The New Resort King at Mandalay Bay

The VegasTripping Review 2015

Posted by Chuckmonster

Mandalay Bay Review 2015 VegasTripping

When faced with a choice between staying at Mandalay Bay or everywhere else, 99 times out of 100, I'll choose elsewhere. I'm an adventurer. I like to walk, explore, experience and find surprises within walking circumference of my home base. Mandalay Bay - an oasis located at the butt end of The Strip - hinders my style.

Mandalay Bay itself isn't the issue. There are tons of fun things to do, eat and experience at Mandalay Bay, for novice and experienced Vegas travelers. My issue is the neighborhood.

Luxor and Excalibur have banded together to form an expansive, probably psychological, mote around Mandalay Bay. They are a chasm I'd rather not enter, visit or pass through. Obviously, this mote is of my own construction, not MGM's. Luxor and Excalibur feel uncomfortable and transient. I don't walk in the door and exude a sigh relief. When I visit Luxor, it's modern mess makes me miss the mystery and creepiness of the original theme. Excalibur is crowded, cramped, cluttered and feels like it needs a massive spring cleaning. These sensations are a barrier to exiting - and returning to - Mandalay Bay when out exploring.

Thank Ra for the tram. Now, I'll Uber it to Aria from The Delano taxi stand.

If you picked up Mandalay Bay, condensed it, and plopped it where Ballys is, it would be one of the most popular hotels in Las Vegas. Mandalay Bay gleams and glitters in gold with spacious interiors, great hotel offerings, compelling entertainment, exciting dining offerings and that absolutely ridiculous pool. For a time in the early 00's Mandalay Bay was the go to party destination for Gen X dot commies who weren't already booked at the Hard Rock. Along came The Palms, then a resurgent MGM Mirage / Light Group combination, the new Wynn & Encore, the nightclub boom and eventual financial bust.

In 2014 Mandalay Bay embarked on an extensive refresh of their public spaces, dining, entertainment and nightlife offerings. The grand shake out included top-to-bottom renovations of the Four Seasons and Delano hotels. And now, the last major piece of the Mandalay Bay renovation - brand new hotel rooms and suites - have finally been unleashed on the public. As evidenced by the spotless housekeeping and that new hotel room smell (hints of fresh carpeting, latex paint and wallpaper paste) we were one of the first people to stay in the brand new rooms at Mandalay Bay.

I arrived by car from California, in the Mandalay Bay Self Park Garage, entering via the dining district entrance near Delano and Light night club. At 1:45pm, an hour and fifteen minutes before check in time, the lobby was filled with guests eager to sign in.

Mandalay Bay 2015 Lobby Line

This guy is obviously ready to throw down a 2 dot review on Trip Advisor. Or he doesn't like the cut of my jib. Maybe both? Dude, you're in Vegas, relax!

Mandalay Bay 2015 Lobby Water

Maybe he needs to go get a glass of fruit water they've got laid out in the lobby. Refreshing! Worth mentioning this tip again... when you arrive at a hotel, go take a leak and get a decompression cocktail first thing, either at the bar or a beer from the sundries shop. You're on vacation dude, turn down the frustration and turn up the chill... you have all day to check into the hotel.

Mandalay Bay 2015 Lobby Delano Upsell

When he gets a little closer to the front of the line he'll see this delicious sign advertising an upgrade to Delano. If I hadn't recently stayed there (and loved it) I would've taken the bait.

Mandalay Bay 2015 Lobby Registration

I made it to the front of the registration line reasonably quickly and in a flash was handed the keys to my room. I headed over to the elevator, hit the buttons for the 14th floor and zoomed away!

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Comments & Discussion

Great review, always thought about staying at Mandaley/Delano but really dislike its location. I prefer to stay more central on the strip. I might choose to stay there during the hot summertime months when I can advantage of it's fantastic pool.

Hm, I notice the lobby has replaced the plastic vines and plants and jars and columns and other Indiana Jones foilage with high-resolution photography art.

As far as renovations to theme aesthetics go, they could have done a lot worse, like they did in the elevator lobbies. The chandeliers and floor remain, and the criss-crossing and curling stone patterns under the desk are now illuminated panels whose tangerine colors work with the light fixtures around the room.

The bathrooms in those rooms were super-fancy in 1999, and it's nice that the MGM still kept it pretty when getting rid of the beige pinstripes.

The room looks great. I do not have a major issue with them being at the end of the Strip because I love to walk when in Vegas. I do wonder how they can charge you for putting your own stuff in the fridge. Do they check it when they clean the room? The room rate seems well worth it and the massive amount of soaps waiting for you to take them home is cool. I also like how the pens aren't the generic Bics every hotel seems to be using.

@minvegas - those photographs are form the hi-res photographer shop in Mandalay Place whose name escapes me. It is an essentially an advertisement/product placement.

The bathroom wallpaper is kind of Van Haleny. I dig.

Again Chuck educates us with another thorough hotel room review...thanks...Did you experience any delay or issues with the elevators? We stayed here in July 2009 and had a TERRIBLE experience with slow and insufficient elevators... had to dodge so many baby strollers and place was crawling with kids and swimming pool floats/tubes/etc...made us hesitant on staying at MB afterwards (even though we really like the casino and other resort offerings).

No probe with elevators. Tons of folks walking through the resort wearing blow up pool toys. It was kinda funny!

Minibar - look closely in the dry goods section and all but the Fiji and pringles is part of the Profit Growth Plan too. It's like Jim Murren went to Bulk Barn for some cashews + candies and filled the generic boxes with them back at home. Maybe at some point they will convert the cold section to Mandalay Bay Cola and some MGM-wide 'microbrew' canned for them by a third-party.

I also thought that they had allow for a short amount of time (15 seconds?) to remove items and put them back without a charge, to allow for reading ingredient lists for allergies and nutritional content (just what is in that trendy Sriracha beef jerky? some gluten hiding in there, I'm sure). I think the Wynn offers this? Can't remember.

The blue carpet is just plain ugly to me,it looks like a french hotel from the '80ies. Generally speaking I don't like the room,it looks more or less like the new Bellagio's rooms. Good job with the bathrooms tho.
As MinVegas noted even the lobby is going through some major updates,now those light fixtures in there looks so dated. I was there a year ago and I remember a lot of painted foliage in the lobby was already missing. What can I favorite Vegas hotel with a true tropical resort flare is biting the dust a la Mirage. I'm glad I've been a Vegas resident in the early '00ies so that I've had the chance to enjoy these resorts when they still had their true personality instead of today's sanistandardization.

One of my favorite remodels.
Love the black light video...
Fun fact, the phones and remotes have an anti-jizz coating. (Seriously)

They look good! I'm sure your view was a lot better than the one we had when we stayed there. On the 6th floor and our window was behind the gold X design on the outside of the building. To add fuel to the fire, the spotlights that shine up onto the hotel also shined in our room, and reflected off the gold X design which in turn shined right into my retinas when I laid on the bed. During the day, between the X's we had a view of the fabulous airport.

The room redo's look decent, especially the bathrooms, but I'm a sucker for dark bathrooms. Not sure how I feel about the wall behind the bed. Is that a crosscut of marble?

I dig Mandalay and agree with everything you've said about it. Put it somewhere else and it'd be superb.

Very well done. I've never stayed there so it's nice to see new pictures. It generally looks nice although I could do without a few design choices. And the bug pictures - no thanks! (Hey, I you can see real bugs in a Flamingo room!)

For the location, I had figured that it it was pool season and I intended to spend a fraction of my day there, it might be worthwhile. Otherwise, the casino looked out of my budget and there are fewer other attractions to make up for it. The tram isn't as bad as it might sound, since you don't have to walk through Excaliburp.

I like the renovation. Very well-done overall! Keeps the whole "tropical Asian" feel (although I admit I think it could've been a little heavier on the "Asian" aspect), but modernizes things.

MB has some great offerings although the casino is frankly outrageous in how they want 200 bucks a hand for S17 blackjack. But I like how large and spacious the casino feels.

I wonder which property is next for renovation? I hope Aria, since Aria needs a room refresh, but on the other hand both Luxor and Excalibur really need some room-love.

Dammit that was a good Land of the Lost throwaway reference to the gurgling sinks.

My wife and I stayed at Mandalay Bay about 2 months after it first opened. We loved it. Since then I have stayed there about 6 more times but not in the past 10 years. I don't know why. The Rumjungle was one of the few nightclubs I ever went to. They had a drink called a Volcano and we both loved it. It was known for having a goofy bathroom set up and was one of the first to employ scantily clad dancers dangling from the ceiling as acrobats flying over you. Of course, its now long gone. My first ever royal occurred at the VP bar in the sports book; $4k. The views from this property, including the one from this room, are stunning. I love the theme. They still have some nice live musical lounge acts here. The location sucks right? Is it the location or the sucky properties around it like Luxor and Excalibur. The bathrooms here have always been first class with a sizable tub as shown in this review. By the way, you can walk to a Jack in the Box from this property...just head south for about a mile. This was another great review...except for the commentary about having too much vodka and not enough gin in the minibar; I am conflicted with that.

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