Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Huge and spectacle-filled, the MGM Grand offers something for everyone; mediocre service and comfortable but drab rooms.
This place truly is grand. Its 5,000 rooms are the second most of any single property in the world -- but that's not the half of it. Rather, what makes the MGM Grand extraordinary is that virtually everything here is big and spectacular and over-the-top -- the casino is the biggest in town; the pool complex is vast; the entertainment options range from big-time boxing matches and arena concerts to adults-only cabaret and Cirque du Soleil; and so many of the restaurants are headed by celebrity chefs that you practically need trading cards to keep track. And even the lion habitat on site was closed permanently in 2012 as part of the hotel's renovation plans, the hotel still has plenty other options to keep you busy.
Rooms were the first area of the hotel to see renovations, which came in at $160 million, another grand touch for the mega-hotel. Service, however, is a different story. Given the enormity of the place, it's not surprising that you don't get much in the way of personalized attention. And long lines at the check-in desk are to be expected, but the staff isn't very efficient even when it comes to handling specific requests. And they can't keep up with mess. But, again, those who demand a higher level of service can get that too at the MGM -- by staying at The Signature at MGM Grand, the resort's all-suites, luxury offshoot.
All that said, this is a solid candidate for those looking to find all the extravagance and variety of Vegas, and comfortable rooms, under one roof. It's worth comparing rates at Mandalay Bay, which offers a similar everything-but-the-kitchen experience, only in a less-desirable location.
MGM Grand is located at about the midpoint of the southern half of the 3½-mile-long stretch of hotel-casinos known as the Las Vegas Strip, across from New York, New York and just north of the Tropicana.
Most Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big properties along the Strip. Cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3 to ride. There's also a monorail system, which stops at Bally's, Caeser's Palace, Harrah's, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara, in addition to the MGM Grand. A single ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, however, a cab is often the least expensive option.
Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.
Rooms got a much-needed upgrade in a 2012 renovation that took rooms from basic to vibrant
Renovated rooms and suites were revealved in late 2012, as part of MGM's $160 million Grand Renovation. Rooms are all large and stylish with modern decor and technologies, but West Tower rooms, the hotel's oldest (renovated in 2006) are musty and far from the action.
The biggest casino in Vegas.
At 171,000 square feet, the casino is the biggest in Las Vegas. It has all the options of the best Strip casinos: tons of table games, a race and sports book, thousands of slots, and particularly active craps tables.
A better-than-average Vegas choice for families; the main draw is the awesome pool complex.
Nothing here is designed especially for kids, but loads of reasonably priced (among some not-so-reasonably priced) dining options and a huge pool area make the MGM Grand a solid option for families. For those families looking forward to visiting the lion habitat, the space unfortunately closed permanently in 2012 as part of the hotel's renovation plans.
Cribs and rollaway beds are available for a fee.
Kid-friendly restaurants include the Rainforest Cafe, with animatronic gorillas and a misty rainshower every few minutes (don't worry, guests stay dry).
More restaurants, and more celebrity chefs, than you'll be able take on during a single stay; worth a visit even if you're staying somewhere else.
With some 14 restaurants, many operated by celeb chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Joel Robuchon, and Michael Mina, the hotel is a destination for foodies who are not even guests of the hotel. Only the Wynn's collection of brand-name chefs compares.
Room service is available 24 hours a day, natch.
Grand is the operative word. The biggest hotel (by room count) in Las Vegas has the biggest casino in town, many of the best restaurants, an enormous and fun pool complex, and a huge range of on-site entertainment options. But this place is so big and diverse that everyone -- yes, everyone -- can find what they want, even if the service is unexceptional. Plus a large scale renovation is in the works to pep up the 1993-built behemoth.