Hotel Review: Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino

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I sank into the soft leather seat of the limo, as it sped quietly along the Las Vegas streets on the way to Mandalay Bay. After matching his Hyatt Diamond status to MLife and taking advantage of a special offer, Noir status granted my husband and I stylish transportation to and from the airport.

Noir status is typically only given to those who gamble a minimum of 1 Million dollars per year, so it won’t be a status that he expects to have next year! If you have elite status with Hyatt and haven’t yet done a status match with MLife, you can do that here.

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The limo glided up to the curb and upon arrival the driver opened the doors for us. A bellhop appeared with a luggage cart, and we were shown the way to check-in.

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It wasn’t the regular long and noisy line, but behind a door marked “Private”.

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I was tempted to try the $20 trick to try to score a suite, but after reading about One Mile at a Time’s recent experience and knowing that the hotel was full due to an iHeartRadio concert I decided against it. The check-in hostess was friendly and the lounge was quiet. There were some seating areas, a small refrigerator with bottled waters and a coffee station.

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After getting room keys, I exited the private check-in area and went over to the elevators. The property has so many rooms that they have the elevators separated by floors. My room was on the 28th floor so I went over to the right bank of elevators and got in. On the way up, I was excited. What kind of room would I get? I didn’t expect anything special because the hotel was full, but because of my husband’s Noir status I wondered if there was an upgraded room type in my future.

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I walked down the hall almost to the end, and opened the door to….a regular Deluxe room. I was surprised not to find a welcome amenity like fruit or chocolates with a letter, but since this was my first time using the Noir status I hadn’t been sure what to expect.

From just inside the door I could see through the opaque glass into the bathroom tub area.

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The bedroom was decorated in gold tones with a touch of color and a leopard pattern on the carpeting.

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There were two separate closets that were convenient and large enough for big bags. I went about unpacking and then realized that the room was uncomfortably warm. I went over to the thermostat near the window and it read 69, but there was barely any air flow coming from the vents. I called down to reception and they said they’d need to send up an engineer. After about 20 minutes he came in, made some adjustments and the room started cooling down right away.

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There was a desk in one corner with a chair on one side and a couch by the windows.

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The chest of drawers under the TV had a coffee maker and minibar.

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Costlier items were under a glass case, but there was a key conveniently right in the slot for anyone who wanted to open it up.

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I realized that there was no coffee or tea near the coffeemaker, and then my eyes fell on the two plastic wrapped coffee cups. It was $4 per cup, which included coffee, sweetener and creamer. That was disappointing. In Vegas people tend to stay up late for gambling, shows or just drinks, and I bet that even those who don’t typically drink coffee enjoy a cup in the morning to help wake them up. Charging $4 per cup seems a little over the top, and I would rather just go down to the Starbucks in the hotel.

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The view from the room was pretty cool. You could see the Luxor, Excalibur, MGM Grand, the tram, etc.

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Checking out the bathroom, I noticed that the tub was extra deep.

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There was a small TV over the counter that could swivel out to be seen from the bathtub.

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The shower flooring mimicked river stones.

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Amenities were Mandalay Bay’s own.

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I ordered some lunch via room service, and was informed that there was a charge of $5 per person. The food arrived in 25 minutes, but oddly enough there was no cart rolled in. Room service was delivered in a bag with disposable containers and silverware, and when it came time to sign the bill I was told by the delivery person that no gratuity was included at all. I was surprised, and couldn’t remember the last hotel I’d stay at that didn’t include at least some gratuity. I asked why that was, and was told that it is because the management team thinks that “automatically adding the tip breeds laziness”.  I don’t agree with that philosophy especially for Las Vegas. I think there’s a higher chance that people ordering food there are drinking and might forget to add tip.

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Even though the packaging was disposable, the breakfast sandwich was really good.

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So was the quinoa and kale salad.

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I went out for a fun night and when I returned it was very late so I went straight to sleep. The next morning I had to get up early in the morning for a conference, and as soon as I woke up I realized that the room was too hot again. I wasn’t sure at what point the air conditioning stopped working, but there was again almost no air flow even though the fan was set to high and the temperature was set low. I tried to get ready quietly, but it seemed that nothing had been designed to be silent. It was impossible to close the closet doors without a loud bang because the handles didn’t actually turn fully, and one of the french doors to the bathroom was the same. The toilet room door refused to stay open but closed noisily on its own, and the shower door wouldn’t close all the way. After clunking around the room I finally headed out and up to breakfast.

Breakfast for Noir holders was served in a penthouse lounge. It wasn’t over the top with just continental offerings, but it was nice to have a quiet place to enjoy some light breakfast without being charged an arm and a leg.

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There were very few people in the lounge both times I visited, and it was nice and quiet. The lounge lady was extremely friendly and helpful, and I noticed that after each person took some food she immediately restocked it.

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There was yogurt, fresh berries and other fruit.

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The pastries were not amazing but they were reasonably fresh.

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There were boxed cereals as well.

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The lounge had plenty of seats, and there was a full bar.

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The view was pretty cool, facing away from the strip and towards the mountains.

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After the lounge I went to check out the pools. There was a helpful board just outside that showed the pool hours and helpful information. I laughed when I saw the big letters announcing that cabanas were available, for just a low daily fee of $575!

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I liked the whimsical elephant fountain that was on the way to the pools.

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There was an entrance bag check, and then I passed by the bar and grill and a shop that had a multitude of pool items that people might have forgotten at home.

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Signs were posted every so often along the walkway, and there was sand just as if it was a beach.

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I found a quiet pool area.

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There was also a popular wave pool.

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Pretty cool and although there were plenty of free lounge chairs early in the day, as the day went on the chairs filled up and the pool area got much busier.

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I loved the Noir transportation, which made the arrival and departure process much easier. Check-in was smooth. The pool area was great and there is a wonderful Italian restaurant at the Mandalay Bay – Lupo, which has delicious homemade pasta.

The hotel room itself was just ok though, and I wouldn’t go out of my way to stay there.

Mandalay Bay

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Good To Go

+ Location is easy to reach from airport without getting stuck in much traffic, so about $15 cab fare
+ Strip view was cool at night
+ Free tram takes you a few hotels down, which makes walking on the strip more convenient
+ Pool and beach areas were great and well maintained

Good To Know

- Closet and bathroom doors were noisy
- Coffee maker in room didn't come with free coffee or tea. It's $4 per cup.
- Air conditioning didn't cool consistently
- Room service was expensive and came in disposable dishes

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 3.5/5 Magic Stars
  1. Charlie
    Reply

    That breakfast sandwich looks really good! Your room looked just like my room but I had no couch. 🙁
    That tub was pretty nice though, I was surprised at the size of the bathroom. Great review!

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Thanks for reading Charlie!

  2. Scott
    Reply

    Any tips on how to obtain a Noir offer?

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Unfortunately not Scott. It was during the launch of the partnership between Hyatt and Mlife so I’m thinking it was a one-time special offer. If I hear of anything I’ll certainly do an update though.

  3. Raffles
    Reply

    At the Four Seasons upstairs, they specifically tell you that one of the things covered by the $25 plus tax resort fee is the coffee maker and capsules in your room. Odd that a couple of floors down you pay the same resort fee but are dinged $4 per cup!

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Raffles, the Four Seasons is one of my favorite properties to stay at in Vegas. I’d much rather pay a little more for the room than be nickel and dimed for small things like coffee!

  4. MilesFromBlighty
    Reply

    Oddly, my suite didn’t even have a coffee maker in, even at $4 per cup.
    Mandalay Bay seems to do nothing for anyone except Noir holders, where as I think other MLife hotels do for Plats.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      A suite with no coffee maker at all? That’s even worse! Thanks for reading, MilesFromBlighty!

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