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Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas is an oasis amid the bustling Strip. The Pros: elegant interiors, memorable service, great amenities. The Cons: no in-room coffee maker and the gym wasn’t open late.
While there’s no shortage of high-end hotels in Sin City, there aren’t too many hotels on the Strip without casinos. Among the few non-gaming hotels is the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, sitting high above the busy street within MGM’s CityCenter complex, offering easy access to The Shops at Crystals and the Aria Resort. Spread across floors 3-24 are 335 rooms and 57 suites, which really isn’t a lot for a Vegas hotel (floors 24-47 are occupied by private residences). The hotel also has five restaurants and bars, several outdoor pools, a two-story spa, a gym, a beauty salon and more than 12,000 square feet of event space. Here’s what it’s like to stay there.
Since I knew I’d be flying in United’s basic economy to get back to LA, I figured I’d treat myself for my one-night stay with friends in Vegas — the Mandarin Oriental offered just what we needed for some R&R. After comparing rates on various online travel agencies, I eventually decided to book our stay through Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC) program, which I have access to thanks to my Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. The subtotal of our one-night stay in a standard Cityscape Double Room came to $281.18 including taxes and a $39 resort fee, which earned me about $20 worth of Ultimate Rewards points based on TPG’s most recent valuations.
Although the terms on the LHRC website stated that the resort fee would not be included, a phone agent confirmed that the additional fee was indeed part of my subtotal — it would have cost the same amount had I booked directly through the hotel, but without the additional benefits. The special perks we received by booking through the LHRC included daily continental breakfast for two and a $100 spa credit, as well as room upgrades, early check-in and late check-out (all subject to availability). Note that this hotel is also part of the Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts program, which offers similar benefits to those with The Platinum Card from American Express.
The ridiculous $39 daily resort fee included morning coffee and tea outside the MOzen Bistro, internet access, unlimited local and toll-free calls, entry to the fitness center and exercise classes, daily newspapers, overnight shoe shine services and boarding pass printing. While this fee is a lot and the amenities provided are usually standard elsewhere around the world, resort fees are very common for Las Vegas.
Check-In and Lobby
Unlike most Vegas hotels, the Mandarin Oriental does not have a pedestrian entrance directly on the Strip, so the only way to reach lobby is by driving up to the valet area or finding the somewhat hidden bridge from The Shops at Crystals.
Inside, there was a small waiting area with several seating options and a row of elevators.
The actual lobby is on the 23rd floor and with floor-to-ceiling windows throughout, it was hard to miss the amazing view. Check-in lines in Vegas are usually excruciatingly long, but the smaller size of this hotel meant there was no wait for my afternoon check-in.
While the check-in process took longer than usual due to computer issues, the front desk agent remained professional and friendly. I was brought a cup of hot tea and a refreshing cold towel as I waited.
Without having to ask, the agent explained the perks I’d be receiving for booking through Chase’s LHRC. I then asked if I’d be getting a room upgrade since that was one of the perks listed as being subject to availability. He told me that I was assigned to a Cityscape Double Room (the room I had originally booked), but proactively upgraded me to a Strip View Double Room, which would have normally been about $60 more per night.
Once I was fully checked in, the agent offered to guide me to the guest room elevators, which are separate from the ones we used to come up to the lobby. Instead, I opted to explore the rest of the room first. Directly next to the reception was a lounge that serves afternoon tea.
Farther down the lobby was the Mandarin Bar.
From its position at the corner of the building, the bar offers 180-degree views of the Las Vegas skyline.
While it’s not typical to see a vending machine in a five-star hotel’s lobby, this one was special since all it served was Moët & Chandon Champagne.
After a quick walk down the hall from the elevator, I finally arrived at room 1009, where I’d be staying.
Standard rooms like this one are comfortably sized at about 500 square feet.
There was a sizable closet area directly on the left when I entered the room. The wardrobe was complete with the usual fare, including a plush robe by Frette, his and hers sized slippers and a yoga mat.
Just past that was the bathroom, which I thought was pretty spacious for a standard-size room. It had a double vanity, a standalone bathtub and a walk-in shower. There was also a television embedded in the mirror facing the tub.
While I wasn’t the biggest fan of the citrus scent, the toiletries were from Atelier Cologne.
I thought the bath salts were a nice touch.
The bathroom had a translucent wall shared with the bedroom.
Luckily, there was also a sliding door, which could be pulled out to cover that part of the wall.
At first glance, I thought the bedroom itself was elegantly furnished with two double beds, a work space and a small seating area consisting of an armchair and side table. That being said, it had its pros and cons.
The desk was clutter-free and provided easy access to power outlets as well as other plugs. On the desk was a welcome amenity — which was delivered soon after I checked in — consisting of an apple, a chocolate pretzel and a small cup of trail mix.
On the nightstand between the two comfortable double beds was a control panel allowing me to manage the room’s lighting, temperature, shades and entertainment system. While this piece of technology was appreciated, I was disappointed to not have access to any bedside power outlets without having to move heavy pieces of furniture around.
The room’s other design flaws were related to the mini-bar. First of all, I couldn’t even open the refrigerator (located in the left cabinet) without moving both the armchair and side table out of the way.
Despite the difficulty involved with accessing it, the refrigerator was fully stocked.
In the right cabinet were glasses and a hot water kettle, but no tea bags, and most disappointing of all, there was no in-room coffee maker. Although complimentary morning coffee and tea are served outside the MOzen Bistro as part of the resort fee and I could have probably paid an extraordinary amount for lukewarm coffee via room service, an in-room coffee maker is a must.
Above that was a drawer with some snacks and other non-refrigerated items.
Water bottles were available for nine dollars each though there were also free bottles delivered in the evening as part of the nightly turndown service.
The highlight of this room was definitely the view.
It was even prettier at night when the Strip was fully lit. Despite only being on the tenth floor, the room was quiet and outside noise wasn’t an issue when I was trying to go to sleep.
Given how poorly my cell service was inside the hotel, I was glad to not have any problems using the Wi-Fi included with the resort fee and was able to maintain my connection throughout the property.
The hotel’s pools, fitness center and spa are located on the eighth floor, though the fitness center was being renovated and, in the interim, was located elsewhere (more on that later). When entering the pool area, I was greeted by friendly staff and a set-up consisting of oranges, sunscreen, aloe vera and fruit-infused water. Free bottles of regular water were also available.
Directly to the left was a casual poolside café, which served breakfast and lunch.
There were three pools set on multiple levels and a bunch of seating, though the pool deck was mostly empty both days I visited.
Unlike most Vegas pools — which are often rowdy — this one was tranquil and the only outside noises I heard were from a helicopter passing by.
The poolside staff were very friendly and distributed various complimentary refreshments throughout the day.
The hotel typically hosts a weekly soirée called Moët Mondays, with a live DJ and special drinks menu, though that didn’t appear to be the case during my Monday visit. The Moët & Chandon Rose Garden Cabana was unusually quiet.
Unfortunately, the fitness center was closed for renovations during my stay, however the hotel had a large and well-equipped interim space available on the ground floor. Like the fitness center that is on the eighth floor, I was surprised to find that it was only open from 5:00am to 8:00pm on weekdays and 5:00am to 9:00pm on weekends.
In the morning, I participated in one of the fitness classes included with the resort fee and was very impressed. Although advertised as a “Kinesis Circuit Class,” since there were just three of us there, the trainer offered to customize it to our liking. As a result, we ended up doing a little bit of yoga, pilates and some other exercises using the kinesis wall and all of us worked up a good sweat after the hour-long class.
I used my $100 spa credit from booking through Chase’s LHRC toward day passes for a friend and me — they usually cost $50 each for hotel guests on weekdays. The day pass included access to several relaxation areas, a steam room, sauna, laconium (dry sweating room), vitality pool and experiential showers. The facilities were beautiful and I regret not getting a treatment.
Going back to other hotel amenities, there was a first-come first-serve Mercedes-Benz car service available between 9:00am and 9:00pm to take guests anywhere within a two-mile radius. After several failed attempts at using this perk during my stay, the car was finally available right after I checked out and I was able to use it to go to the airport.
Food and Beverage
For dinner, I was hoping to try out the hotel’s highly acclaimed French restaurant, Twist by Pierre Gagnaire, but unfortunately, it’s not open on Sundays and Mondays.
I would have had a great view had I ended up eating there.
Later that evening, I returned to the chic Mandarin Bar and the views were even prettier than when I was there during the day. I’d recommend anyone visiting Vegas to stop by, even if you’re not staying at this hotel.
The poor lighting made it difficult to take good pictures, but there were plenty of open seats during my Monday evening visit.
By booking through Chase’s LHRC, I was entitled to complimentary continental breakfast for two, or otherwise, a credit equivalent to about $25 per person. Although I could have ordered my complimentary breakfast through room service, I decided to take the opportunity to try out the hotel’s all-day eatery, MOzen Bistro, which is located on the third floor. For breakfast, it offers a choice between ordering from an extensive á la carte menu and a buffet. Note that the latter is not fully covered by the daily breakfast credit.
The buffet offered a wide selection of fruit, cereals and pastries, while its hot options appeared to be limited to two types of scrambled eggs and French toast. I didn’t see any made-to-order items, like an omelette station, though “enhancements” such as oatmeal and pancakes could be ordered for $6 each.
I ordered the cinnamon French toast and a cup of fresh orange juice off the á la carte menu, which ended up being fully covered by my daily breakfast credit. It was topped with a delicious vanilla and cinnamon cream cheese glaze that wasn’t overly sweet and served with a side of fresh berries. Not only was the presentation beautiful, but the French toast itself was among the best I’ve ever had. The server was also very attentive.
Outside MOzen Bistro was a small to-go shop — this was also where the complimentary coffee and tea station is set up in the morning.
Despite some minor design flaws in the room, I had a great night at the Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas and would definitely stay there again. The service was excellent across the board and the one meal I had at the hotel was delicious. I do wish that it would eliminate the resort fee, but at least the free fitness class and ride to the airport allowed me to get some value out of it.
This was my first time staying at a non-gaming hotel in Las Vegas, so I appreciated a relaxing change of pace from the typical experience. Considering how quiet it was inside the hotel, I would have forgotten I was even in Las Vegas if it weren’t for the amazing views of the Strip. I’m also glad I booked my stay through Chase’s LHRC, since the benefits alone saved me a ton of cash and scored me an upgrade. I highly recommend putting this hotel toward the top of your list the next time you’re planning a trip to Sin City.
Have you ever stayed at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas? Tell us about your experience, below.
All photos by the author.
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