MGM National Harbor


Am I in love?!?! No. Decidedly no. I wanted to be in love. I really did. I was excited as anyone. I was ready. I was the unpaid advocate. I was a Gladwell tipping point for real. I was on it man. Talking to everyone. Watching the progress. I was as ready as anyone. But it just doesn’t reach love. A strong like for sure, but Vegas it ain’t. It ain’t even the Borgata or the gone but not forgotten Revel (if you didn’t go in that brief window it was open you truly missed out on an east coast gem).

The MGM National Harbor does come close though! It has a grand lobby complete with ever changing displays. It has a food court that kicks the shit out of any casino food court you’ve ever been to. It has grand restaurants and great typical casino bars. It has a huge poker room and tables aplenty. It’s shiny new and it’s got some good shit…BUT,
Why does the hotel entrance have to be a weirdly small hallway off to the wrong side of the hotel lobby? It’s sad and weird.
Why does the main entrance put on such massive displays that it’s hard to even walk around them during their construction?
Why does the pool have to be so small? and face that weird forest direction? and only be hyper seasonal?
Why do all the tables have to be $50 mins! I know I know, get while the gettin is good, but many people will be turned off. My typical companions can’t even play! and thus won’t come back. (we did double our money on blackjack though so there is that!)
Why do you have to go through security to enter the casino?
Why oh why do you not serve food in the actual casino area!? I’m dyin over here and all you got is peanuts…I’m on a heater biotch!
And for the love of god, why can’t I get a free drink if I’m gambling?!!! Not even one! If the law says you have to charge then make them 10 cents! It’s frustrating at 50 bones a hand!

I know I know, there may be certain laws that require some of the above, but if that’s the case then I’d spell that out with big signs. DC people ain’t rubes. They’ve all been to Vegas, or at least many have. We have, or had, very high expectations. This guy especially. I truly wasn’t prepared for what you got me. My present looked great but it was all socks inside.

The spa:
Pretty big for what I expected. I got a 4 hands massage and it was pretty sweet (I wasn’t into at first but they won me over, thanks JM!!!)
The only unisex sitch is the waiting area, which is pretty fucking meh if you ask me, but they really make up for it in the private areas.
Super nice digs with a waterfall hot tub and all other typical amenities. Nothing super rad like a hammam but still pretty nice. They should of made that shit unisex and sick sexy.
I did get free champagne after which was a nice touch.

The rooms:
Bell hop said to get a corner suite next time for the view, but we had a king suite on the 12th floor and were super happy (it goes up to 22 so ask for as high as possible).
The bathroom was gigantic. The shower was gigantic.
I’m not sure if the windows are mirrored, but if they aren’t my junk is probably all over the internet 🙂
Mini bar perfect and well used.
Pay per view was good with 24 hour action (something harder and harder to find in DC outside of Starwood)
Housekeeping did keep ringing the bell like 3 different times so be careful with that do not disturb sign.

Room service:
The beater biscuit sandwich sucked anus and doesn’t deserve to be on any menu anywhere.
The trucker potatoes were garbage.
We liked the menu (to be fair it was slightly limited at the time) but the follow through wasn’t there. I remain undeterred though…they had just opened.

Overall, I haven’t heard one single good review about the major restaurants at the MGM from anyone whose food opinion I care about.
My 50 dollar hanger steak was overcooked. When I showed the manager he didn’t even offer us anything. We want for not, but it’s worth noting.
The mac n cheese was good but a little runny. The gratin was tasty but very oily.
The Caesar was awesome, the anchovy hush puppies were perfect and not too anchovy-y.
The Parker house rolls are to die for but were $9 and should be free! Seriously though…steakhouse much?
Chocolate dessert was delicious…but aren’t most.
My biggest issue is their system! We sat in their bar until our 10:15 rez on the minute while empty tables were everywhere. We basically dined in an empty restaurant. What a management joke!
At the end of the day the service was great at the bar and in the dining room.


-We paid $550 a night and it was $45 for the valet.
-Suite rooms get access to a concierge suite right next to the front desk. Free champagne and apps. You’ve seen it all before but given the casino sitch, I thought it was kind of nice to have at the front desk rather than the top floor of the hotel like usual.
(total sidebar, they didn’t ask us for nuthin when we went in that room…if you have balls, I’d go in and grab some champagne and walk out like a baller)
-The tables in the casino bars look like a great late night time. They can be reserved for free so call or hit them up online in advance.
-Self parking at the whole place is actually pretty easy and close.