M Resort Spa Casino, from $90
For travelers who'd prefer a little respite from the constant intensity of the Strip, the nearly 2-year-old M Resort, a 10-minute drive south, provides an appealingly low-key alternative. The understated design scheme is heavy on natural elements (wood floors, granite columns, amber-colored glass), and there's ample space in the 390 rooms (starting at an airy 550 square feet). The casino floor even has skylights overhead—a Vegas rarity. Still, guests won't feel too far afield, thanks to the floor-to-ceiling views of blinking Las Vegas Boulevard from most rooms. 12300 Las Vegas Blvd. S., Henderson, Nev., themresort.com, from $90.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, from $79
As part of a recent $750 million expansion, this Vegas mainstay's two new towers more than double the hotel's capacity. The 490-room Paradise Tower most closely resembles the original Hard Rock, with dark damask wallpaper, moody lighting, and leather headboards, while the 374 white-walled suites of the HRH Tower—ranging from 700 to 4,300 square feet—cater to those who like to live a little larger. Cast-iron bathtubs-for-two and touch-panel jukeboxes stocked with over 2,000 songs round out the mogul-worthy touches. 4455 Paradise Rd., hardrockhotel.com, from $79 in the Paradise Tower, from $139 in the HRH Tower.
El Cortez Cabana Suites, from $35
While the El Cortez Hotel & Casino has been an off-Strip staple since 1941, its newest five-story addition, opened in June 2009, has arrived just in time to handle the crowds now drawn to the up-and-coming Fremont East nightlife district. Consider the decor a fitting blend of rock and rococo: In the lobby, chinoiserie details mix with mid-century-inspired furniture; upstairs, the 64 guest rooms have Key-lime-colored walls, Lucite lamps, houndstooth ottomans, and white tufted-vinyl headboards that look like they could have been made from Nancy Sinatra's walkin' boots. 651 E. Ogden Ave., eccabana.com, from $35.
Golden Nugget, from $69
There's nothing particularly flashy about the 500 rooms recently added to the 25-story Rush Tower annex of downtown Las Vegas's largest hotel—and that's precisely the point. Instead of piling on faux-glamorous touches, the extension aims for no-nonsense comfort (pillow-top mattresses, down comforters, rooms that are 20 percent larger) and a clean-lined, contemporary style that incorporates brown-leather couches, dark-wood accents, and marble baths. Of course, Vegas is nothing without a little splash, which the tower's bi-level infinity pool, adjacent to a 200,000-gallon shark tank, supplies in spades. 129 E. Fremont St., goldennugget.com, from $69.