The Duplex Apartment at Encore : The VT Review 2010
6000 Square Feet of OMG
A privilege. Wait, no... A dream come true.
I was eleven or twelve years old when my dad decided to splurge on two jacuzzi suites at Luxor. Vegas was a family town in those days and I had already had my fair share, but this would be an experience that I could never erase out of my memory. Luxor's jacuzzi suites blew my mind. They actually have hotel rooms with separate living areas?! Ooh, and that tub under the slanted window! So cool! I even had the eye to notice that the toiletries were slightly upgraded. Talcum powder?! I don't even know what that is, but it's awesome that only the suites get it.
Yes, exclusivity and frill attracted this prepubescent snob from the get-go.
Despite several trips between then and my 21st birthday, years went by without ever seeing a proper Las Vegas suite again until my own financial responsibility and legal age had me tasting Wynn's Salon suites and Fairway Villas, MGM's Skylofts, and a plethora of other outrageous rooms, if only for a night. I became crazy about their designers, their amenities, and how the hotel treated these guests differently.
And with each trip, I wanted to outdo the last accommodation.
In 2006, the Admiral leaked that Encore would have incredibly lavish, two-story "Sky Villas" at one end of its hallways. I drooled at the thought of staying in one even though I knew only those gambling thousands per hand would even be considered. Sure enough, when Encore opened and I was given a tour of the suites, I was told that there was "no chance" I'd see these Duplex Apartments (the name they would officially settle on).
One special day, as I called to confirm my reservation in a standard Tower suite, I half-jokingly asked if they book the Encore Apartments.
"Yes, we have just released these to general reservations."
My heart raced in excitement. At last: the legend, the myth of a Steve Wynn whale-only accommodation had become victim to the recession and available to a peon such as myself. Unfortunately, the $5000 weekday and $7500 weekend rate was far, far too rich for my blood.
Soon enough, the rooms appeared on Encore's reservations page with reduced prices of $3500 and $5000 depending on demand. They never budged lower than that until one faithful day in June out of complete boredom, I snooped around the rate calendar fully expecting to be disappointed.
And there she appeared, December 23rd. Surrounded by nights the cost of a mortgage payment on a mini mansion, this particular evening was at a steal of a price: $1250. Was it a mistake? Maybe a missing zero? It was enough to get me to book an entire trip around one night's stay there. After all, how many opportunities does one get to stay in a suite that was the center of a several page spread in Architectural Digest? I waited and waited for seven months until the big day when I pulled into Encore Tower Suites nervous and excited to check in to room 2401.