Themed as an island paradise (and a Jimmy Buffett outpost), the Flamingo is a mid-range hotel on the busiest intersection of the Strip replete with entertainment, good eats and pink flamingos.
Fabulously pink, tropical attitude, enduring mob-era aura
We can't get enough of those flamboyant pink flamingos. There are two giant flamingo statues at the entrance from The LINQ Promenade. Many neon ones adorn the resort's awesome pulsating façade. And we could watch the flock that resides in the wildlife habitat -- with their bright plumage, curvy beaks, long necks and even longer legs -- strut around all day long.
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 of Bellagio, the High Roller observation wheel, the half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower and The Forum Shops at Caesars.
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.
Now this is going to sound weird but when booking your stay, you really should go with the GO rooms (remodeled in 2006) versus the Fab rooms (remodeled in 2012). Hang in with us here…even though the GO rooms are the older ones, they were completely renovated. That means they have more modern accents, like the white patent leather headboards and renovated bathrooms. The Fab rooms, while renovated in the room area, were not overhauled in the bathrooms, which still have old fixtures and wallpaper.
The suites at the Flamingo can also be a mixed bag. We recommend you stick with the most modern ones -- the GO mini suites, the Fab suites and the Neapolitan suites.
The Flamingo has six different room towers. This can make finding your room a challenge -- especially in terms of the elevators. Different elevators access different floors in different towers. We're not above employing the parking garage trick and taking a picture with our cell phone to remember our elevator.
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.
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).
Check out the "Las Vegas Cutie" at Margaritaville restaurant. In the center of the bar, there's a three-story volcano. During regular intervals at night, beautiful bikini-clad waitresses (hence being dubbed "cuties") slide down from top of it and land in a 300-gallon blender of margarita mix. Then they are fished out with a giant metal hook. Ah yes, only in Vegas.
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.