Concierge.com's insider take:
The current fixation of the Las Vegas convention crowd is the Aria Hotel, which debuted at MGM's massive CityCenter development in early 2010. The 4,004 guest rooms are tailored to an upscale business clientele, with a warm modern design in muted tones and techy perks: Setting the room to "wake up" by raising the temperature and lighting, opening the curtains, and turning on the music is pretty cool, and it helps make up for the compact size of the standard rooms. Although the hotel isn't the most exciting place to party on a Saturday night, the business folks have been packing Aria's restaurants and bars for good reason. One of the most impressive dining rooms on the Strip—a behemoth space with soaring ceilings and minimalist decor—showcases Masa Takayama's sushi at Bar Masa; we think American Fish, where the food is prepared without frill or ego and classic rock fills the dining room, to be chef Michael Mina's most mature restaurant concept; and Chicagoans will love to see their very own chef Shawn McClain serving seasonal American cuisine at Sage, his first out-of-town restaurant. Still, we found that Aria's attempt to lure whatever expense accounts still exist has led to something so sophisticated that it's simply no fun.David Tyda
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:The Cesar Pellidesigned centerpiece of the hyper-anticipated 67-acre CityCenter, Aria meets all the criteria of the now-standard Vegas mega-hotel formula: A whopping 4,004 roomscheck. A casino the size of three football fieldscheck. Sixteen wildly varied restaurants, complete with celebrity chefscheck. An Elvis-themed Cirque du Soleil extravaganza and dancing fountains at the front entrancecheck, check. The resort does everything in an unabashedly big way, but beyond the razzle-dazzle veneer are unique triumphs that include bragging rights for being the world's largest LEED Goldcertified building and an impressive collection of eye-catching modern art (among them a suspended Maya Lin sculpture inspired by the Colorado River, and a 266-foot-long LED installation by Jenny Holzer). Although rooms are a hike from the elevator, the tower's crescent shape and floor-to-ceiling windows ensure that all have great viewseither of the desert or the leaning Veer Towers and the irregular angles of the Daniel Libeskinddesigned Crystals shopping complex, next door. Comfortably large and muted in tone, the rooms come equipped with a nifty bedside touch screen controlling the temperature, curtains, and entertainment. Aria's epic scale means that individualized attention is rare but every craving is literally satisfied: The buffet feeds casual diners, the restaurants Jean-Georges and the terrific Julian Serrano please gourmets, and celebrity DJs spin for club hoppers at the velvet-rope dual-level Haze. Centrally located on the Strip, Aria also offers excellent valuejust beware the outrageous amenity surcharges, including $35 a day for gym and spa access.2010 Hot List
Which room to book: The 920-square-foot Corner Suites have stunning Vegas vistas and luxe amenities for less than $500 a night.Subscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›
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