Everybody seems to love Las Vegas, but there is a not so fabulous side to Vegas. It’s all tied to a dirty 5 letter word… lines. Granted my recent trip was over the CES show which attracts a vast amount of people from all over the world but Vegas is basically the land of lines.
Arriving into Las Vegas airport from Minneapolis, the taxi line took about 20 minutes before I was able to get a cab to the Rio hotel off the strip. Once there though the lines really started.
Las Vegas hotels are notorious for making you wait for check in. Hotels are huge that so it takes a while if they have big functions to clear out an entire hotel, clean the rooms and then get you checked in. Most hotels will say check out is 11am and check-in is 3pm and in Las Vegas they are pretty strict about this. Many people believe it is because you have access to the casino while you wait and so you may be motivated to spend a little bit of money before you check into your room.
I had to wait about 15 minutes before I could see the front desk clerk. Then I was told it was 20 minutes before 3pm so they would charge me $20 if I want to get in straight away. I thought that was a little off as the room was ready.
Every taxi line outside the hotels had a wait. Leaving the CES show there were buses but all had massive lines to take you back to your hotel. Everything is just super-sized.
Vegas is full of some of the biggest brand restaurants from around the US. You have outlets like Gordon Ramsay, Daniel Boulud, Jean Georges, Bobby Flay, Milos from Montreal and NY, Guy Ferreri, Emril and many more (not Daniel Green yet:)
These spin offs are not quite the real deal as they seem to be more of a franchisee than their flagship restaurants. However to be fair, the Jean Georges at Aria was almost as good as the one in New York. But it was pricey as it was over $650 for 4 with 4-6 glasses of wine (no not each).
But even getting into these outlets is hard. We went to concierge early in the morning and they could not book anything at Aria for us until 9:45pm.
I decided to check into the Aria after my stay at the Rio.
I love the look of Aria as it was clean, modern and it seemed a little calmer than what some of the other Las Vegas hotels have to offer. But I have never seen a check in like it in my life. It was over 45 minutes to get to a very snooty check in staff member who felt this wait was quite normal.
I think I have been spoiled by the hospitality industry in Asia. At this level of hotel I’m used to things happening more smoothly, with more help . For instance, I often arrive back to the Shangri-La in Bangkok and ask the concierge to take the bag up to my room. The Answer would always be “of course Mr. Green”
So, without thinking I asked concierge at Aria. The response was a little different. We don’t do that here I am told, go to the bell desk. The bellman just told me they could send it up if someone’s in the room but they would not be able to leave it in the room. Strange concept. Why can housekeeping enter a room but not people from the bell desk?
Maybe Vegas is just too big for me. Maybe it is because Vegas hotels do not really have too much interest in a paying guest but prefer for high rollers. And since I’m the last of the big spenders playing with only $20, I think I was at the bottom of their list.
Daniel Green, the Model Cook is a Celebrity Chef known for his healthy approach to food and living well. With TV, books, magazines and live appearances, Daniel spends his time helping fans to cook better, feel better and live better. He’s also an avid traveler and a self-confessed Foodie.