I had my first visit to Vegas earlier this year (it was one of Mr Iced Vovo’s selections) and was actually surprised at how much fun I had. I was a little sceptical that a place based around gambling (which I don’t do), partying (I’m getting too old to do), drinking (well I do some of that) and shopping (I do love to window shop) was going to be a bit too full on.
I think the best move we made was staying at a place that has no gambling and no smoking. This made it seem like our own little haven from all the craziness that can tend to go on at the many Casinos that line the strip of Vegas. The Vdara is fairly new to the Vegas accommodation scene and well worth a look at (we’d go back there).
For two non-smokers staying at a non-smoking place was brilliant. There was no having to worry about your clothes smelling before you even set out for your day/night activities, no entering a room trying to mask the smell of smoke with heavy room deodorizers, no having to watch where you sit at the café, pool, or bar in case someone next to you is going to be waving their cigarettes in your face. (Sorry smokers but I just can’t stand it!)
With stunning clear blue skies and temperatures well over 36 degrees each day (we were there for 11 days) having a pool at your accommodation is essential. While the Vdara main pool is only quite small it was adequate for us. We avoided the busiest times on the weekends and opted to hire a cabana one day that gives you access to pools that a separate from the general public. Cabana day ended up being one of the highlights of the trip. We arrived at about 9.45 in readiness for a 10am allocation and got a prime pick of the cabanas. We had our own waiter for the day who was attentive without being intrusive. He buzzed around at just the right times to get our cocktail and food orders. Along with the use of the private pool you get 4 lounge chairs, a tented cabana complete with fridge, TV, safe, cooling mist and a selection of nibblies, soft drinks and fruit. Closing time for the cabana was 5pm. We bounced around from the pool (that had water beds), to the deck chairs to the cabana all day – it was a great way to unwind and relax.
The only faults we found with the Vdara were that check-in is way too late for the many tourists that arrive to Vegas on an early flight – I realise that when the accommodation is booked to capacity this may be a problem but when it isn’t being able to get an early check-in would be greatly appreciated. (Hey we’ve just flown half way around the world you know!) On the morning we arrived the computer system was also down that added to the delay. While they will hold your bags for you until the desk is open, after a very early start from New York, we didn’t feel much like roaming around until we had unpacked and freshened up. We found some comfortable chairs in the foyer and whiled away the time having a coffee, and people watching (an extremely addictive past-time in Vegas). Luckily when we did finally check-in we secured an upgrade to a fantastic suite with a view of the Bellagio fountain.
The suite (the Vdara is all suite accommodation) had its own kitchenette, dining area, lounge area and a massive bathroom complete with separate bath and shower. We even ordered room service after a hot day of golf and found the service, prompt and friendly and the food delicious and well priced.
The other criticism is that they desperately need a coin operated laundry. (Hey not all of us have just flown to Vegas for the weekend – some of us have been around the world first and have some serious laundry to contend with!) With a hefty price on internal laundry services and no laundry within cooee of the Vdara we resorted to rinsing out a few items in the bathroom.
The Vdara has a great café that also sells some supplies, a bar down stairs with both an indoor and outdoor seating area, a bar at the pool, other massage and treatment options and is conveniently sandwiched between the Bellagio and Aria Casinos so you are only moments away from numerous restaurants, gambling and all the other trimmings Vegas has to offer.
Vegas was the last stop for us on a 3 month trip and ended up being the perfect fun and relaxation venue.