Mandalay Bay Las Vegas Review for May 2024

Lynsey Thompson

Updated by

Lynsey Thompson


Michael Graham

Fact Checked by

Michael Graham

Content Editor

Last Updated on 25th April 2024, 02:41 PM


Mandalay Bay is, without a doubt, one of the most striking resorts in Las Vegas. Its glistening gold exterior stands proudly at the south end of the strip giving an air of sophistication and luxury.

But does this elegant exterior translate into the interior too? I’m not usually one to give spoilers, but I think you’ll find it does. And not just in the hotel, but also the casino, restaurants, bars and even the pool complex.

Mandalay Bay has a lot going for it, and, in truth, it’s one of my favourite places to visit in Las Vegas. It does have its challenges though, location being one of the biggest, which I’ll discuss in detail below. 

In this review, I’ll walk you through everything you need to know, good and bad, about visiting and gambling at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas.

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♦️ Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino Overview

Mandalay Bay opened in March 1999, on the former site of the Hacienda resort. Its working title through the build was ‘Project Paradise’ which is actually still quite fitting for the resort that we see today. 

The name was eventually chosen based on the exotic tropical romanticism of the poem "Mandalay" by Rudyard Kipling. 

Unquestionably, Mandalay Bay is a special and unique resort in Las Vegas. Not only for it’s theming and style, but it offers something that other resorts do not.

The fact that it is both part of the strip and an escape from the strip at the same time is quite a rarity - and one of the reasons I like it so much.


If you ask any Vegas visitor what they think about Mandalay Bay, the same issue always pops up – its location. Seen by many as a disadvantage, Mandalay Bay is the furthest resort south on the Las Vegas strip. 

It is, in fact, directly opposite Harry Reid International Airport, and the closest resort to the iconic ‘Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas’ sign. 

I’ll concede that, despite my affection for the place, if you’re looking to be right in the epicentre of all the Las Vegas action, this might not be the best choice.

However, the location doesn’t have to be seen as a negative, it all depends on your perspective and your plans. 

Mandalay Bay is the last stop in a series of MGM properties, collectively known as the South Strip. 

It’s not remote, though. It is directly connected through external and internal walkways to its neighbour property Luxor, which in turn is connected to Excalibur hotel and casino. Right next door to that is New York-New York, which is opposite MGM Grand, and just beside Park MGM. All of these are within walking distance. 

Better still, Mandalay Bay has a free and frequent monorail that runs between itself, Luxor, and Excalibur every few minutes. So, while it might look isolated on a map, Mandalay Bay is far from it in reality. 

Mandalay Bay is also perfectly situated as the closest resort to the impressive Allegiant Stadium which opened in 2020. The colossal 70,000-seater stadium is home to the Las Vegas Raiders NFL team and hosted the 2024 Super Bowl in spectacular style, as well as huge music concerts.

With an annual calendar hosting big sporting events and headline music acts, you can walk to the Allegiant Stadium easily from Mandalay Bay, which I consider to be a big plus location wise. 

In my opinion, Mandalay Bay’s location is one of the factors that makes it quite special. It’s close and connected enough to enjoy as much Vegas as you want, yet remote enough to enjoy some peace and tranquillity too. For me personally, it offers the best of both worlds.

Finally, with the airport so close, Mandalay Bay falls within Zone 1 of the fixed rate taxi fee from the airport. This means a flat rate of $21 plus tip and less than a ten-minute journey.

Quick Info

🪪 Membership required:❌  No, but encouraged 
👔 Dress code:❌  No
🏧 ATMs:✔️ Yes, but with fees
🚘 Parking:✔️ Yes, but only free for MGM Rewards members (pearl level and above)
♿ Wheelchair accessible:✔️ Yes
🛏️ On-site accommodation:✔️ Yes
🍴 On-site restaurant:✔️ Yes, multiple
🍹 Free drinks and snacks:

✔️ Yes, servers circulating

🚬 Smoking:✔️ Yes, but not in hotel rooms

A beach holiday in Las Vegas

Mandalay Bay is the closest you are going to get to a beach holiday in Las Vegas. The pool has real sand and a wave machine that simulates a shore, and there is usually plenty of sun to enjoy too. 

🎰 Mandalay Bay Casino Review

Mandalay Bay casino is, genuinely, one of my favourite places to gamble in Las Vegas. The casino floor is spacious, at around 135,000 square feet, and it really is a pleasure to play in.

Remember I said earlier that the elegance carries on inside? Well, you can really see this in the casino. The high ceilings, warm lighting, lush carpets, stylish decor, and comfortable chairs welcome gamblers in. In fact, while it isn't one of the brand new casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, it still feels like it could be.

A big plus of this casino is that while there are plenty of games to play, it isn’t overly crowded. Games are spaced out well, meaning lots of elbow room so you never feel cramped or uncomfortable while playing.

The layout is square-shaped, and therefore, easy to navigate, with various bars and restaurants positioned around the outside. Table games are situated together down one side, while the slots circle around Eyecandy bar and lounge in the centre. 

Atmosphere wise, Mandalay Bay can be quite contradictory. I have often found it quite a serene gambling environment with soft music. While at other times, frequently on an Allegiant Stadium gig day or a big conference weekend, the bars around the casino are alive with loud music, live bands, and a party crowd.

Overall, I would categorise Mandalay Bay casino as fun and sophisticated. Everything is maintained to a high standard. The dealers and servers are well turned out and friendly and I find it a really welcoming place to play. 

Table Games Selection

If you’re fond of a dabble at the tables, then there’s plenty of choice at Mandalay Bay. I asked how many table games there were and discovered it was around 122, with all the usual games you’d expect plus some variations.  

Blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat can all be found easily plus various poker pit games and a separate poker room too.

Tables are well-maintained, dealers are fun and, there’s usually a good atmosphere to be found. 

Classic table games:

  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Baccarat
  • Poker
  • Pai Gow Poker


  • Pai Gow Tiles
  • Mini Baccarat
  • Let It Ride Poker
  • Three Card Poker
  • Texas Hold'em
  • Seven Card Stud
  • Ohama Hold’em

Minimum bets start from $10 for blackjack and baccarat, however, this is only during quieter periods. Generally, you will be looking at $15 -$20 minimums or higher at most tables. 

To a casual gambler, this probably feels quite high, but it is more or less standard on the strip these days. Lower minimums can be found in Downtown Las Vegas though. 

European Roulette, which is much sought-after due to the single zero, can be found in the High Limit Room only.

The Poker room has 10 tables and is open every day 11am – 3am except Tuesdays. You can play daily tournaments with a minimum of a $60 buy-in, but most cash games start at $100 - $200 buy-in. 


As a slots player myself, I loved the variety and range of games I found at Mandalay Bay. It has always been quite a lucky casino for me, and fingers crossed that continues!

Whether you enjoy low-rolling or more thrill-seeking stakes, you will find plenty of options in the main casino.

There’s over 1200 games to choose from, including all the most popular ones such as:

  • Buffalo
  • Wheel of Fortune
  • Dragon Link
  • Huff n More Puff
  • Lightning Dollar Link
  • Dancing Drums

If traditional games are more your thing, then you can find some classic three-reel mechanical slots, for much lower stakes. But in all honesty, these are getting fewer in number throughout the city. 

Of course, there’s nothing to stop you trying for that once-in-a-lifetime dream jackpot by playing one of the wide-area progressives such as Megabucks.  

In November 2023, a guest at Mandalay Bay placed a $5 bet and won a $1,3,84,491.52 jackpot playing Wheel of Fortune Gold Spin Triple Red Hot 7s. No such luck for me, but it shows there is hope for us all!

Bar-Top Gaming

As with all Las Vegas resorts, bar-top gaming is available at Mandalay Bay.

I was surprised to find it’s not as prominent at Mandalay Bay as it is in some other resorts, but that’s because most of the bars here are more high-end.

If you pull up a stool at a bar top game, you don’t have to play it. However, if you do, you can receive comped drinks in return. If you’re not getting one, make sure you ask the bartender.

Game options are usually quite limited to video poker, blackjack, and a few slot games in bar-top gaming. However, it is still lots of fun and is how many casino players, including me, spend an enjoyable afternoon. 


Try your luck!

The huge dream jackpots in Las Vegas tend to be on the older style three-reel mechanical slots. They are not to everyone's taste, but still try a few spins as you never know your luck!

Mandalay Bay Sports book

As with all MGM properties, Mandalay Bay has a sportsbook operated by BetMGM. 

Although this is impressive in size, I thought it was quite dark and it definitely feels a little dated compared to other Las Vegas sportsbooks that have opened more recently. 

Nevertheless, If you enjoy watching, and betting on, sports then you’ll find a comfortable seating area and 17 large-screen TVs showing all the main live sporting events at any time. 

The specific game I went in to see wasn’t on any of them, but I asked them to put it on and that request was accommodated. It all depends on if they have a feed for it. 

You can place bets at the electronic terminals or in person at the kiosks. There’s usually BetMGM staff at the entrance or wandering around helping people to sign up to the betting app too. So, if you need assistance, just ask. 

Waitress Service

One of the most talked about and enjoyable perks of being a casino gambler in Las Vegas is the free drinks waitress service. It's certainly something that an online casino can't offer. 

Newbies often can’t believe their luck when receiving ‘free’ drinks while sitting at a slot or table game. But as most of us regulars know, it isn’t always as easy or as free as we think.

Yes, its true that if you’re gambling in Vegas, you can access free drinks. But waitress service can vary from casino to casino as does the type and quality of drinks you can receive.

The best bit about waitress drinks service is that it doesn’t matter what level you are betting at. You can be low rolling at 0.50 cent bets or spending big on $50 stakes, you can still get comped drinks. 

At Mandalay Bay, I found the drinks service to be fairly consistent. If you sit in the high-volume areas of the casino, it usually doesn’t take long to catch the eye of a waitress. 

Sorry fellow slots players, but at the table games the service was better and more frequent. This is because higher stakes betting will usually mean higher tips for the waitresses. 

Its important to remember, though, that drinks will only keep coming if you tip well. It is an unspoken rule to tip your waitress, and you’ll usually find the better you tip, the more drinks you’ll get offered. 

In terms of types of drinks, you can ask for a selection of beers, spirits, cocktails, or wine at Mandalay Bay. My usual tipple at Mandalay Bay is a Malibu Bay Breeze or a Corona. I asked the waitress what they had and what they’d recommend and found them very friendly and helpful.

High Limit Gaming at Mandalay Bay Casino

If you’re someone who enjoys the thrill of playing higher stakes slots, then you can have some fun in Mandalay Bay High Limit area. 

Contrary to belief, this is open to anyone. Many gamblers are intimidated thinking they have to play $100 plus stakes in these areas but that’s simply not true. If it was, you certainly wouldn’t catch me in there!

I’ve visited Mandalay Bay’s High Limit slots area numerous times, usually playing stakes of $5, or, if I’m feeling extra adventurous, $10. 

It’s ideal when I want a much quieter, more refined gaming experience and there’s a dedicated waitress service here too which is a big plus. 

You’ll find the Mandalay Bay High Limit Lounge opposite Eyecandy Sound Lounge in the centre of the casino floor. 

Cash and Payment Options

Cash is king in Las Vegas. While everywhere else in the world is moving towards more electronic spending and digital money, cash is still very much the predominant spend, certainly when it comes to gambling.

Of course, restaurants, bars, shows and attractions are happy to accept electronic payments as you would expect. However, when it comes to playing on slot machines or laying down bets on table games, its cash that you need.

My advice for gambling at Mandalay Bay is to arrive with the cash you want to spend. ATM services are offered, but withdrawal fees are high across the city. So, either factor that in, or don’t use ATM’s at all. 

As with all casinos in Vegas, handpay jackpots aside, cashing out your winnings is immediate. That puts even the best online casinos with fast payout to shame.

135K Sq. Ft Venue
100+ Live Tables
3 Entertainment Spaces
1.2K Slot Machines
24/7 Always Open

💰 Mandalay Bay Casino Bonuses and Promotions

Mandalay Bay is just one of nine MGM owned properties on the Las Vegas Strip. The good news for visitors and gamblers is that all of them operate under one rewards program called MGM Rewards

The MGM Rewards program is one of the best when it comes to rewards and benefits. Although there are five tier levels in total, you can receive perks even when on the lowest level which is Sapphire. 

Of course, the higher the level, the better rewards you will receive, as can be shown below:  

  • Sapphire: complimentary rooms
  • Pearl (20,000 tier credits): as above with free self-parking and occasional complimentary concert tickets
  • Gold (75,000 tier credits): as above with zero resort fees and free room upgrades (where available)
  • Platinum (200,000 tier credits): as above with airline credit and priority lines
  • Noir (Invitation only): as above with guaranteed restaurant reservations 

To sign up you need to be at least 21 years of age and have some photographic ID. Just go along to the MGM Rewards desk at any MGM resort, complete the sign-up form and you’ll receive your Sapphire MGM Rewards card. 

It is then in your best interests to show or use this card anytime you spend money in any MGM resort. 

With gambling, this means inserting it into a slot machine before you spin or handing it to your dealer when you play at a table.  

But that’s not all, lots of other spend can also be included too. Make sure you show your card in shops, restaurants, bars, attractions and shows when you purchase anything in any MGM resort including Mandalay Bay. This goes for your room costs too.

Every time you spend money, points will be added to your card to help you climb the tiers and receive bigger benefits. 

Should you join MGM Rewards?

I always recommend to every Las Vegas visitor to sign up to as many rewards programs as they can. For me, MGM Rewards is at the top of the list.

There’s no guarantee that you’ll win anything when you come to Las Vegas. But if you do happen to leave with empty pockets, you may as well get some perks in return.

Of course, those perks are specifically designed to entice and encourage you to return to Sin City and empty your pockets all over again. But, if you’re anything like me, you were probably going to do that anyway. 

With MGM Rewards, you receive four tier credits for every dollar you spend on rooms, food, drink, and retail at MGM properties.

When it comes to gambling, a fancy algorithm is used to assesses both your casino spend and how much time you devote in the casino to build up points. 

Something that I found to be great about this program is that you can track your progress on the MGM Rewards app, so you can see where you are at all times.

The best part of MGM Rewards is that you can receive benefits at whatever your level. Personally, I am currently on the second tier, Pearl level, and I am receiving offers of free rooms, free slot play, waived resort fees and resort credit too.

So don’t be daunted or worried about spending huge amounts to climb the tiers. Just spend what you normally would and make sure you use the card whenever you can and you should get something back for it. 


Rewards are not only tier specific

Don't get too hung up on your MGM Rewards tier. You can still earn the good stuff - free rooms, freeplay, resort credit and waived resort fees - at a lower tier as long as your play and spend is consistent. 

🛏️ Mandalay Bay Las Vegas Hotel and Resort

Mandalay Bay actually houses two other hotels within its location. The Delano is a separate tower and sister property just set behind Mandalay and is an all-suite hotel. While Four Seasons is situated at the very top of the Mandalay Bay tower.

For this review, I’m going to concentrate exclusively on the Mandalay Bay hotel as this is our focus. 


There are around 3,200 rooms at Mandalay Bay starting from the standard Resort King going all the way up to the four-bedroom Presidential Suite.

Standard Rooms feature all the usual amenities you would expect including ensuite bathroom, television, mini-bar, safe, shampoo/conditioner, iron/ironing board and hairdryer.  

What sets Mandalay Bay standard rooms apart from many of their competitors though is their size and quality. 

Even the most basic room comes with 550 square feet of space, and they only get bigger from there. Plus, each room comes with floor to ceiling windows and a stylish beach style décor making them light and attractive. 

‘Stay Well’ rooms are also offered which, according to MGM, come with ‘wellness technologies’ such as air purifiers and shower infusers for the more health conscious. Personally, I’ve never felt any different staying in one of these rooms, but maybe that’s just me. 

Due to the location of Mandalay Bay at the very south end of the strip, it is possible to get some incredible views from your room. For this reason, I would personally recommend booking a ‘Strip View’ room if you can afford a little extra. It is definitely worth it.

The bathrooms are also worth noting at Mandalay Bay, as they are spacious and luxurious and often come with both a large bathtub and a large shower. 

If you want to treat yourself to more than a standard room, then suites start from 683 square feet, and include a living area as well as the bedroom. These are exceptionally comfortable and are beautifully decorated too.  

For those who can’t bear to leave their furry friends at home, Mandalay Bay does offer dog-friendly rooms. There are various conditions to consider, though, such a maximum of two dogs per room and dogs can’t be left unattended in the room. Plus, an extra fee of $100 per dog per night plus tax will be added to your stay. 


You will be hard pushed to find a better pool complex in Las Vegas than at Mandalay Bay. 

Mandalay Bay Beach is a spectacular 11-acre aquatic playground with real sand, a wave pool, and a lazy river. In fact, when you’re visiting Mandalay Bay Beach, you could easily forget that you are in Las Vegas at all.

This tropical paradise has a real summer holiday feel to it, and consequently, appeals to a wide range of guests including families. 

Depending on your perspective, this could be either a positive or a negative thing. Certainly, if you are looking for a peaceful poolside retreat, then having lots of young children running around may not help.

However, if you want a resort where there is plenty to keep all family members entertained, then this could be it. 

The good news for casual pool users is that there are plenty of free day beds to be found. You can also take your own inflatable rings in the lazy river, just check the guidelines first.

If you want a longer day around the pool, then you can rent cushioned day beds, pool-adjacent loungers, and cabanas for an additional cost. 

Waitress service is available around the pool offering both food and drink to your daybed, plus there’s a poolside bar and café for snacks and drinks too. 

When I visited Mandalay Bay Beach, I went early (which I highly recommend) and grabbed a free day bed around the lazy river. This is perfect for relaxation, plus provides some free entertainment as you watch swimmers scrambling to navigate the river and avoid the overhead waterfalls. 

One last thing to mention is that it’s not all family-friendly at Mandalay Bay as there’s an adult only exclusive pool called Moorea Beach Club. There’s also Daylight Beach Club which provides headline DJ’s and music acts providing wild pool parties for the younger crowd too. 


Pool paradise

If a high quality pool is important to you, then Mandalay Bay is for you. It is the best one in Las Vegas.


Mandalay Bay has a number of bars with different themes to appeal to a wide range of visitors. Some highlights include:

  • House of Blues – with regular live music and a lively atmosphere
  • Rhythm & Riffs – upscale lounge with signature cocktails
  • Hazel Coffee & Cocktails – premium coffees, cocktails, and light snacks
  • Foundation Room – sophisticated rooftop bar with spectacular views

As well as a wide selection of bars within Mandalay Bay, there’s also The Shoppes at Mandalay Place which forms the walkway into Luxor. Along this, you’ll find bars such as Ri Ra Irish Bar, Flanker Sports Bar, Minus5 Ice Bar as well as speakeasy 1923 Prohibition Bar. 

House of Blues and Ri Ra Irish Bar are two regular places I visit. Both have a fun atmosphere and a great choice of food, so I’d highly recommend both. 

Buffets and Restaurants

Whether you want cheap eats, fine dining, or something in between, Mandalay Bay has the lot.

High end dining includes celebrity chef Michael Mina’s restaurants StripSteak and Orla, Foundation Room, French and Italian influenced cuisine at Rivea and Japanese restaurant, Kumi.

I haven’t personally tried them all, but I can’t recommend the Foundation Room highly enough. The food is exceptional and the view stunning. 

Mid-level dining can be found at the likes of Citizen, Seabreeze Café, Noodle Shop, Libertine Social, House of Blues and Border Grill. 

There’s also a food court for those who prefer something simpler that offers Subway, Johnny Rockets, Nathan’s Hotdogs and Bonanno's New York Pizzeria.

One thing I found on food court, though, is how far it is away from the main casino floor. With Mandalay Bay being so large, the food court is located close to the Convention Centre so expect a 10-minute walk from the casino. 

The good news is that this is open 24 hours, but that’s a long way to walk – especially after a long Vegas day. There is also no buffet at Mandalay Bay anymore. It was a victim of the Covid pandemic. 

Shows and Entertainment

Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil is the resident show at Mandalay Bay. Ticket sales are still in high demand despite it running since 2013 which is a testament to its quality.

I saw this show recently for the first time and was absolutely blown away, I’d definitely see it again.

The Shark Reef Aquarium is the other big pull at Mandalay Bay. It’s a family-friendly attraction that houses over 2000 animals including giant rays, endangered green sea turtles and a Komodo dragon.

Entrance fee is around $36 for adults and $31 for children and if you’re feeling extra brave, you can take part in a shark feeding session for an additional cost.

The Michelob ULTRA Arena is a 12,000-seat sports and entertainment complex based at Mandalay Bay. This has hosted everything from headline UFC and boxing fights, tennis showcase matches to Katy Perry concerts. 

Meanwhile, the House of Blues Music Hall is a smaller venue showcasing legendary artists as well as up and coming musicians too.  

In other words, I don’t think anyone will be struggling for a good time at Mandalay Bay!

💭 My Mandalay Bay Verdict

I think you can probably already tell that I am very fond of Mandalay Bay. This resort might be considered a little out of the way by some, but I consider that to be part of its charm.

Although I do love the hustle and bustle of mid-strip Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay offers an alternative way to enjoy this incredible city.

The whole resort exudes class. From the shimmering gold exterior, with cascading waterfalls and greenery, to the high-class marbled reception, it sets the tone from the moment you arrive.

The spacious rooms felt luxurious, even the standard ones, and the range of bars and restaurants means there’s enough variety for everyone.

The pièce de resistance at Mandalay Bay is most definitely the pool area which is unlike anything else offered in Las Vegas. 

If you want to branch out, the free tram will take you straight to Luxor or Excalibur and from there it is a leisurely walk to at least three other resorts. 

When it comes to gambling, Mandalay Bay is one of my top casinos to play in. That is due to a combination of the casino layout, range of games, the surroundings, waitress service and general atmosphere. 

Although there is an air of serenity around the place, it would be wrong to associate that with a flat low-key environment. There is plenty of entertainment on site, lots of busy events and bars, and live music too.

After all, I like nothing better than singing along to some banging tunes while I gradually lose my money in the casino – apart from singing along to some banging tunes while winning in the casino, of course.

Mandalay Bay can be summed up as a tropical paradise on the outskirts of a loud, fast-paced, glitzy epicentre. The calm before the storm, if you like. How much you enjoy Mandalay Bay will come down to whether you prefer the calm, the storm, or a mixture of both. 

What I Liked and Didn't Like

The spacious casino
Variety of table and slot games
The Mandalay Bay Beach complex
Luxurious rooms for all budgets
Wide range of food and drink options
MGM rewards program accessible to all
Didn't like
The size of the property can mean lots of walking
Food court is not convenient
Limited bar top gaming

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Meet The Author

8 Years
Lynsey Thompson
Lynsey Thompson
Writer Writer

Lynsey is a regular Las Vegas visitor and a keen slots and roulette player. As well as significant experience as a writer in the iGaming and gambling industries as an expert reviewer and journalist, Lynsey is one half of the popular Las Vegas YouTube Channel and Podcast 'Begas Vaby’. When she is not in Las Vegas or wishing she was in Las Vegas, Lynsey can usually be found pursuing her other two main interests of sports and theatre.

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