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Analyzing Mandalay Bay's 'Ultimate Upgrade' Offer

By MikeE on Saturday, 20th June 2009 11:54pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 4


Mandalay Bay Offer

For some time now, Mandalay Bay has been offering the "Ultimate Upgrade" package in various names and guises. For an additional one-time charge of $200 at check-in, guests will receive the following on top of their mandatory suite reservations:

  • Limo service to and from the airport
  • Invited guest check-in
  • Welcome amenity
  • Complimentary line pass to Mandalay's clubs and lounges
  • Turndown service
  • Preferred spa appointments
  • Access to MIX Lounge and Foundation Room
  • Preferred seating at Mandalay or THEhotel restaurants

So is $200 really worth it? Let's break down the numbers...

Roundtrip stretch limo will run you $108 through Presidential Limo, a service I myself have used several times and vouch for. It even comes with a long stem rose for the ladies and "champagne" - you'd be better off drinking a mixture of rubbing alcohol and Pellegrino than what they pour you from their twist-off bottle.

Invited guest check-in is worthless. It should be called "making-you-feel-special-by-sticking-you-in-a-line-that-often-takes-longer check-in." The welcome amenity will likely be a small fruit basket with maybe a couple bottles of water and a welcome note with your last name spelled wrong. Let's value that at a generous $10.

Turndown service? Shouldn't that already come with the suite reservation? Since we'll assume it doesn't, I'll value the nightstand chocolates at $1.

Complimentary line passes to all the clubs and lounges is a nice feature, but Mandalay isn't the nightclub haven it used to be. That's not to say their offerings aren't awesome (love MIX and Red Square), but they don't get the same crowds they used to. As a result, a smile and a good attitude at the door will take you just as far as a line pass.

The preferred spa appointments and restaurants seatings are a bit trickier to analyze. I'm going to deem these as having no value simply because, even during the busiest times, early planning makes this privilege moot. And no, they won't kick Simon Cowell off the best table at Fleur de Lys because someone with the "Ultimate Upgrade" package walked in.

The real kicker here is access to Foundation Room. The supposed "members only" club has never turned down a $20 bribe from yours truly where getting as many as four people in on a weeknight has never been a problem. While I have been up a couple times on weekends thanks to some high rolling friends, I can't say that the same bribery will work during busy Saturday nights. Foundation Room's Monday nights are open to the public and cover is generally $20 for men. As for access to MIX, that's just marketing trickery. MIX has never limited access and cover after 10pm is $10 for men, but there's no mention of complimentary admission anywhere in the promo.

So assuming two dudes on a trip, we have roundtrip limo transfers at $108 total, one $20 tip at Foundation Room or $40 total in cover charges if it's a Monday night, a $10 welcome amenity, $1 for turndown chocolates, and we have a grand total of $159 worth of "freebies" on Mondays, $139 on any other day.

Worth the one-time charge of $200? Hardly.

BUT, if you're going on a weekend where getting into Foundation Room is a little trickier and/or are planning an extended stay where tips to the doorman for nightly drinks at the private lounge begin to add up, then there might actually be some value to the promotion.

If they just tossed in cover charges and line passes to all MGM Mirage properties and maybe VIP Lounge check-in, then we'd see some real value. Until then, skip the "Ultimate Upgrade."



Comments & Discussion:

As soon as I saw "one-time $200 upgrade fee," my ears shut off. Vegas now seems like the bottom line is making money, not providing any real value to the customer.

I still don't get the "turn down service" thingy. So you are all ready for bed, but you have to wait for someone to come in and untuck your sheets for you, and you get a crappy chocolate mint outta the deal...... What if, in mid passionate throw, of the lovely Tina, the night of our wedding, we decide we want turn down service. How am I suppose to wait for that, unless the person doing it is hawt and willing to join us, what the hell. It just doesn't make sense to me.

It's Godiva, Spyder!

@mismonkey sooooo it's naked chocolate? I'm still confused....

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