Boy, am I running behind! I’m trying to catch up on all the goals I set out to accomplish, one of which was staying at all 12 MGM properties in Las Vegas (in recognition of the Hyatt/MGM partnership) and reviewing them. Catching back up now with the next review in the series.
The 12 properties (with past and future reviews) are:
- MGM Grand (Review)
- THEhotel at Mandalay Bay
- Signature at MGM Grand
- Monte Carlo
- New York New York
- Mandalay Bay
Of the properties listed here, Aria is the newest of the bunch. There’s a lot of technology in the rooms and the property features a ton of restaurants. It’s located in the City Center project which is in between Monte Carlo and Bellagio. I don’t love trying to get into the property from the Strip, so if you’re driving, consider using Dean Martin drive (near the In n Out Burger off Tropicana) to come in through the back valet or parking lot. This property is a short walk from Vdara, essentially only a couple hundred feet.
As I was still enjoying my Noir status when I checked in, I was able to use the “Invited Guests” line just past the main front desk. Unlike some of the other properties in town, there’s no VIP lounge for Noir guests.
The hotel has 4 different banks of elevators to serve the towers so you won’t find yourself waiting long. However, you will find yourself with a decent walk if you’re at one of the far ends. I was upgraded to what I believe was a corner suite, but I also have a review of a regular room I’ll post later on.
When I entered the room, I was in a small entry hallway with a half bath. This lead to a living room with a sofa, side chair and small desk as well as a wet bar. It was a sizable room, lots of space to move around in.
Beyond that was the bedroom. There was plenty of space here as well with a big closet and bench at the foot of the bed. The layout and technology were similar to that of the standard rooms. You can use a bedside tablet to control many of the functions of the room including the blinds, temperature and lights.
The bathroom was pretty awesome. There was a sizable shower with a rain shower head and a large bench, easily big enough for 2. A double vanity gave way to a big soaking tub right up against the window line overlooking the strip. And, for those that like those heated toilet seats with all the bells and whistles, a la hotels like the Park Hyatt Tokyo, they’ve got that too.
One of my favorite restaurants in Vegas, Julian Serrano, is in Aria, and I’ll be reviewing that in the future as well. Meanwhile, I did take the opportunity to visit the fitness center and squeeze in a workout. It’s part of the spa complex, over in the conference wing. There’s a fee to use it and the spa facilities. The fitness center is huge. There’s easily a few dozen ellipticals and treadmills as well as more than a dozen strength training stations, free weights, mats, etc. While there were more people than I expected for an early Vegas morning, there was plenty of space to get in a workout.
The casino is spread out into a number of different areas. There aren’t a ton of table games and you won’t find much in the way of $10 tables. There’s also a small but comfortable poker room in the far back. One of the reasons I generally don’t like casinos is they’re one of the few places left in the world where you can smoke indoors. Whoever designed the Aria casino floor was something of a genius when it comes to air movement as you can’t even tell there’s smoking on the floor.
On the second level of the building, you can walk across to Cosmpolitan and also cross a pedestrian bridge that drops you right near the entrance to Planet Hollywood.
Aria is a Category 6 property in the Hyatt Gold Passport program, which means 25,000 points per night for award redemptions. There are enough rooms in Vegas that you can somewhat regularly find space at Aria for under $200 a night, so consider that before redeeming points.
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