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Reviewed 10 May 2006

I spent a four-day trip in Las Vegas and didn't stay in the El Cortez, so I can't comment on the rooms, but I visited the casino all four days. The El Cortez has improved alot in the past year-----they have redone the ceilings, lighting fixtures and replaced the blackjack tables. The place is overall alot nicer....there is a bar/lounge in the back of the casino that I think is new that is really nice with a surprisingly good selection of beers on tap.

The Tez still has single-deck blackjack, but any bet over $25 will draw a "checks play" signal from one of the dealers to let a pitboss know that there is serious player at the table. Prepare to be scrutinized by pit-bosses at single-deck tables.

The real hidden gem of the El Cortez is "Roberta's" restaurant.......I had the double lobster tail for $40 and it was worth it, the lobster tails were both very big and well-prepared. A buddy of mine had the prime rib and liked it alot....I think it was only $17. My meal came with fresh bread, an outstanding and very large bowl of corn-chowder soup, rice pilaf, and steamed spinach. Only the rice pilaf was mediocre....and actually it wasn't that bad. I had planned on ordering the rack of lamb which was listed on the website as $18....it seemed to good to be true.....instead, when I got there they had lamb chops for $30....so I opted for the lobster. The service in "Roberta's" was great and the ambience was relaxing.....not spectacular, but very nice. I like the place alot and think it's very underrated and a great value.

Summary---the El Cortez is a fun stop when downtown to see "Old School" Vegas....the place really isn't that crummy anymore and you have nothing to fear about the walk from the "Fremont Experience" overhang two blocks down to the El Cortez. Don't bother going to the Gold Spike or the Western (too trashy), but the El Cortez is worth a look.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
11  Thank Poshlost
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2006

My wife, who has never been to Vegas, booked us in the El Cortez thinking it was "on the strip". It isn't. It is in seedy downtown Las Vegas - an area where you might not feel comfortable walking after dark. Although my wife called ahead the morning we were to arrive confirming her request for a nonsmoker room, they did not save one for us. We were given a "vintage" room (code word for a room that has not been updated since 1950). At five AM the fire alarm went off for 20 minutes. The announcement said that evacuation was unnecessary, but they allowed the alarm to continue anyways. The next morning, we checked out, abandoning our already-paid next night. This was the most horrible experience we have had at ANY hotel ANYWHERE in the world. Too bad Trip Advisor does not allow a "zero" rating.

  • Stayed: May 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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8  Thank ceby
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2006

went to vegas for the third time this april and once again had a blast! I just never get bored with that town. We stayed at the El Cortez for a few nights and was extremely impressed. the staff couldn't have been nicer and we weren't quite sure what to expect with the hotel itself. but I would go back there in a heartbeat. the rooms were very nice. and we even saw about 4 different ones. they were wonderful. I would definitly recommend this hotel to anyone. We also had a wedding at the stained glass chapel and found the staff there very nice. The wedding package wasn't quite what we had expected but it all worked out ok. I would definitly ask more specific questions next time about how their services work but all in all they were ok. but I would never go through the las vegas wedding authority again. They were misleading from the start. I have been calling since my return for a rebate that was promised for the package and they won"t even answer my phone calls they got back within minutes to me when I was setting everything up and they wanted my money. but now they are totally ignoring me. so don't deal with the las vegas wedding authority. all in all had a wonderful time and plan to go back for our aniversary this fall.

1  Thank Cynthia B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 May 2006

We were going to a wedding on 4.20.06 in Vegas so we flew in a day early.
Due to Atlanta Airport’s security scare (software glitch) we arrived in Vegas hours late.
I confirmed with our internet reservation site (found through TripAdvisor) that our room would still be available.
Our rental car had left hours earlier without us, so we hoofed it on the public bus for $1.25 each. It dropped us off 1 block from the El Cortez.
Before reserving the room, I read all of the reviews and many reviews of similarly priced hotels.
I "bet" on the El Cortez due to the location and the price.

Pros:
Price ($35 incl. tax per night)
Location (1 block from Freemont Experience, Public City Bus or Strip Bus)
Amenities (Gambling, Small C-Store, Restaurant, Barber shop on site)
Ambiance (Classic Vegas as I remember it from years ago)
Free Parking (We didn't use it but I saw that it was there)
Room Toiletries (Nice assortment of soaps and girly stuff for the Misses)
HVAC (No window unit, but a functioning thermostat unit not constantly blowing)

Cons:
No elevator to our specific room (Older section, we were on the 2nd floor)
View from room (Rooftop of casino view with privacy screened window)
Small Room (Not a problem for us as we cruise a lot)

Due to the time difference and wedding events we were back and forth to the hotel every few hours. I felt safe at all hours.
If you are a confident person in you own neighborhood you will be fine here.
If you are a Nervous Mervis you will feel "funny". Not necessarily because it is unsafe, but because you are just a more anxious person and out of your normal "safety" zone.
I never felt unsafe and was grateful that such a reasonably priced hotel was downtown. There was police action all over Vegas. I look at it as the police are staying on top of crime or possible crime by being proactive. Any large city will have similar situations.
I would definitely stay here again without hesitation.
It is best for budget minded people. I'm to understand the more expensive rooms are much larger and have nicer views. Perhaps on our next trip I will upgrade.
If you have Strip related business, you must allow for travel time.
You can bypass the traffic/crowds on the Strip/Bus and take the Public City Bus that almost runs a loop around the strip.
If you are driving, Maryland Ave. runs parallel about 5 blocks to the East of the Strip.
Vegas is a fun place to visit for an interesting vacation.
Due to the 3 hour time change, the travel delay, jet lag, the bright lights, noises, smells of the city, adult oriented themes, wedding chapels on almost every corner and general humanity it was a Surreal Experience.
One that I hope to experience again soon!!!

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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21  Thank Scarybarry
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 May 2006

I absolutely loved my stay at the infamous El Cortez and would definitely stay here again. Arrived at the hotel at about eight thirty and check in took about 10-15 min's. Went up to room (#1004) and was pleasantly surprised with the cleanliness and size of the room, although the bathroom was pretty small. The hotel's casino has good /cheap black jack and $1.00 roulette which was a lot of fun and is only about two blocks from the Freemont st. experience. A lot of people have complained about the neighborhood and frankly I just don't get it. I never once felt unsafe when venturing out of the hotel to walk downtown or to the bus stop which was only about a block and a half away. At only $35 a night this place is a steal and highly recommended.

  • Stayed: April 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank thedude24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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