Our hotel in Vegas, The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
It wasn't until our second day in Vegas that we got a chance to really explore the hotel that we were staying in - the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino. It’s a four-star hotel and the room was really nice. There were two queen beds, each featuring 4 bed pillows and 1 large body pillow. The comforter and sheets were white, which I like because you know for 100% sure that they are clean.
The TV had basic cable and a channel with information on the shows that were playing at the MGM Grand, which at the time was the Cirque de Soleil show Ka. It looked really good, but we couldn’t afford the $100 ticket prices.
The feature of the MGM Grand Hotel is its lions. There are two “on display” in the lobby at all times in a large glass enclosure. Apparently the lions are rotated periodically between the display area and their “real” home, so it’s not as though they’re being overly exploited. We never had the chance to see them being fed, but we did spend about 20 minutes just staring at them. They were both sleeping at the time, but you can get quite close to them and I’ve always liked big cats.
The lobby is large and impressive with a big gold statue of a lion. The front desk seemed to be busy at all hours of the day, but there are a number of workers so the lines don’t take that long checking in or checking out.
We lounged by the pool and got drinks. Drinks were $7 by the pool which is not cheap by any means, but it is particularly convenient and decadent – only on vacation and only in Vegas in October can you sit poolside and sip a mimosa. In October, all but one of the four pools was closed, but the one that was open was fairly large and there were several sundecks open full of deckchairs. The other pools and the “lazy river” are open during the late spring, summer and early fall months.
For 2 people staying 3 nights, it was about $340 per person total. That’s not too bad considering the quality of the hotel. That being said, I know we could have stayed somewhere cheaper. But the location and the atmosphere was really fantastic and since it was my first (and possibly last) visit to Vegas, I figured it was worth it. [more ]
Gambling at the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino
The casino in the MGM Grand is really big and it is easy to get lost. The signs overhead will keep you heading the right direction for the most part. There is also a map of the hotel in your packet you get when you check in, so that’s good. You may be tempted to take a picture of the casino floor, but they really don’t want you to and it could cause problems.
I would never imagine that I could beat the house in Vegas, but it turns out that I did! Gambling is, obviously, a major attraction in Vegas. Each hotel on the strip has a casino floor complete with slot machines where you can bet anywhere from a penny to five or ten dollars a go and gaming tables. I started my gambling by losing $2 at penny slots. It was a bit depressing and lackluster. After 2 minutes you realize Oh! I just lost $2. But I think as long as you look at it as money that you won’t ever get back, not thinking that you’re going to win, you’re better off then getting angry or disappointed over losing.
After my try at the slots, I moved up to the gaming tables. I played roulette and craps. I started with $20 at roulette at a table with a $5 minimum bet. Tables have a number of different minimum bets. There are “high roller” tables where bets start upwards of $50, $100 or $500. I was quite pleased to find a table with a $5 minimum – that is the cheapest one in the MGM Grand. The dealers are quite helpful in telling me what I needed to do to bet. The dealer at the craps table was also quite helpful. If you are going to play craps, make sure you start the game so you are the next roller. That way you aren’t out of money without having the fun of rolling the dice.
Roulette is one of the worst games to play as far as likelihood of winning. Craps has some of the best odds.
A great thing about the casino floor, especially at table games, is that drinks are free. Servers will come by and ask you what you’re drinking and when you get your drink, an acceptable tip is $1 or $2 which is much cheaper then drinks anywhere else in the hotel. If you are standing near a crowded craps table, the server doesn’t necessarily know that you aren’t playing and you can get a free drink without gambling at all! [more ]
MGM Grand Hotel
It's massive, it's green, and it's an altogether more corporate experience than the likes of the Bellagio and Caesars. Probably the best hotel in Vegas for mid-level gambling given the sheer size of the casino floor and the number of tables. Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill is based here, and it's delicious, be sure to check out their amazing collection of wines in floor to ceiling glass cabinets. Before Cirque du Soleil came along the hotel had cornered the market in big-ticket entertainment and it still has some serious boxing bouts and the likes of Tom Jones live on stage, for a fist full of dollars. The big cat enclosure, featuring lion cubs, is also a highlight. [more ]
Further Ratings (Average 4.4 of 5):
- Hotels.com: 8.60 of 10
- Tripadvisor: 4.50 of 5
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