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Staycation - MGM Grand

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by vegasbound, Jan 29, 2009.

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  1. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

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    My Trip Report

    Sunday afternoon I drove over to MGM Grand, pulled up to valet and headed to the lobby to check-in. Two days of rest and relaxation with my husband were ahead. Perfection. The first night I booked in my name with my MGM/Mirage Visa. I tried for a complimentary suite upgrade, but had no luck. I did, however, get late check-out, we could stay put until 2 o’clock. The $49 promotion I booked included 2 drinks at the West Wing Bar and $25 dining credit. I was instructed to charge purchases to my room and the credits would be automatically deducted. Easy enough, I was handed my keys and I was off to our Grand Tower Room on the 10th floor. Just as I approached the elevators Frank came up behind me, he had just gotten off work and took the monorail over.

    The room was fairly large, the bed is comfortable, the décor is outdated, but linens were updated semi-recently. The armoire held an old tv with a fuzzy picture and it hummed on half the channels. I was a bit surprised they haven’t upgraded to flat-panel tv’s. Doubtful they be doing it anytime soon, either. How many people watch tv anyway?



    Well, besides us. We stripped and relaxed all afternoon. We each dozed off and woke up shortly before our 6pm reservation at http://www.mgmgrand.com/dining/shibuya-japanese-restaurant.aspx - Shibuya. We dressed and headed down for dinner. We were seated in the main restaurant; there is also counter seating and Teppanyaki dining. We each ordered the winter tasting menu, selecting different dishes but sharing everything. Edamame got us started, this was our first encounter with the delicious soybean. Not familiar with the proper way to eat it, we likely made fools of ourselves by launching them across the table in Frank’s case and eating them with chopsticks in mine. We had fun, Frank apologized to the poor guy who had to come and sweep his mess. Our foolishness didn’t end there, next up was soup, Udon for me and Kyoto Miso for Frank. I could not catch the thick noodles, I tried the spoon and chopsticks, but there was no chance of me catching the slippery suckers. Our waitress noticed I was having trouble, she asked, if I’d like emergency tools? Yes! Please. It smelled so delicious I wanted to fully enjoy it, instead of just sipping the broth. She brought over a fork and knife and I was able to manage the noodles with far greater ease. My soup was very good, Frank only saved me broth of his; it was too salty for my liking.

    Next course included Rock Shrimp Tempura with a spicy aioli and Yellowtail Jalapeño Roll. Both were good, but we preferred the roll. Once we added wasabi to increase the heat it was superb. We could’ve eaten two or three more – they were that tasty. Entrees followed, Beef Tenderloin with Roasted Japanese Mushrooms and Black Truffle Ponzu, and Duo of Miso Pineapple Miso Salmon and Shiro Miso Black Cod. I liked the cod better than the salmon, Frank thought the flavor of the Salmon was a bit better. Frank doesn’t care for mushrooms so I had those to myself, they were very good. The tenderloin was cooked to perfection. It was flavorful, juicy and exceptionally tender. Overall, we felt it was a great sampling. We finished up with dessert, a strawberry parfait, a chocolate lychee cake, and mango & crème marshmallow. I’ve had lychee before so I knew what to expect, I enjoyed the cake, Frank liked it, too. Our favorite was the marshmallow bite. It was vanilla ice cream wrapped in a mango flavored marshmallow type coating, when bitten into, it tasted like a Dreamsicle – but with mango instead of orange. Yum! Service was great throughout. Our bill was $118 after the dining credit. We enjoyed the meal, but we’d only return for sushi.

    We left the restaurant and headed to the West Wing Bar. Our plans for the night were to get wasted and see the Comedy Show at the Tropicana. Classy, huh? Frank ordered a long island iced tea and I opted for a beer. They were 2-for-1 happy hour is until 8pm so I had another beer coming. We watched the Winter X-Games and enjoyed our drinks. We took the other beer for the road, we walked over to Tropicana.

    We bought tickets for the 10:30 show. I had a 2-for-1 coupon from the Entertainment Book, so the total cost was $20 and a few cents. You can’t beat that. We bellied up to a bar near the lounge. We played video poker and told the bartender to keep the beers coming, which he did but he also took this as an opportunity to talk our ears off. He made himself out be Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. He told us how he’s quitting and moving back to his hometown to scare off the gangs that have moved in. Would’ve been fine if he left it at that, but no he went on… and on… Two beers later we couldn’t take it anymore. We left. We walked around looking for another bar, it was getting later and crowds were slim we weren’t ready to return to the same bar. Frank tried his luck at blackjack, unfortunately there was no good luck to be had. His buy in lasted only minutes.

    We ended up sitting in the deli near the high limit slots, trying to waste time. We got bored, I was spinning in the chairs. It didn’t work all that well on the carpet, so I rolled over to the tile outside the high limit slots. Still didn’t work well, the casters got stuck on the grout. By that time, we said screw it, let’s go back to the bar. We sat on the opposite side out of sight from Gran Torino’s area. We opened a tab and ordered a couple draft tall boys. We amused ourselves and we were entertained by a cute couple that could swing dance really well. There was a live band in the lounge, they were more noise than anything, but the dancing couple livened up the place. Bar snacks caught my attention, I asked Frank about the Kibble looking stuff. The bartender noticed, and poured us a little bowl. It’s dispensed so no one is digging their grubby hands in there but you. The snack mix had peanuts and spicy sticks, those were our favorite! We each sucked down another tall boy and then it was time for the show. We closed out our tab and walked over to the showroom.

    We were surprised to see we practically had front row seats despite walking in minutes before the show started. The audience was pretty small, maybe 20, tops! Laughlin’s River Palm’s drew a bigger crowd. Kinda of sad, but I suppose it gave the comics some material. Tickets include one drink, but it was bud-light in a can – blech. But classy was the theme, afterall. Luckily I drank quite a bit already, so I managed to suck it down alright. Frank said it sobered him up, I was anything but sober. The show got started; three comics, all funny! The audience although small was hyped up and ready to participate. We had a good time. We had our fill of the Trop, so we headed back to MGM. We were broke so we retired to the room.

    Day two - Bungalow Suite

    We were slow to rise Monday morning. There’s nothing better than lying in bed with no rush to be anywhere or do anything. Hunger eventually struck so we showered, dressed and headed out. We considered breakfast at Verandah inside the Four Seasons (I’ve heard it’s quite good), but Frank had a craving for a ham & Gouda omelet. A stop at valet, and we were on our way to - http://www.originalpancakehouse.com/phloc_nv.html - The Original House of Pancakes. Who eats a few blocks from their house on staycation? We do. I ordered pancakes and Frank got his omelet. We share, it works well for us. Food was great as usual, although, we did have a taste of reality while there. Frank had to take a couple calls from work. Luckily, he was able to wrap up the issues while we ate, so once we left it was back to vacation mode.

    We returned to MGM, dropped the car at valet and went to the lobby to check-in. Our second night was booked in Frank’s name, with his MGM/Mirage Visa. He was more persistent than me and he was able to score the upgrade, we received keys for a bungalow suite on the 16th floor and we were on our way. The room was being cleaned and it would be ready in an hour. No troubles because we still had the Grand Tower Room for a couple more hours. Why did we make two reservations? Because I wanted two dining credits and four free drinks. Yeah, I’m frugal like that. It worked beautifully. We returned to the room, I packed and Frank snoozed. More than an hour passed so we left the room and headed to our suite.

    The bungalow suites are large; the sitting area and bed are divided by a huge armoire. The tv inside is on a lazy susan and can be viewed from either side. The bath has a tub and shower combo, and a walk-in shower. Kinda odd. We later decided the walk-in shower was made for Oompa-Loompas, I’m 5’3” and I looked down at the shower head. Frank was sparkly clean from his belly button down, but he had to work to clean the rest of him. Anyway, back to the room, it hasn’t been updated since the Wizard of Oz days, but like the Grand Tower Room, linens were replaced not too long ago. We got settled and then I went down to the lobby to check out. I paid for the first night’s charges with our reward certificates.

    Minutes later I was back in our suite. I joined Frank in bed. We lounged all afternoon. We watched the planes at McCarran come and go. We rented Ghost Town, it was one of the few movies listed we hadn’t seen. Eventually 6 o’clock rolled around and it was time to head to http://www.mgmgrand.com/dining/fiamma-italian-restaurant-bar.aspx - Fiamma for dinner.

    We were seated in the main dining room. We selected to dine from the winter tasting menu although Frank was tempted by the scallop special. I asked our waiter if they still offered the complimentary wine pairing for locals, he had to check, but it was available.

    We were started with Pinot Grigio and ciabatta bread served with oil and vinegar. Perfect beginning. Then, we each ordered calamari. It was delicious, and a treat not having to share. The wine for the main course was going to be Chianti; we asked to have another glass of Pinot Grigio instead. It wasn’t a problem. Frank selected Spaghetti with Kobe Meatballs. The sauce was good – not too acidic. The meatballs were tender and tasted like they were braised in red wine. He enjoyed the dish. I chose Linguine with Prawns, because I loved the dish last time. Once again, it was excellent. As much as I enjoy it, I’ll never finish it because it’s simply too rich. Moscato was paired with dessert; Frank again opted for another glass of Pinot Grigio. The first dessert was a trio of Sorbet: blood orange, pomegranate, and exotic. Frank didn’t like any of them, but I enjoyed the pomegranate. And the second was Cioccolato, a triple chocolate cake, with white chocolate gelato. They never give enough gelato, which is a shame because it’s so good.

    We were stuffed. Service was great. Bill was $71 after the dining credit. It was a wonderful meal.

    We planned to get some drinks and gamble, but we decided to go back to the suite to digest. Turns out my own dish of calamari and rich roasted garlic butter wasn’t the best idea. My stomach was in knots. We watched the planes to kill time, after a couple Rolaids I was feeling human again. So, we headed down to the casino. First stop was the West Wing Bar. We each ordered a beer. Happy hour was over, but earlier in the day Frank texted MGM for promotional offers. The offer he received was good for 2-for-1 drinks. It couldn’t have worked out better. We took a couple beers for the road and we were off to the casino. We played video poker and a few slots. We weren’t having any luck. We walked the pits, but minimums were $10. We didn’t have much to spend. We found ourselves at the latest Price is Right video slot. It’s nickels, max bet is .25 cents. There are two bonuses: spin the wheel and cliffhanger. We played there for a long time, long enough to get a couple drinks from the cocktail waitress. We cashed out about $10 ahead between the two of us and scoped out more games. We were down to the nitty-gritty. Frank stopped at the $1 slot that was his personal ATM back in December when we stayed at the Signature. Sure enough, he hit $100! We had more money to spend. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any luck and we returned to the suite not long after that.

    The planes weren’t too active. But the city still twinkled and I love watching the world go by from way up in the sky. We were as happy as can be, just sitting in the green glow enjoying the view together. We watched a little tv and eventually crashed.

    We slept in Tuesday morning. Another slow start to the day - Lovely. Reluctantly we had to get moving around 11 o’clock. We couldn’t stay for a late check out because Frank had an interview for City Center. Kinda ironic. We checked out, used the remaining reward credits to cover the second night’s charges, we grabbed the car from valet, and headed home, with a brief stop at In-N-Out for a couple double doubles.

    We pulled into the garage and heard piercing beeping coming from the house. Every smoke alarm in the house was going off. Luckily, there was no fire or smoke. Turns out one battery had died and sent them all into frenzy. It took a good ten minutes to find the culprit. What a rude awakening back to reality! Once again we were wishing to rewind. Remind me again, why isn’t there TiVo for life?
     
  2. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Thanks for the report. Sounds like you had a great time. I enjoyed the food reviews, they made me quite hungry.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  3. gotavegasjones

    gotavegasjones VIP Whale

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    kellee - very nice staycation report. Read a little of it on your blog. The blog is looking good , too.
     
  4. DoubleUp

    DoubleUp Low-Roller

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    Awesome report... My wife and I do these staycations about once a year, never thought to do trip report. Next time I will!
     
  5. ChristaU

    ChristaU Low-Roller

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    Can you explain a little about the text to MGM for offers????? Is it only for locals?

    Loved the report by the way. MGM bound in 51 days
     
  6. vegasbound

    vegasbound Moderator

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    Thanks all. Christa, the text promos are for anyone. I don't recall the number but once you get on property keep an eye out for in-house ads on the tvs (in your room, behind the check in desk, etc.) they display the number. It says text .... for special offers.
     
  7. Blonde_4_ever

    Blonde_4_ever "The Welfare Queen of Windsor"

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    What a lovely weekend! Thanks for posting.
     
  8. ChristaU

    ChristaU Low-Roller

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    Thanks for that I will keep my eye out while we are there.
     
  9. zippyh

    zippyh Tourist

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    There's an ad on the MGM Grand website that says text MGMOFFERS to 30364.
     
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