Written by Diane Webster.
When you enter the Encore, you’ll see red – a rich red that sweeps through the carpets and walls and engulfs the striking chandeliers. The Encore is a new addition to the Vegas scene and is similar to her sister hotel/casino, the Wynn, in fact, the two hotels are connected. You can walk from the Encore to the Wynn and never go outside. But, once you see the red chandeliers, you know you’re back at the Encore, and in our case, back where we called home for four days.
The hotel, is beautifully maintained and the staff are extremely helpful and courteous. This is not always the case with Vegas hotels; in fact a few have fallen on hard times and are clearly being neglected. We walked through one casino that had a picture of the rooms displayed above the cashier. We heard the young couple ahead of us say “why doesn’t our room look like that?!” I suspect the rooms haven’t looked like that in decades! Just another reason why it’s best to let a Classic Travel specialist arrange your trip.
At the Encore, our suite had three rooms and a long closet hallway. The marble bathroom was beautiful – a full spa tub and separate glass shower, bath robes, separate toilet and let’s not forget the flat screen TV and telephone. The raised bedroom has a king-sized bed and a big flat screen TV that would swing into the sunken living room. The living room has a desk (with a printer and fax) a sofa/lounge and table and a great view. Our favorite feature was the remote control at our bedside. We could open and close the sheers and drapes; and turn the lights on and off – it was great. It would be easy not to leave this little haven, but we were in Las Vegas – which always offers lots to eat, do and see.
This year there was even more to see – we were in Vegas on Halloween! I’ve never seen anything like it! The saying “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” – was probably created on Halloween. It seemed like half the town was in costume and they had it all: the ghoulish, the wacky, the humorous, the naughty and the extremely naughty. If you’re not afraid of goblins or naughty maids, you should plan a trip over Halloween – it’s incredible.
Las Vegas is always evolving. We’ve been going for over 30 years and it’s never the same. If you were in Vegas a few years ago, you were in a city that doesn’t exist anymore. You have to go back – you’ll be amazed. If you don’t like to gamble, you may think Vegas isn’t a good destination for you. But, Las Vegas now has some of the best shopping, shows, sights, and food in the world. And, the wonderful thing is that it’s all in a relatively close area. It really does have something for everyone.
If you’re a shopper, you’ll find your usual favorite stores as well as the special shops known to New York, London, Paris, or Italy – only they are all within easy walking distance. At the Encore/Wynn, there is a shop with the largest collection of Rolexes in the world! Sorry Switzerland. There are shoe and dress designers I’ve only seen before in advertisements. For example, there are two Jimmy Choo stores on the strip! If only that mega jackpot had come through! Thankfully, you don’t have to win the jackpot to shop and buy. There are lots of shops in all price ranges.
Like the shopping, the food in Vegas has become an adventure. Celebrity chef restaurants are literally on every corner. And, like the shopping, the prices can range from reasonable to mega jackpot. You can follow in the footsteps of this season’s Top Chef challengers, or go to my husband, Bob’s, favorite place – the Burger Bar (in the Mandalay Bay shopping court) where they have taken ‘have it your way’ to a whole new level.
Although, we never seem to have time, there are a variety of sites and shows for the non-players. We do always make one trip to downtown and see the Fremont Experience and have dinner, usually at the Golden Nugget. We also took in the car show at the old Imperial Palace. Every few trips we drop in and take a peek at the exhibit. Bob’s a car enthusiast, but even if you aren’t, it’s amazing to see so many unusual cars in one place. You walk through at your own pace and while the exhibit is showing some age, it is still home to row after row of million dollar plus Rolls-Royces and other fabulous cars. If you think you ever want to see the collection, you should go now. The owner has passed on and the new owners have already sold many cars (like Hitler’s and Patton’s). All the cars on display are for sale. So, catch it while you can – the collection, while still huge, is dwindling.
When you travel to a fabulous city, you need some time to take it in. We usually opt for a minimum of 4 nights and we have never found it to be too much time. Vegas is fast paced enough and you need to slow down a little and enjoy what the city has to offer. With such beautiful hotels, fabulous shopping, dining and sites – 4 nights still leaves you wanting to return for more. And, if all of that isn’t enough – they even have gambling!
Diane, Classic Travel’s President Joy Thrun’s sister, retired from the State of Michigan where she worked in the area of information technology and served on the original e-Michigan team that launched the Michigan.gov website. Travel is a family passion and, like her parents and siblings, Diane has delighted in traveling the world. She has enjoyed Hawaii, Alaska, and many destinations throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean. She has also had the pleasure of traveling to China, Japan, France, Spain, Italy, England, Monaco, and Malta.