Mirage Las Vegas Review for May 2024

Lynsey Thompson

Updated by

Lynsey Thompson


Michael Graham

Fact Checked by

Michael Graham

Content Editor

Last Updated on 16th May 2024, 09:18 AM


Las Vegas is a city that constantly re-invents itself. Sure, the core still remains and it will always be a party place with a hedonistic vibe (at least I hope so), but the aesthetics change.

The Mirage is a perfect example of this and its literally transforming as I write. 

With the acquisition of the Mirage by Hard Rock International in December 2022 from MGM, the resort is currently in a transition stage.  

That’s not to say that there’s significant building works or that the property is under construction, not yet anyway. The tweaks have been subtle so far, some rebranding, a change to the Hard Rock Unity rewards program for example.

However, big changes are coming, most notably in the shape of a large guitar-shaped hotel tower proposed on the site of the beloved Mirage volcano.

Indeed, we are now firmly in the 'enjoy it while you can' phase of the Mirage's life. In May 2024, the resort announced it would close on July 17 of the same year to undergo major renovations and rebranding. In May 2027 it plans to reopen under the Hard Rock Brand, similar to their casinos in Hollywood and Tampa.

But for now, the name remains the same, and the operations continue, so I went along to find out what it’s like staying and gambling at the Mirage as of April 2024.

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♦️ Mirage Hotel and Casino Overview

Mirage opened in November 1989 and was the first mega-resort of its kind on the Las Vegas Strip. 

At the time it was the world’s most expensive resort ever built and it paved the way for other designers and developers to build the Vegas landscape that we see today.

What made the property so unique wasn’t just the size and style, but the eclectic mix of attractions and shows it offered too.

With a large artificial volcano as its primary attraction, it provided free nightly shows of blazing fire and tribal drums, which attracted huge crowds. Then there was the animal habitat for dolphins and tigers, along with the infamous Siegfried & Roy magic show. 

The Mirage also housed a large tropical rainforest in its own spectacular atrium and hosted the first Las Vegas Cirque du Soleil show, Nouvelle Expérience, which has created a legacy all of its own.


The Mirage is positioned just north of the centre Strip. To the south is Caesars Palace, while to the north is TI, formerly known as Treasure Island. It’s opposite Harrah’s and the Venetian.

It’s pretty central, but it did take me about seven or eight minutes just to walk past the colossal Caesars Palace complex next door, so bear that in mind. 

Quite bizarrely, I found a free tram service that runs from the Mirage, however, it only actually takes you one stop to the neighbouring property TI. If you want to just go between the two, then it’s ideal, but don’t expect it to take you further than that.

Harrah’s, which is opposite, does have a monorail station though. So, if you want to explore the Strip, you can use the Las Vegas monorail, which runs from MGM Grand to Sahara. A one-day pass costs $15 and you can hop on and off all day. 

The Mirage is in Zone 3 of the fixed rate taxi fee from Harry Reid International Airport so will cost a flat fee of $29 plus tip. Meanwhile, car parking is available on site at a fee of $20 per night.

Quick Info

🪪 Membership required:❌  No, but encouraged 
👔 Dress code:❌  No
🏧 ATMs:✔️ Yes, but with fees
🚘 Parking:✔️ Yes
♿ 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


The Mirage was once famous for its Volcano attraction, but time is running out to see it. It will be closed and demolished soon to make room for a guitar shaped hotel tower. So, if you want to see it, be quick!

🎰 Mirage Casino Review

Walking into the Mirage casino felt like walking into an old friend’s house. There was something so comfortable and welcoming about it. 

Unlike other casino floors, such as the Venetian or Aria where it is a very distinct section of the property, the Mirage casino has somehow interweaved itself into the foundations and fabric of the building.

I didn’t find it particularly flashy or spectacular, but I mean that in a good way. The casino is just there, winding its way around the walkways, restaurants, bars and attractions around it. It’s not remotely overwhelming or intimidating, it’s casual, friendly, and I really enjoyed the retro rock soundtrack overhead. 

The 90,548 square feet of gambling space is around average for a Las Vegas Strip property. The ceilings are low, the carpets are mostly reds and purples, and the main artificial lighting seems to come from the slots themselves. 

However, I loved the large atrium which sits right amongst the casino. The 100-foot-high dome let in loads of natural light, and provided a stunning backdrop of tropical plants and waterfalls to some of my slot wins.   

Table Games Selection

The word is that Hard Rock plans on extending the gaming space further, but for now there’s around 70 live table games available. 

I saw blackjack, baccarat, craps, and three types of roulette, but European Roulette was only available in the high limit lounge.

The Mirage poker room closed when Covid hit in March 2020 and has not reopened. It is not clear whether there are plans for Hard Rock to bring it back. There are poker pit games available though as usual. 

Classic table games:

  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Craps
  • Baccarat
  • Three Card Poker


  • Crapless Craps
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Free Bet Blackjack
  • Let it Ride Poker
  • Ultimate Texas Hold’em

As I went midweek, I found $10 blackjack tables, but I was told that minimums are usually $15 plus at weekends. The first pit of blackjack tables paid 6:5, but there were some higher stakes games offering 3:2.Again, this is quite standard now on the Las Vegas Strip. 


With around 1,000 slot games, Mirage surprised me with how much variety they actually had when it comes to slots. That’s not a huge number for the Vegas mega-resorts, and you will find greater variety in the best online casinos. It’s sufficient, though. 

The only downside I found was that there were sometimes only one or two cabinets of a particular type of game I like, so I had to wait for a player to leave if I really wanted to play it. But, all-in-all, I appreciated the wide range of choice.

I found some old-style three-reel games and a selection of electronic gaming tables. The majority of the slots, though, were modern video games such as:

  • Dragon Link
  • Buffalo
  • Ultimate Fire Link
  • Cash Falls
  • Scarab
  • Regal Riches

I had a bit of luck on the slots during my visit, winning on Cash Falls and Huff n More Puff. That always helps you enjoy it more!

I wasn’t as lucky as the player who scooped a $1.1M jackpot just this week at the Mirage though. Betting $100 spins on Dragon Link, the player won $1,176,880. 

Bar-Top Gaming

Bar-top gaming is offered at the Mirage lobby bar, but it’s quite small, so I opted for the sports bar instead.

If you’re not familiar with bar top games, just pull up a stool, put some money in the slot and choose from the range of games on offer. There’s usually some video poker, blackjack, keno and a limited number of slot games to play.

The good news is you should get complimentary drinks while you play. The bad news is that each casino operates a different system for how they determine when you’re due a comp drink.

It used to be based very much on bartender discretion, but most casinos now operate a green light or ticket system and they don’t exactly advertise it either. I put $20 in and played for around five minutes before I was offered a comped drink. 


If you're not getting comped drinks, ask

The rule in Las Vegas casinos is that if you're playing, you shouldn't be paying. So if you're playing bar-top games and not getting free drinks, ask the bartender. 

Mirage Sportsbook

Despite handing over resort operations to Hard Rock, BetMGM still operates the Mirage sportsbook.

Although more ultra-modern sportsbooks have recently emerged in Las Vegas especially in the brand new casinos (I’m looking at Circa here), I found the Mirage sportsbook still very impressive. It’s still seen as one of THE places to go on the Vegas Strip if you love sports.

I particularly liked the way it takes up a corner position, with wall-to-wall state of the art screens and rows of big comfortable lounge seats. It felt inviting. 

The fact that both the sportsbook bar and California Pizza Kitchen are integrated at the back of the sportsbook also adds a nice touch too.

You can watch the screens from the bar and the pizza kitchen over lunch, while the casino is directly behind you. It all just felt so well laid out and immersive. 

If you want to place bets, you can use one of the BetMGM terminals that are available around the venue. Horseracing fans can enjoy the separate racebook area with designated terminals and six large race screens. 

Waitress Service

If you’re playing in Las Vegas, then you really shouldn’t be paying for drinks. 

Vegas is famous for its waitress service, dishing out comped drinks to gamblers on the casino floor. However, the experience can differ greatly depending on the resort you’re in.

I was offered several drinks at Mirage while playing on the slots. If you’re not sure what to ask for then you can usually get a range of beers, spirits, wines or cocktails.

If you don’t know what they have, just ask, and if you just want water or a soft drink, that’s fine too. 

I found the waitress service to be top-notch at Mirage. The waitresses that served me were friendly, warm and efficient and I ended up refusing a couple of drink offers in the end as they came around that often. 

The trick with waitress service is to always tip well. If I'm just getting water or a soft drink I still tip $1 - $2. For something a little stronger I’ll tip $3 - $5 per drink. It’s still way cheaper than what I would pay at the bar.

The better you tip, the more frequently you’ll get offered the drinks and often the stronger the drinks will come too. Believe me, I’ve learned this from experience. 

I once ordered several vodka Red Bulls in the Mirage and received a full glass of vodka with a full can of Red Bull each time. I had a great night but didn’t sleep a wink for two nights! Still, who goes to Vegas to sleep, right? 

High Limit Gaming at Mirage Casino

As with most Las Vegas casinos, the high-limit slots area in Mirage is just off the main casino and caters for both high and mid-level gamblers. 

I played a little in here, doing $5 spins on Lightning Link and was offered a drink from the waitress while doing so. Because the area is separated off, it definitely felt more exclusive and provided a much more private and quiet gaming experience. 

Many people are intimidated to try the high-limit area, but if you’re comfortable betting at $5 per spin or more, then give it a try. It’s Las Vegas after all so why not enjoy the pazzazz where you can.

High-stakes table games are directly next door to the high limit slot lounge. Here you can play blackjack, baccarat, video poker and European roulette in more sophisticated surroundings.

The high-limit lounge has its own bar serving premium spirits and cocktails and is worth paying a visit if you don’t mind the $100 minimum bet level. Way out of my price range, I must sadly confess.

Cash and Payment Options

When it comes to the casino floor, it’s all about the cash. Whether you’re playing on table games or slots, you play with cash at all times. 

It’s a good idea to get the money out before you arrive at the casino if you can. The Las Vegas Strip is notoriously bad for high ATM fees, which can be up to $10 per withdrawal within the casino. 

I generally bring my planned gambling spend with me and when its gone, its gone (on a bad night) so I’m not tempted to get more out. Obviously, you always hope for a lucky night, but they can’t all be lucky. 

Winnings are also paid out in instant cash unless you hit the millions! Table game chips can be turned into cash at the cage, while slot winnings come out via a TITO (Ticket in, Ticket out) which you then redeem at the cage or a machine. It’s quicker than even the fast payout online casinos.

Outside of gambling spend, Las Vegas is just like everywhere else, and digital payments are used for just about everything. 

91K Sq. Ft Venue
70+ Live Tables
2 Entertainment Spaces
1K Slot Machines
24/7 Always Open

💰 Mirage Casino Bonuses and Promotions

With Hard Rock as the new owners, the Hard Rock Unity rewards program has now been put in place at Mirage.

The good news for members is that because it’s part of a global loyalty program, you can earn and redeem Unity Points at over 150 locations around the world. Not only other Hard Rock hotels but also casinos, cafes, restaurants, and shops as well. 

Sign up to the program at the Unity rewards desk in Mirage, remembering to take along photographic ID. You must be 21 years or older to join.

You’ll then receive your card and you can start earning Unity Points by showing or using your card every time you spend money at Mirage. That means inserting it into a slot machine before you spin or handing it to your table dealer too.

You also earn points by spending in restaurants, bars, shops, and when you pay for your room. Make sure you present your card wherever you spend, so you that you can build up points as you go. 

Although there are several tiers in the program, you don’t need to climb to the top to start receiving benefits. You can get special offers, discounts and even free room comps even at the lowest level.

Better still, your Unity Points can be used like regular dollars in all participating locations. 100 Unity Points converts to $1 USD which you can spend on slot play, dining, drinking and shopping. 

There are four tiers on the program as follows:

  • Star (0 – 3,999 points) – Members only hotel rates, discounts and promotions
  • Legend (4,000 – 14,999 points) – all of the above plus event tickets and point multiplier days
  • Icon (15,000+ points) - all of the above plus priority access and an annual celebration event
  • X (invite only) - all of the above plus personalised host, complimentary valet, exclusive gig tickets and complimentary three-night annual trip 

Should you join Unity?

I always advise joining the rewards program of any casino you play in. The way I see it, if you’re going to be gambling or spending money there anyway, you might as well get something back in return.

Of course, different programs offer varying benefits and sometimes it can feel a little pointless if you don’t have the budget to climb the tiers.

But remember the tiers only give you a status level. They signal the range of benefits you can receive, not how much. And I have always found that I receive good perks, even on the lowest level.

The beauty of Unity is how many outlets are included in the program. Basically, you can earn points at anywhere with a Hard Rock name anywhere in the world. 

It obviously isn’t a huge benefit if you only stay in Vegas as Mirage is the only Strip property currently using this program. But if you venture further afield too, it could work in your favour. 

When it comes to Unity Points, you earn three Unity Points for every $1 spent in any participating cafe and non-casino hotel. While you earn one Unity Point for every $1 spent on all other non-gaming spend in casinos. 

However, the numbers are less transparent when it comes to gambling. Hard Rock states that Unity Points rates differ depending on the casino location and individual game play.

The added benefit of the Unity program is the fact that Unity Points convert to dollars that you can use on restaurants, bars, shops and to access free slot play too. For me, it’s a definite yes. 


Unity is good, but...

Unity is an excellent rewards program to join is you gamble nationwide. However, if you limit your gambling predominantly to Las Vegas, it can be tough to build tier points.  

🛏️ Mirage Las Vegas Hotel and Resort

As I’ve already mentioned, Mirage is undergoing a subtle transition at the moment, but for now it still has some of its original features.

When the Mirage was built it had a Polynesian-theme with the aim of providing a tropical oasis on the bustling Las Vegas Strip. A destination hotel, if you like. 

One of the main features that still exists today is the large domed atrium which sits just off the main hotel lobby. I remember walking into the lobby for the first time and thinking it looked completely stunning but, if I’m honest, a bit out of place.

I had a similar feeling with the large aquarium that fills the full length of the check-in desk too. On reflection, I do think the resort hasn’t had the TLC that it should have had over the last few years. 

It’s original theming has certainly got a little lost and what is left is a mish-mash of stunning individual features, but no overall connecting concept. 

Hard Rock closed Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat as soon as they took over (all dolphins and big cats were rehomed by the way) and the famous Volcano will soon stop erupting too.

With all this being said, I booked a room at the Mirage to see what it’s like to stay there.

Mirage Rooms

The rooms at Mirage are about average in size for Las Vegas. The basic room, a Resort King, is 394 square feet. 

To give an idea against other hotels, it’s smaller than the likes of Bellagio, Aria, Park MGM and MGM Grand but bigger than Paris, Excalibur and Flamingo.

I found my room to be decorated to a good standard, comfortable and very light due to three large window panels. 

Despite the hotel being one of the oldest on the Strip, it has had regular renovations which was evident. I had certainly no complaints in terms of cleanliness or appearance.

As well as a large comfortable bed, there was a wardrobe, cupboard space, and a desk and chair. The furniture was dark wood, making the room look slightly old-fashioned, and there was some very minor wear and tear on the drawers. 

But, other than that, it offered a very pleasant stay, especially as I seemed to get a Strip view room without paying extra. 

There were two downsides to the room. One was the bathroom. This was much smaller than usual for a Strip property and had a combined bath/shower rather than separate ones. It was decorated well though and had marble finishings. 

The second was the walk from the lift to the room. Due to the shape of the resort, the 3,044 hotel rooms are situated along three long sprawling corridors. My room happened to be at the very end of the corridor. 

This was fine on a morning when I’m bright and full of life, but walking back after a long night in the casino did feel like a trek. 

Other than that, the room had all the usual amenities, a TV, safe, iron/ironing board, hairdryer and some Mirage branded toiletries. 

If your vacation companion is a dog, then worry not, Mirage do have dog-friendly rooms. You just have to abide by the conditions in place and pay an additional $100 per night, per dog. 

Mirage Pool

The Mirage pool is, without doubt, one of the best I’ve found in Las Vegas. It is actually where the Polynesian-theme really comes to life.

I have visited the Mirage pool many times and find it to be a completely beautiful and tranquil retreat. The surroundings are stunning, with large palm trees, a huge cascading waterfall and small sunbathing areas like look like islands in the water. 

There’s plenty of free sun beds to be found and there’s lots of secluded areas providing shade and privacy too. Of course, if you want to upgrade your pool experience then you can hire poolside day beds and cabanas too.

You can get food and drinks from The Paradise Café which is situated at poolside, and I can personally recommend the Blue Lagoon cocktail. It’s $16 of heaven. 

An additional adult-only pool is also available at Mirage if this is your preference. Bare Pool Lounge does host private events and pool parties. To avoid any embarrassing incidents, this pool is no longer top-optional FYI. 

One point of note regarding the Mirage pool is that it’s tranquillity may not be lasting. The old Hard Rock Resort in Vegas was famous for its lively party style pool atmosphere at all times of the day, so it feels like there is a good chance Mirage may eventually follow that blueprint too. 


Taste of paradise

Make sure you try the Blue Lagoon cocktail from the poolside Pradise Cafe at the Mirage. You won't regret it!


There’s a small but good selection of bars at Mirage offering both casual and more formal drinks options.

The main ones include: 

  • Centre Bar – immersive central casino bar with handcrafted cocktails  
  • Lobby Bar – small lobby bar with lovely social atmosphere
  • Sportsbook bar– casual bar with great sports views
  • The Still – cool sports bar with a great menu and a fun vibe

The Centre Bar is a hive of activity on weekends, sometimes with live music which spills out into the casino. It can get a little noisy playing at the slots beside the bar, but the casino is big enough for that not to be an issue.

Rhumbar Tropical Ultra Lounge is another option for drinks. It gives off a retro art-deco vibe, and serves signature frozen cocktails, seltzers and jello shots in both the inside bar area and the outside patio. 

I enjoyed both the Sportsbook bar and the Centre Bar when I visited. Both are well-positioned to soak up the casino atmosphere and take a breather in between games. 

Buffets and Restaurants

I found a good mix of restaurants at the Mirage but there aren’t as many as you would find in the more premium Las Vegas resorts.

The most formal restaurant is Heritage Steakhouse, closely followed by Japanese restaurant Otoro. If you prefer Italian cuisine, there’s Osteria Costa.

More casual dining can be found at Diablo’s Cantina, California Pizza Kitchen, and The Still. While cheap eats include Snacks, the Roasted Bean and Starbucks. I have to say, that I have eaten at many places in Las Vegas now and, in my opinion, the cheeseburger at Snacks is probably the best on the entire Strip. 

A lovely little find is the Pantry, situated to the back of the casino. Serving breakfast 24 hours a day, the Pantry is designed to look like a kitchen at home, albeit a very big one. 

I decided to try ‘Pops Buttermilk Pancakes’ with chocolate chips for $17 and it was mouth-wateringly delicious. It gets a big thumbs up from me!

There isn’t a buffet at the Mirage, so if you want to experience a Las Vegas buffet, the closest one is next door at Caesars Palace.

Shows and Entertainment

This is where the transition to Hard Rock really hits home. 

Before the acquisition, I’d be talking about my experiences at Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat and the nightly volcano shows, but obviously both are now closed or closing. (Both were sensational incidentally)

It has also been announced that resident shows The Beatles LOVE by Cirque du Soleil and Shin Lim: LIMITLESS will no longer run past July of 2024 due to major renovation plans for the resort.

It is unclear what will replace these shows, or which other features will remain once redevelopment is completed. However, if you get a chance to see the Atrium and the Aquarium, I suggest you do. 

The Atrium is a truly unique feature in Las Vegas. The large domed space features deep azure lagoons, tall palm trees, cascading waterfalls and exotic tropical blooms. It’s literally right in the middle of the casino so it brings two completely contrasting worlds together. 

Meanwhile, the large aquarium sits directly behind the check-in desk in the hotel lobby. I remember checking in to the Mirage for the first time and being completely surprised it was there. It definitely feels like an overlooked and understated feature of the resort, but it is beautiful. 

The 20,000-gallon salt-water tank is home to around 450 tropical fish from 85 different species and is a sight to behold. 

The Mirage theatre is also on site, hosting regular comedy shows and some musician shows too in a more intimate setting. I once saw Matt Goss here, and it was a fabulous show and venue. 

Finally, if you consider shopping to be an attraction, The Forum Shops at Caesars is directly next door to the Mirage and offers high-end shopping and restaurants in a lavish setting as well as the famous circular escalator.

I will be eagerly awaiting news from Hard Rock about their plans for new shows and entertainment at Mirage in the coming months. 

💭 My Mirage Verdict

Being completely honest, I found my Mirage experience to be a little sad. I really enjoyed playing in the casino, eating at the Pantry and drinking in the bars. And I found my overnight stay to be pleasant too.

But there is a definite feeling of transience in the air. That kind of frozen feeling of waiting for things to change and everything being temporary. But maybe that’s just because I know the old Mirage so well and I’m pensive about whether I’ll love the new resort as much.

However, I do recognise that change is needed and I am looking forward to seeing what is in store.

For now, I see no reason to stop going to Mirage. I will continue to enjoy all that Mirage has to offer, which is quality gaming, great staff, good rooms and a welcoming atmosphere for as long as I can. 

And I will wait to see if Hard Rock can honour the resort by making it as special and unique as it once was, only with a new name.

What I Liked and Didn't Like

Welcoming casino environment
Outstanding pool complex
Atrium feature
Excellent sportsbook
Good casino waitress service
Unity Rewards program
Cheeseburger at Snacks
Didn't like
Transient feeling
Long corridors to rooms
Small bathrooms

Licensing Authorities and Testing Agencies

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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