“ Address: 2600 W. Harmon Avenue / Las Vegas / NV 89158 „
I stayed at Vdara Hotel in Las Vegas for 7 nights from 06 June 2013. As always I spent quite a while looking at different hotels and realised that Vegas offers a whole host of hotels, all differing greatly. Despite wanting to visit Vegas to look round the interesting hotels, I didn't actually feel the need to stay in an 'interesting' hotel and instead wanted something modern and slightly more peaceful but without being far from the main strip. Vdara became the perfect choice.
The hotel is a large skyscraper style building with a glass front. It has around 60 floors and 1500 rooms. Its main concept is a modern escape from the madness of Vegas but without being far from the action. It is officially owned by MGM (as are many hotels in Vegas) but this isn't really apparent when you are staying there.
***Booking & Prices***
Usually I book hotels and flights myself direct with the provider, however this time I opted to use a local travel agent who were able to get a slightly cheaper price. In the end it cost us £1,200 for the hotel part (£171 per night) however this price is for a Panoramic Suite which is one of the more expensive options. Prices for more basic rooms began at around £85 per night. Having searched other hotels I found that this price is actually quite reasonable by Vegas standards. We made a request for a high floor room (above 20th floor) with strip view and were told the hotel would try to honour this request.
The Vdara is located just off the main strip. It is between the Aria and Bellagio and just behind the Cosmopolitan. However if you are in a high floor room you get a clear view of the main strip and it generally feels like you are on the strip. Therefore it is very central and we found it possible to walk to many of the interesting hotels (Bellagio, Luxor, Balleys, Flamingo, Venetian, MGM, New York, Paris). Therefore as long as you are able bodied you will be able to get to most of the main hotels without using a taxi. The only occasions where we did require a taxi was getting to/from the airport and going to Downtown Vegas.
We flew into McCarran Airport and got a taxi to our hotel which cost about $30 (£20) and the journey took about 15 minutes. This was an easy way of getting to the Vegas strip and meant we could be dropped off at the hotel lobby. We were aware that the hotel had a secure car park however I don't know anything more about this since we didn't have a car with us.
We checked in at the hotel lobby desks where there were several staff members waiting to help. When we arrived (around 15:00) there was no queue which was a pleasant sight in Vegas where most hotel lobbies have horrendous queues! The check-in process was easy yet took slightly longer since the guy serving us spent quite a while on the phone. We got a bit worried and thought maybe there was no room available but it transpired he was just ensuring we got a room above 20th floor as requested. We were pleased when he gave us our keys and asked us to head to our room on the 30th floor : )
The suite we got was absolutely amazing. The majority of the room walls including those of the bathroom were floor to ceiling glass windows meaning we got an amazing view over the Vegas strip and also across the other side which is much less built up so we could see as far as the mountains in the distance. The suite was really big and included a kitchen area with dining facilities, a lounge area, bedroom and bathroom. It was more like an apartment and one could easily stay there for long periods of time as all the facilities were there. The suite felt very much like one big open space as the rooms were connected by either sliding doors or big open doorways. The views from the room were amazing and the overall feel was very modern and good quality.
The bedroom had a king size bed which was really comfortable. We got 2 pillows each a thin duvet on the bed. There was small bedside table on each side of the bed with a couple of drawers for storage. There was a large flat screen TV mounted on the wall in front of the bed so you could watch TV in bed. There was also a desk and chair in the bedroom. I always had a good sleep in the bedroom, helped by the fact that the big windows could be covered by an electronic black-out blind with another blind on top of this. We were never disturbed by any noise, partly through being in a high floor room but I also think the room was well soundproofed.
The lounge area included a sofa, two comfy chairs, a large glass coffee table and a large wall mounted TV. It was nice having this area and we often relaxed there before heading out in the evening. We only used the TV once on the first night and it connected to most major US TV Stations.
The kitchen was a decent size and included all facilities needed for cooking your own food. There was a full size fridge and freezer, mini dishwasher, oven, oven top hob, microwave and coffee machine. There were also several cupboards for storage, but oddly nothing in them. The only kitchenware we were given was coffee cups, glass tumblers, wine glasses and champagne glasses. We found out you have to request kitchenware which is then sent up to your room. We only planned on having breakfast in the room so on our first morning we requested two bowls and spoons, these arrived promptly and we kept them for the remainder of our stay. I've read reviews which mentioned that these things were taken away and had to be requested again on a daily basis, however we didn't experience this issue.
Within the kitchen area was a glass dining table with two dining chairs. We only used these at breakfast time and on the first night when we ordered room service, but it was really nice to have somewhere to sit comfortably and eat when required. The kitchen also had a washing machine and dryer hidden in a cupboard, we didn't need to use these during our one week stay however it would be really useful if you were staying for longer.
The bathroom was really big and had two separate sinks with surface space around them for toiletries. There was also a nice big mirror in front of the sinks and plug sockets, so I used this area to get ready in the evening and do my hair. There was a hairdryer provided in the bathroom which was better than the one I brought so I used this during my stay. The toilet was in a separate mini cubicle but there was no door dividing this from the rest of the bathroom. There was a full size bath which was positioned right in front of the window with a lovely view out to the mountains. I wouldn't usually have a bath whilst on holiday but this time I did and it was so relaxing soaking while looking out over Vegas. There was also a walk in shower which was a really good size with a seat inside. The shower was powerful and always hot, and there was always enough hot water available for a bath. As I mentioned earlier the suite is very open, however you could fully close off the bathroom area and have complete privacy.
There were plenty of plug sockets in all areas of the suite so we could easily have multiple things plugged in at once. In terms of storage the areas were quite scattered. Oddly the wardrobe was located in the entrance to the bathroom which could mean your clothes getting a bit damp. It didn't end up being too much of a problem though. There was a fair amount of hanging space and a few hangers. I'd rather there had been more hangers though as it only worked out at about 4 each. The wardrobe was big enough to store our suitcases in and also housed the safe for the room. The safe was electronic and easy to use, yet was quite small. We only just managed to fit 2 ipads, 2 watches and a camera in there. There was also a storage area near the entrance to the suite which had several drawers so plenty of space for the rest of our clothes and possessions.
The room had an air conditioning system which worked excellently and kept the room cool constantly which was a relief as the temperature was over 40 Degrees Celsius most days. The air conditioning was easy to control from one keypad. We accessed the room using a key card which didn't have any numbers printed on it, which I prefer in case you lose it.
I was really impressed with the cleanliness of the hotel. We regularly saw cleaners busy at work even in the later hours. A maid visited our room each day and gave it a full clean, replaced any towels we had left on the floor and made the bed. The bed sheets were changed three times during our stay which I was happy with. The main hotel areas were also spotlessly clean so I have no complaints about that.
There is a swimming pool located on second floor level in front of the hotel. Placing the pool on the second floor is a great idea as it means it is elevated from the road and therefore more private and quieter. The pool area itself is large, although initially we didn't think it would be large enough to accommodate everyone wanting to use it considering the number of rooms in the hotel. However we were always able to find a sunbed by the pool so we needn't have had doubts. I think the heat may have put people off lying out there and we never spent longer than an hour out there ourselves. The sunbeds were comfortable and there was always a table or umbrella nearby. There was relaxed dance music played by the pool which gave it a nice atmosphere and also drowned out the noise of others talking etc, enabling you to relax. It was slightly too loud on one of our visits though!
There is a bar by the pool area which sells a variety of drinks including wine, champagne and cocktails, as well as basic bar food. You can either go up to the bar to order, or there were waitresses on hand to take orders and bring drinks over. We only had drinks from this bar once and were slightly disappointed...we ordered cocktails but they were served in ordinary plastic cups. The cocktail tasted good but was spoilt slightly by the naff looking cup. I appreciate that the hotel had a no-glass policy by the pool, but I noticed they had plastic champagne flutes (which looked as good as the real thing) so you'd think they could find some more attractive looking plastic cups for cocktails, bearing in mind they served a range of cocktails averaging at Euro14 each.
The hotel bar is located on the ground floor in the lobby area. It is open to the public so not exclusive to guests, however because the Vdara isn't a feature hotel it didn't really attract many outsiders, therefore the bar was never crowded. We visited the bar on two occasions, the first was when returning from our evening meal and we stopped for a couple of cocktails. The bar is really modern and has a relaxing atmosphere with dimmed lighting. There are plenty of seats to choose from and the waitresses take your order and serve to your table. The cocktails cost $14 (£9) which was a very reasonable price for Vegas (we paid up to $20 for a cocktail). There are several cocktails to choose from on the menu and I opted for Red Rose Garden (Absolut Raspberry Vodka, House Sweet+Sour, Fresh Raspberries & Rosemary Needles). It was a lovely cocktail and it was clear it had been well prepared from scratch using decent ingredients. We were also given some free snacks including nuts and crisps which was a nice touch.
The next time we visited the hotel bar was a night where we had booked a show and we wanted to stay local for our evening meal then head straight there. So we decided to try some of the bar food on offer. The bar food is more than just snacks and is actually the same menu on offer as room service. There are several starters, pizzas, salads and main meals to choose from. We both opted for the chicken and pesto caesar salad which was beautiful. It cost $16 (£10.50) for the salad and was excellent value for money. On both of our visits the service was excellent, yet the drinks and food did take a while to arrive so not great if you are in a rush.
The hotel doesn't have a restaurant so the only food options in-house are from the room service menu. On our first night we were exhausted from the flight and decided to sample the room service menu for our evening meal. We both ordered pizzas which cost $12 (£8) each. It was easy ordering the food as there is a room service direct dial on the phone in the room and the food arrived after about 20 minutes. I was really impressed with the food, the pizzas were really big and packed with toppings. They also came with mini trays with parmesan cheese and dried chillis to sprinkle on, as well as mini bottles of ketchup and tabasco sauce which were really cute. The guy who brought the food was really polite and insisted on laying everything out neatly on the dining table for us. That was our only experience of the room service but I was really impressed!
In the hotel lobby there was a deli which sold fresh fruit, desserts, drinks and basic foods like sandwiches. It was open all day until about 9pm and had tables inside if you wanted to dine-in. We picked up some fruit and desserts on a few occasions and took them up to our room. The deli also had basic food supplies for your room such as cereals and milk, yet these were really overpriced so we didn't bother.
You will be spoilt for choice with food options on the Vegas strip. There is basically every kind of food available. The only issue we ran into was that there weren't many middle price-range restaurants. There were plenty of expensive ones (fine dining) and plenty of casual ones (Hard Rock Café etc) but not many in-between. This may have been due to staying in the city centre area where the local hotels (Aria, Bellagio) house the more expensive restaurants. In the end we found Ceasers was a nearby option for restaurants that were smart but not too smart. In terms of my favourite restaurants I would recommend 'Lemongrass' - a Thai restaurant in Aria. It was expensive but very nice. We also enjoyed a slightly cheaper Italian meal at Trevi located in Ceasers Palace Forum Shops.
I would also like to recommend a couple of nearby bars - firstly the Mandarin Bar located in the Mandarin Oriental. We had a beautiful cocktail here while watching the sunset over the city (the bar is on an upper floor). We also had a great evening in Hyde bar located in the Bellagio. It is right in front of the water where the fountain shows take place every 15 minutes, and served brilliant cocktails. We also had a few of the bar snacks which were excellent. Both of these bars were expensive but fine if you just want a couple of drinks. I would recommend making a table reservation for both.
***Service & Staff***
The staff at the front desk did an excellent professional job each time we dealt with them. There were always several staff manning the lobby so there was never a long wait to see someone, even during busy periods. On the night we ate in the hotel bar area I accidentally left a bracelet in the ladies toilets. When I returned it had gone so I reported it to the reception staff before heading off to a show at another hotel. When we returned to the room I had received a voicemail message on the room phone to say that it had been found and details of how I can retrieve it. The next day I called and then waited in reception, where a staff member from the Aria (Aria keep all lost property for the Vdara in their safe) met me and returned it to me. I was so impressed with the professionalism of this process. I was also informed that a cleaner had found the bracelet and handed it in, so it was nice to know that the staff had been honest about it.
We occasionally met the cleaners in our room on our return, and they were also very friendly, courteous and professional. Overall I was left with an excellent impression of the staff at Vdara.
There is a small gym in the hotel which includes basic machines and loose weights. We didn't actually use the gym but can imagine it would be useful if you were staying on business and wanting to keep a routine going. On the day of checkout we were able to leave our cases with the bell desk. They also helped you get a taxi (there were always taxis queuing outside the hotel) and would help you get your cases in the boot etc. This was a nice touch.
***Things to do in Vegas***
I know I'm going slightly off-topic here but I just wanted to add a quick paragraph on things to do. We did a helicopter trip to the Grand Canyon with Maverick Helicopters, this was amazing and I would highly recommend. We also did a coach trip to Hoover Dam which was interesting but I wouldn't say it is something you have to do, particularly if you do a Grand Canyon helicopter trip as you get an aerial view of the dam anyway. I would also recommend a visit to downtown Vegas (Freemont Street) for an evening. We had received mixed reviews about this but ended up having quite a good night there. They have a lights show on the roof of the main street every hour and there are several hotels to look at and a few restaurants and bars. It does have the feeling of being not quite as upmarket as the main Vegas but it was nice for a change and much cheaper. We got a taxi there and back, we were told it wouldn't be safe walking there (and a long way). There is also a tram which can take you there and back for slightly cheaper. Other than this we managed to fill our week with exploring the Vegas strip.
I highly recommend this hotel for a trip to Vegas. I think it is particularly suited to those wanting to experience Vegas and be near the action, but in a more peaceful location. The hotel is luxurious and modern, with a tranquil atmosphere. I would also recommend it to those travelling on business.
2600 W Harmon Ave,
Tel: +1 702 509 2111
We recently went to Las Vegas and stayed for 14 nights in the Vdara Hotel. Choosing a hotel in Vegas was a nightmare as they all looked so amazing, I think we eventually narrowed it down to three and my husband ended up choosing this one because he had a relative who had stayed here and recommended it.
We booked online via Expedia, we had a bit of a nightmare in doing so, but that was the fault of both Lloyds TSB and Expedia themselves, rather than the hotel. My advice would be, even if you've bought things from abroad a thousand times, call your bank before you make the transaction to let them know you're about to make a large payment to the US. You can also book directly through the hotel themselves and I'm sure lots of agents offer flight and hotel packages.
Vdara is four star and is a non-gaming hotel (in other words it doesn't have a casino), which makes it a little unusual for a hotel in Vegas. It is also a non-smoking hotel and they try to be as eco-friendly as possible, which is evident with things such as the toiletries supplied in each room and products they use in their spa. They are actually part of the Green-Key eco rating program and have achieved the highest rating of five stars. It is also an all-suite hotel, so has no single rooms.
The hotel is family friendly and we did see children around the hotel and at the pool area, although it has to be said, not many. I think this is perhaps because whilst children are welcome, there are not really a whole lot of facilities geared towards them at the hotel itself. When we were staying it seemed to be mostly couples and people on business (there was some sort of huge mining conference going on).
Vdara is located in City Centre, just behind the strip. I found it to be a pretty good location, there is a walkway from just behind the main entrance straight into the Bellagio hotel which is a pretty central location on the strip. Once you enter the Bellagio if you take a first left, there is an escalator up to the Aria Express tram, which is a free tram going between Bellagio/Vdara, Aria and Crystals (Aria is another hotel, Crystals is a high-end shopping centre - think Gucci and Stella McCartney) and finally stopping at the Monte Carlo hotel. This tram is free and runs every 3-6 minutes, so super handy for getting around.
~Check-in and first impressions~
We got a taxi to the hotel from McCarran airport at a cost of around $20. First impressions of the hotel were good, it looks very modern, although I was a bit unsure about the artwork outside, which is a huge palm tree with leaves made from canoes! There are plenty of porters outside waiting to greet you and they will open doors/take your cases, flag a taxi and so on whenever you need them.
The queue at reception was very short and throughout our stay I hardly saw any queues in the reception area which I would say was a plus point as other hotels we walked through had absolutely insanely long queues. The receptionist who greeted us was very friendly and asked how many key cards we required, and informed us complimentary bottles of water would be left in the room daily by housekeeping and complimentary newspapers were also available.
Another thing I will mention, which might sound a little strange, is that the Vdara has a very unique smell to it! As you walk in there is a very noticeable sweet scent, a little like baby powder. I noticed a few of the hotels had a similar distinctive scent as we walked through them. I don't know how true it is, but I was told that they pump perfume through the air conditioning. Whilst this is nice at first, I did find it a little cloying after a while!
We had a deluxe suite and were given a room on the 38th floor (I think there are about 48 floors). Rooms are accessed by holding your key card against a reader on the door and strangely this would give a small electric shock every time we opened the door! We had a view of the Luxor and Excalibur hotels from our room and you could see for miles up to the backdrop of the Nevada mountains. I believe the rooms on the other side of the hotel may have had a better view, I'm sure I read somewhere that some overlook the Bellagio fountains and Paris Hotel.
The kitchen was just inside the door of the suite and was very clean and modern looking. There is a small two ring hob, an oven, a small fridge (as well as a minibar), a large stainless steel sink and plenty of cupboard space. If you want cooking utensils, crockery and suchlike you need to phone reception and they'll send some up, they are not automatically provided in each room.
There is a small dining area with leather dining chairs and an ice bucket and glasses (tumblers and wine glasses) were supplied along with a corkscrew and bottle opener.
Behind the dining area is a living area with a large sofa, glass coffee tables adorned with Vegas themed magazines and a large flat screen TV. There is also a 'media centre' in the cupboard under the TV, which allows you to connect games consoles, cameras or MP3 players to the TV.
The bedroom area features a king size bed with the most comfortable mattress I have ever slept on in my life. Four pillows are provided and I noticed two were feather, two were man made fibre, so you have that choice if you have allergies. Reading lights are above the beds and a digital alarm clock is supplied. There is also a desk which comes with writing paper, pens and envelopes. There is plenty of space in the wardrobe area and an ironing board and iron are supplied as well as a small digital safe. There are three phones in the room - one in the bathroom, one by the bed and one on the desk, so should you ever need to phone reception the phone is in easy reach!
The bathroom is large and has what Vdara describe as 'a spa-style soaking tub', but what I'd just call 'a deep bath'! The bath also has a shower head attachment, but there's also a separate shower cubicle. The shower cubicle is really large and has a seat along one wall. The sink area is roomy and has a large mirror as well as a shaving mirror on the wall which lights up, if I'm being completely picky I would say that I'd have preferred twin sinks to sharing just the one. A hairdryer is supplied in a 'secret' drawer under the sink. Toiletries are also supplied. They are Vdara branded and are eco-friendly, so you get a card advising they may not foam as much as you may be used to due to low levels of sulphates. The toiletries were: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, soap, body lotion, a vanity kit (cotton buds and cotton pads) and a massage bar. I thought a massage bar was an odd inclusion, I'd prefer they provided a shower cap instead.
The blinds are electronic and controlled by a button on the wall. They can be set to blackout at night or just shade. There is also a control panel for the air conditioning which is easy to use and the air conditioning unit is fairly quiet. Each door has a doorbell on it so that housekeeping/room service can alert you before entering. You can set the door to 'do not disturb' or 'housekeeping' if you particularly need them for anything by pressing a button on the control panel of the door.
Overall I was impressed with the suite, it had everything we needed and was more than comfortable.
The pool area is located on the third floor, I believe it's on top of the canopy of the entrance. We noticed that a lot of pools at other hotels, such as Mandalay Bay and Monte Carlo can be overlooked by passing tourists but the Vdara pool is pretty sheltered and private.
Towels were provided for free and there is a small bar area which serves drinks and food. The main pool is smaller than the pools we saw at many hotels, but more than adequate for what we wanted. I am not a good swimmer and panic if my feet can't touch the floor, so I loved this pool, as even at the deepest part my head was still out of the water. There is also a Jacuzzi which we did use, but I didn't spend long in it, as it was insanely hot, it was like having a bath!
Standard sun loungers are around the pool and despite attending at varying times throughout the day we never had a problem getting a sun lounger. Day beds - basically sun loungers with padding - are available for $60 a day ($100 on weekends) and Cabanas are available for $125 ($200 on weekends). We toyed with getting a cabana, they looked amazing - they have misters, a TV and fridge - as well as use of a smaller, private pool, but I thought I'd be too bored to spend an entire day at the pool so we didn't get one in the end!
Vdara has a Market Café on the ground floor which serves food all day. We only ate here once for breakfast, I had a bacon and egg bagel which was fairly nice for what it was and the food was reasonably priced too. As well as serving food, there is also a small grocery section, which sells chilled drinks and snacks as well as frozen foods and things like cheese and cooked meats.
There is a bar at the front of the hotel which is quite nice, it also has a small outdoor area. I'd say the bar is sort of mid priced, it has a nice enough atmosphere, but is quite open, and as there are a lot of people walking past from reception and the café it doesn't feel particularly private.
There is a spa at Vdara on the second floor and this offers a huge range of treatments as well as hair dressing and nails/make-up services. My husband was encouraging me to go down one day to pamper myself, but I felt it was too expensive - for example $99 for a haircut. There is also a fitness centre which is free to use and a smoothie bar.
There is also a business centre which you can use should you need to print your boarding pass for your flight home.
Throughout our stay the staff were consistently friendly and helpful. The pool staff were very attentive in serving drinks/bringing extra towels and there was always a friendly hello and goodbye as we came and went.
My husband called down to reception on a few occasions to ask them about various things and again they were always helpful and were able to answer our questions knowledgeably.
It has to be noted that the housekeeping staff were also amazing - our room was left spotless and I felt they went above and beyond at times. I left my phone charger out on the desk one day and when I came back it had been fashioned into some kind of bow! They also folded clothes that were not in cases and sorted loose change my husband had left lying around into piles. We did leave them a tip in an envelope most days and I did notice that on the days a tip was left, extra water and toiletries were left!
Check-out can be done via the TV, however when we did this, we were then directed to go down to reception to complete the process which seemed a little pointless to me. Like many Vegas hotels you need to pay a daily resort fee, so I don't know if this is why we had to go down to reception, as we had been asked to leave a credit card number on file at check-in to pay for it.
We paid around £800 ($1290) for 14 nights which was a bit of a bargain as that works out at only £57 a night ($91) and some of the prices for the same room on the Vdara website show as costing up to £105 ($170) a night. We booked approximately nine months in advance and this was through a flight and hotel deal with Expedia.
I mentioned resort fees and these are around £12.40 ($20) a night, plus taxes, so you need to budget for this. I think after taxes our resort fees were around $320 (£190 at the current exchange rate). The total cost therefore came in at around £1000 I believe (obviously not including flights).
Overall I was incredibly pleased with the Vdara hotel and I would definitely be happy to stay there again. The suite was lovely, very roomy and had everything we would ever need. The staff were all lovely, and the location was excellent. I really can't fault it and would definitely recommend it to anyone heading to Vegas.
*Also posted on Ciao under username pink_champagne