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Living large, living low - Wynn and El Cortez and 20 other casinos (pics)

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by gambler, Feb 9, 2015.

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  1. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    This was our first week long trip to Vegas. We started the trip staying at Encore and ended it staying at the El Cortez. It was a contrast for sure! Along the way, we rented a car (and came home to a surprising final bill from Advantage Car Rental) and visited Red Rock Canyon. We enjoyed cocktails and watched a hockey game with Derek Stevens, owner of The D. We collected a couple hand pays, missed a casino robbery by a few hours and enjoyed a fabulous stay at Encore.

    I took many pictures so hope to share the trip with more photos and less talk (but I am a wee bit Irish so we’ll see how that goes.) Let’s get started…

    A few months ago my husband got a letter from Wynn offering him 3 nights in a regular room at Wynn or 3 nights in a resort tower suite at Encore. We have no idea why he got this offer – we had never stepped foot in Wynn or Encore before, actually we’d never ever been to that end of the strip before. The offer was completely out of the blue.

    We decided to take just 2 nights at Encore. (The rest of our plans were 2 nights at Suncoast, then 3 nights at the El Cortez.) That would give us enough time to visit some new (to us) casinos on the strip. We doubted that our level of play would result in future offers at Encore so it was nice to have the freedom to play however we wanted without any regard to future comps.

    I’d read about the noise issues with the nightclub so at check-in we asked for a room higher up if possible. We were given a center room on the 30th floor. The view was great! We could see the golf course, some of the strip and the pools.

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    Encore Beach Club

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    The room was awesome and spotlessly clean. Love that you can lie in bed and use the remote to open the drapes. Good morning Vegas!

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    Your room card at Wynn/Encore also works as a slot card. No need to run to the player’s club when you first arrive, you can go straight to gambling. Our first stop was the bar. From reading this board we knew we would not be comped drinks while playing video poker at the bar but we figured we could at least pay for our first drink since they were treating us so well (that’s the only drink we paid for).

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    Drink in hand, we went in search of some good VP machines. I was surprised Encore pays 9/5 on $1 DDB, I thought it would be worse. I was also blown away by how clean their machines are. Not a fingerprint or smudge to be seen anywhere.

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    Drink service was great. The waitress came around faster than we could keep up.
    While waiting for my husband to finish playing some VP, I took $100 to play a few hands of blackjack. They had quite a few tables open with $15 minimum but at those levels, they pay 6/5. I played for an hour or so on my $100 and left up $173. (The next morning I would check my card and find they had given me points for my play. I’m surprised they even rated my minimal play with $15 bets.)

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    More to come...
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2015
  2. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    The next morning we signed up for a “Red Card” at the player’s booth. Wynn does not have tier levels with their player’s club. One card fits all so that’s kind of nice. No one need know that we were low rollers here.

    Encore has a promotion where if you get 500 points, they give you a free entry to their daily slot tournament. We were pretty close and would hit that goal later in the day. My husband had enough points for a free buffet but we wanted to wander the strip for a while before breakfast so didn’t use it.

    We did a walk through Wynn and ended up at Kahunaville at Treasure Island for breakfast. Good food.

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    We played and lost a bit at Treasure Island, then checked out Ceasar’s and lost a little more. We spent some time taking in the sights on the strip and came upon the Linq. I have no idea what the rooms are like but it looks like someone had too much to drink while picking the paint colors. To me it looks like a youth hostel gone wrong and looks so out of place compared to the other casinos on the strip.

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    We made our way to The Cromwell hoping to run into a friend of ours. She wasn’t working but we signed up for a Total Rewards card and spent some time playing. We both really liked that casino, it just felt comfortable.

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  3. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Enjoying your report and photos; looking forward to more!
     
  4. abraxis

    abraxis Low-Roller

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    Great post. ...looking forward to seeing the "living low" portion, as that's the kind of living that i relate to most. ..but what a nice glimpse into the living large part. That room looks great!
     
  5. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    We took our time wandering through all the casinos on our way back to our hotel. We still needed to put some points on our card for the daily slot tournament so decided to play at the larger Wynn casino.

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    Once we had enough points, we both signed up for the slot tournament and were given our times. We had enough time to have a light meal at the Lobby bar & café. The caesar salad and clam chowder were delicious.

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  6. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    The slot tournament is set up with 24 machines with 3 sessions. Only about 20 people showed up for each session so there was about 60 in total. The top 3 in each session win something and then the top 8 overall win a prize. I didn’t make note of the prizes but I think they were all freeplay of some amount and the top winner may have won freeplay and show tickets. We didn’t place but it was fun and filled in some time, saving us some gambling money.
    We played some more VP after the tournament and won and lost. My husband had a good run at the craps table and won a few hundred. We tried a few BJ tables but ended mostly even.

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    For dinner we were just going to grab something at Zoozacrackers Deli but it was closed by the time we got around to it. We ended up back at the Lobby Café and split another delicious meal of Wagyu sliders and seared scallops.

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    On our last morning we stopped at the red card desk to see if we had enough points for a buffet. I had enough for one buffet on my card and it turns out my husband had enough for 7 buffets. Wynn has a really good selection of food and deserts for breakfast (including pickled herring I noticed).

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    After breakfast, I wanted to check out the pool area. Someone heard us discussing it on the elevator and mentioned that the pool area at Encore was closed for maintenance so we checked out the Wynn side of things. I just can’t get over the cleanliness and attention to detail this property has. The pool was open and someone was swimming, I just didn’t put him in the photos.

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  7. kramer99

    kramer99 Tourist

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    Great report!

    Just out of curiosity, with the offer probably being a random marketing offer for Wynn/Encore, did you have to pay resort fees & taxes for each night stayed?
     
  8. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Good question kramer. We were wondering the same thing. It wasn't spelled out in our offer so we figured we'd find out at checkout. The answer is coming up in my next installment. I just need to load the pictures and will post it next.

    There seems to be a limit to how many photos I can use in a single post so that's the reason I have to do it in installments.
     
  9. progrocker2112

    progrocker2112 Low-Roller

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    Take your time, no rush on quality. Which this is so far, thanks for sharing.
     
  10. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    Quick questoin, what kind of room is that at Wynn? standard?
     
  11. kingpasty

    kingpasty High-Roller

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    Standard room at Encore...
     
  12. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    awesome pics so far...do you always take pics of your receipts for food? i've thought about doing that to track expenses, but always forget...
     
  13. Joe

    Joe VIP Whale

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    Enjoying all of it so far!
     
    Christmas
    My wife's birthday
  14. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    Quick questoin, what kind of room is that at Wynn? standard?

    They call it a resort tower room but I think that is a standard room at Encore. From what I gathered from the letter if we booked at Wynn, we would get a regular hotel room. If we booked at Encore we would get the suite. Maybe all rooms at Encore are a suite? Anyone know?
     

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  15. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    That is the standard room or suite or whatever you want to call it. I think they call the ones that are on the top few floors “Panoramic Suites” or something similar…but they’re the same thing just higher up.

    Great report, BTW. I’m really enjoying it and looking forward to more! :thumbsup:
     
    Number 50!
  16. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    I take a quick pic of everything. I don't track my spending but it's more a memory of where we've been and what we've done. I would never remember the price of a buffet at Wynn if I didn't have a picture of it. And for sure I wouldn't remember what type of room we stayed at at Encore if I didn't grab a pic. Remembering my room number is hard enough! (I have a picture though...)
     
  17. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    I checked out their arches and got a picture of a new one being developed.

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    We were headed back to our room to pack up but along the way, my husband spotted these and suddenly couldn't walk any further.

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    Since we weren’t in any panic to get to Suncoast (check-in wasn’t till 3), we sat for one more session of VP. My husband put in $100 and after a couple spins, pulled up this.

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    I put in my $100 and pretty quickly got this. Nice ending to our Encore trip.

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    Some final thoughts on Encore – The staff are wonderful here. From cocktail waitresses, to dealers, pit bosses, servers and front desk staff everyone we met had a smile and treated us like we were someone special. And did I mention how spotlessly clean it is? A dealer told me they clean the VP machines at the bar with a toothbrush. I can believe it. I think they must polish all the VP machines the minute someone finishes using them.

    If my husband and I ever decide to settle down and stop visiting 20 casinos in one trip, I could see us bunking down here for a weekend. It’s comfortable. It’s calm. And room service is really reasonable for a 5 star hotel.

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    Our time had come though so we gathered our bags and went downstairs to check out of the Encore. Final bill showed we owed $1.84 for a phone call which we gladly paid. :)
     
  18. bwatson23

    bwatson23 Low-Roller

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    Excellent ending to Encore! Love that place.
     
  19. kramer99

    kramer99 Tourist

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    Wow, I guess that answers my question. I wonder if that's typical or if it's dependent upon how much play you gave them?.
     
  20. gambler

    gambler VIP Whale

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    So we were on our way to Suncoast but our plan was to take the SDX bus (Strip-Downtown Express) to Fremont Street and then grab the WAX (Westcliffe Airport Express) to Suncoast.

    I knew our bus stop was to the left of us, in front of Wynn (a short walk) and that it came every 15 minutes. As we were walking down the driveway we noticed the SDX go by and then I swore I saw it stop just up the road on our right. So instead of walking to the stop in front of Wynn, we headed right towards the Riviera. We never did find a stop for the SDX but did find one for the Deuce. We debated taking that but it has so many stops on the way to downtown, we decided to check out the Riviera and then grab a cab there.

    Boy, the Riviera is an old time casino. While walking through the casino, we checked the VP machines and found 2 9/6 DDB. So excited to see 9/6 (I hate losing $5 for the flush on 9/5), we just had to stay and play them for a bit. We played for 15 minutes or so and realized we both had worked our way up and down and back up to $105. That seemed like an omen and since we weren’t playing for comps, cash back or anything other than a win, we both cashed out and decided to put the $10 profit towards the cab. Not that we couldn’t afford a cab but it’s just a fun part of the Vegas game to win enough to cover expenses. We were saving $6 each on bus fare so had $22 for a cab.

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    We grabbed a cab at the back side of the Riveria and the driver was a wealth of information. He kept up a commentary about development and other notable places we passed. We asked to be dropped off at The D and the fare was $13. After a decent tip we had just enough left to pay the fare for our next bus.

    We walked across the street and caught the WAX 6 minutes later. It took us to Suncoast for $2 each. I have to mention here that we enjoy taking the WAX bus in Vegas. We prefer the WAX over a cab actually. They are clean, usually not busy and with the driver’s using the express lanes, they get places fast. I like to think of this photo as “Our limo is bigger than your limo!”

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    We got to Suncoast around 1:30 and since it was a weekday, we were hopeful that we could check in early. It wasn’t to be, we were told our room wasn’t ready and to check back at 4. We checked our bags with the bellhop and jokingly said to each other that we were going to teach them a lesson for not having our room ready. We set out to clean out their machines.

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    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015
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