The Rapid Traveler cares little about hotels, typically for his travel style he judges a good trip by how little time he spends in hotels, and when there, has simple requirements. But this week in Las Vegas was different in that he was working remotely and tied to the room for much of the day while Mrs. Rapid Traveler tended to her business meetings. Her company is paying every cent of the room at Aria, so it is perhaps ungrateful to poke fun, but a little jest is in order for the New Year.
Aria is the latest and greatest, a massive development including CityCenter, a Mandarin Oriental, Vdara, and the Crystals luxury shopping mall, plus a tram, if you can find it, connecting the complex to Bellagio and Monte Carlo.
Aria’s shtick is modern rooms, presenting a vision of the future for travelers, where:
- Travelers will have evolved telepathic control of the lights and entertainment, obsoleting the wonky tablet control that turns lights some lights on, some off, in the same click, seemingly at random.
- Smart phones will brew coffee and tea, and travelers will have their own supplies in mini sachets, so those few who come without modern phones must pay $25 to rent a kettle.
- The sun can be repositioned in windows so the one-way mechanical curtains block the sun at all times (as in when the sun is on the left the only option is to close the curtains all the way rather than just move them to the left).
- Electronic gadgets will charge through microwaves in the air, so the only two electric sockets in the bedroom area will be obsolete, as well as the other two near the floor by the door or the final option, two over the sink.
- Towels will either instantly dry or suspend in air, so towel racks will be superfluous.
Seriously though, Aria is a very nice hotel, but it is often puzzling the choices designers make when they try to wow with a future look.
And a final note, showing how naive The Rapid Traveler is of Las Vegas: the first night he went down the gym at 9 pm to find it closes daily at 8. The closed sign might as well have said, “Get gambling, you knucklehead!”
Happy New Year!