So the wife and I finally broke down and stayed at ARIA - we've stayed at pretty much everywhere else on the Strip, and wanted to give ARIA a shot after it opened up last year. We ended up going with her family as well right after Christmas, in between Christmas and New Year's, so we had a good couple of days.
Our overall impression was that the hotel has a ton of potential - but for some reason, the staff still isn't quite executing the vision of the hotel. It's a shame, really - it's dragging down what is otherwise a very lovely hotel. Upon checking in, we quickly realized we'd been put in a smoking room, so had to call downstairs to get another room. I figured I'd have to go downstairs (yet again) to swap keys, but nope - just had to jot down the room number over the phone and walk in to the new room. The keycard worked in the new place immediately. So, that was nice - not so nice was winding up in a smoking room to start with.
The 'free' wireless internet was included in a daily resort fee - fine, I suppose, since I always use the internet - although it would be nice if the wireless internet actually, y'know, worked. It rarely connected in our room and when it did it was mind-numbingly slow. You could connect to the 'wired; internet for free - but only if you happened to bring your own RJ-45 ethernet cable to connect, otherwise you were more than welcome to use the hotel's provided "Internet Amenity Kit", provided for the low-low price of $20. Ahem.
The electronics in the rooms are pretty nice, all told - there's a bedside touchscreen that basically controls the room. Ours worked....when it wanted to, which is a way of saying, not very often. Pressing the "Close Curtains" button would often only work for a few feet, and then you'd have to mash it again....and again....anyways, you get the idea. Again, great idea - poor execution.
Casino floor was nice - craps tables paid out for us and the family (and that's always a plus!) - we had dinner one of the nights at Lemongrass, the Thai restaurant in the place, which we thoroughly enjoyed. The cafe down on the casino floor (Cafe Vettro) sold some nice casual fare - have to admit, we about devoured their nachos from that place. I would comment on the buffet, but every time the wife and I tried to head there the line was at least 45 minutes long, and I wasn't going to wait.
Checkout (should) have been a breeze, but of course - true to the theme of the stay, the automated check-out did not work and we had to actually go downstairs and stand in line to check-out, where a woman was doing her best to check people out in the line with a pen and paper. Decidedly non-technological, and rather annoying.
Overall, if I could give the place a 3.5 I would - my wife and I both really enjoyed the actual comfort and size of the rooms and the restaurants, but it was the little annoyances that prevented us from truly enjoying the stay. We'll likely return at some point, and I'm hopeful that the teething issues will have been solved by THAT point. We'll see how it goes.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ARIA Resort & Casino is a AAA Five Diamond Award winning resort which offers you the best in accommodations, gaming, dining and entertainment. Check out the newest place to see and be seen on the Las Vegas Strip. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Aria Resort And Casino
- ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas