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Sussing out the Strip’s new player

There’s a new player in the spa destination known as Las Vegas.

There’s a new player in the spa destination known as Las Vegas. The desert city, famed for gaming, glitzy shows, designer shopping and celebrity chefs, is also home to the largest concentration of luxury spas anywhere on the planet — and the newest is the Spa at Encore.

Opened just prior to Christmas, the most recent addition to the Wynn family — Encore at Wynn Las Vegas — is connected to the original Wynn by a sunlit esplanade lined with upscale shops.

By all accounts, it’s a very luxurious property with a different feel than most mega Vegas hotels. Think boutique hotel on a very grand scale.

Impeccable design, original works of art, meticulous attention to detail, compact public areas, elevators close to the front entrance, a concierge desk and a small-hotel-level-of-service (there are roughly three employees for every guest) are a few of the elements that give this 2,000-room property its sense of intimacy.

The Asian-inspired spa has that same boutique feel. Even though with its 50-plus treatment rooms and suites it’s among the largest, things like a collection of small lockers rooms and various lounge spaces help give it an up, close and personal feel.

The menu offers the usual treatments: Facials, body scrubs and wraps, massages, Ayurveda services and mani/pedis.

The heart of the spa is a beautiful Wet Area with hot and cold pools, heated marble chaises and waterfall showers. Perhaps the most opulent space in the entire hotel is the spa floor lounge — a study in gold and creams and seductively rich with fabrics and furnishings.

It caters to guests using the spa, the salon, the gym, the spa boutique, the juice bar or those waiting to take a fitness class. Guests (both in-house and from other hotels) who don’t wish to book a spa treatment can still enjoy the spa floor facilities with a day pass ($30 US).

It’s not just the spa facilities that exude a feeling of luxury. Right from the resort’s pretty porte-cochère, which protects arriving guests from the desert sun, there is a prevailing feeling of elegance, Old-World sophistication and intimacy. But it’s not all serious stuff. Amidst the luxury there is also a sense of whimsy. Note, for instance, the lime-coloured leather chairs in the reception area: The model for the chair’s legs was one of Wynn’s beloved dogs. In Wazuzu, one of five upscale restaurants, an 8.2 metre Swarovski crystal dragon crawls across a tangerine-coloured wall as patrons dine on Asian-inspired dishes. Another restaurant, aptly called Switch, gives new meaning to the concept of “dinner theatre.” Here, it is the decor, music and lighting that “perform” every 20 minutes.

Bringing the outdoors indoors is another design orchestration that affords the Encore a point of distinction.

In contrast to the traditional Vegas protocol of never letting gamers know the time of day, Encore has daylight streaming into the intimate, European-style casino. And, the outdoor pool and terrace is a dice roll away from the Blackjack tables.

A horticultural division, with a staff of 70 and a budget of over $1 million a year, helps turn the interior into a garden setting with flowers from around the world delivered on a daily basis. The imports are used to create theatrical floral showpieces that cause guests to give a second look.

Is it all good? Like everything, it depends on who you ask. Some Vegas veterans say they like the look and feel and constant clatter of the traditional mega casino, and not knowing if it’s day or night. But my guess is that Encore’s luxury boutique feel will be a big draw for the more upscale traveller.

On the web
www.encorelasvegas.com

– Anne Dimon is a spa and wellness travel writer and editor of www.traveltowellness.com.

 
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