Jeannie has been writing online for over eight years. She covers a wide variety of topics—anything from hamsters to office work.
The Flamingo in Las Vegas
I recently stayed at The Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nevada, and thought I would share an honest opinion on the hotel / casino. Although I've read a number of reviews on many websites, some of them just simply do not seem accurate. If you are considering staying at The Flamingo, I am happy to share my experience with you so you can make an informed decision.
Admittedly, I've only been to Las Vegas twice: once for my wedding and once for our one year anniversary. When I read about The Flamingo initially, I wanted to stay there for the wedding. After reading poor reviews, my husband put the brakes on that plan. We instead stayed at MGM Grand, but visited The Flamingo. I saw fun shops, decent restaurants, and flamingos on the property. What's not to love? Surely all those bad reviews were wrong!
So for our second trip, I insisted on The Flamingo. After all, it is a real piece of Las Vegas history. It's been around since the "mob days" but has been recently remodeled. I like that the whole hotel is pink and it is still a little tacky. If you are looking for a good deal and you can look past a few minor annoyances, The Flamingo is the place for you.
- Great location
- Reasonably priced
- Very clean
-TV in bathroom mirror
-"Go" rooms are updated and cute
-Pools are beautiful
-Wildlife is fun (flamingos, ducks, turtles, fish, etc.)
- Aggressive sales people in lobby
- Ventilation system leaves a lot to be desired
- Slow Wi-Fi
- Long wait to get into pool
- Not enough seats at the pool
- Bathroom door has no lock (not a problem for couple, but could be problem with friends or other family members)
Let's Talk About Other Reviews
First, I would like to tackle some of the complaints I'd read in reviews on other websites. One of the top complaints I read was about elevators. Everyone said they were extremely slow and you have to wait forever to get one. Wrong!
Either the people writing those reviews were there during some type of construction on at least half the elevators or they have never been in a building over 3 floors tall before. I lived in a high rise for many years, and trust me, the elevators at The Flamingo are running just fine. The wait is a minute, at most. We stayed there during the week, as well as the weekend, and used the elevators at all hours. They have some of the fastest elevators I've used, so don't believe those complaints.
The second complaint I kept reading was about how old everything looked. Even in the renovated rooms, guests felt like it was outdated. I even read a review about how old the chair at the desk looked. OK, first of all, how picky is that? The Flamingo is not a 5 star hotel, nor does it claim to be one. Yes, our chair looked old in our room, too. Guess what? We never used it, so who cares? A few pieces of furniture looked a bit old, but for the most part, everything had a fresh coat of paint and it was no issue.
The third negative opinion I kept reading about was the ventilation system. If you are in a non-smoking room, you still may smell smoke from other rooms. Also, if you are in your bathroom, you may hear or smell what is coming from other bathrooms. Let me tell you, all those complaints are legit. The ventilation system seriously needs to be updated. If you are not sensitive to smells, it probably won't bother you. If you are sensitive, it will be a little annoying.
Another common complaint was about the Wi-Fi. Indeed, it did seem painfully slow. Sometimes it was easier just to use our data plan if we needed to find out something in a hurry. And on a personal note, it felt like me and my phone had fallen off the face of the earth sometimes when I tried to make calls. I would barely get a signal until I walked outside. I am not sure why The Flamingo has these issues since it is centrally located in a popular area, but that was my personal experience.
An interesting problem we had that not many people cover in their reviews, is the aggressive sales people in the lobby. They are going to try to make you sit through their timeshare speech, so don't trust them! My husband and I made the mistake of looking perplexed when we first walked in and tried to find check-in. Don't be like us! Walk in with confidence and ignore the random "helpful" people in the lobby. They are only going to escort you to the timeshare desk, not the actual front desk.
When I go on vacation, I am a sucker for a nice pool area. The pools at The Flamingo are interesting because they are wonderful and frustrating at the same time. I'd read some reviews about the pools and the common advice was to get there when the pool opens and grab a seat while you can. This is very good information.
The pool opens at 9 AM and there is a family pool and a club pool for anyone over 21. The lines are long for either section. Security goes through everyone's bags and makes you throw out snacks, drinks, etc. They even make you throw out your own souvenir cup that you've gotten at The Flamingo, even if you simply want to PAY to fill it up again. It is a bit much. Once you've passed the security test, you get a wrist band you must keep on (even while swimming) so you can buy drinks whenever you'd like. No wrist band - no drink!
Once you've finally managed to make your way into the pool area, it is really beautiful. The "Go" pool (or the "club" pool) has little islands throughout the pool where you can lounge and place your drinks. It truly is made for adults since your main interest is probably relaxing and drinking. There are also free floats to use at the pool, which is nice considering some Vegas hotels charge you to rent floats. Some of the floats are shaped like flamingos, which makes it extra cute. At some hotel pools, drinking is discouraged while in the pool, but not at this one. There is also loud music playing, which adds to the club vibe the pool is trying to give off.
The family pool is nice, too, but there are PLENTY of kids splashing about and it may not be your scene if you want to relax. There is also a water slide that opens up for use at 11 AM. You may wonder why it is not open all the time, but they have lifeguards specifically assigned to it, so that makes sense. They are just trying to make sure no one busts their head open while flying down the slide, which could easily happen considering how many kids were using it without much parental guidance. It is a fun slide though and I highly recommend it.
So obviously, the pools are fun at The Flamingo. The real issue is the lack of seating. There are plenty of chairs for guests to use, but since the hotel is at full capacity in the summer, if you really want to a chair and a place to sit down your stuff, you need to call dibs early on. When I visited on a Thursday, all the chairs were taken by around 10:30 in the morning. When I went to the pool on a Sunday, everything was full by 11 AM. If you are someone that loves going to the pool, The Flamingo may not be the best place for you unless you want to get there and wait in line early every morning. Other than that, it was actually quite nice.
The Bottom Line on The Flamingo
Although I can't cover everything (obviously I've gotten a little too long winded as it is), I found The Flamingo to be a good place to stay for the price. I was not expecting a 5 star place, and that's fair enough since they don't promise that. The location can't be beat. It is in the middle of the strip, which is perfect for visiting the most popular sites. The monorail also stops at The Flamingo, which makes it extremely convenient for travelling up and down the strip.
I'd also like to add The Flamingo has an extra flare to it some of the other hotels have lost. There is still a little bit of "old Vegas" to the place, with glitzy lights all over the property. Also, a pink light illuminates the outside of the building. There is also wildlife for you to view. I happen to love birds and taking pictures with macaws is always a good time for me. Another fun little addition to the room is a mini-fridge (not mini-bar), which is rare in Vegas. There is a CVS within walking distance that sells alcohol, water, soda, and much more. You can save lots of money buying drinks at CVS and then storing them in the fridge. A definite surprise bonus to the room!
So if you are looking to save money and you are not looking for luxury, The Flamingo is a great option in Las Vegas. You might even get lucky if you show up early like we did, and get an upgrade to a better room and strip view for a very reasonable price. If I were to rank The Flamingo on a scale from 1 to 10, I would give it an 8. If you are comfortable with that rating, The Flamingo might be for you.
Copyright ©2016 Jeannieinabottle
Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 11, 2016:
Last year was my first time going there, so it is never too late! The crowds can be ridiculous though, so I would recommend not going there during the summer. I heard it is much better during cooler months, not that I've been smart enough to take that advice. ;-)
FlourishAnyway from USA on September 09, 2016:
I've never been to Vegas but this seems to ooze the old Vegas spirit. I sure hate crowds so that pool is not my hangout place.
Jeannie Marie (author) from Baltimore, MD on September 09, 2016:
lambservant, we checked out Circus Circus this time around. It's interesting, but I would not want to stay there... Too many kids and not close to the strip. Overall, I like Vegas though.
bravewarrior, the pools were too crowded for me too. That's really the only thing that bummed me out about The Flamingo. I love hotels with nice pools and these were just too small for that amount of guests. The "Go" rooms are the rooms for people like me... Bright pink decorations and snazzier than the "Fab" rooms that are more neutral. And thank you... A year already! It's crazy!
Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on September 09, 2016:
Jeannie, I don't know if I'd venture into the pools. They're pretty, for sure, but look at all the people in the photos! Way too crowded for me.
And what, pray tell, is a "go" room?
Happy Anniversary! I can't believe it's been a year already!
Lori Colbo from United States on September 09, 2016:
I'm not a Vegas person. Hate the place, but have been twice back in mid 70's N early 80s. Both times we stayed at circus circuit it s. Twelve thumbs down. Good review.