Travel Tuesday: The Signature at MGM Grand Hotel Review
Over the past few months, I’ve been recalling my experiences at various hotels as part of my Las Vegas Content Bonanza™. Today, that series comes to a close (for now) as I look at the last location we stayed at during our most recent trip: The Signature at MGM Grand. This is a property I’ve been curious about checking out for a while now and finally had the chance to. So did it live up to my expectations? Let’s take a look at The Signature and what makes it unique.
The Signature at MGM Grand: Our Experience
You can book a stay at The Signature using a few different options, including third-party travel sites. In my case, I actually booked directly with MGM for a specific reason: I had an Amex Offer for select MGM resorts. As a result, I was able to score a $100 statement credit when I spent a total of $500 in room fees and charges. This meant we were able to charge dinner to the room and have that spending amount push us over the $500 requirement. In any case, with no major benefits or drawbacks to speak of in regards to any particular medium, I think you’re pretty safe to go with whatever your favorite platform is.
The Signature at MGM Grand vs MGM Grand
The Signature at MGM Grand is an interesting property for a few reasons. Topping the list is the fact that the buildings were actually meant to be condos. However, while there are still apparently a handful of full-time residents, most owners either allow MGM to rent out their units or have since sold them back to the company.
Of course, while this bit of trivia may not be all that relevant to your stay, this next bit is: Signature and MGM Grand are separate properties. Therefore, you’ll want to ensure you know where you’re going before you arrive as the Signature has a separate drive-up area as well as a separate check-in area from MGM Grand. We’ll cover these aspects a bit more in-depth in a moment, but I figured I should start with that heads up.
So if The Signature is only technically at MGM Grand, where exactly is it? Well, the street address puts it on Harmon Avenue, which is about halfway between the major streets – Tropicana Avenue and Flamingo Road. Walking out of the front gates of The Signature will put you a short walk from The Strip — although you’ll be far enough away that it will look like a completely different place. In any case, once you do make your way to the Strip, you’ll be near City Center, which is home to Aria and Cosmopolitan. Slightly more north, you’ll find Planet Hollywood and Paris while walking south will get you to Park MGM and, yes, MGM Grand.
Alternatively, The Signature does connect to the MGM Grand via an indoor walkway. While this may be preferred if you plan on gaming at this property, it’s still a bit of a hike to get through the Grand and out to the Strip. Because of this, I’d recommend looking to see where your next destination is in order to determine whether it makes more sense to exit onto Harmon directly or head through MGM Grand to start your journey.
As I noted, the check-in area for The Signature at MGM Grand is completely separate from check-in for MGM Grand proper. If you’re arriving by walking through the MGM Grand, you’ll want to follow signs for The District, the convention center, the pool, and the Monorail to help point you in the right direction. Once you get all the way to the end of The District (past the CBS store), you’ll see a set of doors for The Signature off to the left. If the doors are closed, you may need to insert your key card to have them open — if you don’t yet have a keycard, there’s also a phone available to call the desk. Luckily, they were open when we went were headed toward check-in.
Once past these doors, it’s a decently long walk to each of The Signature’s three towers. On that note, each tower has its own check-in desk — although, at the time of our visit, the reception area for Tower 3 was closed, so guests for both Towers 2 and 3 were checking in at the former. Also important to point out is that, while you can check-in using the MGM app like you can with other properties, The Signature does not support mobile keys. In other words, you’ll still need to stop by the front desk in order to pick up your keys before heading to your room.
Before I knew about the whole “no mobile key” thing, I actually checked us in on the app and was assigned a room on the sixth floor. But, when we made our way to the desk, the friendly team member moved us up to the 29th floor instead. After that, she directed us to the elevators and we were on our way.
The room and features
This may sound weird to say but I got definite “timeshare” vibes from The Signature just from walking the hallway on our floor. For instance, instead of the doors all lying flush in the hall like most hotels, here there were small alcoves where two room doors — each at an opposite diagonal — resided. Having stayed at plenty of timeshare resorts in the past, this is instantly what I associated this design with.
I tell you that for a reason: what makes The Signature at MGM Grand special is the timeshare-esque amenities that it offers. While I’ve bemoaned the lack of basic amenities, for example a coffee maker, in many Vegas hotel rooms (which led us to bring a collapsible electric kettle along for our last visit), this room includes that perk and much more. This includes a mini-fridge, microwave, and even a two-burner range. Truth be told, these features were the prime reason I was excited to try out The Signature — and they delivered.
While having lunch at Park MGM’s La La Noodle before moving rooms, it was so nice knowing that we could save our leftovers as we’d not only have a place to keep them at a safe temperature but could even reheat our items to better enjoy them. Yes, I realize that this is probably not as big of a deal for others as it is for me… but I think it’s a gamechanger by Vegas standards.
One difference between a traditional timeshare and The Signature is that flatware, plates, and the like were not kept in the room. I’m unclear on whether this was a COVID precaution or just standard operating procedure. In either case, if you’d like any of these items, they can be requested.
Outside of the awesome kitchenette features, I was also pleased with the other aspects of the room. In addition to the king-sized bed, the room also had a love seat, coffee table, and chair set as well as a decently sized table desk. I also really liked the small divider that sat between the living area and the bed. Meanwhile, the bathroom was also quite spacious and featured a walk-in shower, tub, and a separate toilet room.
Finally, in what’s yet another Vegas rarity for… reasons… select The Signature at MGM Grand rooms have balconies! While the view from our deck wasn’t terribly exciting during the day, it benefitted from the many lights of The Strip that come out at night. Honestly, although we didn’t spend a ton of time outside, the novelty of having access to a balcony was nice and I probably would have used it more if our stay were longer.
At the time of our visit, there wasn’t much dining to speak of. While there is a “private” Starbucks location at The Signature (which, although still fairly busy, offered a much shorter wait than the other ones we passed) and a bar, that was about it. Looking online, I thought that the bar/lounge offered food, but this turned out not to be the case when we arrived. That said, this was likely a COVID-centric change, so your experience may be different.
In any case, the good news is that food isn’t too far away. When heading back to MGM Grand via the walkway, you’ll land in what’s known as The District. Here you’ll find the typical MGM food court fare as well as several table service locations. On our visit, we tried the relatively new International Smoke restaurant, which is a collaboration between Ayesha Curry and Chef Michael Mina. My wife and I both enjoyed our meals here, with her getting the “Tokyo” Fried Chicken while I opted for a burger. However, the highlight for her was likely the Smoke Signals cocktail, which featured Basil Hayden bourbon, cardamom, and bitters and was presented in a smoke-filled glass case. Sure, this cost $25 but, hey, it’s Vegas!
I should also mention that we had no issue charging the meal to our room at The Signature. Because of this, I’d presume you could do the same at any MGM property. Nevertheless, much like my experience at Park MGM regarding NoMad, it’s nice dining at a place where’s there’s a much better chance that the people will understand what you’re talking about.
As for other nearby dining options, if we hadn’t just had Asian food for lunch, we probably would have headed for Morimoto. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for some more affordable options that aren’t part of the food court, I’d recommend Pieology, which is found in the Underground section of MGM Grand. But, the moral of the story is that you’ll likely need to walk a bit — yet not too far — to get to anything worth eating.
Final Thoughts on The Signature at MGM Grand
Overall, there are pros and cons to staying at The Signature at MGM Grand. To me, the biggest benefits include the kitchenette items offered in the room as well as the balcony for fresh air. On the other hand, despite technically being attached to a casino on The Strip, the location of The Signature does leave something to desired. Personally, I had no issue walking from the property, but it’s certainly a hike when compared to some of the other rooms I’ve reviewed. Additionally, as much as I appreciate the exclusive Starbucks, I do wish there were more dining options at The Signature itself.
Another downside to this property is the price. With rates starting at around $150 for a weeknight (for a non-balcony room) plus a $39 per night resort fee, there are definitely more affordable options. Heck, my Fine Hotels & Resorts booking at Bellagio had a lower base rate and that came with a $100 dining credit. So while The Signature is still far from the most expensive place in Vegas, the potential savings you might enjoy from having a kitchenette are likely to be offset by the high room cost.
With all of that said, I could still see myself staying at The Signature again. Specifically, it’d be a great place to set up shop on weekdays when we’ll need to be working out of the room. Ultimately, if you’re looking for something a bit off the beaten path and that has some of the amenities of home, The Signature at MGM Grand may be a good — albeit slightly pricey — pick.
Also published on Medium.