Aria is one of the best affordable luxury casino resorts on the Vegas Strip. While it’s considered one of MGM Resorts’ premier properties, the base hotel room rates are usually less expensive than casinos like Bellagio (also MGM Resorts), Cosmopolitan, and Wynn Las Vegas.
Aria has some of the best fine dining of any casino in the US. While Aria doesn’t have the same focal points for design like the botanical gardens and conservatory at Bellagio, the property often changes features to offer a different vibe.
This fall, Aria has two unique design features that show the diversity of its parent company MGM Resorts International. The current lobby display features fluorescent baby pandas from multimedia artist Paola Pivi. This plays to the tradition of MGM Resorts’ art program displaying modern art at Aria.
When guests venture a little further into Aria they’ll find plenty of Las Vegas Raiders imagery made entirely of chocolate, sugar, and fondant on display at Aria Patisserie throughout the football season.
These may or may not appeal to the same guest but they’re both a reflection of Aria.

Fluorescent Baby Polar Bears

Over the years Aria has brought new kinds of art to Las Vegas. This year, multimedia artist Paola Pivi has transformed the lobby at Aria into a wonderland of neon-colored baby polar bears. This is not the stuffy art installation you might expect inside of a Las Vegas casino.
Pivi’s installation features 51 vibrant fluorescent baby polar bears! The little bear’s frolic, striking yoga poses, and even hang suspended in mid-air. The bears are covered in small fiber particles that act as fluorescent feathers.
This art installation is seriously trippy and could provide a fun memory returning to the hotel after a long day of enjoying Las Vegas. The display actually highlights Pivi’s ability to create human and animal connections in a playful manner. All of this should help to draw attention to the reality that polar bears are losing their natural habitat.
“I am excited to bring my beautiful divas to Las Vegas,” said Pivi. “ARIA’s gorgeous lobby with its soaring ceilings and natural light is a perfect canvas to create this colorful world of polar bears to showcase the significance of these animals and our deep connection with them.”
The baby bears will be in the Aria lobby until Nov. 1.

Las Vegas Raiders Sweets

Aria revealed several sweet artistic tributes to the Las Vegas Raiders as the season kicked off on Sept. 13. There are no details on whether or not the Raiders visited Aria to celebrate after an amazing opening night comeback victory against the Baltimore Ravens.
Aria now has life-size pastry art creations of Raiders players, Allegiant Stadium, and the Las Vegas skyline on display in the casino. The culinary art consists of entirely of chocolate, sugar, and fondant. They’ll be on display inside and around Aria Patisserie throughout the football season.
The stars of the showcase are lifelike sculptures of Raiders quarterback Derek Carr and tight end Darren Waller. Both are made entirely from chocolate and fondant. It took four weeks for a team of 10 pastry chefs to create the lifelike renderings. The display required over 40 pounds of fondant, 100 pounds of sugar, and 200 pounds of chocolate.
“Designing the elements of this project challenged our pastry team to use a full range of skills, from the finely detailed chocolate sculpting to delicate sugar and pastry work,” said Aria Executive Pastry Chef Mathieu Lavallee. “This presentation is the result of months of planning, weeks of hard work, decades of talent, and our passion for the Raiders and Las Vegas as a whole.”
The sweets will be on display through the end of the NFL season. Expect this to stay into February if the Raiders find a way to make a deep run into the playoffs.


Marc Meltzer covers Las Vegas, gaming and men’s lifestyle for various outlets. Check out his blog at Edge Vegas.
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