Las Vegas - 2005-11-01

The people standing behind the red velvet rope weren't clamoring for entry into the latest celebrity nightclub or for elusive Danny Ganz tickets: They were waiting to visit the new Ferrari Maserati dealership located inside Wynn Las Vegas.

This experience confirmed the buzz that this latest addition to the Strip is "not about the casino." Sure, the tables and slots, located between the lobby and elevator banks, are unavoidable, but the property's emphasis is instead on understated elegance: rich, luxurious fabrics; large, tasteful floral arrangements; replicas of Wynn's modern art collection in guest rooms (mine was a Warhol); and a conspicuous absence of noise and neon.

The 200,000 sf of function space, comprising two ballrooms and 34 meeting rooms, is also far enough from both the casino and 30-plus luxury retail shops for attendees to avoid distractions. Each room features natural light, with terraces facing either one of the hotel's many pools or the 18-hole, Tom Fazio-designed golf course (reserved exclusively for guests). Even the light and water shows on the hotel's Lake of Dreams were buffeted from the Strip's throngs by a 140-foot-high mountain covered in 1,500 Aleppo pine trees.

For evening entertainment, guests can enjoy a tasty meal at one of the hotel's 15 dining establishments, sip cocktails at one of six clubs and lounges, or catch the hotel's signature show, Le Reve. (Broadway's Avenue Q joined the Wynn family in October, and Spamalot follows in 2007.) With so many options, one doesn't really need to go off-site for anything.

The Wynn name is branded on just about everything: napkins, golf balls, water glasses, towels, sheets and pillow cases, even the mini-bar snacks! But if you think $8 for a bag of handmade Wynn potato chips is too much, make a quick trip downstairs to the hotel's Cafe at the Drugstore and savor the same scrumptious bag for a mere $2.