What a $100 Tip Got at the Mirage Las Vegas

The Mirage Las Vegas

I am a platinum with MLife (through my Hyatt Diamond status) and I get strip-view upgrades at the Mirage every time I go.

Since this trip was a girls weekend, I wanted to see how big I could go.  So I folded a $100 bill underneath my MLife card and passed it onto the man at the front desk.

Because I wanted to aim high (and hopefully fall lower onto something still quite awesome), I asked about the private villa suites with pools attached to them.

The clerk covertly took the MLife card from me and told me he would see what he could do.  If he wasn’t as successful as I wanted, he would give me the option of “cancelling this transaction.”

And then he left for like fifteen minutes.

When he came back, he said they didn’t have what I wanted, but they could do a king suite with a bed added (which fit just fine into the bedroom).  I took it, and this is what it was like:  (click to make larger)

mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade


Living Area

mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade


Bedroom (they put the second bed on the far side of that bed)

mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade

The bathroom.  Yes, this entire thing is the bathroom.


mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade


A dining area.

mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade


A bar, complete with ice maker which was incredible to have in the room.  The ice maker was big too, so it held a lot.

mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade

A bed with a TV that popped up out of the console at the foot of the bed.

mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade


mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade


Shower plus jetted soaking tub.

mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade


mirage las vegas how to get a hotel upgrade


The best part about this was that there were three areas in the suite with consoles and mirrors–perfect for three girls getting ready.

Would we liked to have been in a private-pool-villa?  Yes.  Did we regret slipping the $100?  Not at all.  Between us three, it can to about $33.33 each a night, or a little over $11 each per night for a suite.  Not bad at all.

(ps, I love Vegas, so if you have any questions in general / posts you would like to see, not just about this subject, feel free to ask in the comments and if I know, I’ll write it up)



About Jeanne Marie Hoffman

Former bartender, still a geek. One equal part each cookies, liberty, football, music, travel, libations. Stir vigorously. +Jeanne Marie Hoffman Jeanne on Twitter

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  1. Wow cool. Does this work everywhere. Im going to San Diego and would love to pull off something like this to surpise my wife.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      It works in _some places_ but you should scope out the front desk person to try to figure out someone you think would take it. But it won’t ever work in the us outside of Las Vegas the way it works in Las Vegas. Slipping a tip is an understood action there. People outside Las Vegas might be confused and/or still keep it even if they can’t help you.

  2. Honestly, no one will get a villa from the “$20 trick”. I’m quite certain a separate group of employees handle reservations for The Villas, which is why regular FD employees from The Mirage won’t be able to upgrade you into them. Same thing goes for MGM Grand – SkyLofts, Aria – SkySuites/SkyVillas, Monte Carlo – Hotel 32, etc.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I figured I wouldn’t. I think he was gone for 15 minutes because he actually was asking if that was possible. Didn’t surprise me, but I figured, ask for the sky and see what happens!

  3. Jeanne – Very nice article. Have you every stayed at the Encore at Wynn? If so, any tips on the best rooms? I’m staying there with my wife in July. And, i’m confused as to the branding – is Encore a sub-brand within the Wynn hotel?


    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I have been at the Encore but didn’t try the trick because we booked into a suite. I will say, the Wynn and Encore staff seem less amenable to giving free things / negotiating than any of the other casinos. That’s the impression that I’ve gotten from them. I also spoke to a promoter that told me “Always negotiate when you are a girl. It’s totally possible. Well, except at the Wynn and Encore because they never give anything for free.” Which didn’t turn out to be totally true when it came to club comps, but it helped reaffirm my impression of them.

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Oh and yes, the Encore is, just like the Palazzo is with the Venetian.

  4. I’ve never understood the obsession with hotel rooms… the last thing I want to do when traveling is to hang out in my hotel room (unless of course there is some Level 7 Kama Sutra thing going on)!

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      When you have three girls trying to get ready in one suite multiple times a day, it definitely becomes really useful to have a suite. Especially all the mirrors!

    • This blog probably isn’t for you then. You could save a lot of time by Pricelining a room at the Sleep Inn.

  5. Have you ever stayed at the Aria or Cosmopolitan? If you have, what is your success rate in getting an “upgrade” at those properties? And any advice on denominations for tips? Or is $100 your standard?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I haven’t stayed at those properties yet. A $20 can be sufficient sometimes (or a $50). With this one, I wanted to guarantee, so $100 sealed that solidly. I’d use the hotel price point as a guide. Aria and Cosmo, $20 probably wouldn’t be enough. New York-New York, $20 would probably go far.

  6. I just matched my Hyatt status and have yet to book a room at an MGM property. What is typical without a tip?

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      A high up strip view. Usually an amazing view too. I had a direct view of the Mirage volcano my stay a few weeks ago–no tip.

  7. I’m planning on staying at Mirage for a couple of days in early august, prior to joining my company for a conference at Aria. I’ve usually stayed at Caesars and really enjoy it there, but prices are too high for my appetite this go around. I am glad to know that a tip can work such wonders there, as it has always worked for me at Caesars. Thanks so much for this post!

  8. Any thoughts on trying this at the Palazzo? Staying for 2 nights with the Mrs at the end if the month. I’m thinking it would have to be $100…

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      I’ve had success with the Venetian, so my guess is you’d have success there (if there’s availability of course)

  9. Me and 3 friends have booked a Resort queen (2 queen beds) at The Mirage through Agoda.com. We are arriving black friday for 4 nights. What kind of upgrade will you recommend asking for and how much would the tip be? We need 2 queen beds definitely.
    Thank you!!

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      Upgrades on rooms are difficult when you need two beds. I would do twenty to fifty and ask if there’s a pent house suite available. They don’t have multiple beds in most of them (and they rarely give out the multiroom suites), but they do have rollaways they’d bring up. But the roll aways are about Double Size

  10. Have a resort king booked for the mirage Jan 15-19. Want an upgrade, it’s my wife’s bday (it really is) and we are traveling with another couple…. Any advice as to how we both can upgrade… Tower suite or better is my thought… Booked trip through vegas.com

    • Jeanne Marie Hoffman

      It doesn’t matter how you booked your room, the tip is what matters. I would be very clear on what you want to happen as a result of the tip. “I heard the tower suites are very nice…”

  11. We’re staying for 13 nights at the Mirage End of May / Beginning of June. Do you see any success in trying to upgrade the room for such a long stay. Maybe at least 50 $ … ?

  12. I’m going to the mirage the first week of April to the mirage and was wondering if you’ve gone to vegas lately and if you’ve tried it again. I plan on slipping a hundred like you did, I’m just so nervous that I won’t get it back if they can’t help me 🙁

  13. It’s amazing how far a tip will go! Sounds like you had an amazing time and this suite looks AWESOME!

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