The Ultimate Spa: Encore vs. Qua Baths

Gentlemen, Start Your Steam Rooms

Posted by MikeE

Encore Spa vs Qua Baths at Caesars Palace

The age of the super spa began when The Venetian opened its Canyon Ranch Spa Club. More than a sauna, steam room, and whirlpool, Canyon Ranch set the spa standard for years to come. Bellagio would eventually catch up with its spa reincarnation at a massive 60,000 square feet. Shortly thereafter, Wynn Las Vegas gave us a spa that while lacking in size, made up for with natural light and heavenly deluge showers.

And then there was Qua. Caesars Palace opened a spa offering access to anyone willing to shell out the $45 facility fee or get a treatment. For years, Qua reigned supreme offering unique Lanconium, Inhalation, and Arctic Ice rooms among the expected amenities of other spas lining the strip. Qua remained unchallenged until the unassumingly named Spa at Encore stepped up to the plate. How do the two compare? Read on to find out...

Decor at both spas is quite impressive. Qua's is relatively modest leading you down a dark hallway of water features more akin to a line at Disneyland. While this sounds like a criticism, I found it made me excited for what was in store. Inside the spa, more dark hues, especially grays and blues abound.

Encore takes a more grand approach to design. The moment you step out of the elevators, you're greeted by the incredible spa court to check in. Passed the doors behind the receptionists, you'll feel like you've entered a Chinese palace. While Encore is unabashedly ostentatious, many design elements are quite subtle. Take the Swarovski crystals hanging from the sky light in the wet areas, for example. These reflect a spectrum of moving sunlight over a mosaic-tiled tree on a nearby wall creating the effect of Encore's recurring butterfly motive. Incredible.

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Comments & Discussion

Thanks for that quick review. I got 2 free QUA passes when I called and booked our Caesar's room on Saturday. The reservationist threw the passes in since I was paying for the entire stay right then instead of just putting down the deposit.

Nice article Mike, I know we've discussed the merits of Wynn/Encore vs Qua before. I definitely agree with your critiques of Qua. Matter of fact I don't even think the Laconium room is available unless you have a treatment (a shame, as that room is nice). The Artic room as a dry cold plunge is a great perk in my opinion. And as I've mentioned before the isolation and the heated loungers in the roman pool room, with the waterfall to the pools is very relaxing. I agree it's too far from the main areas, but that maybe beneficial as less go there based on that distance.

The tea room is badly laid out and I have no doubt Wynn/Encore is better, although nothing is worse then TI, where the locker/dressing area is directly behind the couches for the TV, talk about a bad mix.

Day price on Qua is high, but even as a value customer I find it worth it for just services, couple it with a 50 min. massage which is at the same or lower prices then the other high end places and it's value increases (not to mention the M-Thurs $99 special they run).

Both Qua and Encore were designed for the high-end in brand new buildings so there really shouldn't be any excuses. Some of the layout issues may be due to poor design, but also because the women's facilities are designed first (as they are the primary customer - at least in the eyes of the casino) and then just jiggsaw in the the men's facilities. Keeping the beverages behind the counter is just being cheap. I have never gotten an "Experience" shower to work (and there are several spas that have them). Encore has automatic sinks which are nearly impossible to shave at (This was simply a poor design choice).

The spas have definitely changed over the years and I think we can now envision a perfect spa. One where bath and hydrotherapy services are also open to men (I don't think any spa currently offers this), a separate men's salon (Qua has an old-school single chair barber room and needs attractive female staff), snacks as well as beverages (MB used to offer muffins, fruit and cookies), plain and eucalyptis steam rooms, an assortment of jacuzzis and cold plunges (Encore), only full length lockers (why do they want to wrinkle my clothing?), a lounge where you can watch sports/news/etc..., get some downtime away from the family and isn't just a massage waiting room.

Ugh, automatic faucets for sinks at a spa. Doesn't Qua have those too, except for the steam room. Absolutely horrible design decision. Flamingo used to have them and finally pulled them out, thankfully.

I spent a good 15 minutes fiddling with the controls of the "experience" shower at Encore, and even after getting it to work, I did not really see the point. On my last trip back in May, I don't think I saw more than 4 or 5 other people in the 2 hours I was there, and this was a Friday afternoon. I have never stayed at Caesars, but compared to the Wynn, Encore is by far the better of the two.

I haven't experienced the Encore Spa but QUA was very nice. Canyon Ranch is wayyyy over rated IMO. The wet facilities sucked. The whirlpool is an afterthought.

One you left out was the Spa at Mandalay Bay. The Roman Bath at MB is huge and has a good sized seating room to watch tv and relax. When you pay what you pay just to use a spa I like having the different rooms to chill out at, enjoy the different iced teas, hot tub, nap, and then use the razors and toiletries they provide free of charge. Mandalay Bay Spa does all of that well. The one thing I didn't dig about QUA was the size of the seating tv room. Tiny and cramped.

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