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Room Report: Tropicana Hotel by Doubletree Las Vegas, NV

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Arrival Experience: As one of the closest hotels to the airport, this is a great option. It is not the same Tropicana of yesteryear, since it has completely rebranded itself with the Doubletree family of hotels and completed a massive renovation. The lobby is awash in white tiles and sparkles with the glow from chandeliers and casino machine reflections. While the casino is large, it is not obtrusive to normal hotel operations, and walking from reception to the elevators is easy. The staff is quite friendly for a large hotel and eager to show off the new digs. The Tropicana's comedy club is popular, and its theater is home to the Broadway hit musical Mamma Mia. This hotel does a solid job pairing value-based rates with newly designed accommodations.

Dining: As with any hotel located along the strip, dining outlets are an important way to lure guests in to the casino. Tropicana does an impressive job with its range of choices including Bacio, an Italian brasserie open for dinner serving authentic pastas, meat dishes, and soups. Bon Appetit magazine gave the restaurant a spot in one of Las Vegas top five best restaurants. Biscayne, another dinner-only venue, serves a surf and turf menu that draws in crowds from outside, especially those coming to see Mamma Mia. The Beach Café takes on three meals a day, often with international buffet fare. Room service at all hours and an eclectic food court round out the numerous dining options within guests' reach. Of course, being a Doubletree, all guests receive coupons for free warm cookies.

Accommodations: The newly appointed rooms center around large king or queen beds with plush new mattresses wrapped in 300-thread-count sheets and topped with duvets, part of Doubletree's brand standard. Guest rooms showcase a plantation style with a beachy look and modern touches. All rooms have high-tech gadgetry like 42" flat-screen TVs and an iHome universal docking station. Writing desks, armchairs by the windows, and ample closet space fronted by a full-length mirror are other appreciated perks. Windows survey the Las Vegas strip on one side with unobstructed views that peer down Las Vegas Boulevard due to the building's position on the corner. The building's opposite side has views of Mandalay Bay, Luxor, and the expansive desert landscape. Villas are actually some of the largest suite accommodations, not independent bungalows as their name may make it sound. They are some of the area's most impressive, especially since they were most recently touched up. Rooms in the Club tower are closest to the meeting facilities, which is perfect for groups.

Conclusion: An excellent fitness center is illuminated by natural light pouring in from floor-to-ceiling windows. The hotel's daily resort fee covers access to the gym plus in-room wireless Internet and bottled water. Glow Spa (part of the Mandara Spa family) handles all forms of relaxation with nine treatment rooms and a substantial relaxation area for men and women boasting saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools and chaises longues. The swimming pool basks in the Vegas sun and is a popular spot for guests although its hours (like all Las Vegas hotels) are limited between 9:30am and 7pm. Non-hotel guests can relax here for just $10, but finding an open lounge chair is rarely a problem. Cabanas offer shade and privacy for an additional fee. Conventions are a large business for the hotel, which sees plentiful groups making use of its 72,000 square feet of meeting space. For many years, Tropicana remained off the radar of visitors to town, but following its thorough reservation, it is back and better than ever.

Charlotte travelers can fly nonstop on US Airways (part of the new American Airlines) to Las Vegas.

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