stressful, inexcusable things the hotel could have done to us. Needless to say we will not be staying there again. Our experience is only one out of many and others probably did not share the same experience. Maybe if we had a room farther away, it would have been quiet; maybe if we had a different room our bed would have been better; but the fact that we did not get a wake up call points to a hotel that does not have the experienced personnel that the larger hotel/casinos have. The only reason I gave it 3 stars is that the personnel was friendly and the room would have been nice if not for the bed.

Room Tip: Get the tower room, but get a room that is not facing the strip. The bars and Fremont St are on tha...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank JewellA_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 16, 2013

Spent 2 nights as a couples get away , rooms are Great for the price, great service & the Parlor Bar has EXCELLENT SERVICE & amazing Bloody Mary will recommend for a great VALUE over all close to Fremont Experience

  • Stayed: March 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Cody50
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 East Fremont Street, Las Vegas, NV 89101-5614
Phone Number:
Location: United States > Nevada > Las Vegas
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Casino and Gambling Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#10 Best Value Hotel in Las Vegas
#44 Casino Hotel in Las Vegas
Price Range: $66 - $212 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — El Cortez Hotel & Casino 3*
Number of rooms: 362
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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