Monday, August 20, 2012

Great Sleeps & Good Eats: Aria Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada

Aria Resort & Casino  3730 Las Vegas Blvd. S, CityCenter, (877) 580-2742; .  4,000 rooms.  Full-service spa ($30 fee without a treatment).  Set back from the strip, this sleek crescent tower delivers spectacular views from every guestroom.  Accommodations are lavish, with posh beds and advanced technology.  Luxury Sky Suites begin on the 27th floor and include complimentary VIP services such as a snack lounge and a limo to the airport.  All rooms greet guests with button-controlled drapes that open welcomingly when you arrive, an oversize deep bathtub with tiny powerful jets all around the bottom plus bath salts, and a Japanese Toto toilet with heated seat.  My favorite amenity was the mouthwash infused with organic spearmint leaf oil.  If you become fond of the Sealy 12-layer foam bed, you can order it and the bedding to go (the only problem is the delicious white Egyptian cotton sheet set doesn’t include a fitted bottom; both sheets are hotel-style flats).  The huge casino is glitzy and fresh, the restaurants include some famous chefs, and the mega spa features both a salt-block-lined meditation room that promotes dewy skin and improved breathing and the only Ganbanyoku heated stone beds in the U.S. (they improve metabolism and soothe tired muscles).  A free tram runs to the Bellagio, Monte Carlo, and adjacent Crystals Shopping Center with its exclusive upscale retailers and restaurants.  CityCenter, which Aria is a part of, is an urban resort complex with hotels, residences, restaurants, shopping, casinos, and entertainment--all within walking distance of each other. 
Jean Philippe Patisserie  Casino level.  Daily 6am-midnight.  This confection of a cafe displays an array of colorful sweets.  Choosing is difficult.  There are crepes, fresh pastries (the almond croissant is a don’t-miss), desserts, gelatos, coffees, candies, and more, more, more.  It’s hard to beat enjoying your selection at a casino-side perch perfect for people-watching, but some do choose to carry out their goodies.
Julian Serrano  Casino level.  Celebrity chef Julian Serrano prepares creative tapas, tasty housemade sangrias, and posh seafoods.  Plan to share.  Best of the bunch includes lobster salad, stuffed piquillo peppers, brava potatoes, and gambas (prawns sautéed in olive oil).  If room permits, also try albondigas (pork-beef meatballs in a light tomato sauce) and grilled Angus flat-iron steak.  For dessert, there is always room for molten chocolate cake with blood orange sherbet.

More things to do in Vegas.

More ideas for travel adventures in California and the U.S. and around the world.

images c2012 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

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