While Las Vegas may have that Sin City reputation, there is so much more to this vibrant desert city than gambling, drinking, and celebrating a 21st birthday! My recent stay at the MGM Grand Resort convinced me that it is possible to spend an amazing few days with your family in Vegas, and still do it in style. You cannot go wrong staying at any MGM Resort on the Strip, from Mandalay Bay to Circus Circus, and even the new NoMad Hotel. However, the MGM Grand stands out exceptionally well in terms of variety.
They are known for being the Entertainment Authority in Las Vegas, and for good reason. MGM Grand hosts many star-studded events at the MGM Grand Garden arena, while also offering a spectacular Cirque du Soleil show, world class dining with celebrity chefs, and unbeatable nightlife. There is no need to go anywhere else, especially when the accommodation is modern, sleek, comfortable, and very well thought out.
The best thing you can do for yourself is directly book or upgrade to one of their Stay Well rooms. My home away from home was a Stay Well King Room, which granted me access to the Stay Well Lounge for an incredibly easy check-in process, allowing me to skip the lines in the lobby. Upon arrival, you are given a choice of flavored water to take to your room, along with a quick rundown of all the special features in their Stay Well rooms.
While my room was very contemporary and spacious, like most hotel rooms in Vegas, I was very impressed to discover all of the special amenities. Everything from the mattress to the air in the room is focused on wellness and comfort. MGM Grand’s Stay Well rooms combine the latest wellness technologies from the Cleveland Clinic, Delos, and Dr. Deepak Chopra.
Each of these rooms come with an air purification system, aromatherapy diffuser, special mood lighting for day and night, an immersion bed, and so much more! I particularly enjoyed the choice between the regular, 24-hour room service menu and a healthy room service menu offered only to these Stay Well rooms.
If you want to get the full wellness experience, I highly recommend visiting the MGM Grand Spa. This is the perfect place to rejuvenate and fully relax. They have 30 treatment rooms, saunas, whirlpools, and tranquil lounges with water, snacks, and magazines. I really enjoyed a 50-minute superfood facial, along with a peel. The facial is a wonderful nutritional boost rich in superfoods and essential minerals that are designed to help out stressed or dull skin. Your skin will not only feel energized after, but the detoxifying actives will have your skin feeling plumper and radiant. I certainly left feeling so refreshed and calm, which is sometimes hard to achieve in Las Vegas!
As far as having fun in the sun, the MGM Grand Resort has a pool complex with 6.5 acres of paradise. You’ll discover 4 swimming pools, 3 whirlpools, and cascading waterfalls. The highlight for most people, whether you’re a kid or not, is definitely the Lazy River. All you need to do is grab a tube and float away until your heart’s content; it is an absolute blast.
I was very overwhelmed, in a good way, with all of the dining options at the MGM Grand Resort – over 2 dozen! From casual to fine dining, and even a Starbucks, there is absolutely something for everyone. But if you’re looking for a memorable foodie experience, I highly recommend a visit to the Japanese gem that is Morimoto.
If that name sounds familiar, this is the creation of Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto who made his debut in Vegas with this restaurant opening in 2016. His distinctive Japanese fare includes some of the world’s finest sushi to unforgettable dishes which combine Eastern and Western flavors. We sat in the main dining room but you can also sit at the sushi bar or one of the Teppan tables.
In terms of food and flavor, this was definitely the best culinary experience I’ve ever had in Las Vegas. We ordered a huge variety of dishes: spicy tuna tacos, panfried pork gyoza, rock shrimp tempura, Morimoto Sashimi, braised black cod, sizzling steak, and duck confit rice. If I had to choose a favorite, it would be the braised black cod with a side of the duck confit rice. The fish practically melted in your mouth and I loved how they took a classic rice dish but elevated it.
Please don’t skip out on dessert, because you’ll certainly enjoy these edible works of art. We went for the fresh donuts rolled in sugar and filled with cream which you could squeeze in yourself! But the fiery chocolate tart certainly stole the show, with its delicious marshmallow, salty caramel ganache, spiced rum, and dark chocolate sorbet. It was the perfect ending to a memorable meal.
Thankfully, the night doesn’t have to end there. After dinner, I’d recommend seeing KÀ, MGM Grand’s unbelievable Cirque du Soleil show. Unlike most Cirque shows, this one has an exciting plot along with amazing staging, aerial adventures, and perpendicular acrobatics. KÀ is about a heroic journey of love and conflict, set within ever-changing theatrical landscapes that create an entire empire on stage. Speaking of the stage, they have a colossal, 360-degree rotating stage as the best dramatic backstop for this show. The costumes, makeup, and live singing were all so beautiful to see. Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it before, and it is perfect for the entire family to enjoy.
Speaking of family-friendly activates, I saved one of the best activities for last. As a fan of both the Hunger Games books and films, I was so excited to learn that the MGM Grand resort is home to the new and exciting Hunger Games: The Exhibition! Fans get to go on an epic journey of Katniss Everdeen’s humble beginnings in District 12 to her rise as the Mockingjay in the world of Panem.
You’ll find everything from iconic costumes, to genuine props, and impressive set recreations. I marveled over President Snow’s office with the eerie white rose, and the Tribute Train to the Capitol. There are also so many interactive activities which invite visitors to really engage with behind-the-scenes content and explore the technology that brought the beloved books to life.
The highlight for me, and I’m sure for many others, is the archery training experience with a 60-foot wide interactive digital training lab. Yes, you get to actually shoot a bow and arrows! In fact, this earned the Hunger Games Exhibition a Guinness World Records award for the largest touchscreen display. This really brings the archery to life and whether you’re a Hunger Games fan or not, I believe anyone can enjoy this interactive exhibit.
From start to finish, my stay at the MGM Grand Resort was incredibly entertaining. The balance of luxury and fun is at its best here. The variety is exceptional and everything that the MGM Grand has to offer positively changed my mind about how Las Vegas can truly be a travel destination for everyone!
Disclaimer: I was a guest of MGM Resorts, but all opinions here are my own.