Hotel Reviews

El Cortez Cabana Suites: Review

I had heard that El Cortez’s Cabana Suites were a little known oasis for downtown visitors. The promise of an inexpensive, upgraded room was enough to get me to book one night in October. I found that despite being a bit off the beaten path, the Cabana Suites offer a satisfying experience at a competitive rate.

I booked the smallest room available, the Cabana Deluxe, since I was traveling alone. This may have been the most compact room I’ve ever had in Vegas. If you’re traveling with a partner, you may want to consider an upgrade to the Junior or Super Suite.

It's, well, green.

It’s, well, green.

The furniture and fixtures showed some wear as the upgrades were made about 8 years ago, but the retro furniture is still felt fresh and the room was clean- that’s enough for me. The scene-stealer was the bathroom. While sized to match the rest of the room, I loved the decor. The black and white tiles just do something for me. It’s the easiest way for prospective homeowners on HGTV to win me over. For the record, they lose me whenever they claim they want an “open concept”. Of course you do. You don’t need to say that.  Who doesn’t? Is anyone looking for a house with a claustrophobic vibe?

Clean and retro.

Clean and retro.

Anyway, the bed was little used as it was my first night in Vegas and I rarely get more than a few hours of sleep when I’m in town. It was comfortable enough. I didn’t watch TV, but I turned it on to make sure it worked. It did. The rooms are designated as suites, but there is nothing exemplary about them. To be clear, they’re not bad. In fact, they’re likely, in terms of value, some of the best rooms downtown. The wall color is an interesting choice- great, though, if you’re an aspiring meteorologist and need some practice.

We got a Russian doll thing happening with that end table.

We got a Russian doll thing happening with that end table.

The best part of my stay were the lobby attendants. It’s a beautiful room and the crew manning the desk, at all hours, were fantastic. They offered water, answered questions, and were eager to explain the different amenities. The boutique hotel only has 64 rooms, so they’re able to remember names when guests return for the night. It’s a nice touch.

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The hotel is across the street from El Cortez proper, off of Ogden. It’s certainly not the flashiest of neighborhoods, but for comfort there’s a guard manning the main entrance at all times. You can only enter if you have a room key handy.

The low roller haven.

The low roller haven.

If location is an issue for you, this may not be your place. It takes seconds to get to the El Cortez casino floor, but it’s a couple blocks from the Fremont Street Experience. Minutes can feel like days if you’re desperate for some Vegas action. I didn’t mind the walk. A quick jaunt down Ogden landed me at the heralded Pizza Rock. Plus, as a low roller, I quite like El Cortez. The added distance also guarantees a much more quiet night when you finally lay your head down.

Low floors don't get much of a view.

Low floors don’t get much of a view.

The Cabana Suites aren’t for everybody. They do have some very ardent, albeit quiet fans. I don’t think they want people crowding the intimate building. The room isn’t tops for me, but for, on average, less than $100 a night, I consider it quite a nice retreat downtown.   

A couple additional notes:

The resort fee, as of this writing, is $10.95/night. Also, to check in, you have to go to the main El Cortez hotel lobby across the street. You can, however, check out in the Cabana Suites’ lobby.