A $180 million renovation completed in 2011 turned the once-dingy Tropicana into one of the nicer mid-range hotels on the Strip. This storied hotel is one of the oldest in Vegas -- it was built in 1957, and once had mob associations -- but today it is clean, modern, and even somewhat stylish, with South-Beach-inspired decor and a sprawling pool club and nightclub, Bagatelle Beach. The casino isn't as large as others on the Strip, but the central location makes it easy to gamble elsewhere -- the hotel is connected via pedestrian bridges to MGM Grand and Excalibur. The basic contemporary rooms have fresh tropical style; guests should stay in the Paradise Tower to be close to the Strip or the Club Tower to be close to the pool. But note that prices tend to be a bit higher than at other mid-range options such as Treasure Island and New York New York.