One of Las Vegas' newest mega resorts, Aria Hotel and Casino presents an experience that runs counter to just about everything Sin City is known for - there is no neon, no topless revue and the rooms aren't just a place to crash.
Some may argue, including this writer, that Aria's accommodations are the best thing about this ultra-luxe resort located in the Nevada desert. And, while they're truly impressive, there is a lot more to the resort that makes it ideal for special events.
A departure from the themed hotels of the city, Aria is a destination that could be found in any urban destination around the globe. A modern marvel of steel and glass, the hotel and casino is the creation of starchitectural firm Pelli Clark Pelli.
A resort that has sustainability at its core, Aria provides a green experience that many may not even realize -- for instance, air conditioning comes from the bottom of common spaces instead of the top allowing for the rooms to be cooled where they need to be and not feet above visitors heads.
More green features abound just about everywhere from low-flow water fixtures and native landscaping to the shade wings that jut off the exterior windows of each floor, preventing the rooms inside to become heated by the glare of the sun.
I know what you're thinking, it's really hard to believe that a convention space can be beautiful. But, the one at Aria is really breathtaking. Honestly. One of the primary reasons why is the use of light. One of the main walls is actually a glass curtain that overlooks the pool, allowing natural light to stream into the facility. Another reason is the use of native greenery and reclaimed wood in the public spaces.
When you get around to looking at the spaces themselves, Aria offers meetings and conventions some 300,000 square feet of space, allowing for up to 5,000 attendees. A fantastic feature for special events at Aria is the resort's technological capabilities which provide state-of-the-art equipment to meeting organizers, from videoconferencing and plug-and-go live connections to built-in plasma and HD projection screens.
Additional convenient and impressive features include full rigging systems, oversized load-in doors, and touch-operated directional screens.
What's inside Aria's guest accommodations may be most surprising. That's because its standard guest rooms feel - and look! - like suites. From plush pillow-top mattresses and flat-screen televisions to remote-controlled temperature, lighting and curtain controls as well as a spacious bathroom offering an inviting tub, this is one room where the world "standard" is far from adequate.
Having had the pleasure of trying out a room for several nights, I can say for certainty that you will be hard pressed to find such a comfortable bed anywhere else on The Strip.
Another perk for business travelers? You can check on airport flight times from your room's TV!
Formal and Casual Dining
When hunger calls, some of the city's most highly regarded restaurants are just steps away. From the venues of the world's most acclaimed chefs - from Julian Serrano to Michael Mina - to the casual, but still delectable bites offered by Jean Philippe Patisserie and Sweet Chill.
When there's a need for group dining, meeting planners can avail themselves of the many private and semi-private dining areas of Aria's restaurants. It also is possible to secure one of the restaurant's bars or lounges for your private event. Another consideration to keep in mind, dine arounds -- securing group seating at several of the resort's dining venues and allowing some of your attendees to eat at one eatery while others can enjoy the delectable menu of another.
By The Numbers
Accommodations: 4,004 guestrooms, including 568 suites
Resort fee: Yes
Group size: From 10 up to 5,000
Meeting rooms: 36, from 800 to 3,718 square feet
Alternative spaces: Yes, including the Viva Elvis theater
eRFP: Click here
Phone number for event queries: 866.718.2489 or 702.590.7171
Email for event queries: firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone number for room reservations: (866) 359-7757
Downloadable meetings brochure: Click here
Facilities map: Click here