How is the Mandalay Bay party scene?

My husband and I will be going to Las Vegas for the first time soon. We are staying at Mandalay Bay. I've heard it is a great hotel but am now second guessing our decision. We are in our late-20s/ early-30s and are looking for a party scene. We are also huge sports nuts and will be looking at doing most of our gambling at sports books. What are your thoughts on our hotel choice, sports books not to miss, and the best ultra-lounge to see celebs (this is more for me than him :o)?

Thank you!
Holly
(North Dakota)

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You're in a good situation, Holly. Mandalay Bay might not be quite 100 percent of what you're looking for, but it's not terribly far away from that mark. Figure it might rate at about 80 percent on your scale. Here's where it matches up with what you're looking for: It has an excellent sports book -- probably one of my three or four favorites on the Strip (the Las Vegas Hilton and Caesars Palace hold the top two spots) -- and the crowd is usually heavy with young party types who don't mind dropping a chunk of change to have a good time. Visiting in early March you'll miss out on this, but the party quotient is even higher in the summer. Mandalay Bay's pool may well be the best in Las Vegas and the scenery on the beach -- that's right, a real sand beach -- is spectacular.

Here's where Mandalay Bay falls a little short of what you ideally want: There are several very good bars and clubs in Mandalay Bay (MIX, especially), but none of them are THE nightlife hotspot of the moment. Today's hippest of hip places are found at the other end of the Strip, in the Venetian (Tao), Palazzo (Lavo), Wynn (Tryst, Blush), Encore (XS) and Caesars Palace (Pure). Those clubs are where the partiest of the partiers drink and sweat until the morning.

Those clubs are the most likely Strip candidates for celebrity spotting (add in the Palms and the Hard Rock, if you venture off the Strip), but even if any reality show bullies or sex-tape-leaking actresses are in the club at the same time as you, you're not likely to see them. Vegas clubs keep VIP areas for these folks, and they're off limits to commoners like us. So if you're really hoping to see Britney Spears stumbling drunkenly across the dance floor, let me prepare you for likely disappointment now.

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11 responses to “How is the Mandalay Bay party scene?”


  1. Denise said:

    Stayed in the Luxor in August for 1 week. absolutely brilliant hotel, eat all you want a massive selection. A moving stairway leading direct from the luxor into Mandalay bay, where you can get free monorail direct to MGM and then at back of MGM is a monorail for 5 dollars direct to Stratosphere - other end strip. lots to do in the Luxor and rooms ideal


  2. Steve the Texan said:

    Jenny,
    Several Grand Canyon and Las Vegas lights tours, including the fly-and-float tour you mentioned, are linked to on the Current Bargains page of this site.

    Here are a couple of specific links that may be helpful:
    * Helicopter tours
    * Grand Canyon articles


  3. Jenny said:

    Hi.
    My husband and I are making our first trip to Vegas in August. We are early 50s, very active and fit, but not big gamblers or partiers. We are planning to stay at the MGM Grand, and would like an adventurous activity to add to our schedule. He read about a tour that drives you from Vegas to the West Rim of the Grand Canyon, where you are flown down into the canyon by helicopter, and the adventure continues with a pontoon boat ride down the Colorado. We would love hearing about your Vegas vacation involving combining the lights of Vegas with the beauty and serenity of the Grand Canyon in your Veas trip.. Thanks!
    Jenny from Indiana


  4. Steve the Texan said:

    Gisell, the Luxor is home to a couple of very good nightclubs, LAX and CatHouse. They're maybe a half-step down the popularity scale than some of the spots on the north end of the Strip, but both are still fantastic clubs and will be packed.

    You don't mention exactly when you're taking your trip to Vegas, but if you're visiting anytime after early March you'll probably be able to pay a visit. Keep an eye on the Vegas weather outlook, though.


  5. gisell said:

    i am going to egas for first time with my boy friend.. we are staying in the Luxot hotel, i wonder if this hotel in particular has a night club? and also if the weather is good enough to get into the pool?


  6. Drea said:

    We are staying at the orleans, anyone have any reviews about that one? And can anyone go to the Mandalay Bay pool and lazy river? sounds awesome and I want to go there too...lol. Let me know we leave saturday..6/12


  7. Chris in Texas said:

    I've stayed at THEhotel at Mandalay Bay several times over the past few years and I won't even consider staying anywhere else. Every visit was first class from start to finish. Yes, it's at the South end of the Strip, and for me, that's great - away from the maddening crowds further north. The Mandalay complex has plenty of restaurants and shops, not to mention the awesome pool/beach area - well worth a visit.

    If you want to go up the Strip, in my opinion you are better off taking the "Deuce" double-decker bus instead of the Monorail when heading up the Strip. The closest Monorail station to the south end of the Strip is at the back of the MGM, and it's a l-o-n-g walk from LV Blvd. to the MGM station. I also found the Monorail to be a disappointment: I expected something sleek and smooth (like at Disney); it has a somewhat bumpy ride.

    Can't wait until my next visit to Las Vegas - and THEhotel.


  8. Steve the Texan said:

    The Vegas Club isn't a plush hotel by any stretch. It's not exactly rundown, but it isn't worlds away from fitting that description either. The rooms are somewhere on par with any Motel 6-level budget hotel.

    It's located in Downtown, which is my favorite part of Vegas, but isn't the party spot that most first-timers want to experience. If you want to spend almost all your time gambling, it's great. But if you are hoping to hang out by a fancy pool and walk downstairs to a booming nightclub, the Vegas Club is going to disappoint you.

    There are always a couple of rules of thumb to keep in mind about Las Vegas: 1. Dowtown is for gamblers, the Strip is for partiers; 2. If hotel rooms are available at a rate that seems like a huge bargain, there's a reason for it.

    One upside: you'll be right across the street from the Golden Gate, which is home to the best shrimp cocktail I've ever had.


  9. Rems said:

    I will be going to Las Vegas for the 1st time on the 11th April, I booked a room in Las Vegas Club Casino and Hotel through the Travel Agency. I have now read some reviews of the hotel and they are all very negative. I am worried about the conditions in the Hotel. Are this comments true or false? Please give me some advise.
    Thank you.


  10. Steve the Texan said:

    Thanks for reporting back, Holly. It's always good to get first-hand word from other recent visitors.

    Now it's time to start planning your next trip...


  11. Holly said:

    I was definitely not disappointed with Mandalay Bay and everything they had to offer. Their beach is SPECTACULAR! Their selection of pools, the lazy river, the big wave pool, comfortable lounge cars, outdoor bar and grill with TVs airing ESPN meant their was something for everyone. This was one of my favorite places I saw the entire vacation.

    I am glad we decided to stay here. I may not try another hotel when we go back because I was so pleased with our trip. During outings to other hotels, I found most were definitely not as nice, but the people who worked their were rude.

    Overall, it was a GREAT vacation!

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