Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Review Introduction
Welcome to Zen City.
The Mandarin Oriental is a true oasis in the midst of the Las Vegas strip.
When you’ve had your fill of fighting crowds, dealing with lineups at every stop,and giving your donation to the casinos you’ll be delighted to return to the Mandarin Oasis, a 5-star resort.
If you’ve been to Vegas before, You might be familiar with the average traveler’s experience of staying at one of the familiar name 3,000+ room hotels (The MGM Grand, The Mirage and the Mandalay Bay to name a few) where after a long day of travel you find yourself waiting in a 1-hour lineup just to check into your room. The Mandarin Oriental has 392 rooms making for a bespoke experience.
I feel like I have a pretty good grip on what to expect from Las Vegas, with this being my sixth trip in 10 years. My grandpa, Rod, had taken me three times when I was younger, starting with my 21st birthday and finally it was my turn to return the favour – PointsWise style.
We met up with Tyler and Brad on the Monday after their stay at The Four Seasons in Scottsdale. They rented a Silvercar and drove through the desert to meet us in Vegas! As we are all fans of the The Four Seasons resorts, they decided to stay at The Four Seasons, Las Vegas, to add another stay to the portfolio.
This was Tyler and Brad’s first visit to the city, and I was excited to play tour guide and celebrate Tyler’s 31st birthday with them.
Fine Hotels and Resorts Booking
Booking this way brings a number of benefits, otherwise not available.
American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits for the Mandarin Oriental:
- Early 12pm check-in when available. (This was available for us).
- Suite upgrade when available. (This was available for us).
- $30 USD breakfast credit per person, per day. (This can, and was used for in-room dining as well – especially welcome in Las Vegas!).
- $100 USD spa credit to be used during the stay (not applicable towards spa products). This works out perfectly for two people to get day passes to the Mandarin Oriental spa during Monday to Thursday at $50 each. (The price goes up to $60 from Friday to Sunday).
- Guaranteed 4pm late checkout. Especially handy for later flights.
- Free Wi-fi. The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas charges a $39 USD daily resort fee which includes wi-fi. Although not much of a savings, booking through American Express does bring the resort fee down to $34 per day.
I had called in to American Express Travel to complete the booking. As standard practice, the booking agent asked if we were celebrating anything special. I responded with yes, we plan to celebrate my best friend and business partner’s birthday.
If the booking agent asks if you are celebrating something, be honest and let them know if you are. This information gets passed along to the staff and they will generally do their best to make your special occasion memorable.
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Check-in
The lobby at the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas is stunning, and the backdrop to the front desk is one of the nicest views of the strip you will see.
We waited no more than 5 minutes to check in, which surprisingly is considered “busy” for this hotel.
The tea room adjoins the lobby and offers the same prime view of the strip while enjoying afternoon tea and desserts.
There is also a beautiful gold patterned wall across the elevators, which makes quite an impact when the doors open. It makes for the perfect photo-op background.
There is even a Moet and Chandon vending machine if you’re feeling snacky. Just request a gold token from the front desk to claim your 1 glass, $25 USD serving.
The one thing I never got used to during my stay was the elevator system. At ground level there is a waiting area where you take an elevator up to the 23rd floor lobby. From there you need to take a separate elevator DOWN to your room. If you’re leaving your room and want to leave the hotel, you’ll first need take an elevator UP to the lobby, then a separate elevator DOWN to the ground floor. I haven’t experienced an elevator system like this in any hotel before, so I, like most guests I’m sure, didn’t get accustomed to it. Above the 23rd floor are private residences.
Mandarin Studio Room, Las Vegas, Review
I had originally booked a standard strip view room ($229 USD/night), but upon check-in we were upgraded to a beautiful strip view studio ($309 USD/night) giving us an extra 150 sq feet of space, and quite the savings!
As it was my grandpa and I staying there, we got a room with two double beds. Generally upgrades aren’t favourable for a room with two double beds, but to my surprise we had plenty (and I mean plenty) of room with our upgrade.
Every area of the room was well thought out with more than enough space to move compared to your standard two bed suite.
The room, as well as the rest of the hotel, featured very understated oriental decor. The focal point was instead, 5-star luxury.
The entrance is spacious with a full length mirror, valet closet, and door leading to the water closet.
As a techie, I appreciated the climate control, drapes, blackout curtains and lighting was all controlled by a beside tablet. Throughout the room were also a number of light switches. There are a number of different lighting combinations you can have in this room. Standard lights, vanity lights and accent lights can all be dimmed using a slider on the tablet. Although a very nice feature, if you are a non-technical person, do yourself a favour and get the bellman to give you a tour of the room when he brings your bags up. I initially hadn’t realized the drapes and blackout curtain switch was at the entrance, not the window where you would expect it.
The highlight of the room is the bathroom, which you won’t want to leave. The shower could easily fit three people and there is a separate large bathtub with plenty of epsom salts for you to use.
For the ladies there is a vanity with a 3 drawer jewelry/makeup drawer, a vanity mirror, stool, and a built-in TV in the mirror for you to watch while you’re getting ready. And although a hairdryer is standard in hotel rooms, leave your hair straightener at home, there’s one included in your suite.
There were plenty of amenities in the bathroom, including Atelier Cologne shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body lotion. As well as a vanity set, shoe mitt, shower cap and scrunchie, shaving set, dental set, manicure set, and Mandarin Oriental branded lip chap. Phew! So basically, leave your toiletry bag at home, as you’ll have everything you need here! I absolutely loved all extras, and yes, I took all of them home with me.
Rod was eager to try out the bathtub, but not before adorning his Mandarin Oriental robe, and slippers.
One of the perks of the upgraded studio room, was the spacious walk-in closet that connected the washroom and common area. Plenty of hanger space, and dresser space for your clothes, as well as a luggage rack. Extra bedding was in a decorative box above, and the safe was in the dresser, along with an ironing kit. There was even a sleek black yoga mat branded, Mandarin Oriental, for you to use during your stay, or purchase as a souvenir.
Lighting, drapes, music and more, could all be controlled by the TV, or by the bedside. There were also plenty of different plug-ins that were easily accessible for all of your gadgets.
And who doesn’t appreciate a good Vegas strip view? This room offered beautiful views of the Crystals luxury shops below, Planet Hollwyood, and the ever changing promos from Aria on the big screen across the street.
Mandarin Oriental Dining Experiences
To my surprise, I was actually ambitious enough to make it down to MOzen Bistro for breakfast our first morning in Vegas. I got the Classic American Breakfast, consisting of sausage, eggs, potatoes, toast, tomatoes with provencal herbs, coffee and orange juice. It was delicious! MOzen Bistro also has a breakfast buffet, but both my grandpa I decided to order off the menu.
On the table was a beautiful flower (a Dianthus Moss Ball) in a jade coloured vase which more than caught my eye. I asked our server if I could purchase it, but sadly it was not for sale.
By booking through American Express Fine Hotel and Resorts, we received a credit of $30 USD each per day for breakfast, which can be redeemable for room service! Thank goodness, because let’s be realistic, that was necessary on our second morning in Las Vegas!
I decided to try something different and ordered a Japanese breakfast bento box. Wow. Although most westerners would classify it as a lunch box, I have no problem eating lunch or dinner for breakfast so I was impressed. Miso soup, glazed salmon, rice and tofu probably isn’t most Canadians’ idea of breakfast, so if you are more traditional, this might not be your thing. As I ate my breakfast, I overlooked the Las Vegas strip with a perfect view.
The third morning I decided to go with room service again. And although I thoroughly enjoyed the Japanese bento box, and honestly, still think about it, I decided to go with a taste of home, eggs Benedict with Canadian back bacon. Meanwhile, my grandpa went down to the MOzen again for breakfast, where the staff anticipated what he was going to order, which truly impressed him. I always find it exceptional when the servers ask if you’d like the same thing as yesterday, after only being in the hotel two days.
After we spent the day at the pool on our second day, we decided to try MOzen again for dinner, which opened at 5pm. We got ready a bit early so ventured outside to take some exterior shots of the property, and then headed to the restaurant 10 minutes before open, not knowing how busy it would get, so we waited.
As we were waiting, one of the staff, I’m assuming a manager, asked us if we needed to use the washrooms which were down the hallway, as he walked by. Thinking that was kind of an odd question, we simply responded “no”. When he walked by again, just a minute later, he asked us if we had seen the lobby yet? At this point, it was uncomfortable. Clearly he didn’t view us as guests at the hotel, and didn’t think to ask if we were. In hindsight, I should have said “yes, we saw the lobby…3 days ago when we checked in…”. Not a 5-star encounter to say the least.
The dining experience on the other hand was delightful! Everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly. The servers were unpretentious and had a great sense of humor which made for a really fun dinner experience. Tyler, Brad and I shared a few different Japanese offerings from the menu. The pictures don’t lie. These were carefully crafted by the chef, and full of flavour.
Rod sampled the wasibi prawns for an appetizer, and had the pad thai for his main course. The wasibi prawns were a highlight on the menu and I can see why. He was generous enough to share with all of us, and they were decadent! There was a generous portion of pad thai, which he took back to the room for a midnight snack.
I couldn’t help but notice there was a lineup of Dianthus Moss Balls off to the side teasing me! I asked our server this time if it was possible to buy one. Apparently, these are a hot commodity because, I was told for the second time they are not for sale. Up until this point, I’d yet to experience a situation in Las Vegas where someone or something (ahem slot machines) weren’t willing to take my money. So I found it odd that at a 5-star resort, the Mandarin was not capable, or willing to accommodate my request to purchase a readily available souvenir, especially since the staff is trained to honour special requests and make an occasion extra special.
The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas Pool
We had spent the previous day at the Four Seasons pool and rented a cabana where we sought cover from the perfect, but typical blazing hot Vegas summer weather. Our timing to rent the cabana a day prior couldn’t have been more perfect, because the following day we spent it at the Mandarin Oriental pool during a rare Vegas thunderstorm! Needless to say, the pool was quiet, but that didn’t deter us from enjoying the amenities. Upon arrival we were greeted with some tropical drinks to sample, and choice of poolside seats.
There are two main lap pools, and three hot tubs to enjoy. I do like the option of having a deep end of the pool to swim in, but the pools here are only about four feet deep.
At first when we got to the pools, we watched plane after plane take off, which was quite relaxing from the hot tub, however shortly after our arrival, planes were delayed due to the thunder and lightning in the area. There were even notifications of flash flood warnings. I enjoy storms, so this was a unique experience to be a part of!
There is a poolside bar, as well as infused water, lotions, and sunscreen you can help yourself to.
The most unique thing about the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas pool is the adorable Moet and Chandon sponsored cabana!
Other cabanas were available for rent, with no reservation fee, but a minimum spend of $350 USD.
Mandarin Oriental Housekeeping and Amenities
Turndown service is always an exciting moment for any hotel connoisseur, as each hotel provides their own special touches. The Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas didn’t disappoint with a couple of notable extras beyond the slippers, dimmed lights, freshly made beds, and bottles of water left by the bedside.
The sheets had been misted with essential oils, which made it super relaxing to sit there and watch the high production value Mandarin Oriental promotional video that housekeeping puts on at turndown. It really is a work of art. I’m pretty sure we were almost late for our Vegas show of choice, Zumanity, since we couldn’t stop watching the video, which was on repeat.
Here is a lengthier version (4 minutes) of what plays in your room. See if you can spot some of the Las Vegas scenes!
Our room was well taken care of by the staff, and they were right on cue when we had to reschedule turndown service. Plenty of free bottled water was provided, which made the $9 USD bottles of Fiji water unnecessary.
All of us were hopeful to get a courtesy ride in the sought after house car, the black sedan, Mercedes S550. We were in luck for one trip, and got a ride over to the Four Seasons. The courtesy car is available on a first come first serve basis, so you’ll have to be quick to catch it. You’ll be able to get a free ride as long as it’s along the Vegas strip. I did inquire about getting picked up and dropped off at the airport, but the prices were beyond my comfort zone. I was quoted $161 USD for pickup for an international pickup, and $107 USD for a domestic pickup. Since we departed from Vancouver, BC, we would have had to pay $161 USD plus tip for a 10 minute ride to the hotel. We opted for a taxi, and used Uber the rest of our trip. I am still wondering why there is such a steep price increase for an International flight, other than an obvious cash grab.
I’ve seen conflicting reviews about guests scoring a free ride to and from the airport. Leave a comment below to let me know your experience!
As I alluded to earlier in the review, I let the booking agent know about Tyler’s birthday, and the Mandarin came through with a red velvet cake surprise delivered to the room! It was a delightful and much appreciated treat that we all shared.
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Spa Review
Included with our booking through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts, was a $100 USD certificate for the spa. This ended up being perfect for two day passes, valued at $50 USD each (gratuity not included).
The spas are gender separated, and clothing is optional. Upon check-in to the spa, an attendant provided me with some tea, and some spa issued flip flops. She inherently knew my shoe size, and got me the perfect fitting pair, the first time around. After a short stay in the waiting area, the attendant gave me a tour of the spa facilities to explain the facilities.
My favourite part of the spa was the steam room and I was lucky enough to have it all to myself. The temperature was perfect, and after a good sweat there was a big bowl of crushed ice, cold wash clothes and a fridge of bottled water outside the room, providing the perfect contrast.
There were heated benches and lounge chairs that provided a great view of the planes just after take off, as well as the laconium, a dry heat room set at 60F. Both of these were mild treatments, and almost served as a “break” from the more intense heat of the steam room and hot tub.
I also tried out the rainforest shower, but I found it a bit clunky. There was a touchscreen in the shower to provide different rainforest/water effects, but each setting only last one minute before I had to manually reset it. The shower jets also seemed to be a bit loud each time they started up. I didn’t spend much time in here, and went back to my other favourite part of the spa instead – the hot tub!
The jetted hot tub offered a perfect view of the Las Vegas strip. It was enjoyable to watch the hustle and bustle of tourists outside, safely from my jetted jacuzzi lounge chair. The hot tub is very large with plenty of space for 3 people to be in it at once.
Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas, Hotel Review Conclusion
The Mandarin Oriental offered a truly luxurious experience in the heart of Vegas. From our generously upgraded room to the dining experiences, spa visit and pool time, we spent a lot of time at the hotel.
Despite a couple of service related hiccups, our overall stay was fantastic, and I can’t wait to visit the Mandarin Oriental in Las Vegas for my next stay, as well as try some of their other properties around the world.
I can’t imagine experiencing Las Vegas any other way now, and the benefits from booking through American Express Fine Hotels and Resorts really made our stay worth while.
You may surprise yourself with how easy it is to trade in the Sin City nightlife scene for some peace and quiet at Zen City.