If you are planning on visiting Las Vegas during the upcoming months for the World Series and don't have a place to stay yet, you had better start making your hotel reservations soon. The summer months are very crowded with tourists, and hotels around the Rio fill up quickly for the first few events and the days surrounding the Main Event to accommodate the thousands of entrants that these events regularly have.
The Rio is a nice place to stay and has the added benefit of being the epicenter of side games and tournaments during the months of the World Series. However, it is certainly not the only hotel option available. If you are planning on registering for an event, Harrah's currently offers preregistered room rates at Bally's, Caesars Palace, Flamingo, Harrah's, Imperial Palace, Paris, and the Rio for as low as $59/night. These are all considered fairly decent hotels and have the added luxury of being right on the Strip, which is the area most popular for tourists. All of the hotels listed above have poker rooms, but Caesars Palace and the Rio have action far above the others on the list.
If money is no option, then the nicest hotels and most luxurious rooms on the Strip are arguably the Bellagio, Wynn, and Venetian, which also have some of the best poker action in town. All three hotels cater to a wealthier clientele and attempt to spare no expense to ensure that their guests enjoy a high-class vacation. The Bellagio also has the added benefit of being right in the middle of the Strip, on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Flamingo and close to many other popular attractions. Asking for a poker room rate could potentially get you a discounted price.
There are many other hotels to choose from. If proximity to the Rio Convention Center is a priority, the Gold Coast is a popular option for poker players since it is a very short walk and is one of the cheaper casinos on the Strip. The Palms is also a popular choice, although it is a bit farther and more expensive.
Fremont Street, the heart of the downtown area, also has a number of hotel options available. While this area is popular with locals, the amount of tourists it attracts is dwindling daily. It is definitely not within walking distance to the Rio or the Strip, but you can find cheaper hotels with a less crowded and more relaxed atmosphere. Unfortunately, if you're looking for poker action concerning anything bigger than $4/8 limit or $1/2 no-limit hold'em, it is probably going to be very spotty.
Many hotel options exist and if you're not staying at the Rio, Gold Coast, or the Palms, walking to the Rio is probably out of the question anyway in the 100-120 degree weather during the summer months. Each Strip casino offers a multitude of entertainment options, whether it be the arcade and rollercoaster at New York - New York, the lion habitat at MGM, the giant aquarium at Mandalay Bay, or shopping centers at Planet Hollywood, just to name a few. Taxis are prevalent and it is hard to find a poor-quality room on the Strip, so get to it and book your room soon before the prices go up and the quality goes down!