The wife and I took the long Columbus Day weekend to do a mileage run on Alaska Airlines, but with some quick stops along the way.  We were taking advantage of some great fares on AS due to their starting service from BWI on 2 Sep.  We flew BWI-SEA-ANC (36 hr. break) -SEA-LAS (24 hr. break)-SEA-PDX-SEA-BWI. Ironically, we had just stayed in Las Vegas last month for the Boarding Area Convention (BACon) at the newly refurbished Delano Hotel (previously THE Hotel).  See our review here.  However, my wife never gets tired of Vegas so this was just an opportunity to explore a different part of the strip.  For this quick stay, I found a pretty good rate down the strip at the Vdara.  I was interested to stay here as this was part of the new City Center development that I saw going up for several years.  The Vdara opened in 2009 and it looks so new that it really stands out from the common “tired” hotels that are very common in Vegas.  Everything looks like it was built yesterday. Vdara Landing late, we got to check in about 0030 and I was informed that due to my status, we were being given an upgrade.  My status was a result of a complicated chain.  Vdara and the other MGM-owned hotels in Vegas are part of the Mlife frequent stayer program and I had Gold status there.  I received my Gold status as a result of Mlife matching status with my Hyatt status of Platinum.  I received the Hyatt Platinum status, not through staying there, but as a benefit from the Chase Hyatt credit card (free for first year).  Note that the spend from this stay credited to nights and points on the Hyatt program and Mlife spend.  Mlife status also is a big benefit for dining and other things at MGM hotels such as an elite line for the buffet or taxis.  On that note, we highly recommend “The Buffet” at the Aria next door. The upgrade was a room on the 39th floor that blew us away.  It was a suite, but that term doesn’t really do it justice.  It was in fact a condo with a living room, kitchen and even a laundry! Vdara is connected to  the Bellagio and tot he City Center mall and the Aria by a tram shown in the picture.  Probably a great thing when it is blazing hot outside, but we didn’t need it with the nice October weather.

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I was very impressed and then found out that the whole hotel is suites.  This is a lot like renting a timeshare and I could definitely see staying here for a much longer stay.  Of course, you need to realize that your chances of an upgrade are lower the longer your stay as they may have an upgraded room available for just a night or two and then they will give that to those with a little status.  Even without any status, I would recommend that you give Vdara a try, but there is no reason any of you couldn’t take the same steps to get Mlife and Hyatt status.

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