MGM Resorts Mlife has partnered with Morgans Hotel Group. One of the imminent changes is THEhotel Mandalay Bay rebranding to Delano Las Vegas Fall 2014. THEhotel is a hotel within Mandalay Bay Resort.

Here is my review of a King Suite stay at THEhotel July 2013. Hotel Review THE King Suite at THEhotel Las Vegas.

Morgans Hotel Group

Morgans Hotel Group is a modern luxury hotel chain with 12 hotels branded as Delano (1), Mondrian (4), Hudson (1) and six other hotels called ‘Originals’. There are presently only a few locations with South Beach, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco and London.

Delano South Beach

Mondrian Soho, New York, 9 Crosby Street

Mondrian Los Angeles, 8440 Sunset Boulevard (great music venue location by House of Blues)

Mondrian South Beach, Miami area Florida

Mondrian London at Sea Containers, London UK

Hudson New York, 356 West 58th Street


Morgans New York, 237 Madison Avenue

Royalton New York, 44 West 44th Street

Clift Hotel San Francisco

South Beach Shore Club, Miami area, Florida

Sanderson London

St. Martins Lane London


Morgans Hotels map

Several new Morgans Group Hotels are set to open:

Delano Las Vegas (Fall 2014)

Delano Cesme, Turkey (2017)

Delano Moscow, Russia (2015)

Delano Cartagena, Colombia (2016)

Mondrian Doha, Qatar (2015)

Mondrian Istanbul, Turkey (2015)

10 Karakoy Istanbul, Turkey

Mondrian Los Angeles is a hotel I visited a couple years back on Sunset Boulevard, near Andaz West Hollywood.

Mondrian LA

Andaz West Hollywood was rock and roll cool. The Mondrian was more LA scene and be seen.

Mondrian LA style Mondrian LA lobby

Mondrian Los Angeles photos.

Dear Mlife Noir Member

In my mailbox today I found a black envelope from MGM Resorts.

Dear Noir Member,

It is our privilege to announce a very special opportunity to our NOIR members, an invitation to become a Morgans Hotel Group Global Card member. The Global Card is issued by invitation only to Morgan Hotel Group’s most elite and loyal guests. When you choose to opt in, your status as a Global Card member will entitle you to elevated benefits at premier Morgans Hotel Group destinations in New York, Los Angeles, London, San Francisco and South Beach – along with DELANO Las Vegas, formerly THEhotel.

Your benefits begin immediately. Opt in and enjoy a complimentary night at any new Morgans Hotel Group property within the first six months of the hotel’s opening date. You’ll also experience guaranteed entrance to any Morgans Hotel Group bar or lounge and priority restaurant reservations.

We’re confident you’ll enjoy the full breadth of Global Card membership – including complimentary room upgrades, exclusive pool and beach access, and much more.

I googled Morgan Hotels Group Global Card. A couple of Hotel Chatter articles from 2010 came up.

What is the Morgans Hotel Group Global Club Card? (And How Can We Get One?) – Hotel Chatter June 9, 2010

The Complete List of What the Morgans Hotel Group Global Card Gets You – Hotel Chatter August 26, 2010

Morgans Hotel Group–is there a loyalty program? – Flyertalk 2010-2011 thread has some discussion on card benefits.

One minute I am scrounging for Choice Privileges points for Norway and booking $50 room nights in Greece at 3-star Best Western hotels and the next minute I am thinking about free nights in luxury hotels in Cartagena, Moscow and Turkey.

I’ll be in Las Vegas at Mandalay Bay in September for the Boarding Area BACON2 conference. Looks like I might want to stay one extra night.


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.

Hyatt Gold Passport has a promotion for members of Hyatt and MGM Resorts Mlife loyalty programs staying in Las Vegas through the remainder of 2014. Earn up to 3,000 Hyatt bonus points for every three Las Vegas Mlife nights to Dec 31 2014 at 13 participating Las Vegas hotels.

The catch is you must stay 3 nights in hotels that are in the same bonus points category to earn the bonus. For example, 2 nights at Mandalay Bay and one night at MGM Grand earns 2,000 bonus points. However, stay two nights at Mandalay Bay and one night at Aria and you will not earn any bonus points since they are different bonus groups. Nights do not need to be consecutive nights and all nights through December 31, 2014 are eligible for the bonus.

Read More…

Feeling lucky? You can win 75,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points this week.

View from the Wing is giving away 75,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points to celebrate the new Hyatt-MGM Las Vegas Digital Hub. You can leave four comments before noon eastern Saturday, July 19, 2014 as your entries to the sweepstakes.

There are currently nearly 4,200 comments on Gary’s blog.

75,000 Hyatt points can take you many places or one luxurious place.

Another Boarding Area blog, Mommy Points has a giveaway for a $250 MGM Resorts gift card. Leave a comment by 11:59pm, central time Saturday, July 19, 2014.

There are currently 377 comments on Summer’s blog.

A chance to win 75,000 Hyatt points or a $250 MGM Resorts gift card are nice hotel travel gifts for some quick comments.

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.

Hyatt released its second quarter earnings and the results confirm my sentiment expressed to Hyatt’s Chief Marketing Officer John Wallis a couple weeks ago in Las Vegas.

Hyatt Hotels are getting expensive. 

Hyatt Hotels made a net profit of $70 million last quarter. Occupancy increased to 79.8%. Average daily rates were up 6.3% over one year ago. Hyatt stock has risen 11% this year. Hyatt 2103 Q2 Financials press release.

Hyatt is growing.

North America

The following seven hotels were added to the portfolio during the second quarter:

  • Hyatt Regency Birmingham – The Wynfrey Hotel (franchised, 329 rooms)
  • Hyatt Union Square (franchised, 178 rooms)
  • Hyatt Place Chicago/River North (franchised, 212 rooms)
  • Hyatt Place Pensacola Airport (franchised, 127 rooms)
  • Hyatt House Atlanta/Cobb Galleria (franchised, 149 rooms)
  • Hyatt House Minot (franchised, 130 rooms)
  • Hyatt House Pittsburgh-Southside (franchised, 136 rooms)
  • The following eight hotels were added to the portfolio during the second quarter in the EMEA and Southwest Asia segment:

  • Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez, France (managed, 409 rooms)
  • Hyatt Regency Nice Palais de la Méditerranée, France (managed, 187 rooms)
  • Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile, France (managed, 950 rooms)
  • Hôtel du Louvre – Paris, a Hyatt Hotel, France (managed, 177 rooms)
  • Hyatt Regency Gurgaon, India (managed, 451 rooms)
  • Hyatt Bangalore, India (managed, 143 rooms)
  • Hyatt Hyderabad, India (managed, 166 rooms)
  • Hyatt Pune, India (managed, 209 rooms)


Hyatt Times Square New York is now taking reservations for stays from January 1, 2014 in its 54-story hotel with a rooftop lounge. The hotel has only 11 rooms per floor with 487 guest rooms averaging 364 square feet. I assume that average includes the suites making the entry-level rate rooms a bit smaller. A generic average hotel room size in the USA is about 325 square feet across hotel chains.


Hyatt Buys into All-Inclusive Playa Beach Resorts

Hyatt Hotels are gaining all-inclusive beach resorts in Mexico and Caribbean with an ownership stake in Playa Hotels & Resorts. Hyatt is investing $325 million into Playa and plans to rebrand six of 13 Playa resorts to Hyatt brands. Hyatt plans to rebrand the first two properties in Mexico by year-end 2013 and convert four other hotels in Jamaica, Dominican Republic and Mexico in 2014 and 2015 after resort renovations.

Hyatt’s rapid growth

The main impediment for Hyatt in attracting loyal guests is the lack of footprint around the world. There are still only about 500 hotels globally under the Hyatt umbrella, yet Hyatt is using its financial resources to rapidly expand its hotel portfolio for loyalty guests through partnerships and acquisitions.

Hyatt acquired 24 hotels in July 2011 with the purchase of hotel assets from Lodgeworks. Most of these hotels were extended stay Sierra Hotels rebranded with Hyatt Summerfield Suites to HYATT house brand. The upper-upscale Avia properties in places like Napa and Long Beach, California were rebranded to full service Hyatt Hotels and Andaz. 

The partnership with MGM Resorts M life has added 12 hotels in Las Vegas for Hyatt Gold Passport members as of June 20, 2013. This is a huge development for the Las Vegas traveler where Hyatt only had one Hyatt Place property in the city. That partnership is planned to expand to other MGM Resorts properties in the future.

And now all-inclusive beach resorts will become a vacation option for Hyatt Gold Passport members visiting Mexico and the Caribbean.

Hyatt is expanding quickly.

And Hyatt brand hotel room rates are on the rise.


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.

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.

Hot off the press is the announcement today of a new hotel loyalty partnership between Hyatt Gold Passport and MGM Resorts Las Vegas ‘M life’ loyalty program beginning June 20, 2013 with earn and burn reciprocity between the two loyalty programs.

Hyatt Gold Passport members in August can also get a status match with MGM M life based on their Hyatt elite status.

The participating MGM Resorts destinations in Las Vegas are:

  • Bellagio,
  • ARIA,
  • Vdara,
  • MGM Grand,
  • The Signature at MGM Grand,
  • Mandalay Bay,
  • THEhotel at Mandalay Bay,
  • The Mirage,
  • Monte Carlo,
  • New York-New York,
  • Luxor and
  • Excalibur.

The real value I see with this relationship is using low rates in Las Vegas to build up elite tier stay credits. One week of cheap stays in Vegas can add up elite tier credits with Hyatt Gold Passport quickly at rates as low as $50 per night or even less at hotels like Luxor and Excalibur. Read More…

MGM CityCenter in Las Vegas is the $9 billion dollar casino resort complex with the Aria Resort & Casino, Mandarin Oriental luxury hotel and residences, Vdara – a mixed use hotel and residences, a high-end boutique shopping mall, Veer Towers condominiums, and the Harmon  – a structurally deficient tower that is the most expensive billboard on the Las Vegas Strip.

Harmon building is most expensive posterboard on Las Vegas Strip


The Wall Street Journal reports CityCenter’s senior vice president of facility improvements sent a letter to Clark County Director of Development Services stating CityCenter will demolish the Harmon Building to abate potential for structural collapse in case of an earthquake.

The Harmon, CityCenter Las Vegas


The fate of the building is currently in limbo tied up with court litigation between MGM Resorts International and CityCenter’s general contractor Perini Building Company over $200 million in payments.

CityCenter was a complex I watched being built over several years from rooms at the Planet Hollywood hotel across the street.

CityCenter construction August 2009. Harmon building on right.

The Harmon building is directly across the street from Marriott’s newly opened in December 2010 Cosmopolitan Hotel. I wonder if guests can stay on the Harmon side of the Cosmopolitan during the implosion? The Cosmopolitan outdoor pools are also on the Harmon side of the hotel.

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