Vegas’ Big Wynn

Say hello to the new kid in town

By: By Kathy Espin

It looks just like the Bellagio,” one early visitor said. The lament was echoed several times throughout the night. The comparison was a natural one. Wynn, was the mastermind behind the Bellagio, which, until this night, was the newest and most elegant of the Las Vegas Strip resorts.

It’s not quite like the Bellagio. The Bellagio is done in French vanilla while Wynn Las Vegas is chocolate. From the shimmering dark-bronze exterior of the 2,700-room tower to the coco-colored costumes worn by cocktail servers, chocolate is the accent color; with sprinkles, of course.

Red and blue primitive flowers adorn the carpet, red parasol light fixtures dance over the Parasols Up bar and lounge, orange tufted chiffon fabric decorates ceiling alcoves in the shopping mall. Other accents include textured wallpaper, mosaic tile floors and formal swaged drapes. An atrium is decked with the Wynn trademark of real and artificial flowers so artfully intertwined you have to touch them to tell which is which. Other Wynn trademarks include lots of water and trees. The exterior view of the hotel is dominated by a 150-foot-tall mountain covered with pines. An artificial stream creates ponds and waterfalls. Footbridges create entrances into the hotel on one side and the shopping arcade on the other.

The latest technology enhances the decor at every turn. Circular escalators descend to a patio by a three-acre pool with a 70-foot waterfall over a washboard-textured wall. Occasionally, the pool and waterfall are the stage for a multi-media extravaganza of light, water, animatronics, projected images and music. Gargoyles come to life in the ultra-modern nightclub. “Le Reve,” the original theatrical production by former Cirque du Soleil producer Franco Dragone, makes the term “special effects” obsolete according to the chosen few who have seen the show. It premiered before the guests at the charity gala who paid between $7,500 and $1,500 to attend. Regular folks will pay $121 per person to see the “Small Collection of Imperfect Dreams ... an aquatic spectacular performed in a domed theater in the round” according to hotel literature. Early reports say that “imperfect” is an appropriate description; the show still needs a lot of work.

On opening night, the 18 restaurants and three bars and two nightclubs were closed, for the most part, or blocked off for invited guests only during the first few hours. At 1 a.m., the Terrace Point Cafe, the 24-hour restaurant one would never mistake for a coffee shop, had diners trickling in but was not overwhelmed. The blackjack, craps and poker tables in the 110,000-square-foot casino filled up immediately, but there were plenty of slot machines available in spite of a persistent urban legend that machines are looser when a property first opens. (No scientific data exists to support that belief.)

Everything at the resort is over-the-top. The shopping mall features Oscar de la Renta, Channel and Manolo Blahnik. A Ferrari/Maserati dealership is located just off the lobby where it was reported a $116,000 Maserati Quattroporte sold minutes after the doors opened. The golf course has two marshes and a waterfall and is so exclusive golfers can’t take pictures during their $500 rounds. The suites are posh and even the standard rooms, running $300 to $850 per night, are elegant.

“Michelangelo took four years to complete the Sistine Chapel. Your room took five,” said another of Wynn Las Vegas’ pre-opening teasers. The $1.4 billion Encore to be built next door isn’t expected to take so long. It is tentatively scheduled to open in early 2008.

888-320-9966
www.wynnlasvegas.com

JUST THE FACTS

Wynn Las Vegas Amenities
Rooms: 2,359 rooms. Standard guestrooms at 620 square feet each; 270 parlor and salon suites; 45 executive suites; 36 one- and two-bedroom fairway villas; six 7,000 square-foot private-entry villas. Resort claims some rooms cost $1 million each.
Room Features: High-end bath amenities, high-speed Internet connection, fax, cordless phone, flat-screen TV
Casino: 111,000 square feet of gaming space, 137 table games, 1,960 slot machines, poker room, race and sports book
Dining: 18 bars and restaurants: Alex, Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare, Daniel Boulud Brasserie, Okada, SW Steakhouse, Corsa Cucina, Tableau, Wing Lei, Red 8, The Buffet, The Terrace Pointe Cafe.
Entertainment: “La Reve”
Coming in the fall: “Avenue Q”
Shopping: 76,000 square feet of retail space including Cartier, Gaultier, Oscar de la Renta, Jo Malone, Graff, Judith Leiber, Brioni, W. Ink, Wynn & Co. Watches, La Flirt, Gizmos, Chanel, Manolo Blahnik, Dior, Ferrari Maserati
Meeting Space: 223,000 square feet.
Hotel amenities: Spa, salon, 18-hole golf course, pools, wedding chapels
Parking: Free self-park garage; valet service

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