Everything -- absolutely everything -- under one roof
Fun pool complex that covers more than six acres
Dozens of eateries include cxcellent celeb-chef restaurants
Giant casino, with thousands of slots, video poker, and table games
Several bars and lounges, plus renowned DJs several nights a week
Excellent live entertainment lineup
Fantastic spa and fitness center (though both cost a fee)
Sprawling hotel means lots of walking
Fee for Wi-Fi
Impersonal and sometimes unresponsive service
Access to fitness center and spa require a fee
When it comes to the 5,034-room MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, "grand" is the operative word. One of the biggest hotels (by room count) in Las Vegas also has many of the best restaurants in town, a massive casino, an enormous and fun pool complex, and a huge range of on-site entertainment options. This place is so big and diverse that everyone -- yes, everyone -- can find what they want, even if the service is unexceptional. All that said, this is a solid candidate for those looking to find all the extravagance and variety of Vegas -- plus comfortable rooms with king beds, minibars, and Carrera marble bathrooms -- under one roof. It's worth comparing rates at , which offers a similar everything-but-the-kitchen-sink experience, only in a less-desirable location.
Huge and spectacle-filled, the MGM Grand offers something for everyone, though service is mediocre
This place truly is grand. Its 5,000-plus rooms make it one of the largest properties 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 one of the biggest in town; the pool complex is vast; the entertainment options range from big-time boxing matches to arena concerts to Cirque du Soleil; and so many of the restaurants are headed by celebrity chefs that you practically need trading cards to keep track.
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 offshoot, or SKYLOFTS at MGM Grand, the luxury duplex lofts tower.
MGM Grand is located at about the midpoint of the southern half of the three-and-a-half-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. There's also a monorail system, which stops at MGM, /, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, /, Las Vegas Convention Center, the , and . Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport.
Nearly 20 room categories, all featuring king beds and flat-screen TVs
Rooms got a much-needed upgrade in 2012 (part of MGM's $160 million Grand Renovation) that took them from basic to vibrant. And at about 450 square feet, the standard rooms are also reasonably spacious, though by no means very large by Vegas standards. Note that West Tower rooms are smaller, at about 350 square feet, and are far from the action. Suites start at 675 square feet.
All units are large and stylish with jewel-toned decor, 40-inch flat-screen TVs, media hubs, and minibars. King beds with heavy duvets and Serta pillow-top mattresses plus blackout curtains equal a perfect environment for resting after those long Vegas nights. Carrera marble bathrooms have shower/tub combos (suites have jetted tubs and separate showers), hairdryers, magnifying mirrors, and MGM brand toiletries.
One of the best fitness centers on the Strip, plus Grand Spa and Shadow Creek Golf Course
The spacious and well-equipped fitness center has rows of elliptical machines and treadmills, high ceilings, and natural light from large windows looking out over the expansive pool area. The Grand Spa features whirlpools, saunas, steam rooms, and relaxation lounges, but these facilities, as well as the fitness center, require a pass to enter. Passes are available for one, three, or five day periods, and are only offered to hotel guests. The public is allowed to book treatments at the spa on certain days of the week.
As with all MGM resorts, guests have access to the private Shadow Creek Golf Course, about a 20-minute drive from the Strip. The greens are only open to resort guests, and MGM offers a personal limo from the Strip and caddie service.
With rivers, waterfalls, caves, hot tubs, palm trees, and five pools, the pool complex at MGM is one of the most impressive in Las Vegas
Like almost everything else at MGM Grand, the pool area is huge: six-and-a-half-acres huge, to be exact. The area has five pools in total, one of which is a long winding river for inner tubes that puts the lazy-river pools at Mandalay and Monte Carlo to shame. Palm trees lend a tropical vibe. In addition to an adult-only pool, there's a 54,500-square-foot party pool called Wet Republic, which is one of the wildest pool parties on the Strip. There are also five bars and a poolside grill, plus cabanas and daybeds available to rent. Two warnings: The MGM pool complex can get seriously crowded in the afternoons (the pools at the MGM Signature are much mellower) and the entire pool complex closes during the winter months.
At 171,000 square feet, MGM's casino is among 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 options in the food court and a huge pool area -- including the extremely long lazy river for relaxed inner tube rides -- make the MGM Grand a solid option for families. Cribs and rollaway beds are available for a fee.
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 two dozen restaurants, many operated by celeb chefs like Wolfgang Puck, Emeril Lagasse, Joel Robuchon, and Tom Colicchio, MGM is a destination for foodies who are not even guests of the hotel. Only the Wynn's collection of brand-name chefs compares.
Especially noteworthy is Joel Robuchon, which is the hautest of the haute (and the most expensive; L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon has smaller plates), as well as the beautiful Morimoto, the popular Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, and the upscale steak house Craftsteak. Right next door is Emeril's New Orleans Fish House, which is worth a trip just for a po-boy. MGM Grand Buffet is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and there is a food court with such counter-service spots as Tacos N 'Ritas and Pan Asian Express.
Room service is available 24 hours a day.
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