Hotel Review: Mandalay Bay for Billy Idol concert

Mandalay Bay Elite King Suite bedroom
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A few months ago I bought tickets for Billy Idol’s last concert in Vegas of this stay at the House of Blues.  Anna and I left the kids with their Godmother, and we flew to Las Vegas for an overnight stay and some adult fun at Mandalay Bay.

Flying to Las Vegas

If you had to pay cash for a 24 hour trip to Las Vegas, few people would actually do it.  That’s the beauty of miles and points… you can have awesome adventures that you wouldn’t normally do if you had to pay cash for it.

We flew Southwest from Ontario for the roughly one hour flight to Las Vegas’ McCarran (sp??) Airport.  It cost us 16,850 points, which would have normally been about $250.  I should have continued to check on flight prices to rebook to reduce the points’ price down since you can often find Vegas flights from Southern California for less than $100 each way.

Because we have the Southwest Companion Pass, Anna flew for free, other than the $5.60 TSA fees charged each way.

Uber to Mandalay Bay

Waiting for Uber in Las Vegas
Waiting for our Uber to Mandalay Bay

We try to avoid renting cars whenever possible, especially in a city like Las Vegas where you stay in the city center, everything is so close, and drinking is encouraged!

The Uber ride was $11 from the airport on Saturday afternoon and $11 back to the airport when we left on Sunday morning.  Because of the competition from taxis, the Uber pick-up spot is hard to find.  Follow these instructions to easily find your ride… and avoid the mistake I made awhile back where I stood outside baggage claim wondering why my Uber driver had stopped.

If you’d like $15 in free Uber credits towards your first ride, use my referral link.  Lyft is also an option (and you get $50 in credits as a new rider)!

Gold status with MLife

Before checking in, I wanted to take advantage of my new Hyatt Platinum status (you can get for Hyatt Platinum for only $75) to get the reciprocal benefit of MLife Gold.  We walked over to the MLife desk and showed them my Platinum card.  A few minutes later, without gambling our first $1, I was already an MLife Gold member.

MLife Loyalty Levels

MLife Gold status gives you:

  • Tier Multiplier of 20%
  • Priority Hotel Check-in Line
  • VIP Line Access to Nightclubs and Pool Day Clubs for You and a Guest
  • Buffet Line Pass at Las Vegas Resorts
  • Extended Expiration for Points and Express Comps
  • Discounts on Rooms, Shows and at Participating Retail Shops

And you get automatic MLife Gold status by being a Hyatt Platinum.  You get automatic Hyatt Platinum by having the Chase Hyatt Visa.  If you’d like to get the Chase Hyatt Visa, I cannot link to it directly, but you can apply using my affiliate link below.

Checking into the Mandalay Bay

Because of our newfound MLife Gold status, rather than waiting in the normal life, we headed to the MLife line reserved for Gold members and above.  Nobody was waiting in line, so we walked right up to the desk agent.

Mandalay Bay checking in

Unfortunately, the MLife Gold status hadn’t had time to update in the computer system, so I showed my newly printed Gold card, and we were provided an upgrade to an Elite King Suite.

We had booked our reservation with a promotion, so we were entitled to $150 in resort credits that would be used to offset charges at the bar, room service, and any of the on-site restaurants. Charges at the convenience stores or gift shops did not qualify for these credits.

Our upgraded King Elite King Suite at Mandalay Bay

We were totally impressed with how large our upgraded Elite King Suite was!  765 square feet of awesomeness.  As you walk into the room there is a couch, coffee table, and two sitting chairs to relax in.

Mandalay Bay Elite King Suite sitting area

Our king bed was against the opposite wall and there was a desk overlooking McCarran Airport through our wall of floor-to-ceiling windows.

Mandalay Bay Elite King Suite bedroom

The bathroom had two separate entrances, double sinks, a huge soaker tub, shower, and the toilet was confined to its own little room.

Mandalay Bay Elite King Suite bathroom

If you’d like to see what people are saying about Mandalay Bay, or to make a reservation, use my affiliate link to TripAdvisor to find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor.

Billy Idol concert at House of Blues

We were able to buy our Billy Idol tickets pre-sale a few months ago with a promo code I found.  Ever since we had kids, we don’t go to Las Vegas very often.  I had no clue where the House of Blues was even located, and I hadn’t had much time to focus on it.  I figured we’d Uber to the venue if it was too far away.

Billy Idol Forever at House of Blues sign

By dumb luck, I picked to stay at Mandalay Bay over the MGM Grand (the two resorts I was considering until my buddy Mike, a local, told me that the Mandalay’s pools were the best). The House of Blues is inside Mandalay Bay, so that made things so much easier!

Because the venue was right inside our resort, we were able to meet up with my friends Mike and Dre, who are both locals, and my friends Alex and Nikki, who happened to be in Vegas for the weekend from North Carolina, for a couple of drinks before the concert started.

Billy Idol Forever at House of Blues Lee & Anna

The concert was epic. Wow… Billy Idol, at the age of 60, is in way better shape than I am at 40. He put on a two-hour concert that rocked the building. Aside from a couple of slower songs, the entire audience stood the entire time. He played every song I imagined him playing, except for “Cradle of Love”, which is one of my favorites of his.

Billy Idol Forever at House of Blues on stage

The House of Blues venue was very intimate, and even though our seats were some of the lower-priced tickets, we had a direct view of the stage and felt very close to the action. I would totally recommend going to future concerts there. There are no bad seats in the place.

Top 5 steaks of my life at STRIPSteak

Before heading off to the concert, we asked my local friend Mike which restaurants he recommends at Mandalay Bay.  He’s a total foodie and eats like a king in Vegas, so I respect his opinion on anything food-related.

Mandalay Bay STRIPSteak

He said that STRIPSteak had amazing steaks and the French Fries that the served instead of the traditional bread and butter were out of this world.

Mandalay Bay STRIPSteak fries
3 different seasonings, each paired with a different sauce

We called down to the concierge, and they set us up for one of the last reservations of the night, which gave us all the time we needed for the concert.

The recommendation did not disappoint.  Anna and I each had one of the most delicious steaks we’ve ever had. I paired mine with a few grilled shrimp, and we shared a side of gourmet Mac’N’Cheese that was mouth-watering.

Mandalay Bay STRIPSteak steak shrimp and mac'n'cheese

I know each of us was full before the meal was finished, but it was too good to leave any behind.  We powered through and ate every bite of steak, leaving only a little Mac’N’Cheese to take back to our room with us (which we finished later that night when the post-drinking munchies hit).

We were there to celebrate Anna’s anniversary of her 29th birthday, so they brought us out a little scoop of handmade ice cream to finish our meal.

Mandalay Bay STRIPSteak happy birthday

Breakfast at House of Blues

Mike used to work at the House of Blues, and he said that the breakfast had big portions and was really tasty.  Since I eat like a 4-year old, I had the pancakes that were fluffy and the size of an entire plate and a side of eggs and bacon.

Mandalay Bay House of Blues pancakes eggs and bacon

Anna eats like a grown-up and had eggs benedict.

Mandalay Bay House of Blues eggs benedict

Pools at Mandalay Bay

In mid-May, the Las Vegas sun and heat aren’t too bad.  The weather was sunny and the temp was probably mid-80s to low 90s.  It was hot, but not the blistering heat that sucks the breath out of you in the summertime.  Before we caught our afternoon flight home, we lounged poolside for a few hours with Mike and his buddy who DJs for a local radio station.

Mandalay Bay Lee and Mike

We found a pool that was pretty chill and used that as our base camp.  Anna wanted to relax and take a nap, so the boys decided to explore… with beers in hand, of course.

We traversed a couple of pools before we took a few laps around the lazy river.  We then checked out the wave pool, but there were mechanical issues that kept the wave machine from working that day.

Mandalay Bay wave pool

At a more secluded spot and private entrance, there was also a “European” pool where it is topless optional.  Our teenage brain said “YES!!!” but our adult brains said “no”, so we didn’t go to the European pool.

We went back to the pool where Anna was relaxing and threw the football around a little while before our Vegas weekend would draw to a close.


We have to say a big THANK YOU to Godmomma Hedieh for watching little Timmy and Scarlett for us so that we could have a fun weekend in Vegas.  It was great seeing old friends, attending the Billy Idol concert, and relaxing poolside.  We’ve found a new steakhouse to add to our favorites, and it was fantastic to achieve MLife Gold and receive all the perks associated with it without doing anything extra for it.

Mandalay Bay from airplane
Goodbye Mandalay Bay. We’ll be back!

What’s your favorite resort in Las Vegas?  Do you have any restaurant recommendations for the next time we visit?  Have you ever had a steak at STRIPSteak?  If not, you totally should!!!


  1. “We were there to celebrate Anna’s anniversary of her 29th birthday…”

    Oh, that is clever. LOL. I’m going to have to steal that phrase for my GF’s upcoming birthday.

    Glad to hear that your MLife status got you perks on this trip.

    • HAHA Anna isn’t that vain about her age, but I don’t want to get in trouble either. Hope your girlfriend has a great birthday? Doing anything special for her? I was happy about the Hyatt perks from the Chase card, getting the MLife perks was a nice cherry on top.


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