King Arthur of Medieval British folklore, with his famous Knights of the Round Table, is a very well known story. King Arthur is said to have who ruled in the late 5th and early 6th centuries AD, and is at least based a historical figure, although most of the tale surrounding him is the stuff of fantasy. This fantasy continues on over 1400 years later, in a city far away called Las Vegas.
King Arthur’s famous sword was called Excalibur, which was the name chosen for this medieval themed casino resort, built in 1990 in the heyday of themed resort casinos in Vegas.
It was constructed by Circus Circus Enterprises, who at the time was one of the bigger gaming companies in the country, starting out with the Circus Circus Las Vegas and the Circus Circus Reno, and adding other properties later.
The company later became the Mandalay Resort Group, and boasted such casinos as the 2 Circus Circus resorts, Mandalay Bay, the Luxor, and the Excalibur, and was later acquired my MGM Resorts International, the present owner of the Excalibur.
The site that Excalibur was built on was originally slotted to house the Asian themed Xanadu Resort, which in the mid 1970’s was envisioned to be Las Vegas’ first super resort. However, the casino was never built due to issues with securing deals with the county over the upgrades to the sewage system that would be required.
By 1990 though the property was ready for a large casino and the company chose the Excalibur, and by then their plans had gotten even bigger. At the time of its opening, the Excalibur was the world’s largest hotel at 4,000 rooms, and even today it is the seventh largest hotel in Las Vegas and the eleventh largest in the world by number of rooms.
The hotel casino resembles a castle, and in spite of hotel casinos in Vegas moving away from themes, the way this property is constructed, there would be no way to really do that without rebuilding it completely. They have gotten away from the medieval theme to some degree though, with a lot of the statues and murals removed now, during their latest renovation project to modernize the facility more, but it still has somewhat of a themed feel to it.
The Facilities at the Excalibur
Since this is an MGM property, members of their reward program, called M Life, receive membership benefits here, and this includes receiving a 15% discount off of their best rates. So it certainly pays to become a member if you are planning on staying here or at any of MGM’s casino hotel properties, and if you are planning on gambling in the casino, you’ll want to get credit for your play there as well.
Rates at this hotel are fairly reasonable, with rooms starting as low as $64 a night, under $100 with the resort fees included, and not a lot more if you want an upgraded room. There are 14 different choice as far as rooms go, as well as 7 different selections available if you need an accessible room.
Room size here is average, ranging from 350-410 square feet depending on the selection. While this hotel is now over 25 years old, they have kept it up well and the rooms are modern and well appointed and decorated.
There are three different choices as far as suites go, where you can select either a modestly sized 682 square foot Resort Luxury or Royal Luxury suite, or go for the larger two bedroom Luxury Suite with 1034 square feet of living space. The rates for these suites are quite reasonable, running from around $165 for the one bedroom one to about $190 for the two bedroom.
There are 8 dining choices here, headlined by the award winning The Steakhouse at Camelot, offering the finest cuts of beef and the freshest seafood in a welcoming, upscale setting.
The Buffet offers food from all around the world and also offers an all day pass where you can dine there as often as you please throughout the day. Buca de Beppo is a family style authentic Italian restaurant, and Baja Fresh serves up Mexican cuisine in a casual setting.
There’s also the Drenched Bar and Grill to check out, with American fare and a full service bar. Johnny Rockets provides a taste of Americana, and there’s also a food court here as well as in room dining. A DQ/Orange Julius outlet is also on hand to serve up treats.
The most interesting restaurant here though is Dick’s Last Resort, which is described as wacky and wild, and is well known for its purposely obnoxious staff. There are certainly restaurants where the waiters are plenty obnoxious, but here it’s all done in fun. It’s certainly one of the most unique restaurants in Las Vegas or anywhere for that matter.
There are several live entertainment options that run here regularly, including the Tournament of Kings dinner theater, Thunder From Down Under, a male strip show, and the Australian Bee Gees Show, a tribute to the Bee Gees. Many more and bigger acts are available at the new T-Mobile Arena, which is owned by the same company that owns the hotel.
There are 5 bars and lounges on site, as well as a large pool and a spa. Weddings can also be arranged and hosted here. Their concierge is always ready to assist you with whatever you need to make your stay with them more satisfying.
The Casino at the Excalibur
The casino here is a good sized one with 100,000 square feet of gaming space, which doesn’t make it the largest casino in the city by any means, but the gambling facilities here are more than ample. Guests can also travel to sister properties the Luxor and Mandalay Bay by way of their free tram service if they want to experience even more casino variety.
M Life members, the players club or parent MGM International, provides casino players here with a wide range of benefits, and they also offer the M Life Rewards MasterCard where you can earn comp points with every purchase.
There are over 1,200 slot machines and video poker machines to play here, with a very good selection of them. Bets range from a penny to $100. This is not really a high roller’s casino like some Vegas casinos, although they do a good job catering to everyday players.
There’s also a good selection of progressive jackpot slots, and the Excalibur awarded the biggest slot jackpot in history of $39.7 million.
The table games here are conducted in a relaxed atmosphere and their friendly staff is always glad to help newer players out in learning how to play their various table games. They also offer daily free lessons, which gives you an idea that they get quite a few very casual players, but they can feel at home here. The table limits here are also friendly and you can play for as little as $5.
Table games here include Blackjack, Blackjack Switch, Big 6 Wheel, Craps, Casino War, Roulette, Crazy 4 Poker, Let It Ride, and Pai Gow Poker.
They also offer a poker room which is also geared to accommodating the needs of less experienced players, and they also offer free poker lessons teaching players the basics. Better players will no doubt delight in playing at a poker room where people benefit from basic lessons on the game.
There are several tournaments that run daily with either a $40 or $45 buy in, so you can get a lot of bang for your buck here and also shoot for some nice wins. There’s also plenty of cash games that run here and the stakes are modest.
There’s also a state of the art sportsbook and race book here, including a mobile app where you can wager from anywhere in the state. They also have a Keno lounge located right in the sportsbook.
The Excalibur Hotel and Casino isn’t the flashiest property on the Las Vegas Strip, but they do provide some solid casino gaming as well as being a pretty nice resort overall. Maybe you don’t care about medieval times, but this is a great spot especially for less seasoned players, and they will hold your hand if needed.