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From the Road, TheHotel in VEGAS

Two nights and 3 days in Vegas--more than enough time to see the sights, check out a new hotel, get some work done, sweat, and have a little fun...not necessarily in that order. As part of a business gig, I landed at TheHotel in the Mandalay Bay, an all-suite, swank experience. In fact, TheHotel's entrance alone is worth noting. Unlike at most Vegas properties, which require a long trek through the casino, here you enter directly into the very cool and slick lobby, bypassing the "ding dinging" of slots and other gambling apparatus altogether. So if for some reason you want to avoid the Vegas experience, you can. For others, access to the casino is via a long marble floored hallway; sports book is on the right.

Everything here is top of the line, or at least tries to be. Suites are masculine and stylish.  Having 2 bathrooms along with a separate sleeping area are unique Vegas perks!  Service at this "boutique" logding (which in Vegas means over 1,100 rooms on 43 floors), was great, even when they got it wrong the first time. Staff here definitely seek to please. While we grumbled at not having an in-room coffee pot, the hotel offers a morning coffee service, will happily equip your room with a hot water boiler for tea, and SBUX is brewed at the full service coffee shop in the lobby.

Also off the lobby is the cool, all-hour cafe. TheHotel definitely seeks to please the athletic-minded with its fully stocked fitness center (fee). Cardio junkies will appreciate the 5 treads, 3 Life Fitness ellipticals, 2 Precors, one LF upright bike, one LF recumbent, and a moving stair machine. Weight lifters are equally treated with the room's 12 stack loaded weight stations, free weights, dumbbells, and fixed weight barbells. There are ab balls, yoga mats for stretching, individual TV screens and a fully stocked water cooler. So All good right? Wrong. Maybe it's just me, but the reddish "mood" lighting made me dizzy. Reading is a challenge and it just feels off. Anyone else out there have this experience?? This pic gives a decent sense of the equipment and lighting.

Although snapping a pic was a bit of a challenge with mirrors on every wall. But, for a workout or two, the abundance of top-notch equipment makes TheHotel a winner. Outside of the hotel, in the main Casino complex, are a number of eateries (as well as the House of Blues), so you likely won't have to wander far to find a suitable nibble...although we ran into a major timing snafu dining at the very pricey RM restaurant...the food was excellent, but at nearly 3 hours, the timing and service were off, way off. The Mandalay complex is a bit of a hike from the rest of the Strip, but with the cool shops, eateries, various lodgings (including a Four Seasons) and solid fitness options, you really don't need to go anywhere else.

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