- Dining, gambling and diversions all off-site
- No full-service restaurant
- Fitness center has no locker room
This all-suites condominium is quieter and more relaxing than most Vegas hotels, yet close to the fun.
Just as the massive Mandalay Bay has the elegant, upscale THEhotel tucked into the hotel for guests who want to stay out of the fray, the massive MGM Grand offers a quiet refuge within the grounds as well. In this case, it's three luxury condominium towers located behind the casino, five pools, lion habitat, celebrity restaurants, Cirque du Soleil theater, and shopping center.
While there isn't much to do around the condos -- three small pools and one sleepy bar, but not even a full-service restaurant -- that's the idea. Guests seek out the Signature for a quiet and relaxed atmosphere that's a five-minute walk from everything that the MGM Grand has to offer. These are opulent apartment buildings next door to pure Vegas spectacle. In exchange for distance from the main hotel, you get far superior service and larger, more comfortable suites that are on par with what you find at Encore or THEhotel.
The three Signature towers are behind the larger MGM Grand complex. An enclosed walkway with moving sidewalks takes guests from the towers to the casino, restaurants, shops and sites at the main hotel -- about a five minute trip. Once you reach the MGM Grand, though, you still face a long walk past the shops, casino and lion habitat to get to the lobby and out the front door. (If you're cabbing it to another casino, have the doorman at the Signature hail one.)
The MGM Grand is located at about the midpoint of the southern half of the 3½-mile-long stretch of hotel-casinos known as the Las Vegas Strip, across from New York, New York and just north of the Tropicana.
Most Las Vegas visitors want to explore all of the big properties along the Strip. Cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3. There's also a monorail system, which stops at MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah's/Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara. A single ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, a cab is often the least expensive option.
Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15.
The rooms, among the most luxurious Vegas, are reason enough to book a room at the Signature. All suites, all modern, and all elegant. The kitchens are fitted with high-end appliances from Sub-Zero, Bosch and Miele.
Among the best features of the Signature at MGM are the three quiet pools, one for each tower. At these small, serene pools, the only sound seems to be the occasional whoosh of the nearby monorail. Hot tubs sit to the side. The small crowd consists mainly of adults sunbathing and reading. While some kids spash around in the shallow ledge on the edge, children may be more interested in the lively 6.6-acre pool complex at the MGM Grand, which is open to all Signature guests. Poolside food and drink service is available, and service is fast.
For families tempted by the MGM's massive pools, lion habitat and kid-friendly restaurants like the Rainforest Cafe -- but turned off by the hectic scene at that 5,000-room hotel -- the Signature is a good compromise. The MGM is a short walk away via an enclosed walkway, and the pool complex is close to the towers. But parents don't have to march kids past a casino to get to the room, and the three small pools on the property are a nice respite from the crowded MGM Grand pools.
The suites, all with kitchens, are well-suited to families. In the junior suite, the couch opens up to a queen-size bed. Cribs are free. Rollaway beds aren't available. Larger families, or anyone who wants to a separate bedroom, can upgrade to the very roomy one- or two-bedroom suites.
The hotel was super clean all around, with the odd exception of the stuffed trash cans in the hall.
The common areas were clean too, with one exception: The trash can near the elevator was jammed with trash all the time. Perhaps guests didn't want to throw away garbage in their own rooms. Pool attendants picked up towels minutes after they were abandoned, and I saw no empty glasses or trash in other public areas.
The only restaurant at the Signaure is Delight, a casual spot for breakfast and lunch.
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