The gal headed over to Wynn Las Vegas for a bit of healthy intake – honestly, having to navigate a quick path through hordes of sightseers thronging casino rooms the size of two football pitches can get really tiring after a bit, especially since casino tourists, as opposed to players, seem to waddle as slowly as possible, and some have baby buggies as well as Hermès bags as addenda (there is, by the way, a Hermès shop right in the main lobby of Bellagio). At Wynn Las Vegas, another casino has to be navigated, and then Jardin is reached. Brian Gullbrants, who runs this mighty complex, 4,701 rooms in all, is into wellness, so this will be a great-for-us meal.
And so it turns out. I start with a green drink, go on to a quinoa salad with added salmon, which comes as a steak (Brian Gullbrants has added chicken, which comes shredded in with the salad). We both feel really good – especially since we both say no to the dessert trolley, highlighted by the one-portion chocolate cake in the photo at the top of this page, and yes, the flowers and the pot are chocolate, too. Eat the whole thing, and possibly consume as many calories as a slice of the signature 23-layer chocolate cake at Michael Jordan’s restaurant in InterContinental Chicago. This restaurant was called Botero a year ago, but now, redone and renamed, it is lighter, brighter and doing even more business.
What happened to the Botero statue here? Steve Wynn, who lives here, in one of the resort’s golf villas, apparently sold it (he has also recycled a Jeff Koons sculpture in the main lobby, but that space has another Koons piece instead). Where was Botero is now a blooms display, with thousands and thousands of flowers. He is certainly always up to something, is Steve Wynn. His latest idea includes replacing the 18-hole Tom Fazio golf course with a 45-acre lagoon, handy for watersports. In the middle of the water will be two sizeable mountainous islands, useful for installing the nightly fireworks show. Oh yes, there will be another hotel, too, but somewhat more boutique, with merely 1,250 rooms scheduled.
And he is already doubling the size of his luxury resort’s shopping. Retail will soon, thanks to a two-floor Wynn Esplanade, take up some 150,000 sq ft of space, with every designer brand you can think of. It is time to finish our lunch and rush down to have a look at the restaurant (sic, not canteen) where Brian Gullbrants’ thousands of employees eat. Leading off the elegant dining areas is a dedicated buffet serving room. Help yourself, and note that every item is not only calorie-counted but colour-coded, with red for the least-healthy dishes. Honestly, says Brian Gullbrants, would YOU rather have a slice of tomato, at four calories, or a single slice of Swiss cheese, at 110 calories? At that, Bill is waiting with the Rolls to take me back to Virtuoso Travel Week.