Monday, August 9, 2010

I Heart Steve Wynn

I should've posted this over a month ago but better late than never, right??

We just returned from another exhausting trip from Las Vegas. I say exhausting because I always feel like we need a vacation from our vacation when we return. We stayed at Encore, which quickly became our favorite casino on the strip since we've been coming together almost two years ago. It's our fave for reasons that I will now go into. Please don't think I'm a total snob when I say this but... The class of peeps we see in Encore is vastly different from the rest of the resorts in Vegas. Yes, I like to stay with the wealthy Europeans who come over here. Yes, I like to stay with the stodgy old rich folks who stay there. Even though I don't fall in either category. You know why I like staying with the classy's? They don't walk around the casino wearing bikini's carrying oversized plastic neon-colored glasses of frozen fruity cocktails. There, I said it.

So you can see that when we walked into the main lobby of Encore to check in on a Saturday afternoon and we saw multiple groups of young people who very well could've tried out to to be on "Jersey Shore" (neon cups in hand), we were just a tad bit surprised.. Sure enough, Encore had recently opened up a party pool to resemble Hard Rock's. The goal: To get bachelor/bachelorette partiers from nearby hotel to come spend their $$ in Encore in an attempt to gain additional revenue. Mission accomplished. We were quite relieved by Sunday afternoon when all was back to normal. I know, I sound like such a snob but I'm really not!

I love Encore. I love Wynn. I love Steve Wynn for building both. His taste, the aesthetic, the visual treats around each corner, it's just simply divine. I love walking past two Chanel stores every time we go to dinner. This has to be the only place in the world that Craig has to somehow navigate me away from the windows of two of them, just to go to dinner. It's marvelous! (By the way, as of this post, I do not own any Chanel. Other than some makeup.. But, SOON!! VERY SOON!!)

And the spa in Encore? Don't even get me started. I've never laid my eyes on such a beautiful and opulent place. The treatments aren't what I come here for. It's the sensual therapy on my eyes and brain by just looking around and soaking it all in. The drapes are made of Swarovski crystals and the chaise lounges are heated. Need I say more.. If you're ever in Vegas, I highly recommend that you just peep your head in. Here's a pic of the treatment room hallway:

And now that Paris Hilton has been barred from both properties? It's even classier!! Thank you Steve Wynn. You'll forever by my favorite billionaire resort owner.



Thursday, August 5, 2010

Shanghai Nights

About a month ago, we took what will now go down as one of the most memorable trips I've ever been on. We started off in California and then ventured over to the Orient, stopping in Beijing first. I was really, REALLY hoping to see the Great Wall and Forbidden City but unfortunately, the weather was not cooperative. The air was so muggy and foggy, it was hard to see past 20 feet.. Not ideal conditions for seeing a wall. At the very least, we stayed in an awesome hotel and ate amazing food! On our first night, we had reservations at Made in China, which is well-known for their Peking Duck. We somehow finagled our way into the table inside their private wine room-if you know this group, this does not come as a surprise. Savory food, several bottles of Malbec's, and great friends on an adventure halfway across the world--life does not get any better than this. After a few days in Beijing, we flew down to Shanghai and had the time of our lives! I have been to Shanghai several times but had forgotten why I loved the city so much. It feels like New York, only 10 times larger. We had the good fortune to stay in one of the best hotels in the city, Peninsula on the bund. Words cannot express how to-die-for this hotel was. The service? Impeccable. The view: Breathtaking. The room and hotel ammenities: The best in the world. The hotel is located right on the curve of the Huangpu River and overlooks Pudong. I don't know if we'll always get to stay there after the economy recovers in full, but I'm so glad I was able to experience it when we did! I won't go into specific stories of the unbelievable service that we experienced, but will say that the friendly staff knows your needs and desires the moment they pop up as thoughts in your brain and are already there by your side to serve you.

Here is a picture from the outdoor terrace of the hotel bar:

And here are pics of our room:

Isn't that amazing!! We had our own DRESSING ROOM! Complete with a built-in nail dryer.. So sick. Our days consisted of working out, eating a fabulous breakfast, either indulging in the spa and having lunch by the pool, or sight-seeing the city by way of taxi's that nearly killed us every time we entered into one. Oh! What fun! Here are some pics of the Yu Gardens:

And then there were the culinary treats we indulged ourselves in every evening. We hit several restaurants that are consistenly listed in the Top 10 restaurants in the city from Laris to Lost Heaven. It was marvelous. Here's a photo from Laris:

We had such an amazing time over there and I'm just thanking my lucky stars to have been able to experience all that we did. I think we'll probably visit Hong Kong the next time we make a trip to the Orient but Shanghai certainly surpassed every expectation I had and more.
Safe travels!