Overall Score: A
Recommended?: Yes (highly!)
The Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas is a state of the art new building which opened in 2009. With over 4,000 guest rooms, 16 restaurants, a large convention center, 1,800 seat theater (featuring Cirque du Soleil’s rock opera Zarkana) and much more, it’s the newest luxury on the strip. Sculptures, beautiful landscaping, fountains, and walls of thin waterfalls greet you upon entering the lobby.
LOBBY – Inside, the building is beautiful. Its open atrium lobby features seasonal designs, lots of natural lighting, and polished rock gleaming on walls and floors. The Aria offers a mobile check in to deter you from standing in the long registration line.
AUGUST 2016 UPDATE: For the first time we stayed here, the mobile check in request did not work. Mobile check in did work the second time we stayed here, and the employee helping us stated that they are working on the system to ensure 100% success as soon as possible. Being able to skip the long registration lines was a very nice perk!
When mobile check in works correctly, you receive an email from the hotel giving you a confirmation number. This allows you to check in at the shorter mobile registration desk and pick up your room keys.
There are three banks of elevators, specific to certain floors, that bring you to your room. Elevators are fast and numerous which is a big plus for such a big building. Security guards ask to see room keys before entering the elevator areas next to the casino and promenade (2nd) floors. This was no inconvenience at all and was actually a nice way to ensure only hotel guests roam the hallways.
ROOM – Being that the Aria is so new, technology is the highlight of this hotel. When you enter your room, the room starts as a dark space, then becomes something you’d see on an episode of the Jetsons. Upon opening your door, the curtains immediately begin opening, allowing the Vegas sun to flood the room. Lights are also immediately turned on as well as the television screen. The TV screen serves as an in-room control where you can control not only the television, but the curtains, music, temperature, and more. There is even a master switch to your room that will close your drapes and turn off all of your lights when you leave the room. Buttons next to the door also request service or privacy from housekeeping. No more paper placards to hang on your door! Room temperatures are automatically adjusted when guests leave the room, another way the resort reduces energy consumption.
There are two closets (with robes) and a set of drawers in the hall. There is also a touchscreen tablet next to the bed to help you with any needs you may have while at the hotel. On this tablet, you can get information about the hotel, fine dining, make reservations, change your room temperature and more.
The beds are rather soft and comfortable, as are the pillows. There is a refrigerator in the room but it is only a mini bar. I tried to put some of my leftovers in the fridge but it was impossible. If you move food or drinks around, this mini bar gives you 60 seconds before they charge you. After my failed attempt at refrigerating my leftovers, I read the note about the minibar. They will charge you $25 a day if you want to use the refrigerator for ‘personal’ reasons. They obviously don’t want you to eat any of your own food – buy more in the hotel! There was also no coffeemaker in the room, nor a clock radio. There was a clock on the tablet in the room, but I’m not sure there was an alarm on it as well.
The bathroom is very modern, just like the rest of the room. The bathroom features two sinks and a separate toilet area, with frosted glass. The shower area is integrated with a soaking tub, as they are separate but within the same glass enclosure. Water pressure was good and their provided toiletries were great. (The conditioner actually conditioned my hair; most hotel conditioners do nothing for my thick, wavy hair.)
WIFI – The Aria Hotel and Casino has excellent wifi. See below:
AMENITIES – The pools at the Aria are absolutely lovely and have plenty of seating. There is security upon entering and free use of towels. The Aria has a total of three hot tubs and three elliptical shaped pools. There is also “Liquid” the pool lounge, a small concession stand, and a pool bar. The pools were clean, well landscaped, and very inviting. Note that the “Sky Pool” is only for guest staying at the Aria’s upscale Sky Suites.
The casino at the Aria had many slots and plenty of tables. I did notice that the casino itself wasn’t too big. Some casino floors are incredibly confusing to navigate through and seem to go on and on. Not so with the Aria. In addition to a poker room, there is baccarat, high limit slots, a race and sports book, and a high limit lounge with tables. The Aria casino boasts about its state of the art ventilation system that gets rid of smoke. The air did seem refreshingly clean, until I sat near a smoker!
SHOPPING – There are a few shops within the Aria including a sundries shop, men’s store, chocolate/pastry shop, bathing suit boutique, more upscale gift shop with women’s clothes, a watch boutique, optical shop with sunglasses and designer glasses, and a jewelry store. The Shops at Crystals, a mall featuring a collection of luxury brands, art galleries, and restaurants is connected to the Aria on the main level.
DINING and DRINKS – There are many places to dine at or pick up food at the Aria. On the promenade (2nd) level there is a Starbucks, a juice shop, a buffet, as well as fine dining. Read about my fine dining experience at Aria’s Carbone here. On the main floor, there is the Aria Cafe, Burger Lounge (opening spring 2016), a pizza restaurant, Jean Philippe Patisserie (bakery, ice cream, coffee, confections), as well as other casual and fine dining options. Bars and lounges line the areas around the casino floor but be prepared for costly drinks. Expect to pay up to $20 per glass of red wine, especially in the swanky Alibi Lounge. I guess it’s worth it if you actually enjoy the wine. The complementary red wine I received while gambling was terrible and I could hardly drink it.
AUGUST 2016 UPDATE: The complementary red wine (both merlot and cabernet) is still terrible. Apparently they haven’t upgraded the comp wine to anything better!
AUGUST 2016 UPDATE: Burger Lounge at the Aria has opened! This restaurant uses ingredients made in sustainable environments and offers healthier options like grass-fed beef burgers and various vegetarian dishes. I was unable to review their food, but you can find more information about it here.
SPA and FITNESS – On the promenade level, there is a spa, salon, and fitness center. I did not use the salon or spa but the fitness center was great. Tucked inside the salon and spa, the fitness center has everything that large neighborhood gyms have, including medicine balls, free weights, mats, stability balls, cable machines, and plenty of weight and cardio machines. You’ll need to scan your room key upon entering the gym. Towels, water, apples, magazines, and headphones are also provided for guests.
I’d also like to point out that the Cirque du Soleil’s show Zarkana, was an excellent and entertaining masterpiece at the Aria. We purchased tickets on the same day as the show at the hotel’s box office. One ticket was full price and another was only $30. The Aria is a hotel where you almost don’t need to leave the resort since there is always something to do here!
I was fortunate enough to stay at the Aria as a guest of my husband who was on a business trip. I was not compensated by the Aria for this review.
Overall, I had a wonderful stay at the Aria Resort. I was a little disappointed by the high prices on food and drink, but as this is luxurious Vegas, I guess it goes with the territory. If in Vegas, I recommend a stay at the Aria or at the very least, a walk through of the main areas to enjoy one of Vegas’s newest and tech savvy resorts.
AUGUST 2016 UPDATE: After another stay at the Aria, I’m pleased to say that this hotel and casino still exceeds my expectations. Our room was clean, our beds and linens were comfortable, and we love the tech aspect of the room. The casino was also wonderful and a lot of fun. I’m so pleased Aria is continuing its high standard of service!