Aria Resort, CityCenter Las Vegas: Lines, Angles and Color
The Aria hotel opened almost one year ago on December 17, 2009 in CityCenter complex Las Vegas located between Bellagio and Monte Carlo resorts.
Aria Resort is listed as the 9th largest hotel in the world by number of rooms in Wikipedia. Aria has 4,004 rooms, including 568 suites, housed in two curvilinear glass towers of 59 room floors according to elevator buttons, or 61 floors according to the hotel website. The 59th floor two-story Aria Sky Villas are equipped with a two-floor elevator inside the room to create 60 floors for the hotel central towers as listed in many Aria descriptions. Smaller tower wings extend through central towers. My 24th floor room was the top floor of the northwest wing overlooking the pools.
First Impression is Maya Lin
The check-in desk is at the hotel entrance if you arrive at the front door in a car from Las Vegas Boulevard and drive by the Lumia central fountain and before the fountain wall. The concierge desk is located at the hotel entrance on the right wall along with an expansive registration desk looking the length of the Colorado River.
If you arrive by public transit or self-park and have luggage, you walk into an entrance with three large metallic sculptures. You can walk outside from here and take the sidewalk alongside the wall fountain to the main entrance of the hotel or you can walk into the casino.
Far fewer people and incredible design views of CityCenter and the front of the Aria Hotel day or night makes walking outside the recommended path if you are rolling luggage to hotel check-in. Otherwise you pass through the casino across the length of the large hotel on a possibly crowded floor. Inside the casino you will pass by several restaurants and bars in a softly lit interior walk along the periphery of the gaming area to the registration desk at the far side of the building.
I was offered a suite upgrade for $75 per night, but apparently my attention was captivated by the long piece of shiny metal running the wall behind the registration desk since I turned down the offer.
Silver River is 84-feet of reclaimed silver cast sculpture of the Colorado River by American artist Maya Lin. She is probably most famous for designing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C., a public design competition she won at the age of 21.
Aria Resort and Casino is the centerpiece of CityCenter Las Vegas. Opened in December 2009, CityCenter is the largest privately funded real estate development in the U.S. at a cost around 8.5 billion dollars to MGM Mirage.
Pelli Clark Pelli Architects designed Aria Resort and Casino. This is the same firm that designed the iconic Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur. The architectural firm received the Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award in 2010 for Aria Resort and Casino.
Aria is the largest hotel in the world to have received LEED Gold certification. LEED is an internationally recognized green building certification system providing third-party independent verification that a building meets design requirements for energy savings, water efficiency, improved indoor environmental quality, green building design and maintenance.
So what about the hotel rooms?
My 24th floor room seemed about 120 yards from the elevators. I am convinced you could walk a mile just covering the hallways of this single floor a couple of times. The rooms on this floor spread out in a curving fashion.
The windows in this wing (upper left in map) hallway look out to Vdara, a sister MGM Resorts hotel at CityCenter, and the Cosmopolitan hotel, adjacent to Vdara, but not actually part of CityCenter project. The Cosmopolitan opens next week on December 15, 2010 and has signed as a Marriott Autograph Collection brand.
The room key operates by radio frequency and opens the door by waving the key in front of the door’s circular pad rather than sliding into a lock mechanism.
Upon entering the room for the first time the drapes and blinds electronically open automatically and music plays on the TV. I enjoyed the musical selection playing but I never again found that music type on the sound system after my initial room entry. My room ovelooked the pool area of Aria Resort and the back side of the hotel looking toward the southwest portion of Las Vegas and the mountains.
The 520-square foot room has high-tech electronics controlled by master switches on the walls, a nightstand touchscreen control panel I had some difficulty working and through the TV remote that I also had some difficulty working for certain functions.
The complaint I read most for this hotel in guest reviews was the difficulty in getting the technology to work properly. In all fairness to Aria’s room system, I was able to get most functions to work correctly without issue, but little glitches like the wake-up alarm not setting properly, switching to the TV through a remote control glitch when I was trying to change music selections, and finding it difficult to turn off the lights while keeping the blinds open were challenges I faced during my stay.
Wall and nightstand electronic switches are accompanied by a nightstand master remote unit and the TV remote.
The bed had quite a bit of bedding. The first night I was not particularly comfortable since I prefer a harder bed. The second night I slept better. The bed is probably perfectly fine for most guests.
The desk had plugs for a variety of media inputs. Wireless is part of the $20 daily resort fee implemented just last week at the Aria Resort.
The resort fee includes complimentary access to fitness room and a daily paper privilege you must redeem yourself at the hotel store. I also received two free drink coupons worth $8.65 each for a pint of Stella Artois at the Bar Moderno. The drink coupon is redeemable at four of Aria’s hotel bars.
The bathroom in my King Deluxe had adjacent shower and bathtub in a single glass door unit. Higher category rooms at the hotel have a separate tub and shower unit.
All Aria rooms I saw had a double sink vanity unit in the bathroom.
The basic room like mine had a standard water efficient toilet. High category rooms at the Aria Resort have electronic units with sensors that open the toilet automatically when you walk into the stall and a variety of wash functions. I will write another blog post to show features of different category hotel rooms I saw during my room tour of the Aria Resort.
The entry hall has closets, robes, drawers and a full length mirror. The door e-panel has buttons for room privacy and room servicing indicator messages in the hall outside the door.
The room had a room safe in the nightstand drawer. My dad in his practical way asked “What would keep someone from just taking the whole drawer out of the unit?”
As I played with the safe in the drawer (I was not attempting to remove the drawer) a message came up on the TV. I suppose there would be some kind of an electronic alarm for hotel security if the drawer were taken out of the unit.
The hotel mini-bar is the electronic type meaning you are charged when you move an object inside. The air temperature unit worked quite well as I turned down the temperature to a comfortable 66 degrees for me during my entire stay from the 72 degrees default setting.
My next post will cover the other aspects of Aria Resort like the restaurants and bars, pools, Aria Spa, fitness room, art installations, and different room types in the hotel.
Loyalty Traveler Disclosure on this hotel review– I have not been paid or received any compensation by MGM Mirage or hotels mentioned in this piece. I did not receive complimentary rooms for this hotel stay.
When I rave about something, I rave about it because the hotel appealed to me personally. When I complain about a hotel, then my complaint is due to a problem I had or the potential for a guest problem I foresee with a hotel.
I am a consumer analyst covering hotels for hotel guests.
Over the next week I will be writing extensively about several new hotels in Las Vegas with stays at Aria and Mandarin Oriental. These trips to Las Vegas and my hotel reviews are a result of incredible hotel + air package deals I purchased through Expedia Canada’s SAVE300 promotion in November when trips to Las Vegas were discounted by $300. While the Expedia promotion was meant for travel from Canada, there was a window of opportunity to book these packages from any location.
Trips from California to Las Vegas priced out at under $300 all-in for one and two night stays at 5-star Las Vegas resorts like Wynn, Bellagio, Aria, Four Seasons and Mandarin Oriental. My two night stay at Aria Resort in a basic room with a roundtrip ticket from San Jose, California cost a total of $82 Canadian dollars. The same package from San Francisco would have been free, or I could have upgraded to a higher category room for a slightly higher rate.
Ultimately I saw several different room categories at the Aria Hotel during my two-night stay. The tour was not just for me being Loyalty Traveler asking for a hotel tour, but by a lucky coincidence. My hotel stay dates and request matched an arranged tour time for travel agents attending the Luxury Travel Expo 2010 at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas, another MGM Resorts property.
Aria’s open house reception showed off the hotel to perhaps a hundred travel agents from the Expo. I tagged along at the invitation of the Aria hotel with a group of about ten others. The tour started with the basic King Deluxe, the same category room at 520 square feet size that I stayed in, although the tour room had a more desirable hotel higher floor location and view. I saw a King Deluxe corner room with Strip view, a one-bedroom suite, a one-bedroom Sky Suite on the 51st floor and a top of the line 58th floor 3-bedroom Sky Villa. One article I read listed a rate around $6,000 per night for this Sky Villa at some point in 2010.
I found the Aria Resort to be a top-level hotel room and beautifully designed resort in CityCenter Las Vegas. The group of travel agents I spent a couple of hours with on Thursday evening touring rooms at Aria Resort and Casino also seemed impressed by the hotel room design, views, and features. This AAA 5-diamond rated hotel is truly luxury at a bargain price with rates as low as $129 per night for many weekdays in December 2010.
Betting on Expedia.ca for a Vegas Suite Deal (Nov 20, 2010) [This post tells how I bought my flight to Las Vegas and an upgraded room at the Mandarin Oriental for $12.]
CityCenter Las Vegas – Art, Architecture and Space (Dec 16, 2010)
Hotel Detail – Aria Resort and Casino Las Vegas in HD (Dec 11, 2010)
Aria Resort Las Vegas – Pools, Spa and Dining (Dec 12, 2010)
Aria Resort Corner Suite and SkySuites (Dec 18, 2010)
Aria Resort Las Vegas SkyVilla 19 (Dec 19, 2010)
Vdara Hotel, CityCenter Las Vegas (Dec 19, 2010)
Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas (Dec 23, 2010)
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Dec 21, 2010) (The Cosmopolitan is next to Vdara Hotel, but not part of CityCenter complex. The Cosmopolitan is a Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel.)