The Luxor: Ancient Egypt in Las Vegas

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Luxor Lobby

The Luxor lobby and check-in desks

As I mentioned when I first returned from my October trip to Las Vegas, I was pleasantly surprised by my stay at the Luxor. I had heard nothing but negative reviews about the hotel for years, so I expected it to be a dump. It wasn’t. In fact, I would stay here again for a number of reasons.

I think the front desk agent at the Luxor who checked me in and switched me from a Pyramid room to a Tower room did me a huge favor. Most of the negative reviews I’ve heard from people staying at Luxor were from people who stayed in the Pyramid (which is older). I was happy with my Tower room. (Though I would have liked the opportunity to ride the Inclinator at least once.)

When I first assessed the noise situation in my room, I thought I was screwed. I had room 3218 in the Tower, on the Third Floor above one of the entrances (facing Excalibur). There was also a connecting door to the room next to me. (I hate when my room has a connecting door. You might as well force me to share my room with the people next door, because it sounds like they’re in my room anyway.)

Luxor Tower room

Room 3218 at the Luxor, a Tower double queen room

Perhaps most puzzling of all, there was a loud industrial fan in the hallway just beyond my room blowing non-stop the entire week I was there. There were signs noting that the floor was wet. I kept thinking “What the hell happened here that it takes an entire week to dry the carpet?” I never did find out. But I think that industrial fan was the only thing that allowed me to sleep at night. (That and my trusty earplugs.) It created just enough white noise to block out potential sounds that might have kept me awake, such as traffic outside.

Luxor bathroom

See? Clean bathroom. Fluffy towels. Magnified mirror for those of us with poor eyesight.

The room itself was perfectly nice, if a bit dark. In addition to the two queen beds, there were two easy chairs and a small round table. The safe was roomy enough for all my valuable crap. There were no extra blankets, so whenever I got too cold, I just turned off the a/c in the room. The bathroom was clean, with fluffy towels, a separate tub and shower, and very good water pressure.

Toiletries

Aww, cute little pyramid-shaped soap.

The only negatives I can report on this room are:

1) Unlike the Monte Carlo, they do not offer free daily bottles of water here as part of the resort fee, nor is there a coffee maker. The resort fee gives you nothing of value. Nothing. You even have to go fetch your free newspaper from the gift shop yourself if you want to read it (and who the hell wants to read USA Today anyway?)

Flat screen TV

You can see the Internet cord beneath/behind the TV, lower right. Ugh.

2) Because there was no desk in the room, the Internet cable was located behind the flat screen TV in the armoire. The only way to connect to the Internet was to reach behind the TV, pull the cord out and let it dangle there. Ridiculous. At the time I stayed there (October 2013), they had not yet upgraded the room for wifi. It almost felt like I really was staying in Ancient Egypt! Thankfully, I knew this ahead of time and purchased a mobile wifi router that I brought with me so I could use my tablet. It worked like a charm.

Hieroglyphs

There are hieroglyphs everywhere in this hotel. Luckily, they have signs in English, too.

Speaking of Ancient Egypt, for all that I and others have complained about the de-theming that has occurred at the Luxor, newcomers would never know that. You’re still staying in a hotel shaped like a pyramid with a sphynx and obelisk out front. There are still massive Egyptian statues towering over the lobby, and even smaller Egyptian touches everywhere—pictures in the rooms, photos on the walls of the hallways leading to the Tower elevators; hieroglyphs on the columns leading up the walkway to the Excalibur; a buffet themed like an archaeological dig. Even the soap in my room was Pyramid-shaped. In most ways, it remains one of the most themed resorts on the Strip.

Luxor themeing

Still one of the most themed resorts in town.

This review is running long, so let me just sum up the rest of my pros and cons for the Luxor:

Pros:

  • As far as I noticed, everything was clean.
  • Because of how Luxor is connected to both Mandalay Bay and Excalibur, you have access to three resorts’ worth of casinos, shows, bars and restaurants without ever going outside.
  • The food court and the 2 Starbucks are handy for quick, cheap food. I especially recommend the sandwiches at L.A. Subs. The girls working there were super polite, too.
  • The Pyramid Cafe has a fantastic breakfast menu.
  • The staff I interacted with were helpful and good at their jobs from the front desk to housekeeping, valet, bartenders and waitresses in the Pyramid Cafe.
  • As a solo female traveler, I felt comfortable staying at this hotel.
  • They have a decent sized pool area. It’s not the prettiest, but it serves its purpose.
  • There are plenty of show options here, though only one I would go see (Carrot Top). Michael Jackson ONE is right next door in Mandalay Bay, though, and that’s one of the best shows in town.
  • I recommend seeing the Titanic Exhibit. It’s a worthwhile attraction.
  • Depending on where you are and where you’re going, the monorail connecting Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay might save you a little walking.
Decent pool area

The pool area could use some more pizzazz, but is otherwise decent.

Cons:

  • The restaurants in Luxor weren’t all that appealing to me; I wound up eating at Mandalay Place/Mandalay Bay a lot.
  • The Pyramid Cafe closes at 1 or 2pm. Boo.
  • I couldn’t find any slot machines I wanted to play in their casino. So I didn’t gamble here at all. I saw little kids running around in the casino one night; security was nowhere in sight and the parents were obviously clueless.
  • It was a very long walk to the Tower elevators. That got old after awhile.
  • Nobody checked room keys at the Tower elevators.
  • The location is a little too far south on the Strip if you don’t have access to a car. I didn’t spend any time north of Caesars Palace on this trip, so it wasn’t a big deal to me.
  • I’ve already mentioned this, but it bears repeating: It’s just an embarrassment that they don’t have wifi, or even a decent wired Internet setup in the rooms. Get with the 21st Century, Luxor.
Titanic Exhibit

The Titanic Exhibit is definitely worth seeing

At the end of the day, the true test of a hotel for me is this: Would I stay here again for the same or slightly higher price?

The answer is yes. It was clean and comfortable and I had access to everything I need for a Vegas vacation. The prices here tend to be among the lowest on the Strip, so if you’re on a budget, it’s a good choice. (I’d stay here again before I’d stay at Ballys, Harrahs, the Quad, Excalibur, Riviera, or Circus Circus.) I recommend booking a Tower room, despite the long walk. And if you wish you could afford to stay at Mandalay Bay, but you can’t, staying at the Luxor is the next best thing, since the casino, shows, and restaurants at Mandalay Bay are just a short indoor walk away.

Doorknob privacy sign

Their doorknob privacy signs are cute.

19 thoughts on “The Luxor: Ancient Egypt in Las Vegas

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      It was really good, wasn’t it, Sharon? I like the way they draw the visitor in by giving them the identity of someone who actually sailed on the ship.

  1. Shawn P

    I once stayed at the Excalibur in a room that was directly opposite yours, on the second floor, right above that entrance. I never really heard much noise, other than the woman loudly and angrily proclaiming to her insignificant other that no, she was certainly NOT drunk, right before she got sick, slapped him for trying to help, then passed out on the sidewalk right below my window. Since she was most assuredly NOT drunk, I can only assume that she tried the buffet.

  2. DB

    Great review of the Luxor! I wondered what the rooms looked like, so thanks for including a snapshot of your room. Was very shocked to hear that this hotel doesn’t have Wi-Fi in their rooms, even as part of the ‘resort fee’. What are they waiting for?? Considering the hotel is part of the MGM Resorts collection of hotels, you’d think Wi-Fi would be a minimum standard in all of them, no? Thanks for alerting everyone to this. I also did the Titanic Exhibition (great) and the Bodies Exhibit (also great, but not sure if still there). The Jabbawockeez show is AMAZING! I think you would like it. 🙂 Also, agree Michael Jackson’s ONE is definitely one of the best shows in Vegas. Seen it twice already. Great post!

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      DB, thanks for your comment. Yes, you would think wifi would be minimum standard these days, but no, not at the Luxor. Unfortunately, I’m too squeamish for the Bodies Exhibit, and the masks the Jabbawockeez wear creep me out. I’ve seen too many serial killer movies, I guess. LOL.

  3. Hardware

    Haven’t set foot in the Luxor in more than a decade, I’m certain.

    And this should be of little surprise given how little time I spend on the strip these days.

    Some day I may stay at Monte Carlo when the pool weather is decent so I have access to their lazy river. They have a lazy river, right?

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      It’s changed a bit, but not as much as I thought, Mike. If pool is important, I’d definitely go with the Monte over the Luxor. Yes, they do have a lazy river–and a wave pool and a regular pool.

  4. Brian Chevrier

    It’s surprisingly hard to find out which rooms have safes in Las Vegas. I was pleased to see your mention of one in the towers, since I’m about to stay there. And overall your review had just the right amount of detail… thanks for posting it.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Glad it was helpful for you, Brian! Most Vegas hotel rooms do have safes. I’m always shocked when they don’t (or when they’re tiny). Have a great trip!

  5. Elane Dickenson

    I have stayed in Luxor three different times and always have liked it, puzzled at people’s putdowns, though I guess they are comparing it to the higher end hotels. Once I traded my last night’s upgrade to a Tower Room, and moved to a Pyramid room, just so I could experience the inclinator.

  6. Gary

    I remember my stay in a pyramid room. I bumped my head on the window every time I went to peek out 🙂

  7. Brian Chevrier

    Years ago when we stayed in a pyramid room my wife was quite surprised when a window-washing robot went by the window on cables. I was in the food court and missed the whole thing.

    I remember there was plenty of room for your luggage and shoes under the slanted windows.

  8. Brian Chevrier

    Well, this was before the days of window wraps, and MGM was spending more on maintenance back then. I don’t know if they bother to clean the windows of the pyramid any more. I’m kind of surprised they still maintain and operate the light on top – I bet that thing is expensive to keep going.

  9. Rod Molidor

    I stayed at Luxor about a year after it was built. I remember I liked the hotel and the room quite a lot. I have heard a lot of bad things about Luxor over the years and I always thought they got a bad rap.

    1. Gray Cargill Post author

      Yeah, I guess it depends on your expectations and tastes, Rod. I had a great experience there. Of course, I stayed in a Tower room; they’re newer, so that might make a difference.

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