We are back from a wonderful 4 night stay in Las Vegas. Yes, it was hot but we did exactly what we had planned to do – hung out by the pool, ate a little too much good food, drank a few too many cocktails, walked the Strip, went to the spa and generally relaxed. I’ll recap restaurants in a separate post (or two) because we had some incredible meals during our stay.
We had a mid-morning flight on Virgin American direct from Dallas to Vegas. I had a great view of the Grand Canyon on our incoming flight from my window seat. Isn’t it incredible?
We landed a little early and headed straight to the Wynn Hotel, which is located on the northern end of the Las Vegas Strip. I had received an email from the hotel a few days before offering an upgrade from a regular Wynn room to an executive suite in the Tower Suites section for an additional $160 per night, which included a private valet and check-in, access to the private Tower suites pools, free wifi and breakfast for two included everyday. After checking the regular rate online for an executive suite, this upgraded rate was still almost $200 less per day than if I booked it directly online so I took the upgrade. We were so glad we did but now we are a little spoiled!
First, the Tower suites at the Wynn has it’s own private valet, entrance and check-in area, which were never crowded. You are whisked right in and straight to the front desk – no waiting in line at all and no cattle call atmosphere here. We did walk by the “regular” check-in and it was a madhouse with about 30+ people waiting in line.
Our room was ready and we couldn’t believe the size of it when we walked in! It was huge – close to 1,000 square feet I think. We had a large king size bed and separate living area with couch, coffee table and a small dining table. There was also a large desk tucked into a nook on the side. The room also had a complete wall of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlooked the pools and the golf course with the mountains in the background.
The best part was having two separate full size bathrooms, one on each side of the room. I took the side with the jacuzzi tub and Steve took the shower one. We shared the shower of course but it was great because I would still get ready in my private bathroom and Steve didn’t have to wait for me to “clear out” before he could start his shower and shave. I loved the sit down vanity area with lighted makeup mirror as well.
The room was extremely spacious and comfortable with smooth, high quality linens and towels. They also provided an amenity basket in each bathroom with anything you may have forgotten (which was great because I forgot my toothbrush, as usual). The room also featured key pads to control the lights, curtains, do not disturb and A/C controls. We loved the views as well.
Overall, we felt it was worth the upgrade, especially for the breakfast, the free wifi (usually $20 per person per day – crazy) and for the access to the Tower suite pools, which were lovely.
The Wynn hotel and the connected Encore hotel are gorgeous — there are flowers everywhere and lots of natural light throughout the hotel. Many casino hotels tend to be dark as they don’t really want you to know what time it is so there is no natural light. Also, I find the decor of most Vegas hotels to be over the top gaudy. Almost like Versailles on meth – they have that “cheap but trying to look expensive” look which is pretty gauche. Don’t get me wrong, some of the decor at the Wynn is over the top in terms of the over sized chandeliers and gilt on everything but it’s a lot less tacky than Caesar’s, the Paris or even the Bellagio.
The Wynn and Encore were also spotlessly clean and well maintained. Nothing looked tired or dirty. We went down to Mandalay Bay one day for lunch and were surprised at how run-down and shoddy it was looking compared to the Wynn. I can’t comment too much on the Wynn or Encore casinos as we don’t really gamble but they looked spacious, clean, well lit and not too smoky and did have plenty of bar areas.
Finally, because it was about 110 degrees every day (about 40 degrees celsius for you non-Americans), we spent several hours by the pool each day. The pools at the Wynn are actually multi-level with the larger “everyone” pool at the bottom level and an upper level area with two smaller pools that are exclusively for the Tower suites guests only.
One thing I loved was that the entrance to the Tower suites pool was right by the elevator bank for the Tower suites (also private) so no long walks in your bathing suit and coverup to the pool area like at many massive Vegas hotels. Another nice feature is that the Tower suites pools offer umbrellas for shade (the regular pool does not have a single umbrella!).
That being said, we found out quickly that you need to get down there early for a decent spot, even at the Tower suites pools. We would get down there around 8:30ish and by 9am all the spots with shade or with an umbrella available were gone (unless you wanted to pay for an expensive cabana). The Tower suites pools also have dedicated servers and they will come by periodically to offer free ice cold waters or take drink/food orders. We found the service by the pool to be very prompt and quick despite the oppressive heat.
They have a great music selection that they play at the pools as well – very eclectic music ranging from jazz to current pop to classic rock to country or Jimmy Buffett and it was at just the right volume. The pools are also temperature controlled to stay cool no matter how hot it gets. Steve and I typically sat at the pool all morning until noon-ish and then would head in to shower and go have a nice lunch (too hot to eat outside).
So, overall, we were very pleased with our stay at the Wynn and would book here again though, as my husband says, he is good for Vegas once every three to four years. Vegas is a fun place to stay but it’s definitely not a cultural or educational experience by any means – it’s a little self-indulgent so a few days every few years is enough for us. The Wynn is a pricey hotel in terms of food and drinks but the experience was so much nicer than stays I have endured at other Vegas casinos. The clientele at the Wynn in definitely a little older, more affluent and more subdued. There is a big “pool party” at the Encore Hotel on the weekends but we were far away from that and never even heard it. There are no crazy crowds in the hotel or shops either. We ended up feeling much more relaxed and calm throughout our stay here as we never felt overcrowded, rushed or like we were “just another number” even if we really were.
My only quibble is that I noticed a $250 charge at the Salon on my bill after I left that I am disputing since I never even stepped foot inside their Salon. My guess is someone wrote down the wrong room # on their receipt but I already contacted their accounting department who is investigating it and I’m sure it will get resolved. Other than that, it was a really enjoyable stay!