Okay, so my previous reviews on Vegas hotels were through the eyes of one there for work. I can now say I've been to Vegas for fun and share a different side of the hotel story.
The breakdown: 12 girlfriends from all over the country meet for one short weekend to celebrate a bachelorette party.
The Hotel: The Encore ( a Wynn hotel)
Rooms: 3 (which equals four girls to a room!)
Itinerary: Arrive Friday afternoon and leave Sunday morning.
I love Wynn hotels for their visual aesthetic. Steve Wynn and the people he has working for him have an amazing attention to detail that creates an environment that captivates your senses from start to finish.
Flying from Minneapolis, I was the first to arrive at the hotel. I found the Encore lobby well decorated, with a whimsical butterfly theme. The line to check in was only 2 people long, so my wait was short. Unfortunately I arrived before check in time (3 pm) and they were unable to get me in to my room, but they immediately offered to hold my luggage and give me a pass to the pool.
There are two pools at the Encore including a "European Pool" which is decidedly where those who want to party and socialize spend their time in the sun. Both pools were beautiful and packed on a June weekend. The Euro pool was essentially an outdoor, daytime nightclub, complete with house and R&B music blasting from 8 am to close. We rented a cabana for Saturday afternoon in order to have a waiter for food and drink service and place to sit in the shade. Though the cabana was nice (complete with refrigerator stocked with beverages, fans, TV, phone and couch), it was probably not worth price (around $600 +). The fridge wasn't working, so our beverages weren't cold and the cabana manager copped an attitude when we complained about it. Terrible customer service given the caliber of the hotel and cost of the rental. Cabanas are certainly great for a group, but next time I'd opt for a poolside chair near an umbrella.
With four girls to a room I was anticipating a tight squeeze when getting ready to go out for the night. Fortunately the contemporary room was spacious, as was the grand bathroom with huge mirrors. The rooms are not a ornate as the Venetian (and not a spacious), but certainly comfortable enough for a short weekend.
The spa was gorgeous and highly recommended if you are interested in expensive pampering. The services are not so different from the normal city spa fare, but the ambiance is above and beyond, making it worth the price.
As with any bachelorette party, clubs going is a night-time must. The Encore and Wynn (which are connected) house a number of clubs and we were able to sample all of them. XS is right off the lobby of the Encore and opens up to the daytime Euro pool. The best part of XS would have to be the periodic spurts of one dollar bills falling from the disco ball hanging from the ceiling. Beyond collecting a couple bucks to put towards a $15 drink, the music and crowd are fairly unremarkable. Tryst in the Wynn is an upscale version of XS and the dance floor opens to a colorfully lit waterfall. Tables are a bit more sophisticated and the crowd more upscale. I'd opt for Tryst over XS if I went again.
Sunday morning we had brunch at Society Cafe right off the casino in the Encore. This is a casual restaurant and perfect for groups or couples. Again service was slow and unremarkable, but the food was tasty and the ambiance is stunning in hues of black, white, lime green, and hot pink. It was also voted one of the Best New Restaurants in 2009 by Esquire Magazine.
Would I stay at the Encore again? Yes. However, if I wasn't splitting the room/cabana cost with friends I would have been quite disappointed in the customer service. Overall an upscale, unique hotel experience!