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MLife - MGM Grand, Bellagio, Mirage, or Mandalay Bay...

Discussion in 'LV Strip Hotels' started by AlnessW, Mar 27, 2017.

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  1. AlnessW

    AlnessW Tourist

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    Here goes folks...

    I am getting ready to book 4 nights in Vegas this summer, just by myself for a vacation. I am definitely going with an MGM/Mlife resort this trip and have finally narrowed down my options...

    MGM Grand, Bellagio, Mirage (hey, Terry Benedict's casinos... :p), and Mandalay Bay.

    All 4 have very competitive pricing for the dates I am looking at. Luxor and Excalibur are both out - while they are a bit cheaper, I like the idea of a slightly more modern resort. (I've never stayed at either of the above, but they both strike me as a touch rundown.)

    Here are some of my "demographics," if you will:
    • Traveling by myself, in July.
    • Booking 1 x King room, directly with the resort.
    • I am one of those young party-type folks, so I like being "close to the action" on most all fronts.
    • Great restaurants + buffet is a must, as eating on-site is often preferred.
    • Wide variety of bars also preferred.
    • A party bar/restaurant would be ideal (again, see above), but happy to go off-site for something like that.
    • As I alluded to earlier, I really like resorts with a modern feel to them - hence, the Bellagio or MGM seem like a good fit?
    • I won't be spending a TON of time in the room, but I'd still like to be comfortable. (Ha, ha.)
    • I always use the pool facilities as well.
    • I do gamble, but not high limits so no real need for that kind of thing. I play slots, but mostly 3:2 Blackjack.
    • I love meeting new people.
    Things I DON'T care as much about - spa, room service, cabanas, high limits, smoking (I don't smoke but can tolerate it - within reason), nightclubs/DJs, and shopping.

    With regards to geography, Mandalay Bay seems a bit more removed than some of the others. Not a fan but the property/rooms certainly look nice.

    Given the above (and as outlined in a previous thread), I'm leaning slightly towards the MGM Grand as it would seem to suit my needs the best. But, I want to keep my options open.

    So...what say you all?
     
  2. tmoney25

    tmoney25 High-Roller

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    I've stayed in all but Mirage.

    Mandalay Bay is really a great place, and they have probably the best pool in town. However, as you've already noticed, it is the farthest south on the strip of all the properties. If you want to explore the strip then you may find your time cut short, or you may find that your'e tired at the end of a long day and you just want to get back to your room quicker.

    MGM, also a bit south, but not quite as extreme, and they've probably got the 2nd best pool in town. What are you looking for in a pool? Party pool or just relaxing? MGM has both.

    Bellagio and Mirage are excellently located in comparison to many other places. I never got to use the pool at Bellagio so I can't comment on that, but Bellagio is close enough to any/many things you may want to do on either the north or south end of the strip. It costs quite a bit more though.
     
  3. Check-Raise

    Check-Raise Low-Roller

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    Not to throw a wrench in the plan but the Cosmopolitan sounds like a really great fit for you.. Some nice pools including a day club, great selection of bars, a really young crowd and after 11:00pm people are really just wandering around and having fun. I wasn't even trying to meet and talk with folks (though I don't mind) and sitting at a bar playing VP I met several young people (not even one of them was a hooker, I know, shocking) and then when I went for food at the secret pizza place I met a fun group of 6-ish people who I chatted with and ate my food with before going to bed. Anyway - if I were your travel planner and you described yourself as above, i'd book you at the Cosmo.

    From your list I would say Mandalay Bay. It's only downside is it's location. If you're willing to make the trek/buy a cab it's probably got more of the things you've listed than the others. Bellagio has never struck me as party central, the MGM grand is decent but a bit lacking in location like MB but it's just so busy in there it's hard to really establish yourself (if that makes any sense), and the Mirage I just don't know enough about.. It could be perfect for you but I've only been there to eat and gamble a little so I couldn't say.
     
    Iffy but Anxious
  4. Jaygee77

    Jaygee77 Low-Roller

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    If you're looking to combine the party vibe with your pool time, Bellagio doesn't seem to be a fit. Mirage or MGM would be better bets there.

    You mentioned you don't gamble at high limits, but that you play 3:2 blackjack. Sounds like those two things may be mutually exclusive at the resorts you're considering. However, Mirage is next door (and a short team ride away) to Treasure Island, which reportedly has $10 3:2 in the offering.

    Keep me honest on that last part, VMBers.
     
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  5. spdandpwr

    spdandpwr VIP Whale

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    I'm not keen on Mirage -- doesn't give me the Vegas vibe and their club isn't anything to write home about. I say MGM is the way to go and it's one of the biggest casinos on the strip. I wonder if you can get food at the mansion if you're not a guest.
     
  6. AlnessW

    AlnessW Tourist

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    Thanks everyone!

    Yes, Strip walking is on my list for sure - hence Mandalay Bay doesn't seem like the best fit despite its other perks.

    Yes, to both.

    Might not be my best fit given price and presumable "vibe," but good to keep in mind no less.

    Hey, a wrench all in good time! ;)

    Thank you for the tips - and no, just because we're young doesn't mean we're looking for hookers. :) Sounds like the Cosmopolitan is definitely worth looking into though, having heard your report. Good point about the Bellagio, too...

    That definitely seems to be the general consensus, on both fronts.

    Well, maybe I'm contradicting myself... I have played $5 3:2 Blackjack at TI, that I can be certain of.

    Good to know!
     
  7. dcrawf

    dcrawf Low-Roller

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    If you feel Mandalay is too far South, does MGM not suffer from the same faults? Yes its one long block further North but that's rather small potatoes.

    I would go with Mirage just because it feels more central. Closer to more resorts. Great pool and it has Rhumbar among other places. True, it no longer has the party vibe and hasn't for decades but it seems to have everything else on your list
     
  8. Jidery

    Jidery Low-Roller

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    One thing MGM has that Mandalay doesn't is the monorail. To me that negates any drawback to its location as you can be center strip within minutes.
     
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  9. lp670lambo

    lp670lambo Low-Roller

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    If you are looking for a party pool then MGM and the Mirage fit what you are looking for.

    The MGM has the Wet Republic pool party on site. The Mirage is surrounded by pool parties at the Encore, Venetian and Cromwell respectively.
     
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  10. spdandpwr

    spdandpwr VIP Whale

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    I wouldn't say surrounded by Cromwell...that's somewhat of a hike from the Mirage, you have to pass Best Western, Harrah's, Linq, and the Flamingo. MGM is also near Cosmo's pool party
     
  11. ahalifko

    ahalifko Tourist

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    I'm going to offer my opinion based on your bullet points:

    • Traveling by myself, in July. - Any of your choices is fine here
    • Booking 1 x King room, directly with the resort. - Again, any of your choices will be fine, but I give the edge in quality to Bellagio
    • I am one of those young party-type folks, so I like being "close to the action" on most all fronts. - Bellagio - City Center location + close proximity to happening places like Cosmo, and CET's more exciting properties across the street - Cromwell, Ballys, Paris, PH)
    • Great restaurants + buffet is a must, as eating on-site is often preferred. - Bellagio - being slightly more budget conscious, I'd say MB.
    • Wide variety of bars also preferred. - MGM Grand, Bellagio/Mirage close behind
    • A party bar/restaurant would be ideal (again, see above), but happy to go off-site for something like that. - MGM Grand - Hakkasan would fit the bill
    • As I alluded to earlier, I really like resorts with a modern feel to them - hence, the Bellagio or MGM seem like a good fit? - MGM Grand - Bellagio is nice but I wouldn't say it's super "modern" as far as it's motif
    • I won't be spending a TON of time in the room, but I'd still like to be comfortable. (Ha, ha.) - Most comfortable overall? Bellagio. Can't really go wrong with these four though
    • I always use the pool facilities as well. - Mandalay Bay - amazing pool, may have some kiddos though if that's not your thing - MGM Grand is a close second
    • I do gamble, but not high limits so no real need for that kind of thing. I play slots, but mostly 3:2 Blackjack. - Bellagio is my favorite casino out of these. The minimums are very reasonable and comparable to other strip properties 99% of the time. 3:2 BJ lower than a $25 min probably won't be found at these four properties
    • I love meeting new people. - MGM will probably have the most diverse and interesting crowd
    So by my tally, I have MGM and Bellagio in a tie. That said, Bellagio will be more relaxed overall vs. MGM so it's all your preference and what kind of trip you're looking to have. If I'm going with an emphasis on relaxing, I'd lean Mandalay Bay (first choice is Aria, but that's not one of your choices) for an Mlife property. The pool is great, the casino is adequate and clean, and the location is nice for getting away from the madness of the rest of the strip. From my experience there, the crowd doesn't scream "party hard".

    If I want a more fast paced party trip, I go MGM Grand or Bellagio. MGM Grand has the variety and craziness, Bellagio has the location (can't beat it IMO).

    Sidenote: Cosmo and Aria are better than all of them :p
     
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  12. h0llywood

    h0llywood VIP Whale

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    Stay at the Mirage, eat there, use the pool, walk across the street to take in the strip and gamble at Treasure Island next door to play 3:2 BJ.
     
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  13. Knucklehead69

    Knucklehead69 Low-Roller

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    What you are looking for is very similar to my taste as well. About 75% of my Vegas trips are solo and I always do MGM resorts... just enjoy the relaxation and being able to do what I want when I want.

    Even though it's not on your list I would recommend the Aria.
    It attracts more of a younger crowd than the Bellagio and the location is great... Next door to the Cosmo which I like to go hang out. The pool is really nice and the restaurants are great. The Buffet is one of the best in Vegas and Todd English Pub is one of my favorite places to hang out and has an amazing German/Belgian beer selection.
    I always meet really cool people sitting at the bar. Five50 Pizza, Julian Serrano Tapas...All amazing!

    That's my 2 cents... but you really can't go wrong with any you're considering.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2017
  14. AlnessW

    AlnessW Tourist

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    If I'm reading the map correctly, it's closer to 3 big big blocks. As Jidery pointed out, MGM has the monorail anyways...

    Good to know!

    Cromwell does appear to be more of a hike, but plenty of options close-by it seems.

    THANK YOU for the detailed response - this is most helpful! :) Definitely, he MGM Grand seems like a great choice given your feedback. To address a few points you made:

    Bellagio definitely trumps on location.
    Yes on Hakkasan for sure - it's on my list already. Anyone have info on rough costs?
    I too get the sense that "modern" is not necessarily the feel for the Bellagio, despite being more comfortable in general.
    The pool expanse at both Mandalay Bay and the MGM Grand looks incredible. Generally I like to avoid kiddie pools, but again can tolerate them.
    Good to know about Blackjack, it seems as though lower minimum 3:2 isn't as common at the properties I'm looking at? But, happy to go elsewhere as needed.

    Of my 4, the MGM definitely seems more geared towards what I'm after (vs. something more relaxing, e.g., Bellagio or Mandalay Bay).

    Next time, perhaps. :)

    Seems to be a common consensus with respect to Blackjack. Or, take the tram over. ;)
     
  15. lp670lambo

    lp670lambo Low-Roller

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    Cromwell is a stretch but it's in the neighborhood.
     
  16. cjcjcj

    cjcjcj High-Roller

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    I have stayed at all except Bellagio (but have played there).

    I vote for MGM for what you're looking for. Lots of variety in gambling...3-2 BJ can be had for a $25 min at almost all times. You got tons of restaurants, although I'd say the buffet is average at best. Bars aplenty and you got Hakassan too. Nice pools and tons of people to meet and people watch.

    I love all the four resorts you have mentioned but vote against MB because its location. Against Bellagio because I think you get more "bang for your buck" at other resorts(although depends on season), and Mirage, although that's my Vegas "home", it is kind of an older crowd and people don't like their casino it seems(although I LOVE their DD BJ and Euro roulette tables right outside the HL room).
     
  17. Kevke

    Kevke Vegas Addict

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    Location wise i would go for Bellagio / Mirage.

    But Mandalay Bay is just so awesome ! :)
     
  18. ChickenBone Jones

    ChickenBone Jones Low-Roller

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    For what it's worth, I've stayed at all four multiple times and I feel most comfortable at MGM. Wide range of food options, great pool, sneaky good location ( I like nyny and Monte Carlo, comfortable beds, and a diverse fun customer base.
     
  19. willywilkes

    willywilkes Low-Roller

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    I would throw in another vote for MGM, I am a 31 homebody who has stayed everywhere on your list except Bellagio- I felt comfortable gambling and chilling in MB and Mirage, whereas MGM felt too early-mid 20s party scene to me, not sure your age, but that vibe is not for me. NYNY is right across the street for lower minimums and the walk to mid-strip really isn't bad at all. Haven't been to MGM buffet but tons of food options on-site with a good price range.

    I did just stay at the Signature a few weeks ago and we had a great time, so I'm in no way opposed to the MGM itself - if it were me I would be at MB but it sounds like MGM is a better fit for what you describe.
     
  20. AlnessW

    AlnessW Tourist

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    Big thank you to everyone one last time for all the help.
    Results are in! And the winner is...

    THE MIRAGE! :D

    Indeed, I was leaning heavily towards the MGM Grand for a while (plus going with some of the feedback received here), but things have since shifted for a number of reasons of which I will outline below.

    First, pricing was a bit better for the dates I requested vacation for. That being said they were/are fairly set in stone at this point, so I couldn't "comparison shop" much more than I had in the earlier planning phases.
    Second, room availability. There must be something going on at the MGM Grand that weekend as available standard Grand Tower rooms (King and Queen) were few to nonexistent. (Again, I'm not sure why and neither was the reservation sales agent I spoke with, but both were showing as available a week or 2 ago...) So, my options there would have basically been either a West Wing King or a large suite, neither of which I'd prefer.
    Finally, geography. Per my OP, I love the idea of being more centrally located, and The Mirage fits the bill perfectly! Not only that, but it's also close to the Harrah's/LINQ monorail station for transport PLUS has the tram to Treasure Island. (For the purposes of gambling, Senor Frog's, maybe even Mystere, etc.) Whereas, MGM would be a touch more removed from all that.
    In starting out some very rudimentary planning, I might do a "Show Night" at the MGM Grand (say, KA and David Copperfield for example) to spend an evening over there.

    I'll be staying in a 1-King Volcano View room, and will probably try the $20 trick at check-in just for giggles.

    So it's official - flights are booked, hotel is reserved, and vacation days are approved. I'm on my way to Vegas!! I'll probably start a planning thread in the Misc. Chat forum in the next few days.

    Time to add my countdown timer as well...
     
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