Review: Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection – Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino (Las Vegas, NV)


Review: Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection – Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino (Las Vegas, NV)

Editor’s Note: The following review is of Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection [as utilized at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas]. This post is not a complete review of the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino. 

After my previous disappointing experience with Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC) at the Aria Resort and Casino, I was determined to give it another try. Indeed, LHRC is a valuable travel-hack for staying in Las Vegas, but what would be my experience with LHRC this time at Mandalay Bay?

About The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection:

How To Use It

To use the LHRC program, you’ll need a premium Chase credit card that grants you access. Cards known to work include the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Business Ink Cash, and United Mileage Plus Explorer cards.

(Other Chase cards like the Ritz-Carlton card or the British Airways cards may work as well – to know for sure, check their eligibility by using the card to sign in on the LHRC website).

The Benefits Of The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection

Chase’s The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection is a little used benefit – but sometimes it can provide tremendous value. The perks of the program include the following 5 benefits:

  • Daily breakfast for two
  • A special benefit unique to each property
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • A room upgrade, if available
  • Early check-in and late check-out, if available

The Benefits Vary By Property – But Mandalay Bay’s Benefits Are Among LHRC’s Best:

Mandalay Bay’s “special benefit unique to each property” is a $25 per person breakfast credit AND a $100 Food and Beverage Credit. So for two people, this benefit is worth $150 at minimum!

Review: Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection – Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino (Las Vegas, NV)

Although I have partied and dined there many times in the past, for some reason I’ve never stayed at Mandalay Bay. As such, I was excited to see what kind of overall experience the LHRC would provide.

For reference on the LHRC’s benefits at Mandalay Bay, I have provided the official email excerpt below:

(LHRC email explaining the Mandalay Bay benefits)

The Check-in: The Invited Guest Line

Upon arrival at the front desk, I found the “regular line” was not long at all (perhaps 6 people), but I wanted to try out the “invited guest” check-in benefit.

The invited guest line is located to the left of the front desk (around the corner). This line was empty and I was helped right away.

The front desk staff noticed immediately that I booked through the LHRC program, and thanked me for choosing Mandalay Bay. He asked for my M Life and Hyatt membership numbers so I could receive full credit.

Rating: 10 out of 10 points for Mandalay Bay’s treatment of “invited guests” and for knowing about the LHRC Program.

The Check-in: The $150 In Food Credits

This lucrative benefit of $150 in credits was the single biggest reason for me booking through the LHRC program.

Without me having to inquire about it, the front desk staffer said, “sir, I have a letter in the back for you, let me get it”. He handed me this letter:

The gentleman at the front desk was quick to point out the letter had the wrong program name, as well as another key difference in the program from the email [above] – the breakfast credit was now redeemable at the Sea Breeze Cafe.

He also mentioned that although the letter said “$100 Spa Credit”, it could actually be used as a “Food and Beverage” credit as well. “Just bill it to your room to receive full credit” he said.

Rating: 10 out of 10 points for Mandalay Bay’s informed and attentive explanation of how and where to use the programs credits.

The Check-in: The Room Upgrade

My room was initially booked as a Resort Queen Room, Strip or Mountain View. The benefit stated: “room upgrade upon availability”.  Again, without me having to ask for it, the front desk attendant notified me that I would be upgraded to a room with a “strip view”.

Rating: 10 out of 10 points for the automatic upgrade to a room with a view.

The Resort Queen Room (Strip View):

The Strip View (with Pelican):

Using the $100 Food and Beverage Credit

The only problem I had with the food and beverage credit was figuring out which Mandalay Bay restaurant to use it at.

Ultimately, we chose the restaurant that seemed to be the most “packed” that night, Lupo by Wolfgang Puck. Although it was crowded, we were seated immediately.

The dining experience at Lupo was great. Known for its light Italian fare, we went with the [night’s special] Braised Short Ribs and Chicken Parmesan, with some wine and cocktails to wash it all down.

To my surprise, we didn’t even end up using the entire $100 credit at Lupo, as there was a little left over for Starbucks the next morning.

Rating: 10 out of 10 points for the upscale dining experience at Lupo.

Using the $25 Per Person Breakfast Credit

The next morning we headed down to the Sea Breeze Cafe. Sea Breeze was at about 75% capacity and we were seated right away. This was the standard casino resort cafe dining experience, though the ambiance of the restaurant was bright and quite nice.

I was hoping to try the house-made corned beef hash, but it was totally sold out by 8:30 am. Instead, we went with pancakes and the bagel and smoked salmon – both were excellent choices.

We again struggled to spend the full $50 credit, so I ordered an espresso drink to go.

Rating: 8 out of 10 points for breakfast at the Sea Breeze (the slight ding only because the house coffee wasn’t that great).

The Check-out: Guaranteed 2:00 pm Check-out

After the breakfast (and hitting the casino one last time), we relaxingly made for the check-out desk at about 1 pm. I skipped the regular line again by using the “invited guest” line.

As I combed over the final folio, the front desk employee notified me that I still had some credit left on my account and recommended I use it up on lunch (to-go) at Citizen’s Kitchen and Bar.

I told him I’d be brushing up on the 2 pm check-out time, but he said don’t worry about it – he’d remember me when I came back.

Rating: 10 out of 10 for the Late Check-out. This was simply amazing service.

The Check-out: The Final Folio Invoice

I grabbed lunch then headed back to complete my check-out. Turns out Mandalay Bay actually comped the small overage I had at Citizen’s! Not to mention, my folio bill was 100% correct [the first time around].

When all was said and done, the final bill was $205.90 (which included the resort fee of $35, taxes, and tips). With the $150 in LHRC credits, the net cost for the entire stay was: $205.90 – $150 = $55.90. Amazing!

Rating: 10 out of 10 points for Mandalay Bay’s correct folio billing and exceptional customer service.

The Bottom Line Review: Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection – Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino

What a difference a day – and a change in hotels – makes. Considering the very disappointing experience I had at Aria, Mandalay Bay was a breath of fresh air. Everything done wrong with the LHRC program at Aria was done perfect at Mandalay Bay. The difference was so stark, it’s astonishing these hotels are under the same corporate roof.

The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection at Mandalay Bay was everything I had hoped for as it truly enhanced the experience and value of the stay.

My final rating of the Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection experience at Mandalay Bay was a resounding 10 out of 10 due to Mandalay Bay’s masterful execution of the LHRC program.

Next Time: Trying Out American Express’s Fine Hotels & Resorts Program In Las Vegas

Having tried Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection at different Las Vegas Hotels, I wanted to see how that program compared against American Express’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program. Stay tuned.