Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

It started with a call a few months ago from my cousin: �What are you doing April 19th through the 22nd?� I was thinking to myself how busy I was and that I�d have to miss work for the weekend. Before I could reply he says, �Because we�re planning on heading to V��

�It�s on!� I reply without even letting him finish his sentence...

Here's my latest report out of Vegas. Click on the link for more. Enjoy!

It started with a call a few months ago from my cousin: �What are you doing April 19th through the 22nd?� I was thinking to myself how busy I was and that I�d have to miss work for the weekend. Before I could reply he says, �Because we�re planning on heading to V��

�It�s on!� I reply without even letting him finish his sentence. I had taken my cousin to Vegas for his first time in August 2005 and that was probably the most fun I had ever had so I wasn�t going to pass this trip up under any circumstances.

I fly out of Orange County and arrive at Wynn Tower Suites by 10:15am. Check-in was quick and I run down to Tableau for some breakfast before they close for lunch. The strawberry ricotta pancakes were great and I head up for a long nap before my cousin touches down at 2:15 and my friend at 4:30.

I wake up and wait outside on my cousin. He pulls up and I�m stoked to see him since it had been nearly nine months since our last trip. We head for a small bite to eat at Zoozacrackers and catch up for a bit while we plan the rest of the trip.

Our friend pulls up, we do the meet and greet, and then head to the spa to make sure we�re well rested for the upcoming festivities. After relaxing for a bit, we head up to the room where I find a fruit basket and a note from my friend who works Tower Suites welcoming me back. That was very thoughtful of him.

We then head to the dinner buffet. After a full plate of seconds, I leave a little room for dessert while my cousin and friend head out for thirds� and fourths� and finally dessert. I think they had a little competition going between each other. Two hours later one of them is feeling nauseous and I find myself at the gift shop downstairs buying them antacid tablets.

After they feel better we go walking the strip. My friend is a Vegas virgin and we make it down to Bellagio to see the fountains. Afterward we walk across the street to Paris, catch a cab back to Wynn, and crash relatively early.

We wake up and head to breakfast at the Country Club Grill. I had the Brioche French Toast, a coffee, and a mimosa. The bill for me was over $30 and although it was an outstanding meal, breakfast doesn�t give quite the same value for the money as lunch does.

I head up to check out and pack some final things. I make my way over to Tower Suites to say hi to my friend working there, give him a little gift, and thank him for the fruit basket. We chat for a few minutes about the crazy requests he receives working Wynn�s suites and villas before he has to attend to some customers and I meet back with my party at the pool. At one point we see a young guy entering the pool slowly with nose in the air, one step at a time, almost making an event out of it to get the attention of the surrounding girls. By the second step he slips and lands right on his ass. The best part is that he tries to play it off as though he meant to do that. The three of us get a good chuckle at his expense.

As we�re getting ready to leave Wynn, I call the Skylofts concierge and tell them we�re ready to be picked up under the circumstance that the Maybach is available. In organizing this trip, I thought I�d treat the guys and myself to a night at Skylofts. I�m not one to change hotels mid trip, but Wynn�s Tower Suites were no longer available and the Resort Tower was going for $500 a night. For only a little more, we could stay at Skylofts so it was a no-brainer. The best part was that I kept this completely secret from my cousin and friend until the Maybach pulled up. Their jaws just dropped at that moment.

Ralph is an awesome driver. He shows us only around half the gadgets of the car until we reach MGM. As for the car itself, it�s like riding in a 550 horsepower, $385,000, cloud�an unbelievable experience. We pull up to MGM�s entrance where we�re greeted by a waiting bellman and a Skylofts host who takes us directly passed registration, through the VIP lounge, and into the private elevator. We reach the top floor which is unbelievably plush�sofas everywhere, concierge right there, wide hallways, and heavily upholstered and padded walls. There are white-gloved service personnel walking throughout the hallways; it really seemed as though they outnumbered the guests and they really took pride in providing the absolute best service possible.

Waiting by the entrance of our room and standing directly in front of us is Nic, our butler who welcomes us in. Check-in is just one quick signature and we are given a tour of the room. The whole process is a bit surreal for us. For those of you who are curious, here�s a little review of the one-bedroom Skyloft�

The room itself is two stories with a living room featuring a 24-foot high ceiling, couch, coffee table, two chairs, Sony plasma television, and a Bang & Olufsen stereo controlled by a universal remote that also controls the air, electronic draperies, lighting, and a nice music library. At the entrance is a guest bathroom with sink and toilet. Next to the living room is the dining room with a table for six, LCD television, coffee and espresso machine, wet bar, mini bar, and fridge. With an exception to sparkling Voss water, all non-alcoholic beverages, which include various sodas, juices, the welcome beverage (amazingly good!), coffees, teas, as well as fruits, are complimentary and replenished often. Tucked in a nook on the side of the living room is the office with a fax machine, complimentary internet access, and complimentary use of a laptop during your stay. You also get fax cover sheets, envelopes, and business cards that say, �Mr./Mrs. [Your Name] in residence between [your dates]� and the room�s phone number. Upstairs is the bedroom with a glass wall overlooking the living room and view, a king bed with no less than eight pillows, ottoman, chair, another LCD TV, B & O stereo, and a true walk-in closet. Connected to the bedroom is the master bath with two sinks, a TV in the mirror, infinity tub with yet another LCD TV above it, and in my opinion the best part of the suite, a steam room with rain shower that�s got four adjustable heads and one handheld head which can all be activated together. To top it all off, with an exception to Colgate tooth paste, all bath products are Bvlgari. In comparison to the Fairway Villa at Wynn I had last November, Skyloft takes the cake just slightly. While the Villa is 1000 square feet larger, has a balcony, and a much better view, Skyloft�s service is better, has slightly more amenities, and with both at their lowest price point, the lofts are a full $200 less per night.

Here are a few pictures.

The host and the butler leave and we get busy enjoying ourselves and exploiting every amenity we can for this one night. I can�t say enough about that shower. Once the steam was too much to handle, I�d blast open the cold water from every possible head. Words can�t describe how relaxing it was.

Nic comes in every now and then to check up on us and to make sure everything is going great. Being a young guy himself, we didn�t want to bother him and plus having a butler is borderline awkward�we like our independence, but Skylofts genuinely discourages it. We did give Nic a request for a rollaway, extra set of robes and slippers, and an extra toothbrush set. He immediately sends our request to housekeeping, but there is some miscommunication and these things take well over an hour to receive. This wasn�t a big deal since these thing weren�t needed immediately and I�m really only mentioning it for the sake of a fair review, but the complaints were met with grave apologies and quick action.

We start to get ready for the night out. I notice that there are no irons in the room so I call the concierge and they said my butler will be right there to take care of all the ironing�just another way of discouraging you from doing any work. I denied and told them I�ll go ahead and do the ironing myself. My cousin tells me to call the concierge and ask for a deck of playing cards. Knowing that they sell these in the gift shop downstairs and that they�d rather have you playing against the house in a casino, I thought it was a pretty far-out request, but I make the call anyway with preparation of getting denied.

�Certainly, sir!� and I kid you not, within thirty seconds, Ryan, a nearly seven foot tall gentleman is standing at our door with white gloves, a silver platter, and an unopened deck of cards right in the center. After thanking him and closing the door, we just start laughing uncontrollably at how ridiculously good the service and presentation of such a petty request was.

We call up some girls we know who are in town. For the sake of privacy, I�m going to go ahead and give these girls names that describe their personalities or physical attributes in place of their real names. One of these girls was my cousin�s fling from his last trip who we�ll call �Bitchy�. Bitchy�s best friend and my best girl friend (there�s nothing between us, though) is �Sleepy� since one drink will do her in. Sleepy and Bitchy, along with her friends �Botox� and �Chunky� get dressed and come by to the Skyloft. They�re very impressed and we order room service.

Dinner is fabulous. Us three guys have Kobe Beef Tenderloin sandwiches while the girls share two salads. The drinks are also coming one right after the other thanks to the huge bottle of Grey Goose I brought along with me. Chunky is already getting on my nerves slightly with all the not-so-hidden hints of her family�s wealth. In fact, with an exception to Sleepy, all these girls were extremely spoiled. I let the annoyance pass and after dinner, we head back to Wynn.

The seven of us wind up outside of Tryst. The line is long, but the girls find a guy to get us in without waiting and he pulls through. Tryst is a stunning nightclub. Forgive the superlative, but it is easily the most beautiful club I have ever seen. The only issue I have with the place is that they need to blast the air conditioning higher despite an entire wall being open to the outside patio. If you�re not dancing at the foot of the waterfall, it can get very hot.

At one point, Sleepy starts to get groped by some random guy and I dance my way towards her to act like the boyfriend while my cousin and friend notice the situation. The pervert starts to rally around some friends to pick a fight and I don�t know how they catch on to this amidst the crowd and loud music, but there�s a bouncer on the scene in no time and the other guys disappear.

Botox takes a liking to my friend while Bitchy, as expected, is getting groovy with my cousin. Sleepy and Chunky dance with me, although Chunky has a way of tossing her weight around more than I would like and without getting too detailed, dancing with her was literally a painful experience.

Some drama begins to form between Botox and Bitchy. I never find out the extent of it, but there�s some kind of petty jealousy between one another�s fling. Needless to say, this doesn�t sit too well with my cousin and friend since it essentially ruins any and all chances of things going further with the girls.

We leave the club and head back to the Skyloft. I�ve been drinking all day, but for some reason, I have yet to feel a hard buzz so I start to drink the Grey Goose straight. It finally hits me and hits me hard. Sleepy is, you guessed it, passed out on the couch and the other girls are slowly dozing off. I decide to make some coffee and mistakenly pour water into the bean grinder where it passes through and drips all over the marble floor. Chunky, who couldn�t shut up about her material possessions, tells me she�s got one of these �very expensive� coffee makers at home and insists on getting up and showing me. Before I could open my mouth� BAM! She slips on the water and falls on her ass. I think all 5000 rooms at MGM shook a bit that night. Coffee was no longer needed as this startled everyone and we run towards her. While I�m pretending to care on the outside, on the inside I�m laughing my ass off and I know the other guys are too.

It becomes very apparent that these girls want to spend the night in the Skyloft and because of the drama between a few of them, we are sure that nothing pleasurable would come of it so us guys collectively give the old, �Oh, we�re so tired! We�ll call you in the morning,� bit and essentially kick them out.

Of course, we weren�t tired�we were starving at 5am and I was very drunk so we head towards the Studio Caf�. For those of you who have seen the famous Dave Chapelle/Charlie Murphy/Rick James bit, then you�re familiar with the way Chapelle would randomly say, �I�m Rick James!� I started having a little fun doing the same thing, but instead of �Rick James�, I was exclaiming �Skyloftssss!� after nearly every sentence and at random moments. We walk up to be seated and the restaurant is only about ten percent full. Of course we�re seated immediately, but I say things like, �Where�s the throne reserved for Skyloftssss guests!� and �Do you realize who I am� Skyloftssss!!� No, I was not making sense, but the other guys are getting a kick out of it. After some nice chocolate chip pancakes, we walk up to the cashier and charge it to the room. I write on the �Room Number� line �Skyloft 16�, hand it to the cashier and exclaim, �Yeah! That�s right! Skyloftssss!�

We head back to the room and crash for the night. Morning comes and I wake up still a little buzzed. I walk over to the concierge and arrange for the Maybach to drop us off at THEhotel. Knowing that it�s Friday and the Southern California crowd is probably packing the check-in line, I ask the concierge to arrange VIP check-in there. It�s no problem for them.

The bellman takes our luggage and the Maybach is waiting out front along with Ralph. We head towards THEhotel and the attention this car gets here is unbelievable�enough so that when the driver opens my door, I almost feel like I need to cover my face from paparazzi. Bellmen are all over us and either word was relayed to the entire front entrance that we were coming or the car was enough, but without any question, they lead us straight to VIP check-in.

The line for regular check-in at THEhotel is huge and we definitely get some looks, some not very pleasing, as we stand by the windows of the VIP lounge enjoying coffee and checking in. The looks get more and more and I wasn�t going to let it make me feel uncomfortable so I �fight back�. Still buzzed and one to exploit the situation, I turn my chair to face the regular registration line, put my feet up, and enjoy my coffee.

We go up to our suite and I suppose we would have been impressed, but after Skylofts the place was looking a lot more like THEmotel. We get our stuff and then head towards Burger Bar at Mandalay Place. This place has got some excellent burgers and we really enjoy ourselves. Afterward we take a nap for a few minutes and the girls call us. They insisted on spending the night with us and we were splitting the suite six ways since Sleepy was spending the night with her brother and wife who live in Vegas. I like my space, but I was out numbered in this situation because the girls wanted to share the room. This made my cousin and friend hopeful that something would come out of their respective flings with Bitchy and Botox despite the drama between them. I, on the other hand, was in no way interested in sharing my sleeping space with Chunky.

The girls show up and for a moment, it looks like all drama had subsided, but that doesn�t last too long. I get out of there as soon as I feel tension building and walk over to Luxor to find some cheap pai gow. The minimums are $10 so I pull up, have a few drinks, pass the time, and lose $50. I get comped a line pass for the rest of the weekend which is nice.

My cousin sends me a text a few hours later that they�re heading to the pool before they close and they�ve got my swim trunks so I run over; at that point, I was down on doing anything not involving the girls. It was a relaxing time and we really enjoy ourselves. While heading back in my swim trunks, I become a victim of an �ass-grab and run� by two blonds who look good from behind, but I never see their faces. Needless to say, it makes me feel dirty, cheap, and sexy.

We take our time getting ready for the festivities of the night. Bitchy keeps insisting on going to PURE because Kevin Federline is previewing his album there. I can care less, but I�m open to anything. Another friend of mine drives up with her boyfriend for the night and we all head over to MIX lounge. Sleepy�s brother and wife meet us there and we�re all hanging out with drinks and appetizers. This was one of my favorite moments in the trip because we were all together, there was no drama, and because of a hook up, we had a table at a prime spot despite the fact that all the rest were reserved for bottle service. My friend who had just driven up had had two drinks and she was thoroughly smashed, but kept insisting on more so we order fruity virgin drinks for her. Proof that placebo is no myth, she passes out on the floor of MIX after three non-alcoholic drinks and the bouncers are all over her. It sucks because her and her boyfriend leave and I only get to see them for an hour.

We head down to our room and have a few more drinks from the endless bottle of Goose before heading to PURE. Afterward we take two cabs and arrive at Caesars. The line for PURE is just a mess and we start negotiations with the bouncers. I�m starting to get pissed because they want $150 for the nine of us and that�s not including cover. My buddy working at Wynn Tower Suites could get us into Light next door for free with no line, but Bitchy keeps insisting that Kevin Federline will be at PURE.

So after our wallets get thoroughly molested, we�re finally in. PURE is nice, but nothing really stands out. The ratio sucks and they pack the place so tight that you can�t even twitch a finger while dancing. We enter the club and it seems the girls find a solution to all the drama: ignore us guys so there�s no petty jealousy between one another. My cousin and friend are pissed so we head upstairs on the patio with Sleepy�s brother and wife. The brother keeps grabbing my hand when I least expect it and whacks it on the rear of any cute girls passing by. With each time he�d say, �It�s okay. It�s Vegas.� Later on, Sleepy shows up with the sleaziest guy I�ve ever seen. He had his arms around her and his shirt unbuttoned completely. Sleepy�s brother says to him in the friendliest tone imaginable, �Hey douche bag, I really don�t mind you hitting on my sister, but please button up your shirt!� The guy apologizes, buttons up his shirt, and things are cool. Then somebody, I can�t remember who, pulls out a camera to take pictures and the guy just having met us steps aside to avoid the camera. Sleepy�s brother grabs him around the shoulder and says, �Come here douche bag! You�re one of us!� I can�t stop laughing. For the rest of the night, we know him only as "douche bag".

The other girls are still nowhere to be seen and us guys are still pissed at the way the girls immediately ignored us at the club so we wanted the final say. We head down from the patio and see that people are going apeshit over Paris Hilton�s parents and her mom�s banshee wail of a voice singing Madonna. Come on people; it�s not even Paris Hilton. A few moments later, Kevin Federline along with his posse of greasy hair and trucker hats show up and the VIP section gets packed.

Us guys say our good-byes to Sleepy, her brother, and his wife and we fight our way out through the club. We had all the room keys and the plan was to pack all the girls� crap and throw it out of the room with a note that says we don�t need their drama to ruin our vacation. They hadn�t paid me back for the room and I had no feelings of guilt in doing so. We turn our cell phones off, make it back to THEhotel, and I even tell the check-in clerk that if any girls want a key under my last name to not give it to them. The clerk tells me that if we find them knocking to call security and they�ll take care of it.

We make it up to the suite and I start packing all their crap in a fit of anger. My cousin and friend are in no mood of sharing a bed with them but compassion gets the best of us� sort of. We instead leave an extra key under the door, throw all their crap on the living room side, lock the bedroom side, and take the beds to ourselves. How three high-maintenance girls made due with one sofa, no blankets or pillows, and a tiny guest bathroom for the night is anybody�s guess. Morning was awkward and silent and we went our separate ways. Us guys check out VIP, have some coffee, and wait for our boarding passes to print out as we watch the girls through the windows of the VIP lounge sitting at the coffee bar and ripping at each other. Life is good.

Time is running out and my cousin�s flight departs soon. There�s a long wait at THEcaf� and Raffles, but then I remember my line pass from yesterday and we head to the Pyramid Caf� at Luxor. Breakfast there was surprisingly good and the service was excellent. We walk out stuffed and head back to THEhotel, grab my cousin�s bags, and wish him a safe trip back.

My friend and I have about four hours to kill so we head to Barbary Coast for some cheap pai gow, a few drinks, and for him to see how much fun the smaller joints can be. All the pai gow tables were $10 so we hit up blackjack. I lose $40 and my buddy winds up winning $100. We also meet two very down-to-earth girls and have a great time.

The hours pass and we head to the airport together where we say our good-byes. We agree that the tables are a much better place to meet girls and that our next trip will consist of more gambling, less clubbing, and no excess baggage.

Some final thoughts�

Hotels within hotels are a beautiful thing.

Skylofts: one heck of a splurge and I�ll definitely be doing it again. All those services advertised are indeed complimentary (there isn�t even a service charge), but you�d be a jerk not to tip and tip well.

Wynn Las Vegas is still my home away from home.

Having friends working throughout a hotel is awesome. �Nuff said.

MIX is indeed getting rid of its champagne bar and I�m assuming will use the space for a dance floor.

Detroit, sorry for not being able to meet up and sounding groggy when you called... had you not, I probably would have missed the check-out time by far and been charged a late check-out fee so thanks for that.

I hadn�t been to Vegas during a weekend in ages and I was shocked to see how much service levels dropped during these times. I�d give up a little bit of a vibe for a slow weekday any day.

I�m looking forward to your comments or questions. Thanks for reading!


Read archived comments (12 so far)
April 23, 2006 7:39 PM Posted by Hunter

Great report Mike, it felt like I was there.

Thanks for sharing - the first Skylofts reports I've read.

I'm off to Vegas this coming weekend with my brother and even though I'm there for work, I'm looking forward to having a good time. Ahhh, debauchery, you are a beautiful thing.

And, if anyone will be at Wynn in August, we're heading out for the Def Leppard/Journey concert (yes, you heard that right!!!!!). The Salon Suite will be rolling and we're planning another run at Tryst as well. Should be good times.

April 25, 2006 1:18 PM Posted by David

Very Good Report, especially on Skylofts, I was going to book the Wynn TS for the week, but I am thinking about splitting my time between Wynn and Skylofts now. Question. Did you have any problem with the concierge getting the Maybach to pick you up/drop you off somewhere other than the airport, the website seems very specific that you can only get airport transfers. Also you didnt happen to notice if they have a dedicated Bellstand at the Port Cochere?

April 25, 2006 1:40 PM Posted by Mike E

David, the Maybach will pick you up and drop you off to and from any hotel within reasonable distance, but it's not available for transfers during your stay. Remember that the vehicle is based on availability so make sure to tell the concierge that you're flexible with pick-up and drop off times or they'll send a generic Lincoln limo.

It definitely does not have a dedicated port cochere, but it did have a dedicated bell stand.


April 26, 2006 3:59 PM Posted by Sean


would you recommend a one bedroom skyloft over a Penhouse Suite at Bellagio? They are comparable in price.

April 26, 2006 5:56 PM Posted by Mike E

Sean, while the question wasn't directed towards me, I'll go ahead and say I'd go for the Skyloft hands-down. It basically offers a novel level of service that only the top 5% of high rollers will ever see. Unless everything you plan on doing (shows, restaurants, etc.) is at Bellagio and you absolutely hate moden decor and technology, only then would I take the penthouse over the loft--that's how much I recommend it.

April 27, 2006 1:41 PM Posted by Mike P.

If you can get a Skyloft suite for a comparable rate to a Bellagio Penthouse suite go for it. They usually go for at least a couple hundred dollar a night premium over Bellagio's suites.

By the way the Spa Tower suites are significantly more modern looking than the ones in the original tower. The decor and furniture is a lot closer to Wynn's suites than the original tower suites. The tradeoff is you're going to be looking at, and hearing, a construction site for the next couple of years. All things considered it's probably best to try to get an interstate view room if you're staying in the spa tower.

Mike P.

May 8, 2006 4:42 PM Posted by detroit1051

Mike E, this week's LV Business Press has a story on Skylofts:

May 8, 2006 7:23 PM Posted by Mike E

Thanks for the link.

May 8, 2006 9:58 PM Posted by Mike E

I just got around to reading the article.

Interesting how journalist will exaggerate for the sake of the story. Remember how Wynn LV was victim to this before it opened with reports that it was sold out until 2007 and the cabanas had air conditioning? Or my favorite: Ferrari's leasable to guests for the duration of their stay?

Anyway, I suppose requesting a tailor as a Skyloft guest isn't too much, but private chefs from MGM restaurants? C'mon. Advertising in room dining from any of the restaurants is one thing, but, "complimentary food is served thrice daily and chefs from every MGM Grand restaurant ... will cook in your suite."? No they won't. And blueberries are hardly considered "complimentary food". Maybe if you're a whale staying in a three-bedroom loft because your Mansion was booked, then I'll believe it.

Sorry about the rant, but there's a lot of these myths that the press makes up (I'm starting to sound like Steve Wynn). Either way, I loved my stay at Skylofts and will definitely consider it again.

May 15, 2006 9:51 PM Posted by Hunter

I've been studying the Wynn Las Vegas blueprints that I have and I have to say, they are pretty damn interesting.

To be able to see where the hard and soft count rooms are, what kind of back office space they have in the cage area, what's behind the sports book screens, etc... For a geek like me, that's great stuff.

May 15, 2006 9:53 PM Posted by Hunter

I haven't stayed in or seen a Skyloft in person so it is hard for me to compare it with one of the Bellagio Penthouse Suites. Personally, I find the Penthouse Suites at Bellagio to be a bit... off. I think the furnishings are a bit too sparse, especially compared with comparable suites at The Mirage, which they were modeled after (and share a similar layout with). I think Mike's advice is the best regarding which to choose.

July 30, 2006 10:57 AM Posted by teca

You have interested me in the Skylofts. I spend ALOT of time in vegas and have only found the Venetian to be consisten int service - even over the Wynn.

I recently stayed at THEhell. The service was hottible. I wrote about it last week. Check it out at (title Cosmoprof and Drama at THEHotel.