Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
The beautifully designed M Resort has only 390 rooms -- that's tiny, at least by Vegas standards -- and it's located in the suburbs of Las Vegas (the city of Henderson) about 10 miles south off the the all-night dazzle on the Strip. It still upholds the great luxury -- the gambling, the adults-only pool party, the large rooms, the beautiful spa -- of the top hotels on the Strip like the Wynn, Encore, Venetian, Palazzo, or Bellagio, but you'll have to settle for seeing the glittering lights of the Strip from the distant comfort of, say, their rooftop sushi bar. (To get to the Strip, the resort provides a free, 20-minute shuttle.)
But given its distance from the noise, along with its indoor Zen waterfalls, giant floral display, multiple terraces, attentive service, and abundance of natural light, the M Resort really is more relaxing and intimate-feeling than the 2,000-plus-room mega hotels along the Strip. And unlike the big hotels on the Strip, you don't have to actually walk through the casino to get to the pool -- making the M feel less like a casino-resort and more like, well, a resort.
The hotel also offers free airport transfers (the average taxi to the strip runs about $15). All in all, a great value.
The staff is exceptionally attentive (any time you pass staff members in the hotel, they'll probably ask you if you need anything), but, like the resort itself, the service is more relaxed, and you're not going to get the white-glove presentation as you might at the Four Seasons or the Bellagio.
In the fitness center, attendants are on hand to offer bottled water or smoothies, and in the locker room another attendant brings bottles of water into the steam room. Even after paying $30 to use the gym at the Wynn, you're not going to find this level of service.
The nightly turn-down service includes meringue cookies, ice, and clean towels. And if you need anything extra -- like a toothbrush -- the staff is ready to deliver it to the room within minutes.
A concierge is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to help with standard requests, like dinner reservations, shuttle services, and show tickets.
The M is located in an upscale Las Vegas suburb, 10 miles south of the Strip. Outside the hotel, there isn't much within walking distance -- just a gas station, really. However, there are ample taxis that wait at the entrance of the hotel, and the hotel also runs a free shuttle to the Strip (ask the concierge about drop-off and pick-up times).
The M is about a 20-minute drive from McCarren International Airport. The hotel also provides a free shuttle service to the airport (a taxi would cost about $35).
The rooms were built in 2009 and extremely well designed -- faux-wooden textures, bright floor-to-ceiling windows, a large armoire closet with four-drawer storage (and comfy bathrobes), recessed mood-lighting, a well-lit desk with ample outlets, a safe large enough for a laptop, and a deep tub positioned in such a way that you can see across the room out of the main window.
The rooms start at a very comfortable 550 square feet, which is a touch smaller than the base-level rooms at the Wynn, Venetian, Encore, or Palazzo hotels, but still on par with the Bellagio and far larger than a typical hotel room in any other major city in the world. For significantly more space, the M also offers one- and two-bedroom suites, as well as a stunning, 2,400-square-foot, triangular, bi-level loft suite with 270-degree views.
In all rooms, the electronics -- like the huge 42-inch HD flatscreen TV (with some 40 channels and on-demand movies), Bose Wave sound system, and a second TV embedded in the bathroom mirror -- work well with the chrome-and-leather chairs to create the comfortable, urban-chic vibe. In-room Wi-Fi is $12.99 per 24-hours.
The beds (either a king or two queens in standard rooms) are insanely comfortable -- pillow-top mattress; extra-padded top sheets; down comforters; heavy thick cotton blanket; four big throw pillows; padded leather headboard. The beds easily rival the best in Vegas, such as those at the Wynn and the Encore.
The bathrooms, likewise, are on par with the best hotels on the Strip. They come with marble countertops with twin sinks, a natural-stone-tiled walk-in shower with a glass door and a built-in bench, and a separate deep tub with an open view of the rest of the room and the shimmering Las Vegas Strip out the window or the mountains beyond. Unfortunately, however, the tub doesn't have an ideal view of the flatscreen TV embedded in bathroom mirror.
The Villaggio Del Sole Pool, the larger and more family-oriented of the two pools, is pretty shallow but fine for a quick dip. Lifeguards are on duty, drink service and food is available from the Piazza Grille, and there are plenty of lounge chairs -- which can be scarce at less-expensive hotels like the MGM Grand or the Mandalay Bay. In addition to the pool, there are two large hot tubs on the pool deck.
The atmosphere at the Villaggio pool is fairly relaxed -- more so than at the adults-only pool -- though there is still the universal "hotel house" soundtrack that pumps out over the pool area from plastic speakers around the grounds.
The adults-only pool, more commonly referred to as Daydream, is a hard-bodied party scene more akin to the many luxury hotels along the Vegas Strip. Expect a few G-strings, a live DJ, lots of drinks, and intentionally sexy (but still attentive) waitresses. But the pool area is fairly small -- only 12,000 square feet -- and it can get packed pretty easily. An open lounge chair can be hard to come by, unless you book one of the 10 VIP cabanas, which have private lounge areas with ceiling fans, refrigerators, and iPod docking stations (though it would be hard to hear your own music over the DJ's loud speakers). But there is an extra fee to enter the Daydream pool: $20 for men; ladies get in free.
The fitness center is clean, bright (it's surrounded by floor-to-ceiling windows), and modern (all cardio machines come with private TV monitors). The only problem is that the fitness center, like the spa and salon, is only open from 6:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. The Spa Mio facilities include steam room, sauna, locker rooms, and Jacuzzi areas. Like the gym, the spa facilities are well maintained, and unlike most other luxury hotels in Vegas, the hotel staff regularly offers chilled bottled water to guests in the steam room. The access fee for for both spa and fitness center is $15 per day.
The spa has a full list of treatments, such as massages, pedicures, facials, and salon treatments. Prices are typical of most Vegas hotels -- a 50-minute Swedish massage costs $125; a 50-minute deep tissue massage costs $140; and facials start at $130. Check the Spa Mio website for more information on treatments.
Although in-room Wi-Fi will cost you $12.99 per 24-hours, you can use it for free in the hotel's coffee shop.
Beautiful -- like the rest of the hotel -- with great cocktail service and additional poolside tables.
The large, 92,000-square-foot casino is, like the rest of the hotel, new and well designed. And, like the Encore hotel, there are an additional four gaming tables poolside -- so that you can drink and gamble in the sun. The poker room has 12 tables -- some with limits, some without -- and holds tournaments daily. Nonsmokers will appreciate the effective air-filtration system, and sports fans will appreciate the TVs that hang over some of the gaming tables.
The M is a fine hotel for families, but it is not one that offers much for children to do -- no family-friendly entertainment like at the Venetian, MGM Grand, or Mandalay Bay -- and the hotel does not provide baby-sitting services, kids' menus, or anything else that caters specifically to young families. Still, at the main pool, you won't find any gratuitous beer chugging or make-out sessions. For the many families who visit the hotel, that's plenty.
In addition, the standard rooms can be booked with two queen-size beds, and cribs (pack-and-play pens) and rollaway beds are available at no extra charge (unlike at most other Vegas hotels).
For food, the buffet offers a great variety for picky eaters, and there are several other fast, less-expensive dining options.
Still looking as new as it did when it opened in 2009.
M Resort really only has five restaurants and a buffet -- its a fine selection, but it hardly compares to the 15 premier restaurants at the Wynn, the 19 restaurants at the Bellagio, or the 21 restaurants at the Venetian (not to mention the hundred or so other dining options along the Strip).
For a more upscale dinner, options include authentic Italian at Marinelli's, steak and seafood at Terzetto, and pan-Asian-fusion and sushi at Veloce Cibo (which has great views of the Strip, off in the distance). The food is good, but the closest equivilent to a celebrity chef (found at just about any major hotel on the Strip) is at Baby Cakes, which serves desserts -- cannolis, rum cakes, jelly rolls -- from Chef Jean-Claude Canestrier (named one of the 10 best pastry chefs in America in 2002-2003).
The most economical dining option is at Studio B, the buffet, which offers upwards of 200 dishes daily, and even includes free beer and wine for lunch and dinner (at least for now). It easily compares to some of the best buffets in Las Vegas, like the buffet at the Bellagio, but the prices are even better ($11 for weekday breakfasts; $26 for a weekend dinner). As a result, the line for the buffet is pretty long until about 9 p.m.
For a quick bite, guests can also head to the Red Cup Cafe, a typical coffee shop with an international twist. Think everything from burgers, to tacos, to an Asian chicken salad with an eggroll ($19). Basic bar food -- burgers, hot dogs, fries -- is available at Vig Deli, located just off the main casino area.
The Piazzo Grille serves pizza and light fare next to the Villaggio Del Sole Pool. You can order inside the restaurant and then have the food delivered to your table by the pool. My giant chicken wrap arrived quickly, and the servers even offered to grab me a drink multiple times.
The M Resort has a few lounge-like bars -- perfect for having a mellow drink -- but don't expect a rowdy club to dance at.
There are a number of notable bars at the M Resort, but they are, for the most part, relaxed places to grab a cocktail, like the subterranean wine bar with automated wine dispensers, Hostile Grape, or 32 Degree Draft, which has an extensive beer selection by the race and sports book in the casino.
Opened in 2009, this beautiful, relaxing, 390-room resort is 10 miles from Strip, but offers the swanky rooms, a pool scene, and a casino that rival those of the Strip's best hotels -- not to mention the attentive service. Hey, in spite of the location, at least you've got a limited shuttle service to the strip, and even one to the airport.
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