I’ve been to Las Vegas a few times in my life- sometimes for vacations, more often for work- and I make it a point to try to stay in a different hotel each time I visit.
Although I’ve stayed at quite a few different Vegas hotels at this point, MGM Grand remains one of my favorites.
For one, the price is pretty hard to beat. I’ve seen their Grand King rooms for as little as $50 a night, and they often offer discounts for guests who’ve taken a spin on one of their casinos in the past. Sure, there is a daily resort fee of $39 + tax, but that’s standard for every major Las Vegas hotel and can’t be held against the MGM Grand specifically. The nightly rates can vary pretty wildly around conferences and events, so make sure to be flexible with your dates of travel for the best possible deal.
The MGM Grand is located on the Southern end of the strip, making it a conveniently close drive to the airport. While visitors can’t walk across the strip, there are land bridges that allow people to safely cross the road to visit any nearby hotels- though with my experience in the Las Vegas heat, you may just end up taking an Uber!
It’s easy to be blown away with the sheer size of the MGM Grand upon entering it for the first time- it’s the largest single hotel in the world with 6,852 rooms and a 6.6 acre property. Be prepared to walk for miles inside this single building! Las Vegas gets incredibly hot during the summer, and the idea behind these massive casinos is that guests never have to leave the building. There’s a plethora of restaurants and bars to visit, and MGM guests get complimentary Thursday and Friday entrance to the hotel’s in-house nightclub, Hakkasan.
MGM Grand also hosts a ton of entertainment, most famously Cirque du Soleil’s KA, the dance troupe Jabbawockeez, and the illusionist David Copperfield. I saw KA during one of my stays and absolutely loved it. The show is performed permanently at this location, so the stage is custom built just for the performances, which allows for an incredible and truly unique experience.
Despite the size of the casino floor, it never feels worn or dirty the way some of the hotel Las Vegas hotels do, with smoke stained into their carpets. Every time I visit, the hotel still seems clean and relatively modern.
Although the hotel is absolutely massive, I’ve never had an issue finding my way around. Areas are clearly marked, and the keycard-locked elevators will only allow you to select common areas and your own hotel room floor.
I’ve never stayed in a room category higher than the “Grand King Room”, and I’ve never felt the need to upgrade. The rooms are spacious and sleek, with comfortable beds and room to spread out. I wouldn’t call these rooms luxurious, but they’re excellent for families and friends looking to get away for a reasonable price. Be aware that the Grand King Room is one step above the “Studio King” room. I believe that these rooms have been redone recently, but I’ve heard poor reviews about the studio rooms for many years, so I’m happy to stick with what I know.
While the resort fee technically only includes wifi, unlimited local and toll free calls, airline boarding pass printing, and fitness center access for adults, I like to think of it as also including the entrance to MGM Grand’s Pool Complex, which is free for guests of the hotel. There are four pools open to guests, and the lazy river is particularly popular with families.
Wet Republic is a separate venue within the pool complex that includes live DJs, dipping pools, daybeds, and party cabanas. There is an entrance fee that starts $20 for ladies and $30 for men, but having visited once, I found the experience to be crowded and overwhelming and the pools were alarmingly cloudy. I’d be unlikely to pay another entrance fee to this club unless it was for a special occasion (that included a cabana) or if there were a particularly exciting DJ performing- Calvin Harris had a residency there for a while!
Las Vegas is a hotspot for DJs and lovers of EDM. I was lucky enough to see a Calvin Harris concert as well as a pool-side Diplo performance as part of my conference, and it was truly an excellent experience. Make sure to check the website for MGM’s scheduled performers.
***strobe warning for both of the below videos***
Don’t be fooled, the clubs and adult activities are kept fairly well sectioned off from the rest of the hotel, making the hotel a safe choice for families, though I would recommend it more for families with teenagers rather than younger children. There’s plenty of other hotels with cheesy-but-fun theming to pick from for the little ones who need a little more entertainment. I was 17 the first time I visited this hotel, and I was more than happy to check out some of the shows and relax in the pool during my visit. It felt like the fanciest hotel in the world!
The MGM Grand doesn’t have anything so flashy as New York New York’s roller coaster, or The Venetian’s famous St. Mark’s Square, but the incredible size of the hotel and quality of its rooms and activities at such a low rate consistently land it as my first pick for Las Vegas hotels, and probably the best bang for your buck on the strip.