How Mandalay Bay lost it's way with THEhotel
The customer is not the star at THEhotel.
In the past decade Vegas has returned to it's roots. The Cheapo Vegas of the 70s has made way once again for the town that Bugsy envisioned; A town of opulence, grandeur and service. It is now not uncommon to check into a hotel on the strip and find yourself staring at an original Warhol, Picasso or a Rothko. Older properties are making way for luxury towers complete with cushy beds and turkish towels, making everyone feel special, making them feel like they have a piece of the pie.
However, when you give out pie to everyone else, what happens to the people who want to show that they can still afford to buy the pie? The answer? The boutique hotel. The hotels that give people something to feel more special about.
The boutique translates to smaller properties, larger suites and big screen televisions. In the boutique hotels, the customer is not only always right, but can make demands far beyond any normal person could even imagine. Make a call down to the bell desk and ask someone to wipe your ass, and ideally someone should come running to your suite with a roll of ultra soft Charmin, 3 ply deep. That is the kind of service Bugsy envisioned.
THEhotel is Mandalay Bay's answer to the boutique hotel. There are no singles in this tower; each room is suite, complete with a separate bedroom, double shower and deep tub and an in-bathroom flat screen TV. The rooms also cater to the business traveler as apparent by the huge printer/copier combo that takes up close to half the desk available in the living room. The rest of the suites are well appointed with a stocked mini wet bar filled with more than just your average peanuts and M 'n Ms. Expect to see some high-end hootch in these suites.
The bath products are hands down the best I have ever encountered in any hotel I have ever visited. THEhotel stocks each suite with a nice set of toiletries from Gilchrist and Soames of London. The products themselves are sold in the gift shop downstairs and I still regret not picking up a shampoo and hair balm set to use at home, especially after I vowed never to set foot on this property again after our experience there. Finding the same set has proven difficult on the internet.
The property itself is gorgeous, using a color palette of rich browns and earthy shades of beige. Upon entering the lobby the first thing to catch ones eye is the massive 2 million year old naturally formed crystal on display to let everyone know that this is not your run-of-the-mill hotel. It is beautiful and organic, which can lead some to expect the same from the hotel.