Aliante Station is one of the newer hotels to establish itself to the immediate North of Las Vegas, having opened its doors for the first time not more than 5 years ago on November 11th, 2008. Located in the valleys of northern Las Vegas, it is quite the distance away from the strip clubs, hip bars, and usual Vegas amenities that the strip has in such abundance. While it is not exactly a desert oasis, it is a great destination to put on your travel list if you want to experience the general feel of a Vegas resort without having to put up with the normal crowd of sexually overactive teenagers cloaked in ascots and cheap polos that usually skulk around the strip looking for hookups.
The Aliante hotel will run you around $89 a night (not including local taxes) with an additional amenities charge that fluctuates between $15 and $25. What you’re getting for the $25 doesn’t leave much room for complaint when you consider the speed of the wi-fi, the well equipped fitness center, the unlimited local phone calls, the morning paper, the daily shoe shine, and a stunning pool that would make Tutankhamun green, all of which you are provided with access to after you pay that small fee.
The rooms strike a pleasing balance between the typical ostentatious Vegas fare and a quiet country inn. You are given a soaking tub which is more or less expected in the typical hotel on the strip, but the beds refuse to sacrifice comfort for spaciousness, a practice which is not so endemic to strip-centric resorts. The color of the rooms is on par with the theme the rest of the hotel has going for it, sporting a muted orange and brown color scheme which is a lot more placid and relaxing than it sounds. There is also a large widescreen television mounted on the wall with range of television channels available so you can fall asleep to anything from C-Span to Cartoon Network. Of course the room also comes with the standard chair and bedside table off in the corner, a bench with seating for four, and a desk and office chair combo directly opposite which will give you somewhere to set your laptop. Not sure if there is a complimentary bible in any of those desk drawers but to the hotel’s credit, it can’t be easy to find a Christian bookstore anywhere in sin city. As for the view you have exactly two choices, a tranquil mountain view, or a view of the distant Las Vegas strip. If you choose the latter you’ll have to spring for a suite.
Something cool that Alliante has which doesn’t seem very common in most hotels is a doorbell for each room. If you make a call down for room service, extra cups, or anything you might need, you’ll eventually hear a polite and understated ding-dong to let you know that your service has arrived. Of course you might be tempted to worry about the possibility of children running around the corridors playing a particularly hellish insulated version of ding-dong-ditch, but you also have to remember that the likelihood of parents bringing their kids with them to their suite in a Las Vegas Hotel/Casino resort is lower than the chances of the king himself performing along with Cirque Du Soleil in his own Vegas tribute show, Viva Elvis!
The two complaints that the Aliante Station hotel seems to get most often are in relation to their service staff and their ice machines. Apparently the pillow-fluffers and pool cleaners don’t like to stick to the 10 and 5 rule (10 feet away-make eye contact, 5 feet away-acknowledge the guest) which most employees at Vegas resorts follow and the ice machines are incredibly slow. These all amount to minor inconveniences though when you consider the relatively low price for what you’re getting at the Alliante. Unless you’re trying to run a personal bottle service for fifty friends out of your hotel room then the ice machine shouldn’t be too big of an issue.
There are a variety of restaurants that Alliante offers, including fancier affairs like MRKT Sea &Land and less intimidating iterations of American classics like Johnny Rocket’s and TGI Friday’s, but of these the biggest gem is the fantastic PIPS Cucina & Wine Bar. Those in a more breakfasty mood may also enjoy the syrupy stacks of comfort food that can be bought fairly cheaply at the Original Pancake House.
PIPS Cucina & Wine Bar
Unlike the many “Irish Pub” and “Ale House” signs that promise good times and good liquor but only offer corned beef hash and lukewarm fries, the “Wine Bar” in the name of this restaurant is a designation not taken lightly. The restaurant has a bar fitted with an enomatic preservation system making it possible for some of the finest wines to be enjoyed by the glass rather than the bottle so you can feel classy without breaking the bank. They even offer 1, 3, and 5 oz. pours so you can sample to your heart’s content. Just because the focus on the wine is so heavy though does not mean that the food lacks quality. The Ahi tuna is rich zesty. The taste of the eggplant carpaccio is robust but light. And the al dente ravioli is of perfect texture. With such rich food you should be expecting smaller portions, but you will still leave satisfied. The restaurant is a bit on the pricey side, but if you are spending time in a Vegas hotel, hundred dollar dinners are par for the course and you’re probably used to it by now. That’s just more incentive for you to race back to the slots and win big.
It is recommended by the restaurant that you make reservations beforehand but even on what should be the busiest nights you can usually walk-in with little wait ahead of you. You may even receive a visit from the owner of the restaurant, Rino Armeni who is very involved with his business and loves to meet the people that eat at his restaurant.
Original Pancake House
Though it calls itself the Original Pancake House, it’s a chain that you can find all over Las Vegas. Its status as a chain organization shouldn’t reflect poorly on the food though, since the portions are huge and soaked in love. All the standard comfort food is available, potato pancakes, ham and eggs, bacon, toast with jelly, applesauce, coffee, and never-ending short-stacks. Not to take any attention away from the classic cakes, but the potato pancakes are the bee’s knees.
Alliante’s pool area is surely one of the best available for the relatively reasonable amenities charge. There is peaceful music playing throughout the day and soundproof walls which insulate the noise and keep the sounds of the 215 beltway out of earshot. The pool is enormous and has two shallow ends which are good for adults handling cocktails or for the kids if you do choose to bring them along. There are jets above the surface which keep water in circulation and it makes swimming just a tad more entertaining too.
As for the surrounding pool area, there are plenty of cushy lounge chairs in the resort’s famous orange and brown colors. These are free for guests to use, but they also provide the option of purchasing a canopy bed for use for $50 a day, or a private cabana space for $150 per day. This cabana comes with a refrigerator that has soft drinks, and water contained within. It is also equipped with a ceiling fan and flat-screen television set. Guests may also purchase drinks at the poolside bar; if necessary wait staff will bring drinks to canopy beds, lounge chairs, and cabanas too.
There are a few shows and concerts that the resort hosts regularly but the schedule is ever-changing. You can find out more about the specifics at the hotel’s website. The resort also has its own club called the ETA which is located in the middle of the casino area. There is a DJ that puts on shows there on Fridays and Saturdays. Regal Aliante Stadium 16 is also home to an IMAX screen which plays some amazing movies. You can play bingo here, but there is no bowling. The country club where you may play golf is within walking distance from the hotel and there is a gift shop for souvenirs located by the hotel’s registration desk. Sadly, there is no spa, and there is also no childcare so you better be ready to wipe up after the little ones if you drag them along.
The Aliante is a great place to stay for those in the older crowd or for those that are looking for a place to relax in Vegas which can be fairly hard to do at the resorts on the strip. That said you will run out of things to do fast if you sit around at the hotel all day, and you’ll find yourself longing for the true Vegas nightlife after a long night’s stay. The strip is always greener on the other side.
Though it’s not a huge drawback, the hotel could only benefit from having some of their employees attend social training courses that teach them how to treat customers. It will guarantee some portion of repeat customers and will help the currently attending customers feel more welcome and more likely to spend money on the hotel’s extra amenities. It means more comfort for the guests and more business for the hotel. It’s a win-win.
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