Las Vegas Hotels! Not just a place to sleep!

The great themed hotels and casinos in Las vegas are not just places in which to sleep or gamble but are home to interesting adventures and make believe for adults. You do not have to leave the hotel such are the facilities but you would be daft not to.

Where the Lion Never sleeps!

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by garymarsh6 on February 5, 2013

MGM grand.

When the MGM grand opened its doors in 1993 it was the world’s largest hotel with 6,852 rooms and suites but today it is only the third largest hotel in the world.

The original MGM was actually at the hotel now called Ballys which suffered a fire causing the deaths of 85 people most of them killed by toxic fumes whilst still in their beds or in the fire escapes trying to flee the smoke. There were over 5000 people in the hotel at the time.

The property was sold to another organisation and the current property was obtained partly knocked down and rebuilt to what we know today. They have also built three condominium hotel buildings to the back side of the hotel containing 576 units costing in the region of between $450,000 and $2 million.


The hotel hosts massive boxing fights and other grand entertainments including big names like Lady Gaga and Bon Jovi lined up for concerts in 2013. It has a permanent Cirque du Soliel show called Ka which as an absolutely brilliant show and one I would highly recommend anyone to go and see. I do not want to describe the show as it would spoil it for you but just remember that it is absolutely spectacular and stunning and worth taking the time to see it. There is also a CSI experience where you can try and work out the details of three murders and take your evidence to the lab to work out how the people died. This is a new experience and is proving quite popular.

When the hotel first opened it was themed on the Wizard of OZ but as time has gone on this has been stripped out and the new casino has been transformed. There used to be a lion exhibition where lions would be behind a glass enclosure with a walk through glass tunnel. The lions would often be sitting and lying on the top of the glass panels just above your head as you walked through however this has now gone and no longer are the lions in the MGM Grand.

Initially the entrance to the hotel was through a giant Lions mouth but due to the thoughts by Chinese people who thought that this was bad luck the owners changed the entrance to attract Chinese people who refused to go into the casino but would enter through one of the back entrances. There is now a 50 ton bronze statue on the corner of the Casino and looks quite splendid on its 20 foot high plinth.


There are all kinds of eateries throughout the hotel including cheap and cheerful places to high end restaurants. The rain forest café is quite a nice restaurant to eat in although at times the queues can be quite extensive to get in here. The MGM buffet is also quite large and good value for money and serves food throughout the day. There is also quite a nice restaurant called NobHill restaurant but when I visited recently it seems to not quite have its identity sorted out as it is quite a classy restaurant and brilliant food but the choice of music is loud and brash and not in keeping with the ambiance of the restaurant.

The Casino.

The casino floor is absolutely vast and stretches as far as the eye can see. It is usually very busy inside the hotel which is quite popular with guests and visiting gamblers. It is quite a nice casino but for my liking I found it far too large and far too busy.

Would I recommend this hotel?
If you like big and brash then this is the place for you. It is a very busy hotel but do take into account it can take quite an age to reach your room from the casino or check in area as the place is vast.
MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
3799 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada

The Apple hotel.

Member Rating 2 out of 5 by garymarsh6 on February 5, 2013

New York New York.

NewYork NewYork is a 2024 roomed hotel opposite the MGM grand and in between the Excalibur hotel and the Monte Carlo hotel. Its façade depicts the New York Manhattan Sky line with high rise buildings and right at the front there is a miniature replica of statue of Liberty. It is built right on a corner of a busy intersection. Along the strip side of the hotel there is a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge. It is a hub for people coming from the southern end of the strip from the hotels of Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay bay and offers a means of crossing to the strip and onwards across a bridge to the MGM grand.

It cost $460 million to build and opened its doors to the public in 1997.

The Casino.

The casino floor is not one of the nicest I have seen or been in in Las Vegas. It appears to be in the basement of the hotel. The casino floor is surrounded by bars and restaurant outlets. Most of the eating places are based on Irish and Italian fare which is quite typical of the New York City scene. It appears to be quite dark and dismal and not the best casino in Las Vegas. Escalators take you down into the pit of the massive hall and bring you back up again.


The main show at the NewYork NewYork is a Cirque du Soliel show called Zumanity along with other shows such as temptation and dancing queen not to forget the Broadway celebration. Most of the shows are quite risqué to say the least and would not be suitable for children.

The Roller coaster ride.
The main feature of the hotel is the Roller Coaster which is a fantastic ride not only does the ride take you outside the hotel but also runs inside the hotel too. The ride is 203 feet high and the biggest drop is 144 feet reaching speeds of 67 miles per hour. It is quite a thrill seeking ride and does a loop the loop supposedly simulating a jet fighters roll and then it continues into a twist just when you have caught your breath again which is totally unexpected. The cars are based on the yellow taxi cabs of New York. The ride is certainly a teeth gripping ride and at times the queues for the ride can be quite long and costs $14 a ride although for another $7 you can re ride the roller coaster although I never saw one person take the ride again! For $25 you can ride on the roller coaster all day long if you so wished.

Personally I would not wish to stay in this hotel but the rooms look quite nice from their own web site.
New York New York Hotel and Casino
3790 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada

Looking for Camelot.

Member Rating 3 out of 5 by garymarsh6 on February 5, 2013

Excalibur hotel.

This hotel is at the Southern end of Las Vegas Boulevard in between the Luxor hotel and NewYork NewYork. The theme of this hotel is based on Camelot and medieval England with turrets imitating an English castle although somewhat in the Las Vegas style more Disney than authentic medieval castle. The casino opened its doors to the public in 1990.

For me it has been more of a transit hotel in between the Luxor and Mandalay bay which you can travel on the monorail to reach the others however this closes down at about 10PM so the walk is quite a long one through the casinos of the Excalibur and the Luxor to reach the Mandalay bay. You can reach NewYork NewYork, MGM grand and the Tropicana via bridges that link the resort to each other crossing the very busy Tropicana intersection.

The casino is quite large and widely spread out at over 100,000 square foot of gaming most of which is taken up by slot machines. There are the usual roulette and poker tables around the casino mainly in the centre aisles. I have always found it to feel quite crowded noisy and oppressive in the casino and it is not one of my casinos of choice.


There are several dining opportunities in Excalibur from cheap and cheerful chain restaurants such as Macdonalds in the food court up to and including The steak house at Camelot which is very tastefully furnished and quite a nice place to eat although A La Carte can work out quite expensive. One of the best deals is the buffet where you can pay $35 dollars to eat all day either in Excalibur or the Luxor buffets. There are also several bars around the casino.


The Excalibur has a couple of permanent shows one is the tournament of kings which is held in an arena with jousting, horse riding and sword fighting. You can also dine whilst enjoying the show. The other permanent show where you can dine whilst watching the show is Thunder from down under which is a troupe of rib muscling 6 pack laden guys from Australia dancing and showing off their muscles to the crowds of mainly women.

Staying here.

I do not think that I would like to stay in this hotel as it seems too claustrophobic and very busy. It is right at the end of the Las Vegas strip but quite handy to get to the surrounding hotels.
Excalibur Hotel and Casino
3850 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, Nevada
(702) 597-7777

A taste of Egypt!

Member Rating 5 out of 5 by garymarsh6 on February 5, 2013

The Luxor hotel. Las Vegas.

The Luxor hotel is right at the southern end of Las Vegas strip sandwiched between the Mandalay bay resort and the Excalibur hotel. It is a themed hotel based on the pyramids of Egypt. I remember it being built and the opening of the hotel and thinking I have got to stay there one day. I have stayed there on two occasions once in one of the adjoining towers and once in the pyramid itself.

The hotel was built in 18 months from start to finish and opened to the public in 1993. From the outside it is instantly recognisable due to its appearance of being a black pyramid shape. Along each corner of the pyramid a set of lights run up the side to the top where there is a massive light that shines up to ten miles into the sky. At the front of the hotel there is a massive obelisk and a statue of the sphinx. Despite being called the Luxor the pyramids and the sphinx are in reality found in Giza near Cairo.

The Lobby.

Entering the hotel you are confronted by a massive atrium the rooms of the hotel inside the pyramid surround the atrium and to reach the rooms you have to travel in an inclinator which travels up the internal sides of the pyramid at an angle of 38 degrees. Inside the hotel atrium there are statues of Rameses and the theme throughout the hotel is of ancient Egypt. The casino floor is absolutely vast with a mixture of slot machines and gaming tables. Inside the atrium there is a huge permanent exhibition of the relics of the Titanic and also a setup of the tombs of Tutankhamen. There is a food court and the infamous Luxor buffet on the lower floor plus the Luxor café which is right in the centre of the hotel. Around the perimeter of the hotel there are other restaurants and retail outlets.

The rooms.

There are a mixture of 2,526 rooms and suites in the Luxor hotel and a further 2000 rooms are available in the two adjoining towers. If you are staying in the pyramid there is an incline in the front of the room on the outer side of the room. The rooms are quite nicely furnished with an Egyptian style of the furniture there is an armour containing the television and the in room safe, there are twin queen or one king bed and the suites have a separate living room. The rooms in the towers are similar and are less Smokey due to the fact that they are separate from the main hotel where smoking is permitted in the casino which wafts up to the rooms. Being a smoker myself I did not find this particularly unpleasant but I know some people have an aversion to the smell of smoke so may prefer to be in the tower rooms. Each of the bathrooms contain a good walk in shower, bath and his and hers sinks units.

The staff.

This is a massive hotel and one gets the impression that due to the high number of guests and the rapid turnover there is not the same kind of customer service. At times when asking for something I have felt like the staff do not really care whether they help you or not and you feel at times like you are inconveniencing them. On one occasion at one of the restaurants the waitress blatantly demanded a tip which I thought was really rude as we always tip the waiting staff especially if they have provided exceptional service which she had not done so.

Due to its massive size and lack of personal service I doubt if I would stay here again. Not only that the hotel is situated at the end of the strip and although it is fairly easy to reach the main drag it is still far from all the action. It is quite possible to go and stay at the Luxor hotel and not have to leave the resort at all. Everything you could possible need can be found here but I would certainly recommend you do venture out to see what is available around Las Vegas.

The hotel has had several refits over the years where millions of dollars have been spent on doing up the facilities and the casino floor. Most of the work is carried on whilst the hotel is open and causes minimal disruption. The transformations are very quick and work is kept to a minimum causing little disruption.
There are four swimming pools at the back of the Luxor hotel and a massive car parking lot. Overall it is a comfortable hotel in which to spend a holiday in Las Vegas. It depends on whether you want to be nearer the action and variety of the other hotels or you would be quite happy to spend your time here. There is certainly no need to leave the hotel if you did not want to.
Luxor Las Vegas
3900 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89119-1000

TheHotel at Mandalay bay.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 by garymarsh6 on February 5, 2013


THEhotel at Mandalay bay is a 1,117 all-suite hotel that is slightly different in as much as it does not have a casino in the building but shares the casino with its sister hotel the Mandalay bay. The one disadvantage of the hotel is that it is right at the Southern end of the strip making it feel slightly isolated from the main drag of Las Vegas Boulevard or what is more commonly known as ‘The Strip’.

It has been opened since 2003 but this year they have decided to rebrand the hotel and from spring 2013 they have decided to renovate and rebrand the hotel calling it the Delano hotel and should re open in 2014.
From the outside of the hotel it is quite distinctive in that it is covered in gold from top to bottom and can be seen glistening in the Nevada sunshine. It is linked by a walkway from the Mandalay bay all the way through to the Luxor and Excalibur hotel by a shopping mall. It is also linked by a tram system that plies between the Excalibur and the Mandalay bay with one of the routes stopping at the Luxor. This is quite handy and helps tired aching feet if you have been pounding the strip as it saves a mile walk through the two adjoining hotels.

The Lobby.

The lobby area is composed of a very grand hallway that is very high and lit with subdued lighting. Check in area can be quite busy when there are a lot of people to be checked in but the queues are dealt with quite quickly and efficiently. There are two sets of lifts four serving the lower floors and five serving the higher floors and the roof top Mix bar cum restaurant which gives interesting views of the neon clad Las Vegas strip. The hotel lobby is quite tastefully decorated in a minimalist fashion and there are massive vases containing flower arrangements that are replenished on a daily basis.

The suites.

The rooms are quite spacious and once opening the door of your suite there is a small toilet in the corridor which is quite useful if you have visitors as they do not have to traipse through the bedroom to your private bathroom. Inside the lounge there is a wet bar where you can make coffee or help yourself to the in room bar however as is the norm most of the contents of the mini bar are very expensive and best avoided. It is best not to touch or move anything from the mini bar because as soon as you touch something it is triggered as having been used and you will be charged for it even if you have only picked it up to have a look at it.
The lounge is furnished with a sofa and arm chair, coffee tables, lamp tables, a writing desk and chair, a massive 50 inch flat screen television on the wall within a wall unit.

The Bedroom.

Inside the bedroom there is either a massive king size bed or two queen size beds. There is a chest of drawers and a large his and hers set of mirrored wardrobes the central cupboard contains another television and an in room safe. The linen is quite luxurious and the beds are covered with a mattress topper making the beds even more comfortable than an ordinary bed. The floors are carpeted throughout the lounge and bedroom area with some tasteful carpeting.

The main Bathroom.

The bathroom is quite large and contains a walk in shower and a massive bath. There are his and her sinks in marble and granite and another toilet. There is a small wall mounted television in the bathroom. The bathroom toiletries are provided including shower gel and shampoo, body lotion, shower cap, a sewing kit. There are ample supplies of towels and flannels for guest use.


My three criticisms of THEhotel is that the lighting in the hotel is very poor and I found it far too dark but that is the case with a lot of rooms in Las Vegas. I guess it is a ploy to keep you out of your rooms and on the casino floor where you are not able to comprehend what time of day it is as there is a constant level of lighting and no clocks at all to give you an indication of what time of day it is. The second criticism I have is that there is a distinct lack of security and any member of the public can access the guest lifts and floors plus there were several hookers plying for trade near the guest lifts on a couple of nights we were there. Finally the other criticism is the underwhelming entrance to the hotel. It is right beside the hotel car park and does not make it feel very special in anyway at all. I think that this area could be revamped and made to look a bit more special even by placing some boxed topiary near the doors would make it look a bit more classy.


The main asset of the hotel is the staff. Every member of staff we encountered was extremely helpful and friendly. The check- in staff were super-efficient and really went the extra mile to make all requests made possible. The rooms were clean and the team were very efficient in cleaning and making up the rooms daily.


Although apart from the mix bar at the top of the hotel and a coffee shop, a bar and THE Café on the ground floor most of the facilities are shared with the neighbouring Mandalay bay hotel where you can find the casino, numerous eating outlets including the house of blues where there is a gospel kind of brunch and lunch served on a Sunday. The hotel also hosts shark reef entry is $18 dollars and you can expect to spend about an hour there. It is quite a walk to get to shark reef approximately 10-20 minute walk from the casino depending how fast you walk. There are loads of different types of eateries there including diverse eating places that are not particularly cheap and with about mid-range prices. There is also a buffet and adjoining the hotel there is the four season’s hotel with some high class dining venues. There are large swimming pool areas as the theme of the hotel is Hawaii and covers an area of over 11 acres. The hotel also has a massive convention centre where there are lots of dining opportunities but these are only open when there is a convention taking place. There is also a massive concert venue where boxing matches and concerts take place. The hotel can become really busy and may not be to everyone’s liking if you do not like crowds.

Although it was a comfortable hotel it is not somewhere I would stay again as it is too far off the main strip and just too far away to get to the main facilities and other hotels on the strip without a half hour or so trek.

THEhotel Tower Rooms and Suites at Mandalay Bay
3950 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, Nevada, 89119
(702) 632-7777

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