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Round Two at Aria (Halloween Weekend)

Last edit: dzodda on Friday, 4th November 2011 6:41 pm
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My Chuck-style 7-point TR… Hope you enjoy!
1. Second trip this year to Aria (10/29 – 11/1). Yes, I like it that much. Everything except for the long walk from room to Strip. This can be shortened a bit if you go through Monte Carlo (where I spent a lot of gambling time) to go to the south end. Otherwise, no way to get around that 15 min walk through Crystals! As far as the hotel, I honestly believe Aria is merely stuck trying to poach customers from established properties, in a tight economy. Had they opened back in 05/06, perhaps its rep could be better. Customer service is even better than in May, rooms are immaculate, and I happen to love the casino décor/ambiance. Food options are top-notch (although my wife and I did not eat much this trip.)
2. Halloween on the Strip: Big fun! People watching at its best. My wife and I were with a big group (4 gals, 6 guys), and we made our way from Aria to Hard Rock (2-for-1’s!) to Palms (ghostbar, pretty cool), and finally “DB Central” aka Surrender at Encore. I know most of you guys abhor the club scene (as do I, normally), but this was not too bad! Surrender is well-kept, was not too crowded, and made for a great late-night gambling crowd after 4am.
3. First trip Downtown: Finally, 6th trip to Vegas, and we made it to Fremont for the first time. Spent all day Sunday at GN, then made our way to Fremont for cheap drinks. Famous last words: “I don’t even like Jager, but it was $2!” My wife was in bed by 9pm.
4. Gambling: Terrible first night. Probably down 500 (Pho, Aria, Bill’s, Excal). Next two nights we settled down and did well. Not quite even for the trip but probably 20+ hours at the tables and did not have another losing session. Great dealers this time at Monte, Flamingo (poolside), and Excal(!).
5. Poker: Hell yes! My first real time spent at the poker tables, and I’m damn proud of myself. At GN, started at 2/4 limit (+20), then graduated to 1/2NL and held my own (+30ish) for 3+ hours. Not big bucks by any means, but I expected to get wiped out.
6. Drinks: See my post on drink service...
Extremely slow, everywhere. Is this a trend anyone else is noticing? Some places (ahem, GN) I spent 4+ hours and saw 2 drinks. Others (Monte Carlo) took at least 30 mins for that first round, but once I tipped well, we’d be taken care of.
7. Food: We didn’t get to do a lot of (OK, any…) great dining this trip. I may have given a glowing review of the Aria buffet back in May, well this time around it was terrible. Definitely worth the $5 for champagne, just not worth the other $25 for the food. Other eats: Cabo Wabo at PHo (pretty good!), Wolfgang Puck Cucina at Crystals (just OK).
p.s. Special thumbs-up to United Airlines… Direct TV in flight, so I was able to watch football for 5 hours (GO NOLES!)

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