We were just recently in Las Vegas for a few days for Mike to attend a conference. We stayed our first 3 nights at the Luxor, and our last one at the MGM Grand. I wanted to stay at the MGM Grand because I’d heard their pool area was great, but the rates were too high during the weekend. Even for a Sunday night they weren’t cheap (a bit over $100, including tax and resort fee), but the pool experience probably made it worth it.
In all, we liked the MGM Grand though it has only 3 things to really recommend it: 1 – its location close to the center of the strip, 2 – its incredibly comfortable pillows and 3- it’s very cool lazy river.
We stayed in a standard room with 2 “queen size” beds. I put that in quotation marks because I’m pretty sure they were doubles rather than queens, they were narrower than my bed at home. The room was rather small and featured two beds, two night tables, a desk, an armchair, two chairs, an entertainment unit with an old, non-flat screen TV and a small closet. The bathroom had one sink and a bathtub with a shower curtain. The room looked dated, the greenish wallpaper looked sad. We had a view of the roof of the casino, not a big deal as we were only there for one night. The room was, at least, clean. It didn’t include a coffee pot or a refrigerator (they do this so you’ll spend money buying coffee and drinks at the hotel). It had both wired internet and wi-fi but the connection was rather slow.
On the plus side, it has very comfortable beds with great bedding. The down (or down-like) pillows were the most comfortable pillows I’ve ever slept on. They were quite full, just as soft and flexible as down, and there were plenty of them. The down-like comforter was also very comfy. If you’re into a good night sleep, this is definitely a place to get it.
There was good water pressure in the shower, and the hotel provides you with shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, lotion and soap. The towels were fine.
As I mentioned, the big draw of the MGM Grand for us was the pool area. The MGM Grand features four pools and a lazy river. The lazy river is quite long and has a number of areas with water falling into it, though most of these you can avoid. There is a small pool area with a huge waterfall attached to it, here there is also a high platform were toddlers and babies can sit in the water (but it drops into the deeper pool, so you have to pay attention to them). The lazy river seems to vary in depth, but it’s probably shallow enough for a 7 to 8 year old kid to be able to walk it (my 6 yo was a bit too short for it). It was a lot of fun, but very crowded on a Sunday in August. There were some children, but most of the people there seem to be in their 20’s. Quite a few of them appeared drunk, though we didn’t have any incidents. Unfortunately, many people like to hang out by the edges of the river, making it hard to navigate through it when it’s quite crowded. There are huge life savers you can rent (for about $16 each!). We got a couple that people left behind and while they were fun for a while, it was a bit crowded to just lie on them and relax.There is a bar near the lazy river, so you don’t have to go far to get your $22 frozen margarita or $35 bucket of beer.
In addition to the lazy river, there seem to be 4 pools in the pool complex. We tried 2 of them (another one was used for a water polo game) and they were basically just largish, square, non-exciting pools. Still, Camila wanted to swim and she couldn’t do that at the lazy river. The pools were also pretty crowded (though she had room to swim), about 3 1/2 ft. deep. The water in both the lazy river and the pools was on the warm side (no “cold shock” when you first get in).
The pool area has a snack bar, but no dressing rooms (!). There is a small bathroom (with 3 toilets, I think!). Fortunately it wasn’t crowded. Of course, that may be because people pee in the pool 🙁
Even though there were lots of people on Sunday, we didn’t have trouble finding loungers around any of the pools.
The MGM Grand is the third largest hotel in the world (at least according to Wikipedia), and like other Vegas hotels, its grounds feature a casino, a spa, multiple restaurants and shops. The coolest part is the lion habitat they have, which features a group of 3 lions they bring in daily (different lions each time). Unfortunately the exhibit is only open between 11 AM to 7 PM and lions are most active at dawn & dusk, so most of the time they seem to just be sleeping. Still, the girls found it very cool. They have a small play area downstairs with Chuck-e-cheese style games (you buy tokens, you play them, you get tickets in return you can exchange for junk). The only restaurant we visited was the Rainforest Cafe, which is terribly overpriced.
The air at the hotel is pretty good, they seem to lightly perfume it in a pleasant way.
The casino features a small business office with limited hours. You are allowed to make 5 copies, and to print your boarding pass only (otherwise they charge over $1 per page you print).
There are coke machines by the elevators ($3!!!!) and ice machines as well.
Camila and I checked in at around 11:30 AM a Sunday morning. We had to stay in line for about 15 minutes and got our room right away. I’d reserved a King size room, but was able to change it to a room with two queen size beds. The woman at the front desk waived the $10 fee. I did the automatic check out, where you fill a card and drop it off in a box. You can also check out via TV or go to the front desk.
The line for storing luggage when we went was HUGE, though I suspect mostly with people checking out.
The MGM seems to be particularly popular with people in their 20’s bent on getting drunk and having a good time. There is nothing wrong with that, but I did have to explain to my kids why people were behaving strangely. Hopefully it’ll teach them a lesson about getting drunk in public 🙂
In all the MGM Grand is an OK hotel, but not one I would rush to come back to. I did love the bedding and the lazy river, but otherwise I’d probably go somewhere else.
3799 South Las Vegas Boulevard
Las Vegas, NV 89109