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I Stayed in an “Original 10” Room at Golden Gate Las Vegas

Key Points:

  • This was the least functional, most cramped room I’ve ever had in Las Vegas. It was also the coolest – By a long shot.

  • Golden Gate’s “Original 10” rooms have been operating since 1906, and it was fascinating to see how hotel rooms have changed.

  • I enjoyed exploring every historically significant corner, nook, and cranny of the small, yet cozy accommodation – It was a blast to stay in.

Golden Gate’s long story started in 1906 when it opened its doors as the Hotel Nevada.

The resort boasted amenities like electric lighting, ventilation, steam heat radiators, and the first telephone in Las Vegas (the phone number? 1).

Now, over the years, Golden Gate’s story zigged and zagged with the times.

It endured gambling being outlawed in Nevada, only to be re-legalized 2 decades later, prohibition, and the end of prohibition.

Her name has changed over the years from Hotel Nevada, to the Sal Sagev Hotel, to Golden Gate as we know it today.

For a time, the resort’s beautiful exterior was covered by a disgusting (IMO) metal screen to give Golden Gate a “more modern appearance”.

Today, Golden Gate is known for its upbeat casino and portals into the resort’s rich history scattered about (more on that in a bit!).

I paid $72.26 for my one-night stay, which included the resort fee and taxes.

Exterior of Golden Gate.

Golden Gate’s Check-In Experience

Golden Gate is a small, boutique hotel, and I walked right up to the desk and had a room key in hand within 5 minutes.

You’ll want to note that some “Original 10” rooms overlook Fremont Street and will be very loud into the wee hours of the morning.

Fortunately, the front desk still had one quiet option available and I jumped on it.

My room number was 321 if you wanted to request a quiet option.

If you need a quiet room, this may not be the best option as there’s no guarantee you’ll get one.

Note that Golden Gate offers complimentary early check-in provided it’s after 1 pm and they have a room available. Checking in before that time costs $15.

Golden Gate's Hotel lobby desk with an illuminated sign that says "HOTEL" on the back wall.

Inside Golden Gate’s “Original 10” Room

I got off the elevator on floor 3, and was immediately struck by how unique this hotel is.

The hallways just felt historic, as if they were a scene from a movie or a set in a haunted house. The doors looked ancient, and the hallways were a bit of a maze.

Dimlly lit hotel hallway with dark wooden doors and red carpeting.

I reached my room (room 321) and the plaque next to the door did a nice job of getting my “nerd endorphins” flowing.

A plaque outside my room denoting it as an "Original 10" room - It was room 10 specifically.

Immediately noticeable when I opened the door was how small the room was.

Now, I knew that would be the case coming into this experience, but it’s fascinating how much hotel room standards have changed over time.

There was only enough room for one queen bed and one end table. Notably, there were only outlets and USB charge ports on the end table side of the bed.

A queen bed with a small end table to the left.
A wide angle shot of the room with a queen bed to the right, and the room's entry way to the left.
Another wide angle shot with the end table and bed to the left and 2 windows and a picture of the hotel exterior in 1906 to the right.

Opposite the bed and end table was a TV stand with a smallish TV set atop it and a chair. There was also a safe tucked inside the TV stand.

Although the room was ancient, the TV had a modern guide and the channels were easy to navigate.

The Wall opposite the bed had a small TV and a cushy chair.

The windows were paper thin and almost certainly authentic. A rarity in Las Vegas, they were openable, and I could poke my camera out to snap some pictures of Golden Gate’s hotel interior.

One of the windows in my room completely open.
The view from my open window, which was the backside of the resort.
“Louder” Original 10 rooms have a better view of Fremont Street or Main Street (toward Plaza).

In the entryway was a door that led to a closet that extended rather deep and was home to an iron, ironing board, and hangers.

A deep, skinny closet with an iron, ironing board, and wood hangers.

The bathroom is where things got real spicy… and by spicy, I mean dysfunctional (in a really fun way), ha.

For starters, the door couldn’t fully open, because the toilet got in the way.

The door frame was also not tall enough to accommodate my 6′ 5″ frame, so I had to crouch to get in to avoid hitting my head.

That crouch made it difficult to get through the very narrow opening.

If you’re on the wider side of the weight spectrum specifically, there’s a good chance you wouldn’t even be able to get into the bathroom – I’m not kidding.

I’m a tall, scrawny guy, and it was still an awkward dance trying to shimmy my way in.

Looking through the skinny opening to get into the bathroom.
View of the bathroom door from the inside. The door is barely open and is hitting the toilet.

This bathroom was so tight, that they even needed to carve a notch out of the door so that it could close past the light switch!

A close up of how they needed to notch the door to allow it to close past a light switch.
Tight fit!

The small bathroom was challenging to navigate given how tall I am. It’s fascinating that this was once accepted, and was likely even viewed as luxurious.

How times have changed.

The bathroom, with a toilet, sink, and doorway to a shower.
Cramped bathroom, with a view of the toilet, sink, and skinny entryway door.
Golden Gate's tile shower.

One word of warning: The tile floor in this shower was SLICK. I reached outside the shower to grab a towel, and my foot slid from under me.

I did that “trying to stay upright on ice skates dance” and fortunately stayed upright… but keep your movements slow and metered to avoid catastrophe.

What’s Not To Like?

Room Size

As mentioned, this room and bathroom are (absurdly) cramped by Vegas standards. If you value having space, or wide door openings, this room isn’t for you.

The bathroom was especially tricky to get into and navigate for my giant self.

Noise Intrusion

I was fortunate to receive a quiet room, which was splendidly quiet. I slept great.

That being said, it was the luck of the draw, and you may not be so lucky. If you get an “Original 10” room overlooking the Fremont Street Experience, you’ll be in for a long night.

A Hairball & Damage

On the whole, this was an absurdly clean room.

That being said, I get down on all fours to scour every corner for scuffs, dust, etc. as part of my hotel review process.

Neither of the below items ruined my stay, but it’s important that I point out both the good and bad in every room I review.

I found a clump of hair over the shower drain – In houskeeping’s defense, it was tough to see and blended in with the drain.

A clump of hair sitting atop a metal gid drain in the shower floor.
It’s like a little tumbleweed of hair.

There was also a bit of damage to the end table near the bed.

Damage to the finish on the end table near the bed.

Resort Experience

The Pool

While Golden Gate doesn’t have a pool, guests are welcome to use Circa’s across the street – A massive perk, as it’s one of the best pools in Las Vegas and open year round.

View of Circa's Stadium Swimm rooftop pooldeck from my hotel room.
Circa’s Stadium Swim

Dining Options

Golden Gate doesn’t have any restauraunts on-site. Don’t stress it, however, as restaurants are abundant (many of which are cheap) at surrounding resorts on Fremont Street.

History is Abundant

Golden Gate does a marvelous job of celebrating the historic significance of the resort.

In the high-limit slot lounge, there’s an unmarked door that opens up to part of an original wall.

Window into Golden Gate's History
Window to Golden Gate’s Original Bones

There’s also an intricately tiled fountain that dates back to 1909.

Historic Fountain at Golden Gate
Historic Fountain at Golden Gate – Circa 1909

Bar Prohibition has a plaque noting that it was once a hangout of the Rat Pack – A legacy you’re now a part of.

Plaque at Bar Prohibition!
Plaque at Bar Prohibition! Noting the Bar’s Historic Significance

Outside Golden Gate is a plaque, commemorating the site as the first in Las Vegas with a working telephone – The phone number? 1.

A plaque on the ground outside of Golden Gate commemorating the fact it was the site of the first phone in Las Vegas.

The hotel lobby is home to artifacts from the resort’s rich past including casino uniforms, chips/racks, whiskey bottles, a hotel room key, and even a hotel ledger from 1907.

A hotel ledger from 1907  on display behind glass.
Hotel ledger.

Just outside the lobby was a bank of historic slot machines.

A bank of vintage slot games on display at Golden Gate.

The Casino

While the resort may be historic, the slot game selection is modern and the casino floor has an upbeat vibe. The music is high-energy, and the volume makes communication with the craps crew a tad difficult, but it’s a fun place to hang.

The casino floor at Golden Gate.

The Verdict – Is an “Original 10” Room at Golden Gate Worth It?

Do I plan on staying in an “Original 10” room in the future? Probably not – The room, the bathroom specifically, is just too small for my massive frame, and I can’t risk getting a loud room (I’m old, and go to bed early).

Was my “Original 10” room worth the $72.26 I paid? Hell yes – This room was like a time capsule, and I’m so glad I experienced it.

I’m a Vegas history dweeb, and exploring the room was so much fun.

If you’re the type that’s nostalgic about “Vegas of Yesteryear”, I can’t recommend booking this room type enough. You’re going to love it.

Now, that being said, if I could be guaranteed a quiet standard room or suite at Golden Gate, I wouldn’t hesitate to book the resort again.

I dig the vibe in the casino, love the resort’s history, and the location is fantastic on the corner of Main and Fremont Street.

Oh, and having access to Stadium Swim is an amazing perk.

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Wednesday 3rd of July 2024

So glad to find someone else that loves the Golden Gate's vibe. The group that I travel with doesn't understand why if given a chance between staying anywhere in Vegas, I will actually chose the GG. Of course, I am under 5' so that may explain why I feel comfortable in these small rooms! Now, if I get a chance to stay in their suites I am not passing it up, they are great. Also, I am a big Rat Pack fan.

Jake Hoffman

Tuesday 9th of July 2024

It was a really unique room, for sure! Golden Gate's casino is a blast. As is the D and Circa - Derek's properties are amazing.

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