Signature MGM Grand Las Vegas

The standard of accommodation in Las Vegas is vital for the success of this city. The gold triple towers of the Signature MGM Grand is an excellent example of the way that Las Vegas is changing in terms of luxury, affordability and ownership of hotel casino accommodation.

I have been fortunate enough to sample some of the best that Las Vegas has to offer, Bellagio penthouse suites are at a level that make any visitor feel like royalty. Whenever i stay in any hotel room or suite I always compare everything to Bellagio, but always the price is a very important factor and Bellagio burns holes in your wallet if you want to stay for more than a few nights. In years gone by i found it difficult to justify doing long stays in Vegas, because i like luxury, but not if its costing six thousand dollars a week. Then about 6 months after Signature Mgm Grand tower 1 was completed, i booked a 4 night stay to see what it was like. The suite was booked direct through the Signature Mgm Grand themselves as we had no idea that a good chunk of these suites are privately owned. The cost was 400 dollars a night after all the extra additions had been included, cleaning and tax etc. This was half the price of a Bellagio penthouse suite.

My initial reaction on arrival was one of wonder. The Signature towers are very impressive from the exterior, especially when the sunlight is bouncing off all that gold glass, they really do look 21st century. The hotel lobby isn't particularly awe-inspiring, but very functional and the desk staff have proved to be ultra-efficient on every single occasion and full of useful help and advice. The suite itself was the normal 1 bedroom 2 bathroom suite. Every suite seems to be virtually identical in all 3 towers, although they have squeezed in some smaller suites they call junior suites which only have 1 bathroom.

The Signature suites can be described as very modern, spacious and comfortable. They are fully functional as a home away from home. These suites normally have two Lg 37 inch Lcd screens, one in the lounge area and one that rises up out of the bedroom furniture at the flick of a switch. There is also a smaller screen in the main bathroom that can be viewed whilst lazing in the whirlpool bath.

There is a wireless internet facility for every room as standard, this is mostly great for people like myself. I used to beg and borrow American dialup facilities to run at 56k in a hotel for what seemed like years. That hassle has now evaporated with free broadband as standard in most American hotels. The problem with the Signature wireless service is that it is not very reliable. I have had days where there has been virtually no service. I suspect that at weekends when the hotels gets its busiest, there is simply too many people trying to use the same wireless service and it cant cope with the load. I found that it nearly always works great very early in the morning and steadily gets worse as the day progresses. This was fine for me in a few respects. Normally living in a GMT time zone and moving into pacific standard time in 1 day, normally means that it is good to aim at working on a time difference of 4 hours. So instead of waking up at 9am, wake up at 5am, do some internet work and then get out onto the strip or the casinos for 9am. Working this way on a daily basis, makes it a hell of a lot easier reverting back to GMT when you leave Vegas. Trying to go from PST to GMT is very difficult to get over. Going to bed at 8am and waking up at 2 or 3 pm is what your body is trying to do and it takes a few days to get back to some sort of normality again. Operating on your own 4 hour time zone, means its a lot easier to get over the jet lag and slip back into your normal daily routines.

The Signature suites also contain a fully functional kitchen, with the usual American style mega-fridge, sink, oven and microwave. Visitors from the Uk will notice the continual absence of kettles across the entire continent. To British people its extra-ordinary that Americans don't know what a kettle is, but they are a nation of coffee peculators and boiling water and Pg Tips hasn't been invented here yet. My tip, take your own Nescafe and Pg Tips and boil everything with the microwave. Job done.

The whirlpool bath is heavenly. I'm a bloke and not one for pampering myself a lot, that would be just gay of course:), but i found myself in the whirlpool every day. I have had a knee injury from my sporting youth which has plagued me on and off for the last 10 years. Walking for miles around casinos and the shops as you do, causes me chronic grief in my right knee. I found that the whirlpool for half an hour was a magic cure for my ailment and enabled me to walk pain free for many more hours than expected. The shower is spacious and functional too, although i think recent water restrictions have made Las Vegas showers less powerful than they once were.

The bedroom contains a bed that is impossible not to fall asleep instantly in. Ultra comfortable and way better than what you normally sleep in. You tend to lie there for a second or two, reflecting on your adventures in Vegas and then wake up 6 hours later, having no clue what the time was. You have no problem sleeping here. The climate control in every suite also makes it easier to control the temperature of any room including the bedroom if you like it cool at night.

The lounge seating area is very comfortable and you have a nice big coffee table to use as a work desk for your laptops. The Signature also has a rare feature not normally found in Las Vegas, each suite has a balcony. You don't see many people on the balconies though and you hardly ever see anyone leaning over the glass edge either. I swear these balconies wobble and hanging over the edge would induce a more than mild case of the vertigos for most people. The views are mostly excellent. My tip is always reserve a mountain view. These towers are not on the strip, they sit behind MGM and Planet Hollywood and unless you are near the top of the 40 story towers you will not get a great view of the strip. Mountain views are superb from any height, they are particularly awesome at dawn. Watching a sunrise over the Vegas mountains is perfect for putting yourself in a wonderful mood for the day ahead. You are also likely to get a good view of all the aerial activity around Mccarren airport, watching everything land and take-off whether it be 747s', private jets or helicopters, seems to keep your eyes occupied if you are looking out of your suite.

I was worried that the Signature would be a little inconvenient as its not situated on the strip. The reality is, it is better situated than most strip casinos. If you want to get to MGM, next door, you use moving walkways between the two buildings and so it takes only 2 or 3 minutes to go from Signature to Mgm Grand. This leads you to the best part of the location. You are literally steps away from the monorail service. The MGM station is the last stop at the south end of the strip. The monorail is cost effective, efficient and absolutely saves you miles of walking. The monorail gives you the chance to visit as far north as the Sahara Hotel and many other places in between within minutes.

Since my first visit to the Signature Mgm Grand, we have noticed that a large number of the suites are privately owned now. This seems to be the future for Vegas tourist accommodation. The new Mgm City Center complex being built right now adjacent to the Bellagio is going to be mostly privately owned suites in a variety of futuristic and wacky towers. Vegas used to be financed by junk bonds for its building projects, but this is now an extinct method of raising finances and the ownership is now offered to the people to share in capital gains and rental profits that can be achieved with owning luxurious Vegas suites. Most of them are over a million dollars to buy, so this really is testament to the wealth of the American people as thousands of these properties are normally snapped up before they are even built.

The advantage with private ownership is that the nightly rates are not fixed to the same price as the Mgm Grand charge. Most owners offer a 25% discount to the Signature price and we are even booking a mountain view suite shortly with a massive 50% reduction in price. Wow! Now i can stay in Vegas for 2 weeks for the same cost as it used to be for 3 days in the Bellagio! With the opening of Trump Tower near the Fashion Show Mall and Mgm City Center all offering private ownership on suites and the competitive nature of owners trying to sell out their suites, I predict suite prices to stay low or even go lower. The Signature Mgm Grand currently leads the way with its fabulous accommodation, value for money and location. The Mgm City Center will probably top this when it opens in 2009.