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LUX King at the SLS Las Vegas
Steve Wynn and luxury are a forgone conclusion. Beginning with his days at the Golden Nugget, it was readily apparent that Mr. Wynn had a certain niche for several very important things in the hotel business: amazing luxury, impeccable style, and a way of customer service that is second to none to this day. He brought this same mentality to the Strip when he opened the Mirage, the first true mega-resort in Las Vegas, and later to what some would consider to be the crown jewel of the city, the Bellagio. Not to be outdone after his ouster from his own company, Mr. Wynn rose again to build Wynn Las Vegas, a hotel so popular that before the dust settled a follow up was already planned resulting in Encore, true to its name as the second act to what has become arguably one of the most luxurious hotels in the world.
However as luxurious as Wynn is on its own, within the hotel itself lies another hotel, one even more exclusive and with a service level that has been consistently rated by both Mobil and AAA as top of the line. The Wynn Tower Suites are considered by most who stay there to be one of the most special places in the hospitality industry. With amazing interior design, appointed amenities, and service that goes so far as to make you feel like you’re at home they have been a success next to none in the boutique hotel genre. As such, Encore got it’s own Tower Suites, and they are even more intimate than Wynn’s at just over 300 rooms total. To say it fully, the Encore Tower Suites are a hotel experience like no other, where you’ll feel like you’re family while rubbing elbows with celebrities, sheiks, businessmen, and the man next door. And considering the price point, it should be no surprise, although don’t be dissuaded…upgrades are often readily available at check in and in my opinion bring about some of the best value in luxury travel around.
A short note on gaming, Encore was designed to be a destination for high rollers, bathed in rich reds and white accents, the casino is bathed from both ends in natural light, with views of the pool and outdoors to a lot of the gaming floor. Despite the fact that the clientele has changed due to the downshift in the economy around the time Encore opened, the opulence remains. However Encore tends to be a very busy casino when the clubs adjacent are open, which means at times there can be a rowdy and loud atmosphere. Despite this dealers are top notch, and floor people go out of their way to assure you’re having the best experience possible.
Right off the floor, with a separate port cochere and lobby guarded by security, the Tower Suites is steps away from the action but feels world’s apart. The lobby, bathed in emerald green and cream hues and stocked with pieces from Mr. Wynn’s personal art collection, is staffed by attentive personnel who have water and a hot towel ready when you check in, and make sure all of your needs are met. Check in usually takes less than 5 minutes, and you’re headed to the connecting private elevators. There’s also a RFB lounge for those invited guests to have coffee, drinks and snacks through the day, as well as a private entry to Sinatra, the resort’s signature Italian restaurant. The lobby is considered a sanctuary, and as such the only picture I have is one of the chandeliers in the sitting area by the main door. Don’t be fooled though, the room is stunning in an of itself.
The entirety of the Tower Suites is served by 3 private elevators, which also service the Sky Casino, a private gaming salon on the 63rd floor. Additionally, each floor while connected to the main hotel’s Resort side, is secured by a key-card only door separating the Tower Suites from the regular rooms. There are 5 types of rooms total, ranging from two-story duplex apartments (like the one in which Prince Harry notoriously played naked pool) to typical Resort Suites with upgraded amenities and service.
Elevators are always quick, and within seconds you’re in the hallway, washed in black and white tones with red accents. Hand selected art adorns lobby tables, and bone colored white sconces keep lighting efficient yet intimate. It’s hard to believe, based on maintenance, care and quality, that all of this area, along with the rest of Encore, is about to be upgraded. It looks today exactly as it did when the resort opened, a testament to the Wynn thought on operations.
Inserting your card key into the double doors, you immediately step inside to a warm foyer bathed in white eggshell paint, warm veined marble flooring, and natural light. To the right of the door are controls for requesting housekeeping service or privacy, as well as controls for the overall lighting system. While not as sophisticated as the upgraded systems in the Wynn Tower Suites, these give you the quick ability to turn lights on, off, or set the mood.
To the right of the entry is a powder room for guests visiting or if you’re entertaining in suite. The vanity is art itself, looking like an extruded piece of architecture, topped in the same marble used throughout the flooring and bathrooms in the suite. Towels are stocked and a hand soap pump is kept filled for use. There’s a wall to wall mirror, with sconces accentuating an inset mirror with a crown motif, a nod to those staying in the room as being more than a typical guest. Adjacent is a water closet, which sits higher than usual as typical for Wynn’s hotels, as well as a lovely piece of art featuring hand stitched butterflies, the design motif found throughout Encore.
To the left of the entry is an in-suite massage room with table, towels and amenities and a sound system. Encore provides an extensive in-suite spa menu which allows for specialized treatments to be had without departing the comfort of your room. The room is a mix of the spectacular design of Encore’s spa with touches of the typical room design which is the masterwork of Todd Avery Lenahan in conjunction with Wynn’s own award winning Design and Development team.
Stepping into the suite, the linear layout and depth of the space begins to unfold into a warm and inviting setup made almost of vignettes of furniture perfectly placed to create zones in which to move and enjoy the suite. With a carpet picking up the warm brown and cream tones of the design, as well as a intricately layered ceiling with moldings and mirrors galore, the suite draws light from the floor to ceiling windows flanking the television in and seems completely overwhelming, even at 2700 square feet.
To the left rear of the main room is a built in dining area for 4 to 6, with a cream built in banquette inset into a wood and mirror flanked alcove with neutral art above as well as two relaxed high back chairs making the table feel less formal and more casual despite its setting. Room service is delivered here with a table cloth and service, taking you to closer to home when eating in your room as opposed to dining off of a rolling table.
In front of the dining area is a large swath of space with a desk and large piece of art, which feels honestly a bit misused while being forgiven considering the overall composure of the suite. There’s also an option to add an adjoining single room to make the suite a 2 bedroom overall, and this pass through door is located in this area. There’s also a work desk with the typical Wynn accessories including in-room dining menu, resort guide, writing implements and stationery, and a phone with one-touch access to anything you could need within the property.
In the middle of the space, under the center of the elliptical mirrored ceiling is the primary seating and living area of the suite. There are two deep and warm brown velour couches with white piping and deep pillows at the back, as well are barrel tables with lamps on dimmers and striped arm chairs bringing seating for a total of 8 or more. In the middle is a vast coffee table with an art book and magazines and brochures for the property, creating a warm and inviting place to relax, chat, have a drink, or enjoy some entertainment. In front of the table, set on a wall between two large windows, is a 70″ LCD HDTV tuned into Wynn’s high-definition entertainment network. Additionally there’s a Blu-ray player in the cabinet below for those who travel with their own discs, however the room is lacking a centralized stereo or ability to hook your own device directly in as many of the newer resorts like Aria offer. Behind the right couch is a table full of decorative objects as well as a cordless phone for moving around the room if you’re on a call without an issue.
To the right rear of the room is a bar for entertaining in suite. Built as a piece of furniture more than a simple bar, the large solid marble top and sides make a bold statement, highlighted by two whimsical bar stools which are impeccably arranged in a way that encourages use.
Behind the bar is a back bar with a sink, stocked glassware and an ice bucket, as well as an under counter refrigerator and mini-bar, with more dry goodies stocked on a motion sensor base on top. Prices are high, but if you’re staying here let’s face facts, an $8 box of cookies is a treat you’re willing to swing for. And like the rest of the suite, luxury is evident in every seam of the bar and every inch of the mirror, wood, and glassware that surround it down to the live orchid tended to daily by a horticulturalist on staff.
But the goodness that is Encore doesn’t end here. The master bedroom and bath suite adjacent only take the luxury level up a notch from here, as hard as that might be to believe. And that’ll be the highlight of the second part of our review coming soon.