Random Travel Travel Tips

The Top Ranked Downtown Hotels and Casinos

Let’s be honest, we don’t represent the standard Vegas tourists. The well informed internet community of Vegas fanatics make up only a small sliver of the 40 million + who visit our favorite destination every year. We all knew about downtown before it was popular. Wait. Are we hipster Vegas fans? Either way, we all have our favorite hotels and casinos in the Fremont area. I prefer the somewhat claustrophobic Golden Gate for my gambling at theprofessionalsyndicate.com. A lot of you really enjoy the raucous D. For lodging, I’m partial to the Golden Nugget. Some have really liked the rooms at Downtown Grand. But what do the masses think? Do they share the same proclivities as us? Some of the results are interesting.

According to Trip Advisor, here are the top 7 rated hotels/casinos downtown. The number rating reflects the number of green orbs. Note that some some hotels rank higher than others based not on quality alone, but because of review quantity and recency. While I tend to take user reviews with truck load of salt, it is important to many properties to perform well on Trip Advisor. One tactic is to simply rebrand a struggling, newly acquired hotel. None of us are going to blame the Stevens brothers for changing the name of the Las Vegas Club.

1. Main Street Station 4/5

Not the best location downtown and the rooms aren’t going to blow you away. However, it makes up for it with great table games, cheap VP, and delicious craft beer. Are you reading this Downtown Grand?

TA reviewer: “Not bad but bit dated and clearly focused on the gambling part” (As if that’s a bad thing)

2. El Cortez Cabana Suites  4/5

Separated from the low roller haven of the El Cortez casino, the rooms are updated (2008) and lively. Check out the review at Vegas Tripping for a rundown you can trust.

TA reviewer: “Pimped Out Room” (Interesting take on the word “pimped”)

3. Downtown Grand  4/5

Folks like the rooms, but the casino, as is often stated, is quite a drag. They’ve limited table game hours and it looks more like slot parlor now. Room rates mirror that of Golden Nugget’s Carson Tower, though DTG’s are a bit nicer.

TA reviewer: “Looks Like a Lexus but designed like a Hyundai” (Is this a rap lyric?)

4. Golden Nugget  4/5

Not a surprise to be near the top. I’d stay away from the Carson Tower unless you’re a fan of Golden Girls inspired theming. The extra dollars are worth the upgrade to get access to the Gold or Rush towers. With a big casino and unique pool, it’s as close as you’ll get to a Strip resort downtown.

TA reviewer: “Carson Tower, old and it shows” (A great put down for an older woman too)

5. Binions  3.5/5

This is interesting as it doesn’t actually have a hotel anymore. People are now rating simply the casino, restaurants, and the useless $1,000,000 display. Inflation has made that much less unique. Classic Vegas and great neon.

TA reviewer: “Black Jack” (I originally thought this review was about an African American man named Jack)

6. Fremont  4/5

I think this is a fairly unassuming property, but by all accounts the rooms are not bad and the casino offers a plethora of low limit table games. Isn’t that all you need in a downtown hotel?

TA reviewer: “The good, the bad and the noisy” (Didn’t mind the Fremont, but hates Oxford commas)

7. California  3.5/5

Yeah, this is a place. Forgive me for being incredibly unexcited about this property. It’s a favorite for Hawaiians. The Boyd properties market heavily to our island friends, but I can’t muster up much of a review because I find the place to be a bore. Only me?

TA reviewer: “Best in Vegas” (Hyperbolic much?)


Do you agree with the masses? I’d probably put Golden Nugget ahead of DTG. Also, fun drinking game: take shot for every casual tourist review in which they spell it “FREEmont” Street.


About the author


Host of the Vegas Fanboy podcast. A reluctant Millennial. An amateur human.