Eye catching towers in lively blue and red colors drove my attention to this charming castle during my first visit to Vegas so I thought it would be romantic to book my own private chamber at Excalibur Hotel Casino this time. Plus, to be completely honest, I wanted to stay as close to Mandalay Bay convention center as possible, since I was attending the Supply Side West trade show there.
Their weekly rate is quite affordable, however keep in mind the extra 29$ per night “resort fee” which will be added to your final receipt. The fee is common for all Vegas hotels and even for some motels. It includes Wi-Fi, fitness access and some other things not worth mentioning. But not the fridge – for that you have to pay extra. Yep, they surely know how to do business here …
Location and access
The hotel is located in the southern part of the Strip and it is very close to the airport (Taxi ride takes about 10 minutes). Be ready for the queue for the check in at the reception desk. They have about 5 people working there, however they somehow manage to keep the line busy all the time.
You can reach the nearby hotels (Mandalay Bay, Delano, Luxor, New York, MGM and Tropicana) on foot (Mandalay Bay also offers a free tram ride to Excalibur), but if you want to explore further, I advise you to buy a bus ticket, which will get you to various Strip locations and take it on foot again from there. Walking all the way to The Fashion Show Mall or the Venetian is doable but can be quite exhausting, especially if you repeat it for several days. The bus station is just around the corner, which is actually quite convenient.
I am sure most of you have heard about the legendary sword which was owned by King Arthur. Its name became quite popular and it has been used in many films and fictions. If you are into such things, check Excalibur movie, it has a pretty good IMDB rate.
The lively colored towers are definitely one of the most memorable decorations in Vegas architecture. The red, blue and golden rounded roofs are even more fascinating at night and you can see them glowing from very far away. What is also special about Excalibur is the tower clock in the back entrance – our Big Bus tour guide told us that this is the only “public” clock you can see in Vegas.
Excalibur Hotel Casino interior is not as charming as it promises from the outside. If you look for the details carefully, you will find some medieval decoration, but that didn’t impress me much. Maybe due to the fact that I took this hotel for granted and didn’t pay as much attention to it as I would if I was on a “hotel tour”. There is a Fun Dungeon in the basement, which might be interesting for the kids. If you want to experience some Middle Age atmosphere, you can visit the Tournament of Kings show, which also includes a three course meal that you eat with your fingers.
The Casino is about average size, not too crowded, despite the fact that Excalibur still owns the record in Vegas jackpot history so far. It was in 2003 when a 25-year-old software engineer put in 100$ in the slot machine and won 39.7 million dollars. I wonder how many programs he developed since that day …
Like most of the hotels in Vegas, Excalibur offers a large pool area outside, which looks pretty cool from the photos, however I didn’t check it closely – I only had 2 days for shopping and sightseeing.
Excalibur offers 3.991 rooms. I stayed in a standard tower room, with a sunrise – street view; however I was never up that early to actually catch the morning sun. The room was clean but pretty Spartan, with all the basics, nothing special. The only medieval décor were the lights, which I already forgot how they looked like. Anyway, if you check the hotel on their website, don’t be deceived by the renders – the rooms definitely need the refreshment from the inside. I did read that contemporary rooms were remodeled in 2009 so they might be less shabby. But in the end of the day ask yourself what you actually expect from your hotel. I bet 90% of you just need to spend the night. If not, then pay those extra bucks.
If there was anything to resent, besides the ridiculous fridge fee, then it was the absence of the coffee maker in the room. I mean come on, you can find the machine in almost any cheap motel. Sure, you can grab a coffee at Starbucks, which is conveniently located in the lobby close to the elevators – that is if you appreciate their overpriced brown-colored boiling water. I don’t. So there you have it, Excalibur, a very large booooo from me in the end.
Anda’s rate: 6.5 from 10
Bottom line: Cute from the outside, a bit poor from the inside, but all in all Excalibur Hotel Casino is a good choice for the price, in a very convenient location.