MGM Grand Review – The Classic and Revitalizing Las Vegas Experience

The quandary with Las Vegas is how to take it all in and not see your experience diminish over your stay. Staying up until sunrise is definitely one of those things that not only CAN happen, but you are likely to want it to happen. While great at the moment you’re taking it all in, the next day or two might turn that “great” moment into a painful memory. Have no fear though, there is a not-so-well-known simple remedy. The Stay Well rooms at the MGM Grand are a lifesaver, and will have you back on your feet and looking for the hottest day club or blackjack table before you know it.

Literally the first of its kind in the world, each Stay Well room is furnished with an assortment of amenities to help ensure your Vegas excursion is all that you envisioned, and that you have the energy to keep going for the duration of your trip. The genius of Stay Well rooms came from the creativity of wellness real-estate pioneer Delos, in conjunction with the Cleveland Clinic and Dr. Deepak Chopra. This tells you that nothing will be missed when it comes to making sure you have a “Stay Well” trip.

Vitamin C Infused Shower

It is a given that whether you are gambling, at a nightclub or just walking through a casino, you are likely to hit a wall of smoke. Unfortunately, the second hand smoke can affect you as if you were smoking a cigarette yourself, but the Stay Well room gives you a safe haven with its air purification system. It is the most advanced HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air)-standard air purification system, reducing allergens, toxins and pathogens, creating better air quality and breathing. You will notice the difference as soon as you walk in the door, and when you wake up you will feel amazingly refreshed.

MGM Grand (Courtesy MGM)

When it comes to dining, the MGM has no shortage of restaurants with names you will know. Emeril's New Orleans Fish House, Joel Robuchon Restaurant, Tom Coliccohio's Craftsteak and Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill is quite the star-studded list, but sometimes it pays to venture away from the big name. If I was going to suggest three restaurants to visit while at MGM, I would be fair and give you one restaurant with a big name in the title, Michael Mina Pub 1842, but then I would strongly urge you to visit Shibuya and Fiamma. Fiamma was lucky to recently have Executive Chef Vincenzo Scarmiglia come over from Sirio at ARIA. Chef Vincenzo is simply the best Italian Chef in Las Vegas, as he brings the taste buds he formulated in Tuscany and puts that original Italian flavor into every dish he creates. You certainly can’t go wrong with any pasta or seafood, which has that Italian feel to it. Try the short rib ravioli—it will change your opinion about ravioli forever.

Iberico Pork Tataki

For one of the most authentic Japanese dining experiences in Las Vegas, Shibuya and Executive Chef Heather Zheng have put together an inventive menu of sushi, sashimi and teppanyaki, to go along with over 125 different sakes. The dish that will make your dining experience at Shibuya is the iberico pork tataki. Lightly seared pork that is served chilled and sliced thin is brought to life by the combination of apple cider ponzu, which gives a surprisingly tasty sweet flavor; it is nicely balanced with some candied mustard seeds, making for an amazingly flavorful dish. When it comes to any seafood, you can always taste the freshness and quality as Shibuya brings in fresh fish at a minimum of every two days, which makes a huge difference with this menu. Shibuya also does a fantastic job with foie gras, pairing it with a traditional Wagyu as well as a Wagyu short rib. Shibuya is also one of the most beautiful restaurants on the strip. When you walk in, your eyes can’t help but be drawn to the vibrant colors of the sushi bar. As you make your way to the dining area you are given a softer and more intimate setting that makes for a perfect romantic dining experience.

Shibuya Sushi Bar

Pub 1842 has everything you would want in a pub setting: a fun place to grab a beer with friends, catch the big game, enjoy some glutinous food— just a really great casual and fun atmosphere. Pub 1842 turns it up a notch though in every aspect of the restaurant, food, beer, cocktails and service. The service at Pub 1842 is more along the lines of what you would get in a five-star restaurant and because of that, everything else in the restaurant is at that high-level. If you just went in for appetizers, you could leave satisfied. Start off your pub experience with tempura maitake mushrooms that are sliced thin and lightly battered to give you a great crunch while not taking away from the flavor of the mushroom. Be careful of the hot soft pretzel appetizer, you will quickly become addicted to it. The pretzels serve simply as the conduit: it is the combination of Mexican beer cheese and poached egg that will wow you. The cheese is rich by itself, but the egg adds even more flavor and makes it a little lighter, and turns this combination into a sauce which is perfect for your soft and warm pretzels. A bit of everything BBQ plate is St. Louis ribs that are dry rubbed and smoked for ten hours over apricot wood, leaving a rib that will make you think you are in St. Louis. The plate also comes with the pulled pork sandwich and beef brisket that, like the ribs, has great smoky flavor. This is a perfect dish to share. Finally the peanut butter crunch burger is one of those burgers that has taken on legendary status, one that will draw you into Pub 1842. If you love a sweet and salty combination this was made for you, a perfectly prepared burger you will never forget.

Beer Sampler at Pub 1842

One of the hidden gems when it comes to food at MGM is downstairs at Project Pie. Imagine a Chipotle type setup but only with pizza. Not only do they throw on all the toppings that your heart desires right in front of you, but then they toss it into the oven and it’s done in just minutes. One of the best deals in all of Las Vegas. And don't worry about quality—high quality and fresh ingredients make this one of the best pizzas on the strip.

MGM opened Hakkasan Las Vegas and if you wanted to look up the definition of a Las Vegas nightclub experience, you might very well find a picture of Hakkasan. Hakkasan is all nightclub, from the beautiful setting, the enormity of the club itself, the lights and of course a DJ list that is second to none. A nightclub this large might make you think it’s overwhelming and too much, but Hakkasan has actually created something for everyone. Right at the edge of the dance floor is the DJ booth with a suspended performance platform, all enveloped with floor to ceiling LED screens. This makes for a stunning environment and brings you right into the experience. The dance floor is also surrounded with VIP tables. If you are looking for a more private experience, you can go to the fifth level of Hakkasan which is elevated above the main nightclub, allowing you to take in all of the energy from below while getting an experience that is a little more controlled by you.

Hakkasan

While the name Hakkasan instantly brings images of a nightclub to mind, they have also created a stunning restaurant that is more than just an afterthought. To show that they want the restaurant on par with the nightclub, Hakkasan brought in Michelin-starred Chef Ho Chee Boon to create a menu that is highlighted by the stir-fry duck breast with dried mandarin peel, crispy roasted duck with kumquat and mustard sauce and black truffle roast duck.

If you are looking for entertainment that won’t take you into the early hours of the morning, MGM Grand has plenty of other options. If you want to experience a Cirque du Soleil show, KÀ is an acrobatic and entertaining experience that will not disappoint any Cirque fan. The Grand Garden Arena has turned into one of the top concert destinations in all of Las Vegas, as you can see by the lineup of acts coming to the MGM in the near future including, Fleetwood Mac, The Eagles and Lady Gaga. The Grand Garden will also hold the Pac 12 Men’s Basketball tournament again in 2014. If you would rather watch your sporting event in high-definition while watching every other game at the same time the SkyBoxes at the MGM Grand is an amazing experience. The Super Bowl, March Madness or any other big game is meant to be watched from these private boxes that are perfect for any group. You have your beverage server, food, plasma televisions and you overlook the MGM Grand Race and Sports Book, a view like none other.

Cast of KA

And, once Las Vegas heats up, the pool parties take over Sin City and WET REPUBLIC at MGM Grand is one of the hottest of all the day clubs. If you are having a party with friends, the party cabanas and bungalows will leave you with one memorable experience. To make your experience even better in 2014, Wet Republic has started on renovations for the 53,000-square-foot venue, including an expanded DJ booth to include a luxe VIP table directly behind the decks. Everything being done is to take the DJ and day club experience to another level. While you can catch these world famous DJ’s spending the winter at Hakkasan, MGM Grand recently announced that the resident DJ's at Wet Republic will be Steve Aoki, Tiesto and Calvin Harris.

Wet Republic is clearly not for everyone, and if it’s not for you, well MGM Grand has 6.5 acres of pools that allow you to enjoy one of the many cabanas that feature personalized bottle and food service, or simply stay cool in any of the four pools, lazy river and waterfalls, or relax in one of the three whirlpools. If you want to beat the heat in Las Vegas, MGM Grand has enough water to keep you cool all summer long.

While Las Vegas continues to grow and add new casinos, restaurants and shows to entice travelers, the MGM Grand and the iconic Lion is still the name and property that is the centerpiece of the MGM empire. If you have not seen what the MGM Grand is up to, now is the time. It is still the classic it has always been, but it has reinvented itself in such a way that it puts itself up against any other marquee Las Vegas destination.

For more information visit MGM Grand

 

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