1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

The Better Late Than Never 9/25-10/3 '14 GVR&Aria Micro-roll, spa, sun, etc

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by BellaBlvd, Feb 21, 2015.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6

    My Trip Report

    The Better Late Than Never Las Vegas 2014 Trip Report - September 25-October 3 - Green Valley Ranch & Aria - I’m not a Degenerate!

    It’s taken me forever to be able to sit down and pen out this report and I think over time the details have already gotten fuzzier. This could be good or bad; it’s all a matter of perspective!

    Before I went I did have a loose plan for things I wanted to do on this, now my third, trip to Vegas.

    Play some live craps - nope
    Play some live 3 card poker - nope
    Get a slot handpay - nope
    Go to Siegfried and Roy’s Secret Garden - nope
    Watch the volcano show at the Mirage - nope
    Go to Wynn/Encore for the first time - nope
    Try a raspberry lemon drop martini at Cosmo - Yes! (and I was disappointed)
    Collect a $1 chip from all the casinos I went to - Almost! Forgot at Mandalay!
    Play in the Margaritaville slot tournament - Yup, and I didn’t win a thing!
    Try at least one of Julian Serrano’s restaurants - I made it to two!! :)
    Breakfast at Peppermill - Nope

    My travels and vacation technically began on Wednesday the 24th when I checked in to the Westin Detroit Metro Airport. I love pretty much everything about staying here. I love the location. I love the amazing Westin white tea scent that permeates everywhere. I love Westin Heavenly Beds® and Westin robes. This visit wasn’t a typical Westin visit. I opened my curtains to look out on the planes at the gate to see the window covered in handprints. In a lesser hotel I’d probably overlook it, but this is a Westin, and they usually pay attention to every detail. So already suspicious of the housekeeping on that room it was easy to find other niggly little things, like the supplied coffee had expired over 3 months ago. In any event, I wasn’t about to let it spoil my trip, I was off to Vegas and before I was even on the plane the Westin had made things right with me. I normally would leave the room early to hit the Delta lounge before my flight, but I opted to sleep a little later knowing I was about to be very sleep deprived. I do love that easy walk from the Westin to the Delta terminal, and with TSA pre-check I was room to gate in ~20 minutes. The flight was decent, minus the neanderthal mouth breather next to me who had his stanky feet on the bulkhead the entire flight. And then I was in Vegas!
    16411395038_7bf112ab77_z.jpg 15976445914_c5c1bedcb0_z.jpg
    After making the seemingly endless trek to the baggage claim, then on to the rental car shuttle, I met my girlfriend at the rental car centre and it was off to get my convertible for the week. I booked a Mustang with Alamo, and despite doing the online check-in I still had to wait about a half hour for a car. They offered me a SUV right away, but I wasn’t backing down from the convertible. Finally one shows up, we load up the luggage, put the top down and we’re off to Green Valley Ranch! We made a stop at Nothing Bundt Cakes in Henderson to get some treats for the room, then on to Lee’s Liquor and Smiths for more room treats before finally arriving at Green Valley Ranch.
    I’ll be honest and say that I love the rooms at GVR, and the pool, but that’s about it. I really don’t like the casino vibe, nor the dining, nor the service really. But, we were there for an annual event so I try to make the most of it. I was rooming with a girlfriend at GVR who arrived the night before. I got to the room to find out we’d been placed in an ADA room. It sucks. No tub, no view, that horrid adjustable shower head with no water pressure whatsoever (this matters when you have long hair). It’s only for 3 nights and I know that I have Aria waiting for me on Sunday morning so I decide to just make the most of it.

    Since I was getting in at around lunch time, it was time to make my yearly visit to Capriotti’s in the food court for a Capastrami and I was not disappointed. I had a few event obligations and then my group of girlfriends and I went to The District for dinner at Lucille’s BBQ. Dinner there is also a yearly tradition, and they do a pretty decent BBQ. I got my usual pulled pork on a bun, and while it’s not Jack’s in Nashville, or Dinosaur in Syracuse, it’s still good. I think I may have tried too much BBQ to be making such a statement (is that even possible?!?). After dinner we shopped The District a little stopping at Brighton for some charms, and Charming Charlie for some other fun cheap and cheerful goodies. I decided to play a Sex And The City slot on my way back to the room and made a small donation to the casino, and was not in the slightest shocked to find no cocktail service whatsoever. It was time to turn in anyway. I was still on east coast time and I had an early morning ahead of me.
    16597995702_3267f35a4e_z.jpg
     
  2. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Friday the 26th

    Today was a day mostly consumed with my event at GVR.

    I grabbed a Starbucks breakfast from the food court and found myself really missing the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf that it replaced. I can get Starbucks here, so CBTL is a huge treat for me. Walking out to The District for CBTL is just annoyingly too far to go for that first morning coffee. I stuck with Capriotti’s for lunch again, but this time trying a Bobbie. It’s like Thanksgiving on a bun, and I was not complaining at all!

    After the event I opted to skip dinner and watch the rainstorm from my room. Yes, really, rainstorm! I did have a liquid dinner, because Vegas. After the storm broke it was time to gamble again. I stuck to the Buffalo machine and Clue and played for a while, got decent cocktail service (what?!), and pretty much broke even. I’ll call that a win for the night. Another early night for me, and another early morning loomed with the last event day on Saturday.
    16411404098_6f86c94975_z.jpg
     
  3. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Saturday the 27th

    Today was another event filled day at GVR.

    It was another Starbucks breakfast day. My girlfriend and I did lunch at the buffet at GVR courtesy of MyVegas. I’m happy to report this time the buffet didn’t make me violently ill, but I also avoided a lot of the usual food poisoning culprits too.
    I took a little bit of downtime in the afternoon to go back out shopping in The District. I had a Groupon to spend at Oil and Vine and bought a ton of olive oils and balsamic vinegars to bring home on that Groupon. I did manage to get my first Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf and it was so perfect to sip it while walking The District, enjoying the hot sun. I went back to Charming Charlie because my girlfriend decided she had to have a necklace like the one I’d already bought. So I gave her mine and went and bought a replacement.

    I spent the evening with my girlfriends as we were all going on our separate ways come the morning. I opted not to gamble anymore because I didn’t want to give GVR any more of my money. My roommate was going up to the Strip that night to meet her husband at the LVH (Westgate, whatevs). I offered to drive her up to save her the cab fare and I was just itching to get to the Strip at that point.

    We had a great cruise with the top down enjoying the Saturday night energy of the Strip that was extra bustling because the UFC just let out. I so love this city and it’s almost hard to go back to GVR for the night. So I cruise the strip one last time, hop over to In And Out for a super late dinner in my room. Now with the room to myself, I put on ESPN and crawled in to bed.

    I try to make my solo trips to US cities all about things I can’t get back home and so far my first few days in Henderson/Vegas were just that.
    15978843293_a92d29a194_z.jpg
     
  4. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Sunday the 28th

    I got up early (for me) to pack and head out to Aria. I was ready to start the next part of my vacation, and a big part of it was going to somewhere I wanted to be vs had to be. Did I mention already I’m really not a big fan of GVR? I digress..

    I go to check out and once again my bill is incorrect. That’s every year for the last 3 that they’ve managed to make errors on my bill. Now I just expect it and plan ahead and prepare to do battle with the poor front desk clerk on my departure. Every. Single. Time. Who knew an accurate bill in a hotel was rocket science?

    Time to put that behind me, top down, I’m on my way to Aria! The sun is shining, the day is slowly unfolding before me and I’m beyond excited. I’d visited Aria last year to see Zarkana and really liked what I saw of Aria in that brief time, so to be staying there this time was extra special.
    16572642486_feeae227ac_z.jpg 15978846423_96003ab4c4_z.jpg
    Pulling up the Valet and Bell Desk were super friendly and I knew I was in the right place. I’d added on the $30 for early check-in at the invited guest line and that was probably the best $30 I’d spend this week. The regular line was very long and there was only 2 people ahead of me at the invited guest line. I did tip the check-in clerk $20 as I needed her to link 3 reservations (MLife, MVegas Comp, and another MLife), and the MyVegas I wanted to upgrade to a corner suite like my other 2 bookings. The good news is she did keep me in the same corner suite so I wouldn’t have to check in and out those multiple times. The bad news was she didn’t give me the difference between the MyVegas comp room and the suite so I paid full price for the room and obviously couldn’t get the credits refunded. I didn’t notice this until long after I was home so that’s part on me. And as promised, at 11am, my corner suite was ready.

    Stepping in to that suite and having the room “greet” me was every bit as awesome as I had hoped for. Everything was fantastic. The luggage service was also amazing, and the kind gent even stopped and brought me ice when he realized I had libations for the room in my luggage. Just a nice touch.

    By now it was pool time! I needed to get my pale white Canadian skin into the sun. The warmth was great. I had no troubles getting a chair in a primo spot. The bar service was good, possibly even too good. And I was beyond entertained by some tanned guy in a speedo strutting around all the pools like a peacock. He honestly looked like he was out of Night at the Roxbury. Love Vegas!
    15976461084_3fa313930d_z.jpg
    When I was sufficiently warm, and sufficiently not too intoxicated, I decided it was time to head up to Margaritaville to play in the slot tournament. I punched my button like a madwoman, even switching up to a 2 handed technique, but to no avail. I was not a slot tournament winner. But I did manage to get a Margaritaville TR card, so all was not lost. And I did have a delicious Margarita while I was playing some slots in the casino afterward.

    Walking back to the Aria I stopped at Sugar Factory for a delicious strawberry blonde martini and some apps since I hadn’t had a thing to nibble on since last night’s In And Out. Hello Vegas. I figured I also needed a little bit of carb to soak up all the libations I’d been consuming because I had a ticket for the Neon Boneyard that night that I was bound and determined to make it to. I also had a MyVegas reward for the store but couldn’t find enough things to buy. I feel like they really shrunk that store’s inventory since the last time I was there.

    I cabbed it to the Neon Boneyard as I failed miserably in my feeble attempt to not get too intoxicated and be able to drive myself there. I also failed miserably in remembering my CF card for my SLR camera, so it was all iPhone and point and shoot. I loved seeing all the vintage signs. I went on the first night tour of the evening thinking I may get some twilight, but it was pretty dark really soon into it. I didn’t love that it was a forced tour. I also didn’t love the tour guide who chided me like a delinquent child for lagging behind the group to take unobstructed photos of the signs. So that was pretty frustrating too.

    I may have had dinner tonight after getting back from the Boneyard but I legit have no idea. This is one of the fuzzy details thanks to time and intoxication. I do remember loving the turndown service when I got back to the Aria. I do remember how absolutely heavenly the bed was. I was falling madly in love with the Aria.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Monday the 29th - the day of adventures!

    I woke up and pressed the bedside button to open the sheers and see the beautiful sun over the mountains. Yet another absolutely perfect morning in Vegas. I didn’t want to waste too much of this gorgeous day in bed so I ventured downstairs for a quick and easy breakfast at Jean Philippe Patisserie. It was great to nibble on my omelette, people watch at the casino and feel the energy of the day build. After breakfast it was time to catch the morning rays poolside before the sun becomes too unbearably hot. I also wanted to get some sun time in before my spa appointment later in the day.
    16411614490_d37bd15f8d_z.jpg 16598653415_e37862a861_z.jpg 16572668916_b686c0b8be_z.jpg
    Once again, it was super easy to get a poolside chair. Though I started to regret not bringing my omelette out with me when I saw others enjoying their breakfast there. Filed under: next time! Just as the sun was starting to scorch, it was time to go to the spa.

    I’ve been very lucky in my day to go to some amazing spas around the world, so I was really wondering how Aria, and later in the week Mandarin Oriental, would compare. The facilities at Aria were absolutely wonderful. I dare say the best I’ve been to. My treatment however, was disappointing. I had booked for their signature gemstone facial, and the therapist recommended a different one based on my skin type. I also added on a lip treatment because my lips were a touch dry from the desert. The next thing you know, I’ve paid the most for a facial ever in my life, and my skin wasn’t much different from when I went in. It wasn’t even an overly relaxing hour as my therapist was quite chatty the whole time. Next time I’ll know to just go and enjoy the facilities (which I totally did!), and skip the treatment at Aria spa.

    The day is getting later and I have plans to use my MyVegas Foundation Room reward to go watch the MNF game. So I got cleaned up after the spa and ventured south on the strip. I was early to Mandalay so I went to Red Square for happy hour. The last time I was there the apps and drinks were fabulous. This time the drink, Siberian Cherry Martini, was great but no real apps of interest. One drink down, time to go up and cheer my beloved Pats on from one of the best views in Vegas.
    16411445138_4b729ae673_z.jpg 16572680886_b943d7f94e_z.jpg
    The Foundation Room was great! Loved the atmosphere, loved the drinks, great MNF menu, amazing view. I loved watching the sunset from the balcony, and the planes arriving at McCarran. I also managed to snag a great seat on a couch by the fire with a great view of the tv… to watch my beloved Pats TANK the first half. Oy vey. Cocktails were just not numbing this pain at all. I was also getting heckled by Indianapolis fans because I was wearing my Tom Brady jersey. I knew I found a kindred spirit later though as some other fan watching the game looked at me and said “Chin up kid. Tom Brady is wicked good.” I’m not sure if I was happier about the support, or that his beer goggles saw me as young. I couldn’t bear to watch anymore. It was time to gamble my sorrows away.

    So the gaming tour back to the Aria began. I wanted to get a $1 chip from every casino I went to. I was so dejected leaving Mandalay I didn’t even want to stop and grab one. I took the tram to Excalibur and decided to hunt for my Breakfast at Tiffany’s slot machine because a VMB’er told me they had one. No luck on the machine. Did get an Excalibur $1 coin and I was on my way.

    Next up was NYNY. I had to stop at the Hershey’s The Chocolate Bar to continue to drown my sorrows. I picked the Chocolate Caramel Martini, with a Rolo garnish. Sweet mother of God that was the best f’n martini. WOW. Martini in hand I ambled to the Zumanity box office to pick up my tickets for tomorrow night and they gave me my “O” tickets at that time too. I went on to play some True Blood slots and drink more drinks from the excellent cocktail service. The MNF game was still on and it wasn’t looking any better for me. So I decided to belly up to a blackjack table and try my luck there. I’m not a blackjack player at all, so that should tell you right off the hop what my level of intoxication was. I couldn’t tell you how long I played. At the table were 3 men from Denmark on a guys trip. One of them was playing 25+/hand and he played on my MLife card because he didn’t have one and wasn’t there often enough to worry about comps. Okeydokey. I’ll later learn this was a bad idea but probably not for the reasons you think. Next thing you know I’m asking these guys about their windmills, and they’re rolling their eyes at me. Right. Denmark not Danish. Derp. The dealer, his name was Mike, I was eventually calling him Magic Mike. Derp. I was trying to take selfies. This was not allowed. Derp. I coloured up when I could no longer count to 21. I may have muttered something about “Dumb blonde can’t count, time to go.”. I left with more chips than I sat down with, I was way more intoxicated too, and I got my $1 coin, so I’ll call that a huge win. I rode the roller coaster on the way out, because that’s what every normal drunk person does right?

    Then it was on to the Monte Carlo. I was almost home. I played the terrible Press Your Luck slot and lost everything in a hurry. Moved on to the Hangover, with similar results. I realized it was time to stop gambling when I put my MLife card into the TITO slot on some other machine. I got my $1 coin and it was back to the Aria. I was going to try the MLife desk at Aria to get a new card on the way back to my room but it was closed. I got back to my room, downed some Gatorade for my poor head and had another amazing sleep (read: pass out) in the Aria bed. Did I mention I’m in the middle of a torrid love affair with this place called the Aria?!
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 21, 2015
  6. ruralhipster

    ruralhipster Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2008
    Messages:
    428
    Location:
    Alberta Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Thanks for a interesting report.

    I have no idea what's in that pink libation but I know I would end up "girl-drink drunk" on a sunny day on a patio drinking them.

    Out of curiosity do you find much benefit to renting a convertible in Las Vegas? I always wanted to but I thought it would be more of a liability driving it from parking lot to parking lot due to theft and putting up the roof issues.
     
  7. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Tuesday the 30th. - I did what?!

    I woke up with no headache nor hangover. Winning. I still had most of my dignity intact. I turned on ESPN to see that game was not a vile nightmare but was the real deal. Ugh. I turned the TV off and decided it was time to start my day and see what adventures Vegas had in store for me today.

    I went to the MLife desk and to my surprise I made MLife Pearl. In my years past staying with CET I didn’t reach any sort of tier status with them. Maybe I was on my way to becoming a degenerate gambler after all. Nah, I’m just a slot girl with limits. Gambling will always be an aside for me, instead of the reason for going. Heck, I live within stones throw of a casino and I’ve never set foot in their door.

    I ventured across the street to Mon Ami Gabi for breakfast on the patio and it did not disappoint at all. There was only a small wait for a patio table and I got to watch the strip slowly wake up. The coffee was wonderful, the service was fantastic, and the blueberry french toast was absolutely incredible. The perfect start to my Vegas day. I slotted a bit at Paris, and came out even.
    16598680015_cfb67a9c93_z.jpg 15978899223_0d20144546_z.jpg
    I went south to the Miracle Mile because I had a Groupon for Stripper 101 that I wanted to redeem for today. I figured it was fitting given I was going to Zumanity tonight so let’s keep with the theme. I managed to get in for the only one they were running today but it wasn’t until later this afternoon.

    Back to the Aria, and I redeemed for the MLife Daily Riches tournament, another MyVegas reward. I had high hopes there wouldn't be too many registered because it was a Tuesday and I was sadly wrong. I grabbed a slice of 550 Pizza while waiting for the tournament to start. It was amazing, and I’m generally indifferent on pizza. I was impressed. Tournament time, and I was in the second round of players. Again I punched buttons and popped balloons on the screen like a madwoman, but it wasn’t to be. I finished 6th of 12. Womp womp. Time for more pool lounging until it was time to go back for Stripper 101.

    Again I was early for Stripper 101, and it was happy hour at La Fiesta Cantina next door. Of course I had a drink to loosen up before Stripper 101. Stripper 101 was fun. I’d been taking some polefit classes at home before this trip. So it was fun to learn a few new spins and dare I say even empowering and ego-boosting? For the record I’ll never be a good stripper but for ~$20 for 90 minutes it was a fun way to spend the afternoon in Vegas. Of course I had to grab a drink from the Stripper Bar on my way out. I swear I don’t drink like this at home!!
    15976521454_a1e00dbd6f_z.jpg
    Back to the Aria and dinner tonight was at Julian Serrano Tapas. The good for me was getting to try some small plates and a variety of food. I *loved* the mushroom risotto. I didn’t overly love the atmosphere being so close to a high traffic area of the casino, and I think it was extra noticeable as I was sitting next to the wall. My server was just ok, but didn’t give a lot of helpful suggestions, so maybe I was hoping for a little bit more? I did manage to finish dinner in plenty of time to trek to NYNY for Zumanity.
    16598691455_345850fb45_z.jpg 16411475078_33e848af74_z.jpg 16597505081_1345941d87_z.jpg
    Zumanity was amazing!! I was there on a MyVegas comp and had an amazing seat right behind the love seats. There is a lot of audience interaction, especially with those up close, but thankfully I was left alone. I’d already seen “O” and loved it, and Zarkana and was disappointed. So I had no idea what to expect from Zumanity. I was thoroughly entertained from start to finish. I didn’t love it as much as “O” but it was head and shoulders better than Zarkana.

    After such a busy day I wasn’t up for repeating my antics from the night before and pretty much went straight back to the Aria. Another night of beautiful turndown. I sat on the ottoman in the living room and just absorbed the view, the lights, the magic. I love this city. I love the Aria.
     

    Attached Files:

  8. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Wednesday the 1st

    Vegas was starting to catch up with me. I slept in this morning for a change and it felt great. I ventured down to the Aria buffet for breakfast, only to get there too late and be stuck paying lunch rate, and of course I added the bottomless beverage pass to go with it. The freshness and variety were impressive, and so was the quality. My only niggly complaint was that the bottomless beverage service was pretty slow. Otherwise, as far as casino buffets go, Aria’s was quite good.

    Next up, you guessed it, more pool, cocktails and sun. A girl could really get used to this, and I was. Oh I was. My batteries were recharging, and Aria was the perfect place for me. A little bit too much sun and cocktails and I needed to return to my room for a wee siesta. Today was the day I learned just how good Aria turn down service was. I had my do not disturb light on while I was napping. I got up in time to get showered and dressed to leave for Picasso for my 8PM reso. Turn-down had left me a voicemail saying they were unable to service because of my light and to call if I wanted anything. On a whim I decided to hit the service light on my way out of the room without calling, and bam, they did my turn-down.

    As I mentioned, dinner tonight was at Picasso before going to “O”. I really wanted to do everything up in style tonight, and I did, and then some. I was given an amazing table near the window with a beautiful view of the fountains. Everything about Picasso was impeccable; the service, the food, the atmosphere. I was blown away.
    16412855339_bca60e529b_z.jpg 16411482818_f92ec7e5d3_z.jpg
    Dinner took a little longer than I anticipated that I was a little late for O. I was quite disappointed because I knew what I missed and that was part of why I wanted to see it again. I missed it the first time because I was front row centre and this time I had a different vantage point. O was every bit as magical as the first time. I discovered I didn’t like this view (side loggia) as much as front row centre, but it was still wonderful.

    Rather than take the tram back to Aria I walked back by way of Cosmo. I managed to catch a fountain show on the walk out to the US Anthem. A crowd had gathered, and cheered proudly when it was over. Just a great evening all around. Can’t. Stop. Smiling.

    Arriving at Cosmo and it was exceptionally loud thanks to some live music. I want to love the Cosmo. I feel like I should love the Cosmo. But every time I’ve spent any time in the casino it’s just not my vibe. I can’t quite figure it out. I loved the Dive-In movie on my last visit. But that was it. Just the cool concept of being on a lounger watching Breakfast at Tiffany’s on that huge screen. Fast forward to tonight, I find myself a Sex and the City slot and hope to try the famed raspberry lemon drop martini. Drink service was non-existent. I even asked one cocktail waitress as she passed and she told me she didn’t work that section and kept walking. Awesome. So I went to the Chandelier bar to buy one of these martinis. It was good, but I preferred the plain lemon drops across the road at the Extra bar at PH. There was also a noticeable amount of dust around the bar that I was extra aware of just because Aria is so meticulous about perpetually cleaning. I’ve tried Cosmo, I’ve tried. I just can’t dig you.

    Back to Aria for more Sex and the City slots and I got amazing cocktail service! As with the theme of the trip no real significant wins, no losses. breaking even. I really wanted a handpay, or even a really decent hit, but no dice. Time to shimmy down into my turned-down blissful Aria bed.
    15978921623_ed3ffc2296_z.jpg 16598081312_fb24c68056_z.jpg
     
  9. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Thursday the 2nd

    I feel like I’m finally ready to consider going home. Thankfully I still had one more full day in the desert sun.

    It’s taken me a few days to get settled in and find my groove, but now I’ve got it. It was a Jean Philippe Patisserie breakfast,this time a decadent Dulce de Leche crepe, taken poolside and it was perfection. Absolute perfection. As has been the theme of the week I lounged out here until the heat became a bit too much to take and ventured indoors.
    15978922073_57ecb809cd_z.jpg
    I wasn’t feeling up to slotting so I opted to take the Mustang out for a spin. It had been sitting idle for far too long. I went out and did some shopping in Henderson, made an anniversary edition Hello Kitty at Build a Bear because I heard rumours she wouldn’t be available in Canada, and a stuffie was a fun way to commemorate the trip. I made one last trip to In And Out while in Henderson and decided it was time to head back to the strip.

    I got back to the room and thought getting a head start on my packing was a good idea. I also thought it was a good idea to start drinking all the delicious libations I still had left in the fridge. Needless to say the packing was getting derailed in a hurry. I also had some 1921 Tequila Cream that I can’t get back here in Canada that I somehow wanted to get home. I went over to Walgreens to try to find some packing supplies to help it safely make the trip home. One soft sided cooler, some medical tape to tape the cork securely on and a lot of padding and it was set.

    Walking back I decided I was leaving Vegas a winner. I'd been eyeing up some earrings at Tiffany’s for a while. I could take that money and hope for the best, or I could go shopping and guarantee I come home happy. I went back to Aria via Crystals. I went shopping. I love the earrings!

    Packing was not going well and I succumbed to the call of the casino floor. I had my $50 in FreePlay from MyVegas I still had to use, and I had some sports bets still to place, and I still considered playing some craps. My first stop was a Sex and the City machine and a lot of free flowing delicious cosmos. One round had the CW bringing me 2 because she said she took too long to get back. Okeydokey. Now I’m feeling pretty fabulous. I found my way over to an Invaders From The Planet Moolah machine to redeem the FP. I’m not sure if it was from the combo of the copious libations or if it was really just that funny but I was laughing my ass off at this machine enough to draw some sideways glances from the poor gent who was cleaning the area. I’m definitely going to have to play this machine sober to be sure. I turned that $50 into $20 real money. I’m still not a handpay winner. I’m still a crazy low roller. I was maybe feeding $100 of my own into the one armed bandits per day. I think on the whole it was just a donation to Aria and MGM resorts and my statement from TR said I made a $170 donation to CET. Whatevs, it’s been fun.
    15978929773_d0a223b6b0_z.jpg 16597529251_863d34e6be_z.jpg
    Time to walk the casino floor and I find a lively craps table. The woman rolling was her first time playing craps and it was a $25 table. She was about as drunk as I was. This had great potential to be a really bad idea. She was definitely egging me on to play craps but I wasn’t starting out that drunk on a $25 table. It was still great fun to watch and egg her on though.

    The night was getting late and I still had some sports bets to place. At some point during the week I called home to my husband lamenting how poorly my sports teams were doing. His sage words were “It doesn’t look good for your Wolverines dear, but the Pats will figure it out.”. I asked him if he was sure he still wanted me to put money on the Pats for the Super Bowl and he said “Absolutely!”. So there I was at the Aria book putting money on the Pats for him asking the kind worker to not laugh at me for doing something foolish. And then I decided to place a bet of my own. Call it part trusting him, part having nothing to lose on such awesome odds (15:1), and part alcohol. I’d have to wait 4 months to see if it was a smart move or not…

    Time to take my drunk self back to the room. I decided it was time to use the awesome corner suite tub and watch some ESPN. By then the only place left open for dinner that night was Aria Cafe and I just wasn’t feeling that, nor was I feeling walking the bridge to Planet Dailies at PH (or anywhere else for that matter). So it was another night of no dinner, just trail mix, and libations. Somewhere during my relaxing tub as I was starting to gear up for going back to real life I remembered I had a blog post due in 3 hours. I climbed out of the tub, passed out while typing it, woke up and posted it late and went back to sleep. It wasn’t my finest work by any stretch, but Vegas.
     
  10. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    Friday the 3rd. Last Day.

    I was slow to wake up and totally dragging my heels. Now I didn’t want to go back to reality. I didn’t want to give up my amazing Aria bed and view, nor the sun and the warm. I still had packing to do because I failed at that the night before. Ugh.

    I called down to Aria valet to see if they’d move my car from the North Valet to the front. I was tired of navigating traffic yesterday and impatiently dropped the car at the North Valet instead of bringing it around to the blvd. I also didn’t want to lug my bags around to the North, and knew I’d need to bell desk my bags because of my Mandarin Oriental spa appointment. Long and short of it, and my only knock on the Aria is they said they couldn’t do that. So now that added some new time constraints. Ugh.

    I zipped to the Mandarin Oriental spa just barely in enough time to use the facilities before my foot treatment. I had booked a Dexotifying Chinese Foot Spa as the perfect finale to this amazing trip. Once I finally found the Spa at the Mandarin (the building is a bit confusing but the staff are sooooooo helpful) I was so eager to begin this relaxing journey. I remember the attendant asking me to have a seat and me being frazzled thinking that it was taking time out of my narrow window to enjoy the pre-treatment facilities. And then the shoe exchange ceremony began, and it was wonderful, and perfect, and calming. I knew right then and there I was in the right place and everything was going to be wonderful. And it was. While the pre-spa at Aria on the whole for me was better, Mandarin was still absolutely spectacular. I loved the hot tub at the Mandarin, and pressing a button for the individual lounger jets. I thought I’d love overlooking the strip, but I was finding the strip energy making it hard for me to relax in this oasis. The attendants were amazingly helpful and service oriented, and there wasn’t the same tip expectation that there was at the Aria, which was both subtle, and strongly noticed. The loungers with the warm blankets and tea were absolutely beautiful to relax in while awaiting being called for my treatment. The treatment, was heavenly. Wow. The service, the relaxation, everything, simply incredible. Mandarin was now my clear winner for best spa ever. My only complaint was that there was an admin desk in the Foot Spa room and listening to the admin girl type through my treatment did take a little away from my relaxation. Minor complaint. I didn’t want this to end, and it unfortunately did. I will return, 100%.
    16412878759_8f5fb78002_z.jpg
    So now the chaos begins! Sprint to the North valet to get the car, drive to front of Aria to get bags. By this time Aria is now a zoo and this is taking far longer than I have time for. It doesn’t matter that I’m flying first, and have TSA Pre-Check, I’m at serious risk of missing my flight and the next one home is a red-eye. Ugh. Drive like a madwoman back to Alamo, no time to gas up, check-in attendant is extremely generous and charges me a paltry $14 for gas. Excellent. Forgot travel pillow in car. Not excellent. Sprint to the shuttle bus, thankfully there is one just getting ready to leave and he lets me on. By now I’ve already called home to say I may not be on the 2:30 flight. Get to check in counter and have a small problem with one of my luggage locks. The Delta attendant is super helpful and is insisting on getting it fixed before tagging all my bags. I’m starting to worry about the baggage cut off and he tells me not to, gets my lock issue sorted and I’m on my way up to the hell that is TSA. Turns out they don’t have a Pre-Check lane open. I have to fish out my liquids, fish out my laptop, stop the X-Ray worker from trying to steal the Tiffany felt pouch for my passport holder (true story! What kind of ratchet crap is that?!). Quickly re-pack my carry on and sprint for one of the trams. Sprint from tram to gate to barely make it just before boarding call. They were asking for volunteers to take the red-eye home and I loosely considered it but after all the chaos I went through to make this flight I wasn’t sure I wanted to hang out at McCarran for 8 hours, and I wasn’t sure they could accommodate me in first. I’ve never been this late for a flight before, nor have I ever come remotely close to missing a flight.

    Amazing trip. Just amazing. All good things must come to an end. Until the next time Las Vegas…. Which is now sooner than expected thanks to those bets coming in! Not a moment too soon either. I need a break from this brutal winter.
     
  11. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    I was definitely girl drink drunk on that strawberry blonde martini. Ridiculously good.

    As for the convertible rental I got a really good price on it from Alamo. I didn't have too many liability fears and I tend to be a worry-wart when driving a rental. Putting up the roof is super easy, and I know one of the times I forgot to ask the valet to put the roof up he had done it anyway. I would probably do it again if I was toting less luggage.
     
  12. Suzyq2

    Suzyq2 Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2015
    Messages:
    15
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Fun trip report!!!
     
  13. sybgal

    sybgal VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Messages:
    5,122
    Location:
    Indiana
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    29
    Great report! Thanks for sharing. :)
     
  14. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,138
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Spectacular trip report! I LOVE how you do Vegas. :nworthy:

    And thanks for the notes about the Mandarin Spa. I am spa gal -- Qua is my favorite -- a but have always wanted to try the Mandarin Spa. You convinced me to do so for my trip in 6 weeks!
     
  15. BellaBlvd

    BellaBlvd Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2014
    Messages:
    230
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    6
    I haven't tried Qua but feel like I should! I hope you love the Mandarin as much as I did! :)
     
  16. jovegas

    jovegas Tourist

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Messages:
    9
    Thanks for excellent trip report!
     
  17. lemondrops

    lemondrops Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    6
    Location:
    North of Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Aren't you glad you placed the Super Bowl bet?
     
  18. Kkirk777

    Kkirk777 Tourist

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2013
    Messages:
    89
    Location:
    Miami,FL
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    20
    Great trip report, thanks for sharing with us.
     
  19. smartone

    smartone VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2011
    Messages:
    5,262
    Location:
    Northern Nevada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    204
    Absolutely... +1!
     
  20. Flowers

    Flowers VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2014
    Messages:
    1,138
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Thanks to your reviews I just booked the Chinese Foot Treatment at the Mandarin Oriental Spa. Post treatment I'm going to have afternoon tea at the hotel. Ahhhhh. :)
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.