At the intersection of Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia (known as the “DMV”), MGM National Harbor is a shiny beacon reflecting in the calm waters of the Potomac. Since its December opening, the luxury East Coast hotel has welcomed guests from all over the world to stay, play and imbibe. Experience some of the the excitement for yourself as we explore the four C’s that we find to be the best that the casino-resort has to offer.
Upon entering, the first thing that will catch your eye is the stunning Conservatory space that extends from the upper hotel lobby to the ground-floor casino level.
Glorious floral arrangements created by Ed Libby cover elaborate themed installations based on the season. For the most recent exhibit erected in June, 12,000 blooms canvassed “Summer on the Potomac,” creating an Americana theme that included replicas of 20th-century sailboats and other nautical nuances.
Grandiose is an understatement when it comes to these displays. The Conservatory concept has become a hallmark of MGM Resorts properties, most famously at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Bellagio in Las Vegas, also designed by Libby.
Region-specific art acquisition is a major part of MGM Resorts’ business philosophy when opening a new property. At National Harbor, that’s no different; there are more than a dozen such pieces in The Heritage Art Collection.
Visual delights come in a diverse range of mediums, from photography and watercolor to steel, bronze, aluminum and clay. They can be found throughout the luxury hotel, in both the subtle and obvious places that delight guests of all art recognition levels.
Most significant, perhaps, is singer Bob Dylan’s first permanent public work, titled Portal — a custom-welded iron archway made of found objects such as farm equipment, toys, wheels and firearms.
Apropos for the casino environment is the work of Chinese sculptor Liao Yibai with the installations Fighting Cash, sitting adjacent to the porte cochère, and Cinderella Shoe, in the shopping promenade. Both pieces address the cultural obsession with material goods.
Open less than a year, The Theater at MGM National Harbor has seen an incredible range of performers, from The Roots and Mary J. Blige to Ricky Martin. When this place rocks, it really takes it to level 11.
See for yourself over the next few months as headliners like Cher (August 31, September 2, 3, 7, 9 and 10), Tom Jones (September 12) and Chris Rock (October 18 to 20) hit the stage.
Featuring state-of-the-art reconfigurable amenities, the space can be set to a 3,000-seat concert venue or be rearranged to accommodate a variety of other events. If you’re looking for a VIP experience with a group of your best friends, book one of the seven suites and enjoy a private entrance to the theater, a lobby with a dedicated bar, as well as catering options.
There is no shortage of great places to eat both casual and upscale at MGM National Harbor. To complement the variety of cuisines that range from Fish’s regional Maryland seafood offerings to Ginger’s pan-Asian delicacies, explore each restaurant’s cocktail program. There’s also an extensive list of libations on offer at the Lobby Bar.
Many spots have happy hours that stagger throughout the day and night, so it is never too early (or too late) to grab a bite and a refresher.
For the full party experience, try Felt, a plushly designed lounge that feels as if you are cozying up in a friend’s ultra-chic living room. Felt’s centerpieces are its cocktail carts and tableside mixology program.
From well-known Las Vegas hospitality company Clique, the bar rages into the wee hours, providing the perfect destination for an after-concert nightcap or a delicious detour between rounds at the poker tables.