The 20 minute drive from McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to the palatial J.W. Marriott Resort and Spa on Rampart went by quickly. The freeway lined with painted murals of wild life, and mega metal art framed the ride with artistic flair.
Rolling up to the front entrance, one is met by and estate that resembles a Hollywood set or celebrity neighborhood in Beverly Hills. A friendly bellman eagerly walks my bags and full length mink, it’s a whopping 45 degrees, into a mission styled lobby equipped with a central chandelier, leather-oversized lounge chairs and a fireplace. A welcome end-of- the week getaway of business and pleasure.
After a brief one-person wait in line the front desk personnel provides a beverage, preferred room, a map and lovely chatter as I rushed to the early morning conference session.
At the NNPA (National Newspaper Publishers Association) convention, I had a blast. It was wonderful to not only be surrounded by my peers and trailblazers in the industry but in an atmosphere of luxury at the JW Marriott.
Dining during the convention, the breakfast buffet was delicious as were the salmon with mashed potatoes, sandwiches, brownies and chocolate mousse cake. A sushi restaurant and amazing Angus burgers were irresistible.
With a suite in Tower 1 on the 5th floor, I looked down at the oh! so blue swimming pool area, and up at a burnt orange sunrise or sunset each day. A spacious room complete with a refrigerator, more than enough towels and bottled water was perfect for a mid day check in. The double vanity bathroom, complete with a lit magnification mirror was the perfect touch for prepping makeup or noticing all the facial details you miss before run of the mill mirrors. A full length mirror ensured outfits were in place head to toe, especially for the closing black tie gala. The whirlpools tub and his and her robes were an added touch for relaxation.
The Cascade space comfortably fit a few hundred for dinner and entertainment by the Bay Area’s own Lenny Williams. Williams did not disappoint singing his signature songs as a member of Tower of Power and as a solo artist. Williams ventured into the audience and two lucky ladies were serenaded as Williams slow danced with them. Williams sang “Cause I Love You,” “I Didn’t Know It Was Your Mama,” and others as audience members sang along. NNPA Chairman Dorothy Leavell dressed in a beaded black and white dress was swooped off her feet and twirled by Williams as they danced until the songs end.
With late night adrenaline, a comedy club, round bar and live entertainment lounge are all options at the J.W. Marriott. A walk through the Rampart Casino and a few coins in the Wheel of Fortune slots took up about 20 minutes. Rampart Casino offers 24 table games, a 300 seat bingo room and over 1,450 of the latest slot, video poker and keno machines and penny machines. With TV screens galore, the Race & Sports Book lounge offers multiple betting options; horse, auto racing, basketball, football, hockey, baseball and boxing. If you head to “The Strip,” a complimentary shuttle is at your service.
Late night room service keeps a solo traveler happy until the sandman meets you halfway in the bubbly jacuzzi bath followed by a sliding touch down into the fluffiest bedding and down feather pillows. It was like falling into 5 stories of feathers. A most restful sleep after reflecting on the day, moments with the Bible and some “What’s in Vegas” TV.