- There can be long lines at times -- restaurants, taxi stand, check-in
- Affordable dining options are limited
- Daily fee for fitness center and spa facilities
- Expensive Wi-Fi fee
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 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 panelat your bedside.
All rooms have:
Amenities galore -- you could stay here and never leave the property
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.
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.
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