Good value for those among us who are looking for a decent room at the best intersection in town. It's too bad it's not as orange and pink as it used to be. But it's downright hipster in the Go rooms.
Coupons Available for Flamingo Hotel:
20% off breakfast at Margaritaville and 15% off $40 or more at Hamada. (Click Here For More Info.)
Room Quality: There is a wide array of room qualities because of the multiple expansions. The newer rooms tend to be nicer, and the older ones, while still okay, are, well, older. All are clean, and all have irons and dryers. A big plus is that many rooms are directly above the casino so there aren't as many long walks to the elevators as at some of the neighboring mega-resorts. Also, it is right on the Strip, not set back, so you can get a fantastic view. Something Flamingo calls the "Go Rooms" are all high-tech with flat-panel TVs, iPod docks, fancy clock radios, goofy retro decor like from a Rock Hudson movie, primary colors, separate showers and tubs, and TVs in the bathroom mirrors. The Flamingo Hotel is at one of the best corners in Vegas. They have added towers several times, so they are a bit scattered about.
Service Quality: Good. This place is enormous but well staffed. They do a decent business trade, so they can address your business needs, and they have a business center. Check-in can be a nightmare on Friday afternoons, but the good news is electronic kiosks for checking in and out; great for those of us with a phobia about human contact.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: Shampoo/conditioner, a shower cap and lotion. It's the usual stuff from a hotel. The Go Rooms add nicer toiletries, including mouthwash.
Clientele: It's a mix of young and old. There's no real delineation by age or wealth, but it is mostly midwesterners and easterners. The hip, young and annoying west coast crowd does not hang out here.
How's the Pool? Great. It's among the best pool areas in Las Vegas. It's a decadent, sprawling tropical complex with gorgeous landscaping, winding pools, lots of little water slides. The pools are open year-round, but only one is heated. In the summer, they have live gaming poolside. We don't mean slots. You could electrocute yourself.
Table Games: For the size of the hotel, this is a surprisingly small, loud and crowded casino. They have all the popular table games.
Bet Minimums: $10 is the minimum for most games, including blackjack, roulette and craps with 3x4x5x.
Machines: From a nickel to more than the cost of a dinner. Few, if any, full-pay video pokers.
Cocktails? Very good service. The drinks are quick enough in coming.
Who Gets Comps? The slot club links several Harrah's properties. We have heard of quite a few free and discounted room offers in the mail, which come pretty regularly.
Beach Club: The food is pretty standard sit-down upscale coffee shop grub, but the location is great. It's right next to the excellent Flamingo pool, where you can see women in their 40's sunning themselves wearing sensible swimming gear. Sizzling!
Burger Joint: The beancounters in Las Vegas like to do nothing more than copy each other, which is why there are so many very similar Cirque shows and overpriced ultralounges in town. The latest trend is fancy burger restaurants, which this is just another of. This place serves burgers up in bison, beef, salmon and chicken for lunch or dinner. There are some great late night specials.
Hamada of Japan: Chain Japanese, similar to Benihana's in layout and menu choices. Expect a pretty good selection of tempura dishes, as well as some sushi and sashimi. This place is better for the tempura stuff, or grilled things than it is the raw stuff, though.
Margaritaville: It's not much more than another "theme" eatery but at least it has Caribbean food. This time the theme is a tropical paradise as described by Jimmy Buffett where you're "searchin' for your lost shaker of salt," and enjoying jerk chicken, seasoned fries and margaritas. They have a full bar and more on the menu. The place is enormous, including three stories and seating for 600.
Paradise Garden Buffet: The Paradise is improved. The evening seafood buffet is a fair deal. Breakfast is passable with made-to-order omelets. The room has a great view of the courtyard. If you don't like seafood, skip the dinner or sit miserably while your friends stuff themselves silly.
There is also a Pink Bean coffee stand and the Beach Club Snack Bar in case you're hankering for a sandwich while swimming. A food court offers Johnny Rockets, Bonanno's Pizza and Pan Asian.
Donnie and Marie: Donny and Marie put together a show that's fit for the family, full of a lot of signing, bad jokes, cornball bonhomie and some blasts from the past. The blasts include a reprisal of their old variety show little-bit-country routine. They were never much of chart-toppers, so the original material is limited, but the covers are plenty and done with energy, and backed by a live band.
George Wallace: Mr. Wallace has been a genuinely funny comic for many years. Now he brings the act to Vegas, and it promises to be a more interesting and thoughtful night of comedy than just about 80% of the other comedy in town. It sure as heck beats any hypnotist.
Nathan Burton: Nathan Burton does an afternoon comedy-magic show that features showgirls. They don't get naked, so the show is okay for kids. Really, though, this one is for the randy elderly and other folks who go to bed about seven p.m. and thought Lawrence Welk was saucy.
Sin City Brewery: Okay, so it's really just a bar that serves beer brewed in Las Vegas by Sin City Brewing Company. It has outdoor seating, but otherwise is very much like any other bar on the Strip.
Vinnie Favorito: Vinnie is an insult comic, sort of like Don Rickles, but much more foul. He has played around town for awhile, but this is his first big-time gig in a big hotel showroom. Expect to be insulted, to hear about the difference between men and women, and a slew of the worst words imaginable.
X Burlesque: You have to look for it at 10 most nights and midnight on Saturdays, in a small theater. Essentially, the appeal is breasts, and very little old-fashioned burlesque. However, they do have props like bathtubs and bungee cords to mix into the girls' dance number.
Number of TVs: About 31. All of which are smallish flat-screens, but six are bigger than the rest.
Number of Seats: There are three long tables with a few chairs at each from which you can bet sports and races. The keno room is next to the sports book, so you can sit in more comfort over there. There are also several long tables and loungers aside the sports book.
How Many Betting Windows? A few with electronic signboards behind.
Free Drinks? While we were there, it was dry as Death Valley.
Snack Bar? No snack bar in the vicinity, but there is a bar close by and you can always drink until you've forgotten you're hungry.
Minimum Wager: $2 parlay/teaser, $10 straight up.
Other Notes: Much heavier race than sports room. It's in the middle of the casino floor and consequently pretty darn noisy.
Number of Tables: Twelve. The felts are brown and yellow if that counts for anything.
Comfort of Chairs: High-backed, comfy chairs. Hooray!
Closed Room or Open to Casino? The tables are in an open area but tucked away on the south wall of the casino. It gets a little noisy, because of all the slot machines nearby. If the constant cry of "Wheel! Of! Fortune!" doesn't bother you, you'll be able to concentrate here no problem.
Game Spreads and Limits: Hold-em 2-4, 4-8. They also offer a No-Limit hold 'Em game with buy-ins between $100 and $300.
Beginner Games or Classes? No.
How Crowded is the Room? You won't wait more than 10-15 minutes, and most of the time, there will be a chair just sitting there, ready to cradle your butt.
Comps? Free drinks while playing. Rack up a buck an hour. No free food while you play.
How Good Are the Players? It's a heavy tourist crowd, so the play is not stellar and occasionally confoundingly bad.
What Else Do I Need to Know? Daily high-hand contest, and if you need a break, you're really close to one of the best pools in town.