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."