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Encore Sucks Dante's Balls

By Misnomer on Friday, 13th March 2015 1:14pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 15


My friend and fellow VT staffer JohnH is fond of saying that Hell is a series of minor hotel inconveniences. My recent stay at Encore put that theory to the test. To wit:

Partway through check-in, the desk clerk's computer crashed, causing my wife and I to get out of line, navigate through a cluster-fudge of people, and fight our way back up to a desk position with a working computer. Then, for some reason, the clerk insisted I was "ineligible" to upgrade my room. At first I thought he may have misunderstood me and believed I was asking for a comped upgrade, but even when I explained that I was merely asking how much additional money I could take out of my pocket and give to the hotel in exchange for a room upgrade, he sniffed, "Ineligible."

Ok, I'm ineligible to spend more money at Encore. Odd.

We were given a room on the 12th floor. We exited the elevator, took a turn down the hallway, and discovered that someone had pushed their room service leftovers out into the hall. Smelled a bit ketchupy, but surely someone would be along shortly to collect it in this fine, four-star establishment. Nope. It sat there, stinking, for two days.

We went about our vacation, enjoyed a night on the town, and returned to our room for some much needed sleep. No dice. I realize that the nightclub noise at Wynncore has been well documented, but it really has to be experienced to be believed. It's not just the audible bass that is the problem. It's the palpable bass. The room literally vibrated. All of the little metal parts in the lampshade on the bedside table buzzed with every bass drop. It's astonishing that a hotel - whose ostensible primary purpose is to provide lodging for its guests - tolerates this kind of in-room intrusion. It seems to me that the hotel managers would have put the kibosh on the club vibrations the first time someone fired up the Cerwin-Vegas downstairs, but in the end, I suppose the nightclub profits won out over the room product.

Speaking of the room, it was positively littered with flyers for Steve Wynn's ShowStoppers. Steve is like a porn slapper, but for show tunes.

Misnomer Encore 2015 Shwstp

On Day 3, the room service cart full of rotting food was replaced by this - a sack of soiled bed linens. It sat there until I called downstairs to have it removed.

Misnomer Encore 2015 Laundr

Somewhere around Day 4, my wife discovered this bloody Q-Tip on the floor of our room. It wasn't ours, but I can't fault the previous room occupant for trying to block out the bass somehow. I can fault housekeeping for not sweeping the floor.

Misnomer Encore 2015 Qtip

Get away day came, and frankly, I was ready to go. I availed myself of the convenient television checkout system, and - oh. It didn't work.

Misnomer Encore 2015 Checko

So is Encore Hell? Well, it sure ain't Heaven. Maybe Heaven is the Tower Suites, but I'll never know. I'm ineligible. Besides, the notion of the Tower Suites, a 267-room luxury "hotel within a hotel," has always perplexed me a little. It's a bit like having the rear seat of a Mercedes installed in your 2008 Chevy Cobalt, then driving around town telling everyone how luxurious it is, while the Kicker subs in the trunk vibrate the rear view mirrors off.

No, Encore is not Hell. It's Steve Wynn's 2008 Chevy Cobalt.

Tagged: encore   steve wynn   review   


Comments & Discussion:

Video check out seems to be hit or miss at most places. Over the years, I've only been able to do it twice, and that was on my last two trips. I've lost count at how many times I've attempted it over the years and the service either not be available or after going through the process, get an error message and have to go to the front desk.

You would think that at a higher-end property like Wynn/Encore that the housekeeping standards would be as close to perfect as possible and any glitches would be rare. Several years ago when I stayed at Caesars in the Augustus Tower, there were open bags of chips in one of the drawers. I went and put them on the nearest housekeeping cart, as I was not going to leave them in my room. At times you wonder if perhaps they need to hire additional housekeeping staff, as they appear to be rushing to get rooms back into the room inventory and cutting some corners. Rooms in which the guests have checked out are the ones that get cleaned first, as I've been gone for several hours and come back to my room and housekeeping has yet to clean it. I remember one stay at the Golden Gate, the front desk notified housekeeping while I was at the desk checking out that my room was ready for cleaning and this was at like 7:30 in the morning. At a higher end property, there is a much higher level of expectation on the part of the customer and when employees fail to live up to those expectations, that may result in a customer never returning. Some of the nicest and most helpful front desk clerks I've encountered in Vegas haven't always been at some higher end property I've stayed at , I've had them at places like the Tropicana, Bally's, Golden Gate and even the Four Queens. Checking in at Caesars was a night and day experience from my stays at Harrah's a few years prior.

A porn slapper for show tunes would be a gay porn slapper.

Bloody Q-Tips? Soiled linens? Rotting food? The Steve needs to start spending a bit more time walking his properties, and less time in the boardroom trying to screw over his ex.

Ok, first of all, if a Q tip had blood on it for 4 days I believe it would have been brown by that point, NOT bright red as in the photo. Perhaps it was lipstick? Still, not your Q tip and that is gross.

Second, the incident at check in should have been further investigated by asking for a supervisor or manager to explain exactly what "ineligible" meant in this context, since it obviously does not make sense that they would simply not allow you to buy a more expensive room unless maybe they were completely sold out (very unlikely) or some other equally unlikely scenario. I can't even imagine leaving the registration desk without getting a clear explanation about this. A new, inexperienced, airhead clerk? That's my guess. Still no excuse, but perhaps it is a possible explanation for such an inane response.

The rotting food and linens are unacceptable and should have been reported. And the ads for Showstoppers are a bit offputting, but they have to do something to try to get people interested and keep Encore afloat since it is such a ghost ship. We have never had anything less than stellar service at Wynn/Encore so all of this is quite baffling. Was the room cleaned by housekeeping every day?

Sorry you had such a bad experience. We are staying at Wynn at the end of this month and will be eager to see if this trip lives up to our previous experiences there.

I haven't stayed at Encore since the Beach Club opened, although I've been tempted. I don't care if it's Vegas - for a hotel of that standard and pricing, guests should not have to listen to bass in their rooms.

I've had the same problem with noise at Encore. Tower suites seem to be fine, otherwise request a quiet room. Staff hears complaints all the time. Our stay at the Tower Suites in December was perfect, service seems better there.

Love the idea of Encore, but will only stay there mid-week when XS is closed. Hell, the Fremont St. facing rooms at Golden Gate, Golden Nugget (Rush Tower) and 4 Queens are quieter than Encore. (Or you could just ask for a Golf Course view).

Definitely something is wrong at the Encore. Wynn is back on track after some dark 2010-2012 years,but Encore is losing it to me. The sense of cleaningness and freshness stops exactly where the connecting Wynn-Encore corridor becomes the Encore casino. There is a general feel of low maintenance,like dirty carpets and stained,bruised leather casino chairs.

The Encore is scheduled for a top-to-bottom renovation in summer 2005. I'm sure those concerns will be addressed then.

The dirty room service in the hall thing was a common complaint at the old, pre-Sam Sahara.

Someone said it should be reported, but we all know employees give some "it'll be taken care of" response that satisfies the folks from Winnemucca and things carry on as it hadn't happened. But the real purpose of a hotel like this is that you aren't supposed to see this sort of stuff anyway.

Never stayed at Encore, but I prefer Tower Suites on Wynn side anyway. My last two stays in March and May 2014 were in a Tower Suite King (not a suite). I asked for a quiet room away from the clubs and overlooked the golf course on a high floor. No noise except before 11PM from a private party one night on the pool deck.

A room service cart was in the hall at 10PM and still there at 8AM. I called, and it was removed within 15 minutes.

These Tower Suite Kings back up to the elevator shafts. Much quieter than when Wynn opened in '05. Back then, you heard the cable noise and wind rushing through the shaft.

The "ineligible" comment at check-in was inexcusable. I'm sorry you didn't ask to speak to a supervisor.

"I suppose the nightclub profits won out over the room product." You're absolutely right.

Disappointing for a 4/5 Star/Diamond property.

As someone who has stayed at Encore more than 10 times and as someone who works in the corporate side of the service industry( not in Vegas) I have a couple of comments. The biggest difference between top tier hospitality and mid/low tier is the management. I have had fantastic service ( and terrible) over the years ( not specifically referring to Wynn) from individuals who work all over the service industry but I cant say the same with management. Its simple economics the best and brightest are recruited to the higher paying jobs and generally speaking, that came make a huge difference with a hotels operations. What I'm getting at is bad things can happen anywhere in Vegas but if you happen to be at Wynn/ Mandarin or the like management should be willing and able to fix things quickly and correctly. I remember once I checked into a Tower suite room and it wasn't spotless clean and a light bulb by the bed was out. I simply called housekeeping on the room phone asked for the manager explained the problem and said I was going to dinner for a couple of hours and that I just wanted it fixed by the time I returned. Sure enough, upon my return the room had been re- cleaned spotless and the bulb fixed. Now I didn't have comped wine and flowers on the bed waiting for me either but the problem was fixed and that's all it really took to make me happy. I can think of several other times where during my travels other issues have happened and by asking for the appropriate manager explaining the problem and what the solution you want is ( this is very important) things should be fixed. Generally speaking if it isn't its time to go to a better property. I have never not had satisfactory resolution to a problem at a 5 star property during my travels to any city which is why I do spend the extra money and don't stay at lower star options. Just my 2 cents.

I have stayed at Encore ten times and never had anything like what you have described. Sorry for the poor experience. Usually ineligible is from booking on an outside website like Hotels.com. Perhaps that was the issue?

Really appreciated your retro review of the Imperial Palace from 2001.

I'm heading to Vegas for a co-ed bachalor party this July. As I am going with my girlfriend (the groom is her friend too), we were spending some time deciding where to stay. Definitely had to scratch my Skyloft itch so our first night is there. The other two were between an Aria Panoramic Penthouse Sky Suite, a Bellagio Fountain View Penthouse, Mandarin City Suite, Four Seasons Valley View Suite or a Wynn/Encore Parlor or Salon. Ended up going with the Panoramic Penthouse at Aria because we get a great discount, and because while I still love Wynn, and this would have been my 10th anniversary of coming to Vegas and coincidentally my first stay at Wynn, my last visit to Encore was less than stellar.

My last Encore stay was when EBC just opened for the season. Drunk people were running down the corridors of the Esplendade (many of them looked way under aged), drunk club kids on power chairs, long lines, and to top it off, the room looked a bit worn. There was a mystery wet spot by the desk/chair, and a thick layer of dust on the mini bar. Luckily I got a high floor facing Fountainbust or I am sure the noise from XS would have been insane.

Don't know how Encore thinks they can charge more for their suites than Wynn does. a few extra sq/ft does not make them worth more when the service is less, and the rooms are not in good shape.

So, so sad.

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