Vdara : The VegasTripping Review 2010

Photo Review of Aria and Bellagio's Next Door Neighbor

Posted by Chuckmonster

Vdara Review Leed Gold

During our stay - the third week of operation - the level of service was friendly, yet consistently discombobulated. Phone calls to the front desk rang interminably, and when answered were redirected into dark abysses better served by an annoying phone tree. One supremely bright spot of service at Vdara is the car valet crew... they were quick to take and retrieve cars and provided water bottles and interesting conversation while you waited.

Vdara's merits shouldn't be lost in the miasma of early stage resort operation boo boos and miscalculated real estate value play folded into the master plan at the time of its inception. Of these, Vdara's the stunning architecture, industry leading LEED Gold certification, fat internet pipe rolled into the resort fee, the fabulous Bar Vdara serves stiff drinks - including Mint Juleps - in a breezy loungy atmosphere, Silk Road Cafe's modern-mod hipness and relative proximity to two of Las Vegas' most exciting casinos - Bellagio and Aria all make Vdara a worthwhile alternative to the usual Strip casino hotels, but only for the right subsets of Vegas trippers.

Great for: conventioneers, business people, militant non-smokers, people who need refrigerators for medical stuff, non-gamblers, hubub escape artists.

Not so great for: party people, degenerate gamblers, smokers, bachelor/bachelorette partiers, stoners, mattress leapers, tokers, iPhone users.

Disclosure: we were invited to stay at Vdara as part of ARIA's opening week festivities. Two nights - market price $119/night - at Vdara were paid for by the truly lovely folks at Kirvin Doak Communications, who in turn billed it to MGM Mirage's PR Department. We paid for our own incidentals and room service. Our opinions were in no way influenced by their generosity. Oh and while we're at it, Jennifer Hanson is awesome.

The next few pages feature a bunch more Vdara photos including Silk Road restaurant, room service, minibar contents and other odds and ends. Enjoy!

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Comments & Discussion

great review!

Based on this review - I'll make sure I rush to make reservations -- somewhere else.

I think the rooms at Vdara look nice, and they'd be truly great... If they didn't have odd kitchenettes, odd bathroom layouts, and other oddities cramped into only about 550 sq. ft. Maybe those who are accustomed to cramped spaces (i.e. NY & SF urban dwellers) will find this quite swell, but I think I'll at least need to book a bigger suite there just to ease my chlaustrophobia.

An all inclusive review that suggests that I wouldn't want to stay here until all the bugs were worked out. The hotel looks great but when I go down to the lobby I want to hear some slot machines go off so I would pick somewhere else to stay.

Excellent review. I agree totally that Vdara is now a property lacking purpose. It is destined to be overflow fro Bellagio and Aria (assuming it ever fills up). The room design issues are a major blunder and will haunt it forever.

Nice Review. Where is the patented VT video walkthrough??

Has the useless blanket/quilt on the foot of the bed and the useless decorative cylindrical pillow become de rigure when it comes to decorating these days?

As for the K-Cup machine, definitely better product than any room service coffee. Cost-wise, these machines are more expensive, as what one K-Cup costs about what it costs for them to brew up a carafe for room service delivery (I'm figuring MGM Mirage is buying K-Cups in large enough quantities where they're getting them for between 40 and 50 cents apiece. A typical pot of coffee will cost a restaurant around that same price depending on the blend, and talk about a markup when it comes to how much they charge for room service coffee.....).

I really don't understand why hotels are putting in such high tubs without some sort of platform of step to make that gap less of an issue, especially for those who may not be 6' tall. The shower/tub combo in my room at the Golden Nugget had a similar height matter that has the potential for someone not the height of Manute Bol to get hurt......

Yow, that tub situation is definitely not drinker-friendly, or couple-friendly for that matter. As for drinking couples, forget it, stick to the shower.

Vdara looks like the perfect place for a sober conventioneer traveling alone who hates smoke and has no interest whatsoever in setting foot in a casino or on the strip, but likes making single-cup premium coffee. Yep, I think they can make that niche work.

Nice review. I'm impressed with your objectivity given the free invite!

I was more skeptical before I visited, but after seeing how close and well connected it is to Bellagio and Aria (walkways), I dont think its lack of casino or otherwise is that big of a deal for anyone but serious gamblers. I actually appreciated the fact that you could leave the hotel without a mile long trek through malls and casinos. I didn't think I would, but I did like the subdued nature of the place. Very conversation friendly. The sun bathes the lobby and I think it's designed rather attractively. If they can get service on point, I think in time they could find alot of return business for those that appreciate the nature of the place. It would be a great place for couples, honeymooners, etc. that want an "escape" so to speak. They should really market that angle hard. I think offering access to Aria's pool (once its open) would be a good option.

Mmmmmm.Christmas Roast.......
I'm glad we didn't stay here back in December. This hotel ran through our list a couple of times. I've already stayed at one non gaming hotel on the strip, Polo Towers, and while it was nice, it sucked going downstairs and not finding something to do or hearing slot machines. It's very un-Vegasy.

As always, thanks for the recon Chuck. You're willingness to put yourself into harms way to inform those of us in the rear is truly praiseworthy.

$35 for a room service burger, fries and coffee?
That's the kind of shit that has me walking up the strip dragging my suitcase to another property.

That money gets me a burger at BLT with Fries and a Stella at Mirage including a generous tip. Hey, if I'm going to overpay for beef, I'm going to do it outside of my room.

Lemmee just say that I'm from Poughkeepsie, and I would be pissed as hell if I had to drag all of my luggage and assorted Hudson Valley oriented accoutrements all the way through the room to that stupid closet.

@donnymac - no video this time. i got a new camera that doesn't have video init. i did tape it using ustream iphone live broadcasting app but that didn't work thanks to the lousy att coverage at citycenter. We have procured a Flip to ensure that this nonsense doesn't happen in the future.

Great review.

Maybe they've taken the European Flair concept a bit too far. The room reminds me of a lot of stylish yet ergonomically nightmarish rooms I've experienced in Europe.

Mr. Monster is as always spot on in his review of Vdara, which we've discussed in person to be one of the most bland un-Vegas un-hotel places on earth. I should note that in my two stays there, my room layout was a bit different, with a larger bathroom (and yes I almost fell out of the tub thanks to my inner fool thinking level pegging) and the closet where the nook/thing was, instead having a full size desk built in to the divider wall. While nicer, still the problems of unfinished punch list items and blue tape stick around.

Snoozedara is a better name for sure.


Vdara wasn't really designed to be a gambler's hotspot. It's more of a conventioneer/R&R seeker/"someone who has to stay in Vegas but doesn't want a party palace" kind of place


Yep, the "quiet vibe" may actually be a plus for Vdara among all the folks I mentioned above. It is a nice spot to relax, and Silk Road is surprisingly tasty.

Most excellent as always, Mr. Valdez-Moneybags.

But to ask what everybody (me) wants to know: any Angela Lester sightings? Purrr...

Good review. I'm glad I made my reservations at Encore. Stayed at Encore last year, why stay anywhere else?

Chuckmonster's review of the property and his accompnaying closet diagram are brilliant. All very well said!

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