MGM Grand: Reviews and Tips for 2016
• Large, all-inclusive resort
• Multiple fine dining options
• Helpful staff
• Some rooms need updating
• Food and drink prices high even for the Strip
• Pool hours limited
If you have never been to Las Vegas, the MGM is probably a great place to start. It stands in a prime location at the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard, walking distance from the New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor, Monte Carlo, and Tropicana hotels. It also offers a little of everything that has made Vegas great: shows, concerts, gaming, dining, and nightclubs. It's also cool to say you've been in the second largest hotel in the world.
MGM Grand is the second largest hotel in the world with over 6800 rooms and 171,000 square feet of gaming space. The hotel was built using the structure of the Marina Hotel to form the western Wing of the current property.
MGM Fast Facts
- Year Opened: 1993
- Cost to build: $1.1 billion
- Last Renovated: 2012
- Rooms: 6852
- 2nd largest hotel in the world
- Floors: 30
- Casino space: 171,500 square feet
- 380,000 square foot convention center
- Prior properties at this location: Marina, Tropicana Country Club
- Resort Fee as of Feb. 2015: $32.48. Includes WiFi, USA Today newspaper, local calls, business services, Cardio Room access
- Rewards Program: M life
- Check-in time: 3pm.
- Check-out time: 11am
- Monorail station
- Parking: Garage can be accessed via entrance on Tropicana Blvd.
Epic MGM Tour
This megaresort is divided roughly into 4 areas: The Underground, The District, Main Casino Area, and The Central. Visitors typically enter the MGM from the Las Vegas Strip or via the parking garage. Our video tour below begins at the parking structure.
The Underground Highlights
Appropriately named, the Underground is actually an underground section of the MGM which is connected to the parking garage. Highlights of this area include:
- Reviv – This is one of the more interesting – and city-appropriate – locations in this hotel/casino. Reviv advertises itself as intravenous treatments which “restore your hydration and energy.” That is a between-the-lines way of saying “hangover cure.” They even offer in-room service.
- Brad Garret’s Comedy Club – When Garrett himself is not gracing the stage, you’ll find a lineup of other solid comedians. Prices range from about $70 to $90 when Brad performs, or $47 to $69 when he doesn’t. Garrett’s performance schedule is about once every month or two.
- Monorail access – Next to the entrance to the parking garage is an access point to the Monorail.
The District Highlights
Aside from the typical jewelry shops, food court, and one-off eateries, The District at MGM features several eateries by renowned chefs, including:
- Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak – This Steakhouse signature dishes including lobster bisque, braised short ribs, and grilled Kobe skirt steak.
- Joël Robuchon – Fine dining from the “Chef of the Century.”
- Emeril’s – New Orleans’ style seafood and creole.
While there is no shortage of bars or gaming, many of the highlights of MGM Grand include some of the most notable hotspots in the city.
- Hakkasan – This upscale nightclub which features some of the DJ’s in the world such as Tiesto or Calvin Harris. This multi-level club offers everything you would expect from a Las Vegas nightclub, including the price. Admission for men on the weekends can reach $75. In 2015 it was named the #2 grossing nightclub in the U.S. for 2014, taking in $100-$103 million.
- KÁ – One of the several popular Cirque du Soleil shows, KÁ expresses a story of love and conflict. Tickets range from $69 to $150, plus taxes and fees.
- MGM Grand Garden Arena – This 16,800 seat theater which hosts events such as pay-per-view boxing matches and A-list concerts. If you’ve watched a Floyd Mayweather boxing match, you’ve probably seen this arena.
- Wet Republic – One of the more popular Las Vegas pools, and host of the annual Hot 100 bikini contest. Although not as large as such pools as that found at Mandalay Bay, it is still a tourist favorite. Top DJ’s such as Calvin Harris can be found spinning here on occasion. Night Swim, an evening clubbing feature, was recently introduced.
MGM Grand Review: Editor’s Notes
A walk through the MGM Grand can be a humbling experience due to the sheer size alone. The video above speeds through most of the epic walk required to cover the casino area and the Underground. In the early 1990’s, the MGM had a Wizard of Oz theme, and the front entrance required pedestrians to enter by walking through a giant lion’s mouth. Locals remember the bizarre kidnapping of the Toto figure and the giant balloon floating above video poker machines. That theme was scrapped, and that area of the casino is now described as The Center, where the Centrifuge is located. This is also where you’ll find the Rainforest Cafe, where even locals can often be found dining.
If you have a fetish for celebrity chefs, the MGM will more than satisfy you, boasting eateries by Wolfgang Puck, Tom Colicchio, and Emeril all under the same roof. Or how about the only Joël Robuchon fine dining establishment in the entire U.S.?
If you have never been to Las Vegas, the MGM is probably a great place to start. It stands in a prime location at the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Boulevard, walking distance from the New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor, Monte Carlo, and Tropicana hotels. It also offers a little of everything that has made Vegas great: shows, concerts, gaming, dining, and nightclubs. It’s also cool to say you’ve been in the second largest hotel in the world.
The MGM may be over 20 years old, but it is still a favorite for good reason.
- Wear comfortable shoes. This place is big!
- Higher level rooms have the best views. Be sure to request a view because some overlook the parking garage.
- Mini bar prices in the rooms are rather high, so use with caution.
The map below shows the location of the MGM Grand, at the corner of Tropicana and Las Vegas Blvd.