Prior to booking this trip I got an offer of 3 nights comped at the Aria, $100 in food, $300 in Freeplay and 2 tickets to see Love at the Mirage. I was able to swap the tickets out for Zarkana at the Aria for Monday 11/19 at 7p. I made 5pm dinner reservations at Julian Serrano at the Aria so we could to the early tasting menu. We booked out own air to Las Vegas about 6 weeks out on Southwest. Original price was approx $219/person for Non stop flights. About 2 weeks prior to departure I noticed our return air was $23 less per person, so just rebooked that portion of the flight on line. Now have $46 credit good for one year
Sunday 11/18 Day 1
We, DH and myself, flew out of Detroit on Non stop Southwest flight at 10:55am. In flight service and care was great. Lots of non alcoholic drinks and snacks given complimentary. We landed in Las Vegas about 15min early (12:15Pm) we just did carry on so we were able to avoid the baggage claim area. We were going to take the Showtime shuttle but opted to get a taxi and right to the hotel. We hopped in a taxi and said ‘Aria, no tunnel’ and off we went. About 15min later we arrived. Cost with tip $20. As instructed we went to the invited guest line and were promptly checked in early. We were giving a non smoking king on the 33rd floor (33141). That was the highest floor that was available at check in. We had to show our room key to security to access the elevators. Once in the room we found everything in order. There was a large bathroom with separate shower and soaking tub. There were a lot of toiletries placed around the tub and vanity. The bedroom area was very comfortable and clean. Everything can be controlled by the TV or the touch pad at the bedside. We found the lighting hard to figure out but had no problems with the drapes. The safe is located in the bedside table and is large enough to hold a laptop/MiPad.
We made a stop on the way to the room to pick up our tickets for Zarkana-a Cirque production. We were given tickets the 8th row from the front dead center. Can’t wait to see the show tomorrow.
We quickly unpacked and then changed into shorts wanting to soak up any sun we could. We made our way out to explore the changes to the Strip since our last visit about a year ago. For us we felt the location of the Aria was great. It was less than a 10min walk to get to the Strip, either thru Crystals shops or just down the street.
We saw the construction in front of MGM and IP (now called the Linq) but other than that no major bottlenecks. We didn’t go in to Harrah’s, Bally’s, IP, Tropicana, Bill’s this trip as too many other things to see and do. We did make donations at Monte Carlo, Aria, and Mandalay Bay to start. Found the machines for the most part were the same as we have in Detroit, a few new here and there-Texas Tea group game was one of the most popular.
We headed back to the room to change and then head to Border Grill as I had a restaurant.com certificate.
When we arrived back at the room we found champagne and chocolate covered strawberries. I had gotten an email from Jeremy at Aria a slot manager who wrote to find out if we needed anything during our stay. I mentioned we had dinner and show book and we were excited to be coming to Las Vegas to celebrate our 33rd anniversary and DH 63rd birthday. What a great surprise and nice way to start the trip.
We walked to Mandalay Bay and found Border Grill. We had a restaurant.com certificate for $25 if $50 purchased. Purchase price of the certificate $4. We were promptly seated but it seemed like the servers didn’t know who our table belonged to. This was fixed after a few minutes. Being that we had had a few cocktails in the casino we started out with water and guacamole and chips. The guacamole seemed to be lacking something. I had ordered the fish tacos (mahi-mahi) and DH got the spicy fish tacos. It seemed like the entrees came out very quickly. A nice presentation but one taste and we knew they were ice cold (you will see a trend here). We had a hard time locating our server so finally a manager came by. We explained the situation and new entrees were made. The manager said the entrees would be taken off the bill, so guess I won’t be using the Restaurant.com certificate. The new entrees entrees were brought out, DH said his was ok; my fish tacos were extremely dry and over cooked. Not the best meal or service. I used my comps to pay for the guacamole. I left tip for the entire meal on the table. I would have been very disappointed if I had to pay $50 for the meal we just had.
We made our way back to the Aria to play and explore. We really liked this casino-the atmosphere, staff, everything was top notch. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The drink service was fairly quick and drinks were good-I had everything from beer, Long Island, Grey Goose and tonic. I had no problem requesting a ‘tall’ cocktail at any time.
Around 11pm LV time the 3 hour time difference kicked in so off to bed. Somehow you never tire of looking at Las Vegas lit up at night. We did notice the rooms to be very dry, especially for sleeping-so a glass of water at the bedside was always in order.
Day 2 to follow