Heading to Las Vegas for a wedding, party, show and need five or more rooms?

MGM Resorts launched a new service for Las Vegas trip planners called MGM Resorts Connections. You can arrange hotel rooms, restaurant reservations and parties, shows and events through MGM Resort Connections. Best of all is the group leader who arranges for at least five hotel rooms receives a complimentary upgrade to M Life Gold.

If traveling with a group and reserving at least five guestrooms (yep, only five rooms) – whether for a bachelor or bachelorette party, golf getaway, family reunion, special birthday or just to get away with loved ones or people you like a lot, you can work with a dedicated MGM Resorts Connections professional at no cost to personalize and make all the arrangements for a stress-free, unforgettable vacation.

M life Gold benefits

Here are just a few of the perks of MGM Resorts Connections:

  • Skip Check-in Lines: MGM Resorts Connections allows guests to avoid check-in lines; the group leader can pick up everyone’s room keys directly from the concierge upon arrival.
  • Party Pass: MGM Resorts Connections takes groups to the front of the line with VIP wristbands to the world’s greatest nightlife and daylife experiences. Each room booked at MGM Grand receives two complimentary wristbands for the hottest parties in town at Hakkasan and WET REPUBLIC.
  • Best Table in the House: Groups can enjoy the top table and most luxurious private dining rooms at the best restaurants on The Strip such as Jean Georges Steakhouse at ARIA, Julian Serrano’s award-winning Picasso at Bellagio, or Michael Mina’s PUB 1842 at MGM Grand.
  • Enjoy Shows Together: There’s no more worrying about reserving great seats all together at popular shows such as Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil at Mandalay Bay. Special ticket pricing for groups also is available.
  • Discounts: Whether you are an existing member of MGM Resorts’ free rewards program, M life, or sign up for it this trip, you will have insider access to M life discounts for hotel stays.
  • Instant VIP: Group leaders automatically advance to the third level of M life, the Gold Tier, as a thank you for booking their vacation through MGM Resorts Connections. This means the next time they visit Las Vegas, they’ll enjoy perks such as access to priority hotel check-in lines, priority dining reservations and discounts on shopping.

MGM Resorts Connections

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Apparently the flash sale has already started since I booked a 25,000 points per night reward reservation at the Venetian in the last minute and it is only 7:58am EST on March 10.

From 12 noon EST March 10 for 24 hours you can book a suite at The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas at 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points, a 50% discount from the standard reward night rate.

The Palazzo – InterContinental Alliance Resort

The Venetian – InterContinental Alliance Resort

You will still have to pay the $25 per night resort fee for reward stays.

The Venetian and the Palazzo are two separate hotel buildings with a resort pool complex located between them. The sister properties operate as the largest hotel by rooms in the world with 7,117 rooms. These properties are all suites resorts.

These two Las Vegas resort hotels became part of IHG Rewards Club as InterContinental Alliance Resorts in April 2011. That alliance seemed to kick off an alliance between Las Vegas casinos and major hotel chains with Hyatt-MGM and Starwood Caesars partnerships.

Stay dates are March 10 to December 28 with some dates blacked out:

Blackout Dates

  • 3/25/2015, Wed
  • 3/26/2015, Thu
  • 3/27/2015, Fri
  • 4/14/2015, Tue
  • 4/15/2015, Wed
  • 5/3/2015, Sun
  • 5/18/2015, Mon
  • 5/19/2015, Tue
  • 5/23/2015, Sat
  • 5/24/2015, Sun
  • 5/29/2015, Fri
  • 5/30/2015, Sat
  • 6/19/2015, Fri
  • 6/20/2015, Sat
  • 8/17/2015, Mon
  • 9/5/2015, Sat
  • 9/18/2015, Fri
  • 9/19/2015, Sat
  • 9/28/2015, Mon
  • 9/29/2015, Tue
  • 10/6/2015, Tue
  • 10/7/2015, Wed
  • 11/2/2015, Mon
  • 11/3/2015, Tue
  • 11/4/2015, Wed

IHG flash sale venetian

Related Loyalty Traveler Posts

Loyalty Traveler – The Palazzo Las Vegas Pools (April 28, 2011)

Loyalty Traveler – The Palazzo Las Vegas Bella Suite (April 27, 2011)

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IHG Rewards Club tweeted The Venetian and Palazzo Las Vegas for 25,000 IHG Rewards Club points per night at a 24 hour flash sale set for Thursday, October 30, 2014 at noon EDT for 50% off reward nights.

IHG Venetian Oct 30 half-off rewards

The deal here is 25,000 points is a good value, especially for weekend nights when rates are far higher than weekdays at these Las Vegas resorts. There are likely capacity controls to the number of reward nights each date, so plan to be ready at noon eastern time if you want a weekend reward night points discount for The Venetian or the Palazzo.

These two Las Vegas resort properties are InterContinental Alliance Resorts affiliated with IHG Rewards Club. Both Las Vegas properties are adjacent to each other and share swimming pools. The hotels feature rooms that are about twice the size of a standard hotel room.

IHG Palazzo

Normal price for a reward night at The Venetian or The Palazzo is 50,000 points per night with IHG Rewards Club. The 50% discount rate reduces the reward night cost to 25,000 points per night on October 30, 2014.

Loyalty Traveler related posts:

The Palazzo Las Vegas Bella Suite

The Palazzo Las Vegas Pools

IHG 48 hour sale at 600 hotels in Europe October 31, 2014


Ric Garrido of Monterey, California is writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler.

Loyalty Traveler shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests. Check out current hotel loyalty program offers across all the major chains in Loyalty Traveler’s monthly hotel promotions guide.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed.

Staying in Las Vegas?

Caesars Palace, Mandalay Bay, Venetian and The Cosmopolitan are some of the Las Vegas casino resorts where hotel loyalty program members with Starwood, Hyatt, IHG and Marriott can earn hotel loyalty points and burn points for award stays.

Las Vegas, with nearly 40 million visitors in 2012, is a leading destination in the USA and more than 1 in 6 visitors to Las Vegas is from another country. Visitors to Las Vegas consumed 46 million hotel room nights in 2012, more hotel nights than any other U.S. city.

Las Vegas casino hotels in recent years have established partnerships for earning and burning loyalty points through mainstream hotel chain programs. InterContinental Alliance Resorts was created in 2010 partnering Sands-owned properties The Venetian and The Palazzo with IHG Rewards Club. The Cosmopolitan opened as a Marriott Autograph Collection property in December 2010. The M life partnership between MGM Resorts and Hyatt Hotels announced in summer 2013 placed many of the premier Strip resorts like Bellagio, Mandalay Bay and MGM Grand as Hyatt Gold Passport properties for earning points and redeeming award nights. Hilton HHonors shed some of its former casino hotel properties while expanding its Hilton Grand Vacations Club timeshares in Las Vegas.

Tapping into hotel loyalty preferences of visitors to Las Vegas is a win-win for casino resort operators who gain new customers and hotel program loyalty members who can earn and burn hotel loyalty points for Las Vegas hotel stays.

Starwood Preferred Guest (SPG) and Caesars Total Rewards

The newest major chain partnership in Las Vegas effective January 9, 2014 pairs Starwood Hotels and Caesars Entertainment

Read More…

Discovery Channel Shark Week and Snuffy the Seal

This week is Shark Week on Discovery Channel. ‘Snuffy the Seal’ commercial for Shark Week caught Kelley’s attention. Kelley is an animal lover and still she enjoyed the commercial. Apparently there has been some backlash to poor Snuffy getting munched by a great white shark on live commercial TV.

Shark attacks were on the rise in sea otter deaths as reported in last year’s California sea otter census. The 2012 numbers from the U.S. Geological Survey gave a population index of 2,792 sea otters. This is up from 2,711 in 2010.

Sea otter strandings are sick, injured and dead sea otters found along the coast each year. There was an increased observance of shark bites in 335 ‘stranded’ sea otters in 2011. It is estimated that fewer than 50% of dead sea otters end up on the beach to be found by humans.

Recovery Slows for California’s Sea Otters, 2012 Survey Shows – August 21, 2012.

I mention the sea otter population in California suffering increased shark bites as a reminder that life in the ocean is a real cycle of life and death. Last night I heard the sea lions barking in Monterey Bay. I live near the ocean in Central Coast California. There have been a few surfer injuries and fatalities from great white shark attacks in these waters the past few years.

I heard a photographer for shark week videos say the Snuffy the Seal commercial was based on a real-life event in California, but I have been unable to locate the historical occurrence.

Marine Mammal Research Center, Sausalito, California is a real-life organization since 1975 doing rescue work for marine mammals like seals, sea lions and whales. They rescue animals that can be saved in the way portrayed in the Discovery Channel Shark Week commercial of a Snuffy the Seal, without the shark attacks.

Shark Reef Mandalay Bay

So without further ado, I bring you the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay where Kelley and I toured for free a couple weeks back courtesy of my M life Noir Card. I don’t know if M life Platinum gets the same benefit. I would not have known the Shark Reef was free if not for my M life secret angel giving me a clue about the unpublished benefits of M life black card holders.

Shark Reef Admission fees July 2013

  • Adults = $18
  • Seniors (age 60+ years) = $16
  • Children (5-12) = $12
  • Children (4 and under) = free


Las Vegas street kids after midnight (a rant on the side before my feature shark article in this post).

The first thing I have to say is that the children ‘4 and under’ can be a drag on the Shark Reef experience. Little kids are so loud.

The same day I went to Shark Reef, late at night after the Hyatt Gold Passport/M life launch event, Kelley and I walked Las Vegas Strip when it was over 100F on the hot street at midnight.

I was wondering how I can ever work this into a blog post and I think I just found the opening. Here is my Las Vegas after party story.

Kelley and I had a big buzz from the MGM Grand Mansion party and we worked out the energy by walking outside on the Las Vegas Strip. I love to be with my camera. My camera was in a thin cloth shoulder strap bag that I carried in my hand and switched from one arm to another depending on the circumstances in the street.

At stop lights there were forty to fifty people crossing the street at each light walking north on Las Vegas Blvd after midnight. There were enough people on the blacktop passing by each other in a crosswalk filled with bodies and cars waiting to make right and left turns on the streets that a kid’s hand held tightly in his or her parent’s hand was getting yanked and pushed and shoved in directions at the last second to avoid collisions by the parents, yet these adults did not realize they were pushing their child into my clear pathway at the last split second. My camera in the cloth bag wacked several little children on the side of the head as we crossed streets along Las Vegas Boulevard after midnight on a summer Friday.

A couple of times I felt the collision of my camera hitting another hard object and looked back to see some poor child rubbing his head after getting beaned by my Nikon. These were unavoidable collisions in the hustle and bustle of the Las Vegas Strip that would not be a concern for adults being bumped in the thigh by a hard camera.

Mommy-thigh-level is a five year old child’s head space. Why were these kids outside walking the hot Las Vegas Strip after midnight?

The thought continually played in our adult heads while spending three days in Las Vegas that there were so many mommies who needed to have already put those kids to bed.

Shark Reef Aquarium, Mandalay Bay Resort Las Vegas


Shark Reef was larger than I expected.

Here are some shark facts and photos.


Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.

Shark Reef has significant educational appeal.


Shark Reef, Mandalay Bay Resort, Las Vegas – “90% of all large predatory fish have been removed from our oceans. If current trends continue, the entire edible seafood supply will be depleted within 40 years.”


The initial section of Shark Reef has Golden Crocodiles, a Burmese python and a recently acquired komodo dragon from ten dragons born in 2010 at the Prague Zoo, Czech Republic.

Jellies are in the same room as the Touch Pool. The reflection off the glass kept me from taking any good jelly photos.


Lion Fish.

Shipwreck Tank = 1.3 million gallons of water


The finale to the Shark Reef exhibit is the massive shipwreck tank with many portals to view the shipwreck and several shark species.


Electronic displays within Shark Reef allow visitors to read additional information about the different reptile and fish species in the aquarium.


Shark Reef is an expensive outing for a family in Las Vegas. This is an entertaining activity with plenty of educational value if your luck in Las Vegas makes the admission fee affordable for an hour or so of entertainment and learning.


Education Makes It Happen!

Our mission is to develop a sense of wonderment and responsibility for the Earth’s marine and terrestrial environments through exceptional interpretation, programming and activities.” – sign at exit to Shark Reef Aquarium.

As a credentialed K-12 elementary school teacher in California, I think Shark Reef makes the grade for an aquarium learning experience.


Blogger Disclosure: My admission to Shark Reef was free as a benefit of MGM Resort M life Noir status I received courtesy of the Hyatt Gold Passport and MGM Resorts M life partnership effective June 20, 2013.

Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed or subscribe to a daily email newsletter on the upper left side of this page.

This post is designed to lay out clearly the main benefits for Hyatt Gold Passport members joining MGM Resorts M life loyalty program. Hyatt Gold Passport elite members can get a complimentary status match to an M life upper elite tier. This post does not cover M life gaming benefits and points at MGM Resorts.

Hyatt Gold Passport and 12 MGM Resorts in Las Vegas created a partnership to combine benefits and points earning for dual members in each loyalty program, effective June 20, 2013. Hyatt Gold Passport elite members can status match to M life elite tiers. You must be a member of both Hyatt Gold Passport and M life to receive these benefits.

  • Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member = M life Platinum.
  • Hyatt Gold Passport *Platinum member = M life Gold.
  • Hyatt Gold Passport general member = M life Sapphire.

M life membership year runs October 1 – September 30. My M life card I picked up two weeks ago at the Mandalay Bay M life desk is stamped Sep 2014.

M life Sapphire is basic M life membership open to anyone at MGM Resorts. There is also M life Pearl which is a higher tier than Sapphire, but below M life Gold for benefits.

Anyone who is a Hyatt Visa card member has automatic Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum membership as long as you remain a card member. Free nights earned with Hyatt Visa card enrollment and anniversary free night may be used at MGM Resorts in Las Vegas, however, no Hyatt suite upgrades may be applied.

Important Note: Hyatt Gold Passport elite member benefits do not apply to stays at MGM Resorts. No free breakfast for Diamonds.

M life members get the short end of the deal here since Hyatt Gold Passport only confers a status match to Gold Passport Platinum, low level elite, for M life Gold, Platinum and Noir members.

MGM Resorts Hyatt M life partnership webpage.

Hyatt Gold Passport M life webpage shows the M life status match chart.

Getting your M life elite card

There are 12 MGM Resorts in Las Vegas participating in the Hyatt Gold Passport and MGM Resort M life partnership.

  • Bellagio® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 6)
  • Aria™ (Hyatt Gold passport award category 6)
  • Mandalay Bay® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 6)
  • THEhotel® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 6)
  • Vdara™ (Hyatt Gold passport award category 5)
  • MGM Grand® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 5)
  • The Signature at MGM Grand® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 5)
  • The Mirage® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 5)
  • Monte Carlo™ (Hyatt Gold passport award category 4)
  • New York New York™ (Hyatt Gold passport award category 4)
  • Luxor® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 3)
  • Excalibur® (Hyatt Gold passport award category 2)

The MGM Resorts M life webpages state this partnership will expand to include other MGM Resorts in the future.

Hyatt Gold Passport members can obtain the M life card at the participating MGM Resorts. Have your ID and Hyatt elite card with you and request your M life elite tier card at the M life Players Club desks in each casino.



Earning Hyatt Gold Passport and M life points

Read More…

The Hyatt-M life launch event I attended July 18 included two complimentary room nights at the MGM Grand Las Vegas. The interesting aspect of the hotel room to me is I thought the room was smaller than the 446 square feet listed on the website for a MGM Las Vegas Grand King room.

The Grand King room at 446 square feet did not seem that spacious to me. I guess that was my downsized perception from staying in a 750 square feet one bedroom suite at THEhotel the night before. It has been several years since I stayed in a Las Vegas hotel room under 700 square feet at one of the Strip resorts.

Looking at my photos two days later, I see the furnishings look nice in the MGM Grand Las Vegas Grand King room and there are more details in the room design than I recognized at the time during the hotel stay.

Read More…

Hyatt Hotel Corporation and MGM Resorts International held a loyalty program partnership launch event last night in the Mansion at MGM Grand Las Vegas for about 100 invited guests and corporate executives.

Ever heard of the Mansion at MGM Grand?

I was unfamiliar with this property until yesterday when I looked up the exclusive Las Vegas enclave on the web to read this 290,000 square feet architecturally splendid resort within the MGM Grand has 29 villas for high roller ‘whales’ or VIPs willing to spend $5,000+ per night.

Few visitors to Las Vegas will ever have the opportunity to stand inside the atrium and pool gardens of the Mansion at MGM Grand.

Here is a photo tour from inside the Masion at MGM Grand Las Vegas of the spaces during my three hour visit yesterday evening. Read More…

Hotel Review: The King Suite at THEhotel Las Vegas

THEhotel is a separate hotel building in the Mandalay Bay Resort Las Vegas. Lesson learned from today is book the cheap MGM Resort rooms at places like Excalibur, Luxor, Monte Carlo and New York-New York early in the day for a same day arrival. By 6pm all the cheap hotels had rates $20 higher than in the morning.

On the other hand, THEhotel dropped from $120 to $108 during the day.

THE 725 square feet in THE one bedroom king suite is a nice change from our midscale hotel brand stays this past week while road tripping from Monterey to Denver and back.


THE Couch and chair in sitting room.


THE View to entry hall.


THE King bed in bedroom.


THE View from window in bedroom.


THE Bedroom closet space and TV cabinet.


THE Bathroom with dual sinks.


THE shower and tub.


Kelley’s favorite feature is THE little step in shower to allow easy leg shave.


THEhotel bath amenities.


THE Bathroom TV Mlife channel.


THE Desk.


THE $4 cup of coffee in the room.


THE mini-bar key that took 40 minutes to get and learn the only beer is Bud Light.


THE entry hall 1/2 bathroom with toilet and sink.


THEhotel and Mandalay Bay Beach party during the IPW conference I attended last month. No opportunity to swim tonight. THE pool closes here at 7pm.

THE parking garage was 108 F degrees when we arrived at 8pm.

THE heat is kind of insufferable in Las Vegas.

Maybe tomorrow, THE Refreshing Swim.


Ric Garrido, writer and owner of Loyalty Traveler, shares news and views on hotels, hotel loyalty programs and vacation destinations for frequent guests.

Follow Loyalty Traveler on Twitter and Facebook and RSS feed or subscribe to a daily email newsletter on the upper left side of this page.

I am sitting in the Comfort Inn, Green River, Utah. This is a small town off Interstate 70  about 50 miles northwest of the desert recreational town of Moab. I will be staying in Las Vegas tonight after a 410 mile drive today. I will experience Las Vegas M life over the next three nights.

Say what you think of midscale hotels and Choice Privileges, but I have to say the King Bed at this hotel is one of the most comfortable beds I’ve slept in during the past year. And the free breakfast has bananas, oranges and apples. There has been little fruit offered in all our free breakfast stays the past nine mornings. Too bad I have to body slam the room door to get it to close and lock behind me each time I enter the room.

This is the first day of my M life.

Hyatt Gold Passport membersmay be aware that MGM Resorts and Hyatt Gold Passport started loyalty program reciprocity effective June 20, 2013. This means members of both programs can earn loyalty credit with stays at their respective hotels.

As a loyalty traveler and ten year member of Hyatt Gold Passport, the MGM M life partnership means there are now 12 properties in Las Vegas, in addition to the Hyatt Place Las Vegas, for earning Hyatt Gold Passport points and elite tier stay and night credit.

As Loyalty Traveler, I have been invited to Las Vegas for a Hyatt Gold Passport-M life press event tomorrow. I have been given complimentary Noir elite tier status with M life which I just activated in the past hour.

More about M life elite benefits will come in a later post. The table showing different M life tiers and benefits can be seen here.


How low can I go?

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