Wynn's Encore leaves a lot to be desired
Let me start by explaining that my husband and I have high expectations of a "Five Star" hotel--and having heard great things about Wynn's properties--we expected "Five Star" everything. As much as we wanted to like the property and service--we were continually disappointed. First--being a new hotel, none of the cabbies know where to drop any hotel guest off-not the Encore's problem, I know (though their signage for directing them where to go is pretty rotten) but--a pain none the less. We ended up being dropped off at the casino entrance and having to hike through to the reception desk--which wasn't all that clearly marked. Luckily there was a decent valet who grabbed our bags and had them sent up.
Check-in was a nightmare--3 lines going in 3 different directions and a guy in a suit "trying" his best to direct traffic. After being skipped over 4 times, he finally directed us to a woman who was obviously still in training, and she struggled through checking us in. We finally got our room keys and headed upstairs. The rooms are nice--very large by our New York standards--with modern decor--and decently comfortable appointments. Unfortunately it seems they didn't insulate the vents between rooms very well, so while we were sitting and talking, you could hear other guests in other rooms, talking, yelling and watching TV. A little bizarre but--we decided...let it slide.
Once we settled in, we headed downstairs to the new sushi place, Wazuzu for a well needed lunch break. After waiting in line for 20 minutes, we were finally seated. The wait staff was nice enough--but rather disorganized and obviously--again, under trained. Midway through our meal, my husband pulled a rather large piece of plastic out of his mouth after drinking from his water glass. "Ok,"--we thought, "understandable since the place opened up only 3 days ago." It just so happened that the manager was pouring our sake at that moment, and my husband mentioned it to him, saying " I just pulled this plastic out of my mouth after drinking water, i guess you guys just unwrapped the glass?". He simply looked at him and said "Oh, well we have been using these for over a week there shouldn't be any plastic in it." And just turned around and left. A few minutes later we got a new glass, no apology, no offer for a drink. We both just sort of looked at each other like..."Ummmm what just happened." To make matters worse, when we got the bill, we had to send it back because the manager had tried to charge us twice for the bottle of sake we were drinking. We finally settled the bill and left…rather annoyed.
After lunch we walked through the casino and shops--nice enough--high end places--but crowded as all get out (lots of gawkers checking out the new hotel). And--note...if you have kids, they don't allow strollers through the hotel/casino- I saw quite a few angry parents standing outside the doors to the Wynn/Encore arguing with the guard. We were interested in checking out some of the nightlife around Vegas and had heard good things about Tryst and Blush (both Wynn clubs), but had heard that they were sometimes tough to get into, especially on weekends. We decided to talk to the Concierge and find out what the deal was. After a few minutes of talking, we brought up the two clubs. The Concierge took a look at me and said, "Well, you could get in, but I'm not sure about your husband without another girl on your arm. If you wanted to guarantee that he could get in I would recommend getting a bottle. It will run you about $450." Now mind you--we are from New York--and neither one of us have EVER had any trouble getting into exclusive clubs in the city--even without buying a bottle. I was so jet lagged and tired...I couldn't even respond. He then, courteously continued, "I'll have the club guy call you and he can give you the details but I can’t get you on the list." I guess being a hotel guest doesn't do you any good. Needless to say--the concierge left us with such a terrible taste in our mouths, we didn't even bother to call the "club guy," back.
That night around midnight, after seeing a 'O' (a great show!), my husband and I were hoping for a really good nights sleep in those "egyptian cotton sheets," on the "Wynn bed." I was just about to jump into bed, when I noticed a HUGE dark stain on the sheets. It completely wigged me out. I told my husband who called the desk. They said they would send someone "right up, within 15 minutes." An hour later two housekeepers showed up to change the sheets. One woman--who was obviously responsible for our set of rooms, was immediately accusatory, saying "I cleaned your room. Are you saying I didn't do a good enough job!?" My husband looked at her and said "Just change the sheets please, they have a huge stain on them." She argued that "they are clean," and "it's just a stain." We asked her again, exasperated, to just change the sheets ---at which point she made a huge production of the whole thing, taking another 15 minutes to finally get the bed back in order. "Finally," I thought, "its time to sleep." I crawled into bed only to discover that "Egyptian cotton sheets," translates to over-starched, extremely rough feel. I ended up pulling a t-shirt out of my suitcase and stretching it over the pillow so that it didn't lacerate my cheek while I slept. About 3am I awoke to the sounds of someone in a nearby room---enjoying themselves, rather loudly—with all the details streaming in through the vents—it made it impossible to sleep.
Our second day, we had Spa appointments for massages at 10am. So we got up relatively early to take advantage of the fitness center access we got as part of the package (another note--its a $40 daily fee, per person, to use the gym!). We checked in and headed over. Its nice--but the gym has low ceiling and smells like smoke since its directly above the casino floor. After our workout we each went our separate ways into the spa. (They have one side for men and one side for women). I was assigned a locker and shoes which were left in front of my space in the locker room. I headed to the rest room to wash my hands and when I came back, sandals and towel were gone.... same thing happened to my husband I found out later. Back to the front desk to get another set. I undressed and headed to the "quiet lounge." It’s a large space (that looks a lot like a conference room in fact!) with chaise lounges spread around the edges of the room. Problem was--even at 10am on a Saturday morning---no place to sit--there are only 10 lounges and all of them were either taken up or cluttered up with coffee cups and water glasses from other spa goers. I went to get some tea, only to find that the "hot water" was lukewarm. I ended up pitching it, and leaning against the wall waiting to be called. I didn't see an attendant come to pick up any of the cups etc. or to let them know that their "hot water" needed to be refreshed. After about 10 minutes of leaning, my name was called and I was taken through an amazing interior rock garden to my treatment room. I told the masseuse that I liked firm pressure for my massage. Unfortunately --- it was a bit too much and I ended up being extremely sore for 2 days afterwards. After my massage, I wanted to relax in the hot tub and try to get rid of some of the soreness I was already beginning to feel. I tried heading back to the locker room only to find that the attendants had conveniently placed another person in the locker right beside mine--and she happened to be changing right at that moment. Mind you there were 50+ other lockers around the room that were unoccupied--but I guess those were just not close enough to mine. I waited patiently while she changed, grabbed a towel to head down to the hot tubs. There are 6 large heated lounges around the room near the hot tubs--which I was really looking forward to laying on when I got finished with my treatment-and I guess that since all those folks who, like me, found no space in the "quiet room" they decided to hang out on the heated lounges--so no space again. Ok--I sighed, deciding to try and get into the steam room--oops the steam room is broken--ok, showers---well there was only 1 that was clean so I decided it was better than nothing. I hopped in. My husband’s massage experience was better than mine and the person was great. His steam room however was also broken.
On another note…having stayed at any number of "5 star" hotels around the world (Singapore, Budapest, Los Angeles, New York, New Zealand etc.) I have seen my share of "luxury soaps." many of which I have liked so much that I bought them myself later on. Sadly, the ones at the Encore are watered down, cheap versions of grocery store brands. They left my skin extremely dry, and my hair limp and oily. After my mediocre spa treatment, we headed out to get a late lunch/dinner. Deciding against giving the Encore more money, we went over to CPK at the Fashion Show mall across the street. It was well worth it.
The third day, after shopping at the Forum shops (and getting spectacular deals!) we decided to log our complaints with the front desk. We ended up being "assigned" to a very helpful, but rather clueless woman who spent 15 minutes telling us that she was sorry about our experience with the sheets, the spa, the concierge and the sushi restaurant. Typically when logging any complaint at any other hotel we would be offered some small complimentary thing (breakfast, a free lunch etc.) After pressing her a bit, she offered to get us "free passes" to the gym—(who has ever heard of a hotel charging for use of the gym?). Both my husband and I looked at each other...and thought, "Really? We just told you we had a bad experience with the spa and that we had been in the gym already. Are you not listening to us?"
Finally she went and got one of the low level managers. He came over and gave us another guy's card (who apparently works at Tryst), to get us "free passes" to get in that Sunday night. He wrote his name and number on the card and told us that just by showing the doorman the card, we would have no problem getting in. It was a weak offer but the best we were going to get, so we took it. Funny enough, we decided to play Roulette at the Wynn on our last day--and struck up a great conversation with the dealer. She was a really great woman who gave us a very valuable piece of information--hotel guests only have to pay $20 at the door for any access to the hotel clubs. At this point—there were so many things that were so bad about the Encore that we really just had to laugh.
That evening we decided to go to Hard Rock’s Bad English club for “Sunday School,” their Sunday night party. It was actually pretty fun and a decent club, though small and extremely smoky. We had to wait a bit to get in and spent about an hour there before heading over to Tryst at the Wynn. At Tryst, the bouncers outnumber the guests (at least at the entrance). After asking a couple of them about where we needed to go to find the right person to get in, we were directed to…drum roll please…. stand in line like the rest of the people and wait. We sighed and got in line.
After about 20 minutes of waiting we finally came to the very very pregnant cashier who wanted to charge us $40 a person to get in (on a Sunday night?). We showed her the card in the hopes that it would somehow shine some light on the whole situation, at which point she told us to go back upstairs and talk to one of the bouncers. So back upstairs we headed. Finally we met a guy who was actually capable of helping us. He gave us two passes and escorted us downstairs through the “velvet ropes” and into the club. Once there you are presented with a pretty cool view of the gigantic waterfall outside. Two go-go dancers, wiggled weakly on side stages and the tiny dance floor is surrounded by tables and booths (at $450 a bottle, its obvious this place has maximized its seating to make more money). We headed to the bar to get a drink. The bartender was decent and once we settled in we were able to people watch. In one corner there’s a stripper pole that many of the patrons had taken upon themselves to use to show off their skills. Be warned…a lot of drunk girls who think they can climb a stripper pole is generally a bad combination. A few of them nearly fell on their heads. After $40 worth of drinks (only 2!) we decided it was time to call it a night.
To sum it all up…I wouldn’t stay here again, and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it to any of my friends. If you want to be treated to horrendous service, stained sheets, and then get charged an exorbitant amount for it, stay at the Encore. If not, go to a “real” luxury hotel like the Venetian, the Palazzo or the Four Seasons. Steve Wynn leaves a lot to be desired.
Mall on the Strip
Fashion Show Mall is beside Treasure Island and across from Wynn/Encore. You'll see it from afar and say "what is that?!? A UFO!!" It's known in many of the travel books for having fashion shows while shopping there. I wasn't there long but I sure didn't see anything like that. However, it has many of the stores I'm used to seeing in Houston...your typical shops in most malls. Therefore, I looked around for a second and headed somewhere else. But, it's nice to know where to go if you lost your luggage or something and don't want to pay gift shop prices.
(So not like Vegas to close in such a normal time) Normal mall purchases Cheaper than the gift shops!
Ferrari Maserati Dealership
This is Nevada's first and only authorized Ferrari/Maserati Dealership and is located inside the Wynn Las Vegas hotel. There is a store next to the dealership selling all sorts of merchandise and anyone can enter. The dealership itself charges $10.00 to all non Ferrari/Maserati owners to come in and browse. They have a few select cars on the main floor. There is a stairwell downstairs to even more high end cars housed in the basement - a consiouers dream! For a small fee you can sit in one of the cars and have your picture taken as a memento.
Encore... i do want more
What made this a negative experience can be summed up in one word... service. Understanding they are a new hotel, we wanted to cut them some slack. However, when multiple problems came up they didn't offer to rectify.
First night... stained sheets and after an hour later to come up we got ah attitude from housekeeping about changing them(was told literally, "Well they are clean, just stained what's the problem"), pulling plastic out of my mouth at dinner from a water glass and a totally unhelpful concierge i asked for the manager. His response was a comp into Tryst which was nice except for the runaround for them to actually honor it. And then finding out the next day that all hotel guests get reduced admission to the nightclubs for 20 dollars .
The rooms are really nice and the hotel is pretty. The spa i had an excellent experience at, however you can go next door to Canyon Ranch for the same price, bigger facilities and a steam room that works.
Hopefully Mr. Wynn fixes the glitches and he can turn it into a true 5 star hotel and experience. Right now though, its a 4 star hotel with a 2 star attitude.
Definitely Not a 5 Star Hotel
We just got back from the Encore in Las Vegas. It was a huge disappointment and honestly, an upsetting way to spend my limited vacation time. Some of things that were wrong were not necessarily the Encore's fault. But the main issues were indeed the responsibility of the hotel and its staff and should be fixable.
First, I'll start with the good: beautiful and new hotel, lovely large rooms and nice bathrooms. The food, if you can get in to have dinner anywhere, is pretty good. We generally found the staff helpful and courteous, with some exceptions. The spa is amazing and my facial was great.
The bad: as I said, some of the bad is not-fixable - mainly - the distance from everything else on the strip. It is quite a walk or a cab ride, but sadly, you can't catch a cab at night, so the choices are wait for 30 minutes or more or walk the long walk to anywhere else on the strip. Beyond that, the biggest issue we had was with customer service. This is what should make a 5 star hotel just that - 5 stars. But not so at the Encore. We had some problems while there, to the extent that we had to complain to a manager, twice (first time ever complaining in a hotel), and were basically brushed off and made to feel insignificant and unimportant.
The Encore, despite the lovely decor, is just another Vegas factory hotel, in the business of getting people in and out and making money. Nothing wrong with that, but it should neither advertise itself as, nor consider itself a world-class five-star hotel.
There are other choices on the strip that are luxurious, better-located and most importantly, provide better service.
My wife and I were able to check in early to room 2734 at the Encore. We have stayed many times at the Wynn and were impressed with the design and decor of this new property. In many ways, it reflects on what is great about the Wynn but it extends it even further in terms of its room detail and spa. A 50 minutes massage is 150$. The spa is a must see and worth booking an appointment. Daily fee for spa and gym is 40$. Wireless Internet service is 14$/ day. Mini Bar is pricey. But the rooms and spa are worth it.
We had dinner at Switch, where the walls and decor of the restaurant change every 30 minutes. It is a gimmick but a very cool one. Drss code does not allow sneakers and you need a collared shirt. We had the ceasar salad, the Hen, the crab salad, and loved the chocolate souffle desert. The waiters did not change their clothes as they were too busy serving people. Try to sit on the upper level if you go to this restaurant. Wine list is extensive and expensive. There is an exotic drink on the menu that costs 1500$. We managed to drink wine and champagne and walked out paying 230$ for two including tip.
This is a great property to visit, particularly if you can get a promotional rate. Turn down service was prompt.
Overall, it is great being in a fresh property. We did not have any of the "teething issues" mentioned in other reviews. They had it pretty much together.
My only complaint is that the TV check out did not work. You can see your bill but when you go to check out it says, "system currently unavailable". This problem is not exclusive to Encore as this always happens at the Wynn property as well. Unbelievable. After all the goodwill the property creates and then to blow it as you check out!!? C'mon.
OK. Rant over.
Check in and check out are very fast so the TV check out failure is a minor issue.
Elegance with a few kinks...
The Encore is a beautiful hotel. Since it has just opened, it has a few kinks to work out but it is now one of the top three hotels I enjoy most in Las Vegas.
I called and booked the room directly from the property. I also mentioned their internet deal with a $50 dining credit and got the same deal on the phone. I also booked a dinner reservation at Switch before I left.
Upon arrival, my husband and I were impressed that the self parking was close to the registration area. But, when we checked in at 8:00pm, our room was not ready. The dining credit was not in our reservation either and I was not offered any paper for the morning. When our front desk agent made a few phone calls and I showed proof of our dining credit confirmation, all was corrected and a room became available.
Our suite was beautiful. A rollaway bed was in our living area but we called housekeeping to let them know and rolled the bed into the hallway.
We were going to eat at Wazuzu but there was a long line and it was much smaller than the internet pictures so we went next store to Okadu at the Wynn and was immediately seated.
We then went to the new nightclub XS. There were so many club attendants and many roped off lines. I asked if there was a different line for general admission for Encore guests and was told to show the guy at the front of the line our key for entry. This was not the case. We got jammed into the table/guest line and waited for 20 minutes. My husband and I got out of that line and just waited in the regular general admission line instead. We paid our $50 cover ($20 for ladies and $30 for gentlemen) and walked in. The decor and the club is beautiful. It has a revolving chandelier and the dance floor spills out into the pool area. The problem was the DJ. There was nothing consistent in music and many people were dancing to one or two songs and then leaving the dance floor. Even the poor dancing girls were trying their best to dance to something with a steady beat. I would have enjoyed staying a bit longer but left after an hour.
As reviewed in a previous comment, the sheets, bed, towels, etc. are wonderful, but the walls are a bit thin. I woke up to someone flushing their toilet on one side and again to someone's alarm clock on the other side. Still, I liked the design and layout of the room. Next time I will pass on the strip view. There is no need and The Wynn building is blocking most of what you want to see.
I just did not get enough information on the new spa. My husband and I went to Qua Spa at Caesars instead.
We left the hotel at 9am and returned at 5:30pm and our room had not been cleaned. I am sure this problem will be resolved in the future.
Dinner at Switch was wonderful. It was fun seeing the room change. The service was beyond amazing and the food was excellent. Our server told us that there is a staff of 100 working at the restaurant and I was impressed that they all worked together to make sure we were happy. Two appetizers, two entrees, two sides, two drinks and coffee with tip cost us $240. The escargot was wonderful and the meat was excellent.
Drinks at the casino bars were also a bit expensive. Expect to pay $12-14 a drink while playing video poker.
It was too cold for the pool but it is very small. It is not supposed to be like Mandalay Bay.
What I enjoyed best about Encore is the size of the casino. It is not enormous and you are not overwhelmed with too many noises, lights, and people.
I only wish one of these new hotels would have a fun, contemporary jazz bar. With a smaller casino and a more intimate location, this would have been an opportunity to do something different. I am getting too old for those dance clubs and Tryst is just as beautiful and a short walking distance away.
Still, we had a wonderful time at Encore. We will return.
A wonderful treat to start 2009
I have never stayed a premium hotel in its first two weeks of operation, but it's hard to imagine a better start for a hotel. Top raves go to uniformly personable staff and an excellent meal at Switch.
Although there's enough of a separation between the two properties, Encore is essentially an extension of the Wynn -- and a very worthy one.
Perhaps the best feature of staying at Encore (and another reviewer sees this as a drawback) is its remoteness from the rest of the Strip. My view: It's Vegas, so walking or transit time shouldn't come as a surprise. There's an indoor passage through Wynn, and you're only one sky-bridge away from Palazzo/Venetian -- and then one more sky-bridge to Mirage and Caesar's.
On the other hand, Encore's casino is a bit out of the way if you're staying at another property. Translation: There didn't seem to be very many gawkers competing with you for Encore's restaurants and amenities.
Speaking of restaurants, they've already abandoned the gimmick of servers changing their outfits at Switch, which has a single large rectangular dining area with walls and ceilings changing every 20 minutes. The concept is not as gaudy as it might sound, and the food and service were spot on.
Compared to Wynn, the Encore resort has a much more intimate feel. The casino floor is smaller and semi-partitioned for an intimate feel. If the waterfall if Wynn's focal feature, then Encore's is an elaborate outdoor pool setting, which presently goes unused but will certainly add a unique element to the overall experience.
Shining Encore hotel, Las Vegas
steps leading to the Encore hotel, Las Vegas
butterfly carpet, motif at Encore hotel, Las Vegas
inside an opulent bathroom in Las Vegas (Encore)
What is a show worth seeing?
Good Afternoon Everyone,
I'll be in Vegas with my mother on Nov 16-20th. She would like to do the helicopter/plane/boat grand canyon excursion approx $500.Has anyone done this trip (activities on expedia.ca for Las Vegas). If so, is it worth it?
Also, mother dearest would also like a show: I'll checked the expedia.ca activities and below are the shows available: Anyone seen any? Recommendations? Comments?
1.Le Rêve - The Show at Wynn Las Vegas
2.Mystère by Cirque du Soleil
3.KÀ by Cirque du Soleil
4.Disney's The Lion King
5.Matsuri at the Imperial Palace
Thanking everyone in advance for your replies.
Re: What is a show worth seeing?
My friend is the sound engineer for Mystere. He says it's he best show in town. He might be a little biased though.
Re: What is a show worth seeing?
I have info in my Vegas page about our trip in a plane to Grand Cannyon. Worth it and not too expensive. Skip Expedia, do it through your hotel. They will pick you up. Its pretty cheap.
Re: What is a show worth seeing?
I would highly recommend either of the Cirque de Soleil performances. I have yet to meet anyone who has not come away from one of their shows and not been impressed. I can't comment on Ka, but have not hesitation recommending Mystère.
Re: What is a show worth seeing?
Talking of the shows you list, they are all powerful and wonderful to see. One, the Lion King is a musical story with fantastic art work and dance numbers done with the African landscape as the background. The other shows are more of acrobatic displays and circus type acts with Le Reve being a water themed show very similar to O by Cirque du Soleil. Mystere and Ka are both Cirque du Soleil productions and Matsuri is a Japanese acrobatic artistic display. I find that the Lion King would be my favorite as it is a true Musical with wonderful songs, great colorful costumes, some clever animal representations and a storyline that has a great finale.