Travel Blog: Our Stay at ARIA Resort & Casino Las Vegas – with 20 dollars trick

This is the 3rd year in a row that we are visiting Vegas. We stayed at MGM Grand, MGM Hotel, and Palazzo during the past visits. This year we are staying at ARIA and Bellagio just to experience the difference.

ARIA Hotel in Vegas is one of the newest hotel in Vegas Strip completed in 2009. Located just behind Mandarin Oriental and next to Metropolitan. It is located at the middlel part of Las Vegas strip.

So before we came to Vegas this time, I read about “20 dollars sandwich trick” online. Apparently it’s quite a common practise in most Las Vegas hotels. What you do is to book the cheapest room at the hotel, and during check in you put a neatly folded 20 dollars bill in between your credit card and ID and hand it to the check-in staff. Then ask politely if you can get a complimentary room upgrade. So more often thant not, you’ll get a room upgrade with that 20 dollars tip. The success chance is much higher than gambling in the casino. We don’t generally gamble, but I thought, why not give this a try.

Anyway, that’s how it went.


We booked our room through, (as they have better rate with cash back options linked to

Most basic room – Deluxe King room,

3 nights – from Thursday to Sunday,

Total of SGD$658.74 /USD486 (Excluding resort fee which to be paid upon check out).

Average of SGD220 (USD162) per night.

Upon checkout there is still a resort fee of USD 44.22 per accommodation, per night. (This applies to all hotels booked in Vegas)

20 Dollars Trick

After our 20 hours flight from SIN-ICN-LAS, we were exhausted. Check-in line wasn’t busy at 5.30pm, I carefully passed my credit card, ID with 20 dollars bill in between to the check-in guy. He looked at it and acted calm and professionally like nothing even happen. So he said Strip view rooms are all booked out, but he has a partial Strip view room, but with no bathtub if we like to have it. Since it’s summer and we don’t normally use the bathtub anyway, so I said why not. So he proceeded to gave us to key to this “Partially-Strip-view-with-no-bathtub-room”

So I guess that was the upgrade huh? 20 dollars view gracefully sitting on his counter. We got the key and left the bill there.


The “Upgraded” Room

The room was indeed partial strip view. The room was above ARIA main entrance, with some strip view. Bed was EXCEPTIONALLY high (I can see it was stacked up by 2 layers of mattresses). Then the bathroom – now I understand what he meant by no bathtub! It was a handicap shower with single wash basin. Not impressed.


Feeling cheated. I called the front desk and asked for a room change. Unfortunately there were no other rooms available for that day. After the 2nd call, a lady staff promised to change our room tomorrow to higher floor but no strip view. Well, whatever. Basically my 20 dollars gone to the drain.

Back to the original booked room – Deluxe King Room

Well, the room is basic but it’s pretty good comparing to other older hotels along the strip! It is relatively new and equipped with modern technology. Room is basically the same, with a proper height king bed. At least we got back to normal bathroom with his and hers basin. (After all that) View wasn’t too bad really despite facing the mountain, we had the view of Vdara swimming poo.


Review of ARIA Las Vegas, Deluxe King Room

Room Comfort

Good size room with comfortable bed. Not the most comfortable bed sheet but we can sleep on it for a few nights.

The touch-screen tablet provided beside the bed is pretty cool with control panel of the lights, TV, electric blind, air-conditioning, hotel info.. etc


ARIA Mountain view – We really don’t mind with this view comparing to the partial strip view.

Standard bathroom with double sinks – basic toiletries provided


Separate shower and bathtub – always good for hygiene reason.

What we like about ARIA Las Vegas?

  • Comfortable room with good size TV (appx 50 inch)
  • High-tech features – Touchscreen control panel
  • Gym – very new and very up-to-date equipments
  • Internet – fast and easy, no log in required
  • Free ARIA express tram to Bellagio and Monte Carlo.

What we don’t like about it?

  • Location – located behind Mandarin Oriental and next to Crystal Mall. A short walk is required to other amenities like CVS or other cheaper eats like Shake Shack or cheaper restaurants
  • No free water, nor coffee machine or water kettle


Will we stay at ARIA, Vegas again?

Probably yes. Although we enjoyed the view from Bellagio better (Read my next post here) But for this price, this is still a good hotel to stay on the strip and yet the location is really not that far to food and shopping.

How was your experience at ARIA Vegas ?

Did you have any success with 20 dollars trick to get the upgrade you want?


Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. Every booking and expenses are made by us personally. All comments are our personal honest review.

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