WOW! Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas is Killer! I’m staying here with a friend from NYC while he is attending PromaxBDA Conference. In the Corporate Suite. With a very generous expense account! In a coincidence, I’ll be working next door at the T-Mobile Arena as a Stand In for the National Hockey League Awards the next couple days.
I asked my roommate to drop me off on his way to work in Downtown Summerlin. The hotel is located next to Aria and Vdara in CityCenter, owned by MGM Resorts on the Las Vegas Blvd/Strip. We pulled into Aria and noticed the very small entry way all the way to the left with “Mandarin Oriental” above it. It would be very easy to miss. So as soon as you pull in, get into the immediate left lane. If I was driving, I’m not sure I’d see the opening, but since I was riding in passenger seat, I was able to Co-Pilot for the driver. That is a VERY busy intersection. I assume if you missed entrance, you could loop all the way around Aria and Vdara and there might be some crazy, backdoor way, but I don’t know.
I called ahead of time to make sure I could check in early Sunday afternoon, before the usual 4 pm check in time. The Front Desk/Check In is on the 23rd Floor. They were more busy than usual and hadn’t had time to turn over my assigned room yet. They did offer me a Handicap Room, but it didn’t have a tub and that is one of my requisites. I love to soak in the tub – and Mandarin Oriental has ginormous tubs! I love anything to do with the water. So they put me in a temporary room until another room (with ginormous tub) was available – in another hour or 2. I wanted to get a workout in, so I told them that would be fine and wouldn’t mess up the “temporary” room.
I completed the Check In process, they gave me a couple of waters and walked me to my room. I’ve never been walked to my room before, but I’m glad they did. There are 2 banks of elevators, so you can’t go directly from the Lobby Entrance to your room. At first, I thought that was weird, but then saw it as a Safety Feature. You have to use your room key to hit the floor button – elevator doesn’t move/room floor button light up – without first touching your room key to the button. That makes it that much harder for uninvited guests to get to your floor. You also have to place your room key on the round metal disk on the door to get into your room. I was grateful the Hotel Worker explained all this to me while she was showing me to the room.
We got to the room and she showed me how to use the key. She said my room should be ready in 2 hours or so. I set my bags down, changed into workout gear and hit the gym on the 8th floor.
There is a decent size, clean gym with mostly cardio machines and a few free weights. Inside the locker room are lockers with a keyless lock system, towel service, showers and a wet sauna room. These bathrooms are also accessible to the pool, but it is so crazy hot outside, I didn’t go to the pool.
To loosen up, I usually sit in the dry sauna for 5 min at my 24 Hour Fitness Gym before working out. But this time, I sat in the wet sauna. It had lights in the ceiling, eucalyptus in the steam, and relaxing music.
All the treadmills overlook the pool and the Las Vegas Boulevard. Great motivation. I did 30 min and was just moving onto the free weights when Check In called and said my room was ready.
I got my bags out of the temporary room, went to Check In, exchanged keys and walked to the permanent room/suite. My friend is a “Suit” with a major media company and he is in town for ProMaxBDA Conference. He is the perfect roommate – he is never in the room. 😉 He is always at corporate functions/dinners/yada. So he allows me to stay in the room as a Staycation – with his fat expense account. I have no problem with that arrangement. :o)
It was a ginormous corporate suite. I didn’t ask how much the room normally goes for, but this thing was massive – and I have no problem with that.
During the day, I’m watching the Lift Off Summit – an online conference about WooCommerce. After planning for over a year, I’ll be launching CraftYada in the next week or 2 where my online videos will teach people in the Entertainment Business how to build a WordPress website for their career. I’m also planning the LIVE! version where I will physically travel around the country and teach this in person.
Okay, back to Mandarin Oriental. After dealing with all this Vegas summer heat, wet sauna, cardio, gym, switching rooms I was exhausted and laid down for an hour or 2. I normally can’t sleep in the middle of the day, but I had no problem that day – being surrounded in luxury.
After I woke up, I took a long bath in the tub. Look at that tub! Mandarin Oriental has a large bowl of Sea Salts for the bath. Not the drug. I didn’t eat my arm or anything. 😉 I wish they had instructions nearby, like “Use 1-2 scoops”. I googled it and it recommended that amount. Since this was a larger tub, I added an extra scoop into the water as it was filling up.
The soap and lotions were made by Atelier Cologne with grapefruit (mainly) and other trace amounts of citrus. It was intoxicating. Such a nice clean/pick-me-up scent.
There was a TV in the bathroom mirror. I turned it onto an Oriental music channel that was incredibly soothing and relaxing.
After soaking for an hour or so, my friend called from the airport saying the plane was landing. So I got out and put some of the awesome grapefruit/citrus lotion on.
For dinner, we walked to Todd English PUB next door in the Shops at Crystals. I got a Cobb Salad with no onions. I’m allergic to onions. As I’ve gotten older, I can’t eat them any longer. When I was a kid, I used to love onion rings. Not anymore. I wish I could. Onions are so clean and healthy, but they now upset my stomach. In the past, I could eat around them/pick them out of my food. Now I have to remember to say, “No Onions” or else I can’t eat the dish.
After eating and walking outside in the heat, I crashed early since I had to get up early for the Lift Off Summit and my friend had to go the convention at the Mirage. I crashed on the couch – which is bigger than my bed at home (and more comfortable).
Breakfast was very good Monday morning at the MOzen Bistro inside the Mandarin Oriental. We had the Breakfast Buffet with all kinds of pastries, granola and fruit, yogurt with fruit topping, scrambled egg whites, bacon, potatoes. The multigrain croissants are mouth-watering and I tried several different kinds of freshly squeezed fruit juices. I try not too eat too much at each meal, but I couldn’t stop. Everything was scrumptious.
I was so full from breakfast I skipped lunch and powered thru my videos from the Lift Off Summit. Early evening, I went to the gym and had a light workout/cardio. Of course, I had to sit in the wet sauna room and then soak in the tub with sea salts and then lotion.
My friend had some corporate function that night, so I went to the MOzen again for dinner, I had the Pad Thai with shrimp and chicken and it was Off the Hook! Man, I wish every day could be like today! The Quinoa salad was good, but not my favorite. However, the Avocado Dressing was awesome. I love anything with avocados.
I went to bed early so I could get up and watch more videos before going to work late afternoon next door at the gorgeous new T-Mobile Arena as a Stand In on the National Hockey League Awards.
But first, another quick 30 min cardio at the gym. I walked by Front Desk on way to/from and they gave me bottles of water. I love places that do that.
My good friends Anna Wendt (who writes the Hollywood Underdog blog) and Karen Wendt picked me up on their way into work. I would normally just walk the 2 blocks to the T-Mobile Arena, but I didn’t want to get all gross and sweaty walking in this Vegas summer heat at 130pm. Call time is 230pm, but we always get to work early.
My New Year’s resolution a few years ago was to never be late again – to always get there early. I got that bad habit from my Mom. I love her, but that is not good. She is famous for always being late – always. Yes, she had to make sure us 3 boys and Dad were ready, but … After many years, I have finally broken the habit. That is a huge deal to Production that not many actors take seriously.
I still bartend events occasionally and sometimes they give me bottles of booze as a tip. I like to give them out to friends for helping me out. When I was talking with Anna, we realized we both like dirty Vodka Martinis (with olive juice) with bleu cheese stuffed olives. So I gave both Anna and Karen a bottle of New Amsterdam Vodka with a bottle of bleu cheese stuffed olives as a Thank You. Anna referred me to Dick Clark Productions when I was a Stand In for Drake at the 2017 Billboard Music Awards and I wanted to thank her.
After working with many Stand In friends at the NHL Awards, I treated myself to Miso Soup (no onions/scallions) and Shrimp/Avocado/Crab sushi roll. Man, I wish every day could be like today. Sadly, I have to check out in the morning. 930am Call time, so we plan to get there at 9am.
When the lovely Wendt sisters picked me up, I gave them soaps and lotions from the hotel. They squealed.
In the next blog post, I will write about working on the NHL Awards in more detail.
Back to reality. Mandarin Oriental, I will miss your 1000 count bed sheets, your 8’x4′ tub, your turn down service…
Seriously, if you need a break from reality, I HIGHLY recommend Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas. A little pricy, but oh so worth it. My birthday is coming up soon (July 15), I might have to go to their Afternoon Tea as a birthday present to myself. Let me know if you would you like to join me. Have you ever been to the Mandarin Oriental? Tell me your experience below.