Maven Meter: Wynn Palace Casino & Hotel
(Last updated: May 21, 2020)
Way back in 1970, Rolling Stone opened a vicious review of Bob Dylan’s Self Portrait by asking him a very straightforward question. After visiting Wynn Palace, I’d like to ask Steve Wynn the same one.
What is this shit?
A decade after giving us the exceptional Wynn Macau, you’ve sold out and bent over for the Chinese audience, opening a property whose sole purpose seems to be giving mainland visitors a place to take selfies.
All of those things that make the original Wynn Macau so special and endearing: the easy effortless charm, the subtle splendour, the tasteful way it presents its elegance, have all been tossed to the side in favour of the lowest common denominator.
Thus you have lobbies decorated with Ferris Wheels and Merry-Go-Rounds, a shopping arcade home to Cinderella’s slipper and Gucci’s high heel, not to mention a pointless cable car attraction outside that never stops moving yet takes people nowhere.
Even prized cultural relics have been reduced to cheap retail fodder, with the set of four porcelain Qing vases valued at $12.8 million dollars made the crude centerpiece of the banal shopping quarter.
Bright, shiny, shallow and soulless, Wynn Palace is a horrible waste of space and resource, and if this is the future of the Cotai Strip and where it’s going, then I’ll gladly spend most of my time on the old peninsula, thank you very much.
Here are a few slogans I’ve come up with to describe the monstrosity.
- “Wynn Palace: Steve’s Fairy Tale Folly”
- “Wynn Palace: Where Bad Ideas Get Worse”
- “Wynn Palace: “Mainland Gold and Plastic Soul”
And my personal favorite, which perhaps sums it up best:
- “Wynn Palace: a Panoply of Pointless”
Wynn Palace Photo Gallery
WYNN PALACE CASINO
I think there must be a government regulation somewhere that prohibits Macau casinos from being interesting or different. When I first started this website, it was going to focus exclusively on gaming, before I realized that information alone couldn’t support a site. The simple reason being that 100% of Macau casinos are just repeated versions of each other, with only one game that matters anyway – Baccarat.
Extremely uniform and universally boring: if you’ve been to one Macau casino, you’ve been to them all. Wynn Palace is just the latest clone.
There is no entertainment of any kind, although free beer and alcohol are served if you specifically ask for it and prove you’re gaming.
WYNN PALACE CASINO GAMES
To no one’s surprise, Wynn Palace offers the exact same games as Wynn Macau.
Baccarat – The only place I saw any Baccarat tables were in the High Limit and VIP rooms, starting from $3000 per hand.
Commission Free Baccarat – Players win only 50% on a won Banker bet that totals 6. Minimum bet is $300.
Blackjack – Minimum bet is a ridiculous $500. That is way, way out of line, but is the current trend in many of Macau’s largest casinos.
Caribbean Stud Poker – Minimum bet is $300.
Roulette – Minimum bets of $50 Inside and $200 Outside.
Slot Machines – Around 723 slots on the main floor, with lows from $0.05 to $1. An adjacent slot room adds another 102 machines with minimums of $1 to $2. Some of the VIP and high limit casinos also have slots with higher minimums of $1, $2, $5, and $10. I’d estimate that Wynn Cotai probably has around 1000 slot machines in total.
As for Live Gaming, Wynn Cotai offers only Baccarat with lows of $50, $100 and $200.
I didn’t see much electronic gaming available, only Baccarat ($20), Roulette ($50) and Sic Bo ($50). Please note that Sic Bo is only available in electronic form.
Three Card Poker – $300 minimums.
Promotions at the Wynn are a joke, so I won’t waste your time writing about them.
Wynn has always done extremely well in the VIP market. Here’s their present cash back program for whales, which hasn’t changed in ten years.
WYNN PALACE HOTEL
On December 14th, 2016, I stayed in the cheapest room available at Wynn Palace, the Palace King Room, which cost $1380 at the time. During the same period, rooms at the Wynn Macau ran $2000 at least, which just shows the difference between the two hotels. I always thought Wynn Palace would go above and beyond Wynn Macau, but it turned out the exact opposite, which is never how you want sequels to go. Build something better, or don’t build it at all.
The only thing Wynn Palace has going for it are absolutely huge rooms, with the smallest ones checking in at 68 square meters. I mean, I’ve lived in a few apartments smaller than that before.
If you book 21 days in advance, prices get slashed by 24%, which are the numbers I’ve used below.
Rates are in Macau Mops and include all tax and service charges.
WYNN PALACE HOTEL ROOM
The previous day I had stayed at the Parisian and didn’t have to pay a deposit and was hoping for the same love at the Wynn Palace, which wasn’t forthcoming. After the desk said the $1000 deposit couldn’t be charged to my credit card, I told them straight up that I didn’t have enough cash on hand to cover it. After a bit of a back and forth, they asked how much money I could give and I told them $500, which they accepted.
Wynn Palace rooms come in four main colour schemes: green, red, yellow and blue. I got saddled with a green room and didn’t like it that much.
Looking back at the pictures now I suppose it really wasn’t that bad, but it sure felt disappointing when I was in it.
Although it was very large, a lot of it was just empty unused space, especially the massage room, which I didn’t need or want anyway.
The view was also horrible and if that’s not the worst one in the whole hotel then I don’t want to know what is.
The TV had a very disappointing selection of channels, the majority of which were Chinese, and no different than what you get in most hotels on the mainland. I was definitely expecting more from an American hotel chain.
But I suppose my biggest criticism boils down to this – the Wynn Palace room doesn’t give guests anything they can’t get anywhere else: one bed, two night tables, a desk, a chair, a couch, a bathtub and a shower. Of course it was all in pristine condition and of very good quality, but that’s the basic skeleton features of any hotel room, anywhere, in any star category. Value wise, where is the value, you know?
Across the road at the Sands Cotai you can get basically the same type of room at the world’s second largest Holiday Inn for half the price. Although it definitely won’t be as nice or as large, it won’t be terribly worse either.
I guess if you’re on the road and simply must have a huge room, then the ones at Wynn Palace were made for you, so congratulations. If not, then I don’t believe guests are given enough incentive to stay there.
I’d like to close with the welcome card which I found most hilarious.
LOL at Steve Wynn and his two free bottles of water. Across the Strip at the Ritz-Carlton I get free champagne at check in, bro.
Unlike Wynn Macau which usually spoils guests with a splendid assortment of free goodies, Wynn Palace gave jack squat.
WYNN PALACE POOL
To market Wynn Palace as the Pinnacle, or the Ultimate, or even as a Palace like the name suggests is totally dishonest and I’m here to tell you why. The amenities are all lacklustre and the best proof I have that Wynn Resorts never intended to make Wynn Palace an elite hotel.
The pool, for example, isn’t even heated and closes in winter. Let that sink in for a minute. A premium five star hotel that can’t heat an outdoor pool isn’t really trying, if you ask me.
Besides that, the pool is small, pedestrian, and totally forgettable. It’s an oasis of mediocrity in a resort swimming in it.
Adjacent to the pool, there are few tables attached to the Pool Bar. Menu and prices are as follows:
Salads: $118 to $148
Children’s Menu: $78 to $88
Snacks: $68 to $138
Mains: $128 to $238
WYNN PALACE RESTAURANTS
When Wynn Palace first opened, it was all fine dining with prices to match. Three years in, they’ve finally added a few casual restaurants that don’t cost a ton.
Sichuan Moon – Sichuan Moon is the only restaurant at Wynn Palace with Michelin stars, after being awarded 2 in the 2020 Guide. Very straightforward, it only offers one thing, a 15 course Degustation Menu for $1,888 a person. If you’d like to pair it with wine, that’ll cost an additional $1380.
Sichuan Moon serves spicy oily Sichuan cuisine that might get potentially overwhelming, given there are 15 servings of it.
Open daily except for Mondays, hours are from 5:30 pm to 11:00 pm.
Mizumi – The Mizumi at Wynn Macau has a Michelin Star, let’s see if this one at the Palace can follow in their footsteps. As the name suggests, it’s Japanese all the way.
Appetizers: $138 to $288 Sushi/Sashimi: $18 to $155
Salad: $98 to $248 Tempura: $50 to $95
Soup: $60 to $248 Robatayaki: $75 to $158
Rice: $98 to $420 Teppanyaki: $160 to $1250
Noodles: $190 to $330 Chef’s Special Osusume: $280 to $295
As is customary in Japanese there are a ton of set meals on offer. One 4 course set runs $600 while a 5 course option is $880. An 8 course sushi experience goes for $710 while 10 courses is $980. As for Sashimi, 6 courses go for $980 while the ultimate – Omakasa Sashimi – costs $1280 for 8 choices.
Regarding Teppanyaki, you can choose between a 5 course, 6 course and 8 course set for $880/$1250/$2180.
Hours daily are from 5:30 pm to 11 pm daily, except for Mondays when it’s closed.
Sushi Mizumi – Mizumi’s sushi counter keeps the same hours as Mizumi, except they open for lunch on weekends from 11:30 am to 3:00 pm. Omakase Sushi sets are the only thing available then, which range in price from $588 to $898. They come with 8 to 10 pieces of sushi and other sides like miso soup, seaweed, yuzu, sashimi and fish.
In the evening, three set meals are available, starting with 4 courses for $880, while 6 courses run $1800 and 7 courses $2280.
SW Steakhouse – To know what a world of hurt tastes like, just sit down at SW Steakhouse. I’ll personally go as high as $400 for a steak; any more and I can’t justify it.
Caviar (30 grams): $2090/$3090/$4090
Seafood Platter: $1200/$2400
Appetizers: $150 to $230
Prime Cut Steaks: $410 to $1400
Mains: $300 to $500
Hours are from 5:30 pm to 11 pm, Wednesday to Monday.
Wing Lei Palace – Celebrated chef Tam Kwok Fong, the man who used to run Jade Dragon (3 Michelin stars) and Pearl Dragon (1 Michelin star) has taken his talents to Wing Lei Palace. If he can’t turn Wing Lei Palace around, no one can.
Six Course Tasting Menu: $1480
Appetizers: $70 to $260 Signature Dishes: $190 to $560
Shark’s Fin/Bird’s Nest: $460 to $2880 Seafood: $240 to $880
Barbecue Specialties: $150 to $800 Meat: $140 to $780
Dried Seafood: $180 to $1880 Poultry: $140 to $300
Soup: $80 to $5888 Rice and Noodles: $140 to $880
A 5 course dim sum set at lunch runs $480, while dim sum on the a la carte is $50 to $280.
Dim Sum lunch hours are from 11:30 am to 3 pm on Monday to Saturday and from 10:30 am to 3:30 on Sundays and public holidays. Dinner hours are from 5:30 pm to 10:30 pm daily Monday through Sunday.
Cafe Fontana – Cafe Fontana overlooks the Performance Lake and serves buffet and afternoon tea.
From 3 to 5, Cafe Fontana also offers an a la carte menu featuring Chinese fare ($60 to $220), regional Asian favourites ($150 to $180) and Western classics ($90 to $420).
Hours are from 6:30 am to 12:30 am daily.
Pronto – Pronto is a new Italian joint that opened where the old Starbucks used to be. Featuring a very streamlined menu, only pizza ($128 to $188), salad ($88 to $128) and pasta ($108 to $158) are available.
Pronto is open from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm daily.
Palace Cafe – I’m not sure I’ve ever stumbled across Palace Cafe while at Wynn Palace. Regardless, it serves Thai food at very reasonable prices.
Thai Grilled Set: $89
Green Curry Set: $99
Appetizers: $68 to $98 Curry: $78 to $218
Salad: $88 to $108 Specialties: $68 to $368
Soup: $88/$98 Sandwiches: $48 to $168
Palace Cafe keeps hours from 11:00 am to 11:00 pm daily.
Hanami Ramen – Hanami Ramen always seems to be doing a decent business. Serving Japanese noodles. there’s only ramen ($88 to $99) and bites ($18 to $48) available.
Hours are from 11:00 am to 12:00 am daily.
99 Noodles – 99 Noodles should be cheap Chinese fast food fare, but some dishes actually cost quite a bit. Specifically, hot mains are $68 to $588, while soup is $58 to $588 and cold appetizers $48 to $118. Dim sum ($38 to $68) and noodles ($78 to $128) are also available, while set meals range in price from $89 to $109.
99 Noodles is open from 10:00 am to 2:00 am daily.
Red 8 – The only restaurant open 24 hours at Wynn Palace, Red 8 is more rice, noodles, congee and soup.
4 different sets range in price from $108 to $148, while Chef’s Recommendations are $190 to $580 and barbecue meat $80 to $170. There’s also appetizers ($50 to $80), soup ($50 to $200), dim sum ($40 to $70), and rice and noodles.
For wont of a better word, the gym at Wynn Palace sucks. It’s about half the size of both gyms at Wynn Macau and certainly not what you’d expect in a hotel that associates itself with royalty. Well below typical Wynn standards and very underwhelming, that’s just par for the course at this hotel, which brings me to my next point….
WYNN PALACE SPA
How about some free spa facilities at the Wynn Palace for their esteemed privileged guests? No way! Hotel guests and non hotel guests alike both have to pay a fee to use the sauna, steam, jacuzzi, cold pool and hot bed at the Spa. The price is $575 and lasts all day, provided you don’t leave. Once you exit the spa, the pass is considered expired and you can’t go back in. (The only exception would be hotel guests who leave the spa but only go to the pool. Under those circumstances, they could return.)
In terms of spa prices, a wide range of body massages are either 60 or 90 minutes and cost $1000 or $1500, while 60 to 90 minute facials are $1300 to $2800. 2.5 to 3 hour Wynn Palace Rituals are $2200 to $3600, while 90 to 120 minute Signature Treatments are $1000 to $3300.
They also have treatment for couples named “Emperor and Empress” and costs $3250 per person for 3 hours. Some of the fun includes hot stone massage, a jasmine infused bath and facial treatments delivered in your private couples suite.
If nothing else, just drop by the spa for their menu book that features gorgeous paintings of 19th Century China from artist Thomas Allom. Judging from the way that China used to look, I definitely came here at the wrong time.
WYNN PALACE ENTERTAINMENT
Ha ha ha ha….
Hmmm, there’s a water show that isn’t even as good as the one at Wynn Macau and that’s it. A colossal fail and completely unacceptable in this day and age on the Cotai Strip, you can’t just repeat what you did ten years ago and hope it’s enough. There are too many other places to go in Cotai now, too many other things to see.
Some people might call the cable car ride entertainment too, but I don’t buy that. At least it’s free though if you want to take it across the lake and jump off when it stops at the hotel. If you want to do one complete loop, the price is $100 per person. (I believe hotel guests get that for free as well.) Hours are from 10 am to midnight daily.
WYNN PALACE BARS
Flying machines, the four minute mile, and decorating a room in green and have it look good. Thanks to Wing Lei Bar for finally scratching the last one off the list. Located beside Wing Lei Palace, Wing Lei Bar is a hip little haunt designed to look like a jewelry box, and I totally dig its style. With only 7 tables, it’s perfect for a quick drink or two before heading off into the night. The only bar at Wynn Palace, it looks like they learned their lesson from all the empty ones at Wynn Macau.
Prices are totally reasonable, with beers $50 to $70, shots of most hard stuff $70 to $150 and scotch $70 to $380. Cocktails are very pricey though, ranging from $130 to $230, while glasses of wine are $90 to $180. You’re probably better off going with full bottles instead, which cost $380 to $700.
Wing Lei Bar is open from 3:00 pm to 2:00 am daily.
Perhaps all you need to know about the shopping at Wynn Palace is that the property feels more like a shopping mall than a hotel.
All of the common areas on the ground floor are occupied by retail space and there is literally no way to get around without avoiding a shop, stall, boutique or some other sign of conspicuous consumption.
It’s all up market designer brands way out of my tax bracket so I’ll just leave it to you.
THE LAST WORD
I could basically cut and paste what I wrote in the Sands Cotai review 8 years ago because the same thing applies to Wynn Palace.
A hotel alone won’t cut in on the Cotai Strip in 2017. Properties need entertainment, they need walk in traffic, they need diverse and appealing attractions, they need to stand out from the crowd in some way and be destinations in themselves.
At Wynn Palace however, they don’t do any of that and seem to be banking on their big Wynn name to pull them through. Ordinarily that might be enough but Wynn Palace makes a mockery of typical Wynn standards, with poor facilities, lacklustre dining, no entertainment and basically nothing for kids.
With all due respect to Mr Wynn, the world did not wait ten for years for this.
WYNN PALACE LOCATION
Wynn Palace is located behind the City of Dreams and the stunning new MGM Cotai. The Wynn marketing department can spin it as being an oasis away from the hustle and bustle of the main Strip but that bird don’t hunt. It wants to be where the Parisian is because that’s where the action is, not down a side road no one in Macau knew about until the Palace opened.