Today is my birthday, so I decided to take advantage of a special offer from Mlife to stay at the Aria last night. For a rate of $119, I received one night in a Deluxe (Normal) room with a view upgrade, two free buffets and a $75 resort credit.
I am an Mlife Platinum thanks to my Hyatt Diamond status. In theory Mlife Platinum is the company’s second highest tier below the invite-only Noir level, but in practice it is nearly worthless.
To be fair, as a Platinum I was able to check-in at the “Invited Guests” desk which saved me about a 30 minute line. I was also able to walk right past about five groups in line at the buffet. For some reason though, those five groups were sat before my wife and I.
Vegas is all about money spent in the casino and thus benefits rarely materialize for those who don’t gamble. After matching my Gold Passport account to Mlife last year, I was excited for my first stay as a Platinum. That stay was last September at Mandalay Bay for BACon and I quickly realized being Platinum alone isn’t enough.
I don’t gamble at all, which doesn’t compute when talking about loyalty in Vegas. Thankfully one day a few months ago my wife played a few dollars with my card and suddenly I began receiving a few offers like the one I am taking advantage of today.
The small sum she spent obviously wasn’t enough to get Mlife to really care though. (Nor did we expect it to change anything.) Their indifference was clearly displayed a few months ago when we stayed at the Bellagio. It was a terrible experience, but what’s worse is that I never received a follow up from the front desk manager. They simply didn’t care.
Which brings me to the Aria. Thankfully this stay was much better than my Bellagio experience and I do recommend this hotel if people are looking for an upscale experience on the Strip. The rooms are comfortable, and the technology inside is neat. With that said, the staff is very indifferent.
The front desk agent didn’t smile when I checked in and the server in the cafe this morning was pleasant but she didn’t smile when serving us. They were efficient and not rude in the least bit, but they were far from welcoming. In other words they weren’t Hyatt.
If I had to describe the experience it would be unrefined. For example, my wife and I came back to our room to discover last night to find a box of chocolates thrown on top of our bag in the closet area. I presume it was a gift for my birthday, but there was no note and we only discovered it when going to change for dinner. A nice sentiment, but poor execution.
I get it though. Hyatt is not Mlife and Mlife is not Hyatt. Two different companies and two different philosophies. Sure I get to carry around a card that says I am “Platinum”, but in reality that means next to nothing since I don’t play often in their casinos.
I will have a full review of the Aria coming up soon, but I do want you to know I have enjoyed my experience. There are few places in the world I could stay in a hotel of this caliber for $119 and receive what amounts to $150 in credits.
Before you flame me in the comments, I don’t blame Mlife for the most part. I don’t gamble so why should they reward me? Gambling is after all a big part of their business model. I get that.
My observations and words here are not coming from a bitter place. I am more just pointing out that Hyatt sort of oversold this partnership. Mlife’s customer service is somewhat lacking and just doesn’t compare to what I receive at Hyatt.
I know a lot of readers visit Vegas and are Hyatt Diamonds as well. What have your experiences been like when visiting? Do you gamble a lot? If not, then do you feel like an elite at Mlife properties or like just another Joe carrying a Platinum colored card? Let me know!