I recently did a quick trip to Las Vegas and had booked a room at the MGM Grand using the Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection website portal. I have found that there are three Las Vegas hotels on the Chase LHRC’s website that are consistently priced below $100 during the weekdays: Park MGM, Mandalay Bay, and MGM Grand. I’ve written reviews on the Park MGM and Mandalay Bay, so I’m excited to finish off the trifecta and share with you my experience at the MGM Grand.
CHASE LUXURY HOTEL AND RESORT COLLECTION
The Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection is a special hotel booking site specifically for people that own a qualifying Chase credit card. I have a Chase Sapphire, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Freedom, and Chase Flex and can confirm that all of them can access the website. The website is special because it gives you extra benefits that you would normally only get if you had elite status. Instead, by being a Chase cardholder, you can access these benefits just by booking through their hotel portal. It is comparable to Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts website, but I have found Chase to have a lot more variety in the hotel choices. The catch sometimes with these websites is that the price of the hotel room usually comes a little bit higher, but for me, the benefits you get outweigh the extra cost. The Chase benefits include:
QUICK REVIEW OF MGM GRAND
I remember when this hotel used to be Wizard of Oz-themed! Does anyone else remember this? Maybe I’m really outdating myself but it has been YEARS since I stayed at the MGM Grand Hotel. Mostly because it’s at the southernmost end of the strip and is a little far to get to the newer hotels if you were planning on walking. The bright side is that it’s one of the closest hotels to the airport so you could literally get off the plane and be at the hotel within 20 minutes.
I literally have forgotten how great this hotel is and I’m glad I got to stay here again. It is one of the biggest hotels on the strip and houses a fantastic restaurant portfolio, a pool area the size of an amusement park, a huge casino, Top Golf, day clubs, and nightclubs. Granted, some of the restaurants that I wanted to use my F&B credit on (*cough cough* L’atelier de Joel Robuchon) were not open hopefully just due to COVID. The restaurants that were open had limited days and hours so definitely double-check to make sure the restaurant you want to eat at is open.
Since I haven’t stayed here for at least a decade, I was really worried things were not going to be as great as I remembered it. I started reading people’s reviews before my trip and it seemed like the hotel was taking a slight downturn especially due to the pandemic. The common theme I saw across all the reviews was the “undeniable smell of marijuana” in the hotel rooms. This really scared me since I don’t particularly like the smell and I have a very sensitive nose to any type of smoke. Either way, I was going to go with an open mind and hope everything would work out. I’m glad to report that I did not experience any marijuana smell or smoke of any kind. Although, it might have to do with these new “no smoking marijuana” signs they have in the rooms.
I want to mention a quick note about the pool. If you are planning to go on the weekend, I highly suggest you stand in line before the pool even opens. I went on a Wednesday morning at 8:55 a.m. (pool opens at 9:00 a.m.) and there were already at least 50 people waiting in line. Luckily, after the pool opened, the line moved really fast and everyone got in within 15 minutes. The only reason I’m mentioning this is that I’ve heard on the weekend it gets crazy busy where people have to put their name on a list and wait 2-3 hours just to get in. Otherwise, if you’re going on a weekday, I think going a little after they open is just fine. I left the pool around 10:30 a.m. and there was no one in line.
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). Since not a lot of the restaurants were open, I thought I would try my luck at seeing if I could use my breakfast credit at the pool instead. I asked the person checking me in and he actually decided to combine my $100 F&B credit (see #2 below) and the $60 credit together. So, I had $160 worth of F&B I could use at any point of my stay! This was great since I tend to spend more at dinner than breakfast anyways.
- $100 Special Benefit: The $100 special benefit was for food and beverage. So far, every time I’ve booked an MGM property through the Chase LHRC website, the $100 F&B credit was allowed to be used at any MGM property. Since I wasn’t required to spend it exclusively at the MGM Grand, I decided that I was going to treat myself and have a nice dinner at Spago located in the Bellagio instead. I made a reservation for a party of one and was seated in the lounge area by the bar. I ordered an appetizer, an entree, two glasses of wine and the bill came out to roughly $112 without tip.
- Complimentary Wifi: For the wifi credit, you get $5 off your resort fee. MGM Grand’s resort fee is $39, but I didn’t see the $5 credit as I’m accustomed to. Usually, the $5 would already be taken off the resort fee and it would show $34 instead of the $39. This time I saw the $39, but I decided not to contest it because of the extra bonus (see #6) I got below.
- Room Upgrade: For my room upgrade, all I got was a higher floor. The view was of the strip, but unfortunately, there was a type of screen blocking my view which I’ll explain in greater detail in point #6 below.
- Early Check-In and Late Checkout: I landed around 12:00 p.m. and got to the hotel around 12:30 p.m. There was no problem checking me in early. For the late checkout, I was allowed until 4:00 p.m. which I utilized to the very end.
- Bonus: This bonus category is not part of the Chase benefits, but I thought I would share my experience with you in case you come across this yourself. Since they upgraded my room to a higher floor, I noticed that my window had some sort of net or screen over it. It made me a little dizzy so I called downstairs to the front desk and asked them if every room had this screen. They explained to me that what I was seeing was an advertisement that spans a couple of floors on the face of the building. Apparently, the higher floors have this screen blocking your view. The gentleman on the phone asked me if I would like to change rooms, but couldn’t guarantee me the same floor or when the next available room would be available since I checked in early. At this point, I was only staying one night and I told him that I was too lazy and not to worry about it. Well, as a courtesy, he offered me a $40 food and beverage credit for the inconvenience. I was shocked and so surprised by his generous customer service. I gladly accepted since it made dealing with the screen more palatable. I now had $200 to spend on F&B!
RESORT FEES AND TAXES
I know some of you have asked if they still charge a resort fee in addition to what you book through the Chase LHRC website. So, I thought I would share a screenshot of what my folio looked like after I checked out. It’s a little bit weird since the amounts don’t really add up, but as you can see, there was a room charge of $55 and a resort charge of $39 for a total of $94 before taxes. After adding the room and resort fee taxes, the total amount came out to be $100.16. Close enough to the $94.85 that Chase quoted me. I didn’t make a big deal about it since I got that extra bonus of $40 F&B credit. It’s the same reason why I didn’t contest the $5 wifi credit too. The resort fee should have been $34 instead of the $39, but again didn’t want to bring it up since I was still winning at the end and everyone had been so nice.
In regards to the taxes, this is unfortunately also a confusing topic. On my folio, it clearly shows that I was charged taxes on the room and resort fee. The confusing part is that I was not charged the taxes on any of my F&B spend even though my welcome letter clearly said that “tax and gratuity” were not included in the $100 F&B credit. I did the math and the taxes actually counted towards my overall F&B credit. So, all I had to pay was the gratuity out-of-pocket in the end. Again, not sure why this is, but I’m definitely not going to complain about it!
MGM GRAND COST (INCLUDING ALL TAXES AND RESORT FEES)
Book Directly Through Hotel’s Website Cost: $99.49
Chase LHRC Cost: $94.85 initially when booking, but actually cost $100.16 at the end (See below)
Difference: $.67 more expensive to book with Chase LHRC
Breakfast for Two: $60
Early Check-In: $40
Late Check-Out: $50
Special Amenity Credit: $100
Wifi Credit: $5 (Was not credited though)
Room Upgrade: ~$24 (This is approximate based on previous experience)
Total: $279 Value
SAVINGS: IS IT WORTH BOOKING THE MGM GRAND WITH CHASE LHRC?
It was 100% worth booking MGM Grand through the Chase Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection. The $100 food credit alone makes up for the room cost. On top of that, you have the $60 breakfast credit ($30/per person up to two people). MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, and Park MGM are the only hotels I know of that you actually make money by staying there. This is an incredible deal for anyone planning on staying during a weekday and I highly encourage you to do so. As COVID restrictions let up, I’ve noticed that Vegas is getting more and more crowded. So, if you want a nice relaxing vacation without a lot of people and lines, I would book MGM Grand with Chase LHRC and during the weekdays.