Sadly, the Tropicana has lost its soul and its way. A number of restaurants and attractions have come and gone as the resort’s new owners (Doubletree by Hilton, believe it or not) have attempted to define the iconic resort’s new identity. Luxurious? Sure. But there isn’t much memorable about it anymore, which is a bummer. They attempted to transport the Miami feel to its dining and pool parties, to minimal success, so the powers that be have kept things at status quo (reasonable rates, middle-of-the-road dining, active casino) until they discover the magic formula to make this once legendary property relevant again. It maintains its spectacular location, right on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Tropicana, at great value to guests, and that remains its saving grace.

If you do stay here, you’ll find that the $200 million spent on renovations transformed the main floor from a dark, dingy casino into a bright, white gambling palace. The rooms, which were completely gutted, follow suit in terms of brightness. Plantation-style shutters on the windows allow just the right amount of light in to highlight the bleach-white, high thread count linens; bamboo and rattan furniture makes you feel like you’ve checked into a beach house rather than a Strip hotel room. Our favorites are the Bungalow Deluxe Rooms, located just off the pool in two-story buildings, which feel very exclusive, and offer potent eye candy from their private balconies.

Restaurant: Impossible host and buff chef Robert Irvine first announced his Public House by rappelling 22 stories down the outside of the building. A little cheesy, sure. But his brand of TV-magic and energy has pumped a bit more oomph into this once-legendary resort.