Sunday, 19 May 2013

Day 12: The Vdara, Las Vegas

Hotel: The Vdara, Panoramic Suite

Throwing the last bits into the case we checked out the Luxor and headed up the strip to the North Premium Outlets.

Passing the Pawn Stars shop again, the queue was as big as yesterday. I guess at least they provide misters to keep the people in the queue cool in the scorching desert heat.

I hate heights, I get that "Want to jump feeling" and all sorts of dizziness that my brain says shouldn't be there but somehow just happens.

So you can imagine I was really nervous about this suite at the Vdara, as I knew the moment I walked into it I would be faced with a 31 story 270 degree slab of glass. Even the bathroom wouldn't be a safe haven from it.
Perhaps I shouldn't watch YouTube videos of things?

But I psyched myself up for it using 3 bottles of Smirnoff Ice and into the elevator we went. This, funnily enough, turned out to be the worst bit. I walked out dizzy. That thing moves quick.

Entering the room, slightly shaking I admit, they had blinds down on all the windows to keep the room cool. Good so far. I tell Mel to leave the ones by the thin entrance corridor down to give me a bolt hole, but she was busy sorting out her latest slushie situation from 7/11 earlier.

I dare to raise a blind, having had a quick peek, and once I'd worked out the non-obvious controls I was faced with a portion of height. It was OK.  So I dared another.

"You've put the Blinds up!" came a voice from the bathroom. Which again, has multiple entrances and views in and of itself from the throne.

Feeling quite good about it all I searched out the entrance blind controls which were well hidden, and behold we had the full view of lots of hotels, from the Stratosphere to theHotel and glorious views into the desert and mountains beyond.

It's a big suite. You know you have a big suite when the fastest route from the desk to the American size fridge is through the bathroom. Yup, another bathroom so big it has two doors 10m apart. Crazy. If these were going to be apartments they should have made more storage space instead, no wonder they weren't selling.

All said though, don't stay here. If you want good views, the Planet Hollywood Fountain View rooms are smaller but have much better views of the Bellagio fountains and the Paris tower. If you must, you can always stay in the Bellagio but only if hearing the music is necessary and you don't mind stuffy cramped beds. If you can get the right side of the Ceasors Palace tower overlooking the fountains do that also, but it's a dice roll as if you book that tower you only have a 50% chance of getting it randomly, unless the check in clerk likes you.

I'm afraid the Vdara, whilst meant originally to be apartments and later changed to be a hotel missed a few things, and here are a few more...
When we arrived the safe was locked. Haha previous guest. Very funny, not the hotels fault but it should have been checked before we got there. We called down, waited an hour, then decided to leave with our valuables hidden and found the lock guy stood outside the room waiting for security. He asked if we had anything in the safe, we said no, and so he said it was fine for us to leave. Like it would change our mind.

Several hours later we returned to find the safe still locked. This time our call was responded to in 5 minutes. Again I was asked if I had anything in there. I said no, unless it's a stack of Benjamin's in which case we could come to an agreement. Safe dude hooked up his device to the safe and pop it went instantly.

Makes you think.

Although they sell this hotel on the room features, as the hotel has no casino or shows, it's pretty useless having a stove, fridge and dishwasher if you arrive to zero kitchenware. You have to call and ask for it, so I called and asked for kitchenware. Two plates, knives and forks arrived. We had to call again and specifically ask for a cutting knife and frying pan.

The hotel obviously isn't going down well, I was just joking in the lift with some other guests on our floor who also noticed nobody in the elevator was on a floor higher than 31 of the 56.


So, whilst the first safe dude was busy not opening the safe we had headed into the Aria hotel next door, a very short walk, to gamble, drink and eat.
My favourite slot machine of the evening was the Ghostbusters one, and it paid me well. It used the 3D technology to make things stand out of the screen, and had an absolutely amazing sound system that practically through you around in your seat. This combined with all the great music from the film, and clips and quotes a plenty, made for a great amount of funny.

Plus I got a $128 payout on one spin, and hit the top of the days leader board.

We lost track of time, like a casino is designed to do. No windows, no clocks, no idea. So when i checked my phone and googled the buffet times we realized we had only 30 minutes until our free buffet meal expired. We got a wriggle on to it.

Tip today: The Vdara wifi codes work in the Aria, and the current (May 2013) speed upgrade code they try and charge $15 a night for is "vipguest" the cheeky monkeys. Enter it as a VIP code. Not the room access code.

I ordered a white sangria and a peach balini turned up. The waiter then hassled me to sign off the drink order as he wanted to leave, I told him I couldn't as Mel was the signature on the card and she was at the buffet. He told me to fake it and got all shirty. I said no. Needless to say he is, so far, the only server so far this trip we haven't tip a cent.

Food is not bad at the Aria buffet, not as much choice as others but was very nice. I even went back for a second toffee pudding which is unusual Ali don't normally do puddings at all.

At this point we wrap round back to the earlier safe affair, and some night time pictures from the room.

I then got into the bath, watching the view of the Vegas lights from the window and some Simpsons episodes.
Then zzz's

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