30
Dec
15

Hotel Review: MGM Grand

MGM Grand is a name quite familiar with Filipinos, especially boxing fans, as some of the biggest boxing matches were held here including what was dubbed as “The Fight of the Century” between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Manny Pacquiao.  Here’s a look at what the hotel is really like.

MGM Grand

MGM Grand was our home for three days when we stayed in Las Vegas.  We checked in on a Sunday, a day after the “High Stakes” match between Floyd Mayweather, Jr. and Andre Berto.  We weren’t prepared for what greeted us upon entering the hotel lobby to check in:

Crazy long queue to check-in!

The proud symbol of MGM Grand

I’m not sure if this is the norm here or if it’s just a coincidence but this is definitely the longest check in line I’ve ever seen!  I guess all hands were on deck that day but despite that it still took some time before we got to the front.  I guess that was a preview of how crazy Las Vegas can become.

Travel Tip: Consider availing of MGM Resorts’ loyalty card, M life.  You may use it with any MGM Resorts globally to earn points from hotels and casinos, and it’s free.

Afterwards, we were off to find our room.  MGM Grand is just huge and the main hotel is a big building with four wings shaped like a big cross or plus, however you want to put it.  Each wing has quite a number of rooms so it actually feels like a mass housing apartment to some extent—albeit you’re surrounded by wall-to-wall carpeting everywhere!  And since the ground floor is a huge casino, chances are you’d have to ask for directions the first time around to get to the hotel elevators as it can be quite confusing.

The keys to our room

The elevator lobby on our floor (taken at night)

This is what you could say as the core of the MGM Grand

The long lobby to our room

Trivia: The MGM Grand is the third largest hotel in the world by number of rooms and the largest hotel resort complex in the United States, ahead of The Venetian.  When it opened in 1993, the MGM Grand was the largest hotel in the world. —Wikipedia

Room

What we got is what I assumed to be a standard room with a queen-sized bed facing east with a view of the McCarran International Airport and of course sunrise.  Here are my notes on our room:

  • Room size is comparable with similar room from hotels of the same caliber
  • Wall-to-wall window with pulldown curtains that can make the room totally dark even on daylight
  • Window-side couch
  • Very spacious restroom with bathtub (shower on the bathtub as well)
  • Towels and the very basic of toiletries provided
  • Standard number of storage spaces with the typical extras like hangers, ironing board, safe, etc.
  • Working desk with chair and lamp
  • Fully-stocked refrigerator
  • In-room Wi-Fi
  • Typical number of power outlets
  • Card-type keys
  • Big LCD TV
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting except in the restroom
  • Mirrors behind the bed making the room seem much larger

Our bed

The lavatory

The bathtub and shower

I guess I got too distracted to notice that this is the only “decent” photo of the length of our room I had 😀

The view from our window

Casino

MGM Grand has some of the biggest casino floors in Las Vegas Strip offering a wide variety of games from slot machines to race betting and everything else in between.  In terms of slot machines though, MGM Grand has been around for so long that you can see generations of machines side by side on their floors from the latest to the relatively aged.

Some of the shops inside MGM Grand

Grand Pool

Here’s one aspect where MGM Grand really stands out.  MGM Grand has got the most number of pools (four pools, three spas or Jacuzzi, and a “river”) and the biggest area dedicated to it that I’ve ever seen in a hotel!  It was really, really unfortunate that we weren’t able to enjoy this because their operating hours is from 9AM to 5PM only.

The Academy Pool with MGM Grand at the background

The lap pool called the Producer’s Pool

A segment of the Backlot River

This is how big the pool complex is

MGM Grand Buffet

We had our last meal (lunch) in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand Buffet and I could say that the price is quite reasonable, the ambiance is nothing to write home about, but the selection is good as well as the taste.  Their weak side though is the drinks department as they don’t offer any signature or specialty drinks.

The rows of dishes at MGM Grand Buffet

The cold area

The desserts section

Summary

MGM Grand is definitely not new and you can feel it all around the hotel.  The hotel looks a bit dated though I could say they’re trying hard to be kept updated as our room would attest.  In some areas though, the hotel is not so graceful as to hiding its age.  Regardless, MGM Grand still boasts some great amenities with its vast casino floors, its numerous shops and restaurants, the huge pool area, and it even has its own Las Vegas Monorail station!  But as someone who stayed at the hotel, what matters most to me is the room.

Ticketing machine at the MGM Grand Station of Las Vegas Monorail

Check-out though was a breeze!

The bronze statue of Leo, the MGM lion, is also the largest in the US

For a hotel as huge and popular as MGM Grand, I was expecting more.  First, there’s absolutely nothing complimentary that they give you aside from what’s standard amenities in the room—not even a small bottle of water!  Second, they have a fully stocked refrigerator, literally, that you can’t place any of your items in!  And third, in case you manage to put anything in and they found out, they’ll charge you for it!  The items inside the refrigerator also have some tag below them that I didn’t investigate further as it may be an alarm of sort that gets added to our tab.  It honestly feels like they try to charge you extra for anything that they could get away with.  And mind you, there’s no free breakfast.

Overall, MGM Grand is not bad, but with so many other hotels along Las Vegas Strip, they may not be the best choice.


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