MGM Grand Las Vegas Features the City’s Largest Casino
MGM Grand Las Vegas claims the distinction of having the city’s largest casino. Within the 112-acre complex, there is a 16,800-seat special-events arena, 380,000 square feet of convention space, 171,500 square feet of casino space, and a multilevel parking facility. There’s also a small casino outside the lobby of the Mansion, MGM’s ultra-upscale whale digs. Finally, a 6.6-acre pool-and-spa complex took over a chunk of the now-defunct amusement park along with the dedicated convention center.
The MGM Grand is on the northeast corner of Tropicana Avenue and the Strip. The Strip entrance passes beneath a 45-foot-tall MGM Lion atop a 25-foot pedestal, all surrounded by three immense digital displays. The lion entrance leads to a domed rotunda with table games and a Rainforest Cafe; from there, head to MGM Grand’s four larger casinos. All of the casinos are roomy and plush, with high ceilings and a comfortable feeling of openness.
A second entrance, with a porte cochere 15 lanes wide, serves vehicular traffic from Tropicana Avenue. For all practical purposes, this is the main entrance to the MGM Grand, permitting you to go directly to the hotel lobby and its 53 check-in windows without lugging your belongings through the casinos. Just beyond the registration area is the elevator core, with 35 elevators servicing 30 guest floors.
Lots of Fine Dining Available at MGM Grand Las Vegas
Beyond the elevator core, a wide passageway leads toward five of MGM Grand’s many restaurants. The supernova restaurant is Joël Robuchon, which serves a French culinary feast of the highest quality and greatest exclusivity. Other fine-dining stars in the hotel’s galaxy include L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, serving more fine French cuisine via counter service (dishes are prepared in front of you); Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak, offering beef and seafood; Hecho en Vegas, a Mexican restaurant; Fiamma, an Italian trattoria; Shibuya, a Japanese restaurant; Emeril’s New Orleans Fish House, offering Creole-Cajun dishes; Hakkasan, specializing in modern Cantonese; Pearl, serving traditional Chinese; and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill and Crush for fancy American cuisine. Less formal are The Grand Wok and Sushi Bar, featuring Asian specialties from a half dozen countries; the Rainforest Café; Michael Mina Pub 1842; Tap Sports Bar; and the Avenue Café. MGM Grand’s buffet adjoins the casinos between the porte cochere and lion entrances. For fast food there is a food court.
MGM Grand Las Vegas: Home of Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ
There are two showrooms at the MGM Grand. The 740-seat Hollywood Theater features headliners, and the larger KÀ Theatre is home to Cirque du Soleil’s KÀ. The Brad Garrett comedy club has moved downstairs between the parking garage and an underground retail passageway. Other shows include JABBAWOCKEEZ, a dance production, and Beecher’s Madhouse, with quirky, edgy stage acts. Hakkasan, which replaced Studio 54 in 2014 as MGM Grand’s premiere nightspot, features celebrity DJs, high-tech lighting, and three levels of activity with a variety of areas and atmospheres. Entertainment is also offered in the casino’s four lounges. In addition, the MGM Grand’s special-events arena can accommodate boxing, tournament tennis, rodeo, and basketball, as well as major exhibitions.
Amenities at the MGM Grand, not unexpectedly, are among the best in Las Vegas. The swimming complex is huge—23,000 square feet of pool area, with five interconnected pools graced with bridges, fountains, and waterfalls. Other highlights of the complex include an artificial stream to float in, a poolside bar, and luxury cabanas. Adjoining the swimming area is a complete health club and spa. For those to whom recreation means pumping quarters into a machine, there is an electronic games arcade supplemented by a “games-of-skill” midway. In the transportation department, the MGM Grand is the southern terminus of the Las Vegas Monorail.
Rooms at MGM Grand Las Vegas Remodeled with Sleek 21st-Century Vogue and Latest In-Room Technology
In 2012, 3,570 of the hotel’s 5,044 guest rooms were given a face-lift with grand results. The lion logo remains, but the Hollywood theme predicated by the hotel’s name is gone with the wind. Remodeled rooms are located in four wings of the east tower. Remember that the MGM Grand is the second-largest hotel in the world, so be prepared for a hike from the elevator banks to your accommodations. Request a higher floor where the views are spectacular.
A rare enclave of peace and privacy, MGM Grand’s Signature condo-hotel towers are a 5- to 7-minute walk east of the main casino. Conspicuous by its absence is on-site gambling. The most spacious and luxurious rooms are at the SKY Lofts.
Drawing from a wide cross-section of the leisure market, the MGM Grand gets the majority of its business from individual travelers and tour and travel groups, but with a rising percentage coming from trade-show and convention attendees. Midrange room rates make the MGM Grand accessible to a broad population. MGM resorts are charging for parking, and we expect others will follow suit.
For a full review of all hotels in Las Vegas, check out Bob Sehlinger’s Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas.