Hotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las Vegas

Hotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las VegasHotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las Vegas

Earlier this month, while I was in Las  Vegas for Blog World & New Media Expo, I had the pleasure of staying at the ARIA Hotel at City Center.

Over the years, I’ve spent more than my fair share of time in Las Vegas.  It’s a haven for conference, convention, and trade shows, and at only a couple hours out of Seattle, it’s a popular choice for a quick getaway weekend.  I’m not jaded at everything that the city has to offer, it’s just that I’ve seen most of it and so it takes a lot to impress me.

But impress it did!

Exterior ARIA at night

Like most hotel properties on the strip, ARIA is best reached from the airport via cab.  The fare from the airport to the hotel will run about $15-16, including tip and the required airport add-on fee.  The Las Vegas Strip is full of impressive architecture (or garish, depending upon your point of view), but once you drive up the ARIA entrance way you’ll quickly forget that you’re even on the Strip.   The City Center complex features three hotels, ARIA, Vdarra, and the Mandarin Oriental, and includes residential condos along with upscale shopping and dining.


With a fountain in the middle of the circular drive, varying in its dancing display, along with a wall of water on the side of the entry way, walking into the lobby felt more like walking into a resort than a casino.

The lobby was bright and airy, as opposed to so many dark and dingy casino hotel lobbies.  Sure, it’s still new and all that (under a year old), but even walking across a portion of the casino floor to get to the hotel elevator bank, was a surprise.  At first, I couldn’t put my finger on it.  I looked about and saw plenty of slot machines, restaurants, people, and a shop or two.  But what I didn’t see, or smell, was smoke.  This might not seem like a big deal to a lot of people, but as an allergy sufferer, this first walk through the casino is the beginning of suffering for my stay.

Why no smoke?  If I was an engineer I could tell you in copious detail all the reasons, but really, all that matters is that it’s a system that draws the air out from both the top and bottom of the room.  And it works!  This fact alone is enough to convince me to make ARIA my choice of hotels in Las Vegas, but ARIA is also a LEED Certified Gold Hotel, meeting additional high levels of eco-standards.


My room was of the standard variety and located on the 24th floor (there are 61 floors).  The rooms boast state of the art technology, from the flat panel television on the wall to the control console that operated everything in the room.  Want a little mood lighting?  Set it from the console.  Want to read in bed?  Set it from the console.  Turn on and off the television, adjust the room temperature, set the music in the room, open and close the drapes?  Yep, all handled from the control console.  It served as an alarm clock, too, and the television remote was able to provide many of the same functions.  It took some time to figure everything out, and I hit the wrong button a time or two, but it’s pretty handy to be able to control everything from one spot.

The room was spacious and well laid out, with a king size bed, desk and work space, and sitting area.  It overlooked City Center, although hard to enjoy the view with filthy windows (a common complaint I have with hotels), and with both privacy and room darkening drapes, I was able to choose the mood that suited me.  The bathroom was equally spacious, offering double sinks and plenty of counter space for two people to get ready at the same time.  The toilet was situated in a separate doored area, and the shower/sunken tub is in the same enclosed area, a layout I had never seen before but seemed to work just fine.


Wi-fi is available in the rooms, for a $15 charge (24 hours), and this is where all the emphasis on technology seems to fall by the wayside.  I fired up the laptop and tried to log in.  No luck, as I got caught in a error loop that wouldn’t let me log in.  A call to the front desk, transferred to a tech support company, and over a half an hour and the error loop still couldn’t get resolved.  The connection was established remotely, causing additional complications down the road, but at least I had access.  For awhile.  For a $15 charge, I expect that internet access will be solid.  It wasn’t.  I continually was challenged with a signal going in and out, interrupting email being sent and IM chats.  OK, so perhaps the average guest doesn’t want to be as connected as I needed to be, and I know providing service can be difficult, but in the value for price analysis, this was a fail.  (And I’ll skip my mantra about wi-fi should be free.)

Another throw back to bygone days is the overpriced mini-bar.  I don’t need ridiculously priced bottles of water, wine, or snacks, although someone must , but what I’d really love to have is a coffee maker and complimentary coffee.  I’ll still hit the cafe for my latte and specialty drink, but I really need that first cup to clear my head before I hit the shower.  I can’t categorize this as a fail, since none of the strip hotels offer this amenity, but it would be a real chance for ARIA to continue to lead the way in room amenities.


Although I didn’t have much time to check out the pool area, there are three pools connected by a series of landscaped pathways.  Although there were plenty of people enjoying the sun, the loungers were well laid out and it didn’t feel crowded or stifling.  Pool side service is available at a price — a delicious, super tall, spicy Bloody Mary priced about $27, not including tip.  Cabanas, rafts, an adult only pool, life jackets for kids, and a variety of other amenities are also available.

The hotel offers a crazy number of restaurants and bars.  For fine dining you can choose:  Barmasa, Shaboo, Julian Serrano, Sage, Jean Georges Steakhouse, Sirio Ristorante, American Fish, Blossom, and Union Restaurant and Lounge.  Prefer something a little more casual?  Try:  Lemongrass, Skybox Sports Bar & Grill, Cafe Vettro, Breeze Cafe, Jean Philippe Patisserie (offering fabulous pastries), Sweet Chill, The Roasted Bean, and the ubiquitous buffet.

After all that eating and drinking, you may feel the need to stop off at the gym or Spa.  That would be a great choice, actually, and I’ll have a Spa Review coming up soon.


If you’re feeling flush, you can step next door to the shops at Crystals, and plunk down some of your hard earned cash at upscale retailers like Louis Vuitton, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Prada.  You’ll find additional restaurants here, along with some impressive art (both in the shopping areas as well as on the walk here from the hotel).

Come evening, there’s plenty of nightlife, including Haze Nightclub, Gold Boutique Nightclub & Lounge, the Deuce Lounge, and more.  For a real treat, you’ll find a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on at Viva Elvis, the newest Cirque du Soleil production.

I enjoyed my time at ARIA.  It was comfortable, attractive, offered great amenities, and as if that wasn’t enough, the smoke-free environment sealed the deal.

Location:  In the City Center complex on the Las Vegas Strip.

Rates:  Vary based on date, room type, and promotions offered.  I checked the online booking calendar today, and rates in November are offered starting at $125 midweek on up to $300 on a weekend.  Rates for December were comparable, although went up during the holiday time, and in January rates dip slightly.

Photo credits: personal collection

NOTE:  I received a complimentary stay at ARIA during Blog World Expo; the opinions expressed here are solely my own.


Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

12 Responses to “Hotel Review: ARIA Hotel at City Center, Las Vegas”

  1. November 16, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I can’t believe the WIFI service was that horrible. And for $15? That’s crazy. You’d get a better deal at an airport! Haha

    You should have asked for a refund after all that trouble.

    • November 17, 2010 at 8:33 am #


      Wi-fi at large hotels is always a challenge. I’ve been told its because of size and the physical structure, but with traveler having increasing demands to be connected, I’m hoping that hotels will step up and improve this utility.

  2. December 23, 2010 at 3:49 pm #

    Well, I can’t believe I didn’t see this hotel and just came back from my first visit to Vegas two weeks ago.
    I guess with Vegas hotels being the way they are (a city for itself) I didn’t stand a chance of seeing every cool hotel there.
    I did love the Venetian though (that is where we stayed).
    Great review, I might consider this hotel next time I go to Vegas.

  3. April 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm #

    Stay Somewhere Else -service is horrid -Aria has no soul!!

    I am an avid Vegas goer. 8-12 times/year sometimes more for the last 10+ years. I have stayed all over the Strip from dives like Imperial to luxury like the Wynn. By far Aria was the worst experience ever. I tried it twice just to make sure it wasn’t just one bad experience, the second was worse than the first.

    -Check in process was a disaster, long line and unfriendly staff.
    -Maid service was poor, several nights they didn’t even service our room, we had to call for towels and wait 2+ hrs, we had to call for a blow dryer –what woman in Vegas doesn’t need a blow dryer.
    -Service: HORRIBLE, from the front desk to the jerk off bartenders at the pool to the Clubs, one person was more stuck up and rude than the next
    -Rooms: very small, need more mirrors, need bigger beds, the only positive thing I can think to say is the beds were very comfortable -perfect for one person, a couple? forget about it -your husband can sleep on the floor
    -Restaurants: over priced and NOT good food or service, long waits and NOT worth the wait

    GO STAY SOMEWHERE ELSE, ANYWHERE ELSE —don’t even bother coming here.

    It feels like a big tin can, a huge convention center, IT DOES NOT FEEL LIKE VEGAS, shame on you Aria –you suck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. April 16, 2011 at 6:18 pm #


    That’s really too bad that you had a bad experience(s).

    I had a great time while there. I was in a standard room with a king sized bed, and found it spacious and comfortable. I referred a number of friends there and all have found it just as I described. Other than experience that mirrored mine with wi-fi failure, no one reported back any service issues. Most friends liked it because it didn’t feel like Vegas – no themed design (which alienates as many people as it charms). And they liked the high tech room designs. But most of all, everyone liked the smoke free environment.

    In your opinion, ARIA “sucks” and has “no soul” but for a lot of other guests it was a very pleasant experience. Hotel experiences will vary, based on a wide variety of factors, and I’d still recommend ARIA.

  5. August 6, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    The ARIA looks pretty modern. The casino there is nice. I have stayed at the Mandarin Oriental next to it and really loved. The Wynn and the Four Seasons also deserve a stay 🙂


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