Travel Fanboy

Don’t Overlook Vdara

I love the excitement of a casino, even if I’m not a big gambler. There’s something about the bright exterior lights, the persistent ringing of the slots, and the raucous cheers of the players. Then again, there’s also something about a nice, smoke-free, relaxing walk to wind down the day. This is where Vdara may help.

The non-smoking, non-gaming resort (gasp) may be somewhat overlooked by novice and seasoned Vegas travelers. Not only is it alphabetically challenged, but its exterior is overshadowed by its neighbors, Aria and Cosmo. Is this slightly hidden resort worth a visit?

This all depends on your needs. I enjoy gambling, but I don’t need one underfoot to satiate my interest. I like smoking a cigar every once in awhile, but I don’t necessarily need to do it in-house. What I do like is space. Vdara’s rooms offer plenty of that, along with a few other nice features:

You can fit like 6 packs of soda in there or something.
You can fit like 6 packs of soda in there or something.

The smallest room in Vdara comes in at 582 square feet. The easiest comparison will be with sister property, Aria. Aria’s base room, the deluxe king or queen, comes in at 520 square feet. That extra 60 square footage can make quite a difference. It allows the Vdara rooms to have a dining table and, most importantly to me, an under-counter fridge. Each room also has an electric cook top, but I try to do as little cooking in Vegas as possible. It could come in handy if you lose all your money on the first few days of your trip and need to sustain on Ramen until your flight out of town. This allows the room to be a great place to gather before a night out.

Electric shades are nice.
Electric shades are nice.

The basic, studio suite comes with a king sized bed and queen sized sofa couch. This is a great room for couples who don’t really need any sleeping privacy. Traveling with a non-significant other- not that they’re not significant, more they’re just not that…nevermind, you know what I mean. Anyway, when traveling with anyone else besides a love interest, it may be worth it to spend a couple extra bucks for a parlor suite. The extra $10 doesn’t get you any more space, but a reconfiguration of the room. Notably, a divider between the bed and entertainment area, which houses the sofabed. I like my buddies, but they’re not always the prettiest thing to wake up to. The divider, at the very least, gives the illusion of privacy and means I don’t have to see Tony’s mug as my first site of the day.

This is where the magic happens. By "magic" I mean lack of sustained REM sleep.
This is where the magic happens. By “magic” I mean sustained REM sleep.

Vdara does lack notable restaurants and the pool is a bit small, but it’s typically uncrowded. However, access to Aria’s and Cosmo’s food and bar scenes are a quick and painless walk away. I was recently tasked with planning a trip for some non-gambling Vegas virgins. They were in town for 5 nights and didn’t want to spend the high rate to stay at their conference hotel, Caesars. I suggested Vdara as an easy entry to the Vegas experience, knowing they’d have quick access to great restaurants at both Aria and Cosmo. They loved the room and their stay. The pictures in this post are theirs. The unexpectedly low price really won them over. You can find weekend rates as low as $130 and Vdara is typically about 25% cheaper than Aria on any given day.

I like the painting. I think it's broccoli.
I like the painting. I think it’s broccoli.

Vdara may not be what we think of when it comes to the quintessential Vegas experience. But if you’ve been there enough and you know your days get crazy, it may be nice to have a quiet nightly escape. Plus, you’ll have plenty of in-room space to start your day off right. I’m giving Vdara serious consideration for an upcoming bachelor party trip. I think I’ll spring for parlor suite with the divider. Sorry Tony.


Feature photo: “Vdara entrance” by Robert Riley via CC BY 2.0

Travel Fanboy

Adam is the host of the Travel Fanboy Podcast, editor of, and a super famous travel influencer. He's no expert, just an enthusiast who enjoys having a top-shelf trip at a happy hour price. Formerly of Vegas Fanboy fame.