I’m trying to catch up on all the goals I set out to accomplish, one of which was staying at all 12 MGM properties in Las Vegas (in recognition of the Hyatt/MGM partnership) and reviewing them. Catching back up now with the next review in the series.
The 12 properties (with past and future reviews) are:
- MGM Grand
- THEhotel at Mandalay Bay
- Monte Carlo
- Signature at MGM Grand
- New York New York
- Mandalay Bay
The Signature at MGM Grand is essentially a timeshare property run like a hotel. It’s location just off the Strip in between MGM Grand and Planet Hollywood is ideal for people looking to save money and be close to all that Vegas has to offer. It has the added benefit of having an entrance on Harmon Avenue, so you can get to it via car without having to hop on the Strip.
I had a rental car during this trip and was stopped briefly at the gate while they verified my reservation. There didn’t appear to be any self parking to speak of, though there was a valet stand at the tower I was staying in as well as the other 2. Each building has its own check-in desk in the lobby. The lobby is spacious and was empty each time I walked through. There’s very little here that will remind you you’re in Las Vegas (like slot machines). The check-in process was quick. Just for grins I asked if there were upgrades available. The check-in agent gave me a bit of an odd look which answered the question for me. The website lists all rooms as “suites”, essentially a studio, 1BR and 2BR, so I wasn’t really expecting an upgrade. 😉
The elevators were located close by and I was in my room on a high floor shortly thereafter. The furnishings are nice, certainly understated for Vegas. They reminded me of upgraded furnishings I purchased when I bought a new townhouse years ago. There was nice wood trim and stainless steel in the kitchen and comfortable, modern furniture in the living room. Having essentially a full kitchen makes this a good target hotel for families to save money by eating some meals in the room. The living room also has a pull-out sofa bed if you need a place to sleep the kiddos.
I was going to be spending most of my time in meetings during this trip, so I didn’t even turn on the TV or check to see if there was a stereo in the room. However, the living room had plenty of space to relax, though no desk to work at.
Walking into the bedroom, I found the desk. This was probably the only part of the room that disappointed me. The chair was pretty tough to sit at for working at the desk. The bed was extremely comfortable and the room was quite spacious.
Another thing you won’t find frequently in Las Vegas are balconies (Cosmopolitan does, you can see my review of that property here, though you may want to wait given the recent fire). Maybe they don’t want you doing anything rash after losing a bunch of money in the casino?). It appears that all the rooms have balconies, with one side of the building having a full strip view and the other side having a partial strip view. Oddly, off to one side (away from the Strip) was a curious set of buildings that looked like a movie set. The very first time I ever visited Vegas I stayed at MGM Grand. Back then there was a theme park attached to the hotel, which is the land the Signature now occupies. Maybe a remnant of the amusement park?
The bathroom was nicely appointed and very straight forward. Again, not too dissimilar to a dozen townhouse model home bathrooms I remember from house hunting years ago. Understated for Vegas but nice and big by hotel standards.
Each tower has its own pool. They’re certainly small by Vegas standards but considering that this isn’t where the sun worshippers and party folks are staying, I’m guessing the pools don’t get overcrowded. The gym was never crowded during my stay. It’s one of only two fitness centers on property but I never had a problem finding an open piece of equipment. The equipment itself is a generation old but everything was in working order when I was there.
From tower 3 where I was staying, MGM Grand was a decent walk if you’re not into that kind of thing, but I was able to walk there in less than 15 minutes. I’m guessing you could request tower 1 to give yourself a shorter walk if you wanted to be able to go back and forth for restaurants, gambling or getting to the Strip. Here’s a diagram of the property:
Bottom Line It For Me, Ed
In any other city, Signature at MGM Grand would seem like a nice, clean hotel. My room showed no signs of wear and tear, housekeeping did a good job making it up every day, and the only way I knew I was in Vegas was if I went out on the balcony and looked at the Strip. Because of the level of opulence at some properties, Signature can seem like you’re not really “staying in Vegas”. But, all the restaurants, shows and gambling are a short walk or taxi cab ride away.
For a strictly business trip, I enjoyed the short walk to my room (some of the casinos can be a pretty decent hike from the front door to your room) and to the fitness center. I also enjoyed that the property was quiet. If I was there to gamble, I’d probably choose a different property for convenience, but the rates I’ve seen at Signature are pretty attractive given the amount of space you get.
The property is a Category 5 hotel in the Hyatt Gold Passport program, which means 20,000 points per night. If you’re considering using points, Mandalay Bay and Vdara are both Category 5 as well. Vdara is the same sort of property as Signature with kitchens, living rooms and no casino, but much more upscale.
As always, though, make sure you shop around for price before redeeming points. Plenty of cheap rooms to be had in Vegas.