ARIA Resort and Casino was part of a 9 billion dollar joint project by MGM International and Dubai World (Infinity World Development) in building CityCenter, a multi-resort complex in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip.
CityCenter consists of a set of luxury resort hotels and condos, starting with ARIA Resort, Vdara, the Veer Twin Towers, Mandarin Oriental, The Crystals (a high-end shopping facility) and The Harmon, built from 2006 – 2009. However, during the financial recession everything came to abrupt halt in the beginning of 2009, as financiers scrambled to raise more monies to complete the project.
The drastic drop in shares had an considerable impact on its completion, including the increasing construction costs.
Not only that, the workers union went on strike because they accused the contractor of not practicing safety measures after six men died during construction of CityCenter. After a three step safety resolution was reached, construction continued at a rate of completing one floor ever seven days.
Fortunately the overall project was completed, with ARIA Resort officially opening up on Dec 16, 2009.
Architect firm, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, masterminded the ARIA creation with precision and artistic design. You can find all about the construction of ARIA Resort HERE, but I’m going to talk about ARIA from an architectural draftsmanship point of view, as well as a tourist, who had the opportunity to experience first-hand the luxury during the summer of 2014.
Arriving in front of this massive two story adjoining hotel towering at 600 ft with over 4000 rooms, featuring concave baby-blue glass throughout its 61 stories, made me smile ear to ear. Right there and then, I knew I picked the right Vegas resort for our five day vacation. Immediately stepping out of the limo I was spellbound by the cascading waterfall along its slanted walls, giving this calming effect.
It felt like my level of stress simply dissolved into thin air, soothing my soul.
Months before arriving I had purchased the Express Check-In and Late Check-Out option, which cost an extra $30 (plus tax) each.
It was well worth it.
Today, you can skip the line by using their Mobile Check-In service, with your cell phone. The Late Check-Out option is best by contacting concierge for any special requests, like I did.
ARIA Resort is indeed at the height of technology, including cutting edged room convenience controlling the lighting, TV, the wall length curtains, “Do Not Disturb” options, room service and temperature control.
It’s the power of luxury at your finger tips.
Our room was on the sixteenth floor overlooking the pool courtyard below. The view was simply amazing !
THE POOL COURTYARD
In addition, our pool experience was as expected. Greeted with a warm welcome throughout, from the bartender to guest services at the entrance kiosk (also referred to as the security desk). You felt safe and well pampered by the professional staff. Of course, the three designed pools and one jacuzzi were exactly what you needed, when waking up first thing in the morning.
Our slumbering arrival poolside, before 8:30 am was considered early, in respect to our late hours the night before (or should I say early morning). Making the best of our time, exercising FUN in Vegas was essential to our stay. Besides, it’s nice to get a great spot before it becomes busy. Mind you, ARIA does offer the option of reserving your spot for an extra $25, if you like. That way, you don’t have to worry or rush around.
After all, you are on holidays!
Everything we did at ARIA Resort was a pleasant experience, from the casino to the art cleverly displayed. Enjoying the Fitness & Spa and partaking in the buffets, fine dining and the Five50 Pizza Bar, filled our expectations. When we ordered out a full “Gotham” (pepperoni, sausage, salami, mozzarella and Grana Padano) large pizza pie (costing $28) it was clear, the 550 degrees wood-fired oven that makes a big difference in the taste of your pizza.
Taking photos was not only a part of my experience, it was also the opportunity to share with others the FUN at ARIA Resort and Casino.
One of my young careers as an architectural draftsman, I was impressed by the design features implemented by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. The two curvilinear glass towers, the sloping linear three story Convention Center, the carefully placed rooms on each floor (allowing each with its own spectacular view) and overall property layout, is indeed a working technological design with a stunning artistic flair, sure to impress anyone.
ARIA Resort is without a doubt, the place to be pampered on your next visit to Las Vegas. You only live once, so it’s best to get out and enjoy your life as much as you can, while you’re still healthy.
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By Bari Demers – Vegas Lover since the 80’s, screenwriter and freelance writer.