Today we’re going to explore another Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection property: Mandalay Bay Hotel in Las Vegas. So, let’s begin by saying that this trip wasn’t even supposed to happen. One day I was looking at my Southwest Airlines account and noticed that there was $111 of unused Southwest credit. I haven’t been flying as I used to and I must have forgotten all about it. The credit was due to expire in two weeks and the worst part was that my boyfriend had $111 in credit also. It must have been from a trip that we both canceled before the pandemic started.
I called Southwest to see if they can extend it at all and they couldn’t. So, the only reasonable place that we can fly to on short notice within budget was, of course, Las Vegas. We planned to only stay one night and decided to look on the Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection website and found that Mandalay Bay was on there. Usually, I would look on the Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts website first, but in my experience, Chase has a lot more Las Vegas choices than Amex. Last time, we stayed at the Park MGM which wasn’t on Amex’s list, but it was on Chase’s. Again, we have the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card, but it seems that many other Chase cards work too. The website will let you know depending on the first six digits of your card.
Photo Credit: https://www.lhrcollection.com/
QUICK REVIEW OF MANDALAY BAY
Not going to lie, I was kind of excited to see Mandalay Bay on the Chase LHRC’s website. I feel like this hotel has been around since I was a kid and I remember it specifically has some of the best swimming pools known to man. Even though it’s winter and none of the pools were open, it’s still a fun place to stay. There is an amazing aquarium (currently closed due to COVID) and a plethora of restaurants to explore. The hotel is located at the southernmost end of the strip so it’s a little far from the main portion where everything is happening. Since we were only staying one night, we didn’t mind it. Also, the benefit of this location is that it’s the closest strip hotel to the airport.
The rooms are very spacious and I think they did a good job with the renovations. I would say the bed is probably the comfiest bed I’ve slept on in all the Las Vegas hotels I’ve ever stayed at. Even though you can see some remnants of the old Mandalay Bay (i.e. tropical shutters doors to the bathroom), everything else looks new and contemporary. The floor-to-ceiling windows definitely sold us on the room too. Surprisingly, this hotel has aged pretty well and still looks as modern as the day it was built.
COVID precautions are in place so that means that you have to wear a mask in all public places unless you are actively eating/dining at a restaurant. Unfortunately, not a lot of food options were open when we went, but still enough that we didn’t need to travel outside the hotel. The hotel also provides you with a COVID kit in your room. It comes in a little zip-up pouch that has fabric masks and a hand sanitizer for you.
BENEFITS: WHAT DID WE ACTUALLY GET
- Daily Breakfast for Two: The daily breakfast benefit was $30 for each person up to two people (a total of $60). The credit was supposed to be for Hazel Coffee or Mandalay Beach Bar & Grill, but both were closed when we were there. Since it was closed, the hotel allowed us to use the $60 at any restaurant in the hotel that was open. Also, there was no time limit on when we had to use the credit. Usually, you have to use the breakfast credit during typical breakfast hours. Since we had no time limit now, we decided to use the credit at Citizens for lunch instead. We didn’t feel like ordering alcohol so we actually had a difficult time spending the $60. Citizens actually gives you a ton of food so we ended up sharing everything. In the end, we had to buy pastries to-go so we can just get close to our $60.
- $100 Special Benefit: The $100 special benefit was for food and beverage. Something that we found interesting was that the $100 credit is good at ANY MGM property. Not sure if this is just a COVID situation, but we thought that was a fantastic benefit. No one told us about that when we stayed at the Park MGM a while ago. We only found out because it was stated in our welcome letter. Apparently, all you have to do is charge it to the hotel you’re staying at and your room. Even though we were excited to hear this, we ended up staying at Mandalay Bay anyways and ate at Michael Mina’s STRIPSTEAK. We’ve never been to a Michael Mina restaurant before so we thought we would give it a try. My overall review of the restaurant is that it’s “just okay.” The ribeye we ordered was overcooked and the portions were really small for the prices. Maybe it was an off night since it was a Tuesday? Either way, I’ll probably take my F&B credit somewhere else next time. On a fun side note though, Michael Mina himself was eating at the restaurant that night. He must have been with investors because he was touring people around the restaurant and the kitchen.
- Complimentary Wifi: For the wifi credit, you get $5 off your resort fee. You might not see it on your folio when you check out because it’s actually already discounted from the resort fee. Mandalay Bay’s resort fee is $39, but on our folio, it showed $34.
- Room Upgrade: We stayed on a Tuesday night and they actually double upgraded our room. No, we didn’t get a suite or anything, but they upgraded our view and the type of floor/room. We got to stay on the 59th Floor which is their Stay Well floor. Our room was a Stay Well Resort King and it comes with little extras like an air purifier and a shower infuser to reduce chlorine.
- Early Check-In and Late Checkout: We landed around 7:00 p.m. so we didn’t get to utilize the early check-in, but we did use the late check-out all the way to 4:00 p.m. This was really convenient since this gave us time to work a full day and go downstairs for lunch without having to pack up all of our stuff.
SAVINGS: IS IT WORTH BOOKING THE MANDALAY BAY THROUGH CHASE?
For this trip, it was totally worth booking Mandalay Bay through the Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. The room only cost $94 total! Yes, that includes the resort fee too. The $100 food credit alone makes up for the room cost. On top of that, you have the $60 breakfast credit. They are practically paying you to come and stay at the hotel! These Las Vegas hotel deals are probably going to be the best Chase LHRC deals you’ll ever see.
Just to give you a point of reference, if you book directly through the hotel’s website, it actually would cost you more. Also, they charge you extra for benefits you get for free under the Chase LHRC program like the late check-out and early check-in.
MANDALAY BAY COST (INCLUDING ALL TAXES AND RESORT FEES)
Book Directly Through Hotel’s Website Cost: $110.72
Chase LHRC Cost: $94.22
Difference: $16.50 cheaper to book with Chase LHRC
Breakfast for Two: $60
Early Check-In: $40
Late Check-Out: $50
Special Amenity Credit: $100
Wifi Credit: $5
Room Upgrade: ~$24
Total: $279 Value
This hotel deal is a no-brainer. You are getting more money than you are spending. I think the biggest benefit of this deal is that the $100 F&B credit can be used at ANY MGM Resort. This significantly expands your food choices. That means you can book at a more affordable hotel like the Park MGM or Mandalay Bay and be able to eat at higher-end restaurants at the Aria or Bellagio. Again, the $100 credit is only once per stay so it’s the most bang-for-your-buck if you stay one night. This deal is so good that it makes me want to go to Vegas again just for a night!
Photo Credit: https://www.mgmresorts.com/en/las-vegas-hotels.html