More about Aria Hotel and Casino
Michael Mina's newest at the Aria Hotel & Casino
Michael Mina has developed a reputation as one of the most consistent, innovative chefs in the world. American Fish at the Aria Hotel & Casino at the new City Center development is his newest restaurant and Vegas. Its very stylish and modern with metal, wood and glass. the huge and extremely active kitchen is behind a huge glass wall that is viewable from the entire restaurant. Watching the frantic action in the kitchen was great entertainment. The food is classic Mina - inventive takes on classic dishes with use of a variety of unique tastes, with an incredible accompanying wine list. It is also classic Mina in that it is very expensive. Yet even though its expensive, its worth the splurge. If you don't feel like mortgaging our house to eat dinner, but want to sample what Michael Mina has to offer, the appetizers and side dishes were incredible. In fact, I think my favorite thing I sampled may have been the Sweet Potato Puree & Marshmallow side dish... it was incredibly good and better than most deserts I've had. Starters: Tuna Tartare
Main Dishes: Salt-baked prime rib (huge portion, great presentation and delicious)
Side Dishes: Sweet potato puree & marshmallow
Scenes of Las Vegas
More scenes derived from a leisurely stroll up the Strip, admiring the featured exhibits in front of each palace. On image 1, the exterior versionn of the Venetian Hotel's grand canal. The Aria's Elvis advertisment on image 2 is affixed to the exterior windows of the building well above street level. If you think the two towers making up the Veer complex (image 4 ) don't look exactly parallel, there is a reason - these large condominium towers are built at a 5 degree angle to true vertical and each other - the towers do veer. Image 5 is of the massive Aria hotel which is the largest in the City Center complex and one of the best in the city. With over 4000 rooms the Aria has a casino which never seems to end.
Do not eat at the Cafe Vettro
No one knows what they are doing at this cafe. We waited for 30 minutes for a round of beers. Then we waited for another 30 minutes for chicken wings and calamari. I tried to talk to the manager on hand (Mary) and she told us that she would give us the appetizers on the house for our wait. Fair enough so we dig in only to discover under cooked wings...WTF. Waited another 15 minutes for Mary to return so that we can show her the wings and she claims that they were steamed and that pink chicken meat is cooked... We left this place as quickly as possible but not after a 45 minute valet wait. These is just another, buffet, lame club, casino. The people who work here don't do service because they are supposed to be stuck up and rude because their wings cost 17 bucks. The only good thing about this place is that it is close to the In n Out.
Would Not Stay Here Again
We've been to Vegas a dozen times over the years and have pretty much stayed at every major hotel. The reason why we would not stay here again is because there are other hotels which I think are better than this. Don't get me wrong - this is not a bad hotel.
We arrived on Christmas day and their entire computer system had gone down. The line at check-in was unbelievable and it took about one hour to check-in since everything had to be done manually by the staff. Not a big deal since it's a new resort and really could happen to other hotels.
The room is pretty small by Vegas standards. The same caliber hotels - Wynn, Bellagio, etc. - have much larger rooms and much larger bathrooms. The layout of the shower/tub is unique since they are both in one glass-enclosed space. There was no electrical outlet in the bathroom - trust me - we looked every corner of the bathroom.
I cannot comment much about the casino since we're not gamblers. I also cannot comment much about the restaurants because we did not eat on the property.
We wanted to walk around the pool area just to check it out but were not allowed to go out since it was closed. I get the fact that it's closed but we wanted to at least walk around to see if we want to come back during summer.
Crystals (retail center next door) was only partially opened. There were many "Coming Soon" signs, though - Prada, Balenciaga, Hermes, etc.
Their valet parking system was better and more organized than other hotels. There is a window where you present your ticket and a waiting area where you can wait for your car.
The remote control which controls pretty much everything in the room - lighting, curtains, service, TV, music, etc. - was a bit slow.
We paid $179 for the room Christmas night. It's not a bad rate but I would much stay at other high-end hotels like the Bellagio because it has more of a luxurious feel than the Aria.
Do Not Miss This Hotel!!!
Despite what others are saying, this is the new standard of luxury in Las Vegas. We spent three nights in ths Corner City View Suite (29th Floor, Room 172, end of hall). Request it. You won't be disappointed. Although expensive, it was as beautiful as any room in Vegas. We were probably the first in the room. The furnishings and finish work are all first class. The bathroom was beautiful. Great strip views from every room, including bathtub!! Of course the hotel just opened, and a few minor difficulties are expected. Nothing that would derate the experience.
The staff was fantastic. Help was always available and always friendly. Maid service was on the spot. Check-in and check-out were easy. The TV checkout was down, but whatever.
Elvis. The show was as good as any in Vegas. After the disappointment of "Believe", Cirque has created another great show. The performers were having the time of their lives.
Buffet. Again. As good as any. A buffet is hard to re-invent.
The Cafe and Steakhouse were also top notch.
As the title says, "Don't miss this hotel!"
Give it time.
Stayed at Aria on Christmas Eve after getting a pretty good deal via e-mail. Got in pretty late on a flight from the East Coast. Didn't have any problems with check in since there wasn't any line. Long walk from self parking to the registration desk though.
Two different guests had issues with their room keys not functioning and were quite angry about it. They were actually pretty loud and belligerent. I wasn’t looking forward to having the same problem, but it was fine when I got to my room. The keycards use sensors (not like the magnetic stripes that you swipe). I have used these keys at other hotels and they can be fussier than they should be.
As soon as you open the door and walk in, the lights turn on automatically, drapes open, and music comes on. I can see why you want that to happen, but in some ways it is kind of creepy. The room was good sized, about average for a hotel on the Strip. Extremely comfortable bed with very soft linens, but also could have been that I was exhausted. Well designed bathroom that doesn’t look over the top. There was a laptop friendly in-room safe which is in an unusual location of nightstand (I actually was annoyed for a few minutes looking for it initially since I didn’t find it in the closet).
The thing that sets these rooms apart from other Vegas hotels is the technology. On the nightstand is a touch screen panel that can control almost everything you want to adjust in the room (see picture). Fairly sophisticated system. You can even set up a timer to wake you up in the morning by drawing the shades open, turning on the TV to a certain channel, and adjust the temperature to warm up the room. What is good is that the traditional methods (TV remote, temperature panel, power buttons for the drapes) are still there for people that don’t want to bother with the touch screen. The TV remote can also access the same system and can display a duplicate menu of room options.
Where things turn for the worse is some operational issues inherent in a hotel only open 8 days. As someone previously posted, Café Vettro has some issues to work thru or people will not come back. First off, there is no invited guest/VIP line. Your best customers aren’t going to tolerate that, so it should be implemented quickly. Late Friday evening, the restaurant was about half full, but the kitchen was clearly struggling with servers even admitting as much. I could see various tables around me waiting a very long time for their meals. Our server was very accommodating however and hovered maybe a little too much so it seems more of a back of the house problem.
I had a Cubano. Here is a newsflash, Cuban sandwiches aren’t supposed to be cold on the inside and nearly burnt on the outside. Tasted okay, but if it was made properly, could have been great. Work on better order management systems and most of the problems should be solved.
The Buffet at Aria is okay. Not better than the Wynn (which is still the best) or the Bellagio, but it is a solid third. Beautiful room that overlooks the pool area. Food was fine, but where I find fault was the slow service. Slow on refills, slow on clearing plates (and not just my table, but tables around the room with plates starting to pile up). A few more busboys to float around the room would do wonders.
The casino is well laid out with lots of brown. Get used to that color because you will see a lot of it in your room and on the casino floor. Every shade: copper, chocolate, beige… Well run poker room also spreading most games. Very roomy so you aren’t bumping into other players or dealers. Also very convenient to the self parking lot. The casino staff seem to be from many of the other MGM properties, so they are experienced and very pleasant. The Player’s Club also went down for three hours on Friday, which is very frustrating if you wanted to check your balance.
All in all, Aria has a little ways to go in working all of the kinks out of the system. If it can execute these fairly quickly, it should be a great place to stay and play. If not, you might want to go somewhere else.
High tech combined with luxury
We stayed at the Aria just five days after it opened on the 19th floor. Each room has an excellent view of either The Strip or, like our room, the west side of Vegas. Rooms use a digital card that in scanned rather than inserted in a lock. Once you enter the room, the lights automatically turn on, the curtains open and the large flat panel television turns on, offering you an icon menu and guide to services. Television viewing features channels from around the globe in at least a half-dozen languages. The rooms are extremely well-insulated - couldn't hear anything in the halls or adjoining rooms.
The beds are outstandingly comfortable as are the plush downy pillows. The bathroom is accessible through a sliding door. Once inside, the toilet area is encased behind a heavy frosted glass door and features a telephone, though who would want to talk on the telephone there is a head-scratcher. The shower and large soaking tube are combined in a step-up area behind a clear glass door opposite the granite vanity with twin porcelain under-mounted sinks. The hardware is all heavy stainless and ultra modern. The vanity area also features a lighted swing-out mirror, which has magnification on one side. There was also a generous array of bath and beauty products and all the towels were heavy, dense cotton. The only drawback is that there is only one outlet in the bathroom with two plugs. Four plugs would have been better. The room also features two microfiber robes (really warm) with a chest of drawers mounted between standup closets on either side (wooden hangers).
The room we stayed in had a desk, refrigerator stocked with drinks and snacks (fair warning: expensive) and a large digital clock (floating glass in a frame) and plugs/outlets for all the portable media you might want to use during a stay. The room's lighting was also excellent.
When we were out for a few hours, we came back and all the lightly used bathroom towels had been replaced and our beds were turned down with the obligatory mints (we were surprised and had not expected this level of service).
The casino itself is clean and relatively smoke free. There are lots of restaurants, particularly on the mezzanine level above the lobby. The slots are tight.
The worst part of the hotel is accessing the parking garage, which is not clearly labeled from the street entrance. The best part is that parking is free, unless you prefer valet service. All the parking is covered and spacious and is accessible through a elevators and a walkway to and from the hotel.
We had one glitch on check out (the lobby is exceedingly difficult to find the first time around). We inserted some canned soda we happened to have with us on top of the bottles in the room's refrigerator and when we removed them, the hotel staff thought we had purchased two drinks (weight sensitive). But the staff didn't bat an eye when we said we had not consumed any items and removed the $8 charge from our bill.
Also, for anyone appreciating modern design and attention to detail, you will enjoy all the subtle design elements that are consistent throughout. Really a masterpiece of architecture and, except for the casino, very "non" Vegas in look and feel.
All in all, an excellent hotel for the price ($168 a night for a double, including tax). We wished we could have stayed a few more days. We will definitely stay there again.
Las Vegas is a Regular Trip for Me
"The Problem Started at Registration"
I was meeting a friend in Las Vegas to celebrate my birthday. Since we usually go to Las Vegas a couple of times a year, we thought we would give the lovely new Aria Hotel a try. We had made the reservations online through the hotel.....2 nights ...2 queen beds. Not a complicated request for most hotel, but the Aria seems to have a problem with that. We had paid in advance for the first night and had the receipt in hand, but there was not one room in the hotel which had 2 beds, or so we were told. We were given the option of a rollaway bed or we could use that courtesy phone in a distance to find lodging elsewhere. Since we were tired and really just wanted to relax, thus the reason for coming to Las Vegas, we opted for the rollaway bed.
We walked what seemed to be about 2 miles to our room. The fragrance which began in the Hotel Lobby permeates the entire hotel. That smell might work in the restrooms, but for god sake, not in the entire hotel. It's nauseating.
The hallways are long, dark brown, narrow and poorly lighted. It was reminiscent of the really old Best Western from my childhood, but a much longer walk. Then we entered into "High-tech Curtain" land. I don't need or want my curtains computerized. If they must be computerized, make the computer work like a computer. I don't want to take classes to be able operate the curtains and, of course, the lights and the television. And I certainly don't want to be sitting in the dark because of the preprogramming.
The water closet in the bathroom is indeed, in a separate room, which sounds like it would work well for 2 friends traveling together, however the wall is made of glass. Now, if you are OK sitting on the toilet while your friend is brushing her teeth, then this would work for you, otherwise...NOT SO MUCH!
There is a lovely soaking tub in the bathroom. But... in order to get into the tub, you have to walk through the shower stall. It is positioned back past the shower. Who thought that was a good idea?
The hotel boast of their large guest rooms. I'm sure that square footage includes the bathroom and the glass water closet, plus the closets, dresser drawers and possibly the air ducts. There was not room for the lovely rollaway bed until my friend and I rearranged the furniture. The rollaway was left in the room, folded! No attempt was made to make it useable.
We gambled in the hotel and had the same luck that we had at registration. So we decided to spend our money elsewhere. When it was time to check out, the wonderment continued. Supposedly that computer in your room works for checkout, not just to control your draperies, but ours didn't. We stood in line 30 minutes. But we were so glad to get out of this place, thirty minutes didn't seem so bad. But once it was actually our turn, they now deny that they have our advance deposit. Remember...we have a receipt IN HAND! That was another 30 minutes and having to get fussy about talking to a manger! We had to pay a second time for that room. Now we are left with letting Visa fight the fight.
On a positive note the housekeeping staff was very friendly and did a very nice job. The buffet which is served in a restaurant with a very creative name "Buffet" was good...expensive, but good. It was not your $14.95 Las Vegas buffet.
The customer service in this hotel is nonexistent, so if you want to spend your money and have a good time....Stay someplace else. This was a surprise to me since I have stayed in other MGM properties and have never experienced this. MGM Resorts GET A NEW MANGER for this property, and teach customer service. I really don't have a suggestion for that color scheme and bathroom design until you have to redecorate and that might never happen if none of your customers return.
Fort Collins, CO
The Aria Hotel