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THE FREMONT HOTEL

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Downtown Las Vegas

200 East Fremont St.

Las Vegas, NV 89101

800-634-6182

website

Check Rates

452 Rooms

$35 and up double

Avg. $50-$100 per night

None

69

AT A GLANCE

Highs

Friendly service; often very cheap room rates.

Lows

Casino is a bit crowded; not much to do here.

Location: 6

It's Downtown, but right on Fremont St.

Price: 9

It's usually easy to get a great bargain here.

Value: 8

Easy to feel like you're getting a deal.

Rooms: 6

A little small, but very nice, clean, and comfortable.

Casino: 6

Kind of crowded.

Amenities: 5

Rooms could use a few more of niceties.

Facilities: 5

Suffers for lack of a pool, showroom, etc.

Service: 10

They make you feel like you're coming home.

Fun: 7

It's easy to have a good time here.

Bonus: 7

One of the best of Downtown.

Total: 69

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FULL REVIEW

The Fremont is a Downtown Las Vegas landmark, having been in operation for more than 50 years since 1956. In a city that seems to delight in tearing down or remodeling its history, experiencing a bit of "old" Las Vegas is a welcome change from the occasionally over-processed palaces on The Strip.

Located on The Fremont Street Experience, a dazzling light and sound show, The Fremont casino area is small by Strip standards (only 32,000-square-feet) but it is jammed with just about everything you'd want - a nice mix of slots, video poker, and table games with relatively low limits - yes, you may be able to find $2 blackjack tables here.

As with most Downtown casinos, they've crammed a lot of stuff into a relatively small space so walkways are narrow and personal space is at a premium. Despite this they've done a great job keeping the place airy and bright so there is a very low claustrophobia level.

As with the casino, the rest of the hotel is small by comparison as well. There are only 447 rooms - many hotels on The Strip have 10 times that amount - but there are benefits to being in a hotel of this size. For instance you don't have to don hiking boots and bring a bottle of water to make it from your room to the elevator. In fact, getting from your room to the front door or the valet parking can be done in a couple of minutes - something I defy you to do at one of the gigantic hotels.

The rooms themselves are also smaller than those of its Strip brethren but really, how much time are you planning on spending in the room anyway? The furnishings are clean and well-kept, with a standard room featuring a television with pay-per-view movies, a hair dryer, a safe, iron and board, and Internet service. Upgraded rooms come equipped with a coffee maker and a small refrigerator.

Be aware that the bathrooms are tiny. To be fair it is no smaller than what you'd find at your local Motel 6, but you can forget about sharing it with your spouse. So take turns and relax - you're on vacation.

In addition to the aforementioned full-service casino, the hotel has several restaurants but that's about it in terms of facilities. There is no pool (although you can use the one next door at The California, no self-parking (valet only but you can get validation), no shopping mall (although there are a couple of basic shops), no showroom, no 24-hour room service, and no roller coasters, 3-D motion simulators, white tigers, or stunt shows. On the plus side you are literally steps away from a half-dozen other hotels so you can do a lot of casino hopping in a short amount of time and there is a free shuttle to sister property Sam's Town over on Boulder Highway, from which you could catch a free shuttle to The Strip if you wanted.

Worth mentioning is the fact that although having the Fremont Street Experience so close is kind of cool, it can also be a bit distracting. Shows run every hour on the hour after dark so if you are in your room in the evening it's a bit loud. In fact on one visit I sat in my room at midnight listening to the closing strains of the theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey." I'm sure there's a joke in there somewhere I just can't think of one right now.

Of particular note is the incredibly friendly staff. Everyone I encountered - from the valet parking attendants to the cocktail waitresses to the dealers and beyond - was unbelievably personable. One lady at the front desk greeted everyone as if they were her grandchildren. It's a lovely feeling and quite a welcome relief from the professionally brusque manner in which you are treated in most places in Las Vegas.

Cost is a big motivator here. You can often get a room here for as low as $35 a night, although it can spring up to near $100 for busy weekends and convention periods. Even so, you'll probably be paying half what you would on the Strip and often even less.

Overall, I enjoyed The Fremont and while it may not be my first choice when I visit Vegas, it's definitely on my list of recommended hotels.

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