Flamingo

Themed as an island paradise (and a Jimmy Buffett outpost) and located on the busiest intersection of the Strip, the Flamingo is replete with entertainment, good eats and pink flamingos.

The vibe:

Fabulously pink, tropical attitude, enduring mob-era aura

What we love:

Right next to the wildlife habitat is the kind of pool you could spend the majority of your Vegas trip at (as long as you don’t come in winter when it’s closed). Not only are there palms trees and lush greenery everywhere your eyes can see, but the main pool is interconnected to lagoon areas, a waterslide and cascading waterfall. Factor in the hot tubs and modest-sized deck (with lounge chairs that get claimed quickly, so you may want to spring for a cabana here) and you’ve got a chill vibe that’s more friendly than clubby as well as fun for all ages.

It’s hard to do better location-wise than the Flamingo. The rooms are reasonably priced especially considering you’re steps away from elite resorts and attractions like the Fountains at Bellagio, the High Roller observation wheel, the Eiffel Tower Viewing Deck and The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace.

Insider tips:

Snap a photo at Bugsy Siegel’s memorial. It’s located between the wildlife habitat and the pools, just outside the wedding chapel. Look for a stone pillar and bronze plaque set amid a beautiful garden. This marks the site of the original hotel (knocked down in 1993).

Don’t wait to check out. When lines are long, you’ll often spot a roving ambassador at the Flamingo with the ability to check you out on an iPad. The only down side: You won’t get your receipt immediately. You’ll have to wait until it’s emailed to you.

Use the Flamingo’s north doors when you’re going to The LINQ Promenade. Otherwise you’ll have to walk out onto the Strip. Trust us, you want to avoid the river of people that flows along the sidewalk here. Nothing beats the direct access you have from the resort’s side entrance.

Good to know:

The Flamingo opened in 1946. We’re telling you this for two reasons. One: That’s really cool historically. Two: We want to set your expectations appropriately. With anything that’s been around a long time, there’s going to be stuff that needs to be refurbished and carpeting that shows wear and tear. Plus, some past remodeling projects were piecemeal, which doesn’t lend to the feeling of a cohesive property. However, despite all this, you’ll find that many of the rooms and amenities are surprisingly contemporary.

Remember how we mentioned that this hotel was built in 1946…well, being constructed back then means that you’ll find low ceilings in the casino compared to those at newer properties. If you start to feel overwhelmed or closed in while gambling, stroll over to the Margaritaville Casino. The doors are open to the Strip so it feels roomier and the ventilation is better.

The Flamingo has a dedicated seven-story parking garage — used for both valet and self-parking. On busy weekends it can fill up. When this happens, valet parking may be restricted to registered guests and Total Rewards club members There is valet and self-parking. Rates vary, so click here for details.

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