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Vdara at City Center
Hotel Information        
Rooms: 1,500 Non-Smoking Suites and Condos Room Pics: Yes Toll Free: 866-745-7767
Location: South Strip - Between Bellagio and Aria Property Map: Yes Local: 702-590-2111
Date Opened: December 1, 2009        
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Casino Information  
Size: No Casino - Next to ARIA Tables: None
Machines: None Sports Book: No
No Slot Club or VP Information Poker Room: No

Total: 1
Market Cafe - Coffee & SandwichesOnline Menu - Yes
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Bar Vdara
Spa Vdara
Meeting Space: 10,000 Sq.Ft.
Pool Area: 3 Pools 1 Hot Tub

Review & Ratings
Review Date: Dec 2009

Overall, my experience at Vdara had quite a few high points and a few issues; most were temporary involving the opening of a new place. Some however are major design flaws that will not be easily corrected. I will start with the good...

I was one of the first hotel guests to arrived after the VIP Ribbon Cutting. When I pulled up to the front entrance, I was met by 15 valets and bellmen standing there waiting for me. I almost felt assaulted by the service. I would continue to get almost overwhelming attention my entire stay. I checked my bags as check-in was scheduled for noon and proceeded inside. The big wigs were still mulling around and the media were being led on tours. I managed to get a handshake in with MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren. At noon, we were told check-in wouldn't start until 1 PM. 5 years building it but apparently they needed an extra hour to get things ready! I used the time to find a spot to plug in the laptop and used the FREE (a shocker!) Wi-Fi to post the first set of pics. By the time I was done, the rooms were ready and check-in started. During my check-in, the key making system went down for a few minutes then once I got to the elevator, the first one was not working. Both issues were quickly fixed. The room floors were actually quite different than the lobby as they are dimly lit with subdued colors. A couple of cool features before even entering the room: door bells, electronic 'Do Not Disturb' signs and locks that just require the key to be waved past it.

The rooms are actually condos with a kitchenette/dining area are you walk into the room. It has a sink, microwave, combo fridge/mini-bar, Keurig coffee maker and the dining area was a small table for two. The living area and bedroom are separated by the media center and desk which is equipped with 2 large flat-screen TVs and a connection center with HDMI, USB, VGA, RCA and S-Video ports. It is furnished in the same modern/retro style of the lobby with mostly beige and dark brown colors accented by a few pieces of hideous green. The bathroom is quite big with high end fixtures, separate shower and a very large tub. The one big downside is only a single sink on the vanity. A couple of other cool features of the room include motorized blinds and a small locking closet which is something I haven't seen before.

Now for the bigger issues I encountered that will not be easily remedied... The room itself was great and I would stay again in a heartbeat if it weren't at Vdara. Despite my mistaken belief, Vdara is a completely stand-alone building. It is not attached to either ARIA or Bellagio. To get to ARIA, you will need to walk out of the front door and across the porte cochere which is only a couple hundred feet but still not fun at 2AM in February. The connection to Bellagio is even worse. After you walk down a short glass hallway in Vdara, you are deposited outside in a covered walkway that is 30 feet above a loading dock with utility pipes running overhead. $8.5 Billion building City Center and this is what connects the 2 crown jewels of the MGM business? Someone dropped the ball big-time on this one. The other major issue is a lack of basic amenities at Vdara itself. Once again, I get they are relying on ARIA to provide many amenities but not being able to get a cup of coffee in the morning at a 1,500 room hotel is ridiculous. There also isn't even a simple gift shop. Forgot your toothbrush or want a candy bar? Walk your ass over (outside) to ARIA or Bellagio. There also a lack of dining options with only 1 restaurant on-site and it is high-end. Bacon and eggs was going for $22!

No doubt staying at Vdara will feel much less isolated once the rest of City Center opens but leaving a key piece of the puzzle as a stand-alone building is a mistake and won't be cheap to fix though not impossible. This is an epic fail on par with the Aladdin Strip access disaster. The bottom line is Vdara is exactly what it is billed. If you are interested in staying at a very nice hotel with great service that is non-smoking and non-gaming then the issues of access may not be a problem for you and actually might sound appealing. If you are looking for a classic Vegas hotel, then it is probably the last place you want to stay.

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