Blending a south Strip location with a South Beach atmosphere, the Tropicana Las Vegas features moderately priced digs, a great pool for sunbathing and a variety of entertainment.
Miami meets the Strip, an enduring Vegas landmark, casually elegant, not exorbitantly priced
What we love
The Tropicana's two-acre pool area is sunny and lush. You'll see palms trees, waterfalls and lots of grass. As a blast from the past, there's swim-up blackjack. If you feel like splashing out some money (and catching the eyes of everyone around you), reserve the island cabana.
It sits on the corner of one of the busiest intersections on the Strip. With a megaresort on each of the other three corners, everything is right there all around you -- accessible with just a short walk. And after visiting those places, it feels great to return to the more relaxed, less hectic atmosphere at the Tropicana.
The Tropicana has a first-rate spa without the attitude or high price tag. We love the touches of beach, stone and jungle at Glow, A Mandara Spa. Treatments are designed to help you achieve an inner and outer glow. Two of our favorites are the Sweet and Spicy Orange Body Scrub and the Bamboo Massage.
Good to know
Originally built in 1957, the Tropicana underwent a major overhaul in 2011, so all of the rooms are in good shape. While they don't have coffeemakers or fridges, they do feel fresh and airy and come with plantation shutters and 42-inch HD TVs.
The same can't be said for the hallways, some of which have very low ceilings. We've seen tall people have to crouch while walking through the hallway that leads past the food court into the casino.
Both room towers involve a good walk, whether you're going to or from the main entrance or self-parking garage. If you want to be situated near the pool, choose a room in the Club Tower. If you're more interested in a view of the Strip, opt for the Paradise Tower and upgrade to a high floor.
You won't find a great deal of variety in terms of food at the Tropicana. There are two upscale restaurants (open only for dinner), along with a 24-hour café, a small food court and a Starbucks. If you're looking for more choices, remember it's a short walk over to MGM Grand and New York-New York.
For a real treat, stay in one of the Tropicana's luxury villas. The Pool Villas are designed to look like an ocean-side beach house. They have private balconies and lawns overlooking the resort's pool. The Sky Villas, on the other hand, feel more like Miami penthouses. They're located on the 20th floor of the Paradise Tower and offer spectacular views of the Strip along with glamorous amenities like a gold leaf headboard.
You might smell something sweet wafting through the air when you check into the Tropicana or walk through its public areas. This is the resort's signature scent (yes, there really is such a thing). Take a good whiff of it and let the floral-based aroma transport you to the tropics.
Sit on the outdoor deck of the Beach Café, which overlooks the resort's pool. Have breakfast and wash it down with the "Diablo Beach" Mary cocktail. We also recommend trying the restaurant's Boutique Breakfast Buffet. Instead of the overwhelming selection found at traditional buffets, this one features a spread that resembles a chef's table.