Hotel Review: Aria Resort and Casino Sky Suites Penthouse
Part of the CityCenter complex, Aria Resort and Casino is one of the newer casinos located on the Las Vegas Strip. Aria is an M Life property and an official partner of Hyatt, offering M Life and Hyatt Elites special benefits when staying at Aria. For a full review of partnership details check out our Guide: Hyatt/ M Life Casino and Hotel Loyalty Partnership. Stack Benefits and Programs for Maximum Value and Big Rewards.
The Sky Suites is a separate tower in Aria with luxurious guest rooms, exclusive access and additional amenities. Similar to Aria’s Tower Suites, it features a lounge near the casino floor, separate VIP check in and bathrooms. The lounge definitely comes in handy – offering soft drinks, water, coffee and snack throughout the day. One really cool feature of the Sky Suites is private limo service to and from the airport. Unfortunately, I completely forgot about this service and used Uber instead.
The cost varies greatly as it does with any other casino property. I used Amex Fine Hotels and Resorts for this booking. I paid $420 per night which is an excellent rate for the Sky Suites (not including the resort fee of $35 plus tax/day). I also paid an additional $65 per night to upgrade to the penthouse. For full details on the Fine Hotels and Resorts Program, check out our complete guide here: Guide: How to Book Through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts and Maximize Your Value For Huge Savings.
The rooms here are beautiful and high-end. The modern design is not my particular design aesthetic but I was definitely able to enjoy it. We were in a one bedroom penthouse on their 33rd floor (the only floors above it are bungalows). As you can imagine the view was beautiful. Everything from the couch to the bed was extremely comfortable and well laid out. The full kitchen and dining area made me want to entertain friends this trip, which is not something I usually enjoy. I would say that the master bathroom really stole the show. You can see there’s a giant tub with a Jacuzzi and the separate shower there’s a steam function that made for a spa-like experience.
I also appreciated the sheer number of toiletries throughout the room in addition to things like the coffee kit which thoughtfully came with a bottle of water that you didn’t have to use tapwater to make your coffee. If only every hotel would think things through like Aria.
The Sky Suites make service a priority and it shows. Each day somebody checked in on us to see if we needed anything, whether it be extra coffee, a wake up call or additional toiletries. Since I love the soaps (same soap as Borgata) there they would bring me a bag filled with soap and lotions which I was very happy to take home. A concierge was assigned to our room, I think he called a couple times but of course on my vacation I don’t answer my phone. I didn’t necessarily feel like he was on top of us but I didn’t ask anything of him so couldn’t really tell you how useful that service is. One area where the Sky Suites could be greatly improved would be the proficiency of the front desk staff. I felt that they didn’t work as effectively or have as much knowledge as the regular Aria front desk staff. (Perhaps they have less issues to deal with so they’re not as efficient.)
In general, the staff does what they can to go above and beyond. There was an issue with the water supply on my floor as we were coming up to shower for the night so the concierge dealing with the issue offered for us to go to the spa facilities for free. I jokingly asked if we could also get 50% off of services and he said absolutely just call me and I’ll adjust the price. In the end he comped the entire massage and both day passes, now that’s service!
This is another area where Aria’s Sky Suites really shines in comparison to the regular hotel. First, the exclusive Sky Pool is beautiful with an added touch of service that really makes you feel like a valued hotel guest. I was allowed to bring in four guests, I don’t know what the limit is as I didn’t ask. They send somebody over to set up chairs with towels and anything else you may need like water or sunscreen. I felt guilty not having cash to tip and mentioned to the girl who set up my towels and she laughed it off and said “oh God, please don’t worry about it.” So you may want to have extra cash on hand for situations like this but you definitely don’t need it. I tend to over tip, especially for fast and friendly service.
I also found the waitress service in the Sky Suites pool area to be better as there were less guests to accommodate. I would say that it is a bit empty compared to the other pools so if you’re looking for a scene you’re probably better off at Liquid, the Aria Pool Club. The pool menu is excellent and the drinks are delicious (yes, they’re expensive $35 for the large.)
Aria’s gym is standard, nothing special which is a bit disappointing because I think Vegas more than any other place is somewhere that people enjoy working out in the morning this is definitely an area that could be improved.
I’m also not overwhelmed by the spa facilities, pretty basic in my opinion. I thought my bathroom was way nicer. 🙂
My opinion of the restaurants is completely scattered. On the one hand, Carbone has amazing red sauce Italian food (quite possibly the best vodka sauce I’ve ever had). But they also brought me the strangest oreganata I’ve ever seen and definitely did not enjoy. The Bardot Brasserie by Michael Mina has an incredible bread basket with imported butter and yet everything else there is just very underwhelming. While I really liked the decor in Jean George’s, the food was nothing to write home about (a sin at those prices). The buffet is boring compared to others in the area, like Wicked Spoon (my favorite) and Bellagio.
The good? Burger Lounge and Five50 Pizza are both consistently solid options and also open late. It also wouldn’t be a trip to Aria without a meal at Javier’s. Their margaritas and guacamole never disappoint and the proximity to the casino floor offers great people watching. I was pleasantly surprised with the breakfast at Aria Cafe where the custom Bloody Mary was a nice touch. Julian Serrano tapas had a wide variety of dishes and a excellent cocktail list.
As one of the newer properties on the strip, Aria’s casino floor has a modern, open design with restaurants around the outside and on the promenade. Just outside of the Sky Suites elevators sits Aria’s baccarat and high limit tables. Beside Bellagio’s high limit baccarat area, it’s probably the nicest gaming area I’ve been through (no I didn’t play myself but did watch a friend play for a bit at a very entertaining table).
The group I was with enjoys a bit of craps, so we managed to play at what always seems like a very crowded craps section. The poker room is fantastic and offers a chance to get a glimpse of some of the big names that play in Ivey’s Room. Bring a coat if you’re going to sit a while – it’s a little chilly. Maybe one complaint I have on the casino is the $50 minimum for favorable blackjack rules. Otherwise you’re stuck at the awful 6:5.
After this awesome experience, it will be tough going back to the standard rooms that are offered to me as comps for my casino play. I believe the Aria Sky Suites is the exclusive and luxurious haven it sets out to be and that the value is there for anyone willing to put out the extra cash for the upgraded experience.