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Aria Gets It Right

By JohnH on Friday, 12th November 2010 1:45pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 7


I have never been one to hide my disdain for Aria. My first few trips to the hotel were unmitigated disasters. Now, in all honesty, the first disaster got a pass because of all the mishigas that surrounds a hotel opening, but my second disastrous visit to the property was inexcusable. I'll spare all of the details as to how bad it really was, but suffice it to say, when I was told that I had to either take a smoking, two queen-bedded room or a non-smoking, king-bedded room with a roll away and wasn't even offered an apology for not having my requested room available, I was not a happy camper.

And yet, during my stay at the hotel for Vegas Podcast-a-Palooza, it felt as if everything had turned a massive, Daniel Liebeskind-designed corner. I would never imaging myself saying this, but my last stay at Aria went exceptionally well.

Check-in was an utter breeze. Our clerk apologized that she wouldn't be able to get us a two queen-bedded room in our selected "City Room" category and promptly upgraded us to a 54th floor non-smoking, two queen-bedded "Deluxe City View" room. During my last stay, I would have only gotten a "You have two choices, and no, we can't even give you a line pass for any of your troubles. Sorry..."

The marked improvements continued even beyond check-in. When walking to our room, my traveling companions and I were greeted by each and every housekeeper we passed. Who'd a thunk it? Employees that actually treat a guest like a guest. It was refreshing and I really felt like I was enjoying my stay at Aria. I really, really never thought those words would ever come out of my mouth.

Isn't all of this still kind of a problem, though? Shouldn't we expect this minimum amount of service from almost any of the major luxury hotels in the city? A housekeeper greeting you as you make your way down a hallway shouldn't be a revelation, it should be expected. That's what staying in a luxury hotel is about.

But suddenly, a new question enters one's stream of consciousness. Do the previous bad experiences matter? If Aria has turned a corner in terms of service, do its past sins have any bearing on its future success? Sure, customers who were burned before things changed won't be back, but people who experience the new and improved Aria may return home and tell their friends about the place.

I guess the real question is this: Has Aria made the requisite changes quickly enough to avoid being harmed by an exceedingly poor reputation? We're waiting and watching.

Tagged: aria   citycenter   murren   


Comments & Discussion:

It really relies on the managers, and they have had a lot of manager changes in the past year.

I have had some brusque encounters at Aria and ones where people treated me well even though they knew I wasn't going to be giving them any money that day. I have walked away from establishments in there because I felt talked down to, and have been given individual attention from someone even though I embarrassingly ripped the ass out of my pants moments earlier. No, seriously.

It's a mixed bag, but I generally feel more sympathetic to the place than you do so it's nice to hear that in your opinion things are improving.

I guess one question that comes to mind is, What brought you back after all those bad experiences? A little disclosure would help us understand. (Granted, Podcast weekend was very expensive at Wynncore.)

But to answer the "new question," future customers will have no memory of the bad old days, so those days will have no bearing. I never even realized that on my first walk-through of The Venetian's public areas, few if any guest rooms were actually available. Likewise, Palazzo's blue tape (literal as well as figurative) is only a footnote to those of us who care about such things.

On the flipside, I begin to wonder with some trepidation what impression Wynncore will leave upon future guests post-Boulud and Beach Club.

I will be making my 6th! stay at Aria next week. Out of my 5 previous stays, I had minor issues on 3 (and no major issues): no housekeeping, TV not working, room not made up on check-in, long check-in, etc... Service has gotten much better since it opened.

Why do I keep coming back?: 1) competitive weekend pricing $109-$169 (vs Venelazzo, Wynncore); 2) rooms (especially bathtub in the shower); 3) restaurants (Sage, Sirio, PUB, Serrano); 4) proximity to Bellagio, Caesars and PHo; 5) I like to try new places and CC is the newest. I may not visit Aria once next year, since Cosmo will be opening and it generally takes several visits to try all the bars/restaurants.

Aria's reputation has been hurt.

This is a blessing and a curse. On the downside, it will mean a much-improved enterprise will not get the credit it deserves for a while. MGM will lose more money than it should.

On the upside, Aria will hopefully be relatively quiet-ish and inexpensive by the time I get there next year!

I had a great time there in September. I think it would be a bit sad if the place became as noisy and packed-all-the-time as Bellagio. I know some people dislike Aria's feeling of being 'removed from the energy' but for people staying longer than a weekend I can see why they'd want a place a bit less quiet than, say, PHo.

Seems like it really takes these new places about a year to really start running properly.

I just returned from a 4-night stay at Aria last week. I too experienced all housekeepers saying "hello/good day/etc" when I passed them in the hallways.

I posted my review (lengthy) of my trip and stay at Aria. Overall, I had no bad experiences and the wife says this is the place to stay during future Vegas trips.

I stayed at Aria from November 11 - 14 and have to say I was fairly disappointed. I reserved a room with 2 queen beds but when I checked in I was told that I had a room with 1 king. I was further told that i could still have a room with 2 queen beds if I was willing to pay a higher room rate. I was very disappointed that Aria didn't honor my original reservation. I've been to Vegas 8 times in the past 3 years and this is the first time I've vowed to not return to a hotel. They won't be getting my business next time round.

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