Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

The Mandarin Oriental opens December 4th in CityCenter. Its small size, 392 rooms and no casino, will likely help the hotel achieve its goal of setting a new standard for service in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas Sun's article points out that although CityCenter (MGM Mirage and Dubai World) owns the hotel, it will be independently managed by Mandarin Oriental. CityCenter will "stay out of the way", operationally.

Bill Lerner of Union Gaming Group said, "The hotel...might also lure a few customers from the big casino hotels at the high end."

A few questions to start a conversation:
Can Las Vegas support a non-gaming property of the caliber of Mandarin Oriental?
Will MGM really maintain a hands-off approach to operations, or will ultra high rollers become an important customer base causing Mandarin to morph into another luxury casino hotel (without the casino)?
Is Mandarin Oriental in a more rarified atmosphere than Four Seasons, or do both properties compete for the same guests?

The Sun's article is here:
For CityCenter's Non Gaming Mandarin Oriental, Service Is 'Be-All, End-All'


Read archived comments (6 so far)
July 21, 2009 1:17 PM Posted by Mike E

The strength of names such as Four Seasons, Ritz, and Mandarin are so strong that they appeal to a niche of travelers who may not be inside-out familiar with a destination, but know they'll be getting a good product.

Mandarin will be successful if they can somehow market their product as the only one of its kind central to everything (a small stab at Four Seasons and a serious eff you to Ritz Lake LV). Their presence is certainly greater with dedicated building and logo sitting atop center strip.

As for high roller clientele, I don't think ultra high end players find a hotel in Vegas without a casino that appealing even if the tables are just a couple hundred feet away. Plus, service may be the "be-all, end-all," but it still won't match what that level of player will get at Aria (or any other top megaresort).

July 21, 2009 6:05 PM Posted by Sam

Every high-end property makes a big fuss over service. Casino or no casino, I would think that anyone in Las Vegas who's paying the room rate Mandarin Oriental will charge is getting some pretty good service. Half of these "special" features sound very basic (aren't most pools for guests only?) and the rest sound like a big pain in the ass (someone trying to wipe off your sunglasses every 10 minutes).

I also question whether the views will really justify making guests take an elevator up 23 floors just to check in, then another back down to their rooms.

July 21, 2009 6:16 PM Posted by mike_ch

It draws in a certain type of luxury customer who has no interest in casinos. The type of people that A Certain Operator thinks his property attracts but really doesn't.

July 21, 2009 7:47 PM Posted by GregoryZephyr

Mandarin Oriental has a mystique that distinguishes it somewhat from Ritz and 4Seasons. All are top of the line but Mandarin seems to have a more chic reputation, particularly for savvy travelers in the Asia-Pacific/West Coast regions. If they were offering 3,000 rooms, they might be hard pressed to find enough of a market. But, I suspect there are small but dedicated number of people that still go to Vegas for food, shows, spas, and shopping so it might do okay. Four Seasons has a bit of a dowdy reputation. The Queen might prefer Four Seasons while Prince Harry would probably choose Mandarin.

July 24, 2009 8:48 PM Posted by socalduck

Having stayed at the Four Seasons, Ritz and Mandarin Oriental in NYC, I would say the MO is hands-down the best of the three, which is saying a lot. Just because the Mandarin will not have its own casino, is there any reason why they wouldn't have some type of arrangement with the Aria casino to provide accommodations to players that desire to stay at that particular property?

July 25, 2009 4:41 PM Posted by Mike T

Even if they start out absent an arrangement, we'll see how long that lasts when a player says they want to stay at the Mandarin.