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My review of the Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino comes on the heels of a couple dozen other blogger reviews of the same property. A large group of us stayed at the property where BAcon was held last month.
We were told that all BAcon attendees could check in at the priority check in desk but I would have had the privilege anyway via reciprocal Hyatt Gold Passport and MLife benefits so I felt pretty comfortable walking up to that desk.
So imagine my surprise when the desk agent twice asked me who had sent me over and who had given me “permission” to check in there. I felt a bit deflated but in retrospect I should have first gone to the MLife desk in the casino to get my status card (although that still doesn’t reconcile with being told we could check in there, but I compared notes and no one else had that experience so mine was a one-off).
I was assigned room 32127 with two queen beds. The room was clean and nicely appointed. I liked the quality of the bedding although the pillows were softer than I prefer.
The minibar had items packaged for the hotel which meant slightly more variety in the way of snacks.
I liked the flow of the room into the bathroom.
The bathroom was very large with a large soaking tub, separate shower, and large vanity area. Lighting in the bathroom was a bit dim and casino-ish – it was hard to apply daytime makeup.
The toiletries were great though – I like citrusy products. Other attendees reported that they had leftover products from The Hotel in their room – I did not.
The shower was roomy enough to move around (and shave legs). I also loved the large tub. I often don’t take baths because it can take awhile to draw one, but here the tub filled in a couple of minutes (and overflowed because I wasn’t expecting that). Draining it was another matter however – I had a great deal of trouble letting out excess water and it never did completely empty. I also noticed that what did drain gurgled back up through the shower drain.
I like when the toilet has it’s own little room. I always wonder why there is always a telephone next to the toilet when this happens – is it for emergencies or for conducting business?!
The hotel has a nice pool area but requires a key card to access it. Be sure and get a key for each person in your room so they can also access the pool.
In the pool area, you can purchase a Mandalay Bay tumbler that gets you discounted drinks and refills. Also of note, all of the frozen drinks in the pool area are non-alcoholic and have liquor added when poured, so they can also be served virgin or upgraded to top-shelf.
Lines for coffee in the morning were outrageous. I used the café in the casino the first morning and waited over 20 minutes in line before I realized that I passed two different Starbucks on my way to the Mandalay Bay conference center.
The conference center is a long walk (10-15 minutes) from the main room tower. If you are attending a trade event there, plan accordingly. I followed others and figured out a small elevator shortcut that was faster than using the escalators that signage will point you towards but it’s still a hike.
Be warned if traveling in a group that at least one restaurant in the complex is programmed to include a suggested gratuity while also adding one on automatically. I was told this was a brand-wide programming issue so its important to be aware of this!
I had to check out by 11 am and was in sessions until 3 pm so I left my bags with the bellman after I checked out. The bell desk was crowded and one person accepting bags was tied up with a woman debating different laundry options for several minutes. This was frustrating, especially when it seemed other workers were just standing around and not helping. When you pick up bags, its down downstairs but there is a taxi line in that area as well.
I feel that I’ve hit the point in my life where I have “outgrown” Vegas… going almost monthly in my 20s and early 30s may have done that to me. But as the city grows larger, I seek quality experiences when I go. I feel like the Mandalay Bay warrants future consideration on return trips. While it’s definitely not my favorite hotel in town, this was not a bad stay at all!