One of the grande dames of Las Vegas, the Tropicana first opened its lavish doors in 1957 and was quickly dubbed the "Tiffany of the Strip," by the Saturday Evening Post. At the time, the $15-million, 300-room complex was top-of-the-line, with its opulent interior and 17 acres of manicured lawns and gardens complete with a 60-foot fountain spouting in the center of the Olympic-sized swimming pool. In the early days, the hotel's theater and restaurant drew a steady stream of celebrities and their followers. Today most of the stars have moved on to richer climes, but the hotel's 41-year-old cabaret lives on, featuring scantily clad women strutting their stuff beneath enormous feather headdresses. These days the hotel is beloved more for its history and bargain value than for its opulence, not surprising given its mishmash of newly renovated and decidedly worn rooms. That said, the Trop is ideal for anyone who wants to be in the middle of the action with all the trappings of the tropical - without paying top dollar.
Main Attraction: The 5-acre indoor/outdoor swimming area, with swim-up blackjack tables in the summer.
Ideal For: Anyone who prefers Las Vegas' glory days to today's themed mega-resorts.
Dining Options: Once home to 1 of Vegas' most famous restaurants, the Tropicana still offers several fine dining options, including French/American at Pietro's, Mizuno's Japanese Steak House and seafood and steak at Savanna. In addition, Calypsos and the Island Buffet serve up casual dining, as do a deli and coffee shop.
Accommodations: The Tropicana has 1,878 guest rooms and suites, including theme suites, Jacuzzi suites, parlor suites, mini-suites and standard rooms -- all decked in various incarnations of the tropical theme.
Fascinating Fact: The leaded stained glass ceiling that extends across the main blackjack gaming area is valued in excess of $1 million and includes more than 4,000 square feet of leaded glass. To combat the imperceptible vibrations that large buildings typically experience, the ceiling is suspended vibration-free on pneumatic shock absorbers.
Claim to Fame: The "Tiffany of the Strip," Tropicana enjoyed world-renown for many years as a hot spot for the rich and famous.
Entertainment Options: The hotel has for 41 years hosted the Folies Bergere, a Parisian cabaret in true Vegas style.
Activities: If you're a sun worshiper or you need a diversion for your kids, the 5-acre water park is a good bet. Best of all, you don't even have to forgo gambling -- swim up blackjack tables, complete with waterproof layout and money dryers, are on hand in the summer for the player in you. If you just like to revel in other gamblers' glory, try the Casino Legends Hall of Fame, featuring the largest collection of Nevada casino and entertainment memorabilia ever assembled.
Casino Stats: The 61,000 square foot casino is small by new hotel standards on the Strip, but it's home to all the usual gaming options.