Meandering in the Aria Hotel and Crystal Shopping Center

I haven’t been to Vegas in about 12…years? WOW….I had to think about that one, pretty sad. Upon entering Vegas, I noticed that the skyline has really changed. Several years ago, you were bombarded right away by the shining gold windows of Mandalay and you could clearly see the Luxor and its beaming ray pointing up to the sky. Literally, as we drove in, I asked my friend, where is the Luxor’s pyramid? The new towers of Aria, the Cosmopolitan, Palazzo and a few other hotels have changed the strip. I stayed at the Planet Hollywood for a steal at $46.00 a night during spring break! Can’t beat that. Must be a slow time.

Didn’t have too much money to spend or gamble with, so I took a stroll one day down the strip to check out the new Aria. I was impressed with the architecture and ambience. Wish I took more pictures, but I only had my iphone which will explain the grittiness of the pictures, sorry. Wish I had my SLR!

Upon arriving into the Crystal Shopping Center that links the Mandarin Oriental and Aria hotel resort, I was amazed by this architectural piece in the center. It reminded me of Jurgen Mayer’s Metropol Parasol in Sevilla, Spain. It just felt like a giant tree in the middle of a beautiful streamlined and white modern building. It still had the root feeling of something old and naturesque, but with a twist, literally. It was stunning!

Taken in Sevilla, Spain during my summer of 2011

As you walk through Crystal Shopping Centers, you will view beautiful top designer window displays. This display for Louis Vuitton used arrows beautifully decorated in a rainbow soiree of colored feathers. You couldn’t help but stop and soak in the luxuriousness. I didn’t have the money to spend, but I enjoyed pish poshing around.

It’s no secret that I have a strong love for tapas and Spanish culture. I would simply melt and die if we had this restaurant in San Diego. The colors screamed out SPAIN…ESPANA! The restaurant was small, quaint and vibrant from head to toe. Don’t know much about Julian Serrano, but I am curious about buying a book about him. Apparently from what I gather, he was trained in French cuisine. He also has worked at the Bellagio for some time.

As you walk around the restaurant, there are bare black lacquered trees that are as shiny as platform shoes. The tables have empty sad wine glasses, waiting to be filled with sangria happiness. Red, orange and yellow hues bring you a zesty feel. At this very moment, the restaurant was gearing up and prepping for customers to come. I regret not going in for an olive plate, a slice of tortilla or some manchego cheese. Looking at the menu, many appetizers started at $9.00.

 Look at this beautiful display! Could only remind me of champagne bubbles fizzing to the top of a champagne flute.

I was jealous of the two customers sitting at the bar having friendly conversations with the prep chefs and bartenders. WHY DIDN’T I SIT DOWN?

As for the Aria hotel, the design was amazing. I couldn’t get a good shot of the hotel because it is covered in glass. At the time of day that I was there, my iphone couldn’t get a picture of it. Here is a picture via internet.


There was a wonderful pub close to the Aria right between the Crystal Shopping Center and Aria called the Todd English Pub. Todd English is a famous chef who has made several appearances on Top Chef. He has shaken up the concept of the local pub and has put a modern spin on it.


Will have to go back when I have more time….VIVA LAS VEGAS!


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