From the Print Edition:
maduro issue, Winter 93/94
(continued from page 2)
Over the foyer of each suite is a beautifully crafted, glass dome highlighted with gemlike crystals, which reflect a rainbow of light across the imported wall fabrics and inlaid marble floors. Just off the foyer is a private powder room with a demi-lune basin stand and gold fixtures.
The living room is bathed in sunlight, which streams through 10-foot-tall French doors. Hand-loomed carpets center a luxurious seating area fronted by a marble fireplace with an inlaid-design mirror above. A crystal chandelier and elegant dining table provide a romantic setting to enjoy the cuisine prepared by the hotel staff in the private Villa kitchens.
The library adjoining the living room contains luxurious overstuffed sofas and club chairs, perfect for reading, sipping a cocktail from the fully equipped bar or enjoying the media center with complete audiovisual equipment and a large-screen television. Padded-wall treatments enhance the acoustics.
The master suites are accessed from the foyer and offer a level of privacy usually reserved for a lavish private residence. Each bedroom has been created in a scale reminiscent of a 17th-century royal château, but without sacrificing a warm and personal mood. Private seating areas offer views to the formal gardens and fountains outside the beveled-glass French doors. The draperies are electronically operated and light controls are operated from a single bedside switch.
Four of the Villas are three-bedroom suites and another four are two-bedroom. The larger suites have 5,000 square feet of space and have a rack rate of $3,000 per night; the two-bedroom suites are slightly smaller, for $2,500. The rates are perfunctorily posted merely to follow state law. Feldman cannot recall a time when any of the Villas were ever paid for.
Each master suite includes two separate private baths and dressing facilities for men and women. Marble walls reach a height of 12 feet and are illuminated by alabaster sconces and crystal chandeliers, which cast a glow over hand-bordered carpets and solid marble floors. The woman's bath and dressing room offer a spacious whirlpool, extravagant makeup vanity, walk-in closet and private safe. Bidet and commodes are secluded in their own chamber behind hand-textured, European glazed doors. For the gentleman, a European vanity is lighted from the side by a floor-to-ceiling textured window. A large steam shower contains a guilloche motif hand-carved into the crystal glass and brass enclosure.
For guests of the Villas, privacy has been carried forward into a separate gaming area called the Salon Privé, which is designed to convey the elegance of an exclusive European gaming room. The Salon Privé has its own private chef and dining room.
The Mirage, like the other top hotels, flies in its best customers first-class should they be inclined to fly commercial, but, as Feldman says, "we're dealing with a level of guest here that typically has his own plane. Either that, or we've sent one of our own corporate jets to pick him and his entourage up."
Perhaps the best marketing tool the Mirage and the Golden Nugget have to draw affluent customers from the Far East is Shadow Creek Country Club, Steve Wynn's private golf course, which, in less than five years, has earned the distinction from both Golf and Golf Digest magazines as being one of the best courses in the United States. Wynn codesigned the course with architect Tom Fazio, and invitations to play allow visitors to stay in the Villas. On a typical day, only two or three foursomes are extended the privilege of an invitation.
"To the Asian customer, who is so used to golf courses looking like bus stations, Shadow Creek is just an unrivaled experience," Freedman says. "In Japan, having a course like this all to yourself is a fantasy even the most successful executive would never expect to live out."
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