The 4 Queens Hotel & Casino, Downtown Las Vegas
The Four Queens Hotel and Casino stands amongst the living ghosts of downtown Las Vegas, now known as the Fremont Experience. It is from ground level a hidden gem. Under the sparkling technology of the high tech canopy of the “experience” it garners minimal attention. The casino is small by current Las Vegas standards. Once inside it is cramped with slot machines and a surprisingly high number of table games. Magnolia’s (coffee-shop) is a few steps up from the casino floor with numerous offerings of culinary delights attractively priced. Hugo’s is a few steps down from the casino floor and is the “signature restaurant” along with the “signature pricing” of a more upscale eatery.
The hotel first opened in 1966 with an expansion in the mid 1980’s bringing a total of 600 plus rooms and suites to the downtown gaming Mecca. The rooms are small but accommodating and recently refurbished. Many offer the wide-screen television without the high-definition broadcast signals making our favorite TV stars seem a bit wider and healthier than reality. The sliding windows open about four inches allowing fresh air to circulate; a rare offering in most new hotels in Las Vegas. Above the 10th floor, views are expansive especially facing north. Be aware of the street music and loud entertainment from the street below reverberates through the evening as late as midnight. Request a south tower room and some of the noise is abated.
The beds are comfortable. The bath is small, but has all the necessary amenities. Most rooms have the now almost standard in-room safe, iron and ironing board. Coffee makers, too! So many of the strip resorts avoid this little amenity in obvious hopes that the $18 plus room service charge for three cups of caffeine is some sort of pharmaceutical service.
Transversing the 4Q’s is easy and quick. From the adjoining garage to the front desk, elevators, casino and restaurants is not an all-afternoon adventure.
Customer service is not the best at the bell desk and front desk; staff are curt and do not suffer the ignorant tourist with ease. Casino and restaurant workers have learned the art of the smile and informative chit-chat, as well as the housekeeping department. Ditto to security and maintenance.
The Four Queens is moderately priced and offer numerous lower-rate and seasonal packages. Joining the Royal Player’s Club is near-mandatory in order to take advantage of the special rates.
Downtown Las Vegas and the Fremont Experience are from a past era. This is where Las Vegas began. The “living ghosts” of the El Cortez, Fremont Hotel, Fitzgeralds, Binions (no hotel anymore), Las Vegas Club, Plaza, Golden Gate and the Golden Nugget are comparable with the Four Queens in many aspects, except for value.
You will not find Cher, Bette or Barbra in their showroom as they don’t have one. They don’t “over-glamorize” promising lavish, love-tub accommodations because they don’t have such, although some of the suites do have Jacuzzi tubs. They are straight-forward and unconventionally honest in what they do offer: clean, respectable, comfortable rooms, and a central location in the downtown “experience.”