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The Strip, Las Vegas
Oyster Hotel Review
A sleek hotel in the shiny new City Center complex, close to The Strip but removed from all the fanfare
To many people, the entire point of going to Las Vegas is to be amidst the bright lights and hullabaloo that have made Sin City famous. But Vdara, and the other two luxury hotels in the new City Center complex, provide an option for those who want a calm, relaxing Vegas experience -- or at least want to leave behind the action when they retire for the night .
City Center, which opened in late 2009 and cost $11 billion to build, is a complex of chic hotels, a few residential buildings, and some of the highest-end shopping imaginable. Vdara was the first hotel to open, and welcomes guests with its modern, minimalist design and clean lines. It's the more mature side of Vegas, with no flashing lights or clanging slot machines (in fact, there's no casino in the hotel at all). But when it is time for gambling, entertainment, and big-name restaurants, The Strip is just a five-minute walk away. There's also a tram that makes stops at Crystals (City Center's shopping mall), the Bellagio hotel, and the Monte Carlo Resort & Casino -- the two hotels closest to City Center.
As might be expected from a new, high-end wave of development in Las Vegas, the hotel is striking, and has the sparkle of a truly luxe hotel. The rooms are all suites with kitchenettes, large bathrooms, and plenty of space, and the hotel has a bar and spa. Those who like the idea of a new, upscale hotel but also want an over-the-top Vegas experience should consider the Vdara's gargantuan neighbor, the Aria. It's home to countless restaurants, a nightclub, a spa, multiple bars and lounges, and a casino, and its rates are comparable to Vdara's.
In the back of the City Center complex on the Las Vegas Strip
Vdara is located behind Aria Resort 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.
- 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 and costs $3 to ride.
- 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. A single-ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13.
Every room at Vdara is a suite with a king bed, pillow-top mattress, a large kitchenette.
All rooms have:
- Kitchenettes with mini-bars, empty mini-refrigerators, two-burner stoves, microwaves, and sinks
- Large bathrooms with soaking tubs, separate showers, and quality bath products
- Free, extremely fast Wi-Fi (wired connection is available too)
- At least one 42-inch flatscreen TV; some rooms have two. Penthouse Suites have an additional 19-inch flatscreen in the bathroom.
- Deluxe Suites, the smallest in the hotel, are 582 square feet and have sitting areas with pullout couches and big picture windows overlooking City Center and the mountains.
- Vdara Suites are 809 square feet. The bedroom, living room, and kitchen-dining area are each housed in a separate room. Bathrooms are bigger and more spread out than in Deluxe Suites, and have two sinks instead of one. The bedroom and living room each have a 42-inch flatscreen TV (the Deluxe Suite only has one in the bedroom).
- City Suites are 791 square feet and have great views of City Center or the Bellagio fountains. The kitchens have full-sized refrigerators, four-burner stoves, and a dining table for four (lesser suites can fit two). The suites also include washers and dryers, two 42-inch flatscreen TVs, and expansive bathrooms with two sinks.
- Panoramic Suites are like the City Suites but with the added bonus of more floor space (they are 836 square feet) and 270-degree views of City Center and Las Vegas. These suites can be connected to one of the Deluxe Suites, for those traveling in groups.
- One-bedroom Penthouse Suites run from 761 to 919 square feet and are located on floors 54, 55, and 56. These suites have two bathrooms (one near the entrance for guests and one with a 19-inch flatscreen in the master bedroom), offer unbeatable views, and are well-suited for entertaining. Guests have private key elevator access.
- There are also Two-Bedroom Penthouse Suites.
- If you won big at the craps table, inquire about the hotel's two two-story penthouse suites (one has one bedroom, the other comes with two).
Lone eatery Market Café Vdara offers guests on-the-go options
- Market Café Vdar is a small, but convenient cafe and grab-and-go option for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
- Bar Vdara has entrees available for lunch and dinner, as well as cocktails
- Pool-side dining (seasonal hours) and room service (24 hours) are also available
- The neighboring Aria resort, also part of City Center, has dozens of options for all tastes and price ranges just nextdoor
Vdara is one of three sleek hotels in the new City Center complex, an $11 billion mega development a few blocks from The Strip. It's a modern, sumptuous hotel with impressive rooms (they're all suites), a lobby bar, and a decent pool. But the quiet atmosphere isn't for everyone, so those who want to be in the heart of the Vegas action should stay elsewhere.
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Things You Should Know About Vdara Hotel & Spa
- 2600 West Harmon Avenue, Las Vegas, NV 89158
- City Suite
- Deluxe Suite
- One Bedroom Penthouse
- Panoramic Suite
- Two Bedroom Penthouse
- Two-Story One Bedroom Penthouse
- Two-Story Two Bedroom Penthouse
- Vdara Suite