We just returned from our first family trip in about a year and a half. Where did we go?
Las Vegas, of course.
I was invited to attend the opening of a new Dick’s Last Resort restaurant at Neonopolis in downtown Las Vegas. My wife and daughter decided to tag along for the trip while I worked. So we stayed at our favorite Vegas hotel: Delano Las Vegas.
It’s an all-suite property we’ve enjoyed probably a half-dozen or so times. Delano is part of the Mandalay Bay “complex” at the south end of the Strip. The staff is generally great and we love the American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) benefits — when they actually work. That was a problem during our stay. We’ll discuss the issue in a bit.
As part of our FHR benefits, we were “upgraded” to a Stay Well suite. Which, to us, wasn’t that different from a standard Delano suite. But we love the property and were happy with the room.
In fact, we used our two-night trip to do a side-by-side comparison of American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) and Chase Luxury Hotel & Resorts experiences at the same hotel. Yes, there were differences. I’ll discuss those in an upcoming post.
But for now, here’s a tour of the Delano Stay Well suite and some of the amenities.
Where is Delano Las Vegas?
Delano (formerly THEHotel) is for all intents and purposes part of Mandalay Bay. It’s an all-suite hotel in the MGM Resorts family.
There are two ways to access Delano: through its dedicated entrance or by walking through Mandalay Bay.
Delano’s main entrance is accessible through Mandalay Bay’s West Garage. Once you park or are dropped off, you’ll enter this foyer:
Proceed through those doors and you’ll be in the lobby.
The other — and my preferred — way is to walk through Mandalay Bay (I’m an unrepentant Vegas lover).
Just follow the signs.
You’re in the right place when you see Delano’s logo splashed on the wall.
Make a slight right down this hallway.
Enter the lobby and start your stay!
Delano Fine Hotels & Resorts Benefits
I carry a Business Platinum Card® from American Express and Platinum Card® from American Express, both of which cardholders to Amex’s Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits. I used my personal/conumer Platinum card — to which I added the MGM Resorts Amex Offer a few weeks prior. (I don’t plan on spending $500 at any MGM properties but figured I’d rather be safe than sorry.)
FHR booking entitles cardholders to:
- Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
- Daily breakfast for two people ($30 per person or $60 total per room)
- Guaranteed 4pm late check-out
- Noon check-in, when available
- Complimentary Wi-Fi
- $100 Food and beverage credit to be used during the stay
Delano Stay Well Suite
One of the FHR (and Chase Luxury Hotel & Resorts Collection) perks is a complimentary room upgrade at check-in, when available. In the past, we’ve been upgraded to a corner suite with a panoramic view.
No such luck this time. (Oh well.) But they gave us a Stay Well suite. Those rooms are found on two floors: 34 and 35.
On Delano’s website, the Stay Well experience is touted as:
Begin your wellness journey here with the relaxing scent of Aromatherapy, state-of-the-art Air Purification system, natural memory foam Stay Well Mattress, Dawn Simulator inspired by nature’s sunrise, Energizing Mirror with circadian lighting, Soundscape Machine, Stay Well Shower Infuser, and complimentary access to Cleveland Clinic Wellness programs.
Awaiting us was a Mandalay Bay-branded zippered pouch containing two surgical masks and a bottle of hand sanitizer.
Delano’s standard suites (which this is with a couple of bells and whistles) have two rooms: a living room and a bedroom. It’s an honest-to-goodness suite. Not some large room masquerading as a “junior suite.” So what you see in these pictures is more or less what you can expect when staying at Delano — just without the gimmicky Stay Well stuff.
If you prize natural light, you’ll love Delano rooms. The rooms are crisp and bright when you walk in. The combination of floor-to-ceiling windows and light decor make everything pop.
The living room is a fantastic area to get work done, relax and watch TV, and host friends for dinner and drinks — of which we usually do when staying at Delano 🙂
Plus, there’s power bar with, Ethernet, USB and audio-visual ports connected to the television. This worked great for our Roku streaming stick. My daughter was able to watch her favorite Disney+ shows at night. MLB.tv allowed me to suffer through my godawful Minnesota Twins losing baseball games.
The living room features a nice wetbar.
There’s a minibar stocked with booze, sodas, and snacks. Do yourself a favor and have the front desk lock it. The fridge has hair-trigger sensors that charge you for moving anything.
You’ll find a powder room near the front door.
Let’s head into the bedroom!
The Delano beds and pillows have never disappointed us. We always sleep very well and comfortably.
One side of the bed has a “dawn simulator.”
Honestly, I never knew dawn simulators existed — until this trip. (Apparently, they’re a thing?) In my younger days (and a few older ones), I experienced dawn several times in Las Vegas — usually before going to bed!
There’s plenty of closet and drawer space for your clothes and anything else you care to store.
The Stay Well experience includes this air purifier:
But it didn’t do a lot to get rid of the cigarette and marijuana smoke coming from an adjacent room.
The bathroom is huge. There are two sinks and a big mirror. And a television, of course.
There’s also a large bathtub and separate shower.
And there’s a separate room with a toilet so one person can attend to their needs while another gets ready outside.
The Stay Well features didn’t really do anything for us. But they certainly didn’t detract from our stay — and we enjoyed the room.
Recreation-wise, guests can use the awesome Mandalay Beach (wave pool, lazy river, sandy beach, etc).
If that’s too busy for you, check out the Delano Beach Club — which is accessible only to Delano guests.
Delano Las Vegas Food
A lot of restaurants — including Della’s, the hotel’s signature (and only) restaurant — were closed. So our choices were the hotel’s coffee stand or venture off-property.
Amex FHR benefits entitle guests to $60 in breakfast credits each day. Plus, you also receive a $100 resort credit that may be used as dictated by the hotel. Ours was available to be used on food and beverages.
So we ordered room service a lot during our stays. In case you’re curious, here’s the current Delano room service menu.
There’s a “Della’s To Go” option, which features a $9 service fee. Food is dropped off outside your room. Or you can opt for the “Delano Classic,” which includes “a traditional table service experience
delivered to your door.” That, too, is $9 but requires a $100 food and beverage minimum.
We opted for “Della’s To Go.”
Our food was delivered in these MGM Resorts-branded bags (I snagged an extra one for an upcoming Swag Saturday giveaway.)
Here’s how the food is packaged:
The metallic hot-tops that once accompanied room service are dearly missed. These plastic and paper containers don’t do a great job of keeping your food warm.
So in our suite that promotes wellness and health, we enjoyed all sorts of food: greasy and slightly healthy.
The food quality this time was disappointing compared to other Delano stays. The taste and temperature were OK — but nothing remarkable. We used to look forward to enjoying Delano food. But the culinary products certainly weren’t a highlight of our stay.
Given that there’s still a pandemic and pretty much everywhere in Vegas is in dire need of employees, we chalked it up to that.
Our Delano FHR Problems
We’ve had billing issues every single time we’ve stayed at Delano under a Fine Hotels & Resorts booking. But at least we know what to expect.
At least, we thought we did.
We checked our folio before checking out. As usual, nothing was credited. No breakfast, no food and beverage — nothing.
Frankly, this is par for the course with Delano FHR stays.
I called guest services. A rep manually credited us $100 worth of food and beverage (gratuities and certain service charges are excluded, which we knew ahead of time). So plan to carve out a half-hour of your trip to deal with these issues. (By the way, we didn’t have this problem at Bellagio.)
But she discounted breakfast for one day (we were there two days and one night).
And that’s where things got interesting.
She explained the breakfast credit is valid only for days after which you spend the night. And therefore, we wouldn’t receive $60 in room service credit for the day we arrived.
I told her that wasn’t my understanding. (And that’s the truth.) The letter we received at check-in indicates the breakfast credit is available “per day.” Great. So we arrived on day one.
In the past, we always received the breakfast credit for meals on the days on which we arrived.
She then added, “the breakfast period ends at noon, anyway, and you checked in later in the afternoon.”
So if we arrived earlier we could’ve taken advantage of it? Huh? Which is it? Plus, not everyone has the same schedule. People eat breakfast at different times of the day. You’d think Las Vegas hotels with restaurants, bars, and gaming attractions that never close would understand that. Apparently not.
I went downstairs and spoke to the manager on duty. She graciously credited me $60 for the room service charge we accrued the day we arrived. I also overheard an employee say that Amex doesn’t reimburse hotels for “breakfast” charges made on the day of arrival — and that’s why there was a problem.
My family loves Delano Las Vegas. The rooms are fantastic. Access to Mandalay Bay is great.
Sadly, Delano’s food quality has taken a dive — but it’s certainly still decent.
Be aware that Amex FHR stays here are a pain in the butt. But if you know what to expect, it might be worth your while.
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