I had a myVEGAS 2-for-1 buffet redemption for Aria so that's where we ended up (valid only on Monday-Thursdays). We walked to the mlife desk to have it loaded onto the card, then walked to the buffet. We paid the nice lady (Theresa) and had a nice chat which somehow led to talking about malicious phone apps from China (the flashlight ones). Another customer comes, so we waved goodbye and prepared to dig into the food.
At this point, another staff came up to us and asked if we spoke English and if we could help them translate Chinese.
So the next 10+ minutes consisted of me being a (terrible) translator. The customer was trying to ask the staff if she could do a "take-out" for her friend that was sick and couldn't make it to the buffet. She wanted to take some things back to the room for them but the restaurant couldn't get it across that it was against their policies.
I felt the need to keep apologizing (weird, I don't even work there). Basically she had prepaid for the friend. I don't know why but she kept insisting she needed to go back to the table to check on her other friend, and couldn't wait a bit for her refund. She kept telling me to tell the restaurant she will be right back. Anyway, we waited for her to return. The restaurant did eventually refund her. I kept telling her she will get her money back. I'm sure she was confused as heck since she had technically not paid (she had a free voucher, but no one from the restaurant mentioned it till way after the fact). That would have been helpful to know from the start-- just saying.
Yay, problem solved. Now we can eat!
WAIT...another Chinese customer rushes in to the restaurant.
This time it was a guy. He kept telling me he lost his "cup" in Mandarin like he had just lost his first born child. I give him props though, at least he had a translator app on his phone to try and get his message across. He was more prepared than the first lady.
Man, do I attract my comrades or something? I think I need to find a new vacation spot. Turns out, he had been to the buffet earlier and had forgotten his water bottle. The staff found it and everyone was happy.
Okay, so we were finally seated after verbal thanks from the staff.
- Good variety of different foods, presentation is not fancy but we enjoyed a lot of the items on offered and it was really good.
- Great service (especially at a buffet). Our server was Flore...something; she had a long name. She was very attentive and kept making sure we were hydrated with Mimosas.
- There's snow crabs, crawfish, and various seafood.
- Restrooms are inside the restaurant.
- None. If I had to pick at anything, perhaps it's that their dessert selection was a bit small.
The buffet at ARIA (2nd level).
3743 Las Vegas Blvd S. Las Vegas, NV 89109
$21.99-$41.99 (Gourmet Dinner).
So we took a break, and decided to walk to the Mirage.
Of course on the way there, I needed to snap a fountain picture. I'm pretty sure I have a gazillion photos of it somewhere. But it never gets old watching it each time.
We arrived at Mirage on foot (we have to burn off the buffet somehow). We played slots for a while (maybe half-an-hour). Another horrible streak of luck for me. It was donation time to the Megabucks pot. I even try using my Fiance's players card too in hopes the machines will think I'm a different person. Man I can't catch a break today.
Deflated, we walked to the Venetian shops. Hey, some candy will cheer us up. Yet again we find ourselves at It's Sugar (this is becoming a regular stop now each time in LV). We chuckled at some of their gag gifts, bought some gummy bears for Fiance's mom, and the Jack Daniel's Chocolate for us. Then it was off to Palazzo.
We had a disappointing stay here last trip so decided to give Paris a try. However, we have been contacted by Palazzo several times since to make up for the last stay. We do appreciate them reaching out and will reconsider going back again as I do love the hotel. My reviews are on TripAdvisor so I won't rehash my rants here.
Without looking hard, I spot one of my favorite slot machines by Aruze-- Don Quixote (Knight of Lamancha; the youtube video link is from BonusqueenDeb). I love this game because if you can land on the bonus, there's a chance for the bonus to keep re-triggering over, and over, if you guess right. The animations and the voices are downright silly, so it usually makes me laugh out loud the whole time. I nonchalantly slipped in a $20 bill (I remembered how fast it ate my $100s last trip). A few spins in, bonus time! I didn't get it to re-trigger, but I had a blast and more than doubled my initial investment ($~70).
After wandering the floor a bit, we went to hunt for the restroom. We thought we were going nuts when the casino signs kept pointing in one direction (towards Grand Luxe Café and by the Video Poker machines). I swear it used to be there a few months ago! We confirmed with the casino cage nearby that the restroom was indeed there, but under renovation. Good to know we weren't completely out of our minds.
Time for more slots. We saw the new Toki Doki slot machine and had to play it. But we didn't even get a single tiny hit. Is a 50-cents hit really that much to ask for? Not like I'm asking for a million bucks. It's really cute though!
The next few notes are a bit blurry (no, not from drinking). It's because it's too painful that I tried to wipe it from my memory. I know I tried playing a bunch of $5 slots on max (even the one that paid me last trip). It was brutal. Slots are like magicians! In hindsight, I should have given up on slots today completely and bought myself something nice. But, that is the allure and thrill of it. You either win, or lose within a blink of an eye.
After this losing streak, we decided to change the atmosphere and walk to Wynn. Surely, OMG kittens will cheer us up! Well, there's not much to say here, other than I got ID'd and that the losing streak continued, machine after machine.
We traversed back to Palazzo and taxied back to the hotel to drop off our purchases. Off with the shoes to rest our feet a bit, then get ready to head off to Mandalay Bay (walk + tram). Perfect timing-- Aureole's late happy hour (9:30-10:30p) just started.
- Really good service even though we were sitting at the lounge and not the actual part of the restaurant. I think we were helped by the floor supervisor. Very attentive and kind (Melek)? He took the time to explain every dish, and all the staff were really nice.
- The food was really good.
- You could hear music emanating from the Mizuya lounge, which actually isn't a bad thing if you happen to like the music.
- We found the atmosphere a bit strange for "happy hour" as were the only ones there. But it's not like its a hip and happening place so it's fine.
- We didn't get to see the wine angel in action. But then again, we didn't order a bottle of wine.
- If you are a big eater, you may need to order a bunch of things. For me, it was perfect. For my Fiance though, he was still a bit hungry. I guessed we should have ordered more items.
Aureole at Mandalay Bay Resort
3950 Las Vegas Blvd, South LV NV 89119
Reservations available on Open Table.
Happy Hour (in the Lounge):
We took the tram from Mandalay to Excalibur, then walked through NY NY to cross over to MGM. This walk was really difficult for me. It was around 37 degrees °F / 2.8 °C...I know you guys are thinking that's nothing. ;) , but with the wind blowing through the metal fence, I was freezing. (I get cold super easily even in Hawaii, so anything less than 70 °F (21 °C) I find a bit chilly.
We planned to walk back to Paris from this point. But as we exited through MGM through the side street door (towards Planet Hollywood), a pungent smell grew closer and closer. All the workers were confused. It got so bad we had to cover our nose. Did someone set off a stink bomb? When we exited, we found out why. There were several trucks pumping up the ground pipes as something was wrong seriously wrong with their sewage system.
Springing into plan B, I thought, hey let's take the Monorail since it "should" still be open and it will take us straight to Bally/Paris without having to brave the cold or the stinky smell. We walked into the casino and we asked a staff (Ruben) about it. They weren't sure, so they radioed it in. He was told it was still open so we trekked all the way to the monorail station. I realized he was given the wrong information, but we appreciate him trying to help. (I totally mixed up Monday's schedule with Tuesday). So the last monorail had left a while ago and the station was closed. Major fail! So we walked all the way back to the MGM entrance towards NY NY and walked back to Paris.
On the way, we dropped into the ABC store (inside the Miracle Miles Shop). To my surprise, they had my favorite Japanese beer (Kirin Ichiban in a convenient 24 oz. can). It's the first time I've seen it on the strip (that or I haven't been looking hard enough. CVS and Walgreens either have Asahi or Sapporo). I knew I could count on you ABC! And even better, it's on special ($4 for 2), so we picked up 4. Score!!
We returned to the hotel after 1 am, got ready for bed then crashed.