Bob Sehlinger, author of The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas, shares with us his review of the Wynn Encore in Las Vegas.
Wynn launched construction on a second hotel on the first anniversary of the opening of Wynn Las Vegas. This 2,034-suite hotel, called Wynn Encore, is similar in size and design to the original hotel. More than an expansion of Wynn Las Vegas, Encore is a full-scale resort with a 74,000-square-foot casino, an elaborate pool complex, five fine-dining venues, a half-dozen lounges and bars (including a hot and très-chic nightclub), a showroom, an upscale shopping venue, and, of course, a spa and fitness center. Standard accommodations at Encore are 700-square-foot suites with separate sleeping and sitting areas. According to Steve Wynn, the casino is modeled on his Macau casino.
The signature components of Encore’s environment are the color red, flowers, natural sunlight, and butterflies. The rich, vibrant reds signify luck—appropriate for a gaming establishment—and the whimsical, beautiful, and colorful butterflies denote evolution and change. The flowers, predominantly red roses and red chrysanthemums, are effusive throughout.
The Oriental influence at Encore is apparent from the moment you arrive at the hotel’s dual porte cocheres, where two bronze sculptures greet arrivals. The Foo Dogs are replicas of large canines that historically guarded Asian palaces and temples by thwarting evil spirits. One dog sits over a ball representing Earth and symbolizes power; the other dog straddles a baby and is a symbol of good fortune. Guests are invited to rub the paws of each dog.
The entire hotel feels open and airy. A deluge of sunlight flows though vaulted translucent ceilings and vertical windows at the main entrance atrium, as well as in the casino, conference center, shopping area, and nooks overlooking the pool. Those same windows transmit radiant moonlight as well. Affecting the light are lustrous white-and-beige marble floors and walls, which reflect the glow.
Restaurants include Sinatra, serving classical Italian cuisine; Wazuzu, featuring pan-Asian preparations; Andrea’s, for Asian fusion; and Jardin, a more casual alfresco venue. All Encore restaurants offer a sophisticated and visually exciting environment.
The largest water features are the two oval plunges immediately outside the casino. The pools impart a St. Tropez vibe with white cabanas, lily pods (reclining cushions surrounding umbrellas), and in-pool daybeds. The Resort pool is bordered by a formal garden of slender amphora vases, flowering plants, palms, and evergreen magnolia trees. The European pool’s island bar encourages guests to dip their feet while enjoying cocktails. Several blackjack tables are positioned poolside. Adjacent to XS nightclub, this lounge area merges with the nightclub’s festive and sultry environment after dark.
Unlike many casinos that are an enormous spread of tables and slots, the Encore gaming floor is sectioned by columns and drapery to suggest intimacy and privacy. In addition to the standard casino games, Encore offers both pai gow and pai gow tiles. Roulette slots are included among the 1,600 slot and video-poker machines. For gaming comfort, there are low- and high-rise blackjack tables.
The second floor of the 61,000-square-foot Spa and Salon at Encore combines marble, flowing water, sunlight, and huge windows to provide an opulent indoor-outdoor feeling while you are beautified and pampered. The wow factor occurs at the entry to the 51 treatment rooms housed along two dimly lit extended passages, featuring water silently sliding down cylindrical urns. At the far end is an inscrutable Buddha. A well-equipped fitness center adjoins the spa.
The Esplanade shopping arcade is well placed and leads to the Encore Theater, completing a seamless transition from Encore into the Wynn Las Vegas casino. At the southwest end of the Esplanade is the Le Rêve Theater at Wynn Las Vegas. At the northeast end of the Esplanade is the XS nightclub. Between these entertainment and nightlife venues are 27,000 square feet of shopping bliss.
Encore nightlife centers around XS (as in “excess”), a plush lounge arranged around lighted pools in a design that emulates the curves of the female body. Because XS is contiguous with Encore’s outdoor pool, there is limited complimentary seating at the pool’s lounge tables. If you’re fortunate enough to score a complimentary seat, maybe you can make up for it by ordering an Ono—a Champagne–cognac mix that sells for $10,000 and is served with XS-logo silver cufflinks for men or a black-pearl pendant necklace for women (I promise I’m not making this up).
Guest rooms at Encore offer lovely views of the Strip or Downtown through floor-to-ceiling, wall-to-wall windows with electric-powered drapes and sheers. The sleeping area is separated from the living area by a 3-foot partition crowned by a high-definition TV on a swivel base. Seating in the living room is oriented to enjoy the vistas, with no furniture of any kind blocking the windows. Baths offer a separate tub and shower, as well as a private toilet with a locking door. Room lighting is high-tech with multiple control panels. With a lot of head-scratching, you can figure it out on your own, but we recommend having someone from the bell staff or housekeeping give you a lesson. Signature suites are located at the west end of the hotel tower and have their own private reception area and elevators. Views are superior there (though not by much), and the suites are a bit wider than the standard suites.
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