Wizard
Posted by Wizard
Mar 09, 2010

Introduction

     

Wynn Las Vegas — “The Wynn” — is a luxury Resort and Casino located on the north end of the Las Vegas strip. Built at a cost of $2.7 billion, the resort is named after Steve Wynn. Steve Wynn is known for his very successful gamble on the creation of the Mirage back in 1989—a truly opulent resort at the time and the resort which transformed Las Vegas into the colony of megaresorts that it is today. Wynn also was responsible for building Treasure Island (1993) and the Bellagio (1998). After these accomplishments, Wynn sold these properties in 2000 to the MGM group and bought the Desert Inn Hotel. With purchases of the adjacent golf course and private residences, he was able to build the 215 acre “Wynn” which opened on April 28, 2005 - Wynn’s wife’s birthday, the 55th Anniversary of the opening of the original Desert Year, and 5 years from the day Wynn purchased the site.

       

The Wynn resort is located at the northeast intersection of Las Vegas Boulevard and Sands Avenue, directly across the Strip from the Fashion Show Mall, and just north of the Palazzo/Venetian complex. The hotel features 2,716 rooms that range in size from 640 sq feet to the villas at 7,000 sq feet. The Nevada Gaming commission lists the size of the Wynn's casino, including the Encore, at 186,187 feet. I would estimate the square feet to be about 110,000 for the Wynn and 75,000 for the Encore.

       

Together with the adjacent Encore which opened in late 2008, the entire Wynn resort complex has a total of 4,750 rooms. Its height is 614 ft and there are 45 floors. The resort has earned AAA 5 diamond, Forbes (Mobil) five-star, and Michelin five-star ratings and is considered to be one of the finest hotels in the United States. Both the Wynn and Encore collectively hold more Forbes five-star awards than any other resort and casino in the world. Wynn Las Vegas also made Forbes Award history by earning five-star ratings in every category - Hotel, Restaurant, and Spa - for two consecutive years. (Source: Wikipedia)

     

I stayed at the Wynn from March 5 to 9, 2009. Here is my review.

Hotel

   

We stayed at the Wynn from March 5 to 9, 2010, over 4 nights. We booked the trip through Expedia.com as a package. Because most hotels have a lowest advertised rate policy on their own web site, the only way that you can get rates below the advertised rate is to purchase the hotel stay as part of a package. In this way, we were able to take advantage of a $95/night rate plus the 12% Nevada Hotel tax ($11.40/night) and a $75 resort credit. We could not pass up this offer for a premium hotel in Las Vegas. The hotel seemed to be more crowded on Sunday and Monday night than during the weekend, indicating that a busy convention was in town during the week.

The registration in the hotel is conveniently located close to the doors where the taxi lets you off. The registration lobby itself is fairly small, with desks located on either side, and with no preference to membership as in other hotels. The line happened to be Wendy's style that night, but without any ropes or indications on where to queue, the line-up could be disorganized with many people in different lines. As it stood, with us checking in around 8:30pm on Friday night, there was one person in front of us. Check in took a few minutes to complete and we were served within a couple of minutes.

The room that was assigned to us was a "Resort Room", the lowest category, on the 9th floor overlooking the back of the hotel and the golf course. I kindly asked the clerk if she had anything else available on a higher floor. She made a call, and we were reassigned a room on the 26th floor overlooking the strip. Normally I try the “$20 trick” (where you give the clerk $20 with your credit card and ask kindly if any upgrades are available) up front, but I had heard attempts like this do not work at this hotel. Instead, I tipped the clerk afterwards $20 for getting us a much better room. She offered to upgrade our room to a suite for a nominal fee of $200 per night, which we of course turned down!

   

Our room keys also served as the Wynn/Encore's "Red Card", the Player Card’s program. It seemed a bit disconcerting that you could lose your player's card in one of the machines and any passer-by could pick up your room key. We were given no coupons, just directions to our room.

The resort elevators are in the back of the casino, approximately 100 yards from the registration desk. Finding the elevators was pretty easy, and there are two banks of elevators serving both the lower floors (seven elevators) and the upper floors. Our room was very close to the elevator but during our stay, the only noise we heard in our rooms was the sound of the adjacent door closing.

The room itself was very large and well appointed as you would expect. The bed was king-sized (extremely comfortable) with night tables and a clock radio with an IPod docking station. There was a small couch with an ottoman on the right side of the room. Near the floor-to-ceiling windows is a desk on the right hand side with a HP printer where you can send and receive faxes as well as a jack to plug in your computer (wireless is also available), a night stand and a phone. The phone is personalized with your name appearing on the screen (a nice touch). Local/800 calls were $1.25/call. The TV was a 42 inch Sharp Aquos LCTV HDTV which was folded to the wall and could be turned to face the bed or the couch so you could watch TV from anywhere in the room. Channels were limited, but you are in Las Vegas after all. The room had an easy to use temperature control and the noise of the fan was very quiet. The windows were floor-to-ceiling and the room itself seemed to be about 20 feet wide. As well, there was a long, narrow vent at the base of the window that you could open and close to let in fresh air. The only drawback to the vent is that you could hear the noise from the outside, which included, unfortunately, the background rhythms from the Tryst nightclub all Friday and Saturday night.

   

The view overlooked the Lake of Dreams (Wynn's waterfall), Treasure Island, and the Venetian. Because the hotel is set back from the strip, you could not see past the Palazzo complex to the south. However, there were gorgeous views of the mountains.

As well, there was a well-stocked mini-bar and snacks. All were weighted, meaning that if you took the item for longer than 60 seconds you would be charged for the item. This was well explained both at the check-in counter and in the room itself. There was no coffee maker. The safe was the standard kind in Vegas with a four digit code to lock. You could also swipe a credit card to lock and unlock the door. The Wynn also supplied robes.

The very large bathroom featured both a large shower (fully glass enclosed) and a full sized soaker tub with double vanity sinks and a chair to sit in, with marble flooring. There was small 14” LCD television in the bathroom as well which could be viewed from the tub or from the sinks. The Wynn provided larger than normal bottles of shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and shower gel and a well stocked vanity basket.

Restaurants

The Wynn/Encore boasts a variety of restaurants from Cafes to Michelin 2 Star french cuisine. We took park in the Wynn buffet and found it to be extremely good with a fantastic selection, but not quite worth the $40 price. Actually, I thought that all of the restaurants and items in the Wynn resort was overpriced by about 30%. For example, a 16 oz dark roast coffee was $3.75 in the hotel café, while the Starbucks across the street at the Fashion Mall was available for $1.85. We did eat a couple of times in the Terrace Point Cafe which was mostly empty at the time we ate (9:00pm). The food there was generally fine with the exception of the Lobster Agnoletti. While the lobster was quite plentiful, the pasta itself was very sticky (as if it had not been rinsed after cooking).

We also lunched at Zoozacrackers and had Roast Beef and Corned Beef sandwiches on rye bread. Though expensive, the sandwiches were packed with meat and were very tasty.

Here is a list of fancy restaurants available at the Wynn with links to their websites.

  • Alex — French, Michelin 2 stars, AAA 5 Diamond Award, James Beard Foundation Award.
  • Wing Lei — French influenced Shanghai, Michelin 1 star, AAA 4 Diamond Award
  • SW Steakhouse — AAA 4 Diamond Award
  • Daniel Boulod — French Brasserie, Michelin 1 Star
  • Bartolotta — Italian Coastal Cuisine, AAA 4 Diamond Award
  • Okada — Japanese, AAA 4 Diamond Award
  • Country Club Grill — A New American Steakhouse
  • Stratta — "Casual yet stylish dining experience"
  • Tableau — Modern American Cuisine

The following are the casual dining options are the Wynn.

  • Buffet
  • Red 8 — Chinese
  • Terrace Pointe Cafe — American
  • Zoozacrackers — Deli
  • Cafe at the Drugstore — Coffee, sandwiches, & donuts
  • Pizza Place

Gambling

According to the Wynn's own website, the casino is 110,000 square feet which seemed to be right. According to Nevada Gaming, the casino has 2,900 slot machines and 270 table games. I believe that these figures total both of Encore and Wynn's casinos together as I could not find figures for Encore. That said, I would estimate that the Wynn's casino is about 70,000 square feet and the Encore's 40,000 square feet.

The casinos feature 17 craps tables (I counted 11 at the Wynn and 6 at the Encore), 126 "21" tables (which I didn’t count), including the dreaded 6-5 blackjack tables, and Blackjack Switch. Limits varied between $10 and $25 depending on the time of day. As well, the casinos feature the standard table games (Pai-Gow – poker and tiles, Let it Ride, Caribbean Stud, 4-Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold-em Poker, and 3-card poker. As well, ShuffleMaster’s Rapid Roulette game was featured.

The Wynn's casino is laid out in a rectangular pattern split into four quadrants with wide walkways in the middle, which made it very easy to navigate. The casino is surrounded by the Parasol Bar and Lake of Dreams at the front of the Casino and the registration area. Restaurants and nightclubs are all along the sides of the hotel walkways to the convention centre and Encore at the back. When you walk into the magnificent Wynn, the first word that might come into your mind is “red”. The casino itself features bright red colors, high ceilings, and elegant lighting. There is a Red Card booth in each quadrant which you can use to break bills, cash in ticket redemptions, sign up for the Red Card (Player's Card), and inquire about comps.

I found that the Wynn's table limits varied considerably throughout the day. As tables became full, they raised the limits from $10-15 to $25-$100 to discourage new players from joining. This happened to us several times where we were playing at a lower limit but new players had to play more.

The Encore’s casino is much smaller and intimate than the Wynn and was much quieter. This is probably due to the Wynn’s better access to the rest of the strip (the front entrance seemed to be under construction). I believe that the Encore casino is aimed only at its guests as the casino is quite small. It has one central walkway and two walkways from the front to the back of the casino. The colors are also a very bright red with beautiful, opulent red chandeliers and very cheerful. That said, I found the Encore’s layout to be somewhat confusing. When you enter the casino from the Wynn, it is difficult to navigate to find your way from the corridors to the tables which are at the opposite corner of the casino.

Overall, both Casinos feature an excellent ventilation system. My clothes did not smell like smoke at any point during my stay, despite many smokers being present at the tables. As well, the hotel’s scent is not as overpowering as it is at the Venetian/Palazzo complex.

I would rate the Casino itself as first class. Here is a summary of the games:

Blackjack

I found no tables with liberal rules that I could see. However, the blackjack survey here does say that they do exist. Because I am not a high-limit player, I did not find any games where the dealers stood on 17.

Craps

Craps tables offered generous "downtown" odds (31/16 for one on horn bets, 10/8 for one on hard ways, 3X on field 12s, and pay vig on win buy bets ($25 4/10, 1.11% HA). Table limits were from $10 to $100. It was very entertaining there, with young men playing in their pool robes at a reserved table, while another set of players at another $100 reserved table featured a young Asian woman with a miniskirt that went way too high, forcing the craps dealers to personally walk around the table to hand you your Red Card, only to catch a peek.

Roulette

Single zero did not seem to be available. Available at $10 - $25.

Pai-Gow

Available at $15 - $50 depending on time of day. Banking allowed every other hand by asking, otherwise, it was not offered. My wife and I were able to advise and comment on each other's hands without any issues.

Slots

 

It was outside of my gambling budget, but there is a $5,000 slot machine in the high-limit room. The Wizard says it is the highest denomination slot in Vegas to the best of his knowledge.

Video Poker

vpFree2 states that the best $1 game is FP bonus at 99% and at $.25 cents DDB at 98.3%. I found $.25 9/6/5 DB with a progressive jackpot at $1150 (98.2%) which I played. They changed the EPROM overnight and it turned into a much crappier 9/6/4 machine (96.6%). I found many different kinds of video poker including multi-play at denominations from $.25 to $5. Slots: The Slots at the Wynn are fairly comparable to those featured at other casinos at denominations from $.01 to $5. Games were old and new and were interspersed together throughout the floor with denominations of slots grouped together.

The Red Card

The Red Card program offers 1 point per $3 slot in and $9 video poker in. We accumulated 1,000 points during our stay, worth $10 in cash back, which I feel was quite stingy. And no "Free Play". We also presented our Red Card at tables and we were asked to consult the casino host for comps during our stay. The pit boss did put both of our action together. The Red Card’s program is somewhat of a mystery. The Web Site does not talk about redemption or accumulation of points.

Our Own Gambling

Over four nights, we played about 8 hours of $40 craps (4 bets x $10 per come out), 4 hours of $30 pai gow (2 hands at $15), 4 hours of $15/$25 Blackjack and Blackjack Switch, as well at 4 hours of video poker and a few hours at the slots.

At the end of the stay, I asked the agent at the front desk what she could do for us on the "Red Card". She made a call (I assume to the host) and our room food charges (about $100) was comped which was a pleasant surprise.

Summary

Our stay at the Wynn was probably the best of our many Vegas experiences that we've had. The casino is first rate with table limits about the same as any other upper tier strip hotel (Bellagio, Venetian, Paris). The hotel itself features very large rooms that are luxurious in nature.

My only recommendations for improvement are the following:

  • Clarify the check in and check out area to clearly indicate where people are supposed to wait when checking in and checking out..
  • Decrease the price of food by about 20%, especially in the morning.
  • Loosen the player's card rewards somewhat to allow for more Cashback or FreePlay based on play.

Acknowledgement

The Wizard would like to thank Karina for modeling in the pictures.

Contact Information

Address: 3131 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, NV 89109
Phone: 702-770-7000
Web site: wynnlasvegas.com

 

Comments

FleaStiff
FleaStiff Dec 15, 2016

Amazon ECHO, some sort of always live microphone system, will be installed in each room of the Wynn. I assume its use will be to manipulate room lighting, air-conditioning controls and to alleviate any phone difficulties involving room service, the concierge or the casino.

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Games at Wynn

BlackjackDecksMinMaxSoft 17DADASRSASurrTablesCSMParty Pit6/5 BJVideoH. Edge
Blackjack6 10 5000 H YesYes No No 22NoNoYesNo1.99842
Blackjack1 15 5000 H YesNo No No 2NoNoYesNo1.69824
Blackjack6 25 5000 H YesYes No No 11NoNoNoNo0.63873
Blackjack2 100 10000 H YesYes No No 6NoNoNoNo0.45688
Blackjack6 200 10000 S YesYes Yes Yes 10NoNoNoNo0.28507
Blackjack VariantsDecksMinMax
BJ Switch 6 15 2500
Miscellaneous# of TablesMin BetMax Bet
Big Wheel 2 2 100
Casino War 2 10 2000
Poker variants# of TablesMin BetMax Bet
Crazy 4 Poker 2 10 500
Let It Ride 2 10 500
Pai Gow Poker 4 50 10000
Three Card Poker 5 10 500
Ultimate Texas Hold'em 4 10 500
Baccarat# of TablesMin BetMax Bet
Baccarat 14 50 10000
Craps# of TablesMin BetMax BetOddsField12Video
Craps 9 10 5000 2x Triple No
Roulette# of TablesMin BetMax BetRulesVideo
Roulette 10 10 500 00 No
Roulette 1 100 5000 Euro No
Video PokerRankAvg ReturnGrade
Video Poker42 96.65% C-
Video KenoRankAvg ReturnGrade
Video Keno5 92.69% A-