Here's what Vdara Hotel & Spa has that we love: sophisticated suites (it's an all-suite resort), a chic "wellness" spa, a fitness center with a smoothie counter, a hip indoor/outdoor bar, an excellent café and some truly impressive fine art.
Here's what Vdara doesn't have: A smoky casino, a nightclub, a showroom and a garage (but complimentary valet parking is available).
Now we're just telling you what Vdara doesn't have so you know that staying here will be a little different than staying at other resorts on the Las Vegas Strip. That's not a bad thing...especially if you're someone who loves the debauchery of Sin City, but with a little distance as well as a smoke-free, über plush place to sleep. Plus, everything that Vdara doesn't have can easily be found at neighboring properties -- Aria and Bellagio -- which are literally just steps away.
Standing 57 stories tall at the heart of the Strip in the CityCenter urban complex, Vdara looks great architecturally (take a moment to note its distinctive crescent shape) and is also a friend to the environment. It's achieved LEED Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.
Getting back to those things we love about Vdara...it puts you in the lap of luxury. Imagine yourself crashing in comfy, condo-style suites that include gourmet kitchens with stainless steel appliances, spa-like bathrooms with soaking tubs and walk-in showers, 42-inch flat-screen HD TVs with media hubs, multi-line telephones and large lighted closets. Perfection already -- and then, there's the view. Suffice to say, it's awe-inspiring...especially if you opt for one of the Panoramic Suites, where you can have a 270-degree gape at the city.
You'll actually get an eyeful to wow you upon arrival. As mentioned, pieces of fine art are showcased throughout Vdara, including Nancy Rubins' large-scale installation called "Big Edge" at the porte cochère. You can check out Frank Stella's 32-foot-long "Damascus Gate Variation I" at the front desk and Peter Wegner's wall pieces "Day for Night, Night for Day" in the lobby.
You'll want to spend an afternoon -- wait, let's rephrase that -- every waking, sunny moment sitting out at Pool & Lounge Vdara. Situated on the rooftop of the resort's entrance, it overlooks the Strip. Complete with daybeds, cabanas and semi-secluded plunge pools, this deck area is perfect for both relaxation and partying.
There's another wonderful way to relax at Vdara that goes by these capital letters: ESPA. A two-level spa, it offers a wide variety of massages, facials and body treatments. In addition to a sauna, eucalyptus steam rooms and hot plunge pools, you'll discover things like a co-ed meditation room and heated chaise lounges.
You can keep up with your workout regimen at Vdara's fitness center. It's so nice -- with loads of cardio and weight equipment, personal trainers and the aforesaid smoothie bar -- your gym back home will be forever tainted.
Bar Vdara is an elegant yet friendly spot at the resort for drinks (wines, beers, specialty cocktails, teas and coffees) and small plates. With a super stylish interior and a beautiful outdoor patio -- it has swings, fire pits and a curved reflecting pool -- you'll have a big dilemma deciding where to sit.
And although there's only one restaurant on the premises, Market Café Vdara, it's no slouch in terms of offerings -- with an array of foods just right for breakfast (including three different preparations of eggs Benedict dubbed "Bennies"), lunch or dinner. What's also cool about Market Café Vdara is that it houses a boutique grocery store, so you can buy stuff, return to your suite and make full use of the "gourmet kitchen."
Oozing classiness with a touch of international flair, Vdara is a unique hotel in Vegas. We're not alone in thinking that. And if you stay here, and you will too.