There is more to Vegas than the Strip!  Just a few miles North, there’s an entirely different Vegas.  One with a different vibe - looser, somewhat wilder and much more casual.  Downtown Las Vegas, or DTLV, is home to world-famous Fremont Street, some of the oldest and most well known casinos in the city, incredible restaurants, night spots, and other attractions.  It’s also home to the fabulous Downtown Grand Hotel and Casino!

On 3rd Street between Stewart and Ogden Avenues, stands the Downtown Grand, a stylish boutique hotel, with two towers, 629 rooms, a 25,000 square foot casino, two cool cocktail bars, a hip rooftop pool deck, and excellent dining and nightlife options, all within steps of DTLV’s hottest attractions.

I had often visited the downtown area over the years, but had never stayed there, so when the opportunity presented itself to spend a few nights at the Downtown Grand, I was excited.  I would finally be changing up my Vegas routine.  The experience, while different, was quite wonderful!

I arrived at the Grand around 2:00 in the afternoon, and after a short walk through their casino, found myself in their chic reception area.  The lobby was quiet and dimly lit, with slate floors and a rich chocolate brown and gold color scheme.  This dark, soothing decor brought on a feeling of relaxation and allowed me to take a deep breath after my travels.  In the center, a deconstructed “chandelier” with hanging, exposed bulbs, and strands of hand-blown glass orbs, was a nice, artistic touch, while the video display behind the reception desk gave the place a high-tech feel.  There was no line, so I was able to check in immediately, but was told I’d have to wait about one hour for my room, which I suppose made sense, as check-in time at most hotels starts at 3 pm.  I gave them my phone number, checked my bags, and wandered the casino for a while.  After a little slot play, I decided to head out to Fremont Street.  I wasn’t even a block away before my phone rang and I was told my room was ready.  

The Downtown Grand actually straddles 3rd Street, with the Casino Tower, reception, valet and the casino itself on one side, and the Grand Tower on the other - a Skybridge connects both sides.  My room was on the 24th floor of the Grand Tower, which assured me of a nice, quiet stay.  I had a standard Deluxe Room - about 350 square feet.  Not plush, but streamlined, contemporary and comfortable, with sleek furniture designed to provide maximum usefulness, while leaving more space for the guest - two queen sized pillowtop beds, an armoire, a spacious work desk/bureau, and a lighted vanity.  On the wall across from the beds, the high definition flat screen TV offered a personalized welcome message upon entry.  The bathroom was large, with a trendy, raised sink, plenty of counter space, and a combined shower/tub.  The tub, however, had no shower curtain; just a European-style glass shield at one end.  This looked nice, but left me open to the chill of the bathroom during showers.  My solution was to run the hot water and shut the bathroom door, trapping the heat.  After several minutes, I’d return and get into the tub - wasteful, maybe, but it worked.  Still, this was a small criticism, and not really worth a complaint.  My window was a unique horizontal slash that ran almost the length of the room, with a view that included the neon of several nearby hotels, a stretch of Fremont Street, and the gorgeous mountains in the distance.  The room was an oasis of peace after my busy Vegas days...and nights!

Downstairs, the casino was always busy, but never crowded.  The decor was a blend of hard and soft, modern and classic - metal struts in the ceiling complemented the warm hues of the carpeting, crystal chandeliers  were encased in skeletal metal spheres, and soft, indirect lighting offset the intensely blue LED accents of the Furnace bar.  The Sports Book was always crowded with spectators watching sporting events on multiple flat-screen displays, the Art Bar served inventive cocktails, and Stewart & Ogden, their 24 hour bistro, had the retro vibe of an old diner.  One of my favorite details was the classic ’60’s and ’70’s rock on the casino’s sound system.  I could amuse myself on the slots while singing along with David Bowie, Elton John, and The Who!

Just outside and across the street, were restaurants and night spots that have partnered with the Downtown Grand - Pizza Rock, which combines gourmet pizza with Vegas nightlife, Hogs & Heifers Saloon, the wild, honky tonk biker bar, The Commissary Latin Kitchen, and my favorite, The Triple George Grill, a fabulous steak and seafood house.  At the far end of 3rd Street, on Stewart Avenue, was the Mob Museum, and one block away, the crazy, energetic whirlwind of Fremont Street - a pedestrian mall featuring street performers, free rock concerts, vintage neon signage, and the fabulous Viva Vision LED Canopy high above the crowd!  

If you’ve never stayed in Downtown Las Vegas, I recommend it highly.  There’s so much to do, and the Downtown Grand can put you right in the middle of the action!  With a prime location, slick new accommodations, and rates starting as low as $29.00 a night, your experience can be fun-filled, stylish, and affordable!  I had a grand time.  I think you will too!