[PHOTOCAPTION]PHOTO: ARIA opened in 2009 on the Las Vegas Strip. (courtesy MGM Resorts International)[/PHOTOCAPTION]
When ARIA opened for business in 2009 it was right on the money. Not just the new kid on the Strip, it anchored CityCenter, Las Vegas’ city-within-a-city between the Bellagio and Monte Carlo.
In Las Vegas, it is not enough to lead the pack. Hotels must perpetually add new tricks to the magic. The Sky Suites at ARIA that debuted in 2012 were designed to do just that.
The accommodations start at the 25th floor and the smallest is a 920-square-foot corner suite. Guests have their own dining and desk areas, living room lounge and separate bedroom with floor-to-ceiling views of Las Vegas. Suite guests also have a separate registration desk that is adjacent to the complimentary refreshment area. Guests park their bags, sit down, have a soda and wait a very short time to check in. In contrast, the line at the general registration area is often long, snaking around velvet ropes.
In Las Vegas, the hotel-within-a-hotel concept is not new. It started early on as an amenity for high rollers and continued more recently as a revenue-generating concept for the visitor. People will pay that extra bump to be treated like a VIP. However, visitors have learned to expect value in Las Vegas – even if it is just a line pass to the buffet.
They ask, Vegas delivers. At ARIA, that means Sky Suites that start at rack rates of $700 per night go for half that price and lower much of the time. The Sky Suites lounge serves wine and cheese plates at cocktail hour, breakfast pastries and coffee at breakfast hour, and cookies, snacks and refreshments throughout day.
For travelers who are flying into Las Vegas and checking into a Sky Suite, airport limo transfers are provided as a complimentary perk. From the lobby lounge, guests use a Sky Suites elevator to transport them to their accommodations. There’s also a quiet, private pool for Sky Suite guests with comfortable cushioned loungers and complimentary refreshments.
The complement of Sky Suites comprises 442 one-, two- and three-bedroom guestrooms and suites. The 16 bi-floor Sky Villas have a full kitchen, exercise room, billiards room, private beauty salon and 24-hour butler service with rack rates starting at $2,500.
The four-seat dining setup flows to the desk area with plenty of places to plug in. A comfortable sitting space in the corner offers a good place to read, and some windows overlook the new T-Mobile Arena and the artsy flourishes of Toshiba Park.
The living room space in the standard one-bedroom Sky Suite provides a very comfortable L-shaped couch with extra cushions and a blanket, a 52-inch flat-screen TV, a wet bar and square coffee table. A half-bath sits off the foyer. The bedroom offers its own heating and cooling register, 42-inch television, side-by-side conversation chairs and a king bed with high thread-count linens and a soft down duvet.
Guests will find plenty of closet space and storage in the bathroom, an all-white marble affair with two sinks and copious counter space. Amenities, stored in a leather box, include dental care, shaving and makeup items. A lighted makeup mirror is a welcome touch. The oval tub is fixed with Jacuzzi nozzles and the large walk-in shower has a bench and a steam register. The commode utilizes a Japanese TOTO washlet system, which includes heated toilet seats and a menu of settings.
Naturally, complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all accommodations and throughout the hotel. But the wow factor is the bedside tablet, which “greets” guests by turning on lights and parting curtains. The tablet can order room service (or take-out, which is becoming increasingly popular among ARIA’s 13 dining establishments), book spa appointments and turn the television off or on.
For a little more money the Sky Suites provide the wow factor that today’s Las Vegas visitors are looking for. In a city that, for the longest time, made it a mission to keep visitors out of guestrooms and in casinos, sweet comforts like those offered in Sky Suites bring a new game to the hotel landscape. And the bet seems to be paying off.
For more information, visit www.aria.com or call 877-580-2742.