You only turn 29 so many times, I often say. Two years ago for my birthday we went to Las Vegas for a weekend at the Mandarin Oriental. This year we went a bit upscale and spent a weekend at Aria’s Sky Suites in the City Center complex. In the process we had some great experiences and re-qualified for MLife Rewards Gold status for next year in one (pricey) stay.
This is a long read, but we try to cover a packed weekend in an unusual property, so you should find it worth the journey.
Givens and Druthers
The owner of a model train shop I used to frequent in Indianapolis started every railroad design workshop with “givens and druthers.” The givens are your limitations. For a train layout it might be a 6×8 closet/garage, or having to fold up at night so the dog doesn’t eat it. The druthers are the “I’ll settle for this, but I’druther have that” wish list items. These are good categories to take into account when planning travel excursions as well.
Given #1: I travel a fair bit for my day job, and in that role I have to choose approved hotels and lowest cost options at those hotels. So the first given on this trip was something upscale from what work would normally pay for.
Given #2: A spa visit. Last summer we visited the Bathhouse at Delano (in the Mandalay Bay complex) and we wanted to refill our spa experience on this trip.
Given #3: An affordable (for an admittedly stretched value of “affordable”) rate, taking advantage of any special rates, promos, or other considerations we could find to optimize the expenditure and the experience.
Druther #1: Having just seen a video about the Aria penthouse suites, something like that was intriguing but likely out of our price range, but it was the first druther.
Druther #2: A private spa suite; Bathhouse had couples massages, but when we weren’t waiting for or having our massage, we were in the segregated spa facilities. Not as romantic as you might think.
So with these guidelines, the American Express Platinum card, and MLife Gold, we started looking at the options. Continue reading “A golden weekend at Aria Sky Suites in Las Vegas”