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Dining and Activities Overview
"The dining destination" impressed with a wide array of high-quality food choices while the activities were expensive and the service was mixed
Pros-Array of Dining Choices, Tasty and Creative Food, Fun Entertainment Options, Multiple Pools
Cons- Expensive Entertainment, Lukewarm pools, mixed, pretentious day club, and mixed service
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Aria's tagline is "The Dining Destination" and with an impressive array of about 15 dining choices the hotel delivered. We were intent on using every dollar of our $100 per room dining credit and $30 per person per day breakfast credit so were able to check out four of the dining location together. We got off to a quick start by checking out The Patisserie, located on the lobby level off of the casino, which is the Aria's French bakery.
The bakery is open 24 hours a day and featured coffee and all of the sweets you could desire including sweet and savory crepes, chocolate strawberries, gelato, and macaroons. I ordered the bananas foster and was so happy with my choice. The dish was sweet and lovely. The Patisserie is definitely worth a trip for breakfast, lunch, or a snack.
For breakfast we checked out the Aria Cafe where we could use our $30 per person breakfast credit. Aria Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch and is located on the lobby level off of the casino. I generally liked the atmosphere of the Cafe as it had a large water feature and large window letting in natural light. One interesting thing about the cafe's location is that it has a view of valet parking area in front of the hotel lobby and felt very Las Vegas with a bunch of luxury cars parked out front.
We ate at the Aria Cafe for breakfast three times during our stay and each time I was impressed by the wide array of high-quality food options and the creativity of the dishes. Throughout my stay I never got bored with the selections and found the prices to be reasonable for Las Vegas allowing us to stretch our breakfast credits. One thing to note is that the credit did not include tax and tip.
My favorite breakfast item on the menu was the red velvet pancakes. This dish featured chocolate chips melted onto red velvet pancakes and was simply amazing! I also ordered freshly squeezed orange juice with breakfast on my first morning at the Aria Cafe and was so impressed that had had it for all three breakfasts.
This was my third trip to Las Vegas and the first time I had the opportunity to check out a Las Vegas buffet. The Aria's buffet is simply called The Buffett at Aria. The Buffet is open for breakfast, brunch, and dinner and located on the second level of the Aria. We went to The Buffet for dinner once during our stay.
Overall, I thought The Buffet's food quality was okay, however, what it lacked in food quality compensated with selection. The buffet featured numerous stations including a Fish Market, Pizza, Carvery, Asian, and Latin. The item I liked the most were the fresh cuts of meats but I would probably skip doing a buffet next time I am in Las Vegas.
The final dining location we tried together was the Burger Lounge. This is Aria's casual take away grass fed burger place located on the lobby level right off of the casino floor. One cool feature of this restaurant is that it lets customers watch the chef's preparing the food.
I ordered the special which came with a burger, fries, and a drink. I thought the burger was okay while I loved the fries and the shake. I found the Burger Lounge to best choice for an affordable dinner at the Aria.
Like many of the Las Vegas resorts Aria's main activity is gambling in the casino. However, when I go on vacation gambling is never my main focus so I will discuss all of the non-gambling activities we experienced at the Aria. The Aria only has a handful of non-casino activities including a Game Room, Jewel Nightclub, multiple pools, and the Liquid Day Club. We never made it to the Jewel Nightclub and checked out the pricing at the Game Room but found it overpriced so I will focus on the Aria's pools and the Liquid Day Club. Aria has a large number of pools including two main pools for all guests and the Sky Pool exclusively reserved for guests of the Sky Suites. The pools were shallow and meant more for relaxing than swimming. The pools are surrounded by a large number of loungers and cabanas. The loungers are free and the cabanas have an additional cost and must be reserved. The Aria also had hot tubs which were completely unnecessary on these 100 degrees plus summer days in Las Vegas. My biggest compliant about the pool was how hot it was. The pool deck was so hot that walking barefoot on the deck could burn your feet. The pool water provided no relief because it was lukewarm. I really wished that they would cool the pool temperature on the hot summer days.
The Aria also features a day club call Liquid Pool Lounge which also features a pool. This day club normally has a cover, however, because we were hotel guests we had complimentary general admission. The day club is located next to the Sky Pool and features a large pool, a live DJ, cabanas and a bar. When we went to the pool mid-day we were the only guests in the pool. It was fun to have a private pool and DJ for thirty minutes. The DJ spinning beats was very good and we enjoyed hanging out in the pool listening to her beats.
The biggest downside to Liquid Pool Lounge was the pretentious atmosphere and high cost of using the cabanas. From the minute we walked in it was clear that the staff was only interested in serving guests with cabanas and were worried about us messing up the look of the club. On several occasions the staff came by and asked if they could clean up our clothing or fold out towels to keep up the look of the club. As time went by the day club's cabanas filled up with big spenders who ordered rounds of bottles and were treated well by the staff.
Service during our stay at the Aria was a mixed bag. For example, we called the concierge during our stay to find out about the location of various activities and the cost for entry into the day and night clubs for hotel guests. The concierge was friendly and efficiently answered our questions, however, there was a long wait to answer our call. At check-in the staff seemed fairly robotic and did not impress. At the restaurants we found some staff to be very friendly while others were okay. The treatment we received at Liquid Day club though was symbolic of staff at the Aria. No one was rude to us but it was clear that they cared most about serving those who they thought were big spenders.
Overall I was impressed with the Aria's hotel rooms and dining but not impressed by its activities. The quality and wide variety of the Aria's dining was impressive and set it apart from other hotel's on the Las Vegas Strip. If I find myself in Las Vegas again and was able to find a deal through the Luxury Hotel and Resort Collection I would certainly consider staying at the Aria Resort and Casino again.
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