Lots I could say after returning from a 7 night stay at Aria (March 16th-23rd) but I'll try to keep it precise and organized. I attended a conference the 16th-20th at the LV Convention Center and my husband joined me 1/2 way into the trip so we could ride out the weekend and cheer on our beloved UK Wildcats! Hotel Review and $20 trick We were here one year ago and I see more wear on the rooms from the last time. Still pretty nice but the shower/tub combo "room" smelled of mold, the cabinets in the hall and bath room had lots of dings and the bathroom had some sort of residues on just about every wall. I tried the $20 trick upon check-in, plus had emailed the hotel in advance to tell them we were celebrating our anniversary and my birthday (both true) to see if that worked. The clerk could see the letter I emailed. He tried but was told on the phone they could not do any upgrades because of March Madness and my length of stay. I understood and still gave him the $20. I called and got a free fridge for my medication (true) but it never got very cold. The first night I went to bed at 5:30 Vegas time because I had been up since 2am Lexington time (so 11pm in Vegas) preparing for my flight . . . . at about 9:30 someone tried to get in my room! They got the door open but because I had the bar over the door it didn't open all the way. I was scared to death!! I called the next morning and they pulled security cameras and realized it was house keeping coming to do turn-down service . . . . that didn't even make sense. I know I had the "privacy" light on AND I didn't think my room included turn down service nor did I request it. Everyone was nice about it though. MyVegas I am a crazy couponer at home and that doesn't change while we are in Vegas! Here are the rewards we redeemed between my husband and I . . . -2 free Bellagio dinner buffets -2 free Aria lunch buffets -$50 food credit to Monte Carlo (used at Dragon Noodle during happy hour) -free pastry at Jean Phillipe -free crepe at Jean Phillipe -free pizza slice and beer at Five50 *We also had a b1g1 entrée at Wolfgang Puck which we did not redeem. *All this in addition to $100 in free resort credit at Aria AND a b1g1 free coupon to Border Grill. We did good! *TIP: the free pasty and crepe rewards have a value to them that most likely exceeds what you order. Throw in a drink or another food item and the balance will apply towards that as well. I had a cheese Danish and iced latte and only had to pay 52 cents! I also had a crepe and iced latte and only had to pay $2! Noteable Restaurant Reviews -Julian Serano: I dined alone at happy hour (m-th from 4-5:30) and enjoyed 3 tapas dishes (calamari, stuffed dates, dessert) and a glass of red sangria and the total was about $28 I think? Pretty good though I wasn't exactly full afterwards. -Five50 Pizza: I redeemed a MyVegas and enjoyed a slice of cheese pizza and a 312 beer. Very tasty. It seems they've gotten that long line at the slice counter under control by keeping more pizzas readily available to sell by the slice. -Charlie Palmer Steak: I learned of their "cut of the week" menu from right here on VMB and I'm so glad I did! I enjoyed a salad, steak, big sides of mashed potatoes and carrots/peas and dessert plus unlimited wine for $48. My husband ordered off the Michael Jackson menu (you have to ask to see either of these menus) and enjoyed a salad, steak and dessert as well for $49. We each also had a cocktail before our meal. His steak was a lot overdone but he didn't complain. The service was SLOW but very, very friendly. We didn't have any trouble getting our wine or refills (though I only enjoyed one refill, my husband didn't have anymore). They also brought out a huge slice of chocolate cake to celebrate our anniversary. We were able to get that boxed up and took it back to our hotel room. -Dragon Noodle: We chose to use our $50 food credit from MyVegas for their sushi happy hour from 5-10pm on Sunday night. We enjoyed three rolls, an order of general tso's chicken, white rice and I had a glass of Merlot. The total was $50.25 before tax and tip! The rolls were fresh and delicious and a great deal overall in my opinion. -Dinner Buffett at Bellagio: It was just ok . . . . very nice buffet but before coming to Vegas we had been on the South Beach diet for 2 1/2 months and while we planned to splurge on vacation, our stomachs did not always agree with that idea. Nor did we have much of an appetite. We both mostly had salad and -the highlight of the buffet in my opinion -lots and lots of fresh, fantastic sushi! If they took the sushi counter from the Bellagio buffet and switched it with the one at the Aria buffet, you would then have the most perfect buffet in my humble opinion! The Bellagio buffet was just not what I had expected from such a fantastic hotel. -Lunch Buffett at Aria: It was better than the Bellagio, that's for sure! I enjoyed an impressive salad bar, chips and green salsa, several helpings of naan, an indian chicken dish, hummus, sushi and a small sugar free panna cotta. My husband got a scoop of the peanut butter gelato and it tasted like the inside of a chocolate peanut butter bunny! Yum! It was surprisingly very, very slow (crowd wise) though the service was ok. -Diablo's: All I had here was my absolute FAVORITE drink -the chupacabre! A delightful mix of sweet and sour with tequila, limes, ginger beer, jalepenos and red pepper. It's pretty weak but I dream of them all the back in Kentucky. -Brunch at Border Grill: MY FAVORITE ALL-TIME MEAL IN VEGAS! EVER! I MEAN IT! If you haven't tried it, you must. We went to the one at Mandalay Bay because I enjoy the outdoor dining and it did not disappoint. If you sign-up to be a VIP on their website, they'll send you a b1g1 free entrée coupon which can be used on brunch (make sure you wait until closer to your stay). The brunch is $35 per person plus $10 extra for unlimited mimosas (heck yeah!) with delicious juice choices like raspberry-cucumber, pineapple-cilantro, blood orange, passionfruit and strawberry-carrot. My husband and I savored 10 dishes between the two of us, my favorite being the breakfast fries and oysters rockerfeller (spelling, sorry?). Spa at Aria Always a delight! I have never gotten a service here but always purchase a $30 day pass and enjoy the amenities and those alone feel like an expensive spa day. The spa, as usual, was fabulous. Pool at Aria My hubby and I went for an hour on the Friday of our trip. We are such wimps when it comes to getting hot and sunburned. It wasn't too terribly crowded but with $18 (small) drinks, I knew I couldn't make a day of it. I also wore my bathing suit with a skirt (hey, I have a 3 1/2 year old!) and didn't feel comfortable taking my cover-up off though there were plenty of women there in much worse shape bearing lots, lots less. I'm glad they felt comfortable but I sure didn't . . . Crowds Wow oh wow! This might have been the busiest time I've ever been to Vegas. We went exactly one week earlier than last. That first weekend of NCAA tournament play really brings out the crowds. I couldn't believe the lines at the sports books . . . Aria, MGM, Mirage, they were all crazy! My hubby lost $500 on three games the first day of NCAA play -and if you read up on that day it was one for the record books to the benefit of Vegas. Lots and lots of upsets. And most of the patrons in the sports books were none to kind to the Kentucky fans in there. Slots I found the Willy Wonka machines and had a blast! Winning some and losing some. The best one was at the Wynn with the chair that feels like a roller coaster. Drink Service Overall pretty decent. Slower at Aria than usual. Better at Bellagio than before. Terrible at Planet Hollywood. Ok at the Wynn. Terrible at Mirage. Was never offered anything at Monte Carlo nor Treasure Island. We sure did get around! I hope you enjoyed my review! I'm still recovering but a great trip.