Waking up in Vegas: Results of Nick's Las Vegas status match run

Waking up in Vegas: Results of Nick's Las Vegas status match run
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Last month, I wrote about planning an epic Las Vegas status match run. In this post, I wanted to share an update with our full results from the trip. This trip was certainly a success overall. If you’re interested in doing it, you will need to be in Las Vegas today as the Wynn Platinum match ends on May 31, 2024.

Encore stay

On our first night in Las Vegas we stayed at Encore (at Wynn Las Vegas), which we booked via American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts. It was a surprisingly good value.

The rate we paid on the first night was about $275 all in, and the inclusions were decent:

    • $150 spa credit
    • $60 breakfast credit
    • $25 minibar or hotel bar credit

Note that most Fine Hotels and Resorts bookings come with a $100 property credit of some sort, but Wynn Las Vegas (which includes rooms at both Wynn and the connected Encore tower) offers a $150 spa credit through Fine Hotels & Resorts. Ordinarily, I would be no fan of a spa credit, but in this instance, that could stack with the $100 spa credit from matching to Wynn Platinum status, so it seemed more desirable.

Unfortunately, $60 won’t get you far with breakfast. That said, if you get this amazingness, who cares?

The $25 bar credit could be used for the minibar (including snacks) or at one of the bars in the casino / resort.

My wife had called the Wynn spa to inquire in advance as to whether the $100 Wynn Platinum credit could stack with the $150 FHR credit and whether she could use both her $100 Wynn Platinum credit and mine and was told that would all be fine. The phone rep convinced her that the spa at Encore is nicer than the spa at Wynn, but she was curious about both. Since we would later return for a second stay, she decided to check out the Encore spa on this first stay. She would strongly recommend the Encore spa over the Wynn spa after having been to both — the Encore spa is much larger and more open and opulent (which seems to be the consensus around the Internet).

My quick thoughts on the Encore stay are as follows:

  • Very nice standard rooms (very much like a suite)
  • Breakfast at Jardin was excellent (but expensive)
  • The Encore side spa is much better

Photos of the room:

Wynn Platinum match

Upon arrival at Wynn, we matched our Caesars Diamond to Wynn Platinum at the Wynn Rewards desk before we checked in to our rooms. We did that just in case you need to have Platinum status before making your qualifying stays to get the free Holland America cruise. I’m not sure it mattered.

While some readers have reported success in getting Player 2’s Wynn Rewards number added to their reservation so that both members can get credit for the stay, the folks at the rewards desk didn’t seem to think this was possible and said that if it was, someone at the hotel front desk needed to do it. We tried doing that, but I’m not yet completely convinced that we both got credit for the stays. Time will tell.

Other than that, the match was very simple. They said that benefits would be active within 7 days, but that in practice they have been working within 24 hours. I’ve heard of some people using the spa credit the same day they matched, so I don’t think anything takes time to load (but YMMV). They immediately printed out our Platinum cards and we were done with the match within minutes.

Back to Resorts World

We spent three nights over the weekend at Resorts World since my sister-in-law had a free two-night stay courtesy of the Ocean Prime match she did in Atlantic City about a year ago. She booked her two free nights from the match and used a free night certificate earned on her Hilton Surpass card to cover the third night. I booked two award nights using free night certificates and a third paid night to use the Hilton Aspire card’s annual credit.

Our stay was mostly the same this time as it was the last time we stayed at Resorts World (I previously reviewed it here), but I’ll note a couple of things:

  • The Dawg House is a bar & grill on the casino floor and it continues to be the only place where you can use Hilton elite food & beverage credit ($25 per person per day for those staying at Conrad and Crockford’s, I don’t know about the Hilton on the same property). The food continues to be pretty awful and charges didn’t get proactively removed. We had to stop at the desk for both rooms to get Dawg House charges removed (just for the night my sister-in-law used a free night certificate in her case). If you stay here, you not only need to deal with terrible food, but you also need to follow up on getting your elite benefits.
  • For some reason, my sister-in-law (who was staying on the Ocean Prime free 2-night stay offer), got $200 in Free Play. It should have been $100 in free play and $100 in dining credit, which the desk agent confirmed. She forgot to use either during her stay, but we returned a day after we had checked out from Resorts World and when she put her card in the machine it let her load $200 in free play money. She ended up cashing out more than $125.
  • One of the pools at Resorts World is now for Crockfords guests only. It’s just a small circular pool. It seems a little silly, but I guess that differentiates Crockfords a little bit.
  • Soon there will be no more free parking without Genting Rewards elite status (and it’s $18 a day!). Currently, you just need a player’s club card and it’s free, but that will change soon. Truthfully, on the weekend, the parking garage was busy enough that we had some difficulty finding a place to park a couple of times, but $18 per day seems steep.
  • It’s notable that the crowd here skews very young. As we were talking around, my sister-in-law (who is a bit younger than I am) said “This place makes me feel old”. I met up with a friend about an hour later and one of the first things he said was “This place makes me feel old”. It’s true — the crowd skews heavily college-age. Unfortunately, that meant that on 2 out of 3 nights this time we were awakened by a party in the next-door room with music thumping and who knows how many people packed inside (it was clearly a lot of people — when I woke up, I thought the hallway had to have been packed full of people, but it turned out it was just people in the room next door). We had to call the front desk both nights because it was so over-the-top. To their credit, the hotel took care of it both nights.
  • The “Street Eats” food court is apparently only open on weekends, not weekdays.
  • I still like it and would still use Hilton points/certs to stay here on a weekend again without hesitation. I can enjoy the action of center-strip, but I think this actually works better with a family if you don’t want to be in crowds all the time.

Match at Fontainebleau

The match at Fontainebleau was super easy. We simply went to the Fontainebleau Rewards desk with license and Wynn Platinum card in hand. Here are some notes:

  • The match took only a few minutes (waiting in line took longer than the match itself)
  • Gold-level benefits are activated by popping your players card into a slot machine. You don’t actually have to gamble, but you do need to put the card into a machine. As soon as you do, it displays a message congratulating you on reaching Gold status and getting a $150 dining credit and $150 spa credit.
  • As I covered previously, we used four $150 credits on a single meal with no problem
  • The $150 Gold spa credit came right off the spa bill
  • It was no problem combining my spa credit with my wife’s spa credit, we just had to show up in person together to present our cards and IDs.
  • The spa was reportedly very nice. My wife reports that it was not quite as nice as Encore, but close enough (and far more reasonably-priced) and arguably better for many couples since the main facilities were mostly shared / co-ed.
  • Valet parking is complimentary for Gold members. You can either bring your Gold card to the valet pick up station to show the card and get the fee waived, or if you have the Gold card upon arrival, you can give it to the attendant so they can enter your number and then when you go to request the vehicles (which is done via a link from a text message), it will ring up as $0 so you can proceed to request the car.

Caesars Diamond Celebration Dinner

We used our Caesars Diamond Celebration Dinner at the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesars, which is a good value if you have a big appetite. Some notes:

  • Adults pay $84.99 each. Our 6yr old was $49.99 (our 3yr old was free).
  • We had no problem combining multiple Caesars Diamond credits on one check. Last year, since both of our kids were free, they also let us pay for wine at the register in the same transaction as the buffet in order to use up the full $100.
  • A 90-minute time limit was mentioned at the start. A friend of mine had mentioned this, but our server last year hadn’t mentioned it. Apparently, you have 90 minutes of dining and then they will ask you to move on. We were done at almost exactly 90 minutes anyway.
  • Important note: While my wife and I had each earned 100 tier credits, my sister-in-law had not earned any. When we presented our Diamond cards, the cashier swiped mine first and took $100 off, then swiped my wife’s and took $100 off, then swiped my sister-in-law’s and she looked confused. She tried again and then said that there was no $100 credit on it. That’s consistent with the newly-updated rules, but we had a recent data point from a reader who used the $100 Celebration dinner without gambling. YMMV, but don’t count on it without tier credits.

An Encore at Encore

We stayed at Encore a second time in order to meet the stay requirement for the Holland America cruise. The second stay was more or less the same, but here are some relevant notes:

  • This time, my wife went to the spa at Wynn. The Wynn spa is reportedly much, much smaller (which the phone agent had noted). Neither P2 nor P3 seemed very enthusiastic about this spa.
  • Billing was a pain point. We made it complicated because we had 3 total rooms booked and the Encore Spa had not taken the $100 Wynn Platinum spa credits properly, so we were now trying to charge 3 different treatments for 2 people to 3 different rooms and associated a different Wynn Platinum number with each treatment to use up those credits also. It really seemed to confuse them and it doesn’t help that you can’t easily see a final bill after the credits are applied since the FHR credits don’t happen until checkout (and after the first stay, the spa charges hadn’t yet posted at the time of check out).
  • It is possible to stack Wynn Platinum $100 benefit with FHR $150 benefit, but as mentioned above it took more doing to get them to understand that we wanted to do that than I’d have expected
  • Apparently you need to print a spa credit voucher from the Wynn Rewards desk prior to getting to the spa to use the $100 credit. This hadn’t been mentioned, nor had I heard it from readers. In the end, the spa desk agent was able to call and get it done without us going to the Wynn Rewards desk, but apparently the easier way would be to stop by the Wynn Rewards desk on your way to the spa and get a voucher.
  • At checkout, we had to go over all of the details because the $25 minibar credits didn’t apply properly and two separate bar tabs got charged to the same room despite us having given different room numbers. It was all more difficult than I’d expected.
  • I’d still stay at Encore again booked via FHR in a heartbeat. I like the hotel / casino and the rooms at Encore are a great size.
  • Note that self-parking is complimentary for Platinum members, but not valet.

Matched to MGM Gold

I ended up matching my Wynn Platinum to MGM Gold because I had occasion to park at an MGM property and I didn’t want to pay for it. The current MGM match is only a 90-day challenge. I have no intention to earn the required points to keep status, I just wanted free valet parking.

Note that you request your vehicle at a kiosk by scanning the code on the ticket and then  you scan your MGM Gold card to get the fee waived, so you don’t need the status when you arrive, just before you leave.

What did we do other than go to the spa and dine cheap?

On this trip, we did quite a few things beyond the matching stuff you see above. Here were a few of the highlights:

Bottom line

We had a successful run to Las Vegas to match around for status and pick up the following:

  • Two $100 spa credits at Wynn (one for me and one for my wife; she used both)
  • Two $150 spa credits at Fontainebleau (one for me and one for my wife; she used both)
  • Two $150 dining credits at Fontainebleau (we combined with two others to use $600 off a single check at Mother Wolf)
  • MGM Gold status for complimentary valet parking
  • Two $100 Caesars Diamond celebration dinner credits (used on the same meal for my family)
  • Complimentary valet parking at Caesars (thanks to our Diamond status)
  • Hopefully another “free” Holland America cruise or two

We also managed to have some fun doing all of the above, so the trip was certainly a success. We had lots of things on our list that we didn’t get time to do (I’m very excited to check out the Pinball museum one of these days!), but we’ll surely end up back in Las Vegas again at some point. If I convince my wife that we should go during my birthday month, I’ll have a $150 dining credit to use at Wynn as well, which seems like enough of a win to make that happen.

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