Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

March 7, 2006

Wynn, Bellagio, The Mirage

Posted by detroit1051

I spent three nights at Wynn the last week of February, followed by three nights at Bellagio. It was interesting to stay in comparable accommodations at both properties and compare them.

First, Wynn. I attended a slot tournament and was provided a Parlor Suite. Last fall, I stayed in a Salon Suite. I actually preferred the Parlor Suite. It is 1,280 sq ft compared to 1,950 sq ft for the Salon Suite. The Parlor Suite just seemed more comfortable and livable to me.

As DeRuyter Butler said in one of his Reponses to Hunter's questions about Wynn, "Probably the most innovative and new development of Wynn was the concept of a boutique hotel within a large hotel". I totally agree. The separate Suite Tower, 'hotel within a hotel' makes for an ideal visit.

I checked in at the Invited Guests room which is immediately to the right after walking into Suite Tower registration area. It is currently being enlarged by incorporating the space formerly occupied by Gizmos. The registration desk will be moved to the rear of the space, and a lounge and refreshment area will be added at the entrance.

I'm sorry to report some service glitches. I was given a Salon Suite last trip to make amends for a problem with my reservation. When I checked in on Thursday, February 23 I had problems, too. I was told my reservation was for two nights, not three, and that I was not expected to arrive until the next day, Friday. When I explained that the slot tournament invitation was for three nights, and that my host had accurately made my reservation, the representative made a call, and I was assigned my Parlor Suite. It was disconcerting to have glitches on two consecutive trips.

Housekeeping slipped during my stay. These examples may be minor, but they should not have occurred in a first-rate property:
Turn-down service was provided only the first evening but not the next two.
I finished the box of Kleenex in the bathroom the first night. It was not replaced by Housekeeping the next morning, and because no one returned for turn-down service the second evening, it was not replaced then. Unlike other hotels, there was not an extra box in the room,
I opened a bar of bath soap the first day, and the box was never replaced. By the time I checked out after three nights, the bar was a sliver. A replacement bar should have been left the first day.
The powder room sink drain was clogged. I called the first day, and either no one came up, or they didn't fix it, because it still didn't drain properly when I checked out.
I ordered Room Service one evening, and delivery of soup and a sandwich took one hour. I will say the server apologized for the delay as soon as I opened the door.
I heard a knock at the door my last evening at 7:45 PM. It was the mini-bar inspector. These kinds of services should be done during the day, not at night when the room is occupied.
Overall, I still enjoy Wynn, and it continues to be my property of choice. I hope they don't become complacent about providing superior service. The slot tournament was run very efficiently, and everyone did a great job. The ballroom was set up for breakfast, lunch and bar service the day of tournament play.

I checked into Bellagio on Monday, February 27, to take advantage of a Winter Offer which included three nights in a Bellagio Suite with full RFB. I arrived at the VIP Lounge, next to the Conservatory, at 11 AM, realizing that it might be too early for my room to be ready. That's when the fun began! I was assigned a Bellagio Suite on the 31st floor and was given the room number and keys. However, I checked my bags because the room hadn't been cleaned yet. That was fine with me. I stopped back at 12:30 PM and was told my room was ready. I went up, unpacked my bags, hung things in the closet, washed up and then connected my laptop. As I was in the bedroom checking my email, I heard two women's voices. They jumped as I walked out of the bedroom, and asked what I was doing in their room. I recognized them from the VIP Lounge because they were checking in at the same time I was. They were also assigned the same room with the same key code. So much for key security!

I told them that since I was unpacked and had used the room, and they hadn't had their luggage brought up yet, I would ask the front desk to assign them another room. Since we were all provided Bellagio Suites, it shouldn't be a problem. Well, was I wrong. I called VIP Registration and explained the problem. The representative put me on hold for at least three minutes. When she came back on the line, she said there had been an error, and I would have to move because that room was pre-assigned to the two women. When I explained I had already unpacked and used the room, and suggested it would be more logical to give the women another suite, the representative said, "We can't do that. We pre-assign rooms to expedite check-in. Your pre-assigned room is on the 29th floor, and you'll have to move." When I resisted and said it didn't make good business sense to move me because they would have to have Housekeeping come up to clean the room I was in, the rep replied, "You were assigned a Pool View suite instead of the I-15 Freeway view." I told her I didn't care about the view and still didn't want to move. She was almost panic stricken at that and asked if I would like some strawberries and champagne sent to my new suite. At that point, I gave up and agreed to be moved, but I told her I didn't want champagne or anything else. All I wanted was to get settled.

The entire episode didn't, and still doesn't, make sense to me. The suites were identical. By the way, the Pool View turned out to be a view of the Spa Tower and the roof of the parking garage. I'm going to write Bill McBeath to see why this happened.

Other than this, Bellagio was just fine. The suites, which have never been renovated, look sort of tired and last-century compared to the contemporary look at Wynn. It does seem that further renovation at Bellagio has been put on hold, perhaps to give the new president, Bill McBeath, time to sort things out. Housekeeping was excellent, and turn-down service was provided nightly. I still don't believe any hotel will ever match Bellagio for the quality of marble flooring, mosaics and millwork. It really is a beautiful property.

The Mirage

I spent a few hours at The Mirage to see the finished product. When I was there in November, most of the changes were still shrouded in construction curtains. I do like the new bar at Kokomo's, accessible to the hotel lobby. It makes the lobby seem less isolated from the rest of the property. I'm not overwhelmed with the dining room changes at Kokomo's, but if you get a table by the lagoon, it would be pleasant. I'm not sure if MGM's tendency to redesign lounges and restaurants in a retro look has legs. Fin is open for lunch and has excellent food, and is a pleasant, small space. I'd like to try it for dinner.

The entire casino carpet has been replaced with one in browns and blues. It looks OK, but you can tell Steve Wynn is no longer in the house.

I took several photos and have posted them at my Webshots site:
Wynn, Bellagio, Mirage photos


Read archived comments (8 so far)
March 7, 2006 6:09 PM Posted by Brian

Great report and pictures, Detroit. Sorry about the service snafus at both places. Although you weren't staying on the Strip side of Wynn, did you happen to get any pics of the Palazzo construction?

March 7, 2006 9:33 PM Posted by Mike P.

I left a comment about our current Bellagio stay earlier today that apparently hasn't passed moderation yet. We had a similar - maybe less embarrasing - experience at Bellagio check-in. I think the problem was mostly miscommunication - they thought we wanted pretty much the exact opposite of the accommodations we really wanted. But it worked out OK. The suite we have in the Spa Tower is quite good, and easily equal to comparable Wynn suites. The suites have been updated with more contemporary furniture and decor. The floor plan is similar to suites in the original tower, with some small but noticeable improvements.

Last stay at Wynn - which was just a couple weeks ago - turndown service was way too late for us on Friday and Saturday nights. The rest of the week they showed up predictably at just about dinnertime. Morning housekeeping was invariably timed perfectly for our habits.

Housekeeping at Bellagio has been fine, both in AM and PM.

Mike P.

March 8, 2006 12:45 AM Posted by Doug

Thanks for the great report. - Too bad about the service 'issues' at Wynn and Bellagio, but I think we need to remember that Las Vegas does not have the population of New York, LA or Paris etc. and there are fewer qualified 'hotel workers' to fill all the positions.

Bellagio has "promised" they'll renovate the suites this year. And now that Bobby Baldwin is gone it'll be interesting to see what happens and how fast. - The first time I stayed at Bellagio it felt like walking into a 'grand old resort' that had been around for many years. But in truth Bellagio is only 8 years old (hard to believe!).

I've been hearing great reports about The Mirage. Some friends of mine just returned from a visit and said it was fabulous. They thought the high-limit lounge was better looking than Wynn's.

March 8, 2006 3:10 AM Posted by Mike E

Ouch. Sorry to hear about all the service issues. I'll be interested in hearing how Bill McBeath responds.

You're right about those Bellagio suites--they're in dire need of renovation.

Great pictures and read. Hopefully your next trip will be a little smoother.

March 8, 2006 4:15 AM Posted by detroit1051

Thanks for the comments.
Brian, I didn't get any photos of Palazzo. I was surprised there wasn't more visible progress since November, but I'm sure things are happening quickly.
Mike P, your comment on check-in at Bellagio did post yesterday. It was very interesting to see how you had to convince them what you wanted.
I agree that the high limit area at The Mirage is exceptionally nice.

I'll write both McBeath at Bellagio and Cotter at Wynn. The last time I wrote Cotter, I received a personal reply which convinced me he was interested in my comments and appreciated the input. It's always a fine line between being considered a concerned guest vs a chronic complainer. Of course, they could open my my letters and think, "Another rant from that nut, Detroit."

March 8, 2006 12:41 PM Posted by Mike E

Maybe my last letter to Cotter was considered "another rant" (even though it was only my second) because I never received a reply like I did the first time. Nobody takes e-mail as seriously as a real letter, but he answered an e-mail question I had literally within minutes.

March 8, 2006 12:51 PM Posted by detroit1051

Mike, I wrote my letter to Cotter, but I put it in the drawer. I'm not going to send it. I had the misfortune of coming down with the flu while I was there, and maybe I was too impatient about everything. Mike P's comment about late turndown made me realize I put the Do Not Disturb light on at 8:30 two nights when I wasn't feeling well. I'm going back in late April. I'll hold off on my letter until after that visit. I must not be too irritated because I can't wait to go back.

March 31, 2006 11:02 AM Posted by detroit1051

Those who endured this trip report read about problems I had at check-in with Bellagio's VIP Services. I did write to Bill McBeath, Bellagio president. Yesterday, I got a call from the VIP Services manager who apologized and said I should not have been forced to move to a different Bellagio Suite. She said the staff made poor decisions, and she accepted full responsibility. She did say the person I called from my room was in her first week in VIP Services and should have asked someone more seasoned for advice on how to handle the situation.

The manager said all the right things: She apologized, made adjustments to procedures to prevent this from happening to others, and she had a staff meeting with all VIP reps to make sure they understood how to handle situations. She concluded the call by asking me to return to Bellagio and to call her in advance, so she could handle my reservations and meet me in person when I arrived.

I was satisfied with the sincerity of the call and will return to Bellagio this spring.