Don't forget to pack: slippers
Nice extras: a touch-screen room control pad at bedside
What you'll love: lots of natural light; a large public art collection; restaurants from the chefs of Bellagio
Wish they had: free Wi-Fi (it was $15 per 24 hrs)
ARIA Resort and Casino: Guest Rooms and Suites
Guest rooms are automated, thanks to a touchscreen control pad bedside. The touch pad controls the lights (even dims them), TV, music, window shades, and temperature. You can set an alarm to wake you, sure, but also automatically turn on lights, open the blinds, turn on the TV tuned to your favorite channel and warm up or cool off the room. Music choices were arranged by theme like spa, romantic, rock and classics.
I missed having a refrigerator (there was a minibar instead) but did have a media station on the desk with plugs for iPods and DVD players. A good comfortable bed, king-sized pillows and white duvet combined with the blackout curtains to help me adjust to the time change from the East coast. On a longer stay I would have appreciated the large closets and plethora of drawers. One nitpick: I couldn't find the in-room safe after what felt like an exhaustive search; it's tucked away in one of the nightstand drawers.
The bathroom was a good size with the shower and tub separate but sharing a glass enclosure. Couples will welcome the privacy of a "potty room" and two sinks.
I peeked in to one of the largest of the Sky Villas, a two-level, three-bedroom palatial affair with towering windows and a corner view. A winding stainless staircase leads up to a sitting room with a fireplace and large master suite. (If you can't handle the stairs one night, no worries; there's a private elevator.) The $6K-a-night rate gets you a private fitness room, salon, steam room, sauna, kitchen, bar, and toilet that lifts its lid automatically and warms its seat for your tush.
ARIA Resort and Casino: Dining and Entertainment
With so many restaurants, I faced a tough choice. I'd heard very positive reviews of Bar Masa and Sirio, but in the end I chose Julian Serrano, largely because of his reputation at Bellagio's Picasso. I wasn't disappointed, and enjoyed picking from the largely tapas menu. Always intrigued by molecular food, I had to try the tuna-raspberry skewers, an interesting mix of flavors from tart to sweet and salty. The salmon with truffle oil, b?chamel and a portobello mushroom was one of the most amazing dishes I've ever had the pleasure to try; I definitely recommend it. Julian Serrano also has some amazing paellas, cheeses, and vegetarian items on the menu; it's a great place to share tastes with friends.
Haze nightclub, which opened on New Years' Eve at the end of 2009, is known for hosting big artists (like recent guest Mariah Carey) for short sets. Smoke effects and stilt walkers add to the drama.
The big show in residence at ARIA is VIVA ELVIS by Cirque du Soleil. I hadn't heard great reviews of the show before seeing it, so my expectations were low. Having said that, I did enjoy it. I would say if you are an Elvis fan, it's a no-brainer. For Cirque fans, it was a little trickier, as the show is heavy on singing and dancing, light on acrobatics. Only one "superhero" sequence had plenty of flips and trampolines. When you go, try to catch one of the red scarves that fall from the ceiling at the end of the show.
ARIA Resort and Casino: Spa and Recreation
The spa and fitness center are impressively large, with a huge workout room overlooking the pool. I signed up with an early-morning "indoor hike" with Sergio, thinking I would walk off some of the great food from the night before. The "hike" turned out to be a mini-boot camp; we walked up and down ARIA stairs (no escalators for us) and chose picturesque spots to stop and do squats, push-ups, and crunches. Just like that, any guilt I had from over-indulging was gone.
Treatment rooms are upstairs in such a big, mazelike space that I repeatedly got lost. I managed to find the two meditation rooms, and there I stayed. One is built of salt walls, even salt lamps, and contoured chairs vibrate to the sound of loud instrumental music - the effect was like a mini-massage. The other consists of a handful of flat, warmed stone "beds" and dim lighting. I loved the feel of the warm, almost hot tile (put a towel down first) and found it to be an extremely relaxing experience.
The spa has large Jacuzzis in each of the mens' and womens' locker rooms, plus a co-ed balcony pool overlooking the main swimming pool area. Hotel guests pay $30 off a day pass, unless you schedule a treatment.
Three swimming pools are situated around a flower-filled area just outside the fitness room. Not opened yet on my visit is an adults-only pool party scene by L.A. nightclub folks The Light Group.
ARIA is connected to Crystals, CityCenter's upscale shopping venue. A tram from the hotel goes to Bellagio also.(Reviewed 3/19/2010)
More About ARIA Resort and Casino
Rates: $$$ What This Means
Compare rates on Kayak
Find a flight to LAS
ARIA Resort and Casino is located in CityCenter, on the Las Vegas Strip next to Monte Carlo.
3730 Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, Nevada 89109 USA
Phone: (702) 590-7757; Reservations: (866) 359-7757
Web site: ARIA Resort and Casino
See ARIA Resort and Casino on a map of Las Vegas Hotels
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary accommodations for the purpose of reviewing those services. While it has not influenced this review, About.com believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest. For more information, see our ethics policy.