Review written by Sophie Couard, December 9, 2015.
The MGM Grand opened in late 1993, and originally had a theme that was inspired by the Wizard of Oz - it even had a theme park to attract families. However, this strategy did not work out. The park closed in the year 2000 and the theme was transformed in Art Deco decor for a more subtle and upscale atmosphere.
The complex has more than 6,500 hotel rooms, and it the second largest hotel in the world, behind the Venetian in Las Vegas, if we take the Palazzo extension into account. It is located at the intersection of Tropicana Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. The MGM Grand is also linked by pedestrian bridges to Hooters and Tropicana in the south, and also the New York New York in the west.
Because of the size of the place it is only logical that you will be overwhelmed when you enter the lobby. It is a bit like going into a factory, as the spaces are gigantic! And then there are all these people everywhere, making the place really lively and exciting. Fortunately, the receptionists are also very friendly and efficient. Once you have settled in, you can take some time to go on a tour around the property, to make yourself familiar with the resort.
The massive size of MGM Grand provides an initial feeling of being a bit lost, but gradually you will manage to feel at ease. However, fans of smaller establishments who appreciate a more intimate atmosphere when they stay there might be a little disappointed. Fortunately, the resort offers an big variety of entertainment and restaurants that quickly compensate for this slight initial discomfort.
One of the largest casinos in Las Vegas
I will first start by talking about the most important activity at the resort, namely the casino, which s surely one of the main attractions of the hotel for us players. As always in Nevada, it can be accessed by everyone, but only adults over 21 years can play the games.
It is one of the largest casinos in all of Las Vegas, and has a size of 16,000 m².
The slot machines
You can find over 2,500 slot machines in the beautiful casino, offering a wide selection of possible bets, as wagers start at just 1 cent per spin, and can go up to up to $1,000 per game. There are also many different devices available. Among them are:
- mechanical slot machines with 3 reels,
- video slot machines with 5 reels,
- progressive slot machines,
- video poker games,
- multi-game machines.
There is also a special VIP area with devices that have very high denominations (the minimum is not lower than $100) that offer winnings often exceeding $500,000.
There are no less than 139 gaming tables in the MGM Grand casino, which will surely make most players happy. The atmosphere is thrilling and colourful, and you can play:
- pai gow tiles,
- pai gow poker,
- let it ride poker,
- three card poker,
- crazy 4 poker,
- texas hold'em bonus,
- casino war.
There is also a large poker room that is equipped with 18 tables dedicated to No Limit Hold'em with buy-ins ranging from $50 to $500. A big plus of the room is the possibility to get a massage by licensed massage therapists, which is always nice when you have long gaming sessions.
The horse race and sports book area
There is also a room dedicated to sport betting and horse races, which is equipped with 36 60-inch plasma TVs and 24 42-inch screens. A good selection of different sports is shown on the screens, including football, American football, boxing, MMA, and many more.
A hotel and multiple restaurants
As we mentioned in the introduction, the MGM Grand is not only just a casino. It is first and foremost a huge hotel, the second largest in the world, that also offers a huge selection of restaurants.
Over 6,500 hotel rooms
You are spoilt for choice when you stay at the hotel, as the hotel has no fewer than 6,500 rooms. You can choose from:
- a grand king room for 2 of 41m²,
- a grand queen room for 4 of 41 m²,
- a stay well grand king room for 2 of 41 m²,
- a stay well grand queen room for 4 of 41 m²,
- a executive queen suite for 4 of 62 m²,
- a tower spa suite for 2 of 64 m²,
- a city view suite for 2 of 88 m²,
- a penthouse city view suite for 2 of 116 m²,
- a skyline terrace suite for 2 of 120 m²,
- a skyline marquee suite for 2 of 139 m².
27 cafés and restaurants
The choice is equally large when it comes to dining, and the resort offers 24 restaurants and 3 cafés dedicated to different cuisines. You can enjoy the following:
- Asian at the Shibuya and at the Grand Wok and Sushi Bar,
- American at the Tap Sports Bar, Mickael Mina Pub 1842, Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, Crush, Avenue Cafe, Stage Deli, and at the Cabana Grill,
- Italian at the Fiamma Trattoria & Bar and at the Projet Pie,
- Mexican at the Hecho and the Vegas Mexican Grill & Cantina,
- French at the L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, and at the Joël Robuchon Restaurant,
- Steak House at the Tom Colicchio's Craftsteak,
- Sea food and fish at the Emeril's New Orleans Fish House.
There is also :
- an international all you can eat buffet (MGM Grand Buffet),
- different brands of fast food (Pan Asian Express, Bonanno's New York Pizzeria, Häagen Dazs, Nathan's Famous Hotdogs, Original Chicken Tender, Tacos N Rita and McDonald’s),
- several cafés (Corner Cakes, Starbucks and Blizz Frozen Yogurt & Desserts).
Various entertainment and activities
As it is the case in other casino hotels in Las Vegas as well, there are also many other activities to do at the MGM Grand. Among them are:
- two theatres of which one is dedicated to the KA du Cirque du Soleil show,
- four bars (Whiskey Down, Rouge, Lobby Bar and Centrifuge),
- two nightclubs (Wet Republic Ultra Pool and Hakkasan Nightclub),
- the attraction CSI : The experience which lets you try to solve three murder cases,
- a huge outdoor complex with different swimming pools, each with its own style,
- a nice fitness centre with a spa, massages and fitness equipment,
- a hair dresser (Cristophe Salon) and a barber (The Barbershop),
- several wedding chapels,
- a shopping centre, which is a little disappointing compared to the shopping centres in other casinos on the Strip, specialized in fashion, jewellery, gifts and accessories.
In conclusion I can say that the MGM Grand itself is a good establishment with a huge and very pleasant swimming pool. The hotel is very nice, although it is definitely not the best in the city. However, it surely has one of the best restaurants in Vegas (L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon, which is very expensive, but simply delicious!).
The casino offers a good choice of games (especially for fans of slot machines, baccarat and craps). However, the size and the many people may make it overwhelming for some players who enjoy smaller, quieter places to play. Similarly, if you are an experienced player and bad games from your neighbours are distracting you, this is not necessarily the best place to go play, as the establishment attracts many beginners; or you can go and play in the area that is reserved for VIP players.
In any case, you can expect a rather disappointing shopping centre. The MGM Grand is a very good casino hotel, which has a great location, a nice decoration, and offers an excellent quality to price ratio.