What?! No bath salts?

The Mandalay Bay hotel in Las Vegas, NV, seems to have gone down hill in recent years. The casino and restaurants are still very nice, but the hotel itself seems to be having problems.

I've stayed there every year since 1999.

It used to be a great hotel. The rooms were large, and the marble bathrooms were a nice touch. The colors were bright and vivid, without being obnoxious. It was designed with a faux south pacific look and feel. It's kind of a tropical no place that just seemed relaxing. The rooms were well cleaned and well maintained. And it had the kind of bedding that just sucked all the energy right out of you, cleaned it up, and then put it back in you the following morning.

In the past few years, however, it seems to have declined. The rooms are still big and the bathrooms are still marble, but the details are no longer there.

The bedding is no longer high-quality. It's okay -- roughly equivalent to a Hampton Inn. The carpets in the rooms are clean enough. The carpets in the hallway, however, look like they haven't had a deep cleaning in years. The bright and cheery colors have turned drab and gray.

Other details are missing, too. In my room the broadband connection was loose. The picture quality on the TV wasn't great. There were no drinking glasses my first night. And it takes literally 5 minutes to get hot water running in the shower. My co-workers reported similar issues in their rooms and some of them even reported cleanliness issues.

I know this sounds whiny, and maybe it is. I know these aren't major problems; in another hotel I might not even notice them. At least I wouldn't be annoyed by them.

But this is the Mandalay Bay. And I remember when it wasn't like this. It used to be a lot nicer. There was greater attention to detail. At more than $230 a night, I expect better.

There are probably a couple reasons for the decline.

A couple years ago, they opened an expansion called “THEhotel.” It's an all suite tower with a separate entrance. It is promoted as being a chic business retreat from the normal wackiness that is Vegas. They also have a much higher staff to guest ratio. Opening up the expansion seems to have distracted management from the main property. It seems like they could stand to do some more detailed walk throughs of the different rooms and floors. And then fix the problems.

The other reason may have something to do with the merger. Last year, MGM Mirage purchased the Mandalay Resort Group. It could be that they do not want to do any major work until that process is completed. Again, there could be a distraction issue here, too, but it could also be a question of not wanting to spend any money.

Regardless of the reasoning, the Mandalay Bay management can do better. They have in the past, and of since they are marketing themselves as a high quality resort, they should do so in the future.

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