Captiva Island, FL: ´Tween Waters Inn Island Resort

Kategorie: Americas

As of June 2011

After some six hours from Key Largo we arrived on Captiva Island, Southwest Florida. As we were not familiar with the location and the property we parked our car on-site and walked towards the reception, when an employee rushed towards us and wanted to know why we parked our car there. He was quite a bit on the harsh and unfriendly side, but nevertheless showed us inside, when we kind of verified that we were guests and going to be checking in.

Check-in went easy and smooth. Thank you to the friendly ladies at the front desk! Finally another employee took a golf cart and asked us to follow him to the Palmetto Building as he would show us to our room. We parked our car between the stilts and underneath our building and used the elevator to take our luggage upstairs to room 232 (second closest room to the stairs), which –as we found out later- was called a motel room. Our first impression: small and quite dark BUT with a balcony featuring a table and two chairs! Due to all the mosquitoes and other insects the entire balcony was screened-in. But we still could watch the sunrise from our bed, which was breathtakingly beautiful.

Parking was free but limited, especially on the weekends when everybody came back in the evening from their tours and excursions. Only a few spaces were assigned to VIP-guests. Some other guests were parking their cars, sometimes including their trailers, *criss-cross* on the property so it was sometimes hard to find a free space.

Some *downsides*: In case we left our balcony door open during the night we could hear the noise from the A/Cs all around us and there was not a minute without noise as one A/C switched off and another jumped into work mode again. Besides that our A/C was too noisy as well to keep it running through the night. Without that disturbing noise it would have been perfectly quiet and one could have enjoyed the sounds of the night.

The room had furniture and a carpet which revealed their age, but everything, including the tiny bathroom (bathtub/shower, toilet and sink) seemed to be clean at first sight. The two beds were quite comfortable and we had a fridge, a coffeemaker, tea and coffee.

During our stay we recognized that housekeeping was not really working so well, as we sometimes found our towels already a bit dirty before we used them, we found black hair in the bathroom and on the linen. One of the linen even was too small for the bed. Mildew was found in the bath tub. And the water-tap wasn’t fixed. There was a hole in the wardrobe door. Some holes in the main door were not repaired sufficiently. Some of the cloth hangers were a bit rusty. The cover of the A/C was broken.

During the site inspection we found out that our room as well as others on the same floor were about to be completely renovated in the near future. We were able to see rooms which were already done and they did look nice.

The safe offered plenty of space for laptop and camera equipment. Unfortunately it was installed wrongly as the door could not be opened without hitting the wardrobe door.

Free internet access was available in the room, but the connection failed almost every time I tried. When I asked for the reason the ladies and gentlemen at the front desk said, that this is how it is sometimes on the island and that they would invite me to come over and work at the reception instead. I wonder how they can do business with internet access like this.

We walked around the property on our first day to get familiar with the location: The pool area is quite nice, with a nice pool, chairs and loungers. But soon we would find out, that already early in the morning guests would put their bath towels on the loungers to reserve them accordingly before heading for breakfast. During the weekend pool and bar were really crowded with families and kids. Instead you can go to the wonderful beach right across the street.

Here you have the choice to rent two chairs for USD 15 or a Cabana (two loungers with a shade) for 20 USD a day (upon arrival you get a coupon book, which reduces those rates a bit). Later on we would find out that we were about to use the smallest pool towels we had ever seen (they were about the size of regular towels).

The Spa area is located right above some noisy construction room. Maybe it is a central control unit or else. So I wondered whether a spa treatment would be as relaxing as the client wishes it to be. I did not want to try it out. The public toilet and shower were of modern design and make and looked much better than our own bathroom appliances and style. The fitness area seemed to be state-of-the-art.

In the evening we were attracted by the *Friday Fish and Chips Night* at Crow´s Nest Lounge and ordered said fish and chips.


The restaurant was designed like an old diner with some flair. The lady took us to a corner booth, but after sitting down and realizing that the seat was worn and uncomfortable I asked to be moved to a table with chairs, which she did with a nod. After we ordered, a group entered the restaurant. Finally all staff gathered to serve that group of about more or less 15 people. It seems as nobody really paid attention to the other guests anymore, who also looked a bit curious. We were never asked anymore for a refill or a dessert etc. When we asked to pay the bill and mentioned this, they just said, that everybody had to take care of the group. Well, I found this attitude a bit disturbing.

We usually had breakfast at the Old Captiva House, which looked very nice from the outside. When you step inside you find yourself at the Osprey Gift Shop, full of *knick-knacks, what-nots and memories*.

Once the employees decide to look at you they ask for your room number and take you to your table. I wondered why they so seldom smile to give you the feeling that you are welcome in this place. In case you continuously try to look them in the eyes and smile at them, try to get in contact and talk to them they all of the sudden will recognize you as a guest not a number and smile back to you. Where the entire service was concerned I was under the impression that most of the staff did not really like their job at this place as they just wandered around, did their duty and that was it. For example there was a young man sitting at a table next to ours and eating his breakfast. All of the sudden one of the staff approached his table, took a chair away without saying anything and left. The young man obviously was quite irritated by this, got up and left his table without finishing his breakfast.

Another guest ordered some hot breakfast. After a while one staff member put the plate in front of him, mumbled *Enjoy*, turned around and left without asking if there was anything else that the guest might want. So he could not see or hear that his guest did want to order something else.

The setting of the breakfast area was very nice. I liked the tables and the chairs. I liked the tableware and also the paintings on the wall, which told all those stories of days long gone by. I liked the breakfast items, the fresh fruit selection and the juices. It would have been great if staff would dry the plates before putting them out on the buffet, as quite often they were still wet. Hot breakfast was not included in the buffet price. Temperature in the restaurant was fine.

Then I was quite surprised about the amount of Take-Aways. The guests were taking everything with them in little boxes: fruit, bread, cereals etc. I have not seen this before, but I did appreciate this when we had the chance to do this as well because one morning we lacked the time for breakfast.

During the Site Inspection I had the chance to see different room categories as well as to check on some of the cabanas. Some of the rooms I had a look at were already renovated: They featured modern appliances and furniture and looked quite stylish and inviting. In the following years all the A/Cs will be replaced. Right now they are mostly installed underneath the window and connect to the balcony, which causes the disturbing noise. When they are replaced by modern types I think they will look nicer and be a lot more convenient. Still there is a lot of work going on right now at the `Tween Waters Inn: Tiles are replaced on the walk ways and on the steps and paintjobs are being carried out. But this work doesn’t really affect the guests.

The cottages I have seen still feature the wonderful *old charm*:

The Tarpon cottage (No. 115) with three bedrooms and two baths is the biggest and the former *Owner´s Cottage*.

The Orchid Cottage (No. 111) is smaller and has a small porch and also a smaller kitchen than the Owner´s Cottage. Very sweet. I learned that this one is supposed to be listed soon in the *National Historic Register*.

Anyway, my feelings for the ´Tween Waters Inn changed a bit during our stay. Before booking our trip I had a look at the photos on the website and was under the impression to find a resort type of accommodation, modern, luxurious and really beautiful. When we arrived and got to our room I instantly wanted to turn around and leave again, much more after that first dinner. (By the way, we did not have dinner at the Inn anymore). But the more I learned about the ´Tween Waters Inn the more I was able to understand. This is kind of a historical accommodation. Old fashioned and … after a while … somehow pleasant. This is a family place. Kids will love it. If you approach the ´Tween Waters Inn by boat the marina has a total of 41 slips available for dockage. Manatees are visiting quite often. And the wonderful beach is across the street. I think if the attitude of some of the staff changes and once the renovation is completed it will be a fantastic property. We were looking for a peaceful and quiet place, luxurious and a wonderful finish to our long trip. Captiva Island and Sanibel Island were the destination to really end our tour in a wonderful way. But my feelings are a bit ambivalent whether or not ´Tween Waters Inn was the perfect location.

Now that I am writing this, I am somehow missing ´Tween Waters Inn and some of the people. If I had known before exactly where I would get to it would have been perfect. But I had different imaginations.

Maybe I should try once more.

Please visit:


Everglades City, FL: The Ivey House

Kategorie: Americas

As of June 2011

Upon recommendation I did a Site Inspection at The Ivey House, Everglades City and received the following information on this nice Bed & Breakfast Inn:

The Ivey House Inn, completed in May of 2001, adjoins the original Bed & Breakfast through the Great Room and Adventure Center. All eighteen rooms are very spacious, have two queen size beds, AC, heat a private bathroom with tub/shower, a small refrigerator, TV, and phone. One room is handicapped compliant. Rooms in the Inn surround a screened-in, beautifully landscaped courtyard with tropical waterfall and heated swimming pool. (By The Ivey House)

The Ivey House Lodge is a remodeled boarding house built ca. 1928, which was originally operated by Mr. & Mrs Ivea to house the workers constructing the Tamiami Trail. It consists of eleven air-conditioned rooms off a long hallway and common, but separate men and women´s bathrooms. Each room either has one twin size bed and one full size bed or one queen size bed. There are no heaters, TVs, phones or bathrooms in these rooms. A few heaters are located in the hallway. Guests often gather in the common living room to visit with others, read, play games or watch TV. The lodge is a very short walk to the tropical courtyard to enjoy the pool. (By The Ivey House)

The Ivey House Cottage is a small quaint two bedroom house, decorated in tropical charm with central air and heating in the living room. One bedroom has a queen sized bed, and one bedroom has a full sized bed. It also has a bathroom with shower, a screened front porch, full kitchen (refrigerator, stove, microwave, and coffeemaker), and a living room with stereo and TV. There is no phone in the cottage. (By The Ivey House)


I would have missed this cute property as it is located a bit off the main road. But once you enter the Inn and talk to the people at the reception you feel welcome and cared for. From October to mid of April they offer guided adventure tours into the Everglades. Guests can also rent kayaks, canoes or camping equipment. It seems to be a nice home base to explore the wonderful nature of the Everglades.

And *YES*, I do recommend The Ivey House.

Please visit:


Marco Island, FL: Marco Beach Ocean Resort

Kategorie: Americas

As of June 2011

“From the moment you are greeted beneath the porte cochere and enter the beautiful Mediterranean-styled lobby and then venture out to the sugar-sand beach and azure waters of the Gulf of Mexico, you know your visit here will be nothing less than extraordinary.

A boutique 98-all suite resort, Marco Beach Ocean Resort offers an intimate environment found in its 83 one-bedroom and 15 two-bedroom suites. All feature a balcony with views of the shimmering Gulf of Mexico or a terrace with views of tropical gardens.

Marco Beach Ocean Resort brings excellent service, lodging and a variety of dining options to Marco Island, including Sale e Pepe authentic Italian Cuisine with an extensive wine list recognized by Wine Spectator. You can also rejuvenate your mind, body and soul at our Spa and Fitness facilities.

Every suite offers marble showers and vanity tops, kitchen with granite countertop, Gilchrist & Soames amenities, quality linens, multiple telephone lines and cordless phone, iPod docking station, flat screen TVs, keyless entry and wireless internet access.

Designed to exceed the expectations of our guests, our amenities set the standard by which others are judged. The meticulously trained staff, including a Chef Concierge have a single goal – to anticipate and attend to your every need and desire.

Shaped by the tides and shifting sands of countless millennia, Marco Island in sunswept Southwest Florida is surrounded by the tourmaline waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Whether you are on vacation or attending an executive retreat or wedding, the resort will surely prove unforgettable.

The “Gateway to the Everglades” and the largest of Southwest Florida´s legendary Ten Thousand Islands, Marco island is just minutes from the arts, dining, golf, entertainment, and shopping of downtown Naples – Florida´s most sophisticated small city.” (by Marco Ocean Beach Resort)

Reading this before approaching the Marco Beach Ocean Resort for a Site Inspection I set my expectations high. Would this resort be able to meet those?

First of all I drove past. I missed the driveway to the hotel. There was no big fancy sign. Nothing spectacular that drew my attention. This magnificent hotel building just seemed to be another *home*.

I turned around and tried a second time. Eventually I arrived.

And wondered where the doorman was or any other employee as nobody waited outside to greet arriving guests.

I entered the amazing and breathtaking lobby and then ventured on a Site Inspection which was as unusual as the hotel I was visiting now.

(Photos by A. Schulz – World Travel Promotion)

The hotel was built in 2002 and entirely renovated by beginning of 2010. The description which I quoted above exactly reveals the interior and exterior of the hotel. It is elegant, sophisticated but not snobby. You walk through the corridors, outside and through the beautiful landscape and towards the ocean. You enter the bars and restaurants. This is not a usual five star hotel. This is something else. Something intriguing. A place that gets under your skin. Take a look into the faces of the employees and you will recognize that they all like to work here, that they all like to cater to the needs of their guests. Have a look at the grand rooms. Feel the atmosphere. Touch the magic light that illuminates them from inside out. Let this magic light carry you away into pleasure, quietness and style.

“Each suite features a spacious living room, bedroom, and custom-designed furnishings. State-of-the-art sleep systems with feather beds and comforters are showcased, as are marble-clad bathrooms with separate enclosed showers. Floor-to-ceiling glass doors lead to water-view balconies and garden-terrace patios.” (by Marco Ocean Beach Resort)

Step out on this balcony and enjoy the magnificent view of the beach and the ocean. Take a deep breath. Relax. Unwind. You finally have arrived.

“The main attraction at Marco Beach Ocean Resort is a five-mile stretch of white-sand beach fronting the Gulf of Mexico. Beach attendants are at guests´ beck and call with food and beverage service. Watersport vendors offer opportunities for sailing, parasailing, jet skiing, nature cruises, and shelling expeditions to nearby islands. A rooftop, heated swimming pool and whirlpool spa offer additional downtime retreats. An on-site spa offers treatments, steam rooms, and saunas, while a fitness facility features state-of-the-art equipment. Guests have privileges at nearby golf and tennis centers. Posh shops and galleries are located on Marco Island and in nearby Naples.” (by Marco Ocean Beach Resort)

During the site inspection I not only had a look at the suites or the Grand Ballroom but also checked on the restaurants on site. And I was deeply impressed with the setting of the Toulouse Lounge and Sale e Pepe.

[…] You could be entering a Tuscan villa rather than a modern building. A stone staircase leads you into a sumptuous, dramatically lit bar area which, with its long gleaming bar, backed by a huge Toulouse Lautrec style mural, could fit well in a New York gentleman´s club. The main restaurant, with its intricately carved, buttery stone walls, mosaic marble floors and tables dressed with starched white tablecloths, sparkling stemwear and adorned with single red roses, can only be described as simply elegant. It is incredibly beautiful. Divided into several separate dining areas, each room offers stunning views of Marco´s picture-perfect white sand beach. They can only be surpassed by the vista from the expansive terrace, where you can enjoy cooling sea breezes while watching the sun sink into the deep blue waters of the Gulf of Mexico. An impossibly romantic scene […].” (by *Reprinted from January 2010 edition of The Marco Review*)

Sale e Pepe – Authentically, passionately Italian: Overlooking the Gulf of Mexico, Sale e Pepe offers authentic Italian cuisine in surroundings of aged stone, marble floors and hand-painted frescoes. Enjoy this dining experience in a choice of settings, from candlelit formal in The Dining room to resort casual in The Saletta or alfresco on The Terrace. (by Marco Ocean Beach Resort)

Marco Ocean Beach Resort: An impossibly wonderful hotel, which I can highly recommend.

Please visit:


Key Largo: Hampton Inn Key Largo at Manatee Bay

Kategorie: Americas

As of June 2011

It was an easy 1.5 hours drive from Key West to Key Largo. The Hampton Inn Key Largo is located right next to the Overseas Highway, near MM (Mile Marker) 102. We expected just another Hampton Inn, which this hotel really looked like from the outside: the building and the parking area next to it.


We were greeted very friendly at the front desk and check-in went smooth and easy. Our first room was number 116 on the ground floor, which was the reason why we really did not like it so much. But we were able to switch to room number 220 on the first floor.

Finally: This room was so amazing. I had never expected such a room at a Hampton Inn and I hope my pictures give you an idea of what I mean.

Very important: We had a balcony with a table and two chairs! And this meant, we were finally able to not only open a window but to step outside and take a breath – although the view said *Parking Lot*. But anyway, we did not really mind this so much.

The room was really nice and I wished we had had such a room in Key West as well … but well. We had it now: It was large with two beds, designed in kind of *Island Style* with lots of bamboo, wood, nice artwork and a real holiday feeling 😉 The work area was comfortable and high-speed internet was really *high speed*. We had a microwave, a fridge, a separate sink, a wardrobe, an iron and iron board, coffee maker, tea and coffee, but again no water kettle.

The bed was ultra comfortable. The only thing I could have wished for would have been a pillow with feathers instead of some microfibers. The bathroom was very spacious with a really very spacious shower. Unfortunately there was still lack of storage room for our bath utensils. A/C again was efficient, but too noisy. Fortunately the fan worked very well, even on *Low* during the night.


Housekeeping was efficient, but not concerning cleaning the mirrors and windows. We found out that the rooms had been renovated not so long ago … and there were still spots of paint on the towel- and toilet paper holders.

I liked the breakfast area. It was clean and a bit larger than at the Hampton Inn Tamarac but with almost the same items on offer, which I liked as well. Room temperature was a bit more convenient.

The hotels grounds were quite vast. There was a nice pool area (heated), a barbeque and bar area and a nice little beach with loungers and chairs. I really loved this beach. The water was so nice and refreshing. And in the evenings we could swim and watch the beautiful sunsets. Yes, it was quite spectacular!


If you don’t mind travelling back and forth to Key West every day for sightseeing and such I would highly recommend this place. We did several tours from here: e.g. we went to the Everglades, to Key Biscayne etc. and this was still convenient. Located next to the hotel is the Marine Mammal Conservancy (link: ) and -almost in walking distance- the John Pennekamp State Park. There are some restaurants on the island as well as a Publix and different other shops.

Compared to Key West Key Largo is quiet. I had the feeling that this is the island *where the locals are*. Time does not run that fast here. And the hotel is the ideal spot to unwind, spend some time at the wonderful little beach, rest and read a book or two.

Yes, I do recommend this place and hope to return again …. to the *Ocean Beachfront Resort Hampton Inn at Manatee Bay*.


Key West: Hyatt Key West Resort & Spa

Kategorie: Americas

As of June 2011

“Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, where watching the town´s legendary sunsets is a nightly event, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa is a sanctuary in the heart of Key West´s Old Town. Offering casual elegance and gracious hospitality, the resort is just one block from renowned Duval Street, two blocks from Mallory Square, and adjacent to the Historic Seaport Boardwalk – this premier location places guests at the center of it all. Discover the charm and relaxing pace of the southernmost city in the United States at its most exclusive resort, Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa – the perfect place to escape from the stress of everyday life.” [Hyatt Hotels and Resorts]

I could not have written this better.

My Key West site inspection took me to this beautiful hotel right on the beach. This Hyatt hotel is kind of small and boutique-like. No gate. No doorman. A small but beautiful lobby with just one person working at the counter at the time of my arrival. But exactly all this gave me the feeling of arriving at a very special place. “A Hyatt”. Open. Light. Breezes. Breathing. Easy does it.

118 rooms of two categories cater to the needs of the guests. The entire hotel has recently been renovated. And the rooms really show this. They as well are light, open, and allow you to take a breath. To just relax and enjoy the day. The Evening. Key West.

I really liked the interior of the rooms: no-frills, spotless, airy, minimalistic but highly comfortable. And they all have a balcony and a view of the wonderful sea.

The hotel offers special rooms for functions, board meetings and –of course- beautiful weddings. There is a pool area with lots of loungers and chairs, a bar, a shop and a spa area. The beach is a bit small, but nevertheless nice. You can head out for a diving excursion, rent a jet ski, a bike, a scooter or just walk out of the door to get into the center of Old Town / Duval Street. Alternatively you just drive about four miles to get to the 18-hole championship Key West Golf Club.

To me the Hyatt Key West Resort and Spa is the perfect location to enjoy your stay on Key West. I highly recommend this hotel and hope to be able to return one day.

Please visit:


Key West: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott

Kategorie: Americas

As of June 2011

After a long drive from Ft. Lauderdale to Key West we arrived at our next location: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, which is located on North Roosevelt Bouldevard, one of the main roads of Key West.

Approaching the hotel the building looked very nice and inviting.

The check-in went smooth and efficiently and we not only were presented with a cool welcome drink but also received a map of the island and many good suggestions for dinner or sightseeing. The entire staff was ultra friendly and helpful.

Our room – No. 206 – was … well, a bit on the super small side, although clean but very tiny with two beds, a side board with TV, a little table and a chair. There was no wardrobe but a tiny little open thing where we could hang / store a small part of our luggage. Not the least sufficient. The sink was placed on one side of the room, toilet and shower in a separate little adjoining space.

As we had to walk past other rooms to get to ours, other people had too, so we needed to close the blinds in order to prevent them from looking inside. And again, we could not open the windows. So this was doubly inconvenient.

The room itself, though quite small, was painted and decorated in warm and nice colors … quite tropical style: crème, blue, green hues.

We found a coffee maker, coffee and cups, but no tea, no water kettle and no refrigerator. Internet access was available but quite on the slow side. There was no safe in the room, but we could use the one at the front desk, which again was not big enough for laptop and camera equipment. A/C worked efficiently but was very noisy, so we either had to switch it off during the night or cope with the noise.

The USA Today and a local newspaper were available either in the breakfast area or in the lobby where you also have access to a microwave and where you can buy little things like dailies or postcards etc.

The hotel is built around a vast and very nice and clean pool area with lots of chairs. In the morning you can do some laps to get ready for breakfast or just get those nice pool towels and take a rest in one of the comfortable chairs. But as soon as they switch on the music it gets very noisy and uncomfortable. I asked a few times if it is possible to reduce the volume, which they did once, but the next day it was the same again. What a pity.

Breakfast was served outside in a nice setting on the verandah. The selection was good, almost identical to the one at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Tamarac. Every day we were greeted in an ultrafriendly way, which –too me- sometimes was a bit too much. But rather ultrafriendly than grumpy, isn’t it?


You really need a car to get from the hotel to the sights of Key West as this hotel is not in walking distance to the Old Town, but at least 2 miles away. There is no beach access in the vicinity. And the hotel is located right on the main road.

Scooters or bikes are for rent at the hotel, but this is not very reasonable. So I would rather consider paying for the parking of the car at e.g. Old Town than renting a scooter or a bike instead.

If you want to find a place just to rest after partying in Key West´s Old Town and do not mind a small room, then I would really recommend this hotel. Rooms are clean, staff is friendly and helpful and the pool area is nice. Sufficient parking without charge is available as well.

In case you need a bigger room, just check out the other four available room categories. But please keep in mind the location of your room. If it faces the pool area it could get quite noisy during the day and early evenings. Our room faced the parking lot in the backyard which was a bit more quiet, although most of the time we could listen to the conversations of our next neighbors through the walls.

Anyway, this place was nice. Of course there are much nicer hotels on Key West, but if you have to watch a certain budget, check out the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott on N. Roosevelt Blvd.


Ft. Lauderdale: Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale West-Sawgrass / Tamarac

Kategorie: Americas

As of June 2011

We chose this hotel as home base for our excursions in the Ft. Lauderdale area and we did well with this decision. Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale West-Sawgrass / Tamarac is part of the Hilton Hotels Corporation. Although this hotel is a bit far out of the city center of Ft. Lauderdale and you will need a car to get around it is very easy to either use Commercial Boulevard to head East, the Turnpike to go North or South or the Sawgrass Expressway to reach Miami or the Keys. So far connecting with the main Highways or Interstates is very convenient. Walmart, Publix and some restaurants are in the vicinity.

Sufficient parking is available right at the hotel and free of charge.

When we checked in later in the afternoon we were greeted very politely and friendly, everything went efficiently and easy. The lobby was nicely lit and we could get a little glimps of the breakfast area next to the lobby, which look pretty with its high ceiling and modern style decoration. A small but well-stocked shop was located next to the front desk, where you can purchase all those little dailies like magazines, books, sweets, soft drinks etc.

Our home for the next few nights: Room 422 – on the fourth floor. The room was quite spacious, looked nice and had two double beds, which turned out to be super comfortable. Unfortunately we could not open the windows, which was going to be kind of a problem for us in almost each hotel we would be staying along the road. Everyone told us it had to do with the humidity, mold and such and also that people left the windows open and the A/C on. Well, we would have loved to be able to open the window and get some fresh air, especially during the night. I think hotels should inform on their website if the windows can be opened or not.

Anyway, the room was nice, lighting was sufficient, the work space ok. Free high-speed internet access was available and we really could do well with it. We found a coffee machine, tee, coffee and paper cups, unfortunately no water kettle. In case the USA Today was not delivered to the room, a copy was available at the front desk. A/C was quite efficient, but much too noisy to leave it on during the night. So: either noise or sweat. Unfortunately.

When the A/C broke down on our last evening and it was not possible to repair it we were offered to move to another room while just leaving our luggage in our room. This was a very nice offer.

A refrigerator was not available in the room, neither was a safe. Alternatively we could use the safe at the front desk, which we did, but there was not enough space to either store the laptop or the camera equipment. We were offered to leave laptop and camera with the employees in their office.

Housekeeping did a good job, everything was nice and clean (towels, mats and such).

The room itself – although nice and clean – was not really *sound-proof*. So we could hear our neighbors coming back to their rooms and talk and laugh and party.

But still we felt comfortable and safe in this place.

In the morning we enjoyed our breakfast downstairs. The selection of breakfast items was good: Cereals, different bread, butter, jam, juices, fresh fruits (apples, bananas etc.), fruit salad, yoghurt. Sometimes there were scrambled eggs, hash browns, mash potatoes etc. We could bake our own waffles and also had the choice of coffee, tea or hot chocolate. I was really surprised about this good selection and the friendly service.

Unfortunately sometimes the display was not really clean: water, coffee or remains of spilled juices were not wiped away. The floor right in front of the display was sometimes quite sticky.

But anyway we really enjoyed our breakfast.

Most of the time I wished I could stay a bit longer in this area, but it was too cold. When I asked the employees about this I was informed that this would be the regulation and could not be changed. Talking to the manager one day I mentioned this so I hope further clients will really enjoy sitting there a bit longer.

I checked on the pool and fitness area and found both clean and inviting.

I can highly recommend this place in case you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of Miami or Fort Lauderdale. It is a really nice hotel with absolutely friendly staff. I am looking forward to returning to the Hampton Inn & Suites Ft. Lauderdale West-Sawgrass / Tamarac – and not only for the cookies, tea and coffee, which were offered in the evening at the front desk …

Their slogan:”we love having you here” – and this really shows! Thank you very much!


Las Vegas: Homewood Suites by Hilton Las Vegas Airport

Kategorie: Americas

Please scroll for the English version.

Stand: Oktober 2010

Bei Anreise hätten wir uns eine größere Lichtreklame gewünscht, um das Hotel schon aus der Entfernung etwas besser zu erkennen, da dieses in einer Art Gewerbegebiet liegt

Das Hotel ist von einem großen Areal umgeben, auf dem sehr viele und geräumige Parkplätze zur Verfügung stehen.

Wir wurden freundlich an der Rezeption empfangen und der Check-In verlief professionell und schnell.

Für die nächsten 10 Tage war die ca. 40qm große Suite 438 im 4. Stock mit Blick auf den sauberen und beheizten Pool unser neues Zuhause.

Schon bei Betreten der Räumlichkeit waren wir vom schönen und gemütlichen Ambiente überrascht. Alles sah sauber und wohnlich aus.

Die Küche war gut eingerichtet und bot uns u.a. eine große Kühl- und Gefrierkombination, Mikrowelle, Spülmaschine, ein Cerankochfeld mit zwei Kochplatten sowie einen Kaffeekocher für Kaffee- oder Teezubereitung incl. Kaffee, Tee und Milchpulver. Leider gab es weder einen Wasserkocher noch Weingläser. Ansonsten war an alles gedacht.

Das sehr gemütliche KingSize-Bett lud mit vielen Kissen und zusätzlichen Decken zum Entspannen ein.

Der Kleiderschrank war recht klein und nicht so gut zugänglich, da die Schiebetüren sich nur teilweise verschieben ließen. Im Schrank standen auch ein Bügelbrett und ein Bügeleisen.

Das mit Holz und in hellen und freundlichen Farben gestaltete Bad war aufgeteilt in einen wohnlichen Bereich mit Waschtisch und viel Ablageflächen sowie einem separaten Raum mit Duschbad und Toilette. Duschgel, Shampoo, Spülung und Lotion waren von der Firma Neutrogena.

Leider war die Duschtüre undicht.

Wünschenswert wäre eine bessere Endkontrolle bei den Hand- und Badetüchern gewesen, da diese ziemlich alt und teilweise schon schmutzig waren, bevor wir sie in Gebrauch nahmen. Leider konnte man den Ventilator im Bad nicht abschalten, insofern störte dieses permanente Geräusch.

Auch waren die Fenster nicht gut isoliert, daher drangen permanente Außengeräusche ins Zimmer, nicht nur vom Hotelbereich selbst, sondern auch sowohl vom nahegelegenen Flughafen als auch von der Autobahn.

Außerdem konnten wir die Fenster lediglich einen Spalt breit öffnen.

Über dem Bett hing ein Ventilator, der leicht zu bedienen war.

Die Klimaanlage war für die Größe der Räumlichkeit nicht effizient genug, da sie direkt an der Bettseite montiert war. Schaltete man sie ein, regulierte sie die Temperatur im Wohnbereich nicht, im Schlafbereich war es dann umso kälter.

Die Beleuchtung der Räumlichkeiten war wirklich gut, jedoch gab es keinen Zentralschalter, mit dem wir alle Lampen ausschalten konnten, wenn wir die Suite verließen.

Jedes Zimmer bietet einen kostenpflichtigen Internetzugang, im Business Center kann man kostenfrei ins Internet.

Das Frühstücksbuffet bot eine gute Auswahl an kalten und warmen Speisen. Von montags bis donnerstags war ein Abendessen im Preis enthalten.

Da in den Suiten u.a. auch keine Minibars installiert sind, kann man in einem kleinen Shop direkt neben der Rezeption Kleinigkeiten für den täglichen Bedarf kaufen (Zeitungen, Getränke, Süßigkeiten etc.).

Um Wertsachen zu verstauen, muss der Gast den Rezeptionssafe nutzen, da in den Suiten keine separaten Safes eingebaut wurden. Die Fächer, die an der Rezeption zur Verfügung gestellt werden, sind recht klein und lediglich für Papiere etc. gedacht, nicht für einen Laptop oder eine größere Kamera mit Objektiv.

Wir fanden im Zimmer eine Übersicht über die Abendmahlzeiten im Oktober, erhielten jedoch keine weiteren Details zum Monatswechsel.

Hin und wieder vermissten wir die USA Today, die normalerweise morgens an der Türe hing. Dann konnten wir uns aber noch ein Exemplar an der Rezeption abholen.

Mit Ausnahme der Handtuchkontrolle arbeiteten die Damen und Herren von Housekeeping sehr gut.

Insgesamt war das Personal sehr freundlich und hilfsbereit.

Am Abreisetag nutzten wir den Express-Check-Out und hatten so in zwei Minuten alles erledigt.

Insgesamt handelt es sich bei den Homewood Suites by Hilton Las Vegas Airport um ein schönes und einfaches Haus, weitab vom Trubel des legendären Las Vegas Strip. Um komfortabel an seine Ziele zu gelangen, sollte man schon mit dem Mietwagen unterwegs sein. Zwar bietet das Hotel auch einen kostenlosen Shuttle zum nahegelegenen Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort an, doch wer dieses Hotel kennt, weiß, dass es genau am Anfang des Strip liegt.

Wir haben uns in den Homewood Suites by Hilton Las Vegas Airport sehr wohl und sicher gefühlt – auch wenn es Kleinigkeiten gab, die uns etwas störten.

Bitte besuchen Sie


As of October 2010

The Homewood Suites by Hilton Las Vegas are located in a business area close to the international airport. I suggest the installation of some larger signs on the roof or at the sides of the building to identify the hotel more easily upon arrival.

The vast ground offers extensive parking lots.

Upon arrival we were greeted very friendly and checked-in quickly and professionally.

The suite No. 438 on the 4th floor would be our residence for the next ten days, 40 square meters and a view of the clean and heated pool.

Entering the suite we were amazed by the nice and cozy ambience. Everything seemed to be clean and comfortable.

The kitchen was well appointed with a large cooling and freezing unit, micro wave oven, dish washer, glass-ceramic cooktop panel as well as with a coffeemaker for coffee and tea including coffee and tea bags and creamer. Unfortunately we were missing a water kettle and wine glasses.

The cozy king size bed and its cushions and additional blankets invited us to just take a rest and relax.

The wardrobe was small and not very comfortable as the sliding doors could only partially be opened. It contained some hangers, an iron board and an iron.

The bath was divided into two rooms: kind of a light colored wash room with a sink and lots of storage space, nicely appointed with wooden cabinets and a large sink. The second room held the bathtub / shower and the toilet. Neutrogena provided shower gel, shampoo, conditioner and lotion.

Unfortunately the shower door was leaky.

I wish the staff had double checked the towels as most of them were quite old and already looking dirty before we had the chance to use them.

Ventilation in the bath room could not be turned off, which was quite disturbing as well as the fact that the windows were not soundproofed. So we were continuously bothered by many noises: from the hotel itself as well as from the airport and the highway nearby.

Unfortunately we could only open the windows just a little bit to let cool air come in.

The fan above the bed was easy to handle.

The air condition was not very efficient compared to the size of the room, as she was installed quite next to the bed. When we turned the A/C on, it was not possible to cool off the living room area whilst the sleeping area was freezing cold.

The lighting was very good, although we were missing kind of a central switch to switch off all the lights when leaving the suite.

Each suite offers internet access (charge), whereas the Business Center gives you access to the internet free of charge.

The breakfast buffet had a nice selection of cold and warm food. From Monday to Thursday a dinner was included in the room rate.

To make up for the missing minibars in the rooms the hotel offers a nice little shop right next to the front desk where the guests could purchase those little dailies like newspapers, soft drinks or sweets etc.

In order to store valuables guests can use safe deposit boxes at the front desk at no charge (no safes in the rooms). But they are quite small and only offer space for travel documents etc., unfortunately not for a regular laptop or a camera with lenses.

We found a list stuck to the fridge with information on dinners during October, but did not receive the update for November.

Some days we were missing the daily USA Today, which was usually delivered to the rooms. On those days they were still available at the front desk.

Except for the lack of double checking on the towels the staff of housekeeping was very good.

The entire staff was very friendly and helpful.

On the day of departure we used the Express-Check-Out and were ready to leave in two minutes.

Altogether the Homewood Suites by Hilton Las Vegas Airport is a nice and simple hotel, far away from the hustle and bustle of the famous Las Vegas Strip. I would suggest renting a car to easily get to where you like to go. While the hotel offers a shuttle to the Mandalay Bay Casino and Resort you should know that this is located right at the beginning of the Strip.

Although we had some topics on our *Dislike List* we really enjoyed our stay at the Homewood Suites by Hilton Las Vegas Airport and felt safe there.

Please visit


Las Vegas: Encore

Kategorie: Americas

Please scroll for the English version

Stand: Januar 2009

Im Dezember 2008 und nach einer Bauzeit von ca. 30 Monaten war es endlich so weit: Steve Wynn reichte der Welt die Zugabe zum Wynn: das Encore. Und es ist tatsächlich eine Zugabe, denn genau wie in der Musik kann eine Zugabe noch eine Steigerung der vorherigen Performance bilden. Und genau das erreichte Steve Wynn.

Ihm und seinem Designerteam war es wichtig, zu zeigen, was man –im Vergleich zum Wynn- im Encore verbessern, hinzufügen und was man weglassen konnte. Wynn und Encore sollten eine Einheit bilden. Wichtig war es auch für Steve Wynn und seine Mitarbeiter, ein Hotel der kurzen Wege zu schaffen: Der Gast sollte schnell von der Rezeption zu seinem Zimmer gelangen und nicht, wie in anderen Hotels, erst lange Wege durch das Casino zurücklegen müssen.
Darüberhinaus wollte Steve Wynn ein Hotel schaffen, das mit seinen atemberaubenden Details die Gäste zum Staunen bringen würde. Dazu verpflichtete er Roger P. Thomas, Executive Vice President of Design, und Todd-Avery Lanahan (ABA Design-Studio), der für das Design der Gästeräume und des Spa-Bereichs verantwortlich zeichnet, mit ihren Teams, diese Aufgabe zu meistern.

Steht man auf dem Strip und betrachtet die beiden Hotels, sind sie sich ähnlich, man sieht, dass sie aus einer Architektenfeder stammen. Betritt man jedoch das Encore und verbringt einige Zeit dort, stellt man Unterschiede fest. Zwar verfügt auch das Encore über ein Zimmerkontingent von insgesamt 2034 Zimmern, Suiten und Apartments und ist damit natürlich ein großes Hotel. Doch möchte ich es trotzdem als Boutique-Hotel bezeichnen, da es für mich einen gewissen Charme hat. Hierzu tragen nicht nur das wunderbare Atrium, die Eingangshalle zum Casino, oder die Design-Elemente wie Schmetterlinge als Skulpturen, Mosaik, oder Gemälde bei, sondern auch die Atmosphäre, die im Hotel allgegenwärtig ist. Man fühlt sich umgeben von Schönheit, Kunst und natürlich –auf der anderen Seite- auch von der Stimmung, die ein Casino in Las Vegas charakterisiert. Generell klassifiziert man das Encore sicherlich als Resort, speziell auch durch seine direkte Verbindung mit dem Wynn. Dies ist auch in Ordnung. Sehe ich das Encore aber als eigenständiges Element, ist es für mich ein wunderschönes Boutique-Hotel mit allen Einrichtungen, die ein solches bieten sollte.

Ich möchte meine Erfahrungen nun mit Ihnen teilen. Bitte beachten Sie, dass die Auflistung hinsichtlich der Restaurants und Bars nicht vollständig ist, da ich nicht alle besucht habe.

Transfer: Der Fahrer des Hotels erwartete mich bereits am Eingang zum Gepäckbereich und begrüßte mich dort herzlich. Er begleitete mich zum Gepäckband und kümmerte sich um mein Gepäck. Wir gingen den kurzen Weg zur Limousine. Dort lud er das Gepäck ein und bot mir Wasser an. Zum schönen Fahrzeugambiente hätte ein Trinkglas gepasst. So trank ich das gut gekühlte Wasser eben aus der Plastikflasche. Der Transfer dauerte nur kurz und schon wurde ich am Eingang der Tower Suites Rezeption freundlich in Empfang genommen.
Es gibt noch einen weiteren Bereich, in dem die Gäste der Resort Suiten einchecken.

Check-In: Die Damen am Counter begrüßten mich herzlich und der Check-In war in wenigen Minuten professionell abgewickelt. Ein Mitarbeiter kümmerte sich um mein Gepäck und begleitete mich zur Suite.

Suite: Ich bezog die Suite Nr. 5730. Obwohl auf meiner Zimmerkarte der Vermerk stand, ich wohne in einer Tower Suite, vermute ich im Nachhinein, dass es sich um eine reguläre Resort Suite handelte, da ich zwar mit dem Aufzug für die Tower Suiten hochfuhr, dann aber einen Durchgang benutzte, der in einen weiteren Hoteltrakt führte.
Sobald ich die Suite betrat, wusste ich, dass ich mich hier in den nächsten Tagen zu Hause fühlen würde. Vor mir lag ein Marmorfoyer mit großen Spiegelflächen auf der linken Seite. Auf der rechten Seite war ein beleuchteter Kleiderschrank mit integriertem Safe eingebaut. Genügend Kleiderbügel, ein Bügeleisen und ein Bügelbrett standen zur Verfügung. Der Safe war ungewöhnlich klein, jedoch sehr einfach zu bedienen. Das Badezimmer, ebenfalls zur Rechten, war groß, gut beleuchtet und sehr geräumig. Eine Badewanne lud zum Relaxen ein, die separate Dusche war großzügig bemessen, ebenso wie die beiden Waschtische mit geräumigen Ablagen und gut beleuchteten Spiegeln. Ein Kosmetikspiegel stand auf der Ablage, dessen nicht funktionierende Lampe während meines gesamten Aufenthaltes weder getestet noch ausgetauscht wurde.
Ein kleiner LCD-Fernseher war in die Wand integriert.
Im Bad hingen kuschelige Bademäntel und flauschige Hand- und Badetücher. Accessoires wie gut duftendes Duschgel, Shampoo, Conditioner, Körperlotion, Seifen, Wattepads, Schuhcreme etc. lagen bereit. Eine digitale Waage stand unter der Ablage. Die separate Toilette war großzügig und gut beleuchtet.
Angenehm war das Nachtlicht, das man bei Bedarf im Bad einschalten und dimmen konnte.
Ein Schrank, auf dem der sowohl zur Couch als auch zum Bett hin drehbare Fernseher stand, trennte Wohn- und Schlafbereich voneinander.
Das Bett war unglaublich gemütlich und mit schöner Bettwäsche und bequemen Kissen ausgestattet. Auf der einen Seite standen auf einem Nachttisch eine iPod-DockingStation und auf der anderen Seite ein Wecker. Von einem entsprechenden Panel aus konnte man hier die Beleuchtung sowie die Gardinen und Übergardinen steuern, ebenso das *Bitte-Nicht-Stören-Licht*.
Das große Sideboard enthielt auf der einen Seite die Minibar und auf der anderen Seite einen Eiskübel, sowie unterschiedliche Gläser, einen Korkenzieher und einen Flaschenöffner. In der Minibar wurde man darauf hingewiesen, dass ein Herausnehmen der Artikel für länger als 60 Sekunden automatisch zum Kauf führen werde, genauso wie dies die Artikel betraf, die in einer Vorrichtung auf dem Schrank standen (Snacks, Kosmetika und CDs). Auch wenn ich den Sinn dieser Handhabung irgendwie verstehe, berührt sie mich dennoch negativ.
Eine schöne Geste wären eine Kaffeemaschine oder ein Teekocher, damit man morgens, bevor man sein Zimmer verlässt, schon einen Kaffee oder Tee genießen könnte.
Im Wohnbereich standen auf der linken Seite ein Schreibtisch mit zwei bequemen Stühlen und einer Telefonanlage. Im Schrank war ein Faxgerät untergebracht. Die Beleuchtung war ausreichend. Auf der rechten Seite luden ein großes, etwas fleckiges Sofa und eine kleine Ottomane zum Verweilen ein. Der Blick aus den Fenstern, die über die gesamte Zimmerbreite und vom Boden bis zur Decke reichten, war grandios. Ich konnte zur Linken auf den Golfplatz und weiter auf die Stadt und den Flugplatz schauen. Geradeaus lag das Wynn direkt vor mir. Nach rechts breitete sich der Strip nach Süden aus, während weiter nach Westen der Trump Tower und die Berge meinen Blick begrenzten.
Ich brachte es nicht übers Herz, die Vorhänge zu schließen. Leider waren die Fenster recht schmutzig, dies trübte im wahrsten Sinne des Wortes diesen fast perfekten Ausblick, vor allem tagsüber.
Direkt am Fenster war die Klimaanlage montiert. Zwar war sie einfach zu bedienen, jedoch durch ihre Position recht uneffektiv für den Schlafbereich und überdies so laut, dass ich sie nachts teilweise komplett ausschaltete, um schlafen zu können. Das Schwitzen im gemütlichen Bett war daher dann das geringere Übel.
Ausreichend Ablageflächen standen in allen Bereichen zur Verfügung.
Das Highlight des Raumes war die komplett verspiegelte Seite, durchgehend vom Wohn- zum Schlafbereich. Dies gab dem Raum optisch noch ein wenig mehr Licht und Größe.
Ein negativer Aspekt war die Hellhörigkeit. Saß ich auf der Toilette, konnte ich den Gesprächen über oder unter mir fast problemlos folgen. Meine Suite besaß eine Verbindungstür zum Nachbarraum. Ich hörte ganz genau, wann mein Nachbar das Zimmer betrat oder verließ.
Insgesamt war der Aufenthalt angenehm. Die moderne Einrichtung des Zimmers, das farbliche Design und die Gesamtatmosphäre trugen zu einem erholsamen Wohnen bei. Pluspunkte waren außerdem der abendliche Turn-Down-Service sowie die morgendliche Zeitung.

Wazuzu (asiatische Küche): Ich nahm hier zweimal mein Mittagessen ein. Zweimal tätigte ich vorher eine telefonische Tischreservierung und zweimal wurde diese nicht wirklich respektiert. Denn beide Male stellten die jungen Damen im Eingangsbereich in Frage, ob ich denn tatsächlich reserviert hatte. Alles verlief dort ein wenig chaotisch, was zu einer längeren Warteschlange hinter mir führte. Doch scheinbar erging es anderen Gästen auch so, denn bei meinem zweiten Lunch wurde eine andere Dame einfach (mit einer rhetorischen Frage, ob es mir unangenehm sei) an meinen Tisch gesetzt. Ich erfuhr, dass auch ihre Reservierung nicht bekannt gewesen sei und sie aus diesem Grunde hätte nicht im Restaurant essen können, wenn sie sich nicht zu mir hätte setzen können.
Das Essen war beim ersten Lunch sehr gut, der Service ebenfalls. Ich entschied mich für eine Sushi-Auswahl (Chef´s Special Sushi Platter), die besser hätte nicht sein können, sowohl von der Präsentation her als auch vom Geschmack. Beim zweiten Lunch traf ich dieselbe Wahl, war jedoch von den gesamten Umständen im Restaurant so irritiert, dass ich dieses Essen nicht wirklich objektiv genießen und beurteilen konnte. Schade. Mir war der Appetit vergangen.
Der Name des Restaurants bezieht sich auf ein Gemälde aus dem 16. Jahrhundert, das neun junge Drachen darstellt. Das Restaurant, dessen Herzstück ein überdimensionaler und aus mehr als 90.000 Swarovski-Kristallen bestehender, funkelnder Drache ist, liegt direkt gegenüber dem Casino und ist sehr gut besucht. Wer aber eine Örtlichkeit sucht, in der er während des Essens und bei dezenter Musik entspannen möchte, sollte eine andere Wahl treffen.

Botero: Das kreisrunde Restaurant mit Kunstwerken von Botero und internationaler Speisekarte. Der junge Mann, der für mich zuständig war, gab mir die perfekte Empfehlung für mein Abendessen, das Essen war gut zubereitet. Alles in allem ein Restaurant, das gutes Essen bietet, jedoch für meinen Geschmack etwas zu quirlig und laut ist.

Sinatra: Das sog. *Fine Italian Restaurant*, das dem einzigartigen Frank Sinatra gewidmet wurde. Und ein Restaurant, das das Attribut *einzigartig* in seinem Namen führen sollte. Hier stimmte fast alles: Der Empfang beim Betreten des Restaurants, die freundlichen und sehr diskreten Mitarbeiter, das sehr gute Essen und ein wunderschönes Ambiente. Lediglich die Musik war etwas zu laut, um sich entspannt mit seinem Gegenüber unterhalten zu können. Ein Abendessen, das ich dennoch in sehr guter Erinnerung behalten werde.

Switch: Dieses Restaurant zeichnet sich durch ein interessantes Designkonzept aus. In regelmäßigen Abständen ändern sich die Wände des Restaurants und die (ziemlich laute) Musik passt sich dem neuen Design an. Ich erfuhr, dass man vor kurzem auch noch die Deckenkonstruktionen innerhalb dieser vier Zeitintervalle änderte und sogar die Mitarbeiter sich in diesem Takt umzogen. Selbst erlebt habe ich dies aber leider nicht.
Das Restaurant bot eine schöne Auswahl internationaler Speisen. Ich habe Steak & Seafood probiert und war mit meiner Wahl – hinsichtlich des Hummers – sehr zufrieden, während das Steak leider nicht nach meinen Wünschen zubereitet war. Auch war die Wartezeit zwischen Vor- und Hauptspeise ungewöhnlich lang. Ich wurde sehr höflich und freundlich beim Betreten des Restaurants begrüßt und an den Tisch geführt, doch hielt die Freundlichkeit des Personals leider genau nur so lange, bis ich meinen Cappuccino getrunken und den Beleg unterschrieben hatte. Kein Wort zum Abschied.

Society: Ein Restaurant für den ganzen Tag, denn man bietet hier Frühstück, Lunch und Dinner. Das *American Comfort Food* wird von morgens 06:30h bis (am Wochenende) 3 Uhr nachts gereicht. Hier aß ich ebenfalls zu Mittag und war von der freundlichen Begrüßung durch die Mitarbeiter sehr beeindruckt. Das Servicepersonal war sehr effizient und auch behilflich, was die Beratung bzgl. der Auswahl der Gerichte betraf. Das Essen selbst (Grilled Chicken Salad) war makellos und absolut in Ordnung. Das Ambiente gefiel mir sehr gut. Es ist ein recht hippes Lokal, das ebenfalls in direkter Nähe zum Casino liegt. Die Geräuschkulisse ist auch hier sehr ausgeprägt.

Daniel Boulud Brasserie (Wynn): Das Restaurant liegt direkt am Lake of Dreams. Man kann sowohl auf der Terrasse als auch im Restaurant selbst Platz nehmen und die vorzügliche Küche des bekannten Chefs genießen. Ein Ambiente und eine Auswahl an Speisen, die mir sehr gefallen haben.

Alex (Wynn): Für mich ist das Alex im Wynn genau das, was das Sinatra im Encore ist: einzigartig. Ein Restaurant der Spitzenklasse. Schon das Lesen der Menukarte lässt das Wasser im Mund zusammenlaufen. Hier stimmt einfach alles: Der Eingangsbereich, der wie ein englischer Club gestaltet ist, mit seiner sehr umfangreichen Bar und Lounge. Dann das Restaurant selbst mit einer unglaublichen Deckenhöhe, die dem Gast ermöglicht, sich einfach treiben zu lassen und die Delikatessen zu genießen, die ihm hier serviert werden. Das Personal ist sehr diskret und sehr hilfsbereit, die musikalische Untermalung perfekt. Ich hatte noch die Gelegenheit, einen Blick in den exklusiven Weinkeller zu werfen, der keine Wünsche offen lässt.
Ein sehr außergewöhnliches Abendessen in wunderschöner Atmosphäre.

Küche allgemein: Ich habe den Eindruck, dass sowohl im Wynn als auch im Encore hervorragende Köche und Mitarbeiter beschäftigt sind.

Lobby Bar & Café:
Direkt im Bereich der Aufzüge zu den Resortzimmern gelegen, bietet diese angenehme Kombination aus Café und Bar eine schöne Auswahl an Snacks, Gebäck, Weinen und ausgesuchten Cocktails. Man kann sich hier zum Frühstück treffen, zu einem kleinen Mittagessen verabreden oder den Tag in angenehmer Gesellschaft bei speziellen Cocktails und Drinks beenden.

Eastside Lounge: Diese Lounge bietet auch Sitzplätze im Außenbereich mit Blick auf die schöne Poolanlage. Hier stehen Cocktails und andere Alkoholika zur Auswahl. Ein Treffpunkt, um zu sehen und um gesehen zu werden.

XS (Encore):
Das XS ist der für mich schönste und anspruchvollste Szeneclub. Großzügig angelegt mit direktem Zugang zum Poolbereich bietet er viele Aufenthaltsmöglichkeiten. Das XS ist golden, stylish, schön, wild und jung – mit sehr nettem und freundlichem Personal.

Blush (Wynn): Das Blush gefiel mir –im Vergleich zum XS- nicht so gut. Dieser Nachtclub hat zwar ebenfalls einen Innen- und Außenbereich, ist aber wesentlich kleiner und kompakter. Bei Hochbetrieb wird es recht eng. Die Musik war trendy und laut, genau das Richtige für einen hippen Abend.

Tryst (Wynn): Besitzt man nicht gerade einen VIP-Status, kann es durchaus lange dauern, bevor man in diesen Club eingelassen wird. Das Tryst ist groß (incl. großzügigem Außenbereich mit Blick auf einen wunderbaren Wasserfall). Das Tryst ist laut. Zwar ist die Musik genial gemischt, doch habe ich hier das außergewöhnliche Ambiente vermisst, das dem XS so zu Eigen ist.

Sollte ich eine Staffelung erstellen, stünde das XS an erster Stelle, gefolgt von Tryst und Blush (in dieser Reihenfolge). In allen Clubs herrschte Rauchverbot, außer in den jeweiligen Außenbereichen.

Spa-Lounge: Nach einem anstrengenden Abend in einem der Nachtclubs, begibt man sich am besten ins Spa. Verlässt man den Aufzug im Spa-Bereich und betritt man den sog. Spa Court, verschlägt es einem die Sprache. Todd-Avery Lanahan und sein Design-Team haben wirklich Großes geleistet. Opulenz in wunderschönen Farben lässt einfach nur den Atem stocken. Man kann nur noch in einem der bequemen Sessel Platz nehmen und staunen. Von diesem Atrium aus gelangt man zum Fitnesscenter, zum Friseur, zu einem kleinen Laden, in dem hochwertige Produkte verkauft werden, und natürlich auch zum Spa-Bereich selbst.

Salon: Ich vereinbarte einen Termin, weil ich erfahren wollte, wie sehr sich Resultate in einem solch hochwertigen Hotel von einem normalen Friseurbetrieb unterscheidet und hoffte auf eine außergewöhnlich kreative Beratung. Der Salon selbst ist sehr modern, sehr schön und sehr großzügig eingerichtet. Helle Farben, kombiniert mit einer sehr großen Fensterfront, von der aus man einen schönen Blick auf die Umgebung genießen kann, nehmen die Kunden für sich ein. Die Damen, mit denen ich in Kontakt kam, waren sehr freundlich. Allerdings wurde auch in diesem Salon lediglich mit Wasser gekocht. Anstelle einer außergewöhnlichen Beratung und Ausführung trat eine ganz normale und gute Friseurbehandlung. Nicht mehr und nicht weniger.

Fitnesscenter: Ich benutzte diese Einrichtung nicht, allerdings schien sie mir sehr modern und ansprechend.

Spa-Bereich: Während der Spa-Besichtigung war ich einfach nur beeindruckt von der großzügigen Anlage und dem wunderbaren Design. Als die Dame, die mich herumführte, dann noch erzählte, das man vor den Behandlungen aus diversen Musikstücken, Beleuchtungskombinationen und Öl-/ Duftvarianten wählen könne, um das Spa-Erlebnis noch weiter zu vertiefen, war es um mich geschehen: Ich buchte eine Behandlung.
Am nächsten Tag meldete ich mich an der Spa-Rezeption und wurde in den inneren Bereich geführt. Dort zeigte mir eine freundliche Mitarbeiterin die Möglichkeiten, die zur Verfügung stehen: Umkleidekabinen, Duschen, Ruhezonen, Pools etc. Auf ihre Frage, ob sie mir etwas zu trinken bringen könnte, bestellte ich einen frischgepressten Orangensaft, der mir dann aber leider nicht gebracht wurde. Schließlich zog ich mich um und nutzte eines der kleinen Schließfächer. Alles war sehr geschmackvoll konzipiert. Ich duschte und begab mich in den Poolbereich, in dem ich einen der großen Whirlpools nutzte und mich anschließend auf einer der beheizten Marmorliegen entspannen wollte. Doch hielt die Ruhe nicht lange an, denn schon bald wurde eine weitere Kundin durch die Anlage geführt und – was mir selbst vorher nicht aufgefallen war – in normaler Lautstärke darauf hingewiesen, welche Leistungen und Möglichkeiten zur Verfügung standen. Diese Einweisungen sollten gerade in einem Ruhebereich etwas dezenter durchgeführt werden, so dass die Kundinnen, die sich dort aufhalten und entspannen möchten, dies auch wirklich in Ruhe genießen können.
Schließlich begab ich mich in den Raum, von dem aus ich zur gebuchten Anwendung gebracht werden sollte. Man bezeichnet ihn als *Tranquility Room*. Ich freute mich bereits auf die Ruhe, die mich dort umgeben würde. Leider fungiert dieser Raum aber tatsächlich als Transferraum. Hier werden die Kunden abgeholt und verlassen auch durch diesen wieder den Anwendungsbereich. Zwar laden schöne Couches zum Ausruhen ein, doch wirkliches Ausruhen und Relaxen ist hier nicht möglich.
Letztendlich wurde ich von meiner Masseurin abgeholt und mit freundlichen Worten zum Massageraum geführt, in dem ich die 75-minütige Behandlung mit dem Namen *Sandalwood Stone Ritual* genießen sollte. Tags vorher war noch von Musik-, Licht- und Öl-/ Duftauswahl die Rede, doch an diesem Tag wurden mir diese Möglichkeiten nicht geboten. Auch wurde ich nicht– wie es eigentlich normalerweise üblich ist – nach körperlichen Belange gefragt, auf die man gesondert eingehen oder achten müsse. Der Massageraum hielt leider auch nicht das, was der erste Eindruck am Vortag versprach. Er war recht durchschnittlich eingerichtet: Eine auf den ersten Blick herkömmliche Massageliege stand direkt neben einer wie eine Küchenzeile aussehende Schrankkombination. Irgendwie irritierend. Ich hatte etwas anderes erwartet. Etwas, das dem gesamten Eindruck gerecht wird, der hier vermittelt werden möchte: Luxuriöse Behandlungen in luxuriösem Ambiente.
Die Behandlung selbst lief recht zügig ab: Das Peeling wurde rasch aufgetragen. Dann begab ich mich in den angrenzenden Raum, in dem ich mich kurz duschen sollte. Hier sah ich einen wunderschönen Ruhebereich, auf den ich mich schon freute: Endlich würde ich hier nach der Massage entspannen können. Endlich ein Bereich – wenn auch recht klein – der meinem Verständnis für ein Spa-Erlebnis entsprach. Nach der Dusche begab ich mich wieder auf die Massageliege und freute mich auf die totale Entspannung bei der Hot Stone Massage. Doch dieses Gefühl kam leider nicht auf. Zwar döste ich ein wenig vor mich hin, doch wurde ich immer wieder dadurch irritiert, dass die Masseurin den Kontakt zu mir abbrach, um die nächsten Steine von der Küchentheke zu nehmen und dann zu benutzen.
Schließlich kam die Behandlung zum Ende und ich hoffte, nun noch ein wenig im Bereich nebenan relaxen zu können. Das war leider nicht der Fall. Ich wurde gebeten, den Beleg zu unterschreiben und der Therapeutin nach draußen zu folgen. Das irritierte mich nun sehr. Auf dem Weg zu den Umkleide- und Duschbereichen meinte sie, ich könne noch den ganzen Tag im Spa-Bereich verweilen oder auch zurückkehren. Irritiert zog ich mich um und setzte mich noch einen Moment in den Eingangsbereich, in dem Kaffee und Tee gereicht wurden. Allerdings nicht wirklich stilvoll, denn es standen lediglich Pappbecher zur Verfügung. Ich war enttäuscht. Wirklich enttäuscht. Ich hatte wesentlich mehr erwartet. Zudem der Bereich, den man als erstes betritt, wenn man zum Spa möchte, unglaublich luxuriös wirkt. Schade, dass der Service nicht das hielt, was der erste Eindruck versprach. So schenkte ich mir einen Tee ein und verließ damit schnell den Spa-Bereich, um mir auf meinem Zimmer die Ruhe zu gönnen, die ich nun dringend benötigte.

Poolanlage: Die Außenanlage bietet zwei großzügige Pools, die unglaublich schön gestaltet und teilweise von sog. Cabanas umgeben sind, die man mieten kann, um ein wenig der heißen Sonne Las Vegas´ zu entfliehen. Sehr geschmackvoll und sehr ansprechend! Leider war es während meines Aufenthaltes zu kalt, um einmal ins Wasser zu springen.

Esplanade: Die beiden Hotels sind durch die sog. Esplanade miteinander verbunden, einer Aneinanderreihung von sehr hochwertigen Geschäften wie Chanel, Rolex, Rock & Republic oder Homestore. Steve Wynn stellte nicht nur den Anspruch an sein Designerteam, dass jeder Laden ungewöhnliche Merkmale tragen sollte, die nur ihm eigen sind (z.B. wurde das Design des Chanel-Geschäftes dem des Apartments von Coco Chanel nachempfunden), sondern alle Geschäftsfronten mussten sich voneinander unterscheiden. Dieses außergewöhnliche Konzept trägt zum wirklich interessanten Ambiente bei, das auch hier wieder durch die wunderschöne Schmetterlingsthematik und die vielen unglaublichen Kronleuchter aus rotem, venezianischen Glas abgerundet wird.
Ich habe jedoch den Eindruck, dass ein bestimmtes Klientel vom Encore angezogen werden soll, Familien mit kleinen Kindern sind es scheinbar nicht, denn speziell im Bereich dieser exklusiven Ladenlokale sind z.B. Kinderwagen nicht erwünscht.

Casino: Kein anderes Casino in Las Vegas beeindruckt mich mehr. Zwar herrscht auch hier Raucherlaubnis, doch ist die Klimaanlage so effizient, dass man fast vergisst, von Rauchern umgeben zu sein. Auch wird hier -wie im gesamten Hotel- ein unvergleichlicher Duft verströmt, der den Qualmgeruch fast neutralisiert. Das Casino ist –so wie ich es beurteilen kann- zwar nicht groß, glänzt aber durch seine Auswahl an Spieltischen und –geräten. Natürlich gibt es auch hier separate Bereiche für die sog. High Limit Slots und High Limit Gamings, die aber der Allgemeinheit nicht zugänglich sind, speziell jener im Sky Casino im 63. Stock. Die Damen und Herren, die im Casino arbeiteten und die ich beobachten konnte, waren sehr freundlich und schienen Spaß an ihrer Arbeit zu haben.

Le Rêve: Zum zweiten Mal sah ich mir diese Show an und zum zweiten Mal verzauberte sie mich. Zwischenzeitlich hatte man sie hier und da durch neue Effekte und durch neue Choreografien positiv modifiziert. Daher kann ich schon wieder sagen: Es war die beste Live-Show, die ich in meinem Leben gesehen habe. Gratulation an alle, die sowohl vor als auch hinter den Kulissen arbeiten und dieses Stück zum Meisterwerk haben werden lassen.

Konferenzzentrum (Encore + Wynn): Auch wenn man von zwei Konferenzzentren spricht, sind diese durch einen Gang miteinander verbunden und bieten dem Kunden eine einzigartige Auswahl an Möglichkeiten. Begibt man sich vom ersten Konferenzraum des einen Hotels zum letzten des anderen, legt man einen recht langen Weg zurück. Allerdings werden die Sinne belohnt, denn Kunstwerk reiht sich an Kunstwerk. Das Design dieses Bereiches entspricht dem Aufwand der Designer in beiden Hotels. Sonst hat man schon mal den Eindruck, dass gerade die Bereiche um die Konferenzsäle recht stiefmütterlich behandelt werden. Doch ist dies hier nicht der Fall. Man sollte sich als Gast wirklich die Zeit nehmen, einmal diesen Weg zu genießen und innezuhalten.

Impressionen von Eindrücken *Hinter den Kulissen*:
Im Wynn beschäftigt man 10.000 und im Encore 5.000 Mitarbeiter. Ihnen steht eine Kantine zur Verfügung, die manch ein Sterne-Restaurant vor Neid erblassen ließe. Die Mahlzeiten sind kostenfrei. Den Angestellten werden die jeweiligen Uniformen (incl. Wäsche- und Reparaturdienst) ebenfalls kostenfrei zur Verfügung gestellt. Über dem Durchgang vom Mitarbeiter- zum öffentlichen Hotelbereich ist der Spruch *It´s Showtime* angebracht: Eine Erinnerung daran, dass dem Kunden das Beste geboten werden soll, das jedem Mitarbeiter zur Verfügung steht. Es hat mich sehr beeindruckt.
Allein im Bereich Room Service bereitet die Küche täglich ca. 2100 Mahlzeiten für Gäste im Wynn und ca. 1500 Mahlzeiten im Encore zu.
Boris Villatte, der für den Bereich *Brot* zuständig ist, erzählte mir, er stelle täglich rund 100 Sorten Brot her, die für ungefähr 20.000 Portionen reichen.
Paul Bartolotta, der im Wynn ein sehr gutes Restaurant betreibt, sprach in der Küche davon, dass täglich bis zu 60 unterschiedliche Fischsorten zur Verfügung stehen. Er gab Einblick in die Tanks, in denen z.B. die berühmten Maine Lobster untergebracht sind, von denen bis zu 5000 Stück im Monat verzehrt werden.
Von Paige Dixon, Floral Design Director, erfuhr ich, dass ca. 70 Floristen damit beschäftigt sind, die Blumenarrangements zusammenzustellen und sich um die Pflanzen zu kümmern. Dreimal täglich werden alle Blumen im Hotel geprüft und umgestellt, damit sich dem Gast ein immer wieder neues Bild bietet. Das Pflanzenbudget beträgt jährlich 1,8 Millionen US-Dollar für das Wynn und 1,2 Millionen US-Dollar für das Encore. Paige Dixon zeichnet auch verantwortlich für das Design der vier Drachen, die in China hergestellt und nach Las Vegas transportiert wurden, um als Dekoration für das chinesische Neujahrsfest in beiden Hotels verwendet zu werden.
Alle, im Hotel sichtbaren Pflanzen und Bäume sind echt. Der älteste Baum ist bereits 150 Jahre alt.
Skulpturen, Gemälde und andere Kunstgegenstände wurden aus vielen Ländern zusammengetragen und bilden eine einzigartige Sammlung.
Elaine Wynn, eine inspirative, energiegeladene Dame und Ehefrau von Steve Wynn, behält nicht nur den Überblick über alle Design-Themen, sondern ist auch verantwortlich für die Ausarbeitung der einzelnen Mitarbeiteruniformen, die sich perfekt in das Gesamtambiente einfügen.
Die beiden Swarovski- Pfaue, die vor dem High-Limit-Bereich wachen, wurden in Hongkong hergestellt und bestehen aus Tausenden von Kristallen.
Kronleuchter und Decke des XS- Nightclub sind mit einer Schicht aus 24-karätigem Gold belegt.
Aus Rücksichtnahme auf die asiatische Mentalität hat man auch in diesem Hotel auf Etagen von 40-49 verzichtet.
Zum ersten Mal werden in einem Chanel-Laden Schmuck, Kleidung und Düfte zum Verkauf angeboten.

Site Inspection:
Das Encore bietet insgesamt 2034 Zimmer (Wynn: 2716) in folgenden Ausstattungsvarianten (Raucher- und Nichtraucheretagen):
1767 Encore Resort Rooms (700-745 sq-ft)
141 Tower Suites (700-745 sq-ft)
47 Parlor Suites (1408 sq-ft)
47 Salon Suites (2261 sq-ft)
15 Apartments mit 2 Schlafzimmern
16 Duplex Apartments mit 3 Schlafzimmern
1 Penthouse Apartment mit 3 Schlafzimmern

Ich sah die Parlor-Suite E2605 mit separatem Massageraum, die Salon-Suite E2606, sowie das zweistöckige Duplex-Apartment E2601. Alle Räume waren großzügig geschnitten und mit hervorragenden Materialien und Möbeln ausgestattet.
Das Penthouse-Apartment stand leider für eine Besichtigung nicht zur Verfügung.
Leider war es auch zu keiner Zeit möglich, im Nachgang zu meiner vorjährigen Besichtigung im Wynn Hotel noch ein reguläres Standardzimmer anzusehen.

Check-Out: Als es an der Zeit war, das Hotel zu verlassen, rief ich kurz bei der Rezeption an, um Hilfe mit meinem Gepäck zu bekommen. Nur wenige Momente später klingelte es schon an meiner Türe und ein freundlicher Mitarbeiter stellte sich vor und bat darum, eintreten und mir behilflich sein zu dürfen. Er fragte, ob ich an alles gedacht und nichts im Zimmer vergessen habe. Er fragte sogar, ob er noch einmal für mich nachschauen sollte. Dies fand ich sehr aufmerksam.
Der Check-Out verlief sehr professionell und sehr zügig. Das Gepäck wurde zwischenzeitlich schon nach draußen gebracht, da ich abgeholt und zum Flughafen gefahren werden sollte.
Alle Mitarbeiter, mit denen ich auf dem Weg nach draußen in Kontakt kam, verabschiedeten mich freundlich und wünschten mir eine gute Reise.

Transfer: Der Limousinentransfer verlief perfekt und zügig. Der Fahrer war sehr diskret und sehr freundlich.

Fazit: Das Encore, die jüngere Schwester des Wynn, ist wirklich ein junges und ein sehr hippes Hotel, ohne überdreht zu wirken. Zwar dominiert die Farbe Rot in den Stilelementen, doch trägt sie zur Lebhaftigkeit, zur Lebendigkeit bei und schafft ein wohnliches Ambiente, gerade auch in den öffentlichen Bereichen.
Beeindruckt hat mich die Luftigkeit und Leichtigkeit der Architektur sowie die Freundlichkeit der meisten Mitarbeiter und deren Professionalität. Die beiden echten Wermutstropfen in Sachen professionellem Auftreten der Kundschaft gegenüber waren das Verhalten der Mitarbeiterinnen im Empfangsbereich des Wazuzu, sowie hinsichtlich der Spa-Anwendung.
Das Encore ist dennoch eines der Hotels, in das ich gerne zurückkehren werde.

Bitte besuchen Sie:


As of January 2009

After a construction period of about 30 months Steve Wynn was able to present the world with an encore to the Wynn: THE Encore. And you can really call it an encore. Not only in the music business one is able to increase the perfection of a previous performance. And that is exactly what Steve Wynn has achieved.
It was his and his designer´s goal to show what could be improved, added or left – compared to the Wynn. Wynn and Encore were supposed to unite in the perfect way.
It was also mandatory to create a hotel where the guest can be comfortable and is able to reach his room quickly without walking through the casino endlessly – as it happens in most of the other Las Vegas venues.

Also the Encore should just “wow” the visitors with its awesome details. To achieve this Steve Wynn assigned Roger P. Thomas, Executive Vice President of Design. And he assigned Todd-Avery Lanahan (ABA Design Studio), who signs responsible for the design of rooms and spa. Together with their teams they accomplished the huge task.
If one looks at the Wynn and Encore from the Strip the similarity of both properties is obvious. But as soon as you enter the Encore and take some time walking around you see the difference at once. Although the Encore offers a total of 2034 rooms, suites and apartments I would still classify it as boutique hotel, revealing charm and exclusiveness. Adding to this is the wonderful atrium, the entrance to the casino, the entire elements of design like eternal butterflies, sculptures, mosaics or paintings as well as the special atmosphere at the entire hotel. You are surrounded by beauty, art and –of course- on the other hand by the mood which characterizes a casino at all. Usually you would call the Encore a resort, especially also because of its interconnection with the Wynn. Which I agree with – so far. But if I see the Encore as a separate property I find it is the perfect boutique hotel with all features a grand hotel should offer.

Let me now acquaint you with my experiences of living at the Encore. Please note that the below listing does not include all restaurants and bars as I have not visited the entire venues.

Transfer: Upon arrival at the airport I was greeted by the driver. He joined me on the way to the luggage belt, took care of my bags and pieces, walked me to the limousine and offered me some water. A nice piece of glass or crystal would have “upped” the style. But then I just drank the nice and cool water out of the plastic bottle. The transfer only took a few minutes and I was greeted very friendly upon arrival at the Tower Suites Entrance. There is a second entrance for the guest of the Resort Suites as well.

Check In: The ladies at the counter greeted me very politely and the check in was taken out quickly and very professional. A friendly gentleman took me to the room.

Suite: Although my room key showed Tower Suite, I now assume that I was put into a Resort Suite as I took the Tower Suite elevator but had to walk through a door into another section of the hotel.
As soon as I entered my suite E5730 I knew that I would love the next couple of days. A marble lounge with large mirrors on the left side stretched before me. To the right I found a wardrobe with integrated safe (safe: astonishingly small, but easy to handle), sufficient hangers, an iron and ironing board. The bathroom, also to the right, was large, well lit and very spacious. A bath tub invited to just soak up and the separate shower stall was roomy as well. Two sinks with sufficient storage room for cosmetics and other things were available too. A make-up mirror was standing between the sinks. Usually you can switch on the light, but this light did not work and was not fixed during the entire time. A little LCD TV had been installed next to the sinks so I could watch TV from the tub.
Fluffy bath robes and towels were available as well as amenities like shower gel and soaps with beautiful scent, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, cotton pads, shoe polish etc. A digital scale was put underneath the sink. The separate toilet was spacious and well lit. I liked the nightlight which provided soft lights underneath the sinks.
The suite itself was a very large room with partition on which a large swivel LCD TV had been installed. You could either turn it to the bed or to the living room area.
The bed was unbelievably comfortable and showed a nice selection of linen and pillows. Next to the bed on the right nightstand you could use kind of an iPod docking station and on the left nightstand an alarm integrated into a panel from which you could decide whether to open or close drapes and curtains or to switch on / off the lights as well as the “Please do not disturb” sign.
The large sideboard on the wall offered a mini bar on the one side and on the other side an ice bucket, different glasses, a cork screw and a bottle opener. A sign in the mini bar said that taking out items for more than 60 seconds would result in a charge to the room. This applied to the items on top of the side board as well (snacks, cosmetics and cds). Although I somehow understand this, it is quite astonishing in a negative way – especially for a hotel of this standard.
It would have been a nice gesture to provide guests with a coffee or tea maker in order to enjoy the first coffee or tea of the day without having to get dressed and leave the room.
The living room area was set up with a desk, two comfortable chairs and telephone equipment to the left. The little cabinet underneath held a fax machine. Lighting was sufficient. To the right a large sofa (unfortunately with some obvious spots) and an ottoman invited to laze away the day and to admire the awesome view out of the large floor-to-ceiling windows. To the left I saw the golf court and further away the city and the airport. The Wynn was right in front of me. To the right the Strip meandered towards the South. To the West there were the Trump Tower and the mountains keeping my view.
Obviously I never closed the curtains. Unfortunately the windows were quite dirty which definitely and literally clouded this perfect view – especially during the daytime.
Right next to the window the air condition was installed. Although easy to handle the location of the construction was very ineffective with regards to the cooling of the bedroom. Additionally the air condition was so noisy that during the night I had to switch it off to get some sleep. So sweating through the night was the lesser of two evils.
Storage room was available throughout the suite and very sufficient.
The highlight of the room was the one fully mirrored wall – through from bed to living room area. This increased the feeling of light and space.
Walls were very thin. Being on the toilet I could follow the conversations in the rooms above or underneath me easily. My room connected with the adjacent one. I could have taken down the exact times when my neighbor arrived or left his room.
At large my stay was pleasant. Modern furniture, design and the entire atmosphere added to the relaxing way of living here. Turn Down Service in the evening and newspaper in the morning added to the Living Touch.

Wazuzu (Asian):
I took lunch here twice. And twice I made a table reservation and twice this was not really respected. Both times the ladies at the entrance questioned me if I were sure I had made a reservation. Everything was quite chaotic, which generated an increasing waiting line behind me. But obviously other guests experienced the same. During my second lunch a lady was seated at my table (the waitress just rhetorically asked if I minded). The lady mentioned that her reservation had also been neglected so that her choice was either to leave or to join somebody at a table.
During the first lunch food and service were very good. I took a Sushi selection (Chef´s Special Sushi Platter), which could not have been better (presentation and taste). During the second lunch I took the same selection, but the circumstances at the restaurant had obviously irritated me so much that I could not really enjoy lunch anymore. My appetite had been spoiled.
Wazuzu´s name references a well-known 16th century painting of nine young dragons. The restaurant –with its prime art piece, a 27-foot dragon and comprised of 90,000 Swarovski crystals – lies adjacent to the casino and is very well frequented. Those who look for a venue to relax during the meals and listen to decent and quiet music should select a different restaurant.

Botero: The circular restaurant with artwork from Botero and with international cuisine. The young gentleman who took care of my table recommended the perfect dinner for that night. The meal was very good. All in all a restaurant with very good cuisine, but – to my taste – a bit loud and bustling.

Sinatra: The Fine Italian Restaurant dedicated to the one and only Frank Sinatra. And a restaurant which should use the expression one-of-a-kind in its name. Dinner here was almost perfect. The greeting upon arrival, friendly and very discreet employees, very good food and a wonderful atmosphere. Unfortunately the music was a bit too noisy to talk to each other in a relaxing way. Nevertheless I will really keep this dinner in pleasant memory.

Switch: The restaurant displays a very interesting concept. In certain intervals the restaurant physically transforms itself into a new design (including the quite noisy music). I have been told that just a while ago the ceiling was also transformed every time. The employees used to change their attire as well. Unfortunately I was not able to experience all that.
The restaurant has a fine selection of international cuisine. I tasted Steak & Seafood. The lobster was very tasty. The steak had not been cooked to my order. The waiting time between the single courses was extremely long. When I arrived at the restaurant I was greeted very politely and taken to the table. The friendliness of the employees only took until I had my cappuccino and signed for the bill. No words of farewell.

Society: A restaurant for the entire day as you can have breakfast, lunch and dinner. The “American Comfort Food” is available from 06.30am to 03.00am (on the weekends). I had lunch here and was astonished by the absolute friendliness of the employees when they greeted me. The waiters were very efficient and helpful in suggesting the right selection. The meal (Grilled Chicken Salad) was perfect and very well done. I loved the ambience. This is quite a hip restaurant, located next to the casino area. Noises are quite high here as well.

Daniel Boulud Brasserie (Wynn): The restaurant is located on the edge of Lake of Dreams. You can either have a seat on the terrace or inside the restaurant. Cuisine is outstanding. I enjoyed ambience and the selection of meals very much.
Alex (Wynn): To me the Alex at Wynn is exactly what Sinatra is to the Encore: top notch. A restaurant like no other. Reading the menu lets you start drooling. Everything is perfect. The entrée, which has been designed like an English club, with its huge bar and lounge. The restaurant itself with an amazing ceiling, enabling the guests to just relax and enjoy the delicacies before them. The waiters are very discreet and polite, the background music is just perfect. I also took the chance to have a look at the extensive wine selection. A very special dinner in a wonderful atmosphere.

It seems to me as Wynn and Encore are blessed with outstanding chefs and their employees.

Lobby Bar & Café:
Right when you exit the elevators to the Resort Rooms you get to this nice café, a combination of café and bar with a fine selection of snacks, pastries, wines and special cocktails. You can have breakfast here or meet with friends for a light lunch or call it a day while enjoying cocktails and dinner.
Eastside Lounge: This lounge also offers outside seating with a view of the beautiful pool area. You can have cocktails and other drinks. A gathering point to see and to be seen.

XS (Encore):
To me the XS is the most beautiful and sophisticated nightclub. Vast and with direct access to the pool XS offers lots of different areas. XS is golden, stylish, beautiful, wild and young – with fine and friendly personnel.

Blush (Wynn): I did not really like Blush so much (compared to the XS). There is an inside and outside area as well, but Blush is a lot smaller than the XS. And if the party is on and lots of people gather it gets quite tight. The music is trendy and loud – just the right thing for a hip evening.

Tryst (Wynn): If you don’t have VIP status, it will take a while to gain entrance into this club. The Tryst is large (including the vast outside area with view of the beautiful waterfall). The Tryst is loud. The DJs are very talented and mix the music perfectly, but I did miss the extraordinary ambience of the XS.
My ranking: XS, Tryst and last but not least the Blush. Smoking is prohibited except for the outside areas.

Spa-Lounge: After an exhausting evening in one of the nightclubs you could while away the day at the spa. When you leave the elevator and enter the Spa Court you will be missing words. Todd-Avery Lanahan and his design team really achieved the extraordinary. Opulence in wonderful colors leaves you speechless. The only thing you can do now is get to one of the super comfortable chairs and goggle around. The atrium is the center around which the fitness area, the salon, a shop for high quality products and of course the spa, are located.

Salon: I made an appointment to see if there would be a difference between achievements in such a high class hotel or a regular salon and hoped for an extremely creative consultation. The salon had been decorated in a modern, beautiful and vast design. Light colors combined with large windows and a view of the surrounding area, were soothing to the eye. The ladies who worked at the salon were very friendly. But instead of an extraordinary consultation, creativity and accomplishment I received a regular and good salon treatment. Nothing more, nothing less.

Fitness Center: I did not use the fitness center but the equipment seemed to be state-of-the-art.

Spa: During the spa inspection I was fascinated by the lavish area and the wonderful design. I was told that guests have a choice of music, lighting and a variety of scents and different oils to enhance their spa treatment. This made me fall for the decision of making an appointment myself straight away.
So I went down to the spa again the next morning and was escorted to the inner area. The lady showed me around and explained all the different areas, like changing rooms, showers, quiet areas, pools etc. She asked me if she could bring me something to drink. So I ordered an orange juice, which I never got in the end. Finally I changed and used one of the nice lockers to store my belongings. I took a shower and went to the pool area to soak up in one of the large whirl pools and to rest on one of the heated marble bench. But it was quiet just for another moment, as the spa lady entered the room to acquaint another customer with the features. Instead of speaking with a low voice she explained everything in a regular tone which was enhanced by the tiles and the water. This does not improve the relaxation of those who want to just rest and doze off a bit before the treatment.

Finally I went to the room where I would be picked up from and taken to the treatment area. This room was called “Tranquility Room” and I was looking forward to finally resting a bit here. But eventually this room is kind of a transfer room as the clients just wait here to be escorted away. And they will leave the treatment area again through this room. Although a nice setting with couches invites to just laze along tranquility is not the big and important word here.

Finally I was met by the therapist and taken to the respective room, where I would enjoy a 75 minute treatment called “Sandalwood Stone Ritual”. I was looking forward to all the possible selections. But none of them was offered at all. I was not even asked if I had any physical issues to take care of. Finally the treatment room itself was disturbing and not very inspiring. A regular massage table was positioned right next to cupboards which looked like a regular kitchenette. Somehow irritating. I had expected much much more. I had expected a design comparable to the Spa Atrium with its opulence and beauty. I had expected a luxury treatment in a luxury ambience.
The treatment itself was taken out quickly. The scrub was applied almost in a rush. Then I had to move over into the adjacent room to shower off. There I saw the beautiful relaxing area I had wished for. Here I would finally be able to laze away after the treatment. Finally an area – although quite small – which was according to my understanding and experiences of a spa. After the shower I returned to the massage table looking forward to the total relaxation of the hot stone therapy. But relaxation I could not enjoy. While dosing off a bit I was always irritated when the therapist broke contact to me by returning to the kitchen board and grabbing another stone to apply.
Finally she came to an end and I was hoping to be able to stay and rest a bit. But the therapist presented me with the bill I had to sign and asked me to follow her out then. This was the max of irritation to me. On the way to the shower and changing rooms she mentioned that I could either stay a while at the spa or return again. But to me this was it.

I just changed and went to the lounge to have coffee or tea. To my amazement there were just paper cups. This was not really stylish. I was really disappointed. As I had expected much more. Especially as the Spa Atrium, the entrance area, is so unbelievably luxuriously designed. But the service did not offer what design had promised.
Now this was the reason why I just grabbed a tea and left. I went to my room to enjoy the quiet and comfort which was not available at the spa.

Pool area: Two pool areas are being set in an awesome design, partly surrounded by cabanas, which can be rented to hide away before the hot Las Vegas sun. Very elegant and appealing. Unfortunately during my visit it was too cold to jump into the water.

Esplanade: Wynn and Encore are connected by the Esplanade, a collection of premium stores like Chanel, Rolex, Rock & Republic or Homestore. Steve Wynn not only requested that each store had to show off an extraordinary design (e.g. the Chanel store has been designed after Coco Chanel´s apartment), but all the store fronts had to be differently. And exactly this concept adds to the really interesting ambience of the Esplanade, which is rounded off by the beautiful butterflies and the entire chandeliers made of red venetian crystal.
I was under the impression that only a certain clientele should be attracted by the shops. Obviously these were not families with small children, as strollers were not allowed in this area.

Casino: No other Las Vegas casino can impress me more than this one. Smoking is allowed at this venue too, but the air conditioning seems to be very efficient as smoke is not really an issue here. Additionally –like in the entire hotel- an amazing scent is recognizable, which almost neutralizes the smoke. As far as I can describe it, the casino is not really very large, but it impresses with its selection of tables and slots. High Limit Slots and High Limit Gaming Lounges are available, but not accessible by the public, especially the Sky Casino on floor 63.
The ladies and gentlemen I recognized working at the casino were very friendly and seemed to have much fun in their job.

Le Rêve: I attended the show for the second time. And again I fell under the spell. Meanwhile here and there choreographic features had been changed or added – but all to the best. And again I can say this was the best live performance I have ever seen. Congratulations to all those who made this show work and become a real master piece.

Conference Center (Encore + Wynn): Although you speak about the conference facilities of the Encore and those of the Wynn they are interconnected by an extraordinary walkway and offer almost unlimited potential for the client´s needs. If you start walking from the first conference room of the one hotel to the last one of the other you should better put on your hiking boots. But it will be a pleasure to the senses. Artwork surrounds you there. On the floor. On the walls. On the sideboards. Side by side. Just amazing. At other hotels conference facilities are sometimes not designed according to the respective hotel standard. But here the designers did not stop before that area. You should really take your time and walk this way.

Some facts and figures:“Behind the scenes”:
10,000 people work at the Wynn and 5,000 at the Encore. On a complimentary basis they can use the staff canteen which could be called a 3-star restaurant equivalent. Staff uniforms (incl. cleaning and mending) are at their disposal as well. Right above the walkway from the staff area to the hotel you can read the slogan “It is Showtime” – reminding everybody to provide their guests with the utmost possibilities. This has really impressed me.
A daily amount of 2,100 meals at the Wynn and around 1,500 at the Encore are prepared.
Boris Villatte, responsible at the bread bakery mentioned that he and his team prepare around 100 different kinds of bread which make about 20,000 servings – on a daily basis.
Paul Bartolotta, who also manages one of the restaurants at the Wynn, said that there is a daily selection of around 60 different kinds of fish. He presented the different live tanks with for example the famous Maine Lobster, of which around 5,000 are served on a monthly basis.
Paige Dixon, Floral Design Director, mentioned that 70 florists set up all the flower arrangements and take care of the plants at the entire hotel complex. All flowers are monitored three times a day and will be rearranged and exchanged in order to present the guests with an always new décor. A yearly budget of 1.8 million dollars is available for the Wynn and 1.2 million dollars for the Encore. Paige Dixon has also taken care of the design of the four dragons which have been imported from China in order to become a decoration for the Chinese New Year.
All plants and trees are real. The oldest tree is almost 150 years old.
Sculptures, paintings and other art work have been collected from all around the world.
Elaine Wynn, inspiring and energetic wife to Steve Wynn, does not only monitor all design activities but is also responsible for the staff attire, which really blends into the whole ambience.
The two Swarovski peacocks, which guard the entrance to the High Limit Section have been created in Hong Kong and are composed of a multitude of crystals.
Respecting the Asian mentality there are no floors with numbers from 40 to 49.
For the first time ever a Chanel Dependance sells a combination of jewelry, fashion and perfumes.

Site Inspection:
The Encore offers 2034 rooms (Wynn: 2716) as follows:
1767 Encore Resort Rooms (700-745 sq-ft)
141 Tower Suites (700-745 sq-ft)
47 Parlor Suites (1408 sq-ft)
47 Salon Suites (2261 sq-ft)
15 Apartments with 2 bedrooms
16 Duplex Apartments with 3 bedrooms
1 Penthouse Apartment with 3 bedrooms

I had a look at the Parlor Suite E2605 with a separate massage area, Salon Suite E2606 as well as the Duplex Apartment E2601 (2 floors). All rooms were large and designed to a very high standard concerning materials and furniture.
The Penthouse was not available for inspection.
And unfortunately it was again not possible (like last year) to have a look at a regular room at the Wynn.

Check-Out: When it was time to leave the hotel I asked for assistance with my baggage. Only a few moments after this call an employee rang my door bell, introduced himself to me, asked for entry and offered his help. He asked me if I took care of all my belongings and if I wanted him to double check in the suite. I did like this attitude.
Check-Out was quick and professional. Meanwhile my luggage had been brought outside as I would take a transfer back to the airport. All employees greeted me in a friendly way wishing me farewell.
Transfer: Perfect and quick. The driver was very discreet and polite.

The Encore, younger sister of the Wynn, is a really young and very hip hotel without being hyped. Although the color red really dominates the décor of the hotel it adds to the buoyancy and liveliness and creates a chic and homey feeling – especially in the public areas. I really liked the airiness and easiness of the architecture as well as the friendliness and professionalism of most of the employees. I did not like the attitude of the above mentioned waitresses at the Wazuzu and the spa treatment.

But –above all- the Encore belongs to those hotels in the world I look forward to returning to.

Please visit:


Las Vegas: THEhotel

Kategorie: Americas

Please scroll for the English version.

Stand: November 2008

Die kleine Schwester des üppigen und im tropischen Stil gebauten Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino kann man gut und gerne als Avantgarde-Hotel bezeichnen: klare Linien, klare Farben – Ein Understatement der luxuriösen Art. Im gesamten Hotel dominieren die Farben schwarz, weiß, rot, grau und creme. Nichts lenkt den Blick ab, der Geist kann frei schweben. Schon beim Check-in taucht der Gast in die Ruhe der luxuriösen Herberge ein. THEhotel bietet insgesamt 1117 Suiten mit mindestens ca. 68 Quadratmetern auf 43 Etagen.

Ich habe mir die Standardsuite 12905 angeschaut Und auch hier: klare Linien und klare Farben, schon fast puristisches Design liegt dem Raum zugrunde. Die Suite beinhaltet alle Elemente, die ein 5-Sterne-Hotel bieten sollte: schönes Ambiente, eine luxuriöse Einrichtung, Accessoires, elektronische Ausstattung. Und vor allen Dingen: Ruhe. Es ist ein schönes Gefühl, sich in diesem Raum aufzuhalten, der alles bietet, was man benötigt, um auszuspannen und sich auszuruhen.

Leider war es nicht möglich, andere Zimmerkategorien zu besichtigen.

Aus Diskretionsgründen konnte ich auch lediglich den Eingangsbereich des sog. „bathhouse“ ansehen. Dies ist das Spa, das auch im Eingangsbereich schon durch seine überaus spezielle Architektur besticht. Ich hoffe nur, dass die Anwendungen das halten, was die Architektur verspricht.

Weiterhin verfügt THEhotel über ein Fitness-Center, eine Billard-Lounge, sowie eine Lobby- und Kaffeebar und ein Café / Restaurant.

THEhotel besitzt kein Casino. Doch ist es nur ein kurzer Weg zum angrenzenden Casino des Mandalay Bay Resorts. Über einen Verbindungsgang, in dem auch ein Restaurant untergebracht ist, gelangt man direkt in den Casinobereich.

THEhotel ist in meinen Augen genau DAS Hotel, das noch auf dem legendären Las Vegas-Strip fehlte: Avantgarde als Understatement.

THEhotel – das Hotel, in dem ich gerne wohnen werde.

Bitte besuchen Sie: (> THEhotel)



As of November 2008

The little sister of the opulent and tropically decorated Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino can be characterized as avant-garde hotel: distinct design and distinct colors. Luxurious understatement. Black, white, red, grey and crème are the dominating colors throughout the hotel. Nothing interferes the view. The mind can roam freely. Even while checking in the guest can delve into the silence of the luxurious surroundings. THEhotel features 1117 suites, each at least with 725 sft. on 43 floors.

I inspected the standard suite 12905: again distinct design and distinct colors – austere beauty. The suite features each element which characterizes a 5 star hotel: beautiful ambience, luxurious furniture, accessories, state-of-the-art electronical equipment. And above all this: silence. It is a pleasure to stay in a room that offers all which is necessary to just relax and take one´s mind to a rest.

Unfortunately I was not able to view additional suites of different types.

Due to a matter of discretion I was not able as well to have a look at the spa area. But already the lobby of the “bathhouse” was designed to take one´s breath away. Hopefully treatments are accordingly.

THEhotel features a fitness center, a billiard lounge, lobby bar, coffee bar and a café.

You won´t hear casino noises at THEhotel, as there is no casino – except the one at the Mandalay Bay, which is right next door and just a few footsteps away – following the connecting pathway and right past the restaurant.

To me THEhotel is just the one which was missing on The Strip: Avant-garde as understatement.

THEhotel – the place I want to stay at.

Please visit: (> THEhotel)

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