I've stayed in many hotels, especially in Las Vegas, but none can compare to the Mandarin Oriental. I had the pleasure of spending the second weekend in April at this unparalleled resort. Dan, having already stayed in the hotel for over a week, prepped me. I knew that I was in for a treat.
I caught an mid-morning South West flight on a Friday and I was picked up at McCarran by a driver from the hotel. Everything was super easy. As we pulled up to the hotel, I had no idea that Dan was spying on me from the business center and taking pictures of my arrival. That's me in blue blouse.
As you can see in the picture, I was getting directions. For the first time visitor, the entrance can be a bit confusing. Upon entering the hotel, you will not find reception. There is a small sitting area and a bank of elevators.
The 23rd floor is the only level accessible to non-guests, beyond that the hotel guests and residents have to use a separate set of elevators to access their rooms. The 23rd floor is a hub for the hotel and the level for the restaurants and bar. The property has separate floors for residents that are above the hotel levels. If I had the money, I'd move in here without hesitation. It would be like a permanent vacation!
After receiving my room key, I made my way to our room to find Dan.
One of the best features of the room was located outside of our door, the Valet Cupboard. Dan used this frequently to send out clothes to be cleaned. There is a door inside of the room, next to the closets, where you can leave clothes to be laundered and an attendant will use the door on the outside of the room, which is locked, to pick it up.
Dan had a brilliant idea to play a prank on his kids when he Skyped with them. We asked for the exterior side of the closet to be opened and Dan showed the kids the closet from the inside. He put something inside, closed the door and then I was waiting on the outside to "magically" replace it with a different object. In went black shoes, out came a tee-shirt. Until they caught on to the joke, they thought it was funny.
The room was modern and elegant. It had a tech station to dock all of our gadgets and an alarm setting that slowly wakes you up with soft music and gradual lighting. The bathroom had a jewelry box, which was a really nice touch. I always have a problem with my accessories creating a cluttered bathroom sink, but this kept everything looking nice. Unfortunately, we didn't get a good picture of it, but the bathroom had a huge jacuzzi tub and came with a large jar of bath salts that were replaced every day. I didn't even use my bath bombs from Lush that I had purchased for the weekend. Like Trump International, we were given free bottled water. It's these touches that made the property really stand out and feel like a home-away-from-home.
We had a great view of the pool, Aria, Monte Carlo and NY-NY.
Dan was really excited to show me something cool that happened to him at the Starbucks that's located just outside of the hotel, in the City Center Complex. It's something that I've never seen at another Starbucks. When he first arrived, he took a picture of himself with his Starbucks drink and put it on Instagram. The Starbucks in Las Vegas liked the picture and put it up on a scrolling board of pictures in their shop. It was up for the entire trip.
If you stay the Mandarin Oriental, you must have afternoon tea. It was probably the most gourmet traditional tea that I have ever experienced. Most notable was the egg salad that came inside of a carefully cracked shell of an egg. The desserts were outstanding. The only thing that could compete with the food was the floor to ceiling views of City Center. The tea room is located right next to hotel registration, which shares the amazing views.
Dan took this tea room panorama.
Speaking of food...the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas has Pierre Gagnaire's fabulous restaurant, Twist. We made reservations for Friday night, but poked around earlier in the day, before they opened, to take pictures of the cool hanging butterflies and cracked plates.
The food was beyond decadent. We both ordered the Surf n' Turf and I couldn't even finish it because I was so full from our starters. I had a huge salad and we were given several little bites compliments of the chef. This is the place for bread lovers, as they walk around with a box of various fresh baked breads. We could barely manage dessert, so we went with the light option and shared six small scoops of sorbet. Just as the name would imply, there was a unique twist to all of the entrees and we never quite knew what to expect. For example, Dan had a appetizer of Foie Gras prepared in different ways and one of the ways was an ice cream. Strange, but delicious!
While waiting for our dinner reservations, we headed to the Mandarin Bar, which offered live music, strong cocktails and amazing views of the strip.
We ate lunch twice at the Mozen Bistro, the hotel's nod to casual dining. The sushi was excellent. We only took one lonely picture from our meals, the charcuterie plate that we ate prior to heading home.
The poolside cafe made one of the most unusual breakfasts that I've ever eaten. The egg white soufflé was so fluffy that it was like eating a plate of meringue, but with spinach hiding underneath. The texture was so strange. Strange in a very good way!
We spent a good portion of our weekend lounging around the pool. The Mandarin Oriental is classy. We didn't have to hunt down lounge chairs. When we entered the pool complex, a staff member escorted us to the perfect spot, where our towels were waiting for us on plush wooden loungers. We were brought an umbrella and an attendant was always nearby, ready to bring us drinks, adjust the umbrella or really anything that we needed help with. About once an hour, an attendant walked around offering nonalcoholic slushies. This is the life!
We were too busy sunbathing and drinking Pina Coladas to bother with the gym, but I popped in to take some pictures for those who like to exercise while on vacation.
I've saved the best part of the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas, for last...the spa. Oh. My. God. This is the best day spa that I've ever experienced. Dan treated me to the Stress Buster, which included a salt scrub and a hot stone massage. If you've never had a hot stone massage, it's a must-do. I felt all of the tension that I hold in my neck and back, just melt away. I also had a customized facial. The treatments lasted about three hours and I spent another hour or so, using the facilities.
If you go to the spa, arrive early. We went Friday afternoon and we were a bit rushed with having dinner reservations. You'll want to spend the entire day here. Also, don't do a big meal after the spa. Trust me, we didn't enjoy dinner as much as we wanted to after going to the spa. The rich food made us feel woozy after the spa treatments. You need to keep it light.
The craziest thing about the spa is I never ran into a single other guest in the communal women's areas. I was alone with the attendant, who always anticipated my needs, but essentially left me alone. It was unparalleled service. She was there with towels and bottled water every time I was about to get it for myself.
The communal area had several areas to lounge, including comfy chaises in private cubicles with stacks of magazines and views of the strip. I went in the steam room and sauna. My absolute favorite thing was the bubbling hot tub with metal lounge chairs and individual bubbles. I was able to lay in the hot water, which looked directly out over City Center and the Strip. Barring pruning skin and dehydration, I could have easily spent the entire day in the water.
My biggest impression of the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas was the superb service. Never once was it anything less than excellent. It wasn't just professional, but the entire staff was warm and it felt like they really valued our business. It was more like staying as a guest in someones home, rather than in a hotel. In particular, the valets always knew our name and when it was available, they always gave us the house car. We even had the same driver for our shopping trip to Nordstrom and to the airport on the trip home. Everyone was so friendly and they went out of their way to make sure that we had a perfect weekend.
We look forward to many future trips and also hope to stay at Mandarin Oriental hotels in other countries. It's a top-notch brand.