The MGM Grand is one of the most well-known and Iconic Hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. The Shining Green and gold towers still stand out today as a testament to Las Vegas’s Lavish Excess. The Strong Hollywood theming is a nod towards the Golden Age of Cinema and Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios’ proud history of the era.
While the Hotel is a well known Las Vegas Icon, you may wonder what it is actually like to Stay there, What is the location like, what is there to see and do, what the rooms are like, what dining options there are, and what the pool complex is like. In our MGM Grand Las Vegas Review, we take a look at all aspects of the Hotel and let you know exactly what to expect from a Stay in the Emerald Green Towers of The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino.
- MGM Grand Location
- History of the MGM Grand
- What We Love
- What We don’t Love
- Best Rooms at the MGM Grand
- Room Price Guide
- MGM Grand Pool
- MGM Grand Casino
- What to Eat at the MGM Grand
- What to Do at The MGM Grand
- Best Time to Visit the MGM Grand
Introduction to The MGM Grand Las Vegas
- The MGM Grand, Las Vegas
- Owner – MGM Resorts
- Location – South Las Vegas Strip
- Theme – Hollywood Glamor
- Room Rates – Low ($80 – 200 a night)
- Resort Fee – $39
- Self Parking Fee – $15
- Our Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 4/5 Stars
The MGM Grand is the Namesake property of the MGM Resorts line-up in Las Vegas. It is not the Signature property but the Workhorse of the group with enough glitz and glamour to lure guests in but still be an affordable and attainable property that doesn’t break the bank right from the off.
A stay in the Emerald towers feels special without being too over the top. The resort is a Hub of activity on the strip with some of the finest restaurants, shows, and entertainment all under this one Mega Complex. The Resort is the 3rd Largest in the world and only second to the Venitian/Palazzo in the United States.
While the Complex is VAST it does not feel overly so when stating there. It can be a little cavernous at times and simply walking from one end to another is a fair old trek, especially as you head from the Parking Garage to reception with your luggage. But once settled in the layout means you are pretty central to everything within the resort.
The Theming is really iconic but inside it is more subtle than you imagine, it is more just bright, vibrant, Modern, Luxury with a hint of the Golden Age. We will go into the Rooms in more detail below but with over 6800 rooms there is a lot of choice and can vary a lot from pretty basic to serious luxury.
The MGM may not quite be the headline Las Vegas hotel anymore and is now far more a functional but still appealingly choice. We still think it can cut if with the top Choices o the strip and has a lot going for it, especially in terms of entertainment, food, Pool, and sheer value.
MGM Grand Location
at first glance, The MGM appears to hold a really good position in the Center of Las Vegas, but the reality is somewhat different. It really seems to take on the worst of both worlds. It’s pretty far from most sights and attractions on the Strip, but it’s not so far that it warrants a Taxi or Uber. Instead, you find yourself walking to most things as you just seem so close. Eventually, this leads to a very tiring trip and the thought of trekking down the stip one more time can get overwhelming.
The Good news is that there is a lot going on right inside the complex so heading out is not required THAT often, but this is vegas and just wandering around taking in the sights is all but mandatory.
The Monorail terminates at the MGM and can be useful for getting to certain spots but on the whole, it’s not the most useful transport method and we rarely find ourselves paying for the quite pricey option that is only useful for a handful of destinations… however fun the ride is.
It is a shame really as a block either way is all it would take to fix the issues. And we know on the map it really seems like nothing but after trekking the 1.2km to the Bellagio area, 20 times in the scorching heat it just feels too much. This is not a death sentence for the hotel and there is a load of really good reasons to stay here, just be warned that to go anywhere really ends up being another exhausting slog in the heat.
History of the MGM Grand
The Resort is built on the old site of the Marina Hotel, later called the MGM Marina. Despite feeling like the Hotel is part of the City it’s actually more modern than people think only opening in 1993. The Marina Closed in 1990 and work began on a whole new Casino and Hotel Complex. The Main Hotel Building of the Marina was retained and still exists as the Hotels West Wing. As we explain later, you are well-advised to avoid staying in this older part of the hotel.
The Iconic Cross shape of the Building was where all the extension work was carried out as the modest Hotel became an absolute monster. It was the Largest hotel in the world on opening and was expanded further with the addition of the Signature and another 1700 rooms taking the total to 6,852 hotel rooms. The Signature replaced the MGM Grand Adventures and theme park situated behind the hotel that never really took off.
The Iconic Green and Gold of the exterior stem from the original Themeing that was heavily influenced by the Wizard of Oz. The Towers were designed to represent the towering Emerald City at the end of the Yellow Brick Road. While this theme has been largely diluted the emerald color has remained and is intrinsic to the MGM Gran identity.
The initial incarnation of the Hotel saw Guests arrive via a giant Lions head. However, this proved very costly. Aisin Customers considered Walking through the Jaws of a Lion deeply bad luck and as such would not risk their money at the casino, resulting in very poor returns. So much so a huge and costly renovation was undertaken. Lions naturally feature heavily for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayet and there used to be a lion exhibit in the casino. As attitudes have changed this has been removed too, however, a large Golden Statue of Leo the Lion remains guard outside the hotel Reminding everyone of MGM’s Iconic Mascot.
What We Love
The Hotel is a real Icon of the City and due to the large numbers of guests and entertainment facilities, there is always a real buzz about the place. Even though the hotel is not centrally located on the strip it kind of has its own center of Gravity and is a location in its own right. As such, the need to venture out really is diminished.
There is a lot going on at the MGM Grand. The Resort boasts one of the largest conference centers in the City, The MGM Garden Arenas is host to a huge variety of Concerts and Sporting Events. along with a host of in-house shows and attractions. The MGM is almost a second center of the strip.
We go into this below but the dining options at the MGM are up there with the best in the City. There are a huge array of restaurants, bars, and dining options from the humble Starbucks, Subway, and Food Court to some of the finest Chefs on the Planet! Dining at the MGM is seriously good.
The Pool Deck also really shines. It’s one of the best pools in Vegas. The Theme is Tropical fun and the deck is always lively and a great place to either relax or keep the party going, whatever you fancy.
Overall the Hotel is a real entertainment Hub with so much going on. It’s a real Icon of the City and Staying there is one of Vegas’s must-do experiences. We think because of its perceived decline in modern times it really has gone above and beyond to keep up.
What We don’t Love
The MGM Has some really nice rooms and these can be snagged are really great rates, however, the bottom of the barrel rooms are really poor. Small, dated, and pretty shabby with nearly no view these are best avoided. This means the actual price of staying here might be a little more than the headline as you simply have to have an upgraded room.
We already mentioned the Location is not the best in the City. You really do find yourself hiking around FAR more than you would like. But this is compensated by the amazing energy of the place.
This is also a double-edged sword though as the fun lively atmosphere is not everyone’s cup of tea. The Hotel is about fun and entertainment, if you would rather be doing very little this may not be the hotel for you like every time we stay here we find ourselves exhausted. Having fun is tiring work!
The Hotel is a Giant Resort and this can put stress on the Staff and this can translate as a pretty soulless experience. With So much footfall the customer service can feel a little cattle class. Like you are all part of a faceless machine, which sums the MGM Experience quite well. You need to make your own fun as the staff will rarely have time for you.
Your experience at the MGM Grand could be hugely affected by your room choice. This is one hotel where the base room is completely unacceptable. The 350sqft West Wing King Rooms are really bad. We go as far as to say they are the worst rooms in the City. These are windowless Boxes with all the charm and sophistication of a shoebox. They are really cheap, often comped, but even FREE these are unacceptable rooms. For some people visiting Vegas the room is unimportant. Just a place to lay your head, but even those people will be let down with the West Wing.
The Good news is that just a rung or two up the ladder the rooms improve greatly. The Grand King Rooms (or the Grand 2 Queens) off much more space(446 sqft), A good View, and more modern fixtures and fittings. They are a huge upgrade, with only a modest price hike.
These are also available as Strip View Rooms, with great views down the Strip, or as a Stay-Well. We really like the Stay-Well options in MGM Hotels. They offer fairly modest perks but they really add up to a pleasant stay, the Air Purifier and Scents really help get the smoky Casino Floor smell right out of your clothes, hair, and lungs.
The Suites at the MGM are where things really start to get fun. For only a modest outlay compared to the Regular rooms the Suites offer a real taste of the Vegas High life. The Executive Suites offer much more space, 675sqft, Seating areas, Work Areas, a dedicated Wet Bar, and a general feeling of Luxury. The Tower Spa Suites are pretty much more of the same only with a large jacuzzi bath which is pretty amazing after a long day on the strip, a bubble bath with a glass of bubbles melts it all away.
The Skylofts are really something else but prices here start to go up severely, but if you can run to one expect some serious luxury.
Overall if you can avoid the West Wing, then the MGM’s rooms are really nice. They are a little dated but still fresh enough and the prices mean they can compete with most other hotels on the strip.
We always recommend trying the $20 Trick, and the MGM is a great place to give it a try, only we do not recommend booking a West Wing Room in the hope of bumping it up with the trick, if you fail you are stuck with a West Wing Room and they REALLY suck! Book at least the Standard King and try and get away with a suite upgrade!
We take a really deep dive into the different room types here!
Room Price Guide
All Prices include TAX and Resort Fee and are per night. These are the Base Prices and vary week to week on a live market based on live occupancy and availability along with surge pricing. Check here for the actual price on your dates, they may be considerably higher, or lower
|Room Type||Weekday Price||Weekend Price|
|West Wing King||$80||$120|
|Grand (King or 2 Queen)||$120||$140|
|Grand Strip View (King or 2 Queen)||$140||$155|
|Stay-Well Grand (King or 2 Queen)||$130||$150|
|Tower Spa Suite||$259||$300|
The Pool Deck at the MGM Grand is one of our favorites in the City. It’s a lush tropical playground with several pools and a huge Lazy River that flows around the deck providing cooling fun to riders, as you pass under waterfalls and float effortlessly around.
The Vibe at the pool deck is really fun and laidback with music playing most of the time and drinks flowing as people unwind from the stresses of life and the efforts of visiting Las Vegas.
The Pool Offers some of the best value Cabanas, as food and Beverage Credit is included in the price. And for those who want to really party 24/7, Wet Republic is the original and still one of the best pool parties on the strip.
Overall it really is just a great place to hang out and unwind. It’s not the tropical Oasis of the Mirage, nor the sophisticated luxury of the Bellagio and Wynn decks but it’s still one of the best pools in the City.
MGM Grand Casino
- Average Table Wager – $5-$25
- Floor Size – 171,500 sqft
- Games Available – Blackjack, Craps, Poker, Roulette,
Gambling has become less and less important as time has gone by in Las Vegas and while the MGM is not an old casino it is still from the Era where Gambling was the biggest revenue generator for the Casinos. As such MGM was but with a truly HUGE gaming floor.
Technically the MGM Grand Casino is the Largest Gaming Floor on the Strip, we say technically as the Wynn and Encore has a larger combined Gaming Space, but really we consider this two casino’s but other like to lump them together. What is clear is this is the largest single Casino Space on the Strip at a whopping 171,500 sqft. This makes the MGM Casino a Mecca for all things Gambling in Las Vegas.
This truly colossal Gaming floor has pretty much every imaginable form of Gambling available from over 2500 slots machines, hundreds of Table Games, and Poker Tournaments. Odds are good and rules are about as good as you will find them on the strip. The Huge floor means you can always find a game and most tables are pretty beginner-friendly.
There is the huge BetMGM Sportsbooks with over 60 HD TVs showing over 50 different sports to bet on at any one time, along with plenty of sports not on the big screens…if the match/race/fight is going on you can be sure you can bet on it. Remember this can get really busy, especially if there is a big event on at the MGM Garden Arena!
Overall the Casino is one of the best as far as the big Resort Casinos go, the vast size huge availability, low minimums, and relatively decent rules mean the casino is a favorite haunt for the beginner and seasoned pro gamblers alike.
The Sky Boxes are private, boxes situated above the Sportbook floor. Here you get your own private space for you and 9 friends to take in the sport, enjoy some food and drink, and generally “baller” it up. Fantastic for a really different business meeting!
What to Eat at the MGM Grand
Food options at the MGM Grand are about as good as they get. Whatever you are looking for there is bound to be something that takes your fancy out of the many options situated right in the Casino. From Fine Dining, High-End oriental Cuisine, great Steakhouse, and many more amazing CAsual Dining Options.
The Hotel is home to one of the BEST restaurants in the country, in fact, one of the best in the world. The Three-Michilin-Star Joel Robuchon. This is the only Restaurant to get three stars in the City. The Guide no longer rates Las VEgas Hotels but it’s fair to Say, Joël Robuchon’s incredible restaurant would still retain its stars should the guide ever return. For those who can’t quite run to the $425 tasting menu, then there is also his “cut-price” restaurant, L’Atelier. Still Pricey, still amazing, but just slightly less so than the “mother” restaurant
There are also restaurants from Wolfgang Puck, Michel Mina, and Chef Masaharu Morimoto not to mention Tom Colicchio’s incredible Craftsteak. If you are looking for high-end Dining then MGM has you covered.
If you are looking for something a little cheaper there are still loads of options. There are several restaurants of multiple cuisines throughout the Resort along with a host of well-known chain restaurants. Along with the bargain basement food court and the vast MGM Grand Buffet.
There really is something for everyone here, take a full-depth look here at what to eat at the MGM Grand.
As we have stated a few times the MGM Grand is a major hub of entertainment. Apart from the incredible pool, the Huge Casino Floor, and the amazing dining scene, there are still a lot of things going on.
MGM Garden Arena
Once the main Las Vegas Arena the Garden has been slightly overshadowed by the larger T-Mobile Arena and the new Aligient Stadium (20,000 and 65,000 seats respectively). However the 17,000 seater, MGM Garden Arena still hosts many high Profile Sporting Events and Concerts throughout the year from MMA, Boxing, and top music acts.
KA By Cirque du Soilel
KA is one of our favorite Cirque Du Soleil performances. This is a stunning and dramatic performance as an epic battle unfolds on the high-seas and the wild lands of the orient as two separated twins come of age as they try and reunite and battle rival clans. It’s a staggering show with the most staggering technical stage design we have ever seen!
One of the best-known American Illusionists, David has had a Residency at the MGM for several years. His show is a very palatable one that provides tricks and illusions in a fun and family-friendly way. He has won untold accolades for his shows and is loved by audiences of all generations.
Brad Garrets Comedy Club
No Vegas Resort is complete without a comedy club and Brad Garrets is MGM’s. Brad Garret is a well-known film and TV actor who is best know for Everybody Loves Raymond, however, his burgeoning Stand-Up Comedy Career is making waves. However, Brad is definitely not the only Comdidan who appears at the club with numerous upcoming and established acts performing. See the schedule here.
Driving ranges are not usually very glamourous locations and are more a place to quietly perfect your swing. Top Golf attempts to change this by making the activity an event! Bars, Music, Games, even pools are have all been added to this exciting venue as you try and forget you are actually just hitting little balls about!
Honestly, we are not Golf fans but the complex really is anything but just a driving range!
This high-energy high-tech street dance group found fame on America’s Best Dance Crew and has found a home and loyal following in Las Vegas at the MGM Grand.
Virtual Reality Gaming
Zero Latency VR Gaming is a high-tech lounge where you can immerse yourself in another world. This is a new world of entertainment quite unlike what we have seen before and definitely worth checking out.
Really this is just scratching the surface of what is available at the MGM and we have a detailed article here.
Best Time to Visit the MGM Grand
As the MGM Grand is such a big hotel it is not affected too badly by the surge pricing seen at other hotels and can remain fairly stable throughout the year. You can often bag an MGM Bargain when other hotels are surging their pricing through the roof.
The fairly small conference center, by comparison to some of the giant complexes in Vegas, means even when a conference is on it’s not too badly affected. The Big price surges only come when a big event is on at the MGM Garden Arena. This is less of a problem nowadays as many big events have moved to the Tmobile, but if a big fight is on the Garden expect the MGM to be rammed and expensive.
Other than this it’s a great all-year-round option that often has some really great prices considering its iconic status and fabulous facilities.
Have Your Say
Have you stayed at The MGM Grand? What are your thoughts on this Titan of Las Vegas Casinos? What do you like best about the Resort? What do you think could be improved? How did you find the Location? The Dining? The entertainment? Whatever you have to say we would love to hear from you in the comments. And any questions just fire away.