Las Vegas comprises equal parts Disney, Porn, and Walmart Shoppers. Pretty much three things that suck in their own ways. Combine them, and they triple suck. So whenever we are forced to come to Vegas, we do what we can to wiggle out of it.

One tactic is to use pricing to dissuade Vegas trips. You can set the price to HIGH (which I do), but the problem is that HIGH sometimes is “the way it is” and there is no avoiding a trip to Vegas using rational grounds.

Here we are. And this time we’re at the huge, modern Aria complex. Filled with smoke and Walmart shoppers trying to up their fine dining capability. Really. Just. Awful. Cows go moo. Cows eat grass. And they poop in their own food.

NPS finds itself in the Japanese wing. How do we know? Low floor. Sliding doors. Toilets that clean you against your will at the press of a button.

Sliding door is glass, no paper.  But Japanese design.

Sliding door is glass, no paper. But Japanese design.

Washy washy. Heated toilet seat

Washy washy. Heated toilet seat

Room 3042 is interesting in terms of angles. But it is cheap in terms of furniture. Like a theater set, it looks good (though a bit beige) from afar. Just don’t sit on the terrible furniture.

The couch is not comfortable. The chair is not comfortable. The veneer is thin.

This is not luxury, this is simulated nonsense.

All hail the TV

All hail the TV

And there is a TV everywhere. Some don’t turn off.

Aria.  Cheap ass furniture.

Aria. Cheap ass furniture.

The bathroom is long, thin, and beige.

The bathroom is long, thin, and beige.

Some attention has been paid to the bathroom, which is one notch or maybe two over Marriott. But this is not luxury. Heck just compare ingredient quality with the Broadmoor. Or on second thought, don’t even bother.


The bed seems to be comfortable

The bed seems to be comfortable

Just because Vegas, we decided not to leave the compound during our prison sentence. That meant a cocktail at “Alibi” which could be a good bar, but just is not. That said, the people are great. The space has, yes, TVs, and a small assortment of bad booze (heavy on the crayon-level Scotch and Vodka). There is plenty of very loud noise.

All situations can be salvaged:

Kendall, who is 24 and talented, made a drink called either “Kendall’s Fifth Eye” or “The Fifth Eye” as follows:
1 oz Calvados
1 oz unfiltered apple juice (hard cider would improve)
.75 allspice dram (cut to .5)
.25 walnut liqueur

Shake. Strain over big rock. Mint and citrus garnish.

Ultimately, this drink needs more attention. Try some Lairds Applejack or 12 year brandy to up its game.

Kendall was delightful.

Sage (restaurant), which takes some non-trivial finding, is good. Recommended.

All told, we will stick to our plan to get the hell out of here as fast as possible. Take the money and run!

Aria, for at least being modern and cheap, you get two point five showerheads that is posing as if it’s four, and a nervous glance.

Imagine not having been on an airplane for around six weeks, spending lots of time having meetings on the rock in the river or on the screened-in porch, and then somebody jars you awake from this idyll and puts you on a plane to Las Vegas.  Yeah that Las Vegas: Disney + Porn + Walmart Shoppers.  For a hackerboy conference. That’s how my week is going.

No fly July? Over.

In August, Dulles is a zoo even on a Tuesday night. Sunburned summer travelers with both grandma and several strollers in tow. Of course the United flight was delayed for multiple reasons. The flight was at least very fast and we made up the lost time in the air. I brought a slice of pizza on board even though I was upgraded…everybody else thought that was a good idea, especially the flight attendant.

Here in Las Vegas at the Palazzo, they use a different vocabulary from most other hotels (except one in NY I seem to recall). Here, a “suite” is just a bigger than usual rectangular room. Unlike, say, in Boston at the Marlowe where a suite is a suite with actual doors between rooms. Upon query, I was told that on the Strip, most rooms are 400 square feet and so apparently a “suite” is anything bigger than that no matter how uninspired the design.

Here, you be the judge. The virtual rooms in this “suite” are demarcated by a slight set of stairs and some kind of marble peninsula. The drop down effect reminds me of a spilt level ranch in suburbia. Um, yay?

The grand suite peninsula.

The grand suite stairway to heaven.

I was originally assigned a room with two tiny beds. That got fixed. The bed here in 27-710 is good.

Nice bed on attempt number 2.

And I am pleased to report that the bathroom pod is up to snuff with lots of mirrors and a glass cubicle for showering.

The most amusing part of the shower are two extra stubby little shower heads positioned halfway down the wall by the controls. We won’t even bring up what those might be for.

The shower, complete with 3 showerheads. Note the two knobby ones halfway up the wall.

The Prestige package is worth looking into. Breakfast is reasonably good and the 23rd floor concierge desk is responsive and helpful.

We’re pleased that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas…(since we hope that we never have to come back and that it does not escape to infect the rest of the world). See, the problem with the Palazzo hotel is the hordes of people and the smoky casino that you must walk through to find the elevator. Las Vegas is, simply put, just awful.

So, if you have to stay in Vegas, you might as well stay here. The service is good (friendly and responsive) and the rooms do not suck. But there is only so good a place can be here in Las Vegas, resulting in three showerheads for the Palazzo.

In food and drink related news, I stumbled on some great mixology in the Venetian Hotel at the Bouchon. Aureole is still a very good restaurant with a superb wine list (unfortunately trapped on a Windows tablet with typical Microsoft search—but it’s not google). And the new restaurant China Poblano at the Cosmo is out of this world. Amazing fusion by Jose Andre. Too bad about the Vegas part.

Glass and mirrors. Very nice bathroom.

Vanity with view of the bathtub.