The Flamingo Las Vegas

Las Vegas' first hotel and casino is still an iconic hot spot on the Strip.
By: Randi Kest

People scoffed when Mobster Bugsy Siegel said he wanted to open a luxury resort in the middle of the Nevada desert, a full 7 miles from downtown Las Vegas. When the $6-million Flamingo Hotel and Casino opened in 1946, Siegel billed it as the world's most luxurious and set out to attract the rich and famous. To set the tone, Siegel focused on first-class pampering; he decked out every employee -- from janitor to dealer -- in tuxedos, spared no expense on furnishings and created the VIP section for special guests.

The hotel first featured 105 guest rooms, and a luxurious array of activities and services, including a casino, health club, gym, steam rooms, horse stable, swimming pool, tennis courts, handball courts, a 9-hole golf course and a trapshooting range. It wasn't long before Siegel's dream was realized (although he died before the hotel blossomed to its full glory) and the nation's elite were flocking to the Flamingo. The hotel has since undergone significant renovation, including the addition of several towers that brought the room total to 3,626.

Main Attraction: Nostalgia for Las Vegas the way it used to be.
Ideal For: Seniors and couples
Dining Options: There's no shortage of dining options here, from Italian at Alta Villa, to beef and seafood at Conrad's Steakhouse, to Hamada's Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar, to Chinese food at Peking Market and more.
Accommodations: The Flamingo has 3,626 rooms, including 150 mini-suites and 6 super-suites.
Fascinating Fact: Facing a $5 million cost overrun for the construction of the hotel, Siegel was so concerned that his mob counterparts would attempt to kill him that he had secret escape doors built into his suite at the Flamingo.
Claim to Fame: Mobster Bugsy Siegel opened this hotel in 1946.
Activities: The Flamingo features a 15-acre swimming area, including a waterslide and palm trees galore. The hotel's Wildlife Habitat features African penguins and, of course, Chilean flamingos, along with other exotic birds and fish.
Casino stats: 77,000 square feet to lose your money in.

Keep Reading

Next Up

Treasure Island Las Vegas

Renovated guest rooms, amazing pirate decor and a classic Cirque du Soleil show make this resort like a Caribbean paradise.

Best Hotels Off the Vegas Strip

Not all that glitters in Las Vegas sparkles along its Strip.

Wild Las Vegas Contests

Go for the gold in crazy Vegas contests.

The Other Side of Vegas

Shane Green shares his favorite things to do off the Strip.

Vegas Activities

While in Sin City, try these full-throttle, super sexy Vegas activities.

The Best of Vegas Shopping

We're showing you the best shopping Vegas has to offer, hands down.

Tropicana Resort and Casino

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.

The Mirage

Since 1989 the Mirage has made a name for itself as a top-notch Vegas resort with all the trimmings of a South Seas paradise.

Paris Las Vegas

Built in 1999 at a cost of $785 million, the 24-acre Paris Las Vegas offers up the pleasures of Sin City against a backdrop of the City of Lights' most famous landmarks.

Jacksonville Travel Guide

It's the perfect destination year round. Visit one of Florida's best beach towns, Jacksonville. Plan your trip with our recommendations on where to stay, where to eat and what to do.

What's New in Destinations

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.

Food Network Restaurant Guides

Food Network shares their top places to eat across the country.