First the positives: Our room on the 24th floor was elegant and quiet. Overall, the hotel is very pretty and the staff very good. Now the negatives: The biggest for us was that we were anticipating a nice, quiet, relaxing time by the pool, with a good book. Instead the pool area was like a small water park. The beach chairs are packed like sardines, the music is loud, the average age is under 30, loud helicopters continually fly by, and the shaded areas are minimal. The hotel has side-by-side pools, but one of the pools was closed. It didn't open until the other pool was filled to capacity. Our pool area was so crowded, you literally had the next person inches away from you. Not a good scene when you are trying to relax and read. There were several smokers nearby, people talking loudly, and music blaring. Another bizarre thing for a destination hotel is that the pool area closes at 6:00 p.m., so forget going to the pool in the evening. If your idea of spending time by the pool is to relax and enjoy peace and quiet, this hotel is not for you!
Check-in - When we arrived at the hotel, there were probably about one hundred people in line. It took 25 minutes standing in line to check in and we were informed that the king non-smoking room we had reserved was not available. The hotel adds an automatic $25 Resort Fee for each day (even though we didn't arrive until early evening) The room has super expensive snacks and drinks in the mini-bar, but no coffee maker!
Location is also a negative. The Mandalay Bay is at the end of the strip. There is a free tram that takes you a few blocks, but we recommend getting a city bus ticket or else you will be doing a lot of walking.
And lastly, if you take a shuttle from the airport, expect to get an unofficial "tour" of Las Vegas as everyone gets dropped off at their hotels. Our shuttle trip from the airport to the hotel took an hour and a half. Viva Las Vegas - not so much!