Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Tropicana Hotel and Casino - hotel review

When we've spent time in Las Vegas, we've stayed at various hotels for various reasons. I'm not one to be willing to pay large amounts of money to stay in a fancy hotel if I'm not going to be doing much more than using the room for sleeping. If I'm going to be spending time in the hotel or using their amenities, then that's a different situation, but to me, it doesn't make sense to pay for a multitude of luxuries that you're never going to use.

On our recent trip over Easter weekend to Las Vegas, we decided we didn't want to stay at one of the nicer hotels because we were going to be busy and not spending much time in the hotel. With the holiday weekend and spring break and the NCAA tournament, prices were higher than normal. However, we knew that we wanted to be near Las Vegas Blvd. and Tropicana, since that area was where we'd be spending a lot of time, so after finding a good deal on a room at the Tropicana, we decided to stay there. The hotel is on the fourth corner that includes MGM, New York New York and Excalibur, so it's a terrific location.

We drove from the airport to the hotel, and immediately, you could tell it was an older hotel, which in and of itself wasn't a problem. However, a lot of the escalators in the hotel weren't working, and from the looks of it, they hadn't been running for some time. There was a lot about the place that also seemed very run-down. Down one hallway on the way to the parking area, there were some nice black-and-white photos of Las Vegas' early days which were interesting to look at. I understand that the Tropicana is one of the oldest hotels on the strip - I'm just not sure it should look so obviously like one of the oldest hotels on the strip.

The decor of our room was bamboo-themed but the theming extended to everything, including the dresser and the walls, so that was a bit much. Our room ended up being in a wing at the far end of the hotel, so we had to walk the gauntlet of merchandising carts/kiosks every time we went back and forth to the room, and it was also fairly far away from the parking.

The view out the window of our room gave us the Hooters Hotel and Casino on one side and a nearby church on the other side, so I thought that was pretty funny. When in hotels, we've become accustomed to having some kind of refrigerator so that we can get some water and other drinks and keep them cold. Since the room did not already have a refrigerator, the husband called the front desk to ask for one. "What do you want it for?" was the question he was asked. Ummm, to put things inside to keep cold? What do most people want a refrigerator for? To make toast? To put their shoes in? The person asked if we needed it for medication, and we said no, so he said ok, they're going to have to charge us. Ummm, ok. From that part of the conversation, I'm presuming that if we *had* wanted it for medication, then they wouldn't have charged us, but since we just wanted it for normal, ordinary refrigeratory stuff, they would charge us. Ok.

One of the worst parts of our stay was that at the bottom of the stairs leading to and from the casino floor were people working for Tahiti Village, and they were VERY AGGRESSIVE every time you walked by. They were very intrusive and on several occasions, even belligerent if you didn't stop and talk to them, all the while playing the "but I'm just trying to give you something nice for free" card. No, actually, you're verbally assaulting me several times a day. It's one thing to get that on the street (not to mention the other bank of Tahiti Village people right outside the hotel) when so many people are handing our flyers and trying to get you into their show, but I didn't expect to have to deal with that in my hotel. I guess it's worth whatever money Tahiti Village pays the Tropicana for them to allow the people to assault their own customers. If I had ever wanted to even consider looking at Tahiti Village, the behaviour of their reps would turn me away. Besides, why would I do something Tanya Roberts wants me to do?

I don't envision ever staying there again, given the combination of the state of the hotel, the long walk to and from the room, and the obnoxious Tahiti Village people assaulting you at every turn, making a bad start and end to your day. If we need to stay in that part of the city, we'll spend the little bit more to stay at one of the other hotels.

Of course, then there's the question of how much longer the hotel might be there. I happened upon this news story last week that the owner of the Tropicana Hotels in Las Vegas and Atlantic City has filed for bankruptcy. It's a bit interesting that the branch in Atlantic City lost their gaming license several months ago and so the property is in the process of being sold.

Maybe someone can come in and buy the place and renovate it so that it's "classic" and not just "old".

1 comment:

Andrew said...

The Trop was built in 1957. Despite their claims of upgrades and renovations (in the past and upcoming) it looks like a place built in 1957. I've stayed there twice; once it was because my father was paying, and the other time was a wedding party. I wouldn't stay there by choice.