My friends and I recently did a road trip to Zion National Park in Utah. We drove from Southern California to Zion, spent 4 days in Springdale and then on the way back, we made a quick pit stop in Las Vegas before headed home. With everything going on, we were a little hesitant to visit Vegas but after seeing all the safety precautions they had in place, I’m glad we extended our vacation a bit longer and got in some extra rest and relaxation before heading home. Las Vegas has not fully re-opened yet (and things are changing by the day) but there are still plenty of hotels, shops and restaurants that are open for you to enjoy.
And I know what some of you are thinking… You need to stay at home! It’s irresponsible to promote unnecessary travel at this time! I get it. And I agree. It’s important to avoid unnecessary travel during an ongoing pandemic. I agree that the safest place for everyone to be is at home. But I’m also a realist and I understand that it’s also important to take care of our own mental health. We are all social beings and it’s important for us to feel “normal” and sometimes, taking a quick weekend trip away safely; to feel normal again; is what we all need to help us cope through this pandemic. We can’t expect everyone to just stay at home for months on end but I also don’t think we should be out as if everything is normal either. I just think we need to be safe but also be reasonable about it. But then again, I’m no doctor so do what you think is best for yourself.
I booked a stay at the Mandalay Bay for $107/night through Chase’s Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. This is not my preferred portal as prices on LHRC tend to be more expensive than through other OTAs but in this case, it was a no-brainer. For $107.55 total (taxes and resort fee included), I booked a standard king room and was upgraded to a “premium strip view” room. I also got early check-in, late checkout the next day, $100 dining credit to be used at any of the hotel’s restaurants and a $30/per person ($60 max) breakfast credit for the next morning. Basically, for two of us, we got $160 worth of food and drinks for a $107 hotel stay. As I said, it was a no-brainer and I’m glad we did it.
I’m a fan of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas. It’s not situated in the most ideal location on the strip but if you have a car or don’t mind Uber/taxi, then it’s not a problem. The hotel is nice and the rooms are well-appointed. The Beach/pool area is fantastic and there’s plenty of restaurants, shops and gaming to choose from.
Our room was nice but the “premium strip view” was nothing special so if you’re thinking of paying for an upgrade, don’t bother. The room was spacious and the large windows let in plenty of natural lighting. The bed was comfortable and I appreciated all the USB ports and electrical outlets scattered throughout the room to keep our cell phones and other devices charged and ready to go. The sitting area was comfortable and the desk was convenient.
Here’s the view. As I said, it was nothing special day or night. However, it was kind of eerie to see the grounds of the Route 91 Festival where so many people were murdered by someone who stayed just a few floors up from me.
The bathroom was very spacious with a separate soaking tub, walk-in shower and enclosed toilet. The dual sinks were very convenient for two people to get ready at the same time. Kuer branded bath and body products were provided for our use.
But unfortunately, Vegas is known for squeezing every last penny out of you and the Mandalay Bay does disappoint in this regard. The mini-bar is fully stocked so you can’t store your own drinks in there and the in-room coffee is not free.
However, the hotel is committed to keeping all guests safe and you can see that throughout the hotel and gaming area. Each room was provided with a small amenity kit containing two very durable 3-ply cloth masks, a large bottle of hand sanitizer and two metal hook thingies. I have no idea what these things are called but the point is you can use them to press buttons, pull on door handles, etc., keeping them free of any germs or viruses. I thought this was a great kit and it was totally appreciated.
And speaking of safety, walking around the casino floor, there were numerous mask/sanitizer and hand-washing stations EVERYWHERE. There really was no excuse for anyone to not be wearing a mask or having clean hands. They literally could not have made it more convenient for people.
That being said, this is Vegas after all, and there were some people not wearing their masks properly (nose uncovered or below their chins). I would say about 80% of the people were in compliance but with drinking and smoking allowed on the hotel grounds, there were plenty of reasons why some people were not wearing their masks. However, I think they did a great job with setting up partitions between players at the tables and plenty of slot machines were turned off to allow for social distancing amongst the players.
I didn’t take any pictures of it but the beach/pool area was open and there were plenty of people using it. If you are trying to stay away from people, I wouldn’t venture down there. It was packed and virtually no one was wearing their masks. Technically, everyone is required to wear a mask at all times except when you’re in the pool or eating/drinking but I can say that most people out of the pool were not wearing a mask. The staff members did walk around reminding people to put their masks on but people just took them off again as soon as the staff member walked away…
As for shops and restaurants, I would say about half the restaurants and maybe about 10% of the shops were opened. It was a ghost town in this regard but we didn’t have a hard time finding places to use our $160 dining credit. Mask-wearing compliance was much better indoors than at the beach/pool area. Most people had their masks on in the restaurants and shopping areas except when they were eating and drinking.
I was actually very impressed with the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Resort and their safety precautions. Other than the crowded beach/pool area, I thought they did a great job with the amenity kits provided for every guest and the numerous mask/sanitizer and hand-washing stations scattered throughout the resort. I felt safe while eating at the restaurants, walking around and while gambling. Overall, I was glad to have booked this one-night stay in Vegas and I would recommend it to anyone who needs to get away. Just know that the experience is not the same as it was pre-Covid but Vegas is still Vegas.
What are your thoughts? Will you be visiting Las Vegas anytime soon? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section below. Thanks for reading!