On any given weekend, it is becoming increasingly difficult to find a decently priced hotel room on the Las Vegas Strip. A cursory search for a Saturday night, during the Summer (when the average low temperature is higher than 90 degrees), didn’t find a hotel on the Strip for less than $125. This is yet another example of why it is important to know how to find good travel deals, as I wrote about previously here. I recently stayed in a corner suite at, Aria Resort & Casino, for about $130, including taxes.
Built in 2009, Aria is a large luxury hotel with over 4,000 rooms & 560 suites of ranging sizes. It is part of the CityCenter complex which includes other hotels such as Vdara and Mandarin Oriental, and a half-million square foot retail & entertainment center. The CityCenter branding has since been dropped in favor of Aria branding – as evidenced in the CityCenter Tram renamed to Aria Express which runs between Monte Carlo & Bellagio stopping at Aria between the two.
Ridesharing services such as Uber & Lyft have been able to pick up & drop off at the airport and locations on the Las Vegas Strip for quite some time now. This is often the best way to get to your hotel from the airport and it’s exactly what I did. At the Las Vegas airport and most hotels, there have designated areas for rideshare drop offs and pick ups. Those areas are at the main valet area for most of the hotels on the strip. At Aria, Uber/Lyft is relegated to the “North Valet” area. The good part about this is that your driver won’t have to drive on the often-congested Las Vegas Blvd. The bad part is that there is no Bell station/luggage service there. In my opinion, the good outweighs the bad!
As I mentioned, I took Lyft to the Aria. I didn’t think I my room was in the Sky Suites, but noticed that the Sky Suites check-in was much close to the North Valet. I went there instead of walking through the casino to the main lobby.
They were very friendly and let me check in even though I was in the Tower Suites, not Sky Suites. There was no line to wait in. I thought about doing the $20 trick to try to get an upgrade, but decided against it since I already had a very nice room. They asked if I had my MLife card which I gave them along with my
Hyatt Gold Passport World of Hyatt card to double-dip points earnings. I was quickly on my way with Tower Suites room key card and property map in hand.
The Aria Resort is one of the more swanky hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. My expectations of the room were quite high – nonetheless, the room exceeded my expectations. The Corner Suite is advertised at 920 square feet. The room key card is a RFID card meaning it works via contact – not a magnetic strip. I walked through the door of my corner suite and was taken back by the airiness and brightness. There are ceiling-to-floor windows throughout the entire suite.
The living room was furnished with a sectional sofa, chair, and a large flat screen TV. There is a mini-bar that automatically charges for the item, if it was removed for longer than 60 seconds.
The bedroom area was much like your standard hotel bedroom. The bed was very comfortable. I slept better than any other hotel I have stayed at. However, it was the bathroom that caught my attention. The bathroom was almost the same size as the rest of the suite!
The towels were numerous and luxurious. I doubt anyone had needed to ask for more towels. For scale, the tub could comfortably fit 2 people. If someone chose to, they could get about 5 people in the shower. I was very impressed!
The Aria Hotel is very high-tech. Every room has at least one tablet. My suite had one in the living room and one in the bedroom. The tablet is the control panel for the entire room. It can control the temperature, lights, drapes and TVs.
There are even pre-programmed “moods” which would set the lights, drapes and sometimes TV for certain moods. The soft jazz music channel was a bit cheesy when the “Romantic” mood was selected, but that’s just my opinion.
It was very cool controlling the entire suite while sitting on the couch or laying in bed. However, this also meant that I couldn’t claim the WiFi didn’t work to avoid paying the $35 resort fee (a common tactic). Given how much I paid for the suite, I was fine with paying the resort fee.
One of the best amenities of having a suite is the use of a lounge. It isn’t open 24 hours, but is open from 7 AM to 9 PM. The lounge is located basically in the middle of the casino, which allows for a nice respite from all of the noise, lights, and (sometimes) smoke that is typical of a Las Vegas casino. It also has a “front desk” where you can check-in and out from your suite. Entrance to the lounge does require a key card “swipe”, so I’m not entirely sure how checking in would work. The check out process was very quick.
In addition to a peaceful ambiance and a front desk, the lounge offers free refreshments. I definitely made use of the lounge multiple times each day to grab a water, soda or food. I may (or may not) have even grabbed several drinks, walked out with them and no one bothered me.
Aria has become one of my favorite hotels on the Las Vegas Strip. Everything is very clean and upscale. I was somewhat surprised to find table games with a $10 minimum. Higher-end casinos typically won’t have such a low minimum. The hotel itself is in an ideal location and is easily accessible from neighboring hotels. I absolutely loved every aspect of Aria and I hope I find such a great deal again. Even if the room rate wasn’t quite as good, I would not hesitate to stay at the Aria again.
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