A few weeks ago I contemplated the Work From Vegas promotions. Like most of you, I’ve been cooped up and a change of scenery sounded nice. After weighing options for a week or so I decided where to work in Las Vegas (that isn’t at my house). After looking at a variety of hotel options inside and outside of a casino complex I made a choice on a place to work and think for a couple of days outside of my apartment.
I’m writing from the 21st floor at Delano while I sip on a cup of iced coffee and listen to 80’s dance music. The home of the Las Vegas Raiders, Allegiant Stadium, is right behind me. I chose Delano because I really wanted to spend some time on the Vegas Strip to see how the experience is for midweek travelers.
If you’ve been watching the news Las Vegas is a bit off. Tourists and locals alike are stressed out and taking it out on each other. People are wandering the streets and casinos in scooters meant for the disabled or elderly. Oh yeah, there’s still a virus floating around to consider.
Why I Chose Delano
I chose Delano after comparing rooms and prices on the Vegas Strip at The Cosmopolitan, New York-New York, Park MGM, and Vdara. The Linq isn’t open during the week so I didn’t bother looking into that casino.
I was close to booking two nights at The Cosmopolitan but the price tag was a bit much. After taxes and fees, a terrace room with a balcony overlooking Bellagio was almost $500. I decided to save that for a time where I’m not just sitting in a hotel room working.
Vdara had the kind of room I wanted but didn’t have access to many amenities inside the building so it didn’t make the cut. New York-New York and Park MGM are in a great location with lots of dining options but the rooms are tiny and don’t have much room to work.
I chose Delano because the suites are set up for work and rest. I’ve gone from work desk to chair and to the couch today. The bedroom is just for sleeping or laying down and listening to podcasts. The rooms (all are suites) are the perfect combination of workspace and a place to relax.
The suite price was $80 + fees. Altogether, the room cost alone will come to just under $300.
Unlike Vdara, Delano is connected to a casino-hotel. The hotel doesn’t have the fresh air I thought about at the Cosmopolitan but it does have easy access to the amenities I might need. Kinda…
Having A Great Time
The staff at Delano is as good as ever. Everyone I came across at Mandalay Bay was stoked to see people.
The room is just what I needed and wanted. I’ve bounced around every possible chair or couch in this room just while writing this. There’s a TV in every room and I definitely enjoyed the aquarium channel when I wanted to zone out for a little.
I even played a slot machine for the first time in about six months on my way to get coffee and lunch. I’d like to thank the panda slot machine for the money to buy wings from the House of Blues.
My productivity – the reason I’m here – has been through the roof. It’s really everything I wanted. Having said that, this isn’t a perfect experience and it’s not for everyone.
The Downside to Working From Vegas
The room at Delano is almost exactly what I wanted. The rest of the experience is a little more surreal than I imagined.
I didn’t expect to visit the casino at Mandalay Bay much. Unfortunately, the only restaurant open at Delano is the, 3490 coffee and tea, and it closes at noon. The fantastic breakfast restaurant, Della’s, is closed. So is Rivea and Skyfall Lounge.
I knew these eateries were going in but I didn’t realize how much I would miss both options. It really is nice to just walk out of the room and have a place to grab a bite or drink throughout the day.
Mandalay Bay is a shell of the property most people know. Again, this isn’t a total surprise with so many restaurants close but there’s more. There’s an ominous feeling walking through the property. The lighting seems very dim. The dark feeling and low energy from the lack of people is somewhat haunting. That said, I’m here mostly for work in my suite so that’s not too much of a bummer.
The majority of guests at Mandalay Bay are wearing masks. Unfortunately, there are still lots of people drinking and smoking. Their face coverings are more chin diapers than masks. It would be nice if Delano had even one more restaurant open so I could stay in this part of the property.
While the closest Starbucks to Delano is closed, the crepe shop next door serves Illy coffee all day. That’s one of the better mass coffee brands, which is nice. House of Blues is a great concert venue but it’s also an acceptable restaurant. I like that it’s also close to Delano so I don’t have to spend too much time in Mandalay Bay.
The one thing I didn’t think about before this trip was maintenance. Casinos have cut back on how many employees are working. I knew what to expect for most of the hotel experience. What I didn’t plan for was not having hot water and waiting more than three hours for a maintenance person to fix the problem so I could take a shower. The person never came to the room but the water was working after another hour.
That was more annoying than anything I could have imagined and something I’ll keep in mind before my next trip. To be fair, I think it’s safe to assume the people working at Delano for this are also working at Mandalay Bay too. That can’t be easy for anyone working here.
Overall, Delano is pretty much what I expected and I’m happy with that. The rooms are great for working. The large space and multiple seating options help the creative juices flow. Even though the dining options are limited, I’m away from most of the traffic at Mandalay Bay.
I’ve always been a fan of Delano and that hasn’t changed. The prices for a suite in Las Vegas are usually pretty good. The Franklin and SkyFall lounge are excellent bars. Della’s has a great breakfast and coffee.
This Work From Vegas experience isn’t perfect but it’s pretty much what I wanted and expected. The room is great. The out-of-room experience leaves something to be desired but that’s a sign of the times. Most of Las Vegas is like this.
I’ll probably enjoy this again but in a perfect world, the next time I return all of the restaurants will be open.
Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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