When I told some of my Las Vegas friends I was checking out the Flamingo, most of them reacted with one word: "Why?" The oldest operating resort on the Strip, Flamingo has long been a mainstay of the "casual crowd." It may be tried and true, but it hasn’t been hip since they spelled it "hep."
But things are changing. The Flamingo’s new catchphrase is "The hottest pink on the Strip." (Wow. … Do you kiss your mother with that slogan?) Luckily, they have something to back it up. I like the rooms in the Hard Rock Hotel, I dig the rooms in all three Palms towers. But for straight-up funky cool, the Flamingo’s new GO rooms have both of them beat.
From the minute I stepped off the elevator into stark white halls with pink contrasts, I experienced a daring reversal to the trend of darker, masculine tones in other new hotels here. Inside my junior suite, accented by earth tones, the theme was taken further into a fantasy mid-century resort tribute that made me feel as if I was somewhere in movieland between Austin Powers and Valley of the Dolls, from the candy-striped accent wall to white-marbled bathroom with puckered tiling and artsy tablelamps.
Sexy? You better believe it, with the white vinyl upholstered ceiling-high headboard, body jets in the glass shower, sliding translucent bathroom door, surround-sound stereo (check-in gives you a demonstrational CD to try it out), and (not to be overlooked) one of the most sumptuous hotel beds I’ve ever experienced.
Amenity details I kept discovering included two Philipsflat screen TVs (the one nearest the bed pulls out from the wall for multi-angled viewing), a ceiling fan over the bed, goose-neck reading lamps, motorized curtains, a flat screen TV built into the sink mirror, wild fig scented bath products, a small fridge (without the overpriced minibar temptations), Wi-Fi that actually works, coffeemaker, and leatherette trays and garbage cans that for once I considered worth paying for to take home.
Did I leave anything out? Probably.
Continuing the theme, Flamingo also has a hidden "European-style" (topless optional) "GO" pool deck, which unlike some other "daylife clubs," actually has a swimmable pool (with a stripper pole platform in the middle!) and ample lounge chairs. Come to think of it, the Flamingo’s whole pool area, with water slides, floating beer pong and a sexy grotto, has pretty strong party potential overall.
I topped off my stay here with dinner at Voga — a new-wave inspired restaurant with a nicely presented raw bar and wide array of creative small dishes for all tastes — then the X Burlesque, a rock-inspired take on the topless showgirl revue, with gorgeous girls dancing to music like Marilyn Manson and Guns ‘N’ Roses.
The venerated Flamingo may not exactly be taking the Palms or Hard Rock head-on, but if you like those spots (I do), the Flamingo’s GO package is definitely worth trying out.
Insider tip: Just added to Flamingo’s array of entertainment, The Time, reunited, are booked to perform here through the summer. Oh-ee-oh-ee-oh!
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E.C. Gladstone is a former editor for AOLVegas, and
interviews top Strip entertainers, restauranteurs, moguls and behind-the-scenes
players for VEGAS Magazine. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when