The Mirage Vegas
Casino Boy says:
Golly! We'd all live in a Yellow Submarine, if it weren't so darn expensive.
Hotel Size:
3049 rooms
Room Price:
Casino Size:
100,000 s.f.
Star Rating:
Cheap gaming:


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The Mirage Vegas
3400 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas

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While now a couple decades old, the Mirage is doing a decent job of keeping up. With its tropical oasis theme, the Mirage can be pretty fun to wander around in.

Coupons Available for The Mirage Vegas: Free appetizer and cover charge with the purchase of an entree at BB King's. (Click Here For More Info.)


Room Quality: Nice rooms. They are average in size, but have good views and are well-appointed in rich dark tones, with some wood paneling and so much marble in the bathroom you'll think you fell into a quarry. The bedspreads feel expensive and so does the flatscreen TV on the wall (they're almost impossible to sneak out when you leave -- trust us). There is also an iPod dock in case you want to have a dance party. The bathrooms are small but with marble everywhere, even the walls. They have separate showers and tubs, but both are small. The rooms have hairdryers, irons, mini-bars (overpriced) and safes. Rooms also offer high-speed Internet if you are so inclined to pay extra to spend time away from the city. Suites are enormous, with big plush couches, and if you have a ton of money, you can even get a two-bedroom suite. All rooms have robes for you to relax in. Or, if you're like us, take a late-night stroll down the Strip in.
Service Quality: Good. The Mirage makes a point of letting you know they have good service. Room service is excellent, and if you need extra towels, they come quickly.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: All kinds of goop, including lotion and shampoo and conditioner. It's all laid out in a quaint little basket.
Clientele: A diverse mix of folks, from young Angelenos to middle-aged Ohioans, all the way to old women from Phoenix.
How's the Pool? Pretty fancy and tropical. It's one of the best pools in town; the waterfall is cool, and you will see lots of attractive and wealthy people laying about. The biggest drawback is that it gets very crowded on weekends. Don't even think about sneaking in, unless you know some trick we don't. The pools are heated and open year-round. For the more adventurous among us (or at least the more voyeuristic) there is Bare, a small DJ-equipped, top-optional pool area that costs extra for everyone, and a lot extra for the dudes on weekends.
Resort Fee: (What is this?) $20 per night. You get internet access, fitness center access, daily paper, robes in your room, notary service (you know how often you use that on vacation), printing of boarding passes, faxes, local and toll-free calls.

Table Games: All the usual games like blackjack, craps, roulette, 3-card poker, Pai Gow and some oddball games. Blackjack is dealt with MGM Mirage's traditional rules.
Bet Minimums: $10 and up, way up on weekends. If it's a busy time, like there's a big fight in town or a holiday weekend, you can expect to see very few tables lower than $25. Craps is the Strip standard 3x4x5x.
Machines: From pennies to $500. There are very few full-pay video poker machines, and none for less than a dollar.
Cocktails? Good. If being drunk in a classy joint is your goal, you've come to the right place.
Who Gets Comps? Big shots. Expect to spend a lot of time betting black chips or more before they offer you anything to eat, and get out the big bucks if you want to work your way to one of their many varieties of room. The M Life slot club is meant to make you very loyal to the MGM casinos, hotels, restaurants, etc.

BLT Burger: A fancy chef is responsible for the burgers in this joint, which is casual compared to fancy places, but fancy compared to other burger joints. The burgers are superswank with primo ingredients, including kobe beef or tandoori lamb (hmmm). You can watch them cook your burger here too, which you can also do at McDonald's, if you take a job there.
California Pizza Kitchen: As much as we hate trendy California crap, we sort of like this place for it tasty pizzas and salads. The prices are okay, too, compared with other joints on the Strip.
Carnegie Deli: This is a New York classic transplanted to the Mirage. The sandwiches are good, but expensive (they are freaking enormous though). Take out and sharing a massive sandwich costs extra, so bring your wallet.
Cravings: The sign out front calls what goes on in this room a "buffet dining experience." We call it "stuffing ourselves with slightly fancier food than we're used to." See why we never get called back when we apply for advertising jobs? Like so many buffets at big Strip hotels, they're trying to give you a gourmet meal here, and charging plenty (over $20 for dinner) for it. Where this buffet is meant to be superior to even other gourmet all-you-can-eat joints is in the freshness of the food. They make a big deal out of offering lots of "action" stations -- places where they dish the food out right before your eyes. The food is good, and some of it, like chocolate chip cookies and Chinese dumplings, is great.
Fin: An elegant and contemporary Chinese restaurant with very good food. You can get in and out for a reasonable price if you stick to the simplest dishes. But if you order some crazy seafood like abalone, expect to not be able to feed the kids for a few months. Probably worth it, though.
Japonais: Sushi and other Pan-Asian cuisine, although with European and American twists. Their dishes include thinly-sliced steak grilled on a hot rock, snow crabs wrapped in shrimp and mousse with passion fruit sauce. A fantastic Chicago restaurant transported here, for the hoity-toity. Open for dinner.
Kokomo's: The name of the Mirage's steakhouse has been forever ruined by a cheesy Beach Boys song of the same name. Regardless, if you want steaks and seafood in a tropical setting, this is the place. Prices are high, but the fat cats say you get what you pay for.
Onda: A fancy dinner-only place that serves Italian and "New American" cuisine. Yeah, we were all getting tired of that "old" American food. If you're into wine, check out their fancy lounge where you can sample tres chic wines. You can even buy cases of it at ridiculous prices to take home.
Samba Brazilian Steakhouse: The Brazilians know how to do a steakhouse. You enter, sit down and then watch waiters bring around huge flanks of beef, pork, fowl and fish. All you can eat. They stop at your table and cut off as much as you'd like. It's like a meat buffet that comes to you, and it's pretty dang good.
Stack: Is it a steakhouse, is it an American bistro? We just can't tell. Of course, we hardly know the difference anyway. Let's just all agree that it's a dinner-only place (you can wear those Dockers you love!) that primarily serves seafood and traditional steak, and poultry dishes in a clean room with fair prices. A good place to eat before a show, and large enough that the wait will only be bad weekend nights.
They also have Coconuts for ice cream, Blizz for frozen yogurt, Starbucks, the Paradise Cafe for poolside eats, the Dolphin Snack Bar in case looking at Siegfried and Roy's tigers makes you hungry, and the Roasted Bean for coffee. And if you're aching to pay for a lollipop with a bejeweled handle, check out The Sugar Factory.

Lobby Aquarium: Behind the check-in desks is a massive and quite nice aquarium. It's free to look at the sharks, tangs, eels and hundreds of other fish, but you are not allowed to climb over the desks. press your face up against the glass and shout "I want this one for dinner." Anyway, that's what security told us.
B. B. King's Blues Club: By Vegas standards, B. B. King's is a small concert venue with under 600 seats. The club books a wide range of guests, including blues, rock and jazz. The joint also serves barbecue and is open for eating from morning to late night.
JET: The design is typical Las Vegas club style with multiple rooms that play different types of music. The club has live acts sometimes, which is nice.
King Ink: Most people get drunk and then decide to get a tattoo. Now, you can do someone stop shopping at this bar with a tattoo parlor inside. Those portions of the joint are painfully hip, but there is also some free entertainment, such as magician Paul Vigil, that s quite cool to check out.
Love: This Cirque du Soleil show is based on, and features the music of the Beatles. Definitely ideal for the Beatles fan or the person who has seen the other Cirque shows and still hasn't gotten enough. If you really, really love "Love" and have big bucks to spend, sign up for the Tapis Rouge, which is the best seat for the show, some knickknacks, a cocktail reception and a behind-the-scenes tour beforehand for about triple the cost of a regular ticket.
Revolution: This massive lounge is themed to be Beatlesesque. That means psychedelic colors and loads of Beatles music.
The Secret Garden: Dolphin habitats, along with other zoo-like displays. They let you get nice and close to the dolphins. The cost is pretty high for what you get, but if you love dolphins and big crowds of people, this is your place.
Terry Fator: He's a comedian. No, he's a puppeteer/ventriloquist. No, he's an impressionist. Actually, Terry Fator is all of these, which makes his show like getting three for the price of one. And who doesn't love a bargain in these hard times? He's probably the funniest impressionist on the Strip.
Volcano: Every hour at night, a giant crowd gathers on the sidewalk outside the Mirage to witness their great big gas volcano show. It is fun to watch but for a good view without being squished by the masses, watch the show from across the street.

Number of TVs: 29 total TVs, split fairly evenly between sports and racing. There are six big screens on the sports side, and five other big ones on the racing side.
Number of Seats: About 140 for race bettors, 112 with individual TVs and about 100 for sports. Some chairs are nicer leather ones. They are all slightly above average. This is one of those rooms with a very clear demarcation between the race and sports area. The race seats are all lined up in rows, with desks and little TVs, and the sports seats are arranged like a lounge.
How Many Betting Windows? 16 total, with ten of those for the race fans. They have electronic signboards.
Free Drinks? Yes, there are free drinks for bettors when you ask for a drink ticket and are betting a lot.
Snack Bar? There's a small snack bar and deli just steps away from the book, and the California Pizza Kitchen is so close you can smell the artichoke hearts on top of some guy's fru-fru pizza.
Minimum Wager: $2 for races, $5 for sports.
Other Notes: This is a nice room, with nice woods and excellent soft lighting. The only drawback is the lack of TVs for the size of the room. In fact, the signboards take up significantly more room than the TVs. It's a pretty utilitarian space, better suited for checking lots of race results than for hanging around watching the big game.

Number of Tables: About 19, with five in the high-limit area that they won't let us into. We're talking limits higher than our paychecks. This is a non-smoking poker room.
Comfort of Chairs: The chairs are okay.
Closed Room or Open to Casino? It's open to the casino but sort of tucked away so the noise isn't too awful. The high-limit area is in the very back where it's quieter.
Game Spreads and Limits: They'll pretty much deal anything, especially Omaha, Stud, and Hold 'Em. There are limits in all ranges, including some low-limit, like $3-$6 Hold 'em up to $200-$400 in the back room. Sometimes it goes even higher. The No-limit games range from $1/$2 to $2/$5 with buy-ins from $50-$1000 buy-in. You can find Omaha too, starting at $4/$8.
Beginner Games or Classes? Anytime you want a lesson they say they'll be happy to give you one. Like, right now. and now. And now. Wait, I forgot already. Can you show me again now?
How Crowded is the Room? There are games 24 hours a day and this place can be insane on a weekend night. If you show up at 10 p.m. on Friday, expect to wait a long time for a seat.
Comps? Free drinks while playing. $1 an hour on your player's card. So, just like everyone else.
How Good Are the Players? Among the best in Vegas. But, the Mirage also attracts some dinghy tourists with more money than brains. If you're not super fantastic, play low-limit for fun and leave the suckers for the pros to fleece. Otherwise, you just might find yourself getting shorn too.
What Else Do I Need to Know? This is one of our five favorite rooms in Vegas (with Bellagio, Caesars, Venetian and The Orleans). They have tournaments and Sit'N'Gos.

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