Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium ~ Las Vegas 2009-’15



Mandalay Bay Shark Reef Aquarium ~ Las Vegas 2009-’15

The Mandalay Bay Hotel Casino has been around since the mid 1990s.  Mandalay Bay is a huge mega resort property that literally covers a few square miles.  It is almost necessary to have a map to find one’s way to the various sights in Mandalay Bay, because there are many nooks and crannies that are well worth checking out. One of the gems that can be found in Mandalay Bay is the Shark Reef Aquarium, which is quite a popular destination during the hot summer months.  

The rooms in the Mandalay Bay Resort towers offer all modern amenities and luxury suites are available.  Those who prefer exclusivity will find luxury beyond belief at the Delano.  The Delano was previously named THEHotel.  The exclusive Four Seasons Hotel is also part of the Mandalay Bay property.  Presidential suites suitable for dignitaries are offered at The Four Seasons, which is for the most part is an exclusive resort of its own. Mandalay Bay has been constantly upgraded through the years, so this luxury resort facility is state of the art by modern standards.  The Mandalay Bay Convention Center was recently expanded once again and this convention hall now has an attendance capacity that is larger than many small cities. If it is a large function that is planned, then Mandalay Bay should be at the top of the list! 

The vast casino floor at Mandalay Bay is posh beyond belief.  The decor and atmosphere reflects upon southeast Asian casual elegance.  There are many restaurants, nightclubs and lounges to choose from on the casino floor level.  The service staff professionalism is high and this adds to the overall guest experience.

The main casino floor is connected to the neighboring Luxor and Excalibur casinos by a huge corridor consisting of several escalators and people movers.  This long hallway actually is an entertainment corridor where many performing arts theaters and top chef signature restaurants can be found.  The Chris Angel Magic Theater, RM Seafood and the unique Mix Lounge can be found in this area.  There also is a unique shopping mall in Mandalay Bay and the House Of Blues is located nearby.  Many famous musicians have headlined on stage here over the years. 

On the opposite side of the vast casino floor is where the convention center corridor begins.  One section of this corridor is devoted to fine dining restaurants and cafés.  The name of one famous chef after another can be seen on the signs.  Restaurants in this area showcase everything from a freezing cold Russian vodka bar that is totally made of ice to a wine tower that is over three stories tall.  Plate prices can range from less than $20 at the casual fine dining restaurants to $5,000 for the world’s most expensive gourmet hamburger at Fleur! Speaking of Fleur by Hubert Keller, I gave this French restaurant a try for lunch before experiencing the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay.  The Gazpacho Shooters and Chicken Croquettes were a nice combination for a Las Vegas style light lunch!

After lunch at Fleur, I was energized and ready to explore more of Mandalay Bay.  I had never been to the Shark Reef Aquarium in Mandalay Bay before, so I decided to spend a relaxing afternoon wandering through the ancient jungle scenery.  Shark Reef is a very large indoor aquarium that offers unique visual experience.  The Asian jungle temple decor of Shark Reef quickly separates visitors from the outside world they are accustomed to.  It is easy to forget about the hustle and bustle of big city life in this serene place! 

What makes the Shark Reef Aquarium so unique is the visitor passageway design.  Visitors walk through glass tube tunnels that are surrounded by water, fish and sharks.  Inside the glass tube walkways, spectators get an amazing 360º view of the sea life!  The Shark Reef Aquarium is recommended for visitors of all ages and this is one of the few true family friendly destinations in Sin City.  Shark Reef offers narrated guided tours for groups and events can be scheduled ahead of time.  There is even a shallow water petting zoo for children that want to experience something exciting and new!  

This article was published long before the Mandalay Bay mass murder incident took place on October 1st, 2017. I was in Las Vegas that night and it truly was a somber sad event that should not be the focus of attention when visiting this resort. There are October 1st memorials in Las Vegas where visitors can pay their mournful respect and it is best to leave it at that.

Exploring all that Mandalay Bay has to offer can take a few days time.  This is what a good modern mega-resort theme is all about. Guests will likely not stray off the property, because Mandalay Bay offers so many things to do and so much fun stuff to experience that boredom never sets in.  It is very easy to forget that the outside world exists while wandering around in Mandalay Bay, especially after spending a few hours in the Shark Reef Aquarium!

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Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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