“I’m attending a conference at MGM Grand, but the room block is sold out and the going rate is above my per diem. I won’t have a car, so I want to stay close to MGM Grand. Where should I stay?”
You have a few good options nearby. New York New York is my first suggestion. It is across Las Vegas Blvd from the MGM Grand so it makes for an easy walk. Rates are often 35% less per night than the MGM Grand. Since the MGM Grand and New York – New York are both MGM Resorts, anything you could have charged to a room at MGM Grand can be charged to a room at New York – New York. The basic rooms at New York New York and MGM Grand are both 350 sq. ft., but they still have everything you need.
If cost is a major factor, you could stay at Excalibur. It is diagonally across the street from the MGM Grand, but the pedestrian overpasses make it very easy to get from one to the other. Room rates at Excalibur tend to be at least 60% less than rates at the MGM Grand. Excalibur is very family oriented and I typically wouldn’t suggest staying there unless you were traveling with children, but the price is hard to beat. Excalibur is also an MGM Resort so you will still be able to charge expenses at MGM Grand to your Excalibur room.
The Tropicana is another nearby option. It is across Tropicana Blvd from the MGM Grand. The room rates are similar to those at New York – New York, but the Tropicana is now being run by Hilton, so you can use (or earn) Hilton Honors points for your stay. The Tropicana has been doing a lot of remodeling lately and has focused on a brighter, South Beach style vibe. That can make the room a little more welcoming after a long day at a conference. Their basic rooms are slightly larger than the MGM Grand’s, too.
My last suggestion is Bally’s. It is a bit further away, but you can use the Monorail to easily get from Bally’s to the MGM Grand. The MGM Grand Monorail stop is close to the Conference Center, so you might actually end up walking less than you would if you stay at the other places I have mentioned. Bally’s room rates tend to be 40-50% less than the MGM Grand. Their standard rooms are 450 sq. ft, giving you a bit more space to spread out and relax. Bally’s also has a great center Strip location, with easy access to the Bellagio and Caesars Palace.