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Hotel Review: Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas Using Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts

by on December 3, 2012 · 11 comments

in American Express, Hotel Reviews, Mandarin Oriental

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While stranded in Las Vegas during Hurricane Sandy a few weeks ago, I decided to explore the Fine Hotels & Resorts benefit of my Amex Platinum Card by staying at the Encore for two nights. Little did I know I’d be stuck in Sin City a few days longer thanks to Sandy, but when the situation became clear, I decided to test out my cardholder benefits at another FHR property, the Mandarin Oriental.

Festive fall decor at the SkyLobby of the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas

The Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas is in the heart of MGM’s CityCenter complex and has a total of 392 rooms and suites. I had booked a king standard room for $225 a night, but as part of FHR’s benefits for Amex Platinum cardholders, I was given an upgrade to a Mandarin Premier room which would have been $90 more per night.


However, I asked if I could have a Strip View room instead, which is a standard-size room but with a Strip view instead of a bigger room and they agreed to it – probably because it’s only $50 extra a night! But still, what’s a stay in Las Vegas without a view of the Strip?

The bedroom features a more toned-down look than most Vegas hotel rooms.

Shanghai Tang amenities. Fun fact: when the hotel first opened in late 2009 they just used nondescript Mandarin Oriental amenities.

The Strip view rooms are 500-sq.ft. large and typically start at $265 a night. Each room has a separate bath tub and walk-in shower, toiletries from Shanghai Tang, bathrobes by Frette and  a high-tech control panel on the nightstand that opens and closes the shades, regulates the room temperature and turns on and off the TV, music and lights.

Here’s a quick video tour of the room:

All in all, I thought it was a beautiful room, and I loved the signature Mandarin Oriental service, with turndown in the evenings and the agents in reception greeting me by name. It was well worth the $225, especially considering these other perks I received through the FHR program:

+ Daily continental breakfast for two ($48 value)
+ Noon check-in, based on availability
+ 4pm guaranteed late check-out
+ $100 in spa services

With all  my “savings” I decided to go all out at Twist, the restaurant from acclaimed French chef, Pierre Gagnaire, whose sole restaurant in the U.S. is this one at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. The chef’s tasting menu costs $190 for just the dishes, $320 if you include the wine pairings, or $395 for the grand pairing. Although I was tempted by the grand tasting, I ordered a bottle of wine instead and just had the tasting menu itself.

Loved the funky lighting at Twist

Scallop carpaccio in creamy avocado mousse. An excellent start!

One of the main courses of the tasting – venison loin.

The dessert tasting featured six dishes, including a crab-apple tandoori confit, plums with raspberry parfait, red coffee glace and green tea cubes with tapioca-coconut milk.

Another highlight of the Mandarin Oriental is the Mandarin Bar on the 23rd floor which has killer views of the Las Vegas Strip. The bar opens nightly at 5pm and serves cocktails, fine wines and light apps. Even if you aren’t a guest, this place is worth a stop. However, it does close at 2am on the weekends so it’s not a place to rage.

Rounding out the other services and amenities at the Mandarin Oriental is the all-day dining spot Mozen, the Tea Lounge which serves a proper afternoon tea, the two-floor spa and fitness center and the 8th floor pool deck, one of the more low-key pool scenes in Sin City.

Though it’s in the thick of it, after spending two nights here, I’d say if you want to come to Vegas but not want to have an experience that’s completely “Vegas,” the Mandarin Oriental might be the hotel for you. After the over-the-top, blinged-out hubbub of the Encore, this was a nice, relaxing change of pace and all the extras made it that much better. There is no casino at the Mandarin Oriental and the property is non-smoking, so it’s a really nice oasis in a city known for its calamity. I’d definitely stay again at the Mandarin Oriental, though I need a break from Vegas for a while!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • http://www.drcreditcard.net/ Sean

    Thanks for the great review! But I am confused. The Mandarin Premier room is a little bigger and costs $50 more than the regular Strip View room. I am staying this Christmas and have booked a Cityscape room hoping to be bumped into a Strip View room (1 cat up). But what you are saying is if they give me a Mandarin Premier room instead (2 cats up), i shall consider turning it down and asking for a lower category?

  • mr P

    Im wondering who is filming for you in most of videos. :-)

  • Choiklu

    your audio is not too clear but you were saying about the hotel mercedes, is that included in the perks for Amex Plat or something else ??

  • thepointsguy

    Its just a general hotel perk- if its available, you can use it, which is nice

  • thepointsguy

    I have a trained chimp that follows me around! Ha actually its a mix of TPG employees or friends that I’m traveling with. They benefit from my elite status and perks, so they don’t mind doing a little “work” once in a while!

  • thepointsguy

    Right- I’d rather have the strip view than a slightly larger room since the regular rooms are nicely sized in my opinion. Make sure you let them know at check in (or advance) that as an upgrade you’d like a Strip view (or not if you couldn’t care less about the view)

  • MiamiMike2

    Anyone had any experience with FHR at the Venetian/Palazzo? Booked for Feb and wondering what I should expect.

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  • acer

    Do you know where the complimentary breakfasts can be redeemed at? Is it anywhere in the property that serves breakfast (such as at MOzen)?

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  • Orthopod

    Thnaks for the review. Just booked through AMEX FHR. The Breakfast that was included, how did you get that, was it an adjustment on the card, or in the restaurant? Also was it breakfast for 2, or a specific item? Thanks!

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