Las Vegas is a city of strangers, so I wanted to see how strange it could get if I didn’t actually experience the city at all. Thus began a three-day, self-imposed “lockdown” inside the Wynn Las Vegas and Encore Resort, the pride of hotelier Steve Wynn. The man even married his second wife Andrea there in 2011, which means if it’s a good enough place to spend the happiest day of his life, 72 hours should be more than tolerable. But would I miss the sun? The Strip? Here’s what happens when a hotel becomes a (temporary) home.
Four friends and I check into adjoining Encore Resort double queen rooms with a floor-to-ceiling view of our only escape, the Wynn.
Usually trips to Las Vegas are about consumption, but this one actually allows for relaxation. On to the five-star Encore Spa, where lanterns from Morocco sit on rugs imported from Turkey. I follow my favorite routine—steam, sauna, shower, plunge pool—with a 50-minute deep tissue massage. Marek sprays lavender under my nose, which knocks me out and makes me dream I’ve actually gone to Casablanca.
Room service that would make Guy Fieri proud: chicken fingers, pasta bolognese with meatballs, club sandwich, fries. “You guys gamble yet?” asks the server. Suddenly 60 more hours seems like a tough deadline.
The boys break lockdown and escape for a breakfast of Bouchon Bakery’s T.K.O.’s, which are a worthy prize for leaving the building.
We check out the Penske-Wynn Ferrari Maserati showroom and dealership on the Wynn’s ground floor. No test drives, “otherwise we’d be the biggest thrill ride on the Strip,” says general manager Jerry Byrd. Ferrari fanatics can, however, get their photos taken in a red 2007 F430 Spider convertible—or buy consolation prizes at the shop next door: Movado watches, remote control cars and red, white and green hats. Viva Italia!
Sustenance at Tableau, the Wynn’s American bistro. The hotel’s signature cocktails The Dream, made with Perrier-Jouët champagne, and the whiskey-based Sinatra Smash go down easy.
Winter happens in Nevada? Outside it’s 42 degrees. But my jacket is balled up on the bottom of my suitcase.
Hour 25 1/2
Pay $15 to watch Runner Runner from the comfort of my new pseudo-home. Movies about gambling? The highest form of entertainment! Movies about online gambling? Deadlier than a hard 16 against a dealer’s seven.
Dinner at Mizumi, the Wynn’s Japanese restaurant opened in 2012: truffle-salted edamame, yellowtail sashimi and jalapeño gelée, Wagyu beef robatayaki, seared foie gras with Asian pear and tempura dates, duck bibimbap and so on. The rich red-and-gold room has a postcard view of one of the multiple waterfalls on the property. Niagara? Nagano? Where the hell am I?
Hour 31 1/2
Escapists can do no better than Le Rêve, an exquisite show set in the round—and on water—named one of the best to watch in Las Vegas. Combining Olympian-level divers with romance and rose ceremonies that would make The Bachelor proud, it’s meant to be a physical representation of Picasso’s Le Rêve painting. Diving, leaping, splashing, tumbling and a few death-defying drops make me wonder for a moment: Am I going to watch someone die tonight?
In the Wynn’s ever-changing lobby a giant carousel twirls with four white ponies made entirely of flowers. How many drunks have tried to ride one and shout, “Hi ho silver?” Before me, that is.