A big thank you and congratulations to Sean, the author of this excellent trip report featuring a stay at Wynn Las Vegas. You sir, are a class act, putting all of this together.
This is a very fun story that I can pretty much guarantee will make you smile. It even includes a special guest appearance by Steve and Elaine Wynn!
Keep reading after the jump for more...
Trip Report September 1st - 5th, 2008
The following is a trip report for a 4-night, 5-day trip to Las Vegas. Probably the number one thing that you realize while you're in Vegas is that there is never enough time to do everything that you want to do. I wanted to make this a perfect trip for my girlfriend, since I was proposing this trip...I'll cut to the chase...she said yes!
I live just west of Toronto, and I've traveled to Vegas a number of different ways, including direct from Toronto, Detroit, and puddle-jumping from Buffalo on either Delta (through Atlanta) or United (through Chicago). This time, my girlfriend and I were spending 5 nights in New York immediately before going to Vegas. In New York, we stayed (on points) at the St. Regis, which is a fantastic hotel, and probably my favorite in the world.
Since we were flying directly from JFK to LAS, we flew US Airways, and got an upgrade to first class for just $150. This was much appreciated since we were up very late the night before and probably indulged in a few too many "cocktails". This isn't even a service offered on Air Canada, where flying first class costs about 12 or 13 times a regular fare, or complimentary with elite status.
So we arrived around noon on Labour Day (Canadian spelling!), and used Las Vegas Limo to get over to Mandalay Bay. My initial reaction was how dead Las Vegas was during this week. It was so slow, that cab lines were spilling out onto the street at most hotels.
There were 17 of us staying in Las Vegas this week. We choose Mandalay Bay because it is the most "accessible" for the diverse group that was there, including some best friends, parents, grandparents, my sisters, etc. My girlfriend and I shared a two bedroom suite at Mandalay Bay with another couple for $300 a night - it was a steal. It had a fantastic view, was quite spacious, but those hallways at MB are a football field long. It was actually a big pain in the butt to walk back and forth to the elevators over and over again. Not to mention that it is a significant hike once you get down to the pool.
I used to be more excited about Mandalay Bay than I am now. The casino is nice, but I find the dealers to be efficient, but cold. Although I do like the little Crystal room that now houses the pai gow tables. It's a neat little place and is more intimate than the cavernous MB casino.
I like what MB has done with their pool area, although I didn't get to try out the poolside casino structure that they have there because the slow business did not warrant it being open. Too bad. My only complaint with Mandalay Beach is that the lazy river was still infested with children, despite the fact that most of them should have been back in school by then...
My family booked a private garden bungalow cabana for the Tuesday, which was just fantastic. For a $500 fee, plus 18% gratuity, and a $50 tip to let 13 of us in (max occupancy for one Cabana is 10 people), we had a fantastic time. In fact, since it was so slow, we were the only group in the entire private bungalow area! We had the entire pool to ourselves, and used the lounge chairs and everything from the other cabanas. The hosts were also quite gracious, bringing us extra fruit plates, etc, and providing excellent service. I would do this again, every time. People who walked by looked in and gawked at us, perhaps thinking that we were special VIPs since we had the entire area to ourselves. How decadent!
In terms of dining at Mandalay Bay, we took it easy. Monday lunch we dined at Raffles Café, which was good, and then the evening took us to the Burger Bar, which we quite enjoyed. Sushi on Tuesday evening was quite tasty, and they got us in and out in about 25 minutes, which was perfect.
On Wednesday morning, my girlfriend and I were set to check out of Mandalay Bay and move over to Wynn Las Vegas. Being her usual self, she took forever to get ready in the morning, which was making me sweat profusely. What she didn't know was that I had arranged for her parents to fly in on Wednesday morning, so that they could be in Las Vegas to see her after I proposed. Her parents were staying at Mandalay Bay, arriving in Vegas at about 11:30am. So as the clock ticked past 12:00pm and we still had not vacated the hotel, I was a little worried that as were we getting into a cab, we would run into her parents checking into the hotel! That would have been a disaster!
Alas, we got off to Wynn on time, thank God. I have stayed at Wynn a number of times, but never in the Tower Suites. My girlfriend knew that we were moving to Wynn, and that we were staying in the Tower Suites, but she did not know what kind of room we had. So when we checked into the Salon Suite, she was just blown away. It truly is a fantastic hotel suite, and that master bathroom is unlike anything I have ever seen. Wow! I can certainly appreciate the added details, such as the rain shower, the upgraded tub, the added amenities, toothbrush, razor, etc. We received a welcome amenity of unbelievable chocolate, complimentary water, and a few other things. The service the entire trip was fantastic.
As part of a charity promotion, I was given an Audi S8 for the duration of my stay. What a fantastically fast car! It had a V10 engine, and it moved like a bat out of hell. I ostensibly operated a taxi service between Wynn LV and Mandalay Bay, but I really didn't care. It had Bang & Olufsen speakers that pounded out the tunes, a rear-view camera, went 0-60 in what felt to be about 5 or 6 seconds. What a fantastic ride. I had no problem coming in and out of the valet at the Tower Suites with that car. I loved it!
On Wednesday evening, our entire group dined at SW Steakhouse, which continues to be one of my favorite restaurants in Las Vegas. We got a great view of the feature show, which was fantastic for my family to see as most of them had not ever been there before.
The restaurant is pricey. For a modest meal, my girlfriend and I dropped $340...not a bargain, but you get what you pay for.
As we got into the meal, two individuals were seated at the table directly next to ours. It was, in fact, Steve and Elaine Wynn. What a treat, to be dining next to them. They were very understated, blending in to the woodwork, very modestly going about their meal. Well, I couldn't resist the opportunity to go speak to him. His wife has to be the classiest of ladies.
As I approached, knowing that Steve Wynn has trouble with peripheral vision, his wife said, "Steve, there's a gentlemen off to your right". So he turned and we shook hands. I said that I wanted to thank him. He asked "for what?" So I answered that I wanted to thank him for building a fantastic place that soon will be holding a very special place in my life. He proceeded to ask about all of the details of how I would propose to my girlfriend, grabbing my hand and bringing my face to within an inch of his, with Elaine leaning in as well. When I told them what I had planned, they were very excited (or at least put up that show), and it seemed genuine. Elaine then was leaning over to see our table, and started to wave at my girlfriend! They asked for my name, and then before I left, they made sure they had it right. It was an unbelievable experience, and I will never forget it.
Interestingly, subsequent to the meal, some of my friends had stayed behind, and overheard Wynn bawling out somebody over something...
So now to the big day: Thursday. We wake up, and meet up with friends for breakfast at Tableau. But we were too late so we went to Terrace Point. It was wonderful. We then went to the pool, and my friend and I got into the blackjack a bit. We played a little while, feeding our girlfriend's our cocktails. We then moved over to craps, where I turned $200 into $1200. Alright, I'm ready to take on the world now!
I send my girlfriend off to the salon to get her hair done, so that I can get the ring out of my safety deposit box and get it over to the safe at Alex. I arrange to have the ring handed off to me while I excuse myself to go to the washroom (or restroom as you Americans call it) after we order.
The experience at Alex was second to none. We had a fantastic meal with fantastic service. The hand-off goes swimmingly, and the deed is done! She says YES, we cry a lot, and then we get back to the meal. Everything was wonderful.
While we were eating, my sister was setting up a party in the suite, and all of our friends and family gathered up in the suite. After the dinner, my new fiance and I took a walk around the meeting room hallways to gather ourselves, before we went back up to the suite so that she could "call her mom". Well, anticipating that she would want to call her mother, her parents flew in to surprise her in the suite, along with 2 of our closest friends! When we entered the suite, she started crying again, and then when she saw that her parents were there, I don't think she could have been any happier! What a night!
We partied in the suite for a few hours, then we hit the tables, and I didn't do very well. Then I retreated back to the suite with my new fiance, and the night ended. The following day we putzed around the pool, spa, mall, and Bellagio fountains. Then the ride home...
My impressions of the Tower Suites at Wynn Las Vegas are unblemished - it was a fantastic experience. The service was flawless, and I would say that it is absolutely worth the money. I would stay there again in a heartbeat.
I didn't do much gambling, since, as you can imagine, I had spent my money in other places. I left up a couple hundred dollars, which was much appreciated. Wynn continues to be the best joint in Las Vegas, and I eagerly await Encore.