Travel Tuesday: Luxor Remodeled Pyramid Room (and Tower Room) Hotel Review
When my wife and I both reached fully vaccinated status, we knew exactly what we wanted to do next: head to Las Vegas. Sure enough, that’s what we did this past week (just ahead of everyone else doing the same thing, apparently), checking out several hotels in the process. Those reviews will be coming in future Travel Tuesday entries alongside some other reviews, but I wanted to kick-off this series with the first stop on our Strip tour: the Luxor.
As I’ve mentioned before, I have a huge soft spot for Luxor. I remember staying there as a kid, back then the atrium level was populated with attractions and a huge Sega arcade. Later in life, I’d often park behind the resort and explore it a bit before walking my way up and down the Strip. Of course even bigger was after exchanging our vows next door, my wife and I spent our first night as a married couple in one of the Pyramid Suites. Thus, when I saw that Luxor debuted some newly-remodeled rooms last month, I knew I had to check them out.
So how do the updated rooms compare to the older edition? And why did I end up staying in two different types of rooms during our stay? Let’s dive into my experience at Luxor and peek into their updated Pyramid rooms.
Luxor Remodeled Pyramid Rooms
Since we booked directly through MGM, checking in to our room was quite simple. With a just few taps in the app, we were able to see our room assignment and utilize a mobile key. I could even send said key to my wife. Alternatively, you can also use a QR code in the app to create physical keys at kiosks located near the front desk. While we’d eventually do the latter, it’s nice to have the ability to head straight to your room with just your phone… as long as the phone sends you to the right place.
One downside to staying in a newly remodeled room while others are still being worked on is that you’re sure to see or hear some construction at work. This reality was first brought to our attention when we headed to the bank of elevators (technically “inclinators” since they move diagonally) that the MGM app had directed us to — only to find that they were closed. Instead, we were then sent to an alternate bank that was literally on the complete opposite side of the casino. Luckily, the Luxor gaming floor isn’t that large so it wasn’t a huge hike, but it still seemed as though the app could have been updated to send us in the right direction from the start.
In any case, we found our new bank of elevators and, as we waited for the first available inclinator to arrive, a swarm of other guests arrived behind us. This line only grew as, when the first car did arrive, an employee regretfully informed us that he needed to commandeer it for a bit. That’s about the time I realized that the influx in people wasn’t just due to the fact that it was slightly after check-in time but also because a good chunk of the hotel’s occupancy was being sent to just one bank of elevators instead of two.
Eventually, we crammed admittedly too many people in the times of COVID onto an elevator to head to our floor. Once there, we realized that we’d need to walk a much larger portion of the pyramid’s perimeter to get to our room. That’s because, while the closed elevator bank would have dropped us just a few feet away, the open bank once again left us on the opposite side of where we needed to be.
Sadly, subsequent trips downstairs showed that this elevator queue was not going to be a one-time thing. That said, guests did seem to get better about creating an actual queue instead of just filling the bank area and hoping the car nearest them arrived next. Honestly, this experience made me dread leaving or returning to the room — and this wasn’t even a weekend (although they apparently reopen the other bank on weekends, so perhaps it actually would have been better then).
The remodeled Luxor Pyramid Room
Let me say up front that I really like the look of these remodeled rooms. Nevertheless, as I discovered, the elements need some light to be appreciated. Whether it was influenced by our elevator fiasco or not, upon entering our room, I wasn’t terribly impressed. Yet, once we opened the curtains and began exploring, I could see that this was indeed an upgrade — at least cosmetically.
In a press release announcing the updated rooms (obtained by the great site Vital Vegas), Luxor described the design as “inspired by Moroccan and North African cultures with bold splashes of orange and blue, with brilliant gold accents.” To be sure, Morocco isn’t Egypt, but I’ll take it. Indeed, the highlight of the new rooms is the wall design that is unique and fitting for the resort while also being much more appropriate than their preview remodel.
As far as functionality goes, I really liked the new desk in the room. Also, while the table is smaller than in other Luxor rooms I’ve stayed in, it still serves a purpose. Of course, the sticker added to the table warning guests that smoking of any kind including marijuana was prohibited distracted a bit from the upgrades.
Second only to the wall design in terms of impact is what’s been done to the bathrooms. Although I never got to use the remodeled shower (we’ll get to why in a moment), I have to say that it looked gorgeous. Then again, I am curious how well the half-panel glass performs in not getting the floor soaking wet but, alas, I can’t speak to that.
The only thing wrong with the remodel is that it fails to fix a couple of existing Luxor room flaws. For example, the bathroom looks fantastic but the automatic fan in it is still loud as all get-out. Ditto the air conditioner, which is still a unit with a dial instead of being hooked up to a thermostat. Between the two, the room can get a bit noisy, but it is the kind of noisy your brain starts to ignore after a bit.
My verdict — and the truth about the remodel
Seeing as I’m a big fan and defender of Luxor, it’s really exciting to see the resort getting some love in the form of this remodeling. However, there’s a bit more to it than that. Ready for a twist? Many of the items used in these remodeled Luxor rooms aren’t actually new but, instead, brought over from the Bellagio as that resort also undergoes remodeling (P.S. a review on one of those remodeled rooms is coming in a few weeks). When put side by side, you can clearly see how pieces of the furniture have been reincorporated:
Honestly, I find this to be incredibly clever on MGM’s part and don’t really take much issue with it. That said, while most of the furniture fits the updated Luxor aesthetic, there are a couple of oddities. Perhaps most notably, since the Bellagio rooms contain a minibar and the Luxor rooms don’t, the armoire had a big, rectangular door that opened to reveal nothing behind it. I’m guessing most guests won’t think anything of this except that it’s a bit weird. Also, in a room with two queen beds like ours, it may be difficult for someone on the far edge of one of the beds to see the television due to the design of the armoire. But, I suspect that this room design works better in a King room and kind of wish I’d ponied up the extra few dollars for that instead.
Our TV issue (A.K.A “why this is a two-room review”)
As we finally settled into our room, we attempted to turn on the TV for a bit… only to find that every channel was scrambled or static. Our first instinct was to just ignore it, but I suggested that my wife call in a work order just because. A couple of hours later, when we returned to our room after having dinner, we found that the engineer was working on the problem but having no luck. After trying a couple of other solutions, he determined that the issue wasn’t something that could be fixed easily as it required moving the furniture (which he did indeed confirm came from Bellagio).
Before we could even decline, the engineer was on the phone with booking telling them that they needed to move us to another room. When he turned the phone over to me, the rep asked if she could put us up in one of the towers instead — meaning we’d no longer be in the pyramid. While I was disappointed by this at first and nearly asked to stay in my beloved pyramid, I quickly remembered the elevator situation and decided that avoiding that was worth it. So, after getting our room assignment in the West Tower, we quickly repacked our items and shot the footage we needed of the room before heading down and picking up our new keys.
Luxor Tower Room
Heading to our room
Given the emphasis, I put on the elevator experience in our Pyramid room, were things better in the Tower? Short answer: yes — 1,000 times yes. Since moving to the other room, I don’t think we waited more than 20 seconds for an elevator in either direction. Thus, even if the impetus was kind of silly, our move was justified overall.
Exiting the awesomely-fast and comfortably-empty elevator and walking toward our room, it was clear just how much of a step-up in decor the Towers have when compared to the Pyramid (although I do love looking over the edge of the Pyramid’s walkways). That tone continued into the bedroom, which broke up its darker tones with bright green chairs that were probably the highlight of the room.
Using the room
For as much as I enjoyed the look of the Tower room, I can’t say I was a big fan of all of it. First up, I found the beds to be incredibly low. This shouldn’t really matter, but it felt odd to me. I also felt like the Pyramid room’s beds were more comfortable overall — but I didn’t spend enough time in that room to really provide a fair comparison.
As I alluded to, the chairs in the Tower room may have been the best part (or at least they were for my wife). I also liked the look of the lower desk-style television stand when compared to the armoire. On that note, however, I missed the solo desk found in the Pyramid room as the Tower simply had a chair next to the TV to serve as the working area.
One aspect I did really like though was the shower. Despite not being quite as pretty as the remodeled one, it fit the bill in terms of functionality. In fact, it probably had among the best water pressure I’ve experienced in a hotel room. That gets a big thumbs up from me.
There really isn’t too much to say about the Tower room other than “it was fine.” When compared to the remodeled Pyramid room, I’d say the choice comes down to convenience. Personally, between the two, I think I prefer the decor and function of the new Pyramid rooms even if the Tower rooms are a bit larger and perhaps swankier. That said, the Tower gets major points for the the accessibility and the fact that it has a modern AC system. Thus, choosing between the two in the future may be complicated for me and will likely depend on the circumstances.
Final Thoughts on Luxor’s Remodeled Pyramid Rooms (and Tower Room)
Obviously this visit to the Luxor wasn’t the best on record. In their defense, however, the speed in which business came back to Vegas may have caught the resort off-guard. Because of this, I’m inclined to think that things will improve once the latest round of remodeling is completed, allowing the other elevator bank to operate. When that happens, I’d happily stay in one of these rooms again and hopefully get to try that beautiful-looking shower.
Of course, even with this fresh coat of paint, Luxor is still more of a guilty-pleasure dive hotel than anything else. But, having recently peeked into an aging but affordable hotel up the strip, I can say that Luxor is actually not in that bad of shape. Sure an update to the AC would be nice considering the Vegas heat.. but, hey, it works. Ultimately, if you liked Luxor before, you’ll likely like it now and if you thought it was a dump before, this remodel is unlikely to change your mind. In my mind, I’m just glad to see my little pyramid’s hanging in there — even if that means making the most of hand-me-downs.