Encore Las Vegas Review
I’ve had my eye on a stay at The Wynn, and more recently Encore, for years. But since our last trip in 2010, we really haven’t had a reason to return to Las Vegas from the East Coast. Once I knew I was joining the MtM Diamond meetup there, though, I tried to make a stay at one of these properties work. Long story short, I found a solution, and I was supremely rewarded. During a short stay, Encore made me feel like a million bucks. Today, I’ll step through my experience staying one night at Encore Las Vegas.
I booked my Encore stay via Amex’s Fine Hotels & Resorts program and leveraged a Platinum $200 FHR credit for the stay. Room rate and taxes came to ~$253, plus a $45 resort fee not covered by the credit. My out of pocket expense was $98, not including gratuities. I’ll step through all the FHR credit specifics at Encore in a future article.
Encore is the younger property located alongside The Wynn on the North Strip of Las Vegas. Other North Strip properties are easy to reach, only taking a few minutes by foot. Locations farther south aren’t out of a pedestrian’s reach but will take a bit more time. From my perspective, The Wynn and Encore mitigate some of their location limitations by giving guests little reason to leave!
Upon arriving, I went through two check-in lines. But I wasn’t disappointed to do so. Once I arrived at Encore’s front desk, the agent said that I had been “double upgraded” to a room in the Tower Suites, requiring a separate check-in at their front desk. After about a five minute wait in the Tower Suites lobby, an agent greeted me. She thoughtfully stepped through my stay, explaining each of my Fine Hotels & Resorts benefits and their limitations. She anticipated and answered my questions without me needing to ask them, a skill I heavily value at luxury properties.
I received an Encore Tower Suite King room on the 65th floor, measuring approximately 745 square feet. The foyer (with bathroom on the right) led to the bedroom, then a living area adjacent to the floor to ceiling windows. The browns and off-white colors added texture and complemented the room’s furniture and layout. The sitting area featured a comfy, dark (read: stain-free) sectional sofa. I was happy the room held a proper desk across from the sofa – something the Conrad did not.
The room’s technology is the probably the best I’ve ever experienced domestically. It’s right up there with the technology I’ve enjoyed in Asia from certain Mandarin Oriental, Peninsula, and Shangri-La properties. The foyer offered one-touch all on and nighttime switches. The bathroom had similar options, as well. Next to the bed was a mini-console controlling electronic and drape functions. The television swiveled 360 degrees for bedroom and living area viewing.
The bathroom held separate shower, bath, and powder room areas adjacent to the double vanity. A longtime shower guy, I took my first bath in recent memory while watching Shark Tank on the bathroom TV. I can’t remember when I last savored time in a hotel bathroom.
When I called to make a breakfast reservation at Jardin for the next day, the operator informed there was no availability. She helpfully offered I may have better luck showing up at opening as a single. Jardin is located in Encore adjacent to the shopping arcade leading to the Wynn. I promptly reported to Jardin at 7:30 the next morning and was rewarded. I enjoyed the best breakfast I’ve ever had in Vegas, and my overall favorite in recent memory. My steak and eggs came out perfectly medium and over medium, respectively, and the coffee was on point. I caught myself eating slowly, something I don’t do enough. I wanted to take everything in. Delights came from all angles – fresh flowers, a beautiful chandelier, eye-catching decor, plus impeccable service (more on that later). It was a perfect start to the day.
I also enjoyed lunch at Charlie’s, a Wynn restaurant adjacent to the casino and sports book. Fare there was predictably solid quality.
I didn’t bother with any fine dining experiences at Encore or the Wynn, but many exist for those interested. I loved the Wynn Buffet years ago, but I abstained this time. Many other quick dining options exist throughout the Encore and Wynn properties, but mostly at The Wynn. I now regret saying no to the Wynn’s gelato stand.
Encore’s lively lobby bar is adjacent to the front desk and buzzed around the clock. A sleepier bar overlooking the pool was busy in the afternoons. A high limit bar was immaculate – beautiful to look at without a soul around.
I spent a mild, windy morning at Encore’s family pool. The rectangular pool was lightly occupied. I didn’t bother with food or drinks due to the gusts. The seats and views were relaxing enough. I sat at the adults-only pool for a bit, but this pool (and its patrons) were still waking up at about 11 am.
An older and smaller fitness center than the one at Resorts World, I enjoyed the quiet luxury here. The usual cardio, free weights, and machines dotted the gym. Unfortunately, the fitness center had no windows, only provided water in bottles, and closed rather early at 7 pm.
One of my favorite activities on any Vegas trip is taking in the feel of casinos, and I enjoyed the process at Encore and the Wynn. In my opinion, these are the two most attractive casino areas in Vegas. I find the decor, natural light, and relatively small footprints comforting. Again, I’m not a Vegas gambler, but I can appreciate a handsome casino.
I had a feeling I would enjoy my Encore stay, but the area that knocked my socks off was the service – in terms of the level and its consistency. Most all employees greeted me by name everywhere. Some of you may roll your eyes here, but I still appreciate that attention to detail. My Jardin waitress was excellent. Upon ordering a cappuccino, she recommended against one as their machine had been acting up recently. She could’ve easily sold me a crappy cappuccino but didn’t. All service details were timely and accurate. All employee words and actions were precise, and I didn’t notice an employee mistake once. More importantly, I received this heightened level of service without it feeling too stuffy or forced. In their words and actions, employees enjoy working at Encore and the Wynn. In turn, I benefited as a guest.
Overall, my Encore Las Vegas experience was a home run. Sure, people pay more to stay here than other properties, but sometimes, you get what you pay for. The entire package fit together beautifully – an excellent room, high quality dining, luxurious amenities, and impeccable service. Encore had a rare impact on me. I now consider the property a destination on its own – somewhere I’d visit again even if I had zero interest in the surrounding area. I’m not sure if that day will ever come, but I’ll happily accept that future dilemma for my recent, remarkable experience.