I just came back from another trip in a Wynn Fairway Villa. It was an amazing experience--far better than the first time I stayed in the villas. I've even thrown in some photos and videos of the trips events.
(More after the jump.)
I fly out on Southwest from Orange Country and land at 7:20pm without problems. I�m sitting at gate C8 staring at the slots and bars waiting for my friend Rami�s flight out of Austin to land. The hour-long wait is pure torture; I want to hit the slots or get a drink while I wait, but we�re set to pull an all-nighter tonight without a room and have to conserve our energy.
Rami arrives and is one of the first ones out. He�s one of my best friends and living a couple states apart, I don�t get to see him as often as I�d like. Needless to say, I�m excited to have 48-hours of utter debauchery ahead of us.
We rush to the baggage claim to meet our driver, grab our stuff, and head straight to Wynn. I get �tunneled� for the first time but it�s nothing to worry about when you�re in a limo champagne toasting to the events ahead.
We arrive at Wynn Tower Suites and rush over to Corsa Cucina as we�re the last ones in our party of 11 to show. Dinner at Corsa was very nice. While it didn�t blow me away overall, I might still return. The calamari appetizer was superb and I had the veal as my entr�e. Quite frankly, the veal looked like vomit on a plate�I actually think they forgot to apply any garnishing to make the dish look presentable. What it lacked in visual appeal, however, it made up for in taste. Service was great once we began eating, but I couldn�t get over the waitress literally yelling at the table, �Can I have everyone�s attention please!� when she was ready to say the specials. I�m not trained in waiting tables, but in my experience, a good waitress would impose themselves with a smile and in a matter of seconds, everyone would understand that she needs our attention. That aside though, we all enjoy ourselves and Hunter, our friend Kevin, and myself decide to split the table�s bill down the line three ways. At $273 (gratuity automatically included) per split, it�s still pricey considering that it�s one of Wynn�s more casual restaurants.
We walk over to Resort check-in to get a room for my friend Jeff and his girlfriend Kristi. I had made three different reservations through American Express Platinum for this trip which entitles you to a $40 breakfast credit each morning, one $80 lunch credit, room upgrade when available, 4pm check-out, and if your play warrants it, you can still get outstanding balances comped off your room bill. Considering that their room rates were competitive with booking through the hotel directly, the card paid for its $395 annual fee in this single trip.
Jeff and Kristi go get squared away while I give Rami the grand tour of Wynn. Near the Country Club, I find myself half-smiling and dazed staring at the South Fairway Villa security door nostalgic of my stay in one last year. I look back at Rami with a half-smile: �If I win at baccarat tonight, we�re upgrading to these��
We head to the main lobby and meet with Jeff and Kristi as well as my old elementary school friends Becky, Ryan, Lindi, and Sylvia. It�s really amazing to have them in Vegas with me�I�ve known some of them for nearly 20 of my 24 years on this planet and while we lost contact for nine of those years, we got back in touch again and are now closer than ever. Here�s a picture of a few of us (I�m taking the shot).
We head to Tryst which isn�t totally packed, but still very busy considering it�s one of the slowest nights of the year. After a bit of dancing, I need a shot so we head to the bar. I pick up a shot of Patron Silver for Rami and Goose for me (I should say, my preferred vodka is Stoli, but when pulling an all-nighter, you want to stick with the smoothest options to stay safe). It comes out to $30 for the two shots and then Jeff tells me that he�s got a giant bottle of Goose in his room that we can use. I just wanted to smack him for telling me that after ordering.
Tryst allows reentry so we head towards Jeff�s ghetto Resort room and down a few shots. On the way, we see a group of young friends in the lobby ready to take a picture. My friends stop to stay out of the way, but I run up and put my arm around the shoulder of the last guy at the end and pose with them. The guy taking the picture stops for a moment and looks confused. I step away and say, �Just kidding guys!� and they coax all of us to get in the shot with them. I love how Vegas just breaks all social norms and you can pull things like that.
Anyway, we make it up to the room and lounge around for a while. Maybe I�m getting old, but good friends, a good buzz, and good conversation is better than any nightclub. We head back down to Tryst to pick our coats up from the coat check. There we dance a bit more until the club starts emptying out and we make our way to the high-limit room.
My friends don�t gamble too much so I have my own �entourage� following me around. Of course, I don�t look like much of a big shot when I practically beg the pit boss to lower the baccarat table�s minimum to $100 while nobody was sitting on it. They wouldn�t do it on the big table ($500 was the minimum), but they did allow me to play at that level on an empty midi table (same as mini baccarat, but you can touch the cards, same rituals, etc).
We all take a seat but I�m the only one playing. I bet bank, get the banker cards, slide them over to Jeff, and tell him to blow on them. This silly ritual works for a bit as I hit three naturals in a row within a six-bank run. I play a bit longer and the cards aren�t in my favor so I wind up breaking even. I�m feeling generous so I look back at Rami and say, �Breaking even is like winning in Vegas so yeah, we�re getting a Fairway Villa.�
Then someone gets the brilliant idea to raid the penny slots and milk drinks. Talk about extremes. We march our way from the high-limit room to the bank of penny slots near the south entrance and proceed to loose a dollar or two until the cocktail waitress comes by. I tipped her a ten at arrival and tell her to get back soon because we want to move on. Sure enough, she�s back as soon as she can and we take our drinks and find a seat at Parasol Up.
After more lounging around and a trip to Jeff�s room for even more drinks, it�s morning before we know it. This all-nighter is actually turning out to be pretty easy and I know I�ll be doing it again.
We head to Terrace Pointe for some breakfast and I slowly chew away at my lobster benedict as I watch senior citizens full of energy start packing the restaurant early in the morning.
It�s 8am now and Rami and I march into the Tower Suites lobby looking like shit. I see Matt (my good friend of previous trip report fame) working the desk and approach: �Matt, I need a two-bedroom Fairway Villa!�
�Let me guess: you won big on the baccarat tables last night?�
�I guess you could say that.�
The process takes a while as upgrading to the villas is a little tricky. They hold a lot of them for casino guests obviously and to add more difficulty to the matter, the furthest nine villas on the north wing are completely closed off due to Encore�s construction. Matt speaks with his manager for several minutes until he hangs up with a big smile: �We unblocked a casino guest�s room for you and have a two-bedroom in the south wing [better view] available to check into right now. Here�s the rate right now. Let me go out back and see if I can get it lowered even more for you�.
Matt, I know you�re reading this. You�re awesome. Thanks man!
I also have another Resort room booked through Amex for another set of friends coming in so Matt calls his manager yet again and gets them upgraded to a Tower Suite. As tired as I am, all this �hooking-up� I�m receiving gives me a second-wind.
Matt walks us over to the villa and takes the ground-floor route. For those of you who don�t know, the ground-floor Fairway Villas are at an even higher level of luxury. To access them, you need to go through two keyed security doors just to reach the hallway. Matt walks us through before taking us to our room on the second floor. The hallway is a very minimal gray decorated with giant vases�you can tell they are priceless works of art and not cookie-cutter hotel d�cor produced en masse. Butlers and service doors are everywhere. I take a peek inside one and while they�re not the biggest high-roller accommodations, I can easily see why they demand a $300,000 credit line during the slowest times just to be considered.
We take the elevator to the second floor and open up to Villa 205. Yup, they were clearly expecting a high roller to stay here because they have snacks with Chinese characters all over them, fruit plates, various teas, and things you can�t really find here easily in the states like coconut soda and general welcome amenities all set-up and complimentary. Matt�s about to leave so I reach for my wallet and try to tip him. He notices and literally runs for the door. I chase after him and beg him to accept the tip and he says that whatever I tip him will wind up as credit to my room. Too cool.
I could write half a page describing the suite as I have done with a one-bedroom from last year, but this time I�ve got some video. Before clicking the link, I should warn, we�re a little drunk and have been up for over 24-hours. Our voices are cracking, our speech slurred, and sometimes I say thing that don�t even make sense (�Parlor-sized room?� or ��Him� bathroom?�).
I should mention, I make a remark in the video about an �open bar� but when I called the front desk just to make sure, they said that they would indeed charge me if I indulged. The snacks and drinks aren�t on sensors though like they are in the other rooms so maybe they just do a stock check later.
I finally pass out on the bed at around 10am once the excitement wears off slightly and wake up at 11am. Considering that I only got an hour of sleep, I�m surprised at how refreshed I am.
I hit the steam shower and spend a good half hour in there. Afterward I get a call from some of my other friends who are spending one night at Wynn. I meet them at the Tower Suites entrance, check them in to their room, and then head to the villa. As the rest start to trickle in, we make a lunch reservation for the Country Club for twelve people. Lunch was superb as it has always been all nine times I�ve eaten here. Rami and I had the $16 Angus burger with fries and agreed that the food and service was better than Corsa Cucina from the night before. It baffles me why someone would spend over $20 at the lunch buffet down the hall when such a nice restaurant exists for the same price.
Back to the room for more drinks and Ryan comes around with a few cigars. This pretty much takes us well into the evening. Rami and I had a thing about having to wear the robes under any circumstances while in the villa. You�ll notice that I accessorized with a coat.
We start to get hungry so I suggest Okada. At this point, I�d like to thank my friends who most of which are reading this. Not once was there a complaint like, �This looks too expensive,� or �How about a buffet instead?� That to me is a huge downer on a trip and I�m glad to say that we were all in a splurging mood.
Dinner at Okada was fantastic. It was my third time eating there and the service and food were both superb. I split the second least expensive sake (I forgot the exact name), two orders of yellowtail, and one order of vegetable tempura. Needless to say, I was stuffed and the bill came out to only $90 with a very generous tip. We all agreed that Okada is extremely reasonable for the quality that you get.
Us guys head out to the ABC Store across the street in the Fashion Show Mall and we pick up another bottle of Goose and some wine before going out. The ABC store is extremely overpriced, but $38 for a 750mL bottle is better than $15 shots.
Back again at the villa, we get ready to hit MIX. We have the option of two cabs or one limo so we pack the limo. While in there, I throw out an old joke to Lindi and Sylvia: �Hey, I spent $1200 at the pet store the other day��
�Huh?! What did you get?�
�Well, I spent $600 on this python and $600 on this python,� I said as I kissed each of my biceps. Dumb joke, I know, but I was in a cheesy mood.
It led to a dare from the girls. I had to approach a girl on MIX�s dance floor and ask her if she�d like to �feel my python�. After the girl gets over her initial shock, I�d flex my arm in front of her and she�d have to feel it.
It was on.
We get to THEhotel and make our way to MIX. Once the dance floor gets a few people on it, I get �the look� from the girls to make good on my dare. So I go on the dance floor, approach three girls and say to one of them, �Excuse me, would you like to feel my python?� Then I roll up my sleeve and flex for her. After she feels my bicep she says, �Now you can feel mine,� and jokingly flexes for me. I have no idea why I didn�t ask her for her number. I�m an idiot.
After a nice glass of Macallan 12 and some dancing, we head up to Foundation Room. Jet has stolen its Monday night steam, but it still gets a good crowd without too long of a wait. More dancing ensues and again, I have to give another �shout out� to the girls with me for being able to handle themselves so well at a nightclub. I usually have to play bouncer all the time, but none of them were afraid to blatantly reject a guy.
We make our way down and they say, �Mike, lead the way.� Don�t ever tell me to �lead the way� as I will always lead you to a baccarat table. Sure enough, one hand on banker and it�s the easiest $90 dollars I�ve ever made ($5 tip). Nice.
We head back to the villa and just lounge around and watch some TV before calling it a night. It began snowing and I�ve got to say, I consider myself to be really lucky to watch such a rare sight on the balcony of my Fairway Villa; easily one of my most memorable experiences in this town.
Morning comes and I say my good-byes to my friends. Because of my upgrade, I only have the villa until 1pm so I let their rooms stay open since their checkout times are at 4pm and Rami and I have a later flight out. I call the front to see if I can get spa passes and it�s no problem.
I still had my $40 breakfast credit through Amex which is only redeemable before 10:30am. It�s 10:26am so I call room service and order pancakes, French toast, two glasses of orange juice and a pot of coffee. The bill comes out to $35 after the credit (I tipped another five even though gratuity was included as the server was superb). 40 degree Fahrenheit weather or not, we�re determined to enjoy the food outside and it�s easily the best breakfast ever.
We grab our luggage and move it in the Tower Suite that my friends are no longer occupying and head to the spa for some detox. Now I�m nice and relaxed and want to finish big so I walk into the high-limit slot room and play one pull on a $25 machine. Stupidest move of the trip.
Before we know it, it�s 5pm and we head for the airport marking the end of my 35th trip to Vegas. It wasn�t the absolute craziest trip (that award goes to Halloween night) and I splurged more than I ever have, but my friends made it worth it and it holds the title for the best trip ever. Only a villa at Encore with the same people could possibly top it, but we�ll have to wait a couple years for that trip.
Some final thoughts and observations:
Wynn�s art collection at the resort has changed a bit. No longer are the Picassos up in the Resort registration, but they�ve gone back to the original paintings that once hung there. The Mondrian behind the Tower Suites concierge has been replaced by a striking Warhol. My personal favorite, the self-portrait of Rembrandt, remains intact inside the VIP lounge.
I saw no major signs of wear at Wynn that have recently been reported. In fact, they were changing the hallway carpets the entire time I was there.
Who needs to toast drinks only? We not only toasted champagne and shots, but also cigars, and sushi rolls.
So now I have two stays each in the leading reservable accommodations in Vegas: Skylofts at MGM Grand and Fairway Villas at Wynn Las Vegas. The winner? The Fairways. With this recent stay, I�ve come to realize that the room is finished to a much higher standard and while this is more subjective than anything else, I find the d�cor more welcoming than the �lofts. Sure, the Skylofts have the Maybach and the butler, but the Maybach�s novelty is gone after a couple rides and I never really used the butler. If I had to fault the villas, I�d say that the trek to anywhere other than the Country Club, golf course, pool, or convention facilities is pretty significant. Still, having an elevator that opens up to the world of Wynn Las Vegas is way better than one that opens up to MGM Grand.