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11.22-11.27 @ TheHotel Mandalay Bay

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by safire, Dec 12, 2008.

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  1. safire

    safire Newbie

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    My Trip Report

    I went with my boyfriend of 2 years. We both recently turned 21 so we wanted to splurge and get the Vegas experience while celebrating our 2 year anniversary.

    We stayed at TheHotel @ Mandalay Bay. My bf was drawn to this place because of the pools and beach NOT KNOWING that only one pool would be open during our trip because of winter. He says he wants to come back during the summer to get the full experience. We still loved the location because the Tram connecting Luxor, Excalibur and MB was very convenient!

    I love food so I'm going to type about food first!

    Room
    Room was fabulous! We really enjoyed the twin sinks and huge bathroom. The bathtub was great in the morning to wake up while watching the flatscreen tv in the bathroom!
    The bed was very soft and comfortable. We had plenty of closet space and shelf space!
    I was very happy with the twin sinks because I take longer to get ready and enjoy having lots of elbow room!
    The rooms were always cleaned before we got back to the room in the afternoon!
    Our room had a direct view of Luxor and Excalibur at night and it was breathtaking!
    We definitely took advantage of the large bathrub~

    Restaurants/Buffets/Eateries I visited
    Burger Bar (Mandalay Place) - This was a great place to kick off our first night in Las Vegas. I had a turkey burger and my bf had a kobe beef burger. It was very casual yet scrumptious!

    Bayside Buffet Champagne Brunch (Mandalay Place) - It was ok. They did give crab legs and shrimp but overall nothing was incredibly yummy.

    Samba Brazilian Steakhouse (Mirage) - We had 5pm reservations and I made note to tell them it was our anniversary. Both of us enjoyed the Rodizio option which means unlimited options of different skewered/bbqed meat options. My bf is a carnivore so he really enjoyed it but he also was very happy with the side dishes particularly the sweetened carrots. I really liked the complimentary dinner rolls with the garlic pesto. They were very sweet and gave us complimentary dessert that spelled out "Happy Anniversary" at the end of our meal.

    Buffet @ The Bellagio for Breakfast (Bellagio) - I really loved this place even though my bf wasn't impressed. I particularly loved their small bagels. I ate the whole thing with cream cheese, smoked salmon and capers.

    TheMix (TheHotel @ Mandalay Bay) - This place was so beautiful and perfect to celebrate our 2 year anniversary night. The restaurant is located at the top of TheHotel so we enjoyed a beautiful view of the strip. I ordered the free range chicken with ginger and its natural jus. My bf ordered the sea bass with deconstructed Pesto. Both were really yummy. We enjoyed the shrimp cocktail as an appetizer. For dessert we shared the floating islands. They spelled out in chocolate "happy anniversary" on the dish that carried our "floating islands". All in all it was very pleasant. It's very dark in the restaurant not like the white/bright pictures depicted online so it was difficult to take good pictures of the restaurant.

    Buffet @ Wynn (Wynn) - This was really nice. My bf was particularly impressed. He enjoyed the corn soup. I really liked taking pictures of the candied apples. The creme brulee was also very yummy. The homemade ice cream was average. The coffee ice cream was too bitter for my taste. I liked the seafood ceviche.

    Gelato @ The Forum Shops (Caesar's Palace) - I was drawn to the beautiful showcase of gelato with beautiful fruits decorating the ice cream that I ordered without looking at the price. I got one scoop of pina colada gelato and one scoop of mango gelato ...total was 18.50! At least it was yummy.

    Tao Restaurant (Venetian) - The interior design was so beautiful. The service at this restaurant was lacking when my server disappeared for a long time. Between entrees and dessert, we had at least 40 minutes of wait time. No server "checked" up on us either. Other than that, the food was superb and interior decoration awesome. My bf wanted to try sake so we shared a bottle of sake. We shared 3-4 smaller dishes: crab cakes w/ mango sauce, pork spring rolls, bamboo chicken dumplings, and pork fried rice. It was all very yummy! For dessert we shared a tangerine sorbet with ginger syrup and fresh fruit. Definitely go for the different ambiance but hopefully service gets better!

    Noodle Shop (Mandalay Bay) - We were hungry early evening and needed a pick-me-up. The prices at this place are very reasonable with authentic asian dishes. We ordered the Moo Shu Duck, Kimchi Fried Rice and Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce. All three were very good. It was definitely filling without being too heavy.

    Todai Sushi Seafood Buffet (Miracle Mile Shops) - The sushi and sashimi options were not bad considering it only cost $18 per person for lunch. For that price, I wasn't expecting too much. The service was average and don't come here if you are expecting gourmet! They had a few good options. I left a lot of my plate untouched after a small nibble. Drinks aren't included in the price so you pay extra for soft drinks / alcohol (unlimited refills)

    Buffet @ The Mirage (Mirage) - For some reason my BF really enjoyed this buffet maybe because it was Thanksgiving morning and the buffet was 'special' and cost a bit more. I tried not to eat too much turkey because I didnt want to go into a food coma so early in the day! It was tempting but overall it was good. No crab legs but they did have unlimited shrimp in the seafood section. I enjoyed a made-to-order crepe but it was really big so I couldn't finish it!

    BLT Burger (Mirage) - This was our final meal before we caught our flight back to reality. It was a quick meal and I had a giant vanilla milkshake with the Tex-Mex Burger~ My bf went with the original burger with american cheese with some waffle fries. We both liked it~ service was nice and fast.

    Gambling
    My bf and I are both gambling virgins :eek: so we started off at the lower minimum tables. We signed up for MGM-Mirage Players card automatically because of the # of hotels linked to the players card. It was nice to have as a souvenir too because it's shiny and silver (very pretty). We pretty muched played Black Jack all week with a few dips into the slot machines for fun.
    Mirage and T.I. open the cards for all the players (except dealer) in BlackJack and the dealer counts for you. Mandalay Bay is a lot stricter where all cards are covered and you hold the cards with one hand and graze the felt if you want more cards or slide the cards underneath the chips if you are good.
    I fell in love with Black Jack. They would raise the minimum from $5 to $10 while we were sitting but we found out if you sat there previously you can continue betting the low minimum. They dont advertise this only if you ask they tell you it's allowed. Overall, all the dealers were nice and very accomodating to first-timers like myself.
    They dont "rate" you unless you are betting a minimum of $25 each time and you exchange more than $200 in chips. At least, thats wut the pitboss told my table when I was at the Mirage.
    We tried to play it safe but we definitely were sucked into the hype! It was fun though.

    Mystere @ T.I
    We bought front row tickets to Mystere and it was my first Cirque du Soleil show and I really enjoyed it. I definitely want to make a 2nd trip soon and watch the other shows ESPECIALLY "O" @ the bellagio and La Reve @ the wynn. Next time I wont book front row section tickets even if they are the most expensive.. It's better to get the 2nd section to get the full feel of the stage.. and not have to throw my head back and strain my neck trying to glimpse everything!

    I took so many pictures that it was difficult sorting them all out. It was definitely extremely fun and I want to plan my 2nd trip. This time I want to travel with more friends so we can feed off of each others' excitement ^^.

    Things I learned on my trip~
    @ There is a starbucks on every corner in vegas (within the same building too).. .a lot of buildings had "starbucks coming soon" ... im caffeine addicted so it was AWESOME :)
    @ The Shark Reef @ Mandalay Bay was amazing... so much more than sharks! It was worth the ticket fee of $18~ish / person
    @ All lions ever do at the MGM Lion's Habitat is sleep...
    @ The ATM machines charge $5 each time no matter how much you are withdrawing so plan out the cash you need accordingly! If you are into big gambling, it might be easier to open a line of credit with the cashier on your credit card (BUT KNOW YOUR LIMITS)
    @ I apparently still look very young because everyone asked for my ID (this I was very happy about)
    @ It does get cold at night so bringing jackets/sweaters/long sleeves is smart
    @ Good walking shoes are very necessary!
    @ Even if they raise the minimum at the table while you are at it, if you dont get up you can still bet the minimum ^^
    @ A lot of people smoke in the casinos and it made me dizzy. Some casinos had "smoke free" sections that were never open during my entire trip
    @ I enjoyed talking to people at my table.. everyone has an interesting story or tip!
    @ We took the monorail from MGM Grande all the way to the last stop to look at the Stratosphere ! The walk from the Stratosphere back to the strip was very long and dreary. I wanted the exercise but my bf was complaining the whole time because he was hungry. This was solved by the Wynn Buffet... Dont walk here at night by yourself! We walked in the morning and we could see how "shady" this area could probably be at night.
    @ The NYNY Rollercoaster was SOOO fun and worth it! We did it during the day. If we had more time I would have bought the whole day pass to do it one more time at night to see the difference. For a first timer it was definitely fun!
    @ I had fun exploring the four floors of the M&M Shop
     
  2. safire

    safire Newbie

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    some pictures from my trip

    TheSuite
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    The Giant Bathtub.. I felt like I had to climb into it since I'm only 5'2

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    The King Sized Bed~ really comfy

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    The Mini Bar~

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    The Living Room

    Shark Reef and Aquarium @ Mandalay Bay
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    Golden Crocodile and BF at Shark Reef Aquarium

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    Debating whether or not take carry giant stuffed animal with our belongings...

    Before Eating at The Mix
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    self-timer ...10 seconds to run in heels!

    Fun at the M&M Store
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    @ The Mirage~
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    Mirage Tropical Rainforest (indoors)

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    Pretty Cirque du Soleil Showcase

    @ The Bellagio
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    The fountains "performed" to Time to say goodbye it was so romantic <3

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    Legendary Chocolate Fountain

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    Beautiful lighting fixtures in the lobby!

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    MGM Grande
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    Lions sleeping with their caretakers..... is that safe?

    Wynn
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    Mosaic Floors~ so pretty

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    Outside the lobby at the balcony facing the eternal waterfall

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    Outside the Wynn~

    Near NYNY
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    ALWAYS THE SPORTS FAN!

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    reminds me of disneyland

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    YUMMY candy apples

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    before riding the nyny rollercoaster

    Other random shots
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    candid shot

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    Venetian at night ~
     
  3. DonD

    DonD Super Moderator

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  4. safire

    safire Newbie

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    haha this actually made me giggle outloud ..
    when I was there, i guess it was during the day, they slept most of it ~ noctournal cats :thumbsup:
     
  5. malimban

    malimban Guest

    Great report! we're going to be staying at THEhotel too from the 17-21. My gf just turned 21 so it's kind of her b-day/x-mas present. Can't wait to see your pictures! did you try the $20 trick at THEhotel?
     
  6. safire

    safire Newbie

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    I didnt try the $20 trick because we checked in pretty late that night (around 9-10pm) .. we had a view of the strip though so I was pleased ^^
     
  7. blackjacknut

    blackjacknut VIP Whale

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    NICE REPORT!

    :beer:
     
  8. lithelady

    lithelady Low-Roller

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    enjoyed the TR - specially the photos. And the restaurant reviews too, since I always INTEND to get to restaurants but end up gambling til I'm so hungry that I head to the food court or buffet :)
     
  9. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    Nice TR...you hit a lot of the same restaurants I like going to, well, the buffets anyways.
     
  10. texas_aggie_girl_93

    texas_aggie_girl_93 VIP Whale

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    Great photos! Sounds like a nice trip. Thanks for posting.
     
  11. ez369

    ez369 High-Roller

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    way to go for your first post on here being a trip report!
     
  12. DBear

    DBear VIP Whale

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    http://www.lvrj.com/news/36038594.html

    A handler was bitten on the leg at the MGM Grand's lion habitat Wednesday night, a company spokesman confirmed Thursday.

    A quick reaction by another trainer, who thumped the lion on the nose and stepped between the two, might have prevented the incident from escalating, an eyewitness told the Review-Journal.

    The attack occurred during a feeding about 8 p.m. and was witnessed by numerous onlookers, many of whom recorded the scene on video and took photos, an eyewitness said.

    The male handler required stitches "but will be back to work soon," said Alan Feldman, vice president of communications.

    Feldman said "nothing has been determined as far as a 'cause' yet, although the entire thing was quick, minor and easily resolved. The animal involved is also doing fine and behaving normally."

    The witness said the handler was throwing raw meat to the lion when it bit him.
     
  13. tnkc

    tnkc High-Roller

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    Thanks for the trip report...sounds like you had a good time. If you're hooked on gambling and don't like the higher limits, may I suggest to you a trip downtown next time, where lower limits are more prevalent and highly valued. Take care!
     
  14. Bottom9th

    Bottom9th Tourist

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    Nice report and pics. Thanks
     
  15. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    Very nice report and pics. Thanks for posting.

    later, GVJ
     
  16. angel81chick

    angel81chick Abuelita

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    Loved the pictures....esp. the one where you had 10 seconds to run in heels...just make sure you don't do the same thing at Paris with the cobblestones LOL

    Thanks for the TR! Glad you two had a great anniversary and trip!
     
  17. eucerin101

    eucerin101 Tourist

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    sounds like you played a lot of 6:5 bj, be careful of those single deckers. sounds like u had a wonderful trip nevertheless. Ilove food too!
     
  18. alexmia

    alexmia Tourist

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    Thank you for a very comprehensive and fun trip report! You two make a cute couple!
     
  19. lvchic80

    lvchic80 Low-Roller

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    Nice TR and pictures. I agree with the previous poster.. cute couple!
     
  20. judy

    judy Low-Roller

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    great trip report

    Congratulations on Your Anniversary-fun photos of a cute couple.
    Your trip sounds like one to remember and documenting if in words and photos and sharing with us is so cool. Thanks for sharing!
    p.s. :licklips: I like that Cerviche at Wynn buffet,too! The candy apples - love it!
     
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