Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

December 31, 2009

Vdara General Manager Responds

Posted by Hunter

A few weeks ago I wrote an open letter to Vdara General Manager Angela Lester about problems I had during my stay. I'm happy to say that today I got a detailed, point-by-point response from Ms. Lester that covers each specific issue I raised.

All service operations have missteps, especially brand new ones. The thoughtful response indicates that they truly want to fix these problems and improve quality. I appreciate her taking the time to respond in full.

As for if I will visit Vdara again - certainly. While I prefer gaming properties when in Las Vegas, a Vdara firing on all cylinders could be a nice alternative.

Ms. Lester's response is after the jump.

Happy New Year!

Dear Mr. Hillegas:

Thank you for providing me with details about issues that you
encountered during your recent visits to Vdara. Feedback such as yours
is critical to evaluating and enhancing our hotel operations.

I am truly sorry that your experience was less than satisfactory. I
have since fully researched this matter and communicated individually
with my staff and CityCenter management to address the concerns that
you raised. Additionally, please be assured that it is Vdara's
policy to respond to all guest concerns with a personalized response.

I apologize for the inconvenience caused by your door lock not being
repaired promptly. Being a new system, with more advanced technology,
we experienced some technical glitches and have been working steadily
to address. We also have established procedures to ensure this will
not happen in the future. In regards to the response time to fix the
problem, we greatly apologize for the added inconvenience and have
addressed that with our team.

In response to your concerns about the phone message, your interaction
with our phone representative clearly did not meet our service
standards. We have since increased the number of representatives who
answer the phones at Vdara to handle the high volume of callers, and
conducted a re-training program with our switchboard employees to
ensure that the service is consistently prompt and efficient.

I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed your upgraded room, but apologize
about the dirty windows. We have systems in place for constant
maintenance and cleaning but unfortunately the rain around that time
period impacted the cleanliness.

We have received many compliments regarding our in-room service, and I
am pleased to hear that you enjoyed your meal. We do log and monitor
food service timing and ask that our staff alert management whenever
they fall behind in service. Please be assured that the delay in your
service was a very rare exception to our standard delivery practices.

In response to your concern about just one wastebasket in the room and
the stopper in the sink being in disrepair, we have since addressed
these matters with both our Housekeeping and Engineering personnel.
Each room is equipped with two wastebaskets, and I apologize for the
oversight by our Housekeeping staff. Additionally, the sink stopper
has since been repaired.

Since opening ARIA, we also have addressed the needs of guests to
transfer luggage between Vdara to ARIA and apologize for any
inconvenience caused.

Many of the concerns that you raised are symptoms of a new operation
that we are constantly evaluating and refining to suit our guests'
needs. I am hopeful that your overall opinion of Vdara is not confined
to your recent experience with us, and that you will visit us again at
some point in the future.

Thank you again for your letter. I greatly appreciate your input and
the opportunity to put it to use ensuring consistently superior service
for our guests.


Angela Lester
General Manager - Vdara Hotel & Spa


Read archived comments (9 so far)
December 31, 2009 1:13 PM Posted by atdleft

Good on Ms. Lester for responding appropriately. I guess some of the response consists of the typical excuses (like the recent rain for the dirty windows and the food service delay just being an "exception"), but overall it seems she and the rest of Vdara management are willing to take constructive criticism and use it to improve the property. It's especially nice to see them proactive on matters like the trash cans and the phone switchboard.

December 31, 2009 1:41 PM Posted by Matt Deal

Quality response... Satisfied with it Hunter?

December 31, 2009 1:44 PM Posted by Hunter

Yeah, very satisfied... that's assuming when I go back in a couple of months that things are humming along better than they were. If that's the case, that will be great.

December 31, 2009 3:11 PM Posted by detroit1051

I would be satisfied with a point by point reply such as this. I'm sure there is a standard template which is used in responses, but the acknowledgement of each issue makes me think they want to provide superior service.
One phrase caught my attention: "I have since fully researched this matter and communicated individually with my staff and CityCenter management to address the concerns that you raised."
I wonder what kind of ongoing coordination there is between management at Aria, Vdara and MO.

December 31, 2009 4:13 PM Posted by atdleft


"I wonder what kind of ongoing coordination there is between management at Aria, Vdara and MO."

Good question. They should be. I'm sure the vast majority of CityCenter guests won't be confining themselves to just one hotel for the whole trip, especially the ones not staying at Aria (the only casino on board). They really need to make it as easy as possible to get around CityCenter, so that guests in Aria can dine at Vdara and guests in Mandarin Oriental can gamble in Aria.

December 31, 2009 8:39 PM Posted by donnymac

She didn't mention a resolution to the fact that there is no sundries store on property. I wonder if they will build one?

December 31, 2009 8:41 PM Posted by Hunter

Yeah... That's somewhat mitigated by ARIA now being open - the 'Elements' store is right inside the entrance. Still, I think it's a negative for Vdara not being able to get the basics right there. I've been to Holiday Inns that have that stuff in the lobby.

January 1, 2010 9:36 AM Posted by Ethan

I'm fairly surprised that she didn't offer anything in the way of compensation or an invitation to return at a future date on the house, to experience it again.

January 2, 2010 2:50 PM Posted by FatPassport

I'm impressed that you got this level of response. Once or twice I've bothered to try and provide what I thought was very helpful feedback to hotels that asked for it (Mirage and Venetian), only to get no response.