Review: The Mirage in Las Vegas

27 01 2008

The Mirage was the first modern mega resort built in Las Vegas, and is widely considered to have started the trend of mega resorts that revitalized Las Vegas in the 1990s. Built in 1989 by developer Steve Wynn, the Mirage was the first hotel financed by Wall Street (through junk bonds issued by Michael Milken) and was the most expensive hotel casino project at the time. Mirage Resorts was sold to MGM Grand in 2000 and MGM Mirage, the current corporation that owns The Mirage, was formed. We stayed in The Mirage hotel and casino for three nights during our December 2007 Las Vegas trip.

The Mirage

The Mirage is located between Caesar’s Palace and Treasure Island (TI), across from the Venetian, and has a tropical rainforest theme. The resort is surrounded by palm trees and elaborate fountains on the outside, and tropical flora feature prominently on the inside. The wall behind the hotel reception is a huge aquarium and nearby is an atrium featuring some palm trees and tropical plants over a river. There are hourly eruptions from an artificial volcano at night that can be seen on the Strip.

White Tiger at the Mirage

In terms of attractions, The Mirage used to be primarily known for Siegfried and Roy’s Magic and White Tiger show until Roy’s accident in 2003. Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, a small zoo featuring dolphins, the Royal White Tigers, and lions, panthers, and leopards, is still an attraction and can be visited for a fee. Nowadays, singer and comedian Danny Gans is featured on the main stage at The Mirage. The resort is also home to LOVE, the fantastic Cirque du Soleil show featuring music from The Beatles. Click here for my review of this theatrical production.

MY REVIEW:

Out of the three Las Vegas hotel casinos where we have been guests, including the Venetian and Paris Las Vegas, I would rank The Mirage our third favorite. Although they are all very nice properties with four star accommodations and amenities, The Mirage has been showing its age recently. Having said that, we felt that The Mirage was the best value and one of the most convenient.

Check-in was a bit of a zoo, and it took about 15 minutes in all for the process. Our check-in person was a bit impersonal, but efficient. Our room was the last room off one of the wings, so it took forever to get to our room, but this is very common for large Las Vegas hotels.

Standard Room at The Mirage

We booked a standard nonsmoking standard room with a King size bed. The decor is very 90s looking, but comfortable and impeccably clean. The room was larger than a standard room at most hotels, because of what can only be described as a granite tiled foyer. I liked the vanity area, as it allowed me to continue getting ready while my husband used the bathroom. Think of the room quality as above a Sheraton or other business hotel but below a Fairmont. The hotel is planning on remodeling its rooms in 2008, which we felt was much needed because although everything was clean and tidy, there was clearly a lot of wear and tear.

Bathroom at The Mirage

The bathroom was pretty nice, with a granite countertop and a standard tub/shower combo. The hotel provided generic mint shampoo, conditioner, lotion, and soap that looked like it was custom made for this hotel.

I took a picture of the page that featured what the new rooms would look like in the Mirage’s magazine.

New Rooms at the Mirage

While I believe updates are much needed, I’m not sure that I love the new decor. It’s a little too loud for my taste.

View of North Strip

A view of the north Strip from our room.

The hotel’s location is very convenient to the upper part of the Strip. The Mirage is right across from the Venetian. It is also next to TI (connected through a free tram), which is, in turn, next to the Fashion Show Mall (after crossing the street on a pedestrian bridge). This mall is pretty much an expanded version of a regular mall, and has a huge food court. Like everything in Vegas, however, food court prices are inflated, though still cheaper than most restaurants on the Strip. In addition, there is a Tickets Tonight outlet at the mall. Across from the mall is Steve Wynn’s newest luxury resort casino development, Wynn Las Vegas.

We ate at two restaurants at this property – the Caribe Cafe and Cravings, the buffet. We thought Caribe Cafe was just ok. It was reasonably priced but looked like a restaurant for seniors. We had sandwiches that were satisfying but not spectacular. We had the Sunday champagne brunch at Cravings, which was about $22 each and it was worth it. We compared this price with having breakfast at the deli place there, and it came to about the same just to get a coffee, juice, omelet, and fruit. Cravings is an upscale buffet that features food from all over the world, including Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, traditional American breakfast, and others. I was impressed that they had steamed Asian buns and sushi (ok) at brunch. They even had crab legs and shrimp cocktail. I especially liked the made to order peach crepe. We ate a ton there, and I felt like I got my money’s worth (considering Vegas prices).

As with most of the mega resorts on the Strip, gambling here was relatively expensive. The minimum at table games was $10, and there were not a lot of 25 cent or penny slot machines. They did not have a lot of the gimmicky quarter slots with bonus rounds that I like to play. Hehehe. I don’t think I’ve ever won anything over $20 here.

Overall, we were very satisfied with our stay here. The room itself was fine, the housekeeping staff was great at keeping the rooms clean, and we had everything we needed. The front desk staff and concierge were not overly friendly, but they were professional.

Since we stayed here from 12/20 – 12/23, we were able to get a room for $70 a night for the first two nights and $139 a night for Saturday night. This is a great value for this quality hotel. According to tripadvisor, the average price for this property is $263 but this must include some of the suites because I haven’t seen those prices unless it is an in-demand time.  I would not pay more than $200 for this hotel.  We booked directly through the hotel’s website after searching for rooms through http://www.kayak.com. To research rooms, we looked at reviews and tips at www.cheapovegas.com.

Next Reviews: The Venetian and Paris Las Vegas








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