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For $1, This Room Is Actually Pretty Good

Where: 2535 Las Vegas Blvd South [map], 89109
June 7, 2010 at 7:15 PM | by | Comment (1)

Please excuse the neighbors playing Rihanna

When you book a room at Sahara, you know not to expect much. When you book a room at Sahara for $1, that feeling grows. And when, come midnight, you park your car to check in in a garage like this and then have to walk through an entire casino which smells of stale vomit, you learn to lower your expectations all the way down. So bear in mind, we’re judging this from a low expectations viewpoint.

Check in:

Yes, you really do have to tramp through the entire casino to reach check in, and yes, it really did smell of vomit. But on the plus side, there was no queue at check in, the man was nice, and our room was just next door, in the Tangiers Tower (although to get the full Sahara experience we trekked back to the NASCAR bar to get ourselves a $1 hotdog dinner before we faced the room.

Room Reaction:

Seeing as our only knowledge of Sahara rooms came from this photo, we were expecting the worst, so on that front, we were actually pretty pleasantly surprised. Sure, the carpet was stained, so we didn’t feel too comfortable taking our shoes off. The chairs were a bit stained. And to continue the theme, the bathroom taps were kind of discolored and the shelf under the mirror had such a bad peeling paint job that you could take it out, whack it in any posh boutique hotel, and rave about the “distressed furniture”.

Having said that, the bathroom was spotless, the room seemed clean apart from the stained bits, and we really liked the curtains, which had cute stars (desert!) on instead of mud-colored stripes, and proper classy nets behind it, instead of gross plastic.

In fact, we were pretty fond of all the little Saharan touches – the North African-style back on the desk chair, the camel lamp, and the frilly bedroom mirror. But we may have been floating around in a $1 haze, because even the hot dog tasted edible this time round.

What knocked us out of the haze was the bed. Although it smelled clean, the lack of comforter and tucked in sheets made us suspicious to start with. Then, once we got into it, we realised that it appeared to have been used as a trampoline on America’s Biggest Loser. Eventually we found an angle that didn’t have us rolling into the valleys left by other people’s folds of flesh, but it took a while.

Amenity Madness:

A lonely single bar of soap and shampoo. No minibar, no water. But a notepad and a pen on the desk, which was nice.

Internet Connect:

Hallelujah for a budget hotel that has WiFi, unlike Luxor and Excalibur. The opposite of hallelujah for the fact that it costs $11.99 to connect to it. We didn’t try it.

What We Liked:

The Saharan theme – muted but there, and we appreciate a hotel that carries its theme into the bedroom. The fact that check out is at midday, instead of 11am like most hotels. And the toilet paper, which was quilted and so amazingly un-budget hotel that we took the spare roll with us. Got to get our $1’s worth.

What We Didn’t Like:

The badly made and badly fitting bed, and the uber-thin walls – we were actually soothed to sleep by our neighbors’ delightfully dull pillow talk, but if there had been sexytime going on, it would have been excruciating.

Bottom Line:

We paid $7 for our night here - $1 room and $6 resort fee – and it was definitely worth that. Roomwise, we’d put it as comparable with Excalibur and Luxor, only with a dodgy bed and not so convenient location. It’s leagues off the new Trop rooms, or the West Tower at Circus Circus, where we stayed the following night, but then again, it does beat the $275 room of hell at Caesars.

But if you can get a deal here, and you bring a clothespeg to walk through the skankfest that is the casino, you could do worse. It’s close, but we’d probably take this one over the room we had at the Stratosphere last year. The camel just clinches it.

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Sahara parking

Actually, if you drive into the rear entrance off of Paradise Road you can either valet or use the parking deck and the check in desk is just thru the doors to the left.  No traipsing through the casino.

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