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The Strip, Las Vegas
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A 4,004-room mammoth that gives its Strip predecessors a run for their money with high design, tons of amenities, and good service
A 4,004-room mega-resort, Aria stands as the shiny centerpiece of the $11 billion City Center, opened in December 2009. The Aria curves around the top of the horseshoe-shaped complex, a massive hotel that aims to outdo the famous Strip giants with its 16 restaurants, seven bars, 150,000-square-foot casino, five pools, and a nightclub that's shaping up to be one of Vegas' hottest. And the hotel's planners took careful steps to avoid what its predecessors do so well: Aria plainly leaves behind the kitsch and themes for which Vegas hotels are known, instead opting for a clean modern design with neutral colors. You won't find any flashing lights, artificial canals, or dancing fountains here.
Aria, however, can still wow even jaded Vegas visitors, with soaring ceilings that allow sunlight to pour into the expansive lobby, and a casino that stretches on for ages. Size and beautiful design aside, Aria keeps up with luxury hotels like Encore and Bellagio by offering the slew of amenities expected from a megaresort, from the retail shops, to an adults-only party pool. There's something for everyone here, and in turn the clientele is as varied as Vegas itself.
In the middle of the City Center complex on the Las Vegas Strip
Aria Resort & Casino is the grand daddy of the three hotels in the City Center complex, a massive hotel and shopping center on the southern end of the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip, a densely packed three-and-a-half mile long stretch of hotel-casinos on Las Vegas Boulevard, is the city's main artery and tourist center. City Center opened in December 2009 after $11 billion in construction costs, with the shiny Aria towering over the complex.
- The free City Center tram stops at the Crystals shopping center (which connects to the Aria Hotel), the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino, and the Bellagio.
- Every major hotel has taxi stands where visitors can catch cabs at any time of day or night. Taxi lines are the only legal place to get a cab in Las Vegas (no hailing for a ride from the Strip).
- $5-$10 cab ride to most hotels on the Strip -- the most convenient option, and often the least expensive if you're traveling with at least one other person
- 10- to 15-minute, $15 cab ride to McCarran International Airport (don't let your driver take the freeway -- the ride can cost up to twice as much)
- The Deuce double-decker bus runs up and down the strip 24/7.
- The Las Vegas Monorail stops at MGM Grand, Bally's/Paris, Flamingo/Caesars Palace, Harrah's/Imperial Palace, the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the Sahara.
The floor-to-ceiling curtains slide open along their track, revealing a view of the Vdara Hotel and the desert beyond -- an impressive, dramatic touch that shows that Aria is here to do things bigger and better. And bigger is right: Standard rooms here are 520 square feet, which is big even by Vegas standards.
The decor is simple and modern, the beds are supremely comfortable, and the bathrooms are large and inviting. And this hotel is not messing around with technology: The whole room is wired through a Control 4 system, which allows you to control everything through one touchscreen panel at your bedside.
All rooms have:
- Very comfortable beds covered with plenty of heavenly down pillows
- A big bathroom covered in marble, with a rain showerhead, separate deep soaking tub, two sinks, separate toilet area with a phone, hairdryer, scale, and shaving mirror
- Floor-to-ceiling windows
- Control 4 panel next to the bed that allows you to control curtains, lights, TV, music, and more from your bed
- Two or four bathrobes
- Stocked minibar, but no empty fridge space
- 42-inch flatscreen TV with more than 60 channels
- A "plug station" on the desk with outlets, USB ports, ethernet hookup, and inputs that allow you plug that allows you to plug computers, cameras, and the like into the TV
- Wireless or hard-wired internet for a daily fee
- A safe big enough for a laptop
- No power outlets near the bed
- No heavy blanket or duvet on the bed
- No coffeemaker
- Deluxe rooms are the hotel's standard rooms and are a generous 520 square feet. They come with either a king bed or two queens. For a bit more money, the Deluxe City View Rooms overlook City Center and the Las Vegas Strip
- Corner Suites are 920 square feet and have separate living room and bedroom spaces, each with a 42-inch TV
- Crystals Suites are 1,000 square feet and have panoramic views of the Strip and City Center's uniquely shaped Crystals shopping mall. The living room and bedroom each have a 42-inch TV.
- Aria Suites (part of the Sky Suites category) are either one-bedroom (1,050 square feet) or two-bedroom (1,630 square feet) guest rooms with great views. Guests staying in these suites are picked up (and dropped off) at the airport by a limo and brought to a special entrance where they are privately checked into the hotel. The rooms also include a free daily newspaper, two flatscreen TVs (52-inch in the living room, 42-inch in the bedroom), personalized concierge service, and access to a private elevator.
- There are also Penthouse Suites, the Cirrus Suite, Executive Hospitality Suite, and Sky Villas for those who need even more space.
Amenities galore -- you could stay here and never leave the property
One of three main pools
- Spa at Aria is 80,000 square feet and includes a full-service salon. For a daily fee, guests can use the fitness center, salt room, heated stone beds, and outdoor balcony.
- Three main pools plus a Jacuzzi. The pool bar serves light fare and drinks. Waitstaff circles the pool grounds until late in the afternoon.
- Liquid Pool Lounge is an adults-only pool area with two small pools and a popular scene on weekends. Open seven days a week, with a bar that serves drinks and lunch food.
- Haze Nightclub has quickly become one of the Strip's hottest clubs
- Seven bars and lounges
- A small video game arcade for kids, open seven days a week
- The full-service business center offers Internet access for a fee. Staff can help you print, copy, and ship.
- 300,000 square feet of meeting and convention space
- There are a handful of retail stores in the hotel selling items like handbags, jewelry, clothing, and one store that sells sundries and snacks. The high-end Crystals shopping mall is attached to the hotel.
- Guests have access to Shadow Creek, a Tom Fazio-designed golf course that's a 20-minute drive from the hotel. The per person fee covers limo transporation, caddy, cart, and equipment rental.
Nothing particularly family-friendly, though large rooms are a plus
Standard rooms are 520 square feet and can come with two queen beds, so there's plenty of room to spread out. The hotel, like most big hotels in Las Vegas, attracts a mixed crowd, everyone from young party-goers to families with tots.
- Cribs are available for free
- There's a fee for rollaway beds, but availability isn't guaranteed and they can only be put into rooms with one bed (so you could book a room with two queen beds instead).
- The small video game arcade is open seven days a week. A staff member is on hand at all times.
- The mini-fridge is full of minibar items, so there's no place to store food or formula.
Sixteen restaurants plus the buffet, though not many options for on-the-go food or a quick bite
Like its fellow megaresorts, Aria offers a range of restaurants across different cuisines and prices. The hotel has nine high-end dining options, including the modern American restaurant Sage by award-winning chef Shawn McClain, and Bar Masa (and its restaurant-within-a-restaurant Tetsu), which offers Japanese fare by Masa Takayama, whose New York restaurant Masa earned three Michelin stars in 2009. These are located in the lobby, while upstairs is the hotel's handsome trio of Jean Georges Steakhouse, American Fish, and Sirio Ristorante.
Although a few restaurants have (lackluster) pre-made sandwiches and salads, there aren't too many options for a bite on the go. Jean Philippe Patisserie was the only appetizing option (and appetizing it was!), though there's often a line, especially in the morning. Be prepared to wait in line for breakfast at The Buffet and Cafe Vetro as well.
- The Buffet prides itself on its never-ending crab legs. Desserts are from the delicious Jean Philippe Patisserie downstairs.
- The more casual options include Lemongrass for Thai food, Cafe Vettro for American food (open 24 hours), Julian Serrano for Spanish food, and Breeze Cafe for casual poolside dining (only open on the weekends)
- Jean Philippe Patisserie, just off the casino floor, is visually stunning and serves sweet and savory crepes, salads, sandwiches, ice cream, chocolate, and stunning desserts and pastries.
- Pool Bar serves a few light items duing the day., and Liquid Pool Lounge has a full lunch menu.
- Room service is available 24 hours a day
- City Center earned six separate LEED Gold certifications for its different buildings, which includes Aria. LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is a top honor from the U.S. Green Building Council and is achieved by, among other things, using sustainable materials when building, having high water-use efficiency, and having high energy efficiency across the building. Acheiving such standards for a complex as large as City Center is no easy feat, and indeed it is "one of the world's largest environmentally sustainable urban communities."
- Aria also received 5 Green Keys - the top honor - from the Green Key Eco-Rating Program, an international organization that evaluates sustainable hotel operations.
A 4,004-room mega-resort, Aria stands as the shiny centerpiece of the $11 billion City Center, opened in December 2009. Everything at Aria is done on a grand scale, from the soaring ceilings to the 16 restaurants, and not at the expense of good service, either. And the design, while whimsical and creative, aims for refinement and class rather than Vegas kitsch, creating a lovely luxury hotel -- and one that's still affordable.
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Things You Should Know About Aria Resort & Casino Las Vegas
- 3730 Las Vegas Boulevard, Las Vegas, NV 89158
- Cirrus Suite
- Corner Suite
- Crystals Suite
- Deluxe Room
- Deluxe Room City View
- Executive Hospitality Suite
- One Bedroom Aria Suite
- One Bedroom Penthouse
- Three Bedroom Sky Villa
- Two Bedroom Aria Suite
- Two Bedroom Penthouse
- Two Bedroom Sky Villa