May 22nd of this year was the happiest day I’ve ever had. It was the date I married the best lady in the world. After the wedding, which was a great event, we hopped on a plane and flew to Vegas to spend our honeymoon at the Vdara Hotel & Spa. My lady and I had Googled and researched every possible place to stay in Vegas: Wynn, Bellagio, Venetian and more. We decided on Vdara for a few reasons, which I’ll highlight below.
I’m not a smoker. In fact, I’m anti-smoker. Can’t stand cigarette smoke. Vdara is 100% smoke free. The rooms don’t stink. The lobby doesn’t stink. The restaurants don’t stink. The casino, well you’d better read below.
Vdara is a hotel and spa. There is no casino.
Before you come to any conclusions about me, rest assured I can gamble with the best of them. I’ve spent many a night in Vegas, winning and losing thousands of bucks. But on this particular trip it wasn’t about gambling. For my new lady and I it was about getting away, relaxing, decompressing and celebrating our new marriage.
That being said, had we wanted to gamble, the Bellagio was about a five minute walk from Vdara. Other resorts near Vdara include New York New York, Aria, Tropicana, Paris, Planet Hollywood and Mandalay Bay.
Location – City Center
As mentioned above, Vdara is close to many attractions and resorts. But Vdara is located IN a place called CityCenter (pictured below). Previous to this trip I’d seen CityCenter under construction in about 2008 and it looked massive then. It is an amazing place.
Along with Vdara, CityCenter houses Aria Hotel and Casino, Mandarin Oriental Hotel (non gaming and high end), Crystals (a half million square foot mall with very exclusive retailers), Harmon Hotel (one of the worlds most luxurious and exclusive boutique hotels), spas, convention space, restaurants and much more. Visit the CityCenter web site for more information.
One of the major reasons we chose Vdara for our honeymoon was the suites. After the chaos and all which leads up to a big wedding, we knew we wanted a good sized suite to chill out in and relax. We didn’t even figure we’d leave the room for the first day or so. We wanted comfort and some in-room amenities like a refrigerator, oven, big bathroom and most of all space.
When we booked our room, we chose the “Vdara Suite.” But that isn’t where we ended up. Upon learning that we’d just been married and this was our wedding night, the awesome lady at the front desk flexed her immense customer service muscle and upgraded us to a “City Suite” at no extra charge.
Our City Suite was very spacious, with 1.5 bathrooms, jetted bathtub, large master bedroom (pictured right), kitchen (fridge, oven, microwave, dishes, coffee maker), dining room, living room, washer/dryer, office/desk, two large flat screen HD TV’s and a killer view.
The City Suite we had was on the corner of the building, so it had a very cool layout. The suite was 50% windows. There were motorized blinds with two levels of light reduction. Being the geek I am, I spent about 23 minutes playing with the blinds, watching them go up and down.
Below is a view of the living room in our City Suite:
We greatly enjoyed lounging around the City Suite and in fact we didn’t leave the room for close to a whole day. We enjoyed room service’s great food and ate right at our large dining room table, as well as lounging around, “maxing and relaxing.”
Vdara’s pool is very nice. The pool area is surrounded by the amazing architecture of Vdara and Aria, overlooking Harmon Circle. There are hot tubs, a bar, spa and made to order appetizers.
At our short time by the pool (see “emergency” below) we enjoyed some awesome adult beverages and appetizers poolside.
The pool area also contains many private cabanas and daybeds, each which has semi-private dipping pools. Inside the private cabanas is everything you’ll need, like a flat screen HD TV, refrigerator, robes, game consoles and a media hub.
As I mentioned above, the great and thoughtful front desk lady (unfortunately I can’t remember her name or I’d mention her here) hooked us up with an upgrade of our suite. We were very thankful for that. We’ll remember that and we’ll definitely return to Vdara based on that gesture alone. But that wasn’t the end of our great customer service experience. There’s more.
When we first arrived in our suite, there was a bottle of champagne on ice waiting for us. Inside a small envelope was a letter of congratulations on the wedding and wishes for us to enjoy the champagne on the Vdara. Wow. That is customer service at its best. We closely followed their instructions and did in fact enjoy the champagne. It was excellent. Not the cheap stuff either.
The Bar Vdara (left) was a hangout for us and provided another example of great customer service. You see, in my newly found bliss I left my iPhone on the table when we left Bar Vdara. The astute waitress and bar tender used my phone to get my number and leave me a message letting me know they had my phone, which I thankfully retrieved later.
The concierge at Vdara was very helpful. We had several meetings and got some great suggestions on getting around town, where to go and what to do. The concierge also gave us great tips on getting deals on the Vegas shows.
The final great example of customer service came at the unexpected end of the honeymoon. Unfortunately an emergency had a close family member in the hospital, in ICU. After only 24 hours of being at Vdara, we had to leave and cut the honeymoon four days short. Despite the fact that we’d booked the room on a package deal, the front desk personnel were very nice about getting us checked out quickly and getting us a credit for the days on our package which we didn’t use.
Our newly changed emergency flight was later in the afternoon on day two. We were checked out of our room in less than 24 hours from when we arrived. We had about three hours to kill before we went to the airport, so we spent that time at the pool, and enjoyed it as much as we could, knowing we had an emergency situation waiting for us at home. We made the best of the pool for the little time we had there.
It was very unfortunate to have to leave Vdara and the great time and celebration we were having. But that short period of time we did spend there was one of the best travel experiences we’ve had, and we’ll be back to Vdara some day to make up for the lost honeymoon.
I thought I should mention the amenities at Vdara that we didn’t have time to experience. We stopped in the Spa and looked around, window shopping for what massages and body treatments we’d get later in the trip. The Vdara Spa is an 18,000 foot facility which also has a salon and fitness center.
Unlike the overdone Vegas mega-resorts which have 78 restaurants in them, the Vdara has one. The Silk Road Restaurant looked slick inside (pictured below). The Silk Road is open for breakfast, lunch and Sunday brunch.
Vdara is not a typical Vegas resort. It is quiet, classy and relaxing. There are no bells ringing, slot machines making noise, bright lights flashing or lounge bands playing cheesy music 24/7. There’s no smoke, no gambling and no drunks stumbling around spilling their drinks on you and burning you with their cigarette. I didn’t see one guy in an Elvis costume there either.
Vdara IS a great place to stay on many levels, from the great suites and architecture to the incredible customer service. I want to go back, now.
Vdara Image Gallery (about 60 photos)