Helping to organize two different Las Vegas bachelor parties in a six week period requires a certain level of stamina and pacing. Much as I love Las Vegas, a prior trip for a conference meant I’d visit Sin City three times in less than 100 days, which is considered overexposure by most medical professionals.
Nonetheless, friends only get married once, and I hopped into the fray for two reasons.
First, my Mlife Platinum status – matched from my Hyatt Diamond status – and my track record of visits to Las Vegas meant I could unlock some serious discounts on the sort of large suites appropriate to host large groups.
Second, this represented quite a points-earning opportunity! Not only would arranging the stays help me earn additional tier credits and reward credits with MGM Resorts, it was also an opportunity to double-dip, earning 5 Hyatt points per dollar, followed by a 30% bonus thanks to my Hyatt Diamond status.
With the opportunity to make the trip truly special for friends and to earn a boatload of points to help cover future adventures elsewhere, I set to work.
I determined that the Media Suite at Mandalay Bay would be best suited for the late-April party, given that nearly 20 guests were expected. At 2,170 square feet, it was the perfect size to host a large number of guests. Better yet, a connecting queen room offered two more beds, in addition to the king-size bed and more improvisatory sleeping spaces offered in the suite itself. I booked this suite, as well as a fleet of rooms at the adjacent Delano property, for the party.
What set the Mandalay Bay Media Suite apart from other suites at the resort and all along the Strip was not just its size, but its unique appointments. As you might guess from the name, a key feature of the room was a giant theater room, featuring a 65” LED TV, surround sound system, and racks of equipment responsible for controlling sound and video throughout the suite. Other TVs were also located in the bedroom, the bar area, and embedded inside the master bathroom mirror, with additional speakers located in the living room area, as well.
Walking into the suite was an experience unto itself, given the absurdly oversized foyer area, itself the size of less impressive hotel rooms.
A small half-bath could be found up here as well, a key feature when entertaining a large group.
Two massive spaces for entertaining can be found within the suite; the first being the media room, with its booming sound, large display and giant lounge, perfect for vegging out after a long day or night on the Strip.
The media room connects to the main living space, offering a high-top dining table, large sectional and several additional seating options.
Tall windows offered a combination of beautiful views. Though not facing the Strip, the location of Mandalay Bay meant prime airport watching was possible all day, which was a huge treat for an aviation geek like myself. To non-nerds, an excellent view of the pool and beach area of the resort was also available to those looking down.
Alongside the main living space was a wet bar with both refrigerator and mini-bar on hand. Thanks to the room’s design, serving drinks while still feeling like part of the conversation was easy.
Next to the wet bar, a small alcove also offered a desk, just in case someone accidentally found themselves working instead of enjoying the other amenities the suite had to offer.
The master bedroom was nicely sized, located just to the left of the wet bar, offering all the standard amenities of a room at Mandalay Bay.
The master bathroom, however, was an entirely different animal. Located past an expansive, turning walkway, separate shower and bathing areas were on hand, along with a dual-vanity and separate toilet area.
Overall, the Media Suite was a fantastic choice, and never felt crowded, even when two dozen people were on hand for the party. Mandalay Bay itself was also fantastic. Its beach, pool and cabana areas felt like an oasis apart from the bustle of the Strip. However, this gets to the heart of the problem with Mandalay, as well: it’s just a bit too remote for a crew anxious to explore everything Las Vegas has to offer.
Transport from Mandalay Bay northwards on the Strip either requires a taxi or riding a free monorail past the Luxor to Excalibur. At that point, a sky bridge can take you to New York New York, and then on to Monte Carlo, or MGM Grand. However, even at this point, you’re very much at the southern end of the Strip, and even a fast walker with lucky timing catching a monorail that runs rather slowly will take at least 15-20 minutes to get just from Mandalay Bay to New York New York.
With that in mind, whether Mandalay Bay and its exceptional Media Suite are right for your large event comes down to what you’re looking to accomplish. If you’d like to assemble a large group in a great resort environment, while retaining access to one of the world’s best arrays of dining and entertainment choices, the Media Suite is a fantastic choice. If you really want to be at the very heart of the action, though, you might be best off looking at somewhere more centrally located on the Strip.
So, which would I choose in the future? Either of them. Both the Media Suite at Mandalay and the Hospitality Suite at Mirage presented fantastic value in a way that only Las Vegas can. Rooms of this size and scope in any other destination could easily cost thousands of dollars per night, while my Mlife Platinum membership brought our cost down to $395.50 the first night and $528.50 for each of the next two nights. Other rooms for the large party to sleep in came to an average of about $146 per night, also excellent for a weekend during peak travel season. There’s a reason Las Vegas is such a popular travel destination for reunions, bachelor parties, and business events: there’s nowhere else in the US that offers quite the same value, or range of options, that are possible in America’s playground.