Two Way Hard Three | Las Vegas Casino & Design Blog

November 9, 2006

Tower Suites at Wynn Las Vegas Achieves Mobil 5-Star

Posted by Hunter

This was mentioned in the comments but this is a big deal so I'm doing a full story.

There are no other Mobil 5-Star hotels in Las Vegas and only two restaurants (Alex and Robuchon).

Since this is sure to be controversial with our readers, let the arguing begin! It should be noted that there were several 4-star ratings, including Bellagio, the remainder of Wynn Las Vegas, the Four Seasons, The Venetian, and the Ritz Carlton at Lake Las Vegas.

The R-J Chimes In:

The Sun's Take:

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Read archived comments (35 so far)
November 9, 2006 6:45 PM Posted by Mike E

What an achievement for WLV! I'm not 100% certain on this, but I believe at 653 room (including 42 villas), Tower Suites is the largest hotel awarded with this distinction.

November 9, 2006 7:01 PM Posted by charlie

Dear All,

Let me tell you that all these hotels are second rate, run by egomaniacs, are derivative of my father's design and Mr. Kerkorian's vision.

All the best,


November 9, 2006 7:25 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Excellent. Now maybe this hotel will get the respect it deserves and has earned. I also look forward to seeing the stock reach the level to which it deserves as well over the next year. Because as I slave over these numbers, comparing the two, either one of two things is going on. Either LVS is the single most overvalued gaming company in the world, or WYNN is the single most undervalued. I think the later. And I think the next year will prove me right.

November 9, 2006 7:43 PM Posted by mike_ch

The Mansion isn't eligible for these because they don't sell the rooms to the public, right? Is Villa One the same?

Because it just seems to me that there's a lot of rooms in this town that would have to rank at least as high, likely higher than tower suites (which is a phenomenon I don't "get" anyway) but are really too exclusive to merit consideration by someone who isn't a valued customer already.

November 9, 2006 9:49 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hey "charlie", listen up real good buddy, not only is your "Dear All" malicious comment totally uncalled for, but as usual, you clearly possesses the intelligence of a horses's ass! The next time you decide to make fallacious quotes attributed to me and my father, be prepared to be on the receiving end of an all-out assault upon your feeble little brain, the likes of which you have never witnessed before. I eat morons like you for breakfast, dude! Your obvious ignorance on the topics discussed here is beyond reproach - why don't you just pull your little head out of your ass long enough to maybe learn a little something for a change! Hey bud?

November 9, 2006 10:26 PM Posted by John

Well, I think this should be more than enough evidence, for any Wynn-hater, that the man can build and run a true luxury resort, that is the only one of its kind in the city of Las Vegas. Maybe the resort is poorly integrated, and the company posted a Q3 loss, but the resort is quickly becoming the standard of luxury in not only Las Vegas, but in the world.

This should be more than enough, in addition to achieving AAA Five Diamond Award status, to convince some people that Wynn Las Vegas is a luxury property, and in most cases will probably achieve the distinction of the most luxurious resort in all of Las Vegas, for years to come. I truly believe that even the highly touted Project City Center, will not be able to compete with Wynn Las Vegas/Encore.

November 9, 2006 10:28 PM Posted by mike_ch

Appearantly, not only is what's said in small internet cliques like this one to be taken as utmostly serious, but now comments can result in empty threats being flung across the country.

Watch what you say on the internet, Charlie (if that *IS* your real name!) or the heavily-clenched fists of Leonard Stern will rain upon you like a flogging from a thousand of your so-called "Gods"!

November 9, 2006 11:17 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Firstly, The Mansion at MGM Grand is NOT eligible for a rating citation as it is considered to be a private, exclusive non-integrated component of the property, which is not normally available to the public on a general basis but by invitation of management. Had The Mansion been included, it would have surely made the Wynn Tower Suites appear to be nothing more than a gaudily decorated glorified 'dog house with a view'. From a pure ultimate, super exclusive over-the-top luxury experience, the Wynn Tower Suites are not even in the same league as The Mansion which is considered to be one of the most, if not THE most, exclusive venue of its type in the entire country as has been reporterd by The Robb Report, et al.

November 10, 2006 12:07 AM Posted by mike_ch

That's more or less what I thought. Although I was thrown off because there's no mention of MGM's Skylofts on there.

Frankly, I'm not so sure Tower Suites ought to be considered their own hotel officially. They seem even more dependant on the parent property than Four Seasons does. There needs to be some sort of standard. Especially since LVS can't figure out if they want to call Palazzo a new, exclusive resort; or say that it's part of The Venetian just to claim 7,000 rooms. We'll see how it's operating when it's done, but I imagine the Palazzo-Venetian relationship will be as (in)visible to the common guest as the shared functions of Bally's and Paris.

There may just be too many good resorts in Las Vegas now, because stuff like Ritz-LLV and Seasons are appearing in the same category as Bellagio. That unfairly makes Bellagio look like some kind of a great bargain that it's not since they don't differentiate the privacy/exclusivity of the non-megaresorts and their staff.

November 10, 2006 12:47 AM Posted by Mike E

I've gotten e-mails about reserving a villa at the Mansion from time to time through AMEX. MGM will try their best to make it sound exclusive, which it naturally will be at $5000 a night, but the truth is, anyone with a credit card can call and reserve one. No "invitation" necessary unlike it Wynn's non-Fairway or Caesars villas.

I suspect Mobil hasn't rated The Mansion for cost issues more than anything else. Like any respected travel review agency, they come in unannounced and pony up for the expenses themselves. To give a fair review, they'd have to drop at the very least $10,000 on room alone and for what purpose? To tell us that it's the most unbelievable reservable hotel experience in Las Vegas? At $5000 a night, it better be.

November 10, 2006 5:23 AM Posted by detroit1051

With all due respect to Leonard, I awakened with a laugh this morning when I read the comments by Charlie and Mike_ch and then Leonard's response.

We've discussed 5-Diamond/Star ratings here before. I still believe hotels with thousands of rooms can't meet the criteria, but if Bellagio, Venetian, etc are awarded 4-Star/Diamond, then there has to be a way to differentiate Wynn's Tower Suites. On that basis, the 5-Star rating is appropriate. The separate Tower Suites valet entrance, check-in area, elevator lobby, Tableau restaurant, shorter guest room corridors, all add to the experience. High-rollers can go into both the high limit table and slot areas without entering the main part of the property.
I don't understand how Mobil could make errors in its report on Wynn. It hurts its credibility. We'll see if they correct the comments on the fifth floor pool and that Steve has other properties in Vegsas.

November 10, 2006 5:42 AM Posted by charlie

Leonard, I apologize. Not meant to be mean spirited, nor taken of context. It was just an attempt to satire the 99 posts related to the other discussion.

Your father has made great contributions, and I'm sure your a nice enough fellow too.

November 10, 2006 7:50 AM Posted by detroit1051

Mobil replied to me within 12 hours. They need to use SpellCheck (as do I). Let's see what they do:
"Thank you for your comments regarding the online review of the Tower Suites at Wynn Las Vegas. Our quality assurance department as taken your information and is further researching it and comparing it to our inspection reports of the property. We will make any adjustments necessary to ensure the accurracy of the review."

November 10, 2006 8:21 AM Posted by DavidMF

For those who want to check out what Mobil has to say on Vegas here is the link:-

Only Four and Five Star Hotels get detailed reviews online, anything they rate less is just a short description... For some strange reason Mobil don�t deem anything worthy of Six or Seven Stars ;-)

This may convince me to Pony Up the extra for my next Wynn Stay, whenever that maybe, but I am surprised that since Mobil separated out Tower Suites, they did not do the same for Skylofts, or THEHotel for that matter...

November 10, 2006 8:31 AM Posted by Brian Fey

Yeah I liked that comment about his other places too. Hey he does have other hotels in Vegas, they just are not done yet. :)

I think most people still think he ownes Mirage Resorts.

November 10, 2006 9:07 AM Posted by Hunter

Interesting that Picasso fell off the list when it comes to restaurants.

I sent a correction to the author of the above - Renoir was at The Mirage, not Bellagio.

November 10, 2006 12:45 PM Posted by detroit1051

Maybe you West Coasters have already seen this. Usually, these sappy, human interest newspaper stories about Las Vegas bore me, but this sappy story is a lot of fun:
His Mission: Blow $1,000

November 11, 2006 11:20 AM Posted by Doug

Who the hell is Leonard Stern?

November 11, 2006 11:27 AM Posted by Hunter

He is a semi-regular poster on this site that offers up interesting and often controversial opinions on topics related to gaming and architecture.

His father was the father of modern casino architecture, Martin Stern Jr.

November 11, 2006 4:26 PM Posted by Hunter

Well, I have stayed in almost every type of room they offer at Wynn Las Vegas and I can say that my experience in the Tower Suite rooms was much nicer than when I stayed at the Four Seasons (or Bellagio or Venetian for that matter).

The service was better and more attentive at Wynn Las Vegas, plus the room was just plain nicer - bigger, better bed, more attractive furnishings, etc...

While the Four Seasons service was good, the rooms are totally unimpressive - they are standard Mandalay rooms with better furniture and I find most of the Mandalay product to be pretty average.

That's this guest's opinion.

Leonard, have you stayed at Wynn Las Vegas, more specifically in a room on the Tower Suites side?

November 11, 2006 4:45 PM Posted by Hunter

Oh, I did want to mention that no, I have not stayed at The Mansion at MGM Grand but, if someone is in a position to get me tour, I would be forever grateful.


November 11, 2006 5:14 PM Posted by Leonard Stern

Hunter: Yes, it was about six months or so AFTER WLV had opened and we had the worst experience imaginable staying at the Wynn Tower Suites. The housekeeping service was horrid, the hotel's computer system kept suffering from intermittent crashes throughout our stay rendering Wi-Fi access virtually impossible, one of the Gateway flat panel displays didn't even function and they refused to repair/replace it, room service took almost TWO hours, the list just goes on and on. This would have been acceptable if it were within the first month of WLV operations, but c'mon if they can't get their act together after almost a half year, then there exists some serious management deficiencies to say the least. Our justifiable + numerous complaints upon checkout were completelty ignored and they [management] made no attempt whatsoever at even making amends by either compensating us or offering a reduction in our bill. As a matter of fact, we accurately disputed the bill and had it reduced by almost $450 as a result of erroneous charges due to their incompetency! Mind you, we only stayed there for two nights. Hunter, trust me, WLV has a lot to learn regarding offering the optimum guest experiences. Many people I know who have stayed at the Wynn Tower Suites have complained to me about their selective "policy" in applying advanced 'unauthorized pre-approved' holds in excess of $2500+ on unsuspecting guest's credit card accounts after checking in, for no justifiable reason. No other luxury property I know of in Las Vegas does this, and from I understand, WLV still continues to practice this 'policy' for even their most substantial guests. I agree with you regarding the Four Season's [rooms] but their attention to providing the absolute highest quality guest services and personal attention easily trumps the Wynn Tower Suites by a wide margin. Now, if you have had the opportunity to stay at The Mansion, this entire conversation would be totally moot regarding WLV Tower Suites. I will say it once again, the WLV Tower Suites are "a dog house with a view" when compared to the over-the-top, exclusive luxury accommodations + service that is offered at The Mansion...Period!

November 11, 2006 7:10 PM Posted by Tom M

Ok is it just me or is comparing a property whose rooms were designed to attract billionare high rollers to a hotel competing with, say, a Four Season's level of service, like comparing apples to oranges. I don't see any hotel in the US competing with something like the Mansion. Maybe some in Asia or the Burj in Dubai might come close. So I don't think the Wynn Tower Suites are meant to compete at that level. A more appropriate comparison would be Wynn's high roller suites. That said, I don't think any of these large hotels can meet with any consistency the high standards that a AAA or Mobil rating should require. It is simply impossible in the US to have enough employees to match the service requirements in a large hotel. I was very dissapointed in the rating groups when Bellagio attained 5 diamond status. I love that hotel, but there is no way the service level competes with a Four Season's. Just the waiting in line to check in and long walks to the rooms eliminate it from consideration in my opinion.

November 11, 2006 7:36 PM Posted by Brian Fey

Wynn does not have Wi-Fi. Not to my knowledge anyway, maybe that's why it didn't work! Unless this is only offered on the Tower side.

November 11, 2006 7:47 PM Posted by Hunter

You're right Brian, Wynn Las Vegas doesn't have Wi-Fi, only wired connections, for which a cable (brown) is provided.

November 11, 2006 11:00 PM Posted by Chris

A couple of points...

I believe Leonard had tangible issues with his stay, but it is worth noting that six months after WLV opened the suites at Wynn were not really "The Tower Suites" as they are today. They were just suites at Wynn, and paying guests were allowed to use VIP Services to check-in if they stayed in one. A non-comped guest staying in a Wynn suite at that time had no reason to expect any kind of differentiated service from anyone staying in the rest of the hotel. Casino VIP has since been seperated and the old VIP lobby is now "The Tower Suites" lobby. Tower Suites is now a completely separate operation. In regards to the high credit card hold, I would expect The Tower Suites to continue this; after all the more people that are turned off by it, the more room they have for the truly "substantial" guests who think nothing of that kind of hold because they are going to spend up to that limit and beyond.

As for all the gushing about the Mansion, keep in mind the whole "Mansion" concept is just clever branding and marketing of the 7-year old casino villa accommodations at MGM Grand. Just because they've been on The Travel Channel doesn't make them a seperate hotel, nor does comping someone from the Robb Report make them the best accommodations in town. Truth be told, similar and in some cases even bigger and better accomodations than The Mansion villas can be found all over town at Rio, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Caesars, Bellagio, LV Hilton, Palms and Wynn. MGM Grand can certainly compete on this level but to be honest I think a standard one-bedroom Mansion villa, at 2400 sq ft and $5,000/nt, would struggle to make it on a list of the top ten rooms in Vegas nowadays.

When discussing The Tower Suites, comparisons to Skylofts, Signature, Venezia, or THEhotel would be much more relevant than comparisons to the MGM Grand's Mansion villas.

November 12, 2006 12:01 AM Posted by Mike E

Leonard, it's interesting that now you mention your horrid experience after all this time. What's even more interesting is that you stayed in a hotel belonging to a guy who wanted to sue the crap out of you.

I've had five fantastic stays on the Tower Side and three great stays on Resort. Guess I must have been lucky after all this time.

November 12, 2006 8:59 AM Posted by mike_ch

The credit card thing draws raised eyebrows from me. I don't care if it's a tower suite, a skyloft, or a mansion room at Circus-Circus. If I give you your going rate, you give me a room. You do not test my financial status to see that I'm "good enough" to keep spending in your boutiques. Who the hell said I'd commit to to do that in the first place?

I mean, if I bought a tower suite, I'm living beyond my means and I'd be doing it as something nice to impress, so I'd be hanging out with the penny-pinchers at the Imperial Palace anyway. I guess this is, once again, their way of creating false exclusivity, something the new resorts are really big on.

November 12, 2006 9:23 AM Posted by Leonard Stern

Mike E, I really had no choice but to stay at WLV at the request/insistence of my out-of-town guests who wanted to stay there, despite my best efforts to try and convince them otherwise. After our bad experience, they were so disappointed with the hotel by having had such high expectations due to all of the 'hype' connected to it, they have absolutely no desire to ever return there again! They usually stay at the Four Seasons anyways. Believe me, if I had my druthers, I personally would never stay in ANY Wynn property. Just the thought of handing over one single red cent to that guy repulses me to no end. IMO, there is no question about it, for being an integrated hotel (similar in concept to the current Tower Suites concept) that the Four Seasons provides a far superior guest experience, much more accommodating personnel, and a higher level of service than the Tower Suites if one must make a more direct 'apples to apples' comparison. While at the time we stayed at WLV, they were not officially known as "The Tower Suites", nonetheless, the accommodations and service level, with the exception of the segregated check-in lobby (like Four Seasons was smart enough to incorporate from the very beginning - a hotel within a hotel)) are EXACTLY the same anyways now. I would much rather stay at Skylofts at MGM Grand any day over the WLV Tower Suites, strictly from the more sophisticated interior design standpoint alone, I happen to be a big Bang & Olufsen fan and they did a really spectacular job on the Skylofts design/amenities when comparing them to the "gaudiness" of the Tower Suites. Brian Fey, I mispoke, WLV has 'wired' internet connections which they charge a daily fee that were intermittingly not functioning as a result of continuous property-wide computer system crashes. The MGM Grand has Wi-Fi connectivety service, also for a daily fee, that is accessible anywhere on their property. They [MGM/MIRAGE]spent something like $10 million with COX to wire the hotel for Wi-Fi and it is really an added plus to be able to take your laptop anywhere and have instant high-speed internet access. WLV ought to give considerable thought at installing a similar set-up since they tout themselves as being such a 'high-tech' property, yeah high-tech enough to automatically charge their guests' bill if they happen to remove a lousy can of nuts from the mini-bar for more than 30 seconds! What a crock that hotel is. The staff are the most unaccommodating + snooty of any Strip property, WLV is just plain substandard, period! Sounds like we are splitting hairs here guys - minutiae ad nauseam!!!

November 12, 2006 9:56 AM Posted by Hunter

I agree that we may be getting a bit bogged down in the details and ultimately some guests have good experieneces and others don't. The fact that is possoble makes me a bie skeptical about the 5 Star but hey...

The property wide computer system problems at WLV were well know. Their degree of automation and integration was ambitious and ultimately they didn't test it properly for a hotel of that scale. A lot of systems, from the TVs to the door locks had all sorts of outages. Not good. I believe those have all been resolved for some time, though it took longer than it should have.

Regarding the mini-bar and it charging automatically sure is annoying but it is hardly unique to WLV. I have seen them in all the MGM Mirage properties for years. Its such a labor saver for them they just can't resist.

November 12, 2006 10:54 AM Posted by mike_ch

Hunter: Checked your mail lately?

November 12, 2006 8:59 PM Posted by Mike P.

I've had consistent problems trying to connect to the internet at Wynn, with multiple reboots required to get an IP address. This has happened every time I've been there - 6 times now in 6 different rooms. I don't think it's a problem with my laptop, since it works fine on my home network and has stayed at dozens of hotels with no connectivity problems.

The only real service problem I've noticed at the Tower suites side of Wynn is that it's hard to get a cab at the south entrance sometimes. Once we were told there might be a half hour wait for a cab, and there was a furious couple in front of us who *had* waited at least that long. Fortunately a couple cabs pulled in to drop off passengers within a few minutes. Last time we were there they had a cab stand with a few actually standing, so they may have finally solved that problem.

I agree with Leonard that the Skyloft's interior design is superior to Wynn's (or anyplace else we've stayed on the strip), the gadgets are cooler, and the service is in a completely different league. Of course, you're paying plenty for it if you're not getting comped.

Mike P.

November 15, 2006 8:39 AM Posted by HN

Wynn Tower, Las Vegas is not the largest hotel to earn AAA 5 Diamonds; The Greenbrier with 700 rooms is larger

November 15, 2006 4:26 PM Posted by Mike E

HN, did you mean Mobil 5 stars? There are a few hotels in the thousand room inventory with the AAA distinction.

November 15, 2006 5:17 PM Posted by detroit1051

This discussion reminded me to check Mobil's 5-Star listing for Wynn's Tower Suites to see if they made the corrections I emailed. They have. No more references to the "5th floor pool", and they no longer state that Wynn operates other properties in Vegas. That didn't take them long.