MGM Resorts maintains a wide range of hotels and casinos across all price points on the Las Vegas Strip, from the affordable Excalibur to the mid-range New York-New York and Park MGM to the luxurious Bellagio. But one property in the top tier frequently falls off the radar, and that is the wheelchair accessible ARIA Resort & Casino. ARIA is newer and perhaps more luxurious than Bellagio, but is still affordable on some weekends and during the week.
In this article, I’ll take you on a tour of this wonderful property — we’ll look inside my accessible hotel room and learn about the many fantastic restaurants onsite.
I enjoy visiting Las Vegas and receive offers for complimentary hotel stays at MGM Resorts properties due to my play in the casino. I used one of those comp offers for my recent trip, and selected a room at ARIA. If you haven’t traveled to Las Vegas before or don’t receive casino offers, you can still score discounts or a free night at ARIA by playing the myVEGAS Slots game on Facebook or your smartphone (it’s free!).
I used my offer for three complimentary weekend nights, Thursday to Sunday. Had I paid with cash, the hotel stay would have cost about $900 plus taxes and resort fees.
ARIA’s resort fee is $45 per night plus tax. It includes high speed internet access, unlimited local and toll-free calls, airline boarding pass printing, access to 7,000+ digital newspapers daily, and fitness center access for guests 18+. My resort fee was ultimately waived due to my status in the MGM Rewards program.
I booked a wheelchair accessible hotel room with two queen beds and a roll-in shower. Check-in was a breeze, though lines may be long on weekends and other days with a large number of arriving guests.
ARIA’s guest rooms are a bit dated, and may soon be due for a renovation, but they are still comfortable and the property falls solidly in the mid-tier range of luxury hotels in Las Vegas.
My room (#18282) featured two queen beds, with space for my power wheelchair to park between the two. The beds were comfortable, though not overly soft, and the top of the mattress was 31 inches above the floor. There was 5.5 inches of clear space underneath the bed frame to accommodate a transfer lift or hoist.
A telephone, lamp, and tablet device were accessible on the nightstand between the beds. Using the tablet, I was able to control the lighting and window shades, while performing other functions including ordering room service and researching property information (restaurant hours, spa services, etc.). There were power outlets installed behind the lamp, which I used to charge my power wheelchair and electronic devices.
Across the room, a flat screen TV was mounted to the wall above a desk, which measured 31 inches from the floor to the tabletop, with 28 inches of clearance underneath. There was a minibar and chair located in that portion of the room as well.
This particular guest room was a connecting room, so it could be paired with a second room for friends, family members or caregivers. The room was carpeted and, since I use a power wheelchair, it is difficult for me to judge how much difficulty that might pose for manual wheelchair users.
Note: I have stayed at ARIA many times before and the photos in the slideshow above showcase one of my rooms from a past stay, with a king size bed.
The bathroom was my favorite part of the guest room, as it offered a high level of accessibility, which is what I would expect from a hotel at this price point.
The toilet measured 18 inches from the floor to the top of the seat, and grab bars on adjacent walls were 35 inches above the floor.
The roll-under sink was 34 inches high, with 29 inches of clearance. This height worked well for me, and I appreciated the faucet controls which were easy to operate. A wall-mounted adjustable mirror came in handy during my morning shave.
The roll-in shower was accessible, though its design is my least favorite. It is the “alternate” roll-in shower compartment approved by the ADA, with a glass door rather than a curtain. Transferring from my wheelchair was easy, though once seated on the wall-mounted shower chair, I had difficulty in moving my wheelchair out of the shower. I draped a few towels over the wheelchair to protect it from errant water, since I could not close the door.
The shower itself had all of the required features: a handheld shower spray unit, a built-in seat and grab bars. The seat surface was 17.75 inches high and the grab bars were set at 35 inches above the floor. Controls for the water were within reach, and I placed the individual-sized soap and shampoo bottles on a grab bar.
ARIA is absolutely loaded with amazing restaurants, including Carbone with its exceptional Italian cuisine, the highly rated steakhouse named for Chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, Julian Serrano Tapas and the newly opened Cathédrale Restaurant. They’re all fantastic choices, but I’m going to focus on three others, one of which makes my list of the Top 15 Restaurants in Las Vegas.
If you’ve watched the video above, I don’t need to say any more about the seafood restaurant CATCH, which is located front-and-center on the lobby and casino level at ARIA. The restaurant offers an exceptional selection of Asian-influenced sushi, seafood and steak.
I’m not the biggest fan of French cuisine, but Chef Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie does steak frites exceptionally well. It also has one of the best Beef Wellington meals on the Strip — though you might prefer to save that meal for the wildly popular Gordon Ramsay restaurant Hell’s Kitchen, which is located at Caesars Palace.
If you’re looking for a quick bite, Posh Burger will hit the spot — you can grab a delicious burger, fries and a drink for about $20, which is a steal inside a luxury hotel like ARIA. If you’ve stayed up late watching a game in the sports book, or trying your luck on the slot machines, this burger joint will be there for you.
If you’re looking to be pampered in Las Vegas, there is perhaps no better place than The Spa & Salon at ARIA, which has been awarded the prestigious Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star Award. While I’ve never scheduled a massage or been in need of a pedicure (benefits of an amputee 😜), I do enjoy getting a haircut and a proper shave when staying at ARIA.
The salon staff are incredibly accommodating, particularly Luba who, in the October 2020 photo above, had just given me my first cut and shave since the start of the pandemic!
ARIA is located on the Las Vegas Strip, which means the resort is close to many public transportation options. “The Deuce,” a city bus route that drives up and down Las Vegas Boulevard, stops nearby in front of the Park MGM Resort. The ARIA Express Tram is a free automated people mover with stops at Bellagio, Vdara, Park MGM, The Shops at Crystals and ARIA.
Wheelchair accessible taxis can be ordered on demand, with wait times of 15 to as many as 45 minutes. For more information on accessible cab operators, fares and wait times, read the article on Las Vegas wheelchair taxis.
The hotel is directly connected to The Shops at Crystals, a mall featuring luxury retailers including Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Tiffany & Co., and Tory Burch. Nearby crosswalks and elevated walkways (with elevators) allow pedestrians to access nearby resorts including The Cosmopolitan and Planet Hollywood.
I’ve stayed at ARIA many times over the years (I travel to Vegas 3 to 4 times a year), and each I have never had a bad stay. The hotel suits me well, with its fantastic amenities, accessible rooms that I can rely on, and restaurants that rival for the top spot in any Vegas Foodie’s ranking. While the price point may not suit every traveler, ARIA a great option for those who want to splurge and, if not, you can stay nearby at one of the many wheelchair accessible hotels in Las Vegas (I’ve reviewed nearly 20 of them!).
This content was originally published here.