After three years of waiting, the Washington, D.C., area finally has a casino hotel. Opened in early December, the $1.4 billion MGM National Harbor Resort and Casino, just across the Potomac River from the city, marks an experience unlike anything D.C. has ever seen.
The mega resort/casino/entertainment complex anchors the vibrant National Harbor district, which is just 10 miles from the city border.
Here are the things about the future landmark that caught our eye on first glance.
The restaurant lineup at MGM reads like a who’s who of celebrity chefs. Five-time James Beard Award winner Marcus Samuelsson has debuted his first D.C. eatery, Marcus, a classic American restaurant with Southern inspiration.
From D.C.-based powerhouse José Andrés comes Fish, his first seafood-centric restaurant.
Top Chef alumni (and brothers) Bryan and Michael Voltaggio have teamed up for the first time to open their eponymous Voltaggio Brothers Steakhouse.
There’s also a food hall sporting everything from Shake Shack to crab cakes, fried chicken and a New York-style deli.
The casino and nightlife
Sin City lovers won’t be disappointed by the 125,000-square-foot casino, which features an expansive lineup of table games, including a 39-table poker room, 58 blackjack tables, 10 craps tables and more than 3,000 slot machines.
Prefer something livelier? Nightlife comes naturally to the MGM team, which created two venues just for the resort. Take in the indoor/outdoor Felt, which provides expansive views of the Potomac River and city beyond.
There’s also Blossom Cocktail Lounge, a spot inspired by D.C.’s cherry blossoms, which features 24-hour gaming inside the lounge, as well as craft cocktails and brews.
Entertainment, day and night
If you’re not a gambler, that is not a problem. There’s something for everyone here. Shop till you drop at Sarah Jessica Parker’s first standalone boutique, SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker, which proffers high heels in every color of the rainbow.
Browse for watches at Rolex, and then get fashion-forward menswear at Stitched or womenswear at Ella Rue.
But the crown jewel of the resort is the 3,000-seat theater, which already has A-list musical acts like Sting (March 12) on a calendar alongside UFC fights, comedy shows (Jim Gaffigan, January 6 and 7) and more.
It’s easy to take the elevator home to the 308-room hotel tower. Clean and modern, we love the spacious accommodations (starting at 400 square feet and stretching to more than 3,000) that boast near-panoramic views of the metropolis and surrounding skyline.
Expect clean lines and a soothing palette of browns and greens, perfect blackout shades (just what you need after a night at the roulette table) and luxurious bathrooms with dual vanities.
For an indulgent escape, try the Executive Corner Suite, which offers floor-to-ceiling windows with sweeping city vistas.
Poised to become the city’s must-visit spa destination, the 27,000-square-foot, 11-room spa spotlights Clarins-branded treatments. The hotel collaborated closely with the line to bring exclusive treatments such as the Sensational Fusion massage.
Relax and unwind with that service or other facials, traditional rituals and body polishes in the Vichy rain shower room. You can also purchase Clarins products that are typically only available online.
After your treatment, get primped for the night ahead at the full-service salon, which even provides a dedicated makeup room and men’s barbershop.