I recently spent a long weekend with my wife and some friends in Las Vegas. Although I don’t usually stay at properties that aren’t in one of my preferred chains due to my ongoing points addiction, Vegas is an exception, since the various chains aren’t well represented there.
I do however collect MGM’s MLife points, although that program is more for gambling spend than to reward hotel loyalty, and I’m very much a low roller in their system. I still occasionally get decent room offers, which is what brought us to Aria. This huge property opened in the middle of the great recession, and I think they are still struggling to fill its many rooms. We booked 2 nights for $130 per night.
I’ll let pictures tell the story of our room more than any extended commentary.
The deluxe room we were given was larger than normal room for the Las Vegas strip at 520 square feet. Our deluxe king room faced west, towards the Aria pool, the Vdara Hotel, as well as I-15 and the mountains. What made it unique was how high tech it was. The lighting, drapes, temperature control and TV could all be controlled by the TV remote or a panel on the nightstand. Instead of a standard ‘do not disturb’ placard to hang on the door, there is a switch near the door, or on the main control panel to lock the door and denote ‘privacy’ is requested. I also enjoyed setting the alarm to have the drapes open as well as to turn on the lights instead of waking up to an alarm clock.
Afternoon sun. Notice control panel on left side nightstand.
The design was modern throughout the room. The bathroom was spacious, with a large tub and nice shower. Yes, the shower head was actually placed high enough for people over 5 feet tall to shower without bending over, as they all should be.
The rest of the property is very clean and modern. The fitness center is quite nice, with at least 10 treadmills and 10 ellipitical machines and the usual machines and equipment. The casino is large and has the typical options. Typical minimums are $10-$15. The sports book is off in a corner, and small compared to the size of the whole casino, but a nice place to watch a game. I didn’t get any photos of these areas.
I am not much of a connoisseur of buffets, although I enjoyed the Aria buffet on a past trip. The Buffet at Aria is quite impressive, despite its unoriginal name. Dinner includes house wine and a whole lobster for $44. I also enjoyed the Indian food station with a Tandoori oven. For comments from more of a buffet expert, be sure to see Matthew’s excellent review of the Wynn buffet.
Please note that Aria charges a $20/day resort fee. Its very annoying, but impossible to avoid at any MGM property. This includes internet access, a USA today, fitness center and spa access, and free boarding pass printing.
I love the high tech features of the room, and I’d gladly return to Aria on a future trip, if I could get a deal similar to what we paid. Although its difficult to imagine based on the crowds that Vegas is suffering from the recession, there are so many hotel rooms to fill up, deals can definitely still be had.