On my first visit to Las Vegas, I wanted to stay at a hotel which had character and an interesting history. The Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino was the third casino to open up on the famous strip, and it’s the oldest hotel in operation today.
|Room/Suite Type||Non-Smoking Fab Room – 2 Queens|
|Month of Stay||October|
|Length of Stay||3 nights (Thursday – Sunday)|
|Parking||Valet ($13 per 24 hours) or Self-parking (Free)|
|Wifi||Basic wifi (up to 5mbps) for 2 devices included in resort fee|
|Rates ($)||Starting at $45.00 USD per night + Taxes + Resort Fee|
|Earning Rates (Points)||Total Rewards (1 point/$)|
|Check In/Check Out||4pm / 11am|
Las Vegas hotels are almost always on sale. The real cost of Las Vegas starts when you land.
After a lot of browsing on Expedia and Hotels.com we decided to book directly with the hotel due to a sale. For a points junkie like me, if I were travelling alone I would have booked via Kaligo, Rocketmiles or PointsHound to get at least some points. However, in this case I was travelling with others and didn’t want to inflict the higher room rate on them.
The cost breakdown was:
Room Cost: $319.20
Resort/Other Fees: $87.00
Total: $454.95 USD for 3 nights
Check In & Lobby
We arrived at the hotel a little after 2pm and the lobby was extremely busy. This is a large hotel with over 3,500 rooms. So, you need to expect to wait in line for almost everything.
Thankfully, the Flamingo has multiple self-serve kiosks in the lobby with a couple of roaming staff members to assist if you run into issues. Unless you have a specific room request, I recommend beelining for one of the kiosks as soon as you arrive.
To check in, enter your confirmation number, credit card and ID into the machine (slide into the machine like the Passport Control SmartGates). Once verified, you are presented with some upgrade options for an extra fee. If your room is ready, your keys will print automatically. However if you are still a little early (like we were) you will receive options on how to be notified when it is. I chose to select an email and then went back downstairs to drop my bags off at the Bell Desk.
An hour or so later, I received an email notifying me that the room was ready.
Depending on where your room is located, you will be directed to use one of the three elevator areas; main lobby, habitat or spa. Our room was assigned closest to the Spa elevators which is a short walk to the left of the Lobby. I’ve read concerns online about long wait times with the elevators but I did not experience this at all.
Like most hotels in Las Vegas, there are charges extra for rooms overlooking the strip. With the Flamingo, you don’t need a strip view. In fact, I’d advise against it.
Why? As wonderful and exciting as the strip is, you sometimes need a break from it to just breathe. The view from our room overlooked the Wildlife Habitat, Pool and the High Roller and was a nice change from the hustle and bustle.
The room was spacious and had hardwood-look vinyl flooring Call me crazy but I absolutely loved having vinyl flooring compared to carpet. While it’s probably a placebo effect, it just felt cleaner and gave the room a modern, minimalist effect.
The FAB rooms are great but not perfect.
Keep in mind that if you plan on being in your room after sunset, it is going to be extremely dark. This type of room has an incredible lack of lights. There are two tall lamps – that’s it.
We also had an issue with our shower continually dripping hot water. Just when you thought you had balanced the tap enough to make it stop, it started up again. We ended up keeping the bathroom door closed for most of the time due to the noise, however that meant that whenever you used the bathroom, it was like using a sauna.
Facilities & Grounds
To enter the hotel from the strip, you will need to walk through the casino area. If you’re like me and aren’t used to being around cigarette smoke, be prepared for the smell to sink into your clothing, your eyes water and your nose burn.
If you need some fresh air, head to the Wildlife Habitat which is situated outside near the pool area and take a walk around. Within the 15-acre grounds you’ll find Koi fish, Turtles, Ibis, Pelican, Parrots and of course, Flamingos! I hate to admit it, but I was that person getting extremely excited about seeing a Flamingo in person. After all, Australia has a grand total of one Flamingo – Chilli, aged 74 who lives at the Adelaide Zoo.
There is also a section filled with Commemorative Bricks, which people purchase to honour their memories of Sin City.
Further into the grounds, there is a Wedding Chapel which was in use for most days of our visit.
The Flamingo casino is well….a casino. It’s not as glitzy and glamourous as others on the strip. However, if you are looking for a more casual place to gamble, this is a perfectly suitable place to do so.
There is a also a convenience/gift store located near the Spa Elevators where you can buy anything from bottled water and a razor to a “I Love Vegas” t-shirt. If you’re paying by credit card, be sure to keep your passport on you as you’ll be asked for ID.
There is a food court, cafes, restaurants and a buffet where you can find whatever your stomach desires. If you’re looking for something different, the LINQ Promenade is right next door which features In-N-Out, Sprinkles Cupcakery, Gordon Ramsey’s Fish and Chip Restaurant and more.
Staff are friendly when you approach them, however they are more reactive than proactive. As a security measure, only the reservation holder is allowed to be issued new room keys. This was incredibly frustrating when our room keys stopped working on day 2 and a member of our group was locked out of the room in their pyjamas while I (the reservation holder) was at the other end of the strip.
When I finally made it back to the hotel, I had to wait in line for over an hour to be issued new keys. For this reason, I wish there was a way for the details of all room guests be held on file and the ability to have keys reissued via a kiosk.
Bottom Line of the Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
Each hotel in Las Vegas has it’s own different theme and experience. So, I’d probably book somewhere else next time just to try something different. That said, I have no problems recommending the Flamingo to first timers or those wanting to try someplace new. The hotel is right in the middle of all the action and the non-carpeted floors are a big tick in my books.
What’s your hotel of choice in Las Vegas? Or do you like to try different places like me?