Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators.
Vegas visitors tend to end up at suite hotels like the Hilton Grand Vacations (HGV) because they want roomy apartments with kitchens and living rooms, and because they prefer peace and quiet to the frenetic R-rated scene at the typical hotel-casino.
Hilton Grand Vacations Suites at the Flamingo fulfills both needs, but then throws in a benefit that most other Vegas time-share hotels can't match. Its location right behind the Flamingo Hotel means that classic Vegas entertainment is never far away -- in fact, it's just a five-minute stroll through the Flamingo's flamingo-filled garden away. The hotel may have a small pool, a cramped fitness center, and no restaurant, but who cares when the Flamingo's tropical-themed pool complex, lively casino, and tons of restaurants next door?
This hotel likely didn't become the most popular Hilton Grand Vacations Club in Las Vegas for its pool or its rooms. What travelers justifiably love is the location. The hotel is directly behind the storied Flamingo and near many other Vegas landmarks: Caesars Palace and the Mirage are across the street, the Bellagio and the Venetian are short walks away.
Most Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big properties along the densely packed three-and-a-half-mile-long stretch of hotel-casinos known as the Strip. Cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3 to ride. There's also a monorail system, which stops at the Flamingo/Caesars Palace, as well as MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, /Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara. A single-ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, a cab is often the least expensive option.
When you're arriving at the HGV, it's important to note that the hotel shares a street address with the Flamingo, even though the entrance is not the same. Unless the cab driver has taken a guest there before, chances are you'll arrive at the main Flamingo and then have to lug your bags on a 10-minute walk to the HGV lobby. Direct your driver to take Audrey Road, which is right off of Flamingo Road. Take note that after the pools close at 10 p.m., guests must take a bridge that connects the Flamingo to the HGV.
The hotel has its own heated outdoor seasonal pool, but guests also have privileges at the Flamingo hotel's Flamingo Lagoon. With both pools right outside the back door, the choice comes down to what scene you're looking for.
The small rectangular main pool is good for short laps. The atmosphere is relaxed, with guests sleeping, reading, or soaking in the hot tub. The five gazebos are free to use on a first-come, first-served basis, as are the nearby barbecue grills. The pool bar was closed for the season when I was there in mid-April '09, but it has since reopened. Even with music from the Flamingo Lagoon drifting over, this is a quiet retreat.
The Flamingo Lagoon has a fun party scene, with pop music and dance tunes blasting over the speakers and hot-pink-bikini-clad servers weaving through the clutter of lounge chairs. A waterfall and thick foliage lend the extensive pool area a festive tropical air. A series of small pools connected by waterslides flank the stairway to the enormous Lagoon Pool. Guests can also visit a secluded and seasonal adults-only pool with topless sunbathing.
All the rooms were renovated in 2009. The modern fixtures and colorful palette give the room a fresh feel, and the animal-towel sculpture that greet guests with a smile. It's worth asking for a room facing the pool, which gives guests a view of pink glass facade of the Flamingo at night.
Studio rooms come with just a king-size bed and a full-size pullout couch, so families may want to opt for the suites, which have a king bed and a queen-size pullout couch. A studio and adjacent suite can be booked as a two-bedroom suite. Cribs are free, but there are no rollaway beds.
The Hilton Grand pool is relaxed and quiet, and guests also have access to the Flamingo pool, where pop music blasts over the speakers and twentysomethings sun themselves around buckets of beer. But the vibe is low-key enough -- and the pool big enough -- for kids to carve out a comfortable corner.
For kid-friendly food, the Desert Garden Shop & Deli has cereal, chips, fruit bars, and microwavable dishes like mac and cheese. At the Flamingo hotel, kids should like the Paradise Garden buffet and , which serves Nathan's Famous hot dogs.
Rooms at other HGVC properties have almost exactly the same setup, so the difference is the location. If family time is a priority, the Hilton Grand Vacations Club on the Las Vegas Strip is located far north on Las Vegas Boulevard, and the property is much larger and secluded, with a bigger swimming pool and more families.
Typical of a time-share hotel, the HGV has no true restaurants. The Desert Garden Shop and Deli sells sandwiches and salads. For a real restaurant eal, cross the gardens to the Flamingo, which has a variety of dining options.
For dining options at the Flamingo, visit the hotel's dining section.
Tucked behind the storied Flamingo, this popular time-share hotel gives guests both the quiet, laid-back feel of apartment living and quick access to the high-energy entertainment of the Las Vegas Strip. The hotel has a casual, family vibe, but nothing in the way of fine dining or entertainment on the grounds.