LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - AUGUST 28:  An exterior view shows the marquee at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino left of the Leo the Lion statue on the Las Vegas Strip amid the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) on August 28, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. MGM Resorts International will lay off 18,000 furloughed employees in the United States on Monday as the resort industry struggles to recover from the pandemic. The move was necessary since federal law requires companies to lay off furloughed workers after six months. Before hotel-casinos shut down in March, the company had 68,000 employees nationwide, including 52,000 in Las Vegas. MGM Resorts said laid-off employees could be brought back as business demand returns.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Ethan Miller / Getty Images

MGM Grand

Top choice in Las Vegas

Owned by the eponymous Hollywood studio, the MGM Grand casino and hotel liberally borrows Tinsel Town's themes. Flashing LED screens and computerized fountains add extra theatrics to the 100,000lb, 45ft-tall bronze lion statue at the casino's entrance.

Inside the labyrinthine casino bedecked with giant screens, you can get table-side massages or take free Texas hold'em lessons in the poker room. Top billing attractions include Hakkasan nightclub, one-time center of the electronic dance-music universe or the Cirque du Soleil's martial-arts-inspired .

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Grand Pool

For many, the MGM Grand's biggest draw is the Grand Pool complex out back, with four swimming pools and a few whirlpools. At this fabulous outdoor playground, children splash in shallow aqua pools, sunbathers loll on chaise lounges, college students slurp from yard-long strawberry daiquiris and last night's party crowd recovers under beach umbrellas.

The highlight is an 8000ft-long lazy river – the longest in Vegas – that snakes around the pools, passing through spraying waterfalls and underneath bridges draped with tropical foliage. Rent an inner tube or just let the gentle current sweep you along. During summer, Wet Republic is the Strip's most MTV-worthy pool club.

Grand Spa

A two-hour 'Dreaming Ritual,' employing Australian Aboriginal healing and massage techniques, is the signature treatment at this sprawling 29,000-sq-ft spa, which soothes with Asian accents like bamboo, rock walls and elemental wood. The spa is open 8am-4pm Monday to Thursday and until 5pm Friday to Sunday and day passes are for hotel guests only. Nonguests can make spa appointments for Monday through Thursday.

MGM Grand Garden Arena

When pop stars such as U2, Cher and Miley Cyrus come to town, they play this massive 17,000-seat venue at the MGM Grand. Rowdy championship fight nights also fill the vast arena.

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Queues of cars wait at the traffic lights on the Las Vegas strip near the intersection of the MGM Grand hotel and casino with a pink sunset in the background
MGM Grand in Las Vegas squeezes in plenty of fabulous restaurants. ©Jason Patrick Ross/Shutterstock


The MGM Grand has an impressive lineup of celebrity chefs' restaurants, bars and nightlife venues, none more dazzling than Joël Robuchon, where you'll dine inside a faux Parisian mansion.

Joël Robuchon

Joël Robuchon, the acclaimed 'Chef of the Century', leads the pack in the French culinary invasion of the Strip. His eponymous art deco-inspired dining room, done up in leather and purple velvet, exudes the sophistication of a dinner party at a 1930s Paris mansion. Complex seasonal tasting menus promise the meal of a lifetime – and they often deliver. Reservations essential.

L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon

The ever-so-slightly less chichi of Joël Robuchon's two Las Vegas establishments. Its red-and-black interior, open kitchen and counter bar resemble a sushi joint and keep your attention on the food, comprising masterfully prepared, tapas-style small (or large) plates whose size and contents change in accordance with your desires and budget. Booking required.


Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto's latest Vegas incarnation is in his eponymous showcase restaurant, which pays homage to his Japanese roots and the cuisine of this city that has propelled him to legend status around the world. Dining here is an experience in every possible way and, we think, worth every penny. Book ahead.

Heritage Steak

Top chef Tom Colicchio's second Strip steakhouse flies higher than his MGM Grand outpost. All-natural, open-flame-grilled American steaks, charred octopus and ash-roasted bone marrow are just a sampling of carnivorous treats on a cutting-edge contemporary menu. The throwback cocktail list is just as unusual as what's for dessert, like sweet corn ice cream. Reservations essential.

Pub 1842

At chef Michael Mina's casual gastropub, don't let the cabin-in-the-woods decor, with plaid-patterned booths and wooden-slat walls, fool you. Extraordinarily tasty, whimsical comfort food – try a burger topped with peanut butter and bacon jam – goes above and beyond. So do the barrel-aged cocktails and craft beer flights from the bar. Happy hour runs from 3pm to 6pm daily. Dinner reservations recommended.


For see-and-be-seen dining or a splashy date night, few restaurants on the Strip beat this dramatic Chinese restaurant, with futuristic neo-Asian accents visible everywhere, from patterned upholstery to screened-in dining 'cages.' Michelin-starred chef Ho Chee Boon's mainly Cantonese menu darts off in unexpected ways, like the roasted cod with champagne and honey. Mixologist cocktails are designed to wow.


Off the casino floor, an airy dining room and a cozy wine-cellar room compose this casual eatery and wine bar. On the seasonal Mediterranean menu, crispy 700°F (371ºC) wood-oven-fired pizzas, rich pasta and both raw and roasted antipasti are more satisfying than meatier mains. Vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free and gluten-free options aim to please everyone.

Hecho en Vegas

An offshoot of Tucson's El Charro Cafe, this lofty cantina by the monorail station hosts festive groups with pitchers of margaritas. Handmade tamales, tortillas and torta bread stand out on an average menu of Mexican fare that also includes chimichangas, Sonoran hot dogs, and fajita platters with ancho-chili-rubbed skirt steak or shrimp diablo.


This richly wood-laden steakhouse lacks exclusivity, what with all the monorail riders walking by. Celeb chef Tom Colicchio's menu of grass-fed steaks, grilled bison and 24-hour braised short ribs, plus bounty from the sea such as Australian lobster tail, is sometimes a letdown in its execution. Drown any disappointments with a huge array of top-shelf bourbon and scotch. Reservations essential.

The exterior of The MGM Grand in Las Vegas as seen from across the Strip on a clear, blue, cloudless day.
The MGM Grand has plenty of places to drink and dance the night away. ©Ritu Manoj Jethani/Shutterstock

Bars and clubs

There are several bars and clubs to either celebrate your winnings (or drown your sorrows) at the Grand.

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At this lavish Asian-inspired nightclub, international EDM jet-set DJs such as Tiësto and Steve Aoki rule the packed main dance floor bordered by VIP booths and floor-to-ceiling LED screens. More offbeat sounds spin in the intimate Ling Ling Club, with leather sofas and backlit amber glass. Bouncers enforce the dress code: upscale nightlife attire (no athletic wear, collared shirts required for men).

Wet Republic

Think of Wet Republic, the city's biggest 'ultra pool,' as a nightclub brought out into the sunlight. The mostly 20- and 30-something crowd in stylish swimwear show up for EDM tunes spun by megawatt DJs like Calvin Harris, fruity cocktails and bobbing oh-so-coolly around saltwater pools. Book ahead for VIP bungalows, daybeds and cabanas.

MGM Grand hotels and rooms

Vegas' largest hotel has more rooms than it is possible to accurately critique without moving in for longer than it's healthy to stay in Vegas, but MGM's real thrillers are its exclusive (and expensive) Skylofts, apartment-style Signature suites and mammoth pool complex, rivaled by few.


Glamorous, one-of-a-kind apartments designed by innovative architect Tony Chi have loft bedrooms and two-story windows. They're also outfitted with almost every imaginable indulgence, from spa tubs and steamy 'immersion' showers to gourmet kitchens and top-flight entertainment centers. A 24-hour butler and personal concierge are included, of course.

As one of the world's largest hotels keeps evolving, the stunning Skylofts at MGM Grand has proved itself to be not just another boutique hotel-within-a-hotel on the Strip. These penthouse suites are blissful, flawlessly contemporary in design and ready to fulfill any high-roller fantasy, starting with private airport pick-up in a Mercedes-Benz limousine.

The lofts, each with one, two or three bedrooms, could easily fit your entourage or a family (children under 13 stay free with their parents) but are also perfect for a romantic getaway. Call on the 'dream' and 'spa' butlers to light the aromatherapy candles, plump the pillows and create an appropriate soundtrack before hitting the sheets.

Signature suites

Balconies were traditionally hard to come by on the Strip, though not in MGM Grand's 'Signature' suites, many of which feature full balconies. All have kitchenettes, plush furnishings and all the amenities of this massive casino.

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