‘A Fitness Gamble’
This iconic structure covered in a luxurious golden tint has always attracted my attention, so on this visit to Vegas, I was eager to find out what the Mandalay Bay Hotel and The MGM Resorts International really had to offer in the form of a fitness facility.
When you travel to these large resorts, I appreciate that any personal attention is hard to come by however accommodating the staff are when you finally reach them. Multiply that by 10 when you land in Vegas, that’s unless you are lucky enough to find the Concierge desk with a line less than fourteen people deep. So, by the guidance of the Bell Staff, I followed the small signs to the specifically named ‘Cardio Center’ downstairs.
As I passed some kind of reception desk for the area and the large Spa entrance to the left, I could see the sign in lights above the door. Bingo…sort of! As it appeared to be split into sections, I continued to walk the floor in search of the other rooms…’Stretching Center’…..’Weights Center’, etc. but to no avail. So I came to the quick conclusion that it must be all through the Cardio Center, so I headed in.
My enthusiasm quickly turned to confusion as I wandered around the room looking for other areas. Bizarrely, the magical door was nowhere to be found and then the realisation set in …. this was it! What were they thinking??
Let’s put this into some kind of context; this is a 3,000+ room resort and therefore a capacity of a 6,000+ people. I fully understand not everyone is there to don their lycra and keep the fitness police at bay, but to offer a room approximately 10m wide x 15m long and crammed with equipment is just shocking, to say the least. They have a 30,000 square foot Spa and then offer a 1,700 square foot exercise area…a slight imbalance most would say!
- 12 Treadmills (1 out of order)
- 2 Upright Bikes
- 3 Recumbent Bikes
- 6 Elliptical Trainers
- 3 Free Riders
Off to one side is a small additional area (5m x 3m) for floor work and some free-weight exercises but extremely cramped for anything useful. The equipment here didn’t help matters either as it was all a complete mess and dirty. With people squeezing into any floor space they could grab, it was more like a yoga class layout and that just doesn’t work when there are dumbbells involved.
- 2 Mats
- 2 Benches (tatty)
- Dumbbells (mix and match and not a complete set)
- A few fixed Bars
- Upper Body Trainer/Grinder
Staffing & Cleanliness
Non-existent on both counts, which is pretty shocking considering the health & safety regulations in the US. The equipment was dirty, and I mean not just from a couple of users who haven’t wiped down after themselves – this was ingrained and stained through a complete lack of thorough cleaning and it’s just unacceptable in this environment.
Towels and Water
Zero towels on offer for two of my visits and one large empty water dispenser. If you end up going, it’s best to take your own!
Yes, most of the cardio equipment had in-built screens but for those not using one, 1 of the 4 on the wall was not working for the duration of my stay. Again, not acceptable when there is a vast engineering team working 24/7 to keep the hotel going. 10 minutes max to change a screen, so there is no excuse for it not to be working for days on end.
The Important Six
- Equipment Selection 1/10
- Layout 1/10
- Cleanliness 1/10
- Staff 0/10
- Towels/Drinks 0/10
- Inspiring Environment 1/10
In all my travels I don’t think I have come across such a shocking gym relative to the size of the hotel. The room was old, tired and extremely dirty. They lacked so many items the list is too long to even offer examples here, and with no qualified members of staff to be seen, the hotel management is obviously focused more on the money-making spa treatments than the free fitness facility. The only positive I can offer is that the AC was working OK so a treadmill run was possible in relative atmospheric comfort!
I did explore a little further as I just couldn’t accept that this was really it, and I was informed on the second day that for an additional $15 I could use the ‘weights room’ in the Spa. But the whole concept of paying more for what should really be included anyway is again mind-blowing so I declined the scam.
So, for those wanting to be at physical peace with themselves after a night on the town and before the next, well, the Mandalay Bay isn’t the one I would recommend!
Global Fitness Guide (GFG) Rating: 1/10