An Aria Regular Goes To The Wynn
Started by HedgedBettor on Saturday, 29th September 2012 5:06 pm
2 day, 3 night trip - arrived Saturday evening, departed Monday on a redeye back home (NOT recommended - Tuesday was not an easy day). I wanted to mix things up on this impromptu business trip (I had a meeting in town on Monday) and I was in town alone. I decided to stay at the Wynn and see if it could live up to the hype. Would Wynn be a better place to stay than Aria?
1) Let's cut straight to the chase - the answer to that question was, for me, a resounding no. There were a lot of lovely things about Wynn, starting with the spacious and gorgeous Wynn Tower Resort Room I stayed in (on the 28th floor, golf course views - I had booked a single King room but their only availability was on the 6th floor, so they gave me a free "upgrade" to a 2-queen room on 28). The bed was quite comfortable and the decor in the main space was beautiful. Things went somewhat downhill in the bathroom, where the fixtures were generally middling and the shower head in particular was straight out of a 1980s Hilton. I was upset that the safe in the room didn't work, which is kinda inexcusable in a hotel like this. But the fatal flaw of the Wynn Resort Room as a hotel room was XS. Both nights I slept in the room were nightmares with thumping bass waking me intermittently well past 3 AM. Lets be clear - this isn't some light-sleeper-moaning-about-a-little-noise BS. I live in Manhattan directly facing a heavily trafficked avenue with a bar with a roofdeck right across the street from me, and normally I sleep like a brick, but things at Wynn are ridiculous. I've seen it from the other side - XS is a great party, and I love its indoor/outdoor setup in good weather, but Wynn really has to look into finding a balance between keeping the club kids happy and making their two enormous hotel towers places where guests can sleep.
2) I get easily worked up over bad gambling conditions, which is one of the reasons I love Aria, which has some of the best rules on the Strip across its table games. When it came to gambling conditions I'm afraid that Wynn was absolutely miserable, quite possibly the worst high-end hotel on the Strip. I was totally shocked and offended. The casino was chock full of shoe-dealt H17 tables at $100 minimums in the heavily trafficked area. The only S17 tables were tucked in a pit off to the side, in the direction of the Tower Suites elevators across from the entrance to the Baccarat room. But making it much worse, there were almost no tables open in S17 - one table for the vast bulk of the time I was there (all during prime time), only once did I see two tables open. The dealers staffing these tables were not very good, in the sense of being sociable and making the game fun to play. There also wasn't much of a crowd at these tables - I almost always played alone, while the H17 tables closer to the action were hopping. Craps did much better - there was always space at a $10 table, even in prime time, and field bets pay 3x on 12, so conditions were solid. Not that its a surprise, but blackjack minimums in high limit were $500 - I didn't see a single person play at the table while I was there. (In fact, overall Wynn seemed to get minimal high-end blackjack play. Seems that blackjack players have figured out that Wynn doesn't want their business and reacted accordingly.)
3) Wynn deserves real credit for two things - dining and service. Even in the resort tower they do a great job with you. When I needed some shaving cream they brought it up promptly after being called and then followed up with a call from a manager to confirm it was received and that I didn't need anything further, which is exemplary. As for dining, I ate at the buffet, Society Cafe, and Wazuzu over the course of the trip, and there wasn't a thing I ate that wasn't excellent. Wazuzu in particular deserves praise for world-class sushi and a quality pan-Asian menu, though at high prices. Prices at Society Cafe were quite high too, but the crab cake benedict was fantastic despite not being filling and was worth the $22 beyond a doubt. Outside of Wynn I had two meals worth mentioning - a 3x3 at the In-n-Out on Spring Mountain (I will once again recommend a trip to In-n-Out to anybody who doesn't live in a place where you can get these heavenly burgers regularly, though you should avoid the fries in favor of MORE BURGER) and a sandwich right before going back to the airport at the Earl of Sandwich. I was planning to get a Pink's Chili Cheese Dog and telling everybody who I was chatting with about it, and the invariable response I got was that the place to go at PHo for a quick bite was really the Earl. It was a very nice sandwich, and my stomach wasn't really in the mood for a Chili Cheese Dog bomb, so I'll call it a good decision.
4) After I checked out of Wynn on Monday evening I went to a few places I seldom visit on and around the Strip to see what was doing and scout for some future places to try. The first to get a visit was the Cosmopolitan - I wanted to play at the Talon Club after reading the glowing rec it got on the board earlier this year. Unfortunately the limits have been changed since StudiodeKadent walked through - double-deck was $300 minimum and shoe-dealt was $500 minimum. After getting flattened playing at the Wynn I didn't have the bankroll to stretch for a game at that level so I did a quick walkthrough and left. The next stop was the Hard Rock, where I was keen to try the HRH Tower rooms on a future trip and wanted to check out the casino to meet a host etc. What a disaster! I hadn't been in years and had forgotten just how douchebagged up the joint is. I played a couple shoes before fleeing in horror. I decided to finish up the trip at Planet Hollywood in hopes of getting the aforementioned Pink's hot dog. Blackjack in high limit was good (only one table open at $100 but it turned out to have a fun dealer and fun crowd and some good cards for once) and the sandwich was good, as discussed before. Still I won't be staying there anytime soon - craps tables were poor, there really wasn't much selection for quality blackjack and the rooms are nothing special.
5) On Sunday morning I wanted to watch my beloved Arsenal play a big Premier League match at Manchester City. I was gonna watch in the Wynn sportsbook but it didn't have anybody in it so I audibled and went to the Crown and Anchor on Tropicana, which is the place to go to watch English sports in town. We had a good crew of Gooners and got some good competitive singing going with Tottenham's piss-drunk one man support section. Really it takes something to be housed like that at 9 in the morning, singing your head off alone to support your club - I tip my hat to the insane, probably alcoholic Spurs supporter.
Speaking of the Wynn sportsbooks, you could get a cushy leather chair to watch the NFL action no problem throughout the day. I couldn't believe it. Its not a terribly large book but not a tiny one either, and the hotel was very close to sold out. Keep it in mind for future Sundays when you want to watch the game without competing with the crazy crowds at a place like Mandalay Bay.
6) For people who fly JetBlue into town be aware there's a new terminal at McCarran which means no more monorail and decent food options available in the terminal - huzzah!
Last response by LAvegasphile 4th October 2:42am
Malibugolfer responded on Sunday, 30th September 2012
Interesting take HB. I previously commented on the very recent removal of 2 or 3 s17 tables across from the B-Bar at Wynn and their replacement with the 2 roulette tables that you probably saw. To give you some perspective, when Wynn opened there were 6 tables there of s17 AND all the now h17 8 tables in the other pit were also s17.
You could have gone over to Encore where they almost always have a 6 deck s17 game for $100 in the HL.
On weekends the odd numbered rooms (facing the strip) are best noise-wise. Can you imagine what another club in the old Alex space would be like? An insult and a far cry from what Wynn was just a few years ago.
Thanks for your comments. Glad I can drive, no red eyes needed.
HedgedBettor replied on Sunday, 30th September 2012
You'd have to expect them to fill the old Alex space with a club. It fits with what this place is doing - its aiming for younger, less gaming-focused patrons for the Resort tower and for Asian mega-high-rollers for the Tower Suites. There's a ton of fancy Asian food here and but no flagship European/American haute cuisine spot. But thats OK, plenty of other places on the strip aim at other clientele.