If you plan to book a resort on the Vegas Strip on a medium or lower budget you may be considering one of these two resorts, Luxor or Flamingo. Let me start by saying that – if you are assigned a good room (more on this later) – both offer excellent accommodation at affordable prices.
Which of these 2 Vegas hotels is better?
Overall atmosphere and decor – Luxor has a beautiful themed entrance (ancient Egypt); as I went to Vegas for the first time I remember being really amazed at this resort so, if it’s your first time, you may prefer booking here and enjoy the beautiful theme. Some say Luxor is a bit worn down these days; in my most experience I went back to Luxor and I found that only the Pyramid rooms and suites needed updating (and they are being updated now, though it’s a long proces and you may not get an updated room at present), whilst the Tower Rooms and suites were beautiful. I stayed as a VIP but I was assigned a standard Tower Room and I loved it (more on details later): large, beautifully appointed, clean, comfortable. The clientele at Luxor is still relatively varied, which is a good thing.
Flamingo: atmosphere, decor, room and … The rest! Flamingo is a huge labyrinth in my experience; if you are unlucky you will find yourself walking forever trying to find your room. They remodeled their rooms but not all bathrooms have been remodeled. The hallways still have dirty carpets. Check in is at 4pm and if you want to check in earlier you have to pay 33.60 (!), which is probably the same in all Caesars Entertainment resort (but NOT with the MGM resorts, which are overall much classier and currently offer better customer service all around). All rooms overlooking the ‘habitat’ in fact also overlook a party section which is often open for private parties (= noise at all hours). General customer service here is deeply lacking: if you complain about your room (dirty, broken bits, etc) they tend to shrug it off saying they’re fully booked; on the other hand, most other resorts tend to comp you something or upgrade you (or at least move you in a very smooth manner with the help of the bell desk!). The Flamingo bedrooms per se are nicely decorated (I like their lino floors and of course the floor-to-ceiling windows) but, as I said, the bathrooms are not (not in many Fab Deluxe rooms) and those bathrooms which are not remodeled are pretty awful and worn out. It really depends on which room you are assigned and which room you book. Study each ‘type’ carefully and see if you can pick the type you want and ask by phone if the bathroom is remodelled too, if this is important to you. The flat screen TV is too small for the room but their channel selection is so limited (and with NO high definition) that it may not matter.
Overall the atmosphere here now is that of young party crowds, many of them holding beer bottles whilst lining up at check in. Flamingo is an old resort so the architecture has no charm, especially outside. The fun, glitzy lights outside are reminiscent of old Vegas and for that they may still enjoyable to see. On the other side of the ‘habitat’ (the huge courtyard, so to speak, with the loud party noise and the nice treed flamingo habitat) you will have the Linq, former Imperial Palace & Quad (this hotel has changed more faces than a plastic surgery addict), which is still technically work in progress, though it’ll be complete soon enough. The gym at Flamingo closes far too early (as with other Caesars resorts) and it is clear that they don’t want you to sleep, rest or do anything but gamble or get drunk. I am being a bit harsh, perhaps, but I believe that customers (patrons) should be offered an equally great experience whether they want to party, rest, relax, gamble, or rejuvenate, with a great customer service on top!
Finally, there are small upcharges all the time, such as leaving ‘personal’ bags with bell desk (lately it was 3 dollars per ‘valuable bag’ and our back packs were classified as such). So, your cheap booking may turn out quite expensive after all, especially if you gamble at their casino, which is not that generous I found.
Positive Aspect: the Internet connection at Flamingo is very fast.
Location – Flamingo is undoubtedly much better located if you care about being absolutely mid Strip (a very short walk to places like Bellagio, Ceasars, Paris resort and a do-able walk to Mirage and Venetian) and, of course, if you wish to be at a walk-able distance to the more northern side, where you’ll find Venetian/Palazzo, Wynn/Encore, Mirage, Treasure Island. However, if you care about being near MGM Grand, for example, because of its concerts or events (and they do have many!), then of course Luxor is a very short, free shuttle ride to Excalibur (across MGM). The ultra modern City Center is placed between Monte Carlo and Bellagio, for those who are interested, and it’s not a short walk from either Flamingo nor Luxor, though of course closer to Flamingo. We have to bear in mind that some resorts stretch long distances from one end to the other, so even if something is ‘next’ to a resort, if you are on the ‘wrong side’ it can still take a while to walk to it! But, sometimes, location is not everything, especially if you require a classy, very clean, pleasant stay with good food, an inviting pool and/or spa, great HD TV channels and overall good service: I do want to stress that if these are your requirements, in our opinion and experience Flamingo (sadly) is not for you these days. There’s also a lot to be sad for the rewards you may or may not get from your gambling, but for this we’ve written a separated page on best rewards for gambling.
Note on buying drinking water. This is where you will spend quite a bit of money, if you are not careful, since in a dry climate like Vegas you will want to drink plenty of it (especially in the hotter months). The more affordable places in this area are Walgreens and CVS, located next to and opposite to Monte Carlo resort, respectfully. At Luxor I recently walked into Starbucks and they were charging 5 dollars for a small water bottle! I dropped it immediately and filled up at the Luxor gym! It’s not that I am ridiculously cheap (maybe I am!), but I will never pay extortionate prices for water: I find it immoral anywhere, but especially in a place where it’s hot and dry.
Buffets and restaurants. Unless you have coupons for either, I would not even bother to go to either Luxor buffet or Flamingo buffet, but the latter is constantly worse than the former, in our opinion and experience. They used to be until around 2012 but, after that time, they have both decreased in quality and range of dishes served, though I think Flamingo has sunk to a new low lately, giving us hope that it’ll come back at some point (how lower can they sink?). I want to stress here that, if all you care is something to fill your stomach and fast food or low quality comfort food (= tastes passable or good enough but it has poor quality ingredients) you’ll be fine wherever you go. If you want a bit more for your tastebuds, then of course my previous comments stand. If you stay at Flamingo you are close to a range of good buffets nearby as well as restaurants. If you stay at Luxor you are close to Mandalay Bay buffet (the only decent one in the South strip area but it’s still average) but you are also relatively close to the great Aria ‘gourmet’ buffet as well as Planet Hollywood’s and several good restaurants at MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay. South Strip is a better location if you want to venture out to the gorgeous but far-away Studio B buffet at M Resort, or if you want to go shopping (there are 2 major shopping outlets south of South Strip, one high-end and one ‘bargain’, both excellent), or to places like Fry’s (electronics) or Wholefoods or, even to a great cinema complex, all south of South Strip. We often go since we stay in Vegas for long stretches and there is only so much you can do on the Strip!
We have several videos of the Luxor rooms and suites on our jules at top-buffet YouTube channel.