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Best Things (and worse) about Mandalay Bay Resort in Las Vegas

Updated on July 5, 2012
Elvis on the Las Vegas Strip
Elvis on the Las Vegas Strip | Source

Mandalay Bay Resort Las Vegas

Mandalay Bay is a large casino resort at the very south end of the Las Vegas "Strip". Basically its the closest resort to the famous Las Vegas sign. The resort complex includes a conference center, a large hotel with three prongs, plus another separate tower calle THE hotel which includes a Four Seasons hotel and a world class restaurant and lounge called The Mix on the top floor (64th).

I stayed there recently and here are some of the highs and lows of this resort.

Highs

1. The Beach - Mandalay resort has extensive pool/beach area including a wave pool, a lazy river, two lagoon pools, private pools for upper crusty patrons and even a topless European style pool. There are pool side refreshments including restaurants, bars and a casino and service to your lounge chair. There are all kinds of other ways to spend money around the pool including reserving cushioned lounges or private cabanas. Sometimes there are pool side concerts.

2. Rooms - The rooms at Mandalay Bay are large and well appointed. There are different versions but my "deluxe" room had a 42 inch plasma TV, desk, couch, chair, king size bed, his and her closets, separate toilet area, separate shower and bathtub. The tub is not jetted which was a surprise considering how upscale everything seemed.

3. Restaurants - Mandalay Bay houses some fantastic restaurants within its property including the renowned Auroura with its aerobatic "wine Angels", the Border Grill which has an fantastic all you can eat Mexican styled brunch with bottomless Mimosas, The Mix which is one of Las Vegas top restaurant and bars as well as the House of Blues and Ri Ra Irish Pub.

4. Conference Center - The conference facilities at Mandalay Bay are top notch. Plus if you schedule a nice long lunch break, attendees can go for a swim and come back in the afternoon nice and refreshed.

5. Shark Reef - Although its not as big a major aquarium attraction, the Shark Reef exhibit at Mandalay Bay is state of the art, beautiful and very well done. Its a nice diversion from the din of the casinos and a good trip for the kids.

Lows

There are a few low points about staying at Mandalay Bay.

1. Location - MB is located at the very south end of The Las Vegas Strip. The only thing more south is the "Welcome To Las Vegas" sign. This means every other attraction on the strip is far away. You have a few options, take a rip off taxi ride, the Deuce ($7 for 24 hours on and off), walk (this gets old fast in the 100 degree heat!) or take the free monorail to the Luxor and Excalibur. The problem with the monorail is that the hours do not match the Las Vegas lifestyle. They close down early at night and don't open until 10 am. If you want to reach the more extensive Las Vegas Monorail system, you have to leave the Excaliber, cross Las Vegas Boulavard and maneuver your way though the maze of the MGM Grand to the vary back of the casino to find the LVM ($5 a trip). I ended up walking the street many times because it was faster then going through the casinos.

2. Elevators - During peak time the elevators are very slow.

3. Check in - Check in can be slow when there is a convention because everyone seems to want a paper copy of their receipt instead of just using the fast and easy speedy checkout.

4. Lazy River - You have to rent, buy or bring your own tubes! This seems incredibly cheap of Mandalay Bay not to provide tubes. This is the first water park I've been to that has this policy.

All in all the Mandalay Resort is a nice place to stay in Vegas. The pool area is a major plus with the location being the biggest downer.


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