THE BACKGROUND: A highlight of the CityCentre complex, Aria is one of Las Vegas's newest hotels. It has lots of modern sleek lines and funky touches, like the infinity waterfall wall near the reception area.
WHERE IS IT? Superb location on The Strip that is easily found if, like us, you are arriving on a self-drive (from Palm Springs). There's plentiful free parking with elevators that whisk you down to reception. From the International airport, it's a 20-minute ride to the hotel. The hotel can arrange a limousine pick-up
THE HOTEL: Big and spacious reception lobby area but the process is not the speediest, even with up to 20 staff facilitating this. Las Vegas is a 24-hour city, which means guests are checking in and out at all hours. After waiting in line for 20 minutes it took another half hour for our bags to arrive in the room.
THE ROOM: A good-size suite that was full of funky high-tech features: as we entered the AC an interactive TV burst into life and the curtains swept back to reveal wall-to-ceiling views of CityCentre, The Strip and the airport beyond. A super-king Sealy 'memory' bed had marshmallow-soft bedding. The safe was built into a solid wooden bedside table and was large enough to secure both the family jewels and the fruits of a very successful night on the tables. The large bathroom had a sunken bath, steam facility and shower and featured a granite dual sink vanity.
THE RESTAURANT: There's a huge choice including 10 speciality restaurants featuring acclaimed restaurateurs and Michelin-star chefs creating everything from sushi to Italian to Spanish tapas. We dined in the 'Contemporary American' Sage, which with its uber-chic but relaxed feel and subdued lighting provides a quality respite from the sensory overload outside. Highlights included creme-brulee fondant of foie gras, Arctic char and New York strip steak. 'Pre-show' deals at several Aria restaurants start from $75, with wine pairings.
THE FACILITIES: CityCentre is an 'urban destination' in its own right, with great shopping, dining, top-class shows, etc. The large Aria pool – actually three pools in one – is the place to be seen, preferably sipping on a frozen Mojito. For extra exclusivity, recommend splashing out on a private pool cabana, with a TV, and a personal waiter. There are several cocktail lounges and the hip Haze nightclub.
THE RATES: Midweek rate for a Deluxe King Room in mid-October starts at $159pn. Weekend rates from $259.
THE DETAILS: Aria Resort and Casino, CityCentre, Tel: 001 866 359 7757
We loved the fact we could sit by the pool, enjoy a fine-dining experience in Sage, see Viva Elvis, a Cirque du Soleil show, then spend an hour at the tables – without leaving the hotel.
Editor, Selling Long Haul