We are back from Las Vegas, for the 8th time. As always vacations are never long enough and no matter how many times we have been to Sin City there can never be enough days for us there and this time was no exception. This trip, however, stood out among our previous trips there and it was largely due to our incredible stay at the Encore. After having stayed at many different hotels on the strip and with many hotels to compare with, it is difficult not to talk about our experiences at the Encore.
Encore is the place to be at right now in Las Vegas. It is the ultimate lap of luxury for anyone who is looking for this type of experience. Encore was originally planned as an expansion of the Wynn but plans for Encore became so incredible that Encore became its own full scale resort, hotel, and casino. It is often said that Steve Wynn, the ever industrious owner and casino developer, made sure that the mistakes learned from the luxury Wynn resort were not repeated at the new Encore. One cannot talk about Encore without also talking about the Wynn since hotel guests from both hotels have full access to amenities on either hotel. Encore and Wynn are adjacent to each other and easily connected through the luxury shopping esplanade.
Mosaic nature patterns are part of the common theme as can be seen throughout Encore and Wynn. The design theme at Encore specifically includes very strong red colors reflected almost throughout the resort: red chandeliers at the casino, red patterned walls at the registration desks, and red themed restaurants and bars.
Encore is on the higher side of price range, yes, but for a good reason. There's a popular school of thought when it comes to hotel choices: why pay more for a hotel if you're going to be spending most of your time outside the hotel anyway? We see a lot of basis for this school of thought but we also think it depends on the vacation destination. Hence, this school of thought might not necessarily hold true for Las Vegas, at least for us. In Las Vegas, almost all the attractions are the hotels themselves (isn't that what The Strip is known for after all: the hotel attractions) which means that we would be spending a lot of our time in the hotel: pool, meals, casino, shows, shopping, and other attractions.
We stayed at one of the Encore resort suites which was well designed, furnished, and thought out. Each room at the Encore reportedly costs more than $1 million to build and furnish so that explains why we were felt so pampered during our entire stay.
One of my favorite aspects of the design was the solid black wooden doors used for the closet, bathroom, and main suite entrance.
When it comes to state-of-the-art equipment and technology, Encore has got them covered. On one side of the bed is an iPod docking station.
On the other side of the bed is a control panel that allows you to automatically control the curtain drapes, bedroom light, and room privacy right from the comfort of the bed. Say goodbye to paper doorknob handles when requesting for room privacy. Requesting housekeeping to make the bed is also a button away located at the main door. And, no more flipping the light switch off and then trying to make your way back to the bed hoping not to bump into anything in the dark.
The touch screen telephone on the office desk eases the process of having to look up from a paper hotel directory for which extension to dial for the appropriate service. Customer service at a more personal level was also felt during our stay. Whenever we called up a department for any requests or questions, our call was greeted right away by name, "Hello Mr P, .....". The last time we received such personal service was when we stayed at the Four Seasons in Singapore. After our request for more toiletries, we received a courtesy call about 15 minutes later from housekeeping to check whether our toiletries had been delivered.
The fully stocked mini bar carries more than just drinks. There are a variety of nibbles consisting of caramel popcorn, cookies, chocolate, and jelly beans. Bringing technology into play again, these snacks are placed on top of a sensor plate so that if any of the packaged snack is removed for more than 60 seconds, it is considered that you really do want to munch on those nibbles and hence, the charge is placed directly to the room account. Pretty nifty, I should say.
In true Las Vegas style, apparently Encore does care whether hotel guests have forgotten to pack the more personal items with them during their trip.
The swivel 42" flat screen TV was also a nice treat as hotel guests could watch it from either the bed or the couch in the sitting area. And if we start fighting over who gets to watch the channel of his or her choice, no worries. There is another smaller 19" TV in the bathroom (remote control included!) which faces the bathtub. The dual sinks, separate shower and bathtubs are nice added touches.
Another standout is the pool area which consists of two area areas mainly differentiated by whether it is European-style or not. The European pool allows for optional topless sunbathing and only adults are allowed in that area. The European pool has a bar with several gambling tables if hotel guests wish to try their luck while outdoors. Hotel guests at Encore have access to the Wynn's pool area which also consists of a spacious resort pool and a European pool. For the really indulgent ones, cabanas can be rented as well.
With the award-winning restaurants, cafes, bars, retail stores, and casino on premise, we had never spent that much time inside a hotel until then. Encore is also home to XS Nightclub, the hottest night spot currently in Las Vegas. XS Nightclub reportedly is the most expensive nightclub to be built to date at more than $100 million and is a popular choice among celebrities. Hotel guests also get a separate line at the entrance bypassing non-hotel guests who have to wait in line to get in. It is a self-sufficient resort in itself, but yes, it would be silly not to get out of the hotel and walk The Strip when we are in Las Vegas and so that was what we did the rest of our time there.
We were so comfortable with our stay that we did not want to leave but we needed to be jolted back to reality in Chicago. It was a decadent experience that we definitely would want to experience again on our next trip out to Las Vegas. As for our usual practice of trying out a different hotel each time we are in Las Vegas, we are not so sure now if we could maintain that. Encore remains really high up on our list for an indulgent stay during our next trip out to Sin City.
Steve Wynn gets it right, again.
Encore Las Vegas
3121 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109