The Flamingo—A Hotel Built by Bugsy Siegel


Flamingo HotelOne of the earliest resorts on the Las Vegas Strip, the Flamingo opened in 1946 at the south end of old Highway 91, the empty dirt road heading out of town to Los Angeles. Named after gangster Bugsy Siegel’s leggy girlfriend’s long limbs, which he likened to those of the slinky bird, the Flamingo is downplaying its hot pink signature shade and upgrading most of its 3,550 guest rooms while rebranding the four-tower complex. A new masculine look forgoes the tropical theme and reinvigorates the almost 70-year-old property, but not to worry—the pink isn’t going away: It’s just less pervasive, so the decor is less flashy.

Guest rooms now feature macho colors of ebony, brown, and crimson juxtaposed with gray walls. Pink is understated with a small faux fur coverlet, a humorous touch atop the chalk-white bed linens. In homage to its historic past, the Flamingo has added a photo of the original hotel in each room, along with abstract prints.

bugsy-siegelThe main casino’s race and sports book, keno lounge, and high-limit area have been remodeled as well. A large food court houses Johnny Rockets, Pan Asian, Bonnano’s NY Pizza, and LA Subs. The Paradise Garden Buffet is just off the casino. Adding to the restaurant repertoire are Center Cut Steakhouse and Carlos ’n Charlie’s Mexican cantina and pool-view patio.

Along the north side of the property, joining Jimmy Buffett’s energetic Margaritaville restaurant, is the new Strip-side Margaritaville-branded casino and deck equipped with 220 themed slots, 22 table games, and youthful dealers in tropical attire high-fiving players when they hit 21. This perch for Parrotheads and fun-seekers sports chandeliers shaped like lime slices, beachlike flooring, a 20-foot model of the world’s largest margarita, and a retail outlet anchored by the 5 O’Clock Somewhere bar.

The gated Beach Club pool and waterslide playground is small for the size of the property; however, the adjacent 15 acres of lush gardens and palms incorporate a wildlife sanctuary that is a habitat for a flock of flamingos, a passel of penguins, and an exotic bird aviary. Turtles, koi, ducks, and swans paddle this Xanadu’s ponds and streams. The dense landscape, waterfall, and gazebo provide a rain forest backdrop for photos and weddings.

flamingo-hotel-dayThe hotel’s entertainment lineup includes X Burlesque, singing siblings Donny and Marie Osmond, Olivia Newton-John, Legends in Concert, Piff the Magic Dragon, and family-friendly comedian Jeff Civillico. The property lacks a nightclub, but with the nonstop party at Margaritaville, it is not missed.

Amenities include a spa and fitness center and golf privileges at two Caesars Entertainment courses. The Flamingo is the southern gateway to the Linq entertainment district. Small dogs are welcome.

Planning a visit to Las Vegas? Don’t leave without The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas by Bob Sehlinger. If you enjoyed this post, sign up for our newsletter here.

Photo credits

Bugsy Siegel at Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum inside the Venetian Hotel: Carol M. Highsmith [Public Domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Flamingo Hotel with Donny and Marie Osmond ad: By Lyric1228 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons
Flamingo Hotel, outside: Liliane Opsomer


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