Call it chic, hip or even minimalist, but all Aria really has to be is Aria for us to love it. Set back from the Strip, it eschews the foot traffic, and embraces the fact that if you're there then it's exactly where you want to be.If you're a drinker, (because of course that's the first place we go with a review) you have to check out Alibi. The Rosemary Amoretti looks like a Jane Austen novel, smells like a flower shop in the middle of a meadow and tastes like just the best purple cocktail you've ever had. They also have the Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed for when you need a pick-me-up or Her Alibi when you're on the run from the law and need something to mellow you out. Whatever drink you choose, the space doesn't feel like your typical lobby bar. Alibi, as well as Aria's other bars like Lift Bar.But there are other things to do at Aria besides drinking. We follow up great cocktails with a stop at Julian Serrano for delicious tapas to share with a special friend or complete strangers if you happen to run into some people you like. Bar Masa remarkably transforms an industrial, airy space into a serene dining experience. Jean Georges Steakhouse brings meat and seafood together like a surf and turf fit for royalty, or at least a celebrity. Michael Mina's Bardot Brasserie offers exotic French delicacies like foie gras en croute. And Five50 Pizza serves up some of the tastiest pizza you can imagine. With casual dining like the Aria Café, sweet treats at the Jean Philippe Pâtisserie and, since it's a hotel/casino, an exquisite buffet, Aria is one fine spot to fill your belly with food – before you go back for another cocktail.In between those adventures, enjoy "Zarkana" by Cirque du Soleil. If you've never seen a Cirque du Soleil show before, Zarkana will blow your mind. If you think you've seen them all, then still give Zarkana a shot because we're betting you've still got a little mind left to be blown.When the weather is warm enough, which for Vegas means a good chunk of the year, guests can cannonball like a boss into three pools spread across a 215,000-square-foot deck laden with palm trees and lush landscaping and lay out in the sun at the Liquid Pool Lounge. Along with DJs spinning the hottest music and luxurious private cabanas and daybeds, you can indulge in refreshing cocktails from multiple bars and a mouth-wetting menu from Chef Brian Massie. And once you're tired from a morning of laying in the sun eating a drinking, the Spa and Salon stretches between two levels and includes meditation and relaxation rooms, eucalyptus steam rooms, redwood saunas, a deluxe fitness room, a group exercise studio, velvety facials, therapeutic massages and hydrotherapy treatments – so basically anything you could think of that someone could do to your body to help you relax while still being within the law.Shopping also abounds at Aria. Terrene carries one-of-a-kind designer apparel and jewelry for women, while men can get outfitted at Aria Men's store. Also stop by Radiance (an art gallery), Papillon (an accessories store) and Elements (a design and sundries shop). And for even more upscale splurging on stuff you can show off when you get home, Crystals at CityCenter is just outside Aria's main lobby. You can stop by just to shop or wind your way around the center to find yourself on the Strip.For the artistically minded, or anyone wanting to become artistically minded, Aria's fine art collection, which features a mix of prominent and up-and-coming artists, is among the most extensive around. Pieces have been integrated throughout indoor and outdoor public spaces on the property. In the lobby, you'll catch sight of "Silver River" by New York-based artist Maya Lin. The 84-foot sculpture of the Colorado River was made from 100 percent reclaimed silver. Also visible through windows in the lobby is a well-known sculpture by Henry Moore situated in the park between Aria and Crystals. Made from Italian travertine marble, "Reclining Connected Forms" depicts a baby wrapped in its mother's arms. And, at the south entrance by the stairs to the self-parking garage, sit three striking stainless steel sculptures -- "Bolt," "Bent of Mind" and "Untitled/Tall Column" -- by British-born artist Tony Cragg.Aria's casino boasts a unique layout, one that is spacious yet features discrete pockets of action like several small high-limit gaming areas, a fine sports book with 90 video screens ranging in size from 32 to 103 inches, an elegant poker room framed by sculptures of playing cards and even an exclusive one-table "Ivey Room," named in honor of seven-time World Series of Poker champion Phil Ivey. That makes for a lot of gambling or just a lot of standing around and watching people gambling once you're out of money. Aria is a beautiful spot for either.And the property is even environmentally friendly earning Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's Gold certification for Aria's hotel tower, convention center and theater from the U.S. Green Building Council. That's a big, long way of saying it's pretty green. So if that's important to you then Aria is a good choice. And even if it's not, you can stay at Aria for all the other outstanding reasons and just claim to care about the environment too.With personalized, high-tech touch service and an artistic yet approachable feel, Aria is one of the Strip's brightest stars, even when they keep the casino floor dim. Whether you're taking in a show, grabbing a slice, taking someone's well-tested and very serious advice about cocktail selections or just passing through because that's where you ended up after walking through Crystals, Aria is one hotel/casino that will keep you interested and surely keep you coming back.