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Solo trip, June 16-19: Wynncore, dining and my first handpay!

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Retrobabble, Jun 27, 2017.

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  1. Retrobabble

    Retrobabble Director of Fun

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    My Trip Report

    It's only an hour and twenty minutes from the Bay Area to Las Vegas so makes it easy to hop over for a weekend, especially thanks to the regional jets that save trudging through security. This trip was for some R & R -- some nice dining, spas, and slot play. I wasn't concerned about the heat wave as the a/c of the hotels is fine.Here are some of my impressions:

    Uber
    I end up with some of the most interesting drivers. One lady was a teacher for children with special needs; the other was an entrepreneur of a sorts. Both were efficient, told me exactly the route (EDC was on so the Friday traffic at 3 pm was particularly delightful. My driver took a combination of Koval and S. Las Vegas and I could see why.) So far, been a great experience using Uber in LV.

    Hotel
    Check-in at 3:30 spilled out into the casino and took about 45 minutes to get through, even with all registration staff manning every booth. I had an end-of-the-hall room on the 52nd floor with a decent view of the western mountains and some of the strip.

    IMG_20170616_152350.jpg

    IMG_20170618_062232.jpg
    I try to close the doors quietly when I'm entering and exiting my room, as I'm a light sleeper and hear when others yell down the hallway and/or let their doors slam. The end of the hallway is perfect. Room was clean and the staff always friendly.
    IMG_20170616_152610.jpg
    Dining
    I tried SW Steakhouse for the first time. Had a great seat. Even though it was 105F out on Saturday night, they left the doors open and the spill of a/c out onto the patio fooled me into thinking that temperature had cooled off. The server did a good job of not outright laughing at me when I mentioned it.

    IMG_20170617_210029.jpg

    I don't know: I've heard such good things about SW that maybe my expectations were too high. Don't get me wrong, it was pretty fine, just not that raving OMG quality for me that I heard other people express.

    My steak, seared foie gras (ok, that was good), and potatoes:
    IMG_20170617_200505.jpg

    The creme brulee came slightly over-torched. I probably should have sent it back but I hate wasting food and gosh, what a first-world problem to contend with, no?
    IMG_20170617_205618.jpg

    Verdict: A lovely meal, but I don't think I'll be back.

    Sunday Brunch at La Cave
    Ok, this is a hidden gem. I hadn't been planning on a brunch, but spotted the menu when wandering down the hall. The premise: like dim sum, where they bring around the carts, except instead of Chinese food and actual carts, it's all fancy breakfast luxuries, made fresh and then served butler-style.


    The menu: $48.00 for the full deal
    IMG_20170618_114016.jpg

    Bringing the Eggs Benedict with Filet - don't mind if I do:
    IMG_20170618_121657.jpg

    Pancakes with Berry Compote? Sure!
    IMG_20170618_120812.jpg

    Fruit Stuffed Crepe (and at this point, so am I!)
    IMG_20170618_121645.jpg
    Verdict: This was a surprising win (Wynn?). Someone in the kitchen knows how to make one of the best Bernaise sauces I've tasted in the U.S. and everything was delicious. Hot dishes came hot; cold dishes such as fruits and yogurts, came perfectly chilled. I didn't go for the bottomless drinks this time but the berry spritzer drink was great. I will be back and bringing friends. Strongly recommend.

    Le Jardin
    What a beautiful venue!

    IMG_20170619_111721.jpg

    The Monday I left, I spotted "Maine Lobster Benedict" on the menu and thought, "Why not?" (You might all think I eat some version of eggs Benedict all the time but not true. Just this trip apparently. :p)
    Leaving LV 6.19 (2).jpg
    Verdict: Delicious, but not as good as La Cave. I would be back, though because the service was pretty spectacular, the food is tasty, and the view outside is right by the pool although there were not that many folks out in the 105F weather.
    IMG_20170619_111901.jpg

    Slots
    I typically bring $500-700 per day for playing. Friday night I was down about $800.00. Saturday didn't go much better. Sunday was one of those golden days where the bankroll lasted forever. I started early and saw one of those locking vault machines. Someone on the forum had mentioned how they liked to play them so I thought, "What the heck?" Six spins in,I get the bonus. The 3 middle lines started locking, 2-2x, 2 or 3 3x and then a 4x. Or something like that. Once they settled into place, my spins started looking like a dream: $321, etc. Then I hit a $640.00 second-to-last spin and thought, "Oh. This is going to be a hand pay!" (Sentence cleaned up for reasons. :D) Yup, it was. My first ever:

    IMG_20170618_075417.jpg

    Paid the taxes, because I hate getting hit with the bill later and walked out with just under $1,000.00. That was the start of a great day. By the end of the trip, I was only down $1000 for 4 days of gambling. That's a win in my books. (Especially considering my back-end comps "paid" for all my meals.:woohoo:)
    IMG_20170618_143439.jpg
    IMG_20170618_142954.jpg
    I love this Invaders Return from the Planet Moolah. Pays crap most of the time but so fun on the bonuses when it does pay:
    IMG_20170616_183052.jpg

    Wherein Ms. R. receives her own shiny host:
    I've had a host card indifferently given to me at the Red Card desk in the past and I've ignored them. Sunday night, the host found me and introduced himself. I've had hosts in many other venues in the past and appreciated this touch. I'll be using him in the future. Could tell I cycled way too much coin-in by the way he was so gracious to see how he could help. (Heh.)

    Final verdict

    I go to the Wynn for relaxation and service. It never feels crowded, which is nice. By the way, the Encore spa is one of the most beautiful creations if you want to feel like you've stepped into an Arabian nights space. Eric, my masseuse, gave me such a great 80-minute massage that when I finished for the day, I asked the front desk to put a gold star by his name and asked for him to be my go-to from now on.

    However, I usually never come on the weekends and the young Encore beach club party-goers, while fun to watch, could also be a tad thoughtless. (Also, please: Bare feet inside the hotel: Not Done. /end Jane Austen rant.)

    Surprisingly, I was cold for part of the trip and had to go outside and warm up. Next time I'll bring a sweater or two. They really crank the a/c when it's this hot. Also, the United flight over the western mountains is typically bumpy, but the heat this time around added a special turbulence that had me a little white-knuckled. Until next time, Vegas!


    Leaving LV 6.19 (1).jpg
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
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  2. kathiemc23

    kathiemc23 Low-Roller

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    Thank you so much for your trip report and congrats and the first hand pay! I can't wait to try La Cave, I'm adding it to my to do list for October. I take a sweater with me every time I'm in Vegas because I need it when the air conditioning is soooo cold. Nothing like carrying a sweater when it is 115 outside.
     
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  3. Retrobabble

    Retrobabble Director of Fun

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    Thanks, Kathie! On the plus side, it only took less than a minute to warm up when I did go outside, so there's that. Glad to hear you might try La Cave. It was certainly a good discovery for sure!
     
  4. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice report! Congrats on the hand pay! Still waiting on my first...

    But remember you only are legally obligated to pay taxes on net gambling winnings for the year. You could get a refund from that W2G if you deduct gambling losses.
     
    MyVegas lets us stay again? Okay!
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  5. ardee

    ardee It's only money.

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    Hand pay! Congrats.

    Glad you had a great time, Retrobabble.

    I tend to try and check out a benedict when on a Vegas trip too.
    Have you tried the one at Bouchon? Outstanding.

    Hub and I played the Planet Moolah slots. I love that one cow
    who's so annoyed with everything and has a certain "moo" that
    makes me laugh every time.

    Is that a cognac you were drinking at SW steak? Just wondering.

    Thanks for the report. Loved it. :beer:
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  6. Retrobabble

    Retrobabble Director of Fun

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    Thanks! Yes, my accountant will be sent the losses as well. Refund (aka money recovered for future trips) would be nice.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  7. Bellbad

    Bellbad Tourist

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    Retro-It looks like you sat outside at SW. Was the heat bearable?
     
  8. Retrobabble

    Retrobabble Director of Fun

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    Thanks for your kind words, Ardee! I haven't tried the one at Bouchon but it's on my list. Strangely, I'm a bit over an hour away from the Bouchon in Yountville, but have more chance of getting to the one in LV. Go figure. :p

    Regarding the Planet Moolah, is it the one cow that just cuts the "moo" short and sounds so disgusted? If so, yes. I still laugh too.

    The drink was a B & B. I prefer straight Benedictine, but don't see it very often.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  9. Retrobabble

    Retrobabble Director of Fun

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    It was, simply because they left the doors open so we received the benefit of the air conditioning. Every once in awhile, a hot breeze would brush the ankles but that was it. I honestly thought it had cooled down outside until my waiter told me otherwise.
     
  10. Bellbad

    Bellbad Tourist

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    Thanks for the response. We are going to eat at SW outside in a little less than two weeks. We are also trying Lakeside and Mizumi outside dining. it sounds like we will not melt.
     
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  11. Retrobabble

    Retrobabble Director of Fun

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    You're welcome. I'm not sure how much the temperature rises further from the doors, but I believe they also have misters in some areas as well. I was at Mizumi's on the 16th. Had the cod and scallop skewers. Very tasty! Have yet to try Lakeside but look forward to it.
     
  12. Its Only Money

    Its Only Money VIP Whale

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    Nice recap, sounds like a great weekend. I will have to try La Cave in the future. Thanks for the restaurant reviews.
     
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  13. DaiLun

    DaiLun R.C., L.C., and A.A.N.G.

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    Congrats on the handpay!!
     
    GGWU booster event for September . . . .
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  14. Richard Alpert

    Richard Alpert LOST

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    Great report, Retrobabble! :thumbsup:
    Congrats on HP #1! :trophy:

    Thanks for sharing your TR! :D

    RICHARD
     
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  15. john1516inny

    john1516inny Low-Roller

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    At La Cave, can you have as much as you want from the menu or are you limited?
     
  16. thecarve

    thecarve Misanthrope

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    Great report, @Retrobabble! Makes me a waffle a bit on my decision to go with Cosmo next month instead of Wynn.

    Congrats on the handpay!
     
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  17. Flying3Vs

    Flying3Vs Tourist

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    Wonderful report. I will have to make the obligatory trip to SW next month. I will keep my expectations tempered until I finish :)
     
  18. Retrobabble

    Retrobabble Director of Fun

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    Unfortunately, as much as you want. I had 2 of the Benedict with Fillet and a helping of various other goodies. Far more than I usually do, at any rate, and they seemed pleased that I wanted to try everything. No recriminations at all.
     
  19. Retrobabble

    Retrobabble Director of Fun

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    Well, it's not too shabby in the whole scheme of things, that's for sure! I had expectations set high based on all the reviews I read and it wasn't their night. I'll keep my fingers crossed that they knock it out of the park for you!
     
  20. kkinwi

    kkinwi VIP Whale

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    Thanks for your report.....and congrats on the handpay! Nice that you are so close by....
     
    Going to see Journey!
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