Living in Las Vegas, we don’t frequent the strip very much. It’s super expensive and there’s so many great places off the strip that typically we would just rather stay near home. But, once in a while it’s fun to play tourist and do what we call a staycation, where you go on vacation without leaving your home town. The Hard Rock Hotel was having a great deal on rooms this summer, so we decided to do a little staycation for my birthday. We booked a room for two nights and made some arrangements at the pool for one of the days we were there. Although the Hard Rock Hotel is definitely a touristy place, it’s actually not on the strip. It’s about a mile east on Paradise Road. But, what I loved about doing a staycation there is that there are tons of dining options literally right across the street, so you’re not forced to pay tourist prices at the hotel for every single meal.
We checked in with the kids in tow on Sunday and immediately hit the pool.
They have two pools, the Nirvana (all ages) and the Paradise (21+ only). Sundays are really popular at the Paradise pool because the Hard Rock hosts a pool party called Rehab that attracts a ton of people every weekend. There was definitely some good people watching to be had as we made our way to the all ages pool!
The Nirvana pool was perfect for families with kids. One side was a beach entry with sand and the other was a typical hard surface pool and there were lots of little areas to play and most of the pool was really shallow. Despite how obnoxiously loud we could hear the music playing at Rehab on our way to the Nirvana pool, once you got to the Nirvana Pool you couldn’t hear it at all, which was pretty amazing. We were able to get a few chaise lounge chairs and had a really nice afternoon swimming.
We even convinced Annalie to swim without her puddle jumper for the first time and she was really swimming! Once she realized that she wasn’t going to drown without her floatie, there was no stopping her! I was getting a little worried that I had made the mistake of putting her in a floatie too much and she had become too dependent on it, but she was a rock star that day, so I think we might just make it “disappear” so she can really work on her swimming.
After we got done at the pool, we walked across the street to Johnny Rockets for some yummy burgers and fries (and a milkshake of course!). There are tons of dining options within walking distance that are reasonably priced (burgers, sushi, pizza, Mediterranean, German, Indian, etc.). After dinner, it was back to the room for baths and pajamas. My girls and I treated ourselves to a little mani/pedi session in our room (I’m probably going to get some raised eyebrows that my 2 and 4 year old daughters are rocking black nailpolish, but when in Rome!). Our room was pretty decent. We had a really awesome view of the High Roller Observation Wheel at the Linq.
The décor was cool, black, smoky, kind of edgy looking. Beds were comfortable and although they charged a $22/night resort fee, it did include wifi, the pools, and the hotel gym.
On Monday, we ate breakfast at Mr. Lucky’s (their coffee shop). The food and service were good, but it was really overpriced. A cup of coffee was $4, which is just kind of ridiculous. But, whatever. At least my girls and I were able to share one meal.
After breakfast, Vince took the girls to his mom’s and I went for a run. It was really hot and humid, so I was debating on running on the treadmill in the hotel gym or go outside, but I had never run on the strip before and it was right there, so I opted for outside. It was so cool running on the strip. It wasn’t too crowded because it was still early and I have always said that the absolute best way to sight see is to run somewhere! I had forgotten that in order to cross most of the streets along the strip that you have to go up and over onto a bridge and there were escalators at each one, but I opted for the stairs. I must have gone up and down at least 10 flights of stairs so that was a great addition to my workout! I did a 5 mile loop and the whole thing took me about an hour with all the stops at traffic lights. It got really warm at the end, but it was really fun!
After that, Vince and I got cleaned up, ate some sandwiches and beer in the room that he had picked up and headed down to the pool. We had reserved a cabana and a day bed at the pool for the day and thank goodness because it was so hot and the sun was relentless!
Some of our friends were able to come hang out with us for the day and we all had a really good time.
The drink prices were ridiculous. They actually had a bottle of Dom Perignon on the menu for $50,000. But a bucket of beers or these individual wines were $30, so we just went with that. There was definitely some interesting people watching at the pool and they had a DJ out there playing some cool music. The service was really good, but that is to be expected when they’re charging 22% automatic gratuity on everything! And of course, my husband, who is the biggest tipper on the planet, left them even more of a tip when we settled our bill. When we had had enough at the pool we all headed over to Pink Taco for dinner. The food was so yummy after being out at the pool all day and they even brought me a giant fried ice cream for my birthday! It was the best ending to a really fun day.
In the morning after sleeping in until a whopping 6:30am (seriously my body just refuses to sleep past 7am nowadays), I was missing my girls, so we checked out, grabbed some coffee to go and went to pick up our cutie pies.
All in all, we had a great time and I think the Hard Rock Hotel is definitely doable with or without kids. If they run a similar special again, I would totally be up for it another time!
Do you ever go on staycations?
Also, don’t forget, my coconut water giveaway is still going on until Friday night!