Harrah’s or Flamingo?

If you are budget minded but still want a decent hotel and casino, and you absolutely want one on the Strip, you will probably consider Harrah’s and Flamingo as one of the affordable, decent options. But which one is better for you? They are both ‘cheap and cheerful’ and, if you like classy neither is for you, though they both provide something good for different ‘groups’.

Rooms comparison

Besides the suites and the more expensive rooms, which can vary significantly, the basic, standard rooms at Harrah’s are nice enough if you get a remodeled room (they are not ultra modern but a newer room will have decent furniture and a comfortable bed); however, even the basic rooms are well kept and decently maintained; they are also relatively quiet thanks to their short corridors (you won’t have huge crowds of people yelling and screaming along the corridors). Nothing special nor fancy but clean, comfortable and with good customer service. Our standard rooms at Harrah’s have always been relatively small (including the bathroom) but nice enough. We also like the fact that Harrah’s is not a huge resort so it does not take us forever to get to our room after leaving the casino floor. They have a flat screen TV but not HD and with a ‘fixed’ (you cannot change it) dark screen; you will have to ask maintenance to change the settings for you (this may change, but it’s been our experience). The bathrooms of the ‘basic’ rooms are larger and well kept, although not ‘modern’. As with all Caesar’s Entertainment Vegas resorts, your ‘resort’ fee used to only covers Internet access for one device (whatever that device is): this was petty to say the least, but it now seems to have been dropped; it now seems to cover 2 devices; however, please phone your chosen resort beforehand just in case they change again.  Their modest gym (to say the least) closes early (very annoying) as in most other Caesar’s Entertainment Vegas resorts. We have a video of Harrah’s standard rooms which goes into details and hopefully will help you choose; however, always double check our web site (here) for updates, since updates will come to this website first and to our video channel later.

Flamingo rooms are overall nicely remodeled (such as the ‘Fab Deluxe Rooms) except for the bathrooms; some tastefully and others less so; the Fab Deluxe rooms are nicely decorated, spacious and pleasant, although their bathrooms are still very worn out; moreover, their new flat screen TV (but with limited channels and NOT in high definition) is far too small for the bedroom. You can view our ‘Fab Deluxe Room’ at Flamingo on our video channel, but maybe it’s better if you keep reading this page first). The place is still a labyrinth and the ‘habitat’ rooms (any room overlooking inside) will be subject to party noise all the time, including night time, so perhaps only suitable for young party crowds (which they have tons of, especially over weekends). Internet is very fast at Flamingo, a big plus, but those who want to exercise in their limited gym will find out that it closes far too early (7pm!). The hallways are usually relatively dirty, mostly because their carpet is really old and stained. Customer service is pretty bad in our experience, but then – to be fair – we had just checked in after staying at Mirage, where we were treated like kings! However, Flamingo is great if you are young and all you care about is a party somewhere with plenty of alcohol, set in a great mid Strip location; or, if you are not so young but all you care about is alcohol and a loud party atmosphere (Flamingo has Margaritaville on the ground floor… where it’s all about alcohol, of course!). Personally, I would not stay here ever if I did not have to (but I stay here to write these updates); I would only stay at the MGM resorts because they are, overall, a lot classier and cleaner (generally speaking, with some exceptions of course!). I have found out, from personal experience and the experience of friends, that what theoretically seems a saving (Caesar’s Resorts, such as Flamingo, advertise very low rates + resort fee), turns out to be the opposite: if you stay in a great, classy resort with excellent facilities (pool, gym, spa, lounges, bars etc), you tend to truly enjoy yourself and gamble less ( = you save money!). Moreover, I have never found out that gambling here pays better than at any MGM resorts hotels or others such as Cosmopolitan (where I won more than anywhere else!), and I gamble a lot! However, if you don’t gamble much and all you care if alcohol and a good location, Flamingo is as good as any place, provided you book it at the lowest possible rate (not over 20 dollars per night + resort fee during low season, unless it’s a busy weekend, of course) or at a low enough rate during peak periods. Having said this, sometimes Caesar’s Entertainments sends out complimentary offers which are extended (you can stay far longer than the usual 2 free nights that everybody else offers, which is a real advantage and a very positive aspect of Caesar’s Entertainment resorts offers). Last time we stayed at Harrah’s, Paris, Linq and Rio for 2 weeks overall, totally free of charge (well, plus resort fee, but still, a great deal!). So, of course, if it’s almost free or at least very cheap, Flamingo, with their tastefully decorated Fab Deluxe rooms (for example), becomes a lot more desirable (even considering the noise and the labyrinth), at least to those with a limited budget.

Location Comparison

Both excellently located, albeit for different reasons. Flamingo is literally mid-Strip, which means you’ll be a short walking distance to the must-see Bellagio and Paris resorts, and facing Caesars Palace. This means you’re also at a reasonable distance to the new City Center (Aria, Cosmopolitan, Vdara, Mandarin Oriental) and to Planet Hollywood, as well as to Venetian and Mirage. So, you have a lot of venues and events at your fingertips.

Harrah’s is very close to Mirage, Venetian (or Palazzo), the Fashion Show Mall and even the Wynn resort: this is what I call North of Mid Strip, and it’s becoming more and more popular, certainly classier than the South Strip (at least in parts!). If you are a club goer, staying at Harrah’s means you will be walking distance to Tao nightclub (Venetian), thought not too far away from Pure (Caesars); the other way round, of course, if you stay at the Flamingo resort.

Pools comparison

Neither do they have the very best pools in Vegas, in our opinion. However, the Flamingo pool area has small waterfalls and a nice enough design, surrounded by beautiful trees (though maybe nowhere near enough), adding a pleasant tropical feel to the whole area, still of course almost totally surrounded by the huge, not classily-designed resort. On the other hand, Harrah’s pool is more basic, an Olympic-size rectangular area surrounded by the resort. The problem with Flamingo is that its pool area is so crowded at times that you will run away from it quickly; it’s noisy and loud, especially during weekends, a far cry from what you might want from a ‘tropical pool’. If you like a tropical pool, the Mirage is the best in Vegas (very classy, it’s worth the extra dollars, though they play music there too during peak hours), followed by the fantastic beach (with real waves) at Mandalay Bay (very classy, worth the extra dollars).

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