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Jenn Thornton | Photo: Courtesy Images | July 31, 2013
Aria angles for an encore in Las Vegas.
Just when you thought it wasn’t possible for Las Vegas to accommodate yet another cool kid on the Strip, along came Aria Resort & Casino (arialasvegas.com, @arialv). Together with its swanky hotel-within-a-hotel concept, Aria Sky Suites, the CityCenter-set destination makes for a colossal good time, with class gaming, dining, nightlife, retail, culture and some seriously natty nests.
Accommodating the spiffiest stays is the aforementioned Aria Sky Suites, where 442 exclusive occupancies come with an arrival that leads from a private entrance down a hall lined with window boxes of luxury wares to a plush, well-attended reception area where adroitly-coiffed staffers flaunt ready-to-assist demeanors. As smooth as check-in is here, the elevator ride en route to the one-bedroom penthouse sky suite is as express as it gets. The space—its own study in chic—gives way to the living and formal dining areas, plus two bathrooms, with the enormous master option featuring a separate soaking tub and roomy shower. The palatial space continues with the light-filled corner bedroom overlooking both the Strip and Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino. And whilethe sleek, dark, contemporary decor is definitely Vegas, with splashes of mauve and lime (and a patent leather headboard to boot), it’s also select, with Hermès bath essentials and technology so advanced it’s hospitality’s version of a high-wire act. Naturally, the situation only improves in the penthouse’s two-bedroom counterpart.
Of Aria’s main roundup of rooms and suites (4,004 guest rooms, including 568 suites in all), the 520-square-foot deluxe options (think one bedroom, one bath, with city view spaces granting full glimpses of the Strip and CityCenter) start at just $149—a bargain given the jaunty interiors, copious amenities and tech touches galore. The suites only step up the swagger. Starting with the 920-square-foot cozy corner suite and moving on up to the spacious 2,000-square-foot executive hospitality suite, six sweet available accomodation options deliver the goods—and, depending on where you are, this means floor-to-ceiling window vistas, separate living and seating areas, formal dining rooms with full wet bars and more. You’ll find a ridiculously high technology quotient everywhere; plus, bathrooms with separate showers and private water closets, and luxe linens. As for those cloud-like sleeping chambers Aria calls beds? Fully dressed in coma-inducing 300-thread count linens. In short, you’ll feel like a high roller no matter how—or where—you choose to roll.
Add to these perks The Spa & Salon at Aria (maxed to relax at 80,000 square feet) and a sprawling 215,000-square-foot pool deck that, in addition to boasting three dipping spots, parades out Liquid Pool & Lounge, an adults-only operation with a condo-size main pool, luxe private cabanas and a premier party vibe. Also in the mix are sexy refreshers, tanned bods and top DJs, along with multiple bars, personalized chaise lounges and daybed service.
And the eats are even more elite now that Aria has added a trio of culinary launches to its already gluttonous ode to fine gastronomy. Along with the Five50 Pizza Bar by James Beard-honoree Shawn McClain comes Tetsu, an interactive teppanyaki concept from acclaimed chef Masayoshi Takayama, serving everything from spicy octopus to grilled lobster. A chipper sommelier, meanwhile, suggests perfect sake pairings. (Hint: The best of all chasers just might be the resto’s crisp grapefruit sorbet.) Last of the newcomers is spicy Javier’s, a Mexican eatery touting a high-energy vibe, intimate booths and hand-shaken spirits. For a nightcap, Haze Nightclub innovates after-dark carousing with flagship flair, taking cutting-edge to the next level with state-of-the-art sound and PYTs aplenty, while the 1950s-tinged Gold Boutique Nightclub & Lounge finds its groove in glam surrounds and kicky cocktails.
Providing a retail reprieve is The Shops at Aria, carrier of trendy designer merch (source baubles at Radiance and duds for dudes at Fifteen) in a boutique setting; while that mack daddy of big-name labels, The Shops at Crystals, dazzles with a soaring facade formed by gemlike shapes and rarefied emporia from fashion heavyweights, like Louis Vuitton, Tom Ford, Prada and more. It’s a great way to blow a big win. Then again, everything at Aria is a sure bet.