Here’s a hometown gift idea that’s terrific for a Valentine’s Day romantic getaway … a great stress reliever … a super way to show off Detroit to out-of town guests … a staycation … just somewhere close to go for a grand time on the town. What’s grand about this idea is that it doesn’t have to be only for lovers of Detroit. This idea is good 365 days a year and it can be used for many occasions.
I’m talking about a day-long experience at the MGM Grand Detroit. It’s southeast Michigan’s only resort-spa.
So, how can I be so sure this is a good idea, you ask? Well, I was the lucky recipient of this experience as a gift that was shared with 10 other family members just a few days before Christmas. It was the highlight of everyone’s Detroit Christmas holiday. What was especially nice is nine of our group live out-of-town, and they had a grand time visiting Detroit in the middle of winter … if you don’t include cancelled flight hassles. It was a great gift from my sister-in-law and she didn’t have to fight shopping crowds, wrapping presents or shipping packages from New Jersey.
The day offered something for everyone. Our family of eleven included two teenage girls, four young career professionals in their late 20s and early 30s, two moms and a dad in their 50s, a social-security eligible senior citizen and the family’s 87 year-old matriarch (who almost never loses when she’s playing the slots).
Our target start time was 1:00 pm Sunday afternoon. Upon arrival we were greeted by one of the most professional staffs I have met in Detroit in my 35+ years in this town. From the valet to the casino security to the spa attendants to restaurant staff, this group of employees are every bit as pleasant and helpful and friendly as any hotel staff I have ever encountered (and that includes a number of world class hotels and spas from Geneva to Palm Beach to Carmel).
Each family member chose his or her gift from one of the several dozen services offered by MGM’s Immerse Spa, but before our ultimate relaxation sessions began we were escorted to our own private section on the deck of the Infinity edge pool where the adults were treated to their selection of Champagne or Mimosa. Wrapped in a fluffy hotel robe lounging on a personalized cabana couch was true pampering.
Imagine being there with a clear calendar and sharing the experience with some of your closest friends. I can’t think of a better way to show off Detroit hospitality to your out-of-town visitors.
For the record, the more energetic of the group took to the 20,000 sq. ft. world-class workout facility including, whirlpool and both Turkish and Swedish saunas. Between 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm we were escorted to our spa service of choice, which ranged from exotic facials to mani-pedis to one of a half-dozen different massage treatments.
I thought I had selected the standard hour-long sports relaxation massage, but to my surprise I was told I was receiving a pedicure/massage combo. Never before in my young 62 years have I had a pedicure and you can bet I felt a little uneasy … it just doesn’t feel like a guy thing.
Not wanting to cancel an appointment with the staff I disappeared into a treatment room that had eight or so very comfortable couch type chairs where you can read, nap or listen to your preferred music and enjoy a healthy variety of available refreshments.
Luckily, I was alone so I figured let’s do this.
The first quarter hour was absolutely wonderful (once I relaxed) with Michelle pampering my two feet that looked like they belonged to a lumberjack. Then out of nowhere my mother-in-law (whom I dearly love) sits down beside me for her pedicure. All I could think was are you kidding me!!! And since she’s a pro at this she just eased on into her chair and started talking to me like we do this together all the time — just like two of the Golden Girls sharing an afternoon together out on the town.
The rest of the pedicure session was great and the results were spectacular especially because it seemed like I received a totally new pair of feet. I had to be convinced that these two ‘smoother than a baby’s bottom’ feet were really mine and was warned that if I wanted to keep them in tip-top shape a monthly visit was in order. You can bet I’ll be back.
After all of our treatment sessions were done it was back to the Infinity edge pool for a little nap time, light refreshments and a private dip in the pool. Showers for all followed then the adults were off to enjoy a few hours in the Grand’s 100,000 sq. ft. luxury casino with more than 90+ table games and 4,000 slots and video poker machines. The casino amenities are every bit as comfortable as the best in Vegas and it’s as much fun winning in Detroit as it is there. Several family members came out on top and they graciously treated the less fortunate players to their choice of pre-dinner cocktails.
At six o’clock everyone met at Wolfgang Puck Steak restaurant where our group of 11 was seated at the semi-private chef’s table. Although I’m not a regular steak eater, I certainly enjoyed sharing the 32 oz. porterhouse for two. Our dining experience was every bit “top shelf” and I’d recommend the restaurant as a place to go for anyone looking to have a grand Downtown Detroit dining experience.
So what was the most enjoyable part of our experience at the award-winning MGM Grand Detroit?
Well it was all of the above from the warm and friendly service to the pampering Spa to the just-right refreshments, the Vegas-like Casino, the outstanding Wolfgang Puck Steak restaurant and, most important, it was spending time with family and friends enjoying the holiday together – Detroit-Style.
Next time you’re looking for something special to do in Downtown Detroit try the MGM Grand — you’ll be glad you did.