Just a note, the Stardust
at the north end of the strip is no longer there
. They closed it at the end of last year and it was imploded on March 13, 2007. Las Vegas is a #1 vacation destination for those of us from Hawaii, we call it the 9th island since so many of us travel out there several times a year and there are so many Hawaii people who have relocated there. I can't go there and not see someone I know from home
I have stayed at the Flamingo--great location at the center of the strip where you can walk in either direction to visit other hotels and shops; the MGM Grand, really nice but SOOOOOO big and the walk from your room to the elevator is a nice cardio workout in itself; the Gold Coast (just a little ways off the strip next to the Rio and the Rio. I've also stayed at the Hacienda which was closed to make way for the Mandalay Bay.
Normally we stay downtown because a local travel agency down here has really cheap package deals with meals and transfers included. Downtown hotels (i.e. The Fremont, California, Golden Nugget, Four Queens, etc.) are generally a lot more inexpensive and we just grab a car and park for free at any of the strip hotels when we want to have a look around.
Have you tried a local travel agent (or have these people gone the way of the dinosaurs?
) or maybe just going online yourself to a website like travelocity? I booked a great deal for the MGM online on my own, even though my own sister is a travel agent. GOod luck and have fun!! Just talking about it makes me want to hop on a plane and go right now.