When you think about a weekend getaway or escape, what city immediately comes to mind? For many people I know, that city is Las Vegas. That’s why I was so excited to make my first trip to Vegas last month for a girlfriend getaway with CajunMama and MommyMusings.
And I was absolutely thrilled when I found out we would be staying at Aria, one of Vegas’s newest hotels.
Aria is in Las Vegas’s City Center adjacent to Crystals, a brand-new upscale shopping destination where the storefronts boast names like Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and even Harry Winston.
The Public Spaces
While hotel-casinos with names like New York New York, Paris and Luxor are known for their over-the-top theming, Aria’s design doesn’t “scream” anything. It is modern and elegant, and quite understated by Vegas standards.
The building consists of two curved 61-story towers built of glass and steel, set next to each other for a wave effect. Inside, the design is clean, with lots of stone and wood elements. It’s modern beauty everywhere you look.
One thing that I immediately noticed about Aria was that there is a separation between the casino and the rest of the public spaces that doesn’t exist in many Las Vegas hotels. Just a few steps outside of the casino in the hotel lobby, you almost forget the casino is there.
Don’t get me wrong – I know casinos are one of the main draws. But their environments, with all the lights and noise, can be overstimulating. I found it refreshing to be able to step away and refresh in the lobby bar or other public spaces in a more relaxing setting.
Aria’s Casino is beautiful as well, with lots of rich wood and plenty of space to move around – 150,000 square feet of it, as a matter of fact. There are 145 gaming tables and nearly 2,000 slot machines.
The whole place feels ultra-modern. And clean. One of the biggest complaints you hear about in Las Vegas are the smoky casinos, because smoking is allowed indoors here. But Aria must be employing some state-of-the-art air filtering systems here, because I never, ever smelled or saw smoke in the Aria Casino.
The Guest Rooms
The guest rooms continued the modern rich wood and stone surfaces seen in Aria’s public spaces. They are roomy, and we found the space great for housing multiple adults on a trip like ours – a girlfriend getaway.
There were two large closet armoires and several deep drawers just inside the entry, with plenty of room for four adults to unpack a long weekend’s worth of clothes.
The bathroom was very spacious – with a long counter and double sink that allowed two or three of us to be doing our hair and makeup simultaneously. The toilet was behind a separate door, and the room featured both a garden tub and a walk-in shower.
All three of us found Aria’s beds comfortable, although I have to admit that in Las Vegas, we didn’t spend nearly enough time sleeping in them.
One more note about Aria’s guest rooms: Even though this was a girlfriend getaway, I did have to do some work during our long weekend. I found the Internet at Aria to be excellent compared to most hotels. It was quite possibly the fastest in-room Internet I’ve experienced in the dozens of hotels I’ve stayed in the past few years. I carry a Verizon Mi-Fi to guard against situations where the Internet wireless signal is poor or speed is slow, which is the case more often than not. I never even removed the Mi-Fi from my suitcase at Aria.
The Guest Room touchpads
On the cab ride from the airport, my taxi driver told me that Aria guest rooms have a touchpad that controls everything. I thought, “Well, that’s cool, there’s a touchpad to control the lights or something.” But that cab driver wasn’t exaggerating – Aria guest rooms are equipped with a touchpad that does everything but pull the covers up to your chin.
I will admit that I arrived at Aria several hours before the other Traveling Mamas, and I probably spent the bulk of that time playing with the touchpad controls in the guest room. It was easy to figure out how to operate these controls. Right from your bed, you can adjust the thermostat, turn any light in the room on or off, control the TV and/or music playing in the room, and – my favorite – open or close the sheers and/or drapes on the room’s floor-t0-ceiling windows.
With one touch of the “goodnight” button, you can shut off all the lights and electronics in the room. And you can set a wake-up sequence that will open the curtains and turn on lights and the TV at your chosen time. It was like something out of the Jetsons – a fun addition to your escape.
The digital controls in each guestroom also have a number of themes programmed for different situations. For example, when I entered the room for the first time, the controls were set to a theme just for that occasion that opened the curtains on the dramatic windows in front of me and turned on lights around the room. In the evenings, the rooms are set for a theme that lowers the lights and plays soothing music.
I had nothing but pleasant experiences with Aria employees. My check-in experience went extremely smoothly. Ever-present casino security guards were not at all obtrusive, and everyone I encountered on bell service and at the taxi stand was friendly and helpful.
The housekeeping service at Aria is excellent. Our room was made up twice daily and because Las Vegas is a 24-hour town, it was made up when we needed it to be. Once when we accidentally left the Privacy light on in the room until mid-afternoon, our room was still made up for the day – show me that happening in another city. (And yes, I *may* have turned that light on when playing with the touchpad, again.)
There are 17 different eateries to choose from at Aria alone, with dozens more at the adjacent hotels and shopping areas in City Center.
One of our most memorable meals in Las Vegas was at Sage, Chef Shawn McClain’s restaurant at Aria.
Overall, our Aria experience was excellent from start to finish. I honestly can’t find anything negative to say about it.
I highly recommend a stay at Aria when you visit Las Vegas. As I said earlier, because of the room (and especially bathroom) layout, I found the guest rooms especially excellent for accommodating multiple adults (like on a girlfriend or guy’s getaway) or for families.
Thanks to Aria for hosting our hotel stay.