Saturday, March 19, 2011

Las Vegas: CityCenter's Swanky Vdara Hotel

The Aria, The Crystals, Harmon Hotel, Vdara, The Cosmopolitan, Mandarin Oriental & Veer Towers. Put the seven together and you've got the massive CityCenter, across 76 acres at the south end of the Vegas Strip. The largest privately funded project in the nation's history, which opened in late 2009, cost $9.2 billion to build.

During the first leg of our Vegas trip, Ayhan, Fredly, Leo and meese stayed at the Hilton Grand Vacations on the north end of the Strip, in a beautiful 2-bedroom suite, complete with a kitchen (full-size fridge, oven, dishwasher), a washer/dryer, living room and beautiful bathroom... This 700+ square foot joint was more spacious than many New York apartments, cool cats.

On Wednesday, when Fred headed back to L.A., we transferred to the Vdara within City Center. Nuttin' personal, but suddenly, it felt like we were slumming at the Hilton... I have to say, not only was this among the most technologically sophisticated hotels I've ever seen (electronic "Do Not Disturb" and "Housekeeping" buttons, automated shades, flash card room entry, elevators that looked like a spaceship), but I felt like I should be wearing a velvet smoking jacket just to sit on the sofa.

It didn't hurt a bit that when we checked in, the front desk upgraded us from a king bed with living room suite to a complementary 800-square-foot one-bedroom suite on the 25th floor—and a corner room, at that. And here's the real brow-raiser: Because the complex (which opened in December 2009) is working its tail off to compete with more established high-end establishments on the Strip, our room was $125 a day (before Vegas' annoying $30+ in taxes)—in the same range as lower-end joints like Treasure Island. We got a fucking great deal, for sure.

Enough words: I'll let the picolas do the rest of the talking...The Vdara in its sleek mirrored glory...Looking down from our window...Sweet suite!Vdara lower level...Ayhan & Leo in the surreal elevator.
The view from our corner window... daylight and dusk...Room 25047 living quarters. Yes, baby!Kitchen, baby...The bathroom... and an idiot standing in the mirror...This, cool cats, is the view from the bathroom!! Daytime & nighttime. And why did I return to New York?