Trip to Las Vegas: Hilton Elara Review

Hotel Review: After my flight to Vegas, I was ready to get some sleep. The Elara is a hotel I’ve stayed at before and liked well enough. It’s near to the strip without being right on Las Vegas Blvd. The Elara is a Hilton Grand Vacations Resort, this basically means it’s a time share property. They also operate as a standard hotel as well, but it’s clear that the goal is timeshares and not the hotel side of the business.

I picked this hotel mostly for it’s location, but there are a few other reasons to stay here. First, The Hilton Elara is a non-gaming hotel. This means there is not a casino in the hotel. The Hilton Elara is attached to the Planet Hollywood Casino, but is not a part of it. This in my opinion is a good thing, the Las Vegas casinos can be a labyrinth to navigate and getting to your hotel room is sometimes a pain when you have to walk through a maze of slot machines and gaming tables. If you’re not much of a gambler, like myself, staying in a hotel with a casino doesn’t have much value.

Another reason for staying here is that the Hilton Elara is very close to the Las Vegas Monorail. But only if you go through the back door of both the hotel and Bally’s/Paris station. If you walk all the way around the strip to the official entrance, it will take a good half hour.

I did end up only staying here for 3 nights, even though I’ll be in Vegas for 5. This hotel was very expensive and in an interest to save my company some money, I did end up moving to the Conrad at Resorts World Las Vegas for the final 2 nights of my trip. I’ll have a full report of that hotel next.

In This Trip

1: Trip To Las Vegas: Delta 767-400 First Class (Delta One Suites) Review

2 :Trip to Las Vegas: Hilton Elara Review

     2.1: Hilton Elara Location
     2.2: Hilton Elara Lobby and Common Areas
     2.3: Hilton Elara Rooms
     2.4: Hilton Elara Kitchenette
     2.5: Hilton Elara Bathroom
     2.6: Hilton Elara View
     2.7: Hilton Elara Special Features
     2.8: Walking to the Monorail Station
     2.9: Hilton Elara Final Thoughts

3: Resorts World Las Vegas: Conrad Review

4: Las Vegas Amex Centurion Lounge Review

5: Trip To Las Vegas: Delta 767-300 Economy Review

Hilton Elara Location

The Hilton Elara is one block from The Strip(Las Vegas Blvd) on E Harmon Ave. This is a good location on the south strip. It’s very close to the major casinos and resorts in the area. Caesar’s Palace and The Bellagio are just across The Strip. The MGM is just to the south and just north is Planet Hollywood and Paris.

I will warn you though, Las Vegas is not a particularly walkable city. The hotels and resorts here are huge, they take up whole city blocks, so a hotel that’s “just a few hotels down” could easily be a mile walk. The system of overpasses and tunnels surrounding the strip is also like shoots and ladders, you never know where you’ll end up.

Taking a cab around town is honestly a pretty easy and good experience. I arrived at the hotel via taxi from the airport. The drivers are mostly pretty good and professional, though you always have to look out for a long haul. Fortunately the airport runs are flat rate so you know exactly what you’ll pay before you even get in the car.

Hilton Elara Lobby and Common Areas

Walking in from the drop off area and small parking lot is a lower level entrance hall. Outside there is a door man, bell stand, and taxi stand. In Las Vegas cabs can only pickup from designated areas, you cannot hail one from the street.

Once upstairs there is the front desk on the left. The lobby is large and looks great. Very modern space with lots of high end materials. I was unable to check in on the Hilton App and had to visit the front desk. On the right side there are several desks for the timeshare sales.

While on the property, not once did someone pressure of even mention timeshare sales to me. However the day before I checked in I was called by the hotel “about an exciting offer.” It was guised as checking on my reservation but immediately turned into a sales pitch. I declined.

The elevators are in an area that requires you to scan your room key. This is pretty common in Vegas as the lobbies are public areas and pretty well trafficked. In the elevator I noticed something weird, there are no 40-49th floors.

The guest floor hallways are generic and boring. Really nothing special here. Unfortunately, even though I requested it on my “timeshare” phone call from the day before, I was placed right next to the elevator.

Hilton Elara Rooms

Walking in, the rooms are very nice. Clean and well maintained. There is a sitting area with a sofa and coffee table.

A desk and TV area. I did use the desk and chair while on this visit, I’m not joking when I said this was a work trip.

I did get the king bed I requested so that was nice. There were outlets on both sides of the bed. For whatever reason, I just couldn’t sleep well in this bed. Not sure why, but I just wasn’t comfortable.

Hilton Elara Kitchenette

The Hilton Elara Las Vegas rooms have a small kitchenette. This includes a microwave, mini-fridge, toaster, coffee maker, and dishwasher. Thankfully there is also a roll of paper towels, always appreciate that and think more hotel rooms should have them. While you wouldn’t be able to prepare full meals here, it’s easily enough breakfast or re-warming leftovers.

There’s also a full dishware set. I’m not sure that’s really warranted, or the dishwasher, in a room like this, but then I remember this is timeshare property. I’m sure they sell this as a “fully equipped kitchen” and add a hotplate or something.

Hilton Elara Bathroom

The bathroom is a good size and is up to the standard you would expect for a modern Hilton. There is a separate toilet room within the bathroom.

The shower is a jetted tub. Not sure I’ve ever seen that before. I’d really just prefer a standard shower with a glass door. It was at least clean.

Hilton Elara View

In the evening the sunset was beautiful behind the glow of the strip. At night when the lights are on, Vegas looks great. Sadly it’s just a thin veneer.

This is the view in the daytime. It’s funny how the glamor just kinda disappears when the lights turn off.

Hilton Elara Special Features

Ok this is a little dated and somewhat funny to me. The room has BlueRay player, I’ve honestly never watched a BlueRay. The hotel also has a rental program for movies on BlueRay, you check them out with your room card. It’s like going back in time, video rental was great when I was a kid. I didn’t partake in the program.

The room also has an electric window shade. It’s a fun little feature that I liked, I just wish the control was next to the bed.

Walking to the Monorail Station

The official route is to walk through The Miracle Mile Shops, out onto The Strip, then into Ballys, through the casino, and out to the monorail station. Here’s my cheat, just walk through the back lot.

Walk out the back door of the hotel, it’s marked for the parking garage. Once outside, there is a set of stairs going down to the right. Go down stairs and you’ll be on Audrie Street. Make a left towards the station and you’ll be right under the monorail tracks.

Walk down the sidewalk towards the station. This feels very on brand for Las Vegas, walking next to a chain link fence and a parking garage while one block over is the Last Vegas Strip.

Just past the station there is a pair of grey unmarked doors, the ones without a lock, open them and you’ll be inside the station right next to the ticket machines.

Boom, you just saved 30 minutes of walking through hotels and casinos.

Hilton Elara Final Thoughts

This is a nice hotel. It’s in a good area for those who want to explore the strip yet is setback from the craziness for those who want to avoid the mess. The rooms are large and clean. I wish it was a little more quiet, but that was more of a factor of my room placement, avoid being near the elevator.

I wasn’t ever pressured or talked to about buying a timeshare. I know some people seek that out as you can often get a good deal on a hotel rate if you just say no for 2 hours, but this was a work trip, I’m on company time.

The location of this hotel is great. Being so close to the monorail was very convenient for my trip, but make sure you use the back door, otherwise it’s a real trek to the station. I did walk down to the strip one night for dinner. Taco Bell Cantina is right on the corner and has an outdoor patio overlooking Las Vegas Blvd. Eating Taco Bell with a draft beer doesn’t suck.

This is a good hotel but for what it was, is very expensive. Las Vegas is odd about pricing and I’d highly encourage someone planning a trip to look at other hotels. Not tat the Hilton Elara is bad, I just don’t think it justifies $300/night. Especially when for $105/night I was able to book the brand new Conrad at Resorts World.

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