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Las Vegas Adventures: The Mirage and The Beatles 'Love' Cirque Du Soleil
The morning after our full day of whitewater rafting and other Grand Canyon adventures, my brother, my dad and I were on our way to Las Vegas, Nevada. My dad, in his epic quest for deals, had booked us two nights at the Mirage along with discounted tickets to The Beatles ‘Love’ Cirque Du Soleil. Being a huge Beatlemaniac, he had wanted to see the show since it first came out, and I was pretty psyched up for it too, it being my first experience with Cirque Du Soleil.
Upon arriving at the Mirage, things started going bad right away. We got there around 11 a.m., significantly before check-in time, but we still had to wait in an enormous line that took about an hour just to check-in. A convention of the United Mine Workers of America had just arrived, and the hotel was apparently having some trouble dealing with them. When we finally reached the front of the line, a check-in attendant informed us that there were no more clean rooms with two queen beds available, after another attendant had just given a room with two queen beds away to a single guest. We had to fight for an upgraded room with two queen beds and a premium view on the 22nd floor.
The room was beautiful, but the TV wasn’t working properly. We called several times over the course of many hours trying to get the engineer in to take a look at it, but eventually I realized that one of the buttons on the remote was stuck and I fixed it myself. Then the engineer came (d'oh!).
While we were waiting for the engineer, we also noticed that our tickets for Love didn’t match. We had picked up one at the concierge desk earlier, and we were told to get the other two at the box office. The clerk at the box office gave us tickets for the later show, even when we said we were pretty sure we reserved the earlier one. He said, “If it turns out the tickets don’t match, you can come back down with all of them and we can fix it no problem.” So we went back down with all three tickets, and it was NOT no problem. We bickered with a different clerk, who seemed very confused about how we bought the tickets in the first place, which was not helpful. Then we managed to get the guy who screwed us earlier, and he tried to blame the problem on us. The best he could do was fix us up with three seats together in the last row, nowhere near the seats my dad had reserved online. At this point we requested to speak to a manager, who promptly gave us three seats together in the fifth row. They always say they have nothing left, but we saw plenty of empty good seats in the theater during the show!
For all of our trouble and effective complaining by my dad, we earned ourselves $250 worth of credit to our account for food and other charges to the room. We carefully spent the money and tried to keep track of our credit as best we could, and when we were checking out we noticed something was definitely wrong. We thought we would be close, like $50 over at most, but the charge on the bill was $350. Plus, on the bill we saw, the charges that were credited were simply removed from the listing so it was impossible to see our spending history. Going to the front desk and complaining yielded $110 more being taken off, which they said they just “forgot” to remove. The rest of the bill was one night’s stay in the hotel, because apparently my dad only had to pay for one night when he originally reserved online (you’d think that this process could be simplified for convenience and clarity purposes).
Those were the major problems, and none of them were really that awful, but who wants to deal with other people’s stupidity when you’re supposed to be on vacation? Apart from these annoying hassles, some minor problems also contributed to my overall negative experience in this hotel. (I’ll get to the positive eventually. Don’t worry.) First of all, they didn’t have HBO. What kind of fancy, gigantor hotel can’t afford the one premium station that everyone expects from a hotel? Even the Hualapai Lodge had HBO! It would have been nice to watch True Blood and Entourage on Sunday night but it wasn’t that big of a loss.
Another subpar facet was the pool. They had one pool, huge and sprawling, with waterfalls and rock formations, that looked very nice from our 22nd story hotel room, but turned out to be a bust. It was only 3 ½ feet deep across its entirety. It’s called a swimming pool; you should be able to swim in it instead of just wading around. The icing on the cake was that the resort complex was constantly swarming with a mass of tourists. I would say it was more crowded than Disneyland on an average day. Every aspect of this hotel was the complete opposite of the Hualapai Lodge—even their tiny swimming pool got down to 5 feet deep!
There were two nice things about the Mirage though. Number one was the food. Although it was pricey, it was delicious, and there was such a wide selection. We ate pizza and pasta at California Pizza Kitchen, breakfast in bed via room service, and amazing steak and seafood at Kokomo’s. The downside to eating in the hotel was that you either pay a lot or a lot, but at least it was tasty. I might even go so far as to say it was worth it.
The other really amazing thing was seeing Love. The theater itself was specially designed for the show and it was incredible. At the very beginning of the show I was worried about sensory overload, because there’s so much to look at happening all at once, but that leveled out as the show went on. Everything about the show was beyond creative, from the way the Beatles’ classic music was used to the costuming, props, lighting, and especially set design. The choreography was, at times, slightly underwhelming compared to what I was expecting, but many of the scenes absolutely blew me away. My personal favorite bits were: Mr. Kite’s performance on a swinging board that made multiple full 360 flips in the air, the inline skating antics of four pros to the song Help, and absolutely stunning trampolining that was made to look easy. If you’re a Beatles fan it’s a must-see. Be prepared to trip out, though. Also, try not to stay at the Mirage if you can help it. Caesar’s Palace is right next-door and they have notoriously better service.