A July 2005 trip
to Las Vegas by Coppelia
Quote: The massive, over-the-top hotels; the clanging of winning slots; and the vibrant people and energy in this city all made my first trip to Las Vegas one I’ll never forget. There’s something for everyone in this colorful world I had never seen before, and I can’t wait to visit again!
Hotel | "Flamingo Las Vegas"
The Flamingo is one of the oldest hotels on the Strip, dating back to 1946, and was built by the mafia mobster Bugsy Siegel. It is decorated in hot pinks, turquoises, and flamingos in a Miami/tropical theme. There is a wide variety of restaurants, ranging from their massive Paradise Garden Buffet to a more formal Italian café. Visitors can walk through the flamingo and wildlife habitat, which is full of lush trees and flowers, a nice welcome when you’ve been out in the brown desert all day.
The pools are some of the best that I saw in Vegas. There are two main pools, complete with grottos and waterfalls; a kiddie pool; another pool with a water slide; and two hot tubs. A highlight is that these pools have palm trees all around so that you have relief from the blistering desert sun. The pools can get crowded, so get there early in the morning if you want to avoid the masses.
The rooms were standard, comfortable hotel rooms with two double beds, two sitting chairs, a desk, and a bathroom with a shower/tub. They were nothing extraordinary, but provided exactly what we needed, since we were really only in our rooms to sleep at night. We were on the fourth floor and had no view at all, so make sure you request a room above that if a good view is important to you.
There are several reasons why I would highly recommend The Flamingo:
1. Location: The Flamingo is smack in the middle of the Strip, allowing you to walk just about anywhere you want to go. Caesar’s Palace is directly across the street, and the Bellagio, Mirage, Harrah’s, and the Venetian are all within easy walking distance. This is a huge advantage, since you will find that it’s possible to walk your legs off if you’re not near other hotels. Also, the Flamingo is one of the few hotels with a monorail stop in it. So, when you’re tired of walking, you can take the monorail directly back to your hotel.
2. Crowds: It’s true that compared to some of the other Strip hotels, the Flamingo has a lot fewer attractions. That is perfect for people staying there, because it doesn’t attract a whole lot of outside people which makes everything less crowded and makes the restaurants have very short waits compared to others.
3. Price: For what you get, I would definitely consider this a "best bang for your buck" kind of hotel. Obviously, price depends on when you stay, but we were able to get our room for $79 a night. Sure, it’s not as luxurious as some hotels, but who goes to Vegas to stay in their room all day anyways?
We loved our stay at the Flamingo. I visited all of the hotels on the Strip and can honestly say that I wouldn’t pick anywhere else to stay for the reasons I listed above. We will definitely be going back to the Flamingo!
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 6, 2005
Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino
3555 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada 89109
Fontana Bar is located right off of the casino in the Bellagio and is open from 5pm-1am every night. You must be 21 or over to enter, and they serve all types of cocktails and appetizers. There is no cover charge, and when we were there at 9pm, there was no wait to get in.
Fontana bar, which is actually more like a lounge, features live music, including the band that was playing when we were there, Paragon Rock. This unique band covered everything from Phil Collins to Evanescence and was complete with electric violins and cellos. I have to say that it was without a doubt the best small venue live band I had ever seen. There is a dance floor in front of the stage if you get the urge to dance, although only a few people got up there all night.
Once you enter, you can choose to sit in one of their comfy upholstered armchairs at a table near the stage, or you might prefer to cozy up next to your sweetheart on one of the back inviting couches. If you would rather be a little more removed from the music, you can ask to sit outside on their gorgeous patio that has the most breathtaking view of the Bellagio fountains-very romantic! The whole place is decorated with deep red walls, upholstered furniture, and flowered carpet, with high white and gold ceilings that are in keeping with the Bellagio’s luxurious style.
The staff was friendly, and the drinks were reasonably priced for Vegas standards. There was a wide variety of people here ranging in age from mid-twenties to fifties. The bar wasn’t overcrowded, and you could be as private or as center-of-attention as you wanted to be. We stumbled in here when we had some time to kill one night, and I’m so glad we did. I’d highly recommend this bar to anyone who wants to hear fantastic music in a relaxing, cozy environment.
Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 6, 2005
Las Vegas, Nevada
The Fremont Street Experience is located in downtown Las Vegas, near the famous historic hotels, such as the Golden Nugget, the Golden Gate, Fitzgerald’s, The Fremont, and others. This is where you will find the nostalgic smoking cowboy sign and the infamous cowgirl kicking her leg that you always see on TV as the symbols of Las Vegas. In order to attract more visitors downtown, the casinos have built a 5-block-long canopy connecting the casinos and turning the street into one big street party.
Fremont Street has a variety of souvenir shops, restaurants, sidewalk artists, street musicians, and casinos to keep you busy all night. You can find anything you want, from deep-fried Twinkies to hand-blown glass. The "Viva Vision," however, is the main attraction. About every hour, starting at 8pm, the casinos turn off their lights, the musicians stop playing, and the canopy ceiling is turned into an incredible light and sound show. There are five different shows during the night that play through LED screens and loud speakers all the way down the street. For about 10 minutes, you get to see the sky above you turn into a whole different world with marvelous technological advances. We saw the show "Area 51" about aliens, and when it revealed the view of Earth from space, I really felt like I was there.
To get to the downtown area, you can take the bus or a cab, as we did. The monorail stations claim there is a shuttle that goes downtown from the Stratosphere hotel. However, we never found the shuttle, and the people at the Stratosphere had never heard of it.
One issue I should point out is that of safety in this part of Vegas. The locals told us that the downtown area of Vegas is not a safe area. They recommended that we should not go anywhere outside of the canopy at all, and we followed their advice. Even though we were under the bright lights of the casinos with security and hundreds of people around, a man pulled a knife on a guy standing right beside me. This could have been just an isolated, uncommon occurrence, but I would suggest that you keep your guard up when you’re around there. The good news is that the casinos have great security at their doors, so if you get into trouble or feel uneasy, just run into one.
Overall, it was an enjoyable evening, and I would recommend taking a trip downtown to see the historic Las Vegas and the amazing "Viva Vision" light show.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 6, 2005
Fremont Street Experience
Westernmost 5 Blocks Of Fremont
Las Vegas, Nevada 89101
(702) 678 5777
Greenville, North Carolina