Having lived in California for several years, I have been to Las Vegas dozens of times . Las Vegas is wild, crazy and always a good time. I wrote about my most recent trip to Las Vegas on the Dining Traveler last year. You can read about it here if you are thinking about going and need advice. If you don’t have the time, energy, or money to get all the way to Vegas I have good news: Vegas has come to DC! The MGM National Harbor is now open and it is an experience you don’t want to miss.

The Hotel Lobby

The hotel itself is absolutely stunning, with spacious rooms, a glorious entrance, an art collection that is awe-inspiring, a huge casino, and restaurants from world-famous chefs. I went and stayed at the facility and am here to give you all the juicy details.


The Rooms

Even the regular rooms are lovely, with plenty of space and pristine amenities, but if you are looking for something really special, consider a corner suite at the MGM National Harbor. It has a huge bathroom with double sinks, a seating area, and floor to ceiling windows. Plus, by booking a suite, you get access to the VIP lounge which includes VIP check-in and complimentary snacks, beverages, and wine.

The Entertainment

The Casino: If you are staying at the MGM National Harbor for some rest and relaxation, I would start off with a drink in the VIP lounge or the lobby bar and then head to dinner. After dinner, check out the casino and try your hand at blackjack, poker, or Russian roulette!

The Casino at MGM National Harbor
The Casino

The Theater: You may want to plan your trip around a show. Cher has some upcoming dates, as does Ricky Martin and The Temptations. See the website for info on booking a VIP box if you want the royal treatment.
The Spa: The morning after wining and dining you are going to want to hit the hotel’s premier spa. Aside from relaxing spa treatments there are also saunas, whirlpools, and a relaxation room. You can also use the gym.
The Pool: Nothing says relaxation like pool-side lounging!

artwork at MGM National Harbor
One of the many pieces of artwork at MGM National Harbor

The Art

At some point during your stay at MGM National Harbor, you should walk around the hotel and appreciate the art collection. The works of art are scattered throughout the resort’s public spaces, featuring commissioned and procured artwork by renowned local and international sculptors, photographers and mixed-media artists including Bob Dylan, Margaret Boozer, Alice Aycock, Ron Beverly, Martha Jackson Jarvis, Sam Gilliam, John Dreyfuss, John Safer, Liao Yibai and Chul Hyun Ahn.

Drinks at MGM National Harbor
Drinks at MGM National Harbor

Shopping and Drinking at MGM National Harbor

Shopping: try on Sarah Jessica Parker-designed shoes or purchase sunglasses from Specs. The hotel has a number of clothing and lifestyle stores.
The Drinks: MGM has a number of watering holes, each one with its own theme. Both the Blossom Bar and The Felt Bar are located in the casino so you can take breaks in between gambling to have a drink. Or, if you aren’t into gambling, you can just hang out, people watching, and sample some craft cocktails!
The Lobby Bar: This charming spot is a great place to kick off the night, or indulge in a nightcap.

Blossom Bar at MGM National Harbor
The Blossom Bar

The Blossom Bar: The themed décor of this bar ranges from cherry blossom like lighting fixtures to cherry blossom floor to ceiling photographs, paying homage to DC’s historic cherry blossom trees. The drinks are also cherry blossom-themed, which the Nelly Blossom being the most popular. Made with vodka, cherry blossom tea, pomegranate, lemon rose syrup and Champagne it is as tasty as it is lovely to look at.

Drinks at MGM National Harbor
The Nelly Blossom

Felt Bar & Lounge: This lounge offers the region’s first tableside mixology program, which, having experienced in Las Vegas, is fun and interactive.

The Restaurants

When staying at the MGM, you will surely be indulging in some fine dining. The choices are plentiful!


FISH by Jose Andres: Although it’s a seafood restaurant, there are choices for everyone. My friend and I indulged in a fresh, vibrant kale salad, Romanesco, hush puppies, and mushrooms served with a sweet potato puree.

Fish by Jose Andres at MGM National Harbor
Fish by Jose Andres


MARCUS by Marcus Samuelsson: Sample classic American fare like pasta, salads, sandwiches, fries, and more. This is a great spot for brunch, where you can indulge in omelets, pastries, and bottomless mimosas.

Marcus Restaurant at MGM National Harbor
Marcus Restaurant at MGM National Harbor
Marcus Restaurant at MGM National Harbor
Marcus Restaurant at MGM National Harbor

GINGER: An upscale Asian restaurant is another fine dining option.
Bellagio Pâtisserie: This is where you have to go for dessert. Truffles, macaroons, and other pastries are available, some of which are so beautiful you won’t want to eat them!

Truffles MGM National Harbor
Yummy Chocolate Truffles at Bellagio Pâtisserie

The Verdict

MGM National Harbor is the ultimate staycation. Food, drinks, entertainment and a luxurious spa all in one location, just steps from your hotel room. Book that corner suite today!

MGM National Harbor, 101 MGM National Ave, Oxon Hill, MD 20745, Website 

  • megan_claire

    Wow, so much to do at one property! I’m a big fan of the MGM hotels in Vegas, so it’s really cool to hear about the opening of MGM National Harbor in DC – they always get the perfect blend of luxury, foodie and entertainment, and I love walking around the different floors to spot surprising art – will definitely stay here 🙂

  • Rashmi & Chalukya

    MGM National Harbor sounds like a destination in itself with all the wonderful amenities, shops, restaurants, spas and the casino. The rooms are done tastefully with pleasant interior besides the space and comfort. The food and the dessert looks scrumptious. Thanks for sharing this with us.

  • Francesca

    I had no idea there is such a hotel and entertainment destination in DC! I only think of Las Vegas when I hear MGM. This property looks amazing. I’d definitely opt for the VIP suite! As I’m getting older, I appreciate a seating area in a hotel room separate from the beds.

  • Amy Butterfield

    MGM does grand so well! And it is very much reminiscent of Vegas, complete with casino and headliners! Wondering what the pool is like? And the drinks look divine, the whole thing radiates upscale which is what can be expected from MGM.