Owned by MGM Mirage, this Hawaiian-themed, 3,000 room hotel is as much an entertainment complex as a place to stay. Over 40 years ago it was known as Castaways. But it’s as up-to-the-minute fresh as any place in Vegas now.
Inside the front entrance is a lush tropical rainforest housed under a 100-foot high dome, with 60-foot palm trees providing ‘shade’. Not far away are the lagoons where visitors can swim or walk among palm trees. With two pools and a series of cliffs where water streams down into grottos, it’s a man-made paradise. Step along and step up to the Paradise Cafe or the Dolphin Bar and sip a cool drink on a hot Vegas day.
If you’re feeling especially hot, or want to get that way, try the Bare pool area. A clothing-free environment, you can lounge away and observe the local beauty while sipping a drink from the bar. You’ll enjoy the sunshine au naturel as the dolphins swim only a few feet away.
Connected to it is a Siegfried & Roy-sponsored animal attraction: the Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat. The area is a carefully reconstructed tropical paradise. Here, a dozen species fly, crawl or swim continuously. The 2.5 million gallon pool is home to several Atlantic bottleneck dolphins in a sandy-bottomed artificial coral reef system. With four connected pools, they enjoy plenty of variety and so will the visitor.
For a closer look at sea life, visit the Aquarium – a 20,000-gallon seawater enclosure that houses puffer fish, tangs, and other interesting creatures. There are over 60 species represented among the 1,000 animals and all are easily visible within the 53-foot long, six-foot-wide by 8-foot high, 4-inch thick acrylic walls.
Until a few years ago the hotel was the home of the Siegfried & Roy white tiger-themed show. But Roy was attacked by one of the animals and the show closed down. Fortunately, the tigers are still around in the White Tiger Habitat.
Visible daily, these rare beauties are on display 24 hours per day, 7 days per week in a carefully controlled environment. With a pool, fountains and simulated mountain terrain for the tigers to enjoy, it’s a treat for them as well as the viewer.
Outside is the Mirage volcano – an artificial Vesuvius that erupts periodically throughout the evening. At the top of each hour from 7 p.m. to midnight, flames shoot high into the night sky, spraying smoke and fire a hundred feet up.
Backed by design expertise that helped create the Bellagio Fountains, it’s a not-to-miss attraction. Over 50 feet high, situated on three water-covered acres, it’s been amazing viewers for almost 20 years. It even smells interesting. To mask the scent of the gas used to power the volcano, the structure emits Piña Colada vapor.
Come smell the breeze at The Mirage.