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Las Vegas: Two CityCenter hotels get top AAA rating

November 26, 2010|Jane Engle | Assistant Los Angeles Times Travel Editor
  • The "View Bar" at Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.
The "View Bar" at Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. (Ricardo DeAratanha / Los…)

Two hotels at the swank, $8.5-billion  CityCenter Las Vegas complex have pulled off quite a feat: earning the top AAA rating, Five Diamonds, in their first year of operation.

The 4,004-room Aria Resort & Casino and the 392-room Mandarin Oriental, Las Vegas opened in December 2009 at the 67-acre complex -- which also includes the 1,495-room Vdara Hotel & Spa, private residences, restaurants and luxury shops -- along the Las Vegas Strip. The Harmon Hotel, originally scheduled to open there this year, is on hold; more about that  below.

In a news release Monday, Michael Geeser, AAA Nevada spokesman, praised the Aria and Mandarin Oriental for their "luxury, sophistication and exceptional service."

In her review of the Aria for the Los Angeles Times, Valli Herman, who encountered some early service glitches but was impressed overall, wrote: "Despite its opening-day jitters, Aria's sophisticated design, cuisine, technology and commitment to environmentally sound practices set a new standard in hospitality and Vegas-style excess." In her Mandarin Oriental review, she praised the hotel for its design, stunning views and service that was "prompt, personal and attuned to privacy."

As for the Harmon Hotel, which wowed critics with its blue-glass exterior design, the future is far from certain. The structure was downsized after building inspectors found improperly installed rebar on some  upper floors, Jay Jones reported last year for the Los Angeles Times.

Earlier this month, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that MGM Resorts International officials want to demolish the unopened hotel.  Asked about the company's plans, Alan Feldman, senior vice president of public affairs, said in an e-mail Tuesday: "Construction problems at The Harmon have been well documented. The legal case regarding damages for those construction mistakes are currently in litigation and the Harmon’s future is yet to be determined."

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