The Las Vegas strip delivers a seemingly endless bevy of towering hotel/casinos, nearly all of which heighten the atmosphere in any number of ways. But what you might not realise is just how much of that larger-than-life real estate is owned by MGM. We’re not just talking about iconic properties like the MGM Grand or the new Park MGM, but furthermore The Mirage, Aria (in partnership with Dubai World), Vdara, Bellagio, Mandalay Bay, New York-New York, Excalibur, Luxor, and Circus Circus. And while some companies might try to homogenise, MGM takes things in the opposite direction, giving each hotel/casino its own range of distinctive charms. As a result, Las Vegas itself becomes a veritable Disney World for adults, where a new experience lies in wait around every corner.
When deciding where to stay in Las Vegas, you have your options, and MGM has a property to fulfill every conceivable (and legal) desire. At the higher end of the spectrum are places like Aria and Bellagio, where luxury and conviviality strike a deft balance. If you’re seeking something more playful (think roller coasters and virtual reality games), then New York-New York is calling your name. Meanwhile, both the pool and top-floor nightclub at Mandalay Bay are the stuff of legend.
Looking to save yourself some cash (which is never a bad idea in Vegas) while nevertheless enjoying your surroundings? Then check out the new Park MGM. Occupying the former Monte Carlo space, this hotel delivers what one might call an understated atmosphere in lieu of the typical extravagance, employing a tasteful array of classic, minimalist flourishes. In the hallways, you’ll find striking works of art, while the rooms are likewise bolstered by a resoundingly modern aesthetic. Ultimately, the Park MGM fuses old school and new school to brilliant effect, and ends up cultivating its own unique vibe as a result. Oh, and the hotel spa on the second floor is an absolute oasis of pleasure.
It’s no secret that Las Vegas hosts a spectacular variety of dining destinations, and to highlight all the best ones would be a full magazine spread unto itself. That said, we can certainly throw a few suggestions your way. For starters, no Vegas vacation is complete without a trip to the breakfast or brunch buffet, and Aria’s is easily worth the surprisingly affordable admission price. On the a la carte front, Primrose at Park MGM serves up delicious breakfast and lunch classics within a European bistro setting.
If you fancy yourself a festive atmosphere, then check out Libertine Social at Mandalay Bay. In this outsized restaurant, you’ll find a stacked menu of creative cocktails and tasty dishes, including truffle and mushroom pizza, Wagyu skirt steak, and yellowtail cones. Most of it is ideal for sharing, so bring friends.
For a dining experience you’ll never forget, we cannot recommend Bavette’s Steakhouse at Park MGM enough. To enter this swanky, dimly lit domain is to forget you’re in sin city altogether, as the atmosphere is both authentically elegant, and indisputably intimate. Meanwhile, each and every dish here–from the massive shrimp cocktail to the truffle mac and cheese to the classic ribeye–will downright spoil you. Also featured on the menu is one of the best Old Fashioneds to ever cross your lips, which uses Hibiki Tokyo whisky as its base. Prepare to spend big, and leave thoroughly satisfied.
If there are two things ubiquitous in Vegas, they’re booze and slot machines. We’ll leave the gambling up to you, but can suggest a few terrific spots to get your drink on. Both are located in or adjacent to the Park MGM. The first is Juniper Cocktail Lounge, a gin-focused bar that goes big on creativity, and flirts with molecular gastronomy when whipping up its lip-smacking beverages. Here, spherical glass cases are filled with smoke, basil leaves are lit on fire, and olive juice is turned into foam, resulting in cocktails that are as unpredictable as they are delicious. At the very least, all you botanical-loving Aussies out there will be floored by the gin selection.
Attached to the Park MGM is NoMad Hotel, a European-flavoured destination brimming with romance and elegance. At the hotel’s namesake watering hole, NoMad Bar, the cocktails are classic, and the spirits list is curated to perfection. It all goes down amidst a backdrop of tall ceilings, plush seats, well-dressed bartenders, and dim lights. You might temporarily feel like you’ve been transported back in time, and that’s the point.
Las Vegas definitely has entertainment on lock. In fact, you could probably spend a full month here just hopping around from concerts to Cirque du Soleil shows to naughtier fare. As a rule of thumb, Cirque du Soleil, in particular, is always a safe bet. To that end, shows like KÀ at the MGM Grand and Love at the Mirage are certifiable, head-spinning crowd-pleasers.
However, allow us to suggest one of the company’s newer efforts: Michael Jackson ONE at Mandalay Bay. Not only does the show distinguish itself by way of stunning dance numbers, epic set pieces, creative characters, and breathtaking acrobatics, but it elevates Jackson’s legacy to an almost spiritual realm. Naturally, the King of Pop’s music is everywhere, and as catchy now as it was upon its debut. Timeless is the operative word here.
Man of Many travelled to Las Vegas as a guest of MGM Resorts International and Toyota USA.