Good question. I myself was looking into the hotels a while ago planning a 6 day trip in june. It depends on what your budget is and how many days. If its a short stay I would do cosmopolitan or the grand chateaux. They come with a pricey tag though and resort fees as well as parking fees. But you will enjoy nice rooms, nice pool and lively environment. If you want something maybe less expensive theres the Ren which I believe has a concierge lounge and prices arent too steep, its also not too far from the strip.
I personally chose the residence inn Hughes center because its cheap (used points since its a cat4), it has amenities for an extended stay, and it their rooms will go renovations starting this month.
As far as the "vegas experience" I've been there 3 times and I rarely spent time in the room since I was out all day from casino to casino, restaurant to restaurant, show to show and I would only use the room to sleep. You can enjoy vegas regardless of where you stay as long as its a nice clean bed. In my opinion
If you want Vegas experience stay at the Cosmo, great location, restaurants, on the strip. If cost is an issue, lots of other options, not sure who has concierge room. Have stayed at Ren. many times at convention center, which has concierge floor off the strip. JM's comments are true, as unless you are working in LV, you really only sleep in your room anyway.
I canceled my May reservation for the Grand Chateau a few days ago. I wanted to see the Mayweather v Pacquiao fight. Due to schedule conflicts and the rumored tens of thousands of dollars for decent seats it just was not going to happen. Shame though, the hotel looked really nice.
I've stayed at the Cosmo, Grand Chateau, and the JW Marriott in Vegas. Hands Down the Cosmo is my favorite place to stay in Vegas. The rooms are huge and the Cosmo is very good at giving Platinum members room upgrades. If the Cosmo is too expensive then I recommend the Grand Chateau which has just open a new tower and remodeled its original towers. Very spacious suites and a short walk to many attractions on the strip. I recommend staying away from the JW Marriott as it is very far away from the strip and it's rooms are outdated.
The Grand Chateau would be a good choice, and you save a little money compared to the Cosmo. It's located less than half a mile from the Strip, with free valet parking and no resort fees. Normally you can book a one bedroom villa for less than $170. If you are a MVC owner use the MOD code and get it as low as $110. They recently opened a second pool area (with bar & grill), and a new lobby lounge with food & drinks. Hey the Cosmopolitan is just a short walk away, and if you show them your Chateau room key they'll give you $25 slot credit for the casino.
I have stayed at both the Cosmopolitan and the Grand Chateau numerous times. As others have said, if you can find a good rate or you are using points, the Cosmopolitan is the place to stay. They are very good about upgrading Platinum members although an upgrade means a view. If you book a city room you will not be upgraded to a balcony room overlooking the fountains. Also, they do not have a lounge and the only other benefit for Marriott Platinum members is that you can check-in/out at the VIP room which is great. If you going to stay at the Cosmo, you have to stay in the one bedroom with Japanese tub and balcony and hopefully they will upgrade you to a room overlooking the fountains. It is truly a great experience! However, I would not pay the rates they charge for the weekends so unless I was staying there for 5 nights using points or on a slow weekday with a good rate, I would not stay there. It would not be worth it to me to stay on points unless I was staying the 5 nights for the one free night.
I will be there again in July and staying at the Grand Chateau but I get good rates there by using either a Government rate or a Marriott Vacation owners discount rate. I always stay in the one bedroom. Again, there are no benefits for a Platinum member at this hotel or any Vacation club hotel but this hotel is in a great location for the money. Right across the street from Miracle Mile mall and Planet Hollywood and I like the rooms and new pool.
I have also stayed at the Residence Inn at Hughes center (?). This is also not a bad choice. You will find the best rates here. It is not on strip but about a mile walk to the strip and you are right in the center of the strip. In addition, about two blocks down is the Hard Rock and there are restaurants and a Starbucks right there. This is a great choice if you want to go on a budget with a nice room and free breakfast and still within walking distance to the strip.
But this would not be a resort. If you want to experience a Las Vegas pool resort this would not be the place.
I know others have recommended the Renaissance and Marriott by the convention center but you would need to take the metro rail to get anywhere on the strip from there and I like be closer. So my choices would be:
Cosmo depending on cost or points
Residence Inn Hughes Center depending on if pool is important to you.
Non-Marriott hotel on the strip for the experience.