Vdara Hotel & Spa is located just off Las Vegas Boulevard. The all-suites, non-smoking, non-gambling resort, owned by MGM Resorts, is perfect for my needs. But I know that I am not the typical visitor to this desert oasis.
Like LA, Las Vegas attracts every type of wannabe and couldabeen and they’re all over town. Prostitutes in line at the front desk with their clients, a drug addict passed out in the lobby, drunks stumbling around the parking lot, I saw them all on this trip, which was for business.
Attending the Global Security Exchange (GSX) conference at the Las Vegas Convention Center, I was easily able to get around town, thanks to Lyft, the monorail and sponsored shuttle buses. Each time I needed to go, a Lyft driver was already waiting by the hotel entrance.
Vdara, where I’d previously stayed, is tucked away off Frank Sinatra Boulevard behind MGM’s Aria casino and resort. Upon check-in, I asked the friendly front desk clerk, Letitia, for a list of items, which she promptly provided. The room was simple, elegant and easy to find and use. The same goes for everything else in the hotel, including the compact fitness room, spa, pool, bar and dining.
Complimentary bottled water awaited in the refrigerator. I used the kitchenette during my stay, though once standard items, such as coffee makers and dishes, either cost more or are provided only upon request. The bathroom had both a spacious shower and separate tub, good lighting, closet, vanity mirror and pocket door. The television’s remote control was sluggish, so it probably needed batteries. The wifi was strong.
Meals at Vdara mean a patio and bar lounge, small cafe with adjacent pantry for pricey, light groceries (each suite has a kitchenette) and a friendly, if high-priced, Starbucks. I bought groceries at Walgreens on the strip, which is my usual practice, and ate at the convention center. When I ordered to-go meals from the cafe, however, the food was fresh, perfectly prepared and delicious. But it took way too long. Every morning I asked for salt and pepper with my eggs, but they were included in the order exactly once. Each time I ended up with a small bottle of Heinz ketchup, which after the first time I asked them to omit. So, go and order to-go for the best Vdara food, but watch the clock and check the to-go bag.
I plan to visit Vdara again. It’s a beautiful, simple hotel. Staff are friendly, though a few stand out. Nathan was very prompt with a request. Letitia made an outstanding first impression. Concierge Hakan, who previously worked the concierge desk at the Cosmopolitan, was the most knowledgeable, accommodating and results-driven and I came away thinking that he should personally train every one at Vdara. There wasn’t a single Vdara detail about business or personal travel that he didn’t know.
As a non-smoking non-gambler seeking to work and enjoy myself while in a still-sometimes seedy town, modern, efficient and quiet Vdara, removed from the strip yet in close proximity, is in a class by itself.