Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino rolls a 7
Westgate Las Vegas is a solid choice with culinary bright spot at EDGE Steakhouse
I road tripped to Las Vegas, Nevada last week for the most “un-travel” related activity…the World of Concrete show. Why was I at a construction trade show you ask? Well, in addition to producing travel videos, I also produce video content for clients outside of the travel sector.
The Westgate Las Vegas Resort is adjacent to the Las Vegas Convention Center, where World of Concrete is held each year. While my road trip to Vegas was not necessarily travel related, I thought I would share my experience staying at the Westgate as I know many of you stay there for conferences and conventions.
I don’t often stay in, or write about, casino resorts as these are a niche unto themselves. Most of the resorts where I stay are more boutique in nature, maybe a couple hundred rooms. Casino resorts, especially in Las Vegas, are gigantic! The size of small cities. The Westgate Las Vegas has nearly 3000 rooms, while some Vegas casinos have upwards of 7000. The experience at a Vegas casino is entirely different than that of a typical hotel/resort, both from the guest perspective, as well as from an operational point of view. The Vegas casino comes with its own set of perks, as well as hurdles. Given the massive operational scale of a Vegas resort like the Westgate, I can appreciate the differences between the types of resorts where I typically stay, so I will refrain from drawing comparisons, but rather provide you with some of the facts about the property and my overall experience at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino.
One of the perks of being a well-known travel blogger is that I often get upgraded at hotels and resorts. Before and during a trip I will typically mention on social media where I’m going, places I’m staying and things I’m doing, to keep my followers up-to-date. I had mentioned that I would be staying at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort on Twitter and when I went to check-in, I was pleasantly surprised to be upgraded to a mini-suite.
The Studio Suite I learned, is actually a timeshare unit that is used to upgrade guests when not in use. Because these units are owned, they have some upgrades beyond the furnishings, which includes better sound insulation. Throughout my four-day stay, I barely heard a sound from the guests in nearby rooms, which was a pleasant surprise being at a casino. My 10th floor accommodations had nice views of the Vegas strip and mountains in the distance.
While the room was not large at 400sf, it was well appointed in a tasteful contemporary design. The king sized bed has a pillow-padded headboard with soft linens and pillows (I do wish the pillows had been king sized and made of goose down). The color scheme is in bold blacks and bright whites with a hint of Asian influence. The bathroom extends the modern design with more white tones and a designer-style tiled shower. The shower stall provides two sources of water, a rain shower head with a separate handheld stream.
The desk and table tops in the room have black quartz surface, while the bathroom and kitchenette areas are in white quartz. The kitchenette has two bar stools with stainless steel microwave, mini-refrigerator, sink, toaster, mini dishwasher and coffee pot. The unit is stocked with plates, silverware and other utensils needed during an extended stay. Black-and-white pictures of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley don the walls, along with a large mirror that had a bold silver metal frame. Also in the room is a very large flat-screen T.V. And the drapes are operated by a controller next to the thermostat. Before finding the controller, I discovered that by gently tugging on the drapes, they open and close on their own.
Since I was working while staying at the Westgate Las Vegas, I didn’t have a lot of leisure time to catch a show or do much gambling. As a non-smoker, what I did notice was a really good ventilation system within the casino. While of course you could smell smoke, it was not a cloud like the Vegas days of old. One evening I did enjoy a couple cocktails while listening to some live music in the lounge.
Mostly my time at the Westgate Las Vegas was spent going to and from the Convention Center—which while next door, is still a bit of walk, so I certainly got my exercise in. I had every intention of visiting the gym during my stay, but the only visit it got from me was to locate it! Situated on the 3rd floor is an expansive outdoor area where the spa, gym, pool and some other amenities are located. This area was like being on the roof-top, but only three floors up. I imagine the resort must host some parties on this 3rd floor veranda, and what a great area to do it.
A couple of the evenings during my stay, I just wanted to get something quick and easy to eat and take it to my room as I had much work to do. After a long day of filming, my evenings are often spent offloading and sorting footage, charging batteries, etc. The Westgate has quite a few restaurant options, I’m guessing maybe eight or nine. Three of them are on the higher end, but the rest are casual dining. I found the lower-end restaurants not to be that good, they were actually mediocre at best. I sort of wondered if this mediocrity existed because that is what the typical guest wants, or, perhaps it’s not possible to make good food on such a massive scale. I don’t know the answer to this, all I know is that I was not impressed. I was also quite appalled at how expensive mediocrity was. As someone who does not visit a lot of casinos, I felt as though the resort was taking advantage of its captive audience. When you stay at these mega casino resorts, it’s not like you can walk down the street to eat elsewhere, you’re sort of trapped.
On my last night at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort I had a bit more leisure time and was desperate for a good meal. I had eaten breakfast once at the Fresh Buffet which was less than impressive. I tried the Silk Road and Sid’s Cafe, both sub-par, so on this last evening I decided to treat myself to Edge Steakhouse, one of the fine-dining restaurants at the property. This ended up being a stellar choice!
The interior of Edge is very sophisticated and elegant with some subtle Asian accents. Some of the design elements seemed a bit similar to my accommodations. There are a half a dozen massive marble pillars that create the focal point of the space. The circular dining area has semi-circle high back booths for an intimate dining experience. The lights above the tables are a series of teardrop glass balls surrounded by a thin black fabric in a circular veil to hide the light bulbs and accentuate the teardrop stems of glass.
My meal started off with a top shelf bourbon with a single rock of ice, followed by the spicy shrimp appetizer which had a chili and cream reduction sauce and colorful julienne vegetables. This dish was the perfect accompaniment to my bourbon. The server also brought out a fresh baked bread roll, almost like a pastry puff that was stuffed with Gruyere cheese accompanied by a small square ramekin of butter. I don’t usually waste calories on bread, unless it’s good bread, but this was delicious!
The server must have seen me taking pictures of my food and thought there must be a reason, so before I knew it, the chef had sent out another appetizer for me to try. The sunchoke ravioli with chantrerelles with burgundy truffles and Parmesan was so good. While the shrimp could be shared, this was certainly a solo dish, plus I don’t think anyone would want to share it. The frothy sophisticated blend of flavors served in a beautifully elegant dish with a center reservoir where the raviolis and other accoutrements rested in wait to be consumed was presented as well as it tasted.
The wine list is impressive and extensive, with over 370 bottles available. I had a glass of the Napa Valley Prisoner zinfandel, which had a lovely bold bouquet, with hints of chocolate and raspberry. This glass of wine paired perfectly with my petite filet. I ordered my filet cooked medium and it was prepared to perfection, accompanied with some herb-infused butter and roasted garlic. Very simple presentation, but sometimes less is more.
As a side dish I almost ordered the caramelized cauliflower, but instead I went with the Truffle fries, which had Parmesan cheese, truffle oil, dill and sun-dried tomato pepper aioli. Oh my gosh these were good. As full as I was, I keep sneaking just one more.
Unlike the bland service I received at the other restaurants, the server team at Edge was upbeat and seemed eager to be of assistance. The overall service was impeccable.
My meal at Edge Steakhouse was the perfect conclusion to a great stay at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort. While I think there are a few improvements that could be made, overall the Westgate Las Vegas is a solid choice and is on par with its 3.5 level star rating. If you’ve ever stayed at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino, please leave a comment below and share your experience.
Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino Information:
Rates: Varies dramatically based on demand
Room Types: Many different accommodation levels depending on need and budget
Edge Steakhouse: http://wstgt.com/westgatelasvegas-edgesteakhouse
Edge Steakhouse Reservations: (702) 732-5755 – Opens at 5pm Tuesday – Saturday.