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Ellis Island Super 8 Newly Renovated Rooms

The VegasTripping Review 2016

Posted by Chuckmonster

Ellis Island Super8 Review

Off-Strip budget hotel Ellis Island Super 8 is known primarily for three things - having an on-site brewery, a decent pizza joint and one of the longest running discount steak specials in Las Vegas. For the last 20 years, more words have been spilled in Vegas Trip Reports about the Ellis Island steak special (w/LVA coupon) than the fountains at Bellagio or perennial TR kingpin Lotus of Siam. For whatever reason, the personality profile that writes Trip Reports also likes cheap steak, discount coupons and sublime northern Thai cuisine. Go figure.

Call me stupid, but when faced with the choice between cheap steak and no steak, I'll take no steak. I feel somewhat the same about Vegas hotel rooms. When faced with the choice of a cheap motel or staying home, I'll stay home 99% of the time. I can certifiably guarantee that there is absolutely, positively no way that I - when left to my own devices - would have chosen to stay at Ellis Island Super 8 casino.

Alas, duty called. Or... I made the mistake of asking the VegasTripping community which hotels they wanted me to stay at and review. After soliciting suggestions via @VegasTripping on Twitter and THEpoll, the most compelling arguments were made for reviews of Mandalay Bay, Treasure Island and Ellis Island Super 8... an island tour, if you will.

When I mentioned to my wife that I was planning to stay at Ellis Island, she said "No." Her primary fear, was that I would bring home bed bugs. I reassured her that I had chosen a "recently renovated" room and - fingers crossed - everything would be fine.

I booked the recently renovated option through Expedia, paying $115.45 for a Saturday night, including tax.

I arrived at Ellis Island Super 8 via car, parked in the lot and headed into the office. After a few minutes waiting, a front desk attendant called me up, took my information, swiped my credit card and handed me the keys to room 1076. I asked her if the room I was assigned was one of the "recently renovated" ones. She looked at her computer and, after a few klickity klacks of the keyboard, confirmed that the room she assigned me was indeed recently renovated. She instructed me to go through the adjacent door, turn right and head down the hallway until I found my room.

I walked about 30 yards down the hallway and came upon room 1076.

Ellis Island Super8 Review Hallway2

Looking back, the office is located where where the carpet ends. For those who hate to trudge their stuff through the casino to get to the hotel elevators, this is the jackpot of all jackpots.

Ellis Island Super8 Review Door

The door is decorated with a black and white print out of the 'Welcome to Las Vegas' sign with the words "Las Vegas" super imposed over the words "Las Vegas" on the sign. Clip art as hotel room decor. Is this a normcore inspired, avant-garde play on no-brow decor, or the genuine article. The latter, obvi.

Ellis Island Super8 Review 1076

The hotel room appears to be fortified like a tenement apartment in the South Bronx - with multiple deadbolts, chains and metal plates.

I slip my yellow Super 8 hotel key into the lock and *bleep bleep* and open the door to a newly renovated room at Ellis Island.

Before we head in, I'd like to mention that this review is detailed, contains a ton of photos and spills over multiple pages containing commentary and analysis. You can navigate through the pages by clicking on the numbers below.

On the final page of this review you will find a video walkthrough of the room as well as a second walkthrough using a black light. With the black light, we inspect the room for traces of organic matter... your guess is as good as ours as to what this organic matter actually is... animal, vegetable or room service. We call this the "black light housekeeping test."

Comments & Discussion:

Posted by nodeuces on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 11:37am:


Posted by RockChickX51 on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 1:11pm:

I'm with you. If that's "recently renovated," what did it look like before? Dear god. I've stayed in hostels in Europe that were nicee than that room. :-)
The only redeeming quality is the little patio/porch that you had.

Posted by MinVegas on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 1:46pm:

Editor's Pick for Worst Vegas Travel Agent: BigHoss

Posted by Funkhouser on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 3:43pm:

A great review of a hotel and room most of us will never get to encounter on our trips to Las Vegas (Thank GOD!). I especially enjoyed the delight and color description of the pumped in or is it left over smell of the property. Still even for a value positioned hotel in Las Vegas you managed to score a strip view room. Thanks for the continued dedication to explore Las Vegas. Keep on Trucking.

Posted by vespajet on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 3:44pm:

Hey it could have been much worse, we sadists could have demanded you stay at the Aztec Inn or one of the other ancient no-tell motels on LVB north of Sahara. Or even made you stay at one in North Las Vegas.......

Posted by ChickenboneJones on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 5:52pm:

This review makes me think of the folks that review a place like Wynn or Bellagio and give it 2 stars because there is no coffee maker or microwave. I guess in their little world, the Super 8 is a 5 star resort.

Posted by mikefromroseville on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 8:07pm:

When I saw you'd reviewed Ellis Island Super 8, I thought it's probably not that bad. I haven't stayed in a Super 8 for a long time. Much worse than what I expected, but brought back some memories of youth. Didn't know any better. Great review as always; informative and frightening. Glad you survived to shine the black light in a better place next time.

Posted by saharalv on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 8:09pm:

How many people knocked on your patio door in the middle of the night?

PS-I also "Billy Joel" it when I'm in a hotel room. Nice!

Posted by mnvegasguy on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 9:29pm:

I feel like I should drop some cash in the mail as a reward for staying a night in this dump. I never would have made it a night. Dare I say that Hooters would be an upgrade?

We have a bunch of Super 8s in the midwest and for the most part they are brutal.

Thanks for taking one for the team!

Posted by anawas on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 9:33pm:

I've always wondered what the "8" in "Super 8" means. Is it really lucky? Did the company previously attempt 7 other super motel chains? Is it 33 percent better than Motel 6?

You can tell they care about the quality of the renovations because they added a plastic corner guard (visible to the left of the interior table and chairs near the patio door), right?

All jokes aside, I'm a big fan of hotel rooms that have an empty fridge, a microwave, and a large ice bucket. And (I presume) free WiFi. The patio is a nice bonus, too, though it's not exactly a wraparound suite at the Cosmo.

But for my $100-on-a-Saturday night, I'd pick a room in downtown Vegas over this.

Oh, and sorry about the smell.

Posted by Hyperfocal on Thursday, 3rd March 2016 10:34pm:

Thanks for taking the hit to review this room. I'll buy you a drink at VZZZT. You earned it.

Posted by Drake on Friday, 4th March 2016 4:07am:

Looks like this has been a 4-to-a-room flophouse for some time. I always figured it would be comparable to Casino Royale, but CR looks high-end in comparison (at least judging by the VT 2009 review photos). Now we know!

Ellis Island: Eat, play, but get away.

Posted by Gringo on Friday, 4th March 2016 12:43pm:

Thanks for taking one for the team. Always wondered about this place, now I can add it to my personal banned list. Hilariously depressing, or Depressingly hilarious review. The hallway shot alone just screams "not what I want to see on a vegas vacation." Thanks again.

Posted by richb on Saturday, 5th March 2016 5:23pm:

Believe it or not but a Super 8 is a step up from a Days Inn. Those are the absolute worst of the barrel. A group of friends and I stayed in one about a decade ago in a crummy Indy suburb. What a dump, the cigarette smell made me nauseous the first night, the second morning I threw up. This was a non smoking room to boot, the other rooms that friends were in were worse in the stink department. Management claimed they were recently remodeled too, in fact they were still renovating the other wing. What they were remodeling I don't know, nothing looked new. I guess my idea of what remodeling is,,,,,,is very different from what these hotel owners idea of what remodeling is.

The super 8 I stayed in (the only motel in that town)last year in Tennessee was better then that room you had in Vegas. It was old (think 1970's), the only newish things a sloppy paint job and a off brand 32 inch flat screen tv. But it didn't smell bad and the only things housekeeping missed was the dust in the corners and low shelves. And it only cost 60 bucks.

How does a place like that super 8 even compete in vegas with rooms that don't cost more that are far nicer?

Posted by RockChickX51 on Tuesday, 8th March 2016 7:06am:

@vespajet I think for the new review he should definitely stay at the north Las Vegas hotel that advertises the "fantasy rooms." I think it's diagonally across from the Bonanza Gift Shop.
@mnvegasguy Hooters is an upgrade. I've stayed there before (there's a review of it on here!) The A/C unit was the best part. Because it stayed on, even after it was turned off.

Posted by wpsteel66 on Tuesday, 8th March 2016 8:47pm:

Chuck, thanks for taking one for the team. We definitely owe you one.

I hate to say that this room actually was better than the room we had at Reno Circus Circus.

But I agree with you that I would rather stay at home than be in a crappie hotel room.

Posted by levans on Thursday, 10th March 2016 1:02am:

This room would have to aim high to be a flophouse. I guess if you wanted to go to Vegas and spend no money this would be the place to stay. What the hell did the rooms look like before being remodeled?

Posted by blissfulignoramus on Friday, 11th March 2016 9:16am:

I am looking forward to Chuckmonster's upcoming review of the Quesalupa at the Taco Bell Express in McCarran Airport.

Normally I would be dismissive about this review of a Super 8 hotel. This is exactly what I would expect from a Super 8, and I am not sure why anyone would expect anything else from a Super 8. To paraphrase Lloyd Bentsen: I know bad hotel rooms in Vegas. I have stayed in them. Sir, this is not a bad hotel room in Las Vegas.

However, $115? Even on a Saturday night, that is very expensive for a low-end off-Strip motel. That's what I am paying including tax and resort fees in a few weeks for a Saturday night at the D, for an upper floor room. $115 for this room is an outrage.

Posted by Heresiarch on Wednesday, 16th March 2016 8:36pm:

This room doesn't _look_ that bad. I'd stay here -- except for the smell. I've stayed in similar motel rooms across the country. They're cheap, amateur design, no-brow decor... yeah, all that. But if there's not too much snots and it doesn't smell like ass, then it serves its purpose. Fridge and microwave are definitely big plusses on cross-country trips.

But, again, the smell. I would have requested a different room.

The rate's very high; for $115 I'd be at a Holiday Inn or some kind of Suites hotel. In Vegas I'd look downtown instead.

Also: it's called Super 8 for the same reason Motel 6 has that number: when it was started, the advertised rate was $8.88 per night.

Posted by HillBilly on Saturday, 19th March 2016 6:10pm:

The only thing that room is missing is a layer of empty liquor bottles, a hooker and Nick Cage.

Posted by n580564x on Wednesday, 6th April 2016 8:22am:

Very fair review! You pointed out the pluses and minuses and that is what a review should do. Well done. @chickenbonejones I stayed at the Wynn a couple of years ago and as per my custom I checked the date of the mattress as well. lol You would probably be surto learn it was over 6 years old, my point is the date is misleading. I slept like a baby. Back to the review, I think this might be ok for a guys weekend, you get a room with fridge, micro and coffee maker (for the hangovers. (: ) and a patio for the hot Vegas days to hang out in until it cools down enough o saunter down to the strip, add a 12 pack or 5 and Voila. Room is not as disgusting as the flamingo (barfed in my mouth thinking about those bathrooms. THE MOLD, THE HUMANITY!). BTW this is a much better and more fair review that the one Mike E did on the perfectly suitable South Point, I'm still fuming over that one!

Posted by azlefty on Sunday, 24th April 2016 2:11am:

The only thing I probably would have found to be objectionable here is the odor, and even that I've put up with many a night in my day, mainly because I'm cheap and too lazy and tired to complain. Otherwise, it was exactly what I would expect of a 1* hotel, as long as it was clean. That said, a professional carpet cleaning probably would have gone a long way to combat the odor issue. Disclaimer: I skipped the UV light video.

Actually I did find the $115 room rate to be even more objectionable. Was that a walk-up rate? Because that price reeks of desperation, in that it is the sort of rate they would only charge you if they thought there was a good chance you didn't have a lot of options.

Posted by Ggs32792 on Monday, 19th December 2016 12:20pm:

Loved the idea of having breakfast every morning at Ellis Island cafe. So over the years I have checked the rates here (never found them to be cheaper or significaly so than Bally's or Flamingo) However, never took the plunge because I cannot forget witnessing a hooker having a heated discussion with a guy missing two teeth in the parking lot at 10 am one January morning. The harsh Vegas sun permanently burned that image in my brain and I'm thankful for that. Props for giving it a shot!