Hotel Review: Mandalay Bay {Las Vegas, NV}

The next stop on our road trip was Las Vegas! We have a few long time friends who live in the area so we love to visit any chance we can get.

Exterior of Mandalay Bay

Our first couple of nights, we decided to stay at the Mandalay Bay. The rates were amazing as it was a Sunday and Monday night. Weeknight rates are generally very low in Vegas but watch out on Friday and Saturday!

We booked through the Royal Caribbean Crown & Anchor Society's MGM offer page. They have a lot of really great offers if the nightly rate is right and it is free to join their loyalty program.

The offer we took advantage of.

The nice thing about the resort credit is that it can be used at any MGM property. Whenever you book a rate that includes a resort credit, it's a good idea to clarify what it can be used on and where. There is nothing worse than buying something or using a service because you thought the resort credit would cover it and then finding out it at check out that it wasn't covered.

The first night we were there we all went to the buffet at Mandalay Bay. It is supposedly one of the best buffets on the strip. My husband enjoyed the all you can eat crab legs and it was a nice opportunity to get the kids to sample some new foods. I often feel like I don't get my moneys worth out of buffets but now that we are traveling with kids, it makes buffets feel a little more reasonable since our kids generally eat for free.

On Monday, we decided to hang out with one of our friends and her kids. They had never been to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay so we decided to use some more resort credit and check it out. It was a pretty fun little aquarium and the kids seemed to enjoy it but I was surprised by how quickly we walked through it.

It was pretty busy when we arrived and the ticket line was super long. If it weren't for the fact that we were able to use the VIP line, thanks to our Mlife status, I don't know if we would have gone. If I had to guess, I would say that it probably would have taken at least 30 minutes to get through the ticket line and I wasn't loving our odds as two adults with five kids under five. You can purchase tickets online and if you do that, I don't think you have to stand in the line. The disadvantage is that I don't believe you can charge the tickets to your room that way.

After the Shark Reef, my friend and I dropped by the buffet for some lunch and once again, all five kids ate for free.

I didn't get very many photos at the Mandalay Bay since my husband was busy with work most of the time we were there and our middle child ended up getting sick (more on that later).

The exterior of the hotel is pretty flashy since all of the windows are gold. It blends in nicely on the strip and I didn't feel like it is too over the top. The Four Seasons and The Delano are also a part of the Mandalay Bay Resort and have access to the great pools but all three properties allow you a slightly different room experience.

This is the view of the strip from our room. It wasn't a straight on view but we did have a great view of the airport (which our kids totally preferred).

As you might be able to tell in the picture above, the tinting on the windows makes everything look a little blue. I didn't actually notice it right away but Monday morning while we were waiting for my friend, I noticed that after I looked outside for awhile and then looked down at my phone, the screen seemed purple. It took some getting used to. When we returned from the Shark Reef, I realized it made me feel like I was under water. I'm not sure if that is what they were going for or not.

One last little tidbit:

Since our youngest still drinks bottles before nap and bed, we realized that we would need a way to refrigerate the milk that we had gotten for her. Often, we will just remove things from the minibar and use the space there but it appeared as though the minibar was weighted and we didn't want to be charged for something we didn't use. At some properties we have had luck calling down to the operator and asking to have the contents of the minibar removed since we need to refrigerate milk but at this property, they went ahead and sent up a mini fridge for us to use free of charge.

If I had the opportunity to stay at the Mandalay Bay again, I would probably take it. I wasn't terribly impressed and I'm not a huge fan of the massive hotels on the strip but it certainly could have been a lot worse. On that note, stay tuned for my review of The Excalibur...


Hi, my name is Erica! After having three kids in three years you can usually find me in yoga pants with dark circles under my eyes and a Diet Dr. Pepper in hand. If you ever see me at the airport, I'm probably running around with a kid on my back in the Ergo while pushing another in the stroller. At times our house feels crazy and chaotic and I often struggle to keep dirty dishes out of the sink.

My friends all know that I'm the one they can turn to if they have any questions about traveling with their kids and I LOVE being that person!

There are a lot of things I want to do with my life but one of my favorite things is to help people find the courage and resources to make their travel dreams come true. I am super excited to have you along for our adventures and I hope you will come to think of me as your travel savvy friend because there is nothing I would love more!

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