I’ve always loved Las Vegas. A wonderland for adults, there are countless ways to make yourself feel like a high-roller even if you don’t have the bank account to match. Besides the thrill of gambling, Sin City has the highest number of luxury hotels in the world, not to mention world-class shows and fine dining.
So when ARIA — one of the newest 5-star additions in the recently completed CityCenter, broke the news of a $119 special, it’s only natural for me to jump on it. This time, I invited not only my best travel companion Diana, but also long-time friends Margaret and Dennis.
Upon arrival at the hotel, we quickly got processed at the reception. The guest elevators were just a short hop from the lobby — which I thought was so refreshingly different from the mile-long trek with luggage in tow through the casino floor, often required at other hotels. Our room had dramatic floor-to-ceiling windows, contemporary décor and a high-tech control panel that controls room temperature, the curtains, lighting and music. Perhaps a bit too complicated for us, we couldn’t figure out how to turn off the lights in the room without turning out the bathroom lights as well when someone is in there!
Off to lunch we go after checking in. We met a few more friends at the hotel’s Skybox Sports Bar and Grill. While there, Dennis and I decided to be daring and try one of the most “exciting” item on the menu: a lamb burger with Bhut Jolokia or Ghost Chili — the hottest chili pepper in the world. Needless to say, lunch was excruciatingly painful but worth it just for the experience. After lunch, we marveled at the fantastic cakes, chocolates, pastries at the resort’s Jean Philippe Patisserie (Try the palmiers, they are simply exquisite.) While there is an abundance of dining options at the ARIA, we opted to visit other restaurants on The Strip. The connecting skyways made other casinos nearby within reach on foot; hailing cabs was equally convenient.
The amount of artwork on the premises is certainly impressive. I was equally impressed by the architectural design of hotel and its adjoining shopping mall, knowing that City Center was a joint project with seven of the world’s top architects.
All in all, ARIA makes my list of preferred hotels to stay. Service was impeccable, from the wait staff in restaurants to the dealers/pit bosses — accommodating and friendly. This time, I left Sin City about $125 up! Great entertainment value at great hotel too — where else can one find 5-star accommodations for a little over $100?
Vegas once again proved to be another perfect getaway for me.