Historical Hotel Reinvigorated with Tropical Ambiance
When the Tropicana Las Vegas opened near the south end of the then-burgeoning Strip, pop star Eddie Fisher sang the opening-night show. Today it remains as one of the few casino resorts to have weathered sweeping changes in the city of neon; it represents both the old guard and new Vegas glamour thanks to its South Beach–themed makeover. With a $165 million renovation completed in May 2011—recognized by Las Vegas Weekly as Best Comeback of the year—the structure rises above the Strip clad in a coat of pure white.
The resort's sprawling pool best shows off the tropical theme, its waters shimmering among clusters of palms and white day beds and even snaking beneath the pedestrian bridge that connects the resort's two 20-story towers. Waterfalls splash beside the pool's edge and next to the outdoor patio of Café Nikki, which serves poolside piña coladas. Nearby, Club Nikki screens partiers from the sun in its all-white lounge and nightclub (beach access is closed for the season).
Upstairs, club suites serve as oases from the continuous carousal at the hotel casino below—the living room's dry bar and chaise lounge boast bamboo detailing, and white plantation-style doors draw back to reveal a plush king-size bed. An oversize desk provides ample space to count one's casino winnings or fold brochures into origami lounge singers. Come dinnertime, Biscayne grills premium steaks and Safe Harbor–certified seafood, and Bacio by Carla Pellegrino serves subtly flavored Italian fare in an elegant, monochrome setting.
Las Vegas Strip: Multifaceted Entertainment Mecca
Modern slots no longer dispense piles of quarters, but the trill sound of a winning slot machine still resonates as the siren song of Vegas. The Tropicana’s own casino peppers more than 800 slots among a race-and-sports book and tables huddled with card sharks playing no-limit hold 'em poker.
Gambling, however, is hardly the property’s only source of excitement: in the Tropicana’s southern tower, the museum at the Las Vegas Mob Experience showcases the underworld history of the Vegas Strip dating back to Prohibition. More than 1,000 historical artifacts—including personal mementos of mobsters from Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel to Charles “Lucky” Luciano—illustrate the nebulous behind-the-scenes workings of organized crime as well as how these gangsters are responsible for the evolution and suspiciously high Pac-Man scores of Vegas.