My husband and I planned our first trip to Las Vegas back in January when the Cosmopolitan had literally just opened. We booked it primarily because of the location and also the balconies in each of the units. We also thought that it'd be great to stay in the newest place on the Strip.
After choosing the Cosmo, we kept reading reviews online. And we'll admit that all of the negative reviews made us very nervous! In fact, at one point, we called our travel agent to see if we could change hotels (we thought maybe we should stay at one of our other initial choices -- the Bellagio or the Venetian), but were told that a change wasn't possible. And so the Cosmo it was! We just crossed our fingers that we had a positive experience...
Just as background, my husband and I are 35 and 34 respectively. We've done a ton of traveling during our relationship, but haven't done nearly as much traveling in the past four years (having kids does get in the way . We love staying at a wide variety of accommodations (depending on where we are in the world), but of course, when planning our first trip to Vegas -- our first trip just the two of us in 4 years! - we wanted to stay top-of-the-line.
Let me begin this review by saying that not only did we find all of the reviews that we'd read to be untrue in our case, but the Cosmo exceeded our expectations in every single way. We absolutely loved it!
So here's as thorough a review as I can possibly give:
CHECK-IN: We arrived from Toronto at 3:00p.m. Normally, the stated check-in time is 3:00, but we'd read so many negative reviews about rooms not being ready until hours later, that we really didn't expect our room to be ready. And yet it was! We stood in line for about 5 minutes. Yes, it's true that they have a bit of a weird set-up (there are about 5 different lines that make their way to 10 different check-out counters), but they do have staff trying to direct people. And hey, the lobby/registration area is beautiful -- and so it gives you time to take it all in
We had a lovely girl at the check-in counter and she was fantastic (thank you Abby!). We were our regular, pleasant Canadian selves and we got along with her fabulously. Next thing you knew, she was upgrading us (free of charge)! We had booked a terrace studio, but not a premium view (we had wanted to book a premium view, but our carrier (Sunwing) doesn't provide those rooms yet -- hopefully they will soon). When we got to the desk, we didn't start demanding an upgrade (something that our check-in girl told us really bothers all of the staff), but instead were just friendly. And we got upgraded to a 1-bedroom suite! She told us that the only 1-bedroom suites were not a premium view (of the Bellagio fountains, etc.), but that it would be a good view nonetheless.
We traipsed out of the West Tower (which is where the registration desk is) to the East Tower towards our room -- with our bags. And yes (as other reviews have mentioned), it meant that we were walking all the way through the hotel's casinos with our luggage. This wouldn't have been necessary if we had stayed in the west tower, but needed to be done to get to the East Tower. It didn't bother us in the least. And then we arrived at our room...
THE ROOM: We got placed on the 56th floor of the East Tower (room 5685 to be exact). We walked in... and almost couldn't help ourselves from jumping with joy! The room was SPECTACULAR. It was a one-bedroom suite which meant that we had a living room (with a kidney-shaped blue velvet couch, big 50" plasma, little kitchenette (yes, useless.... but we'd learned from the reviews and just didn't touch the fridge or mini-bar for fear of charges). The living room led into a dressing area with big closets and a sitting bench... Every details was spectacular ... the wallpaper was amazing, leather wainscotting... Further on in the room came the bathroom. There was a big sink area and a separate toilet room, but the coup-de-grat was the shower/bath area. It was an open-concept shower leading to a lovely Japanese soaking tub overlooking a window with a view of the strip. It was unbelievable. The windows from the shower and the bath opened to the bedroom area (although you could close the blinds completely for privacy).
The bedroom area had a big huge bed, another 50" plasma, side tables with lamps and night lights and led to the amazing balcony. The balcony was huge and the view from the balcony was amazing. No - we didn't have the view of the beautiful Bellagio fountains (and after seeing the fountains and falling in love with them, we probably would have tried harder for this view next time), but we had a lovely view of City Center, and toward the airport. We could see the mountains and a plane took off every 30 seconds... it was awesome to watch. We happened to hit a very cold streak of weather while we were there and so didn't make great use of the balcony, but loved having it nonetheless.
The bedroom had pocket doors that we closed when we were ready for sleep and once we closed all of the various curtains and blinds, the room was so dark that it was heavenly. The bed was extremely comfortable...
And I should mention that because the hotel only opened in December, the rooms are almost brand new. In fact, I almost felt like we were the first guests to stay in our room! A great feeling (especially compared to the reports of dilapidated rooms at other hotels).
HOUSEKEEPING/MAINTENANCE: We had two issues here. First, the drain in our soaker tub wasn't working. We stopped by the front desk and told them. They sent someone up within about 15 minutes. Granted, the front desk people had relayed the wrong message (that our shower was clogged and so he had brought the wrong tools), but he was extremely pleasant and the problem fixed within about 5 minutes.
The second issue. We had our room cleaned each day. We didn't have any issues with the job that they did (except that there was an empty pack of cigarettes from the previous guests on our balcony and it lasted there the entire time). But the second day, my husband left a tip for the housekeeper and when we got back from our morning's outing (at 1:00p.m.), the tip was gone, but the room hadn't been cleaned or made up at all! My hubbie made a quick call to the concierge desk and explained. By the time we'd left and got back about 2 hours later, the room had completely cleaned (and the concierge apologied profusely). Not sure what happened, but it was rectified quickly.
THE LOCATION: Honestly, the Cosmopolitan has the absolute best location of all of the hotels. If you haven't been to Vegas before, you'll fail to realize in advance how big the strip actually is! If you're staying at one end of the strip, it can be over an hour's walk to the other end! Well, the Cosmopolitan was built in the absolute centre of the strip. It was squeezed in between the Bellagio and the new City Center. It's in the middle of the strip, which means that it's about half an hour to get to either end of the strip.
Being directly beside the Bellagio also means that one whole half of the hotel provides views of the Bellagio and it's spectacular fountains.
And the other upside to the Cosmo's location is that it's situated directly off the street. Most of the "resorts" on the strip are so large that they are built almost a quarter mile back off the main strip. By the time you get back to your resort after a day's walking, you do not feel like walking all the way back to the entrance to these hotels, trust me. But the Cosmo (the East Tower) is built literally one step off of the main sidewalk. And the elevators up to the rooms are only about 20 steps from there. It's awesome. That was a HUGE plus.
THE CASINO & THE "VIBE": As with other Vegas hotels, the casino takes up the entire main floor of the hotel. But of course, this casino is brand new and it is spectacular. It is surrounded by beautiful bars, it is crowned with jewels and decorated beautifully. It doesn't have that same "basement" feel that many of the hotel casinos have... In fact, it's got a great vibe. The music is great and the clientele is great too.
The casino was never overly busy, but packed in nicely at popular times. The hotel is definitely the "it" place to be right now and so the clientele is beautiful and fun.
We're not huge gamblers and so I can't really comment on the machines/tables/odds/dealers of this casino over others, but all seemed comparable.
Another plus to this hotel is that it's new and so the smoke hasn't permeated the entire place yet. Yes, there is still smoking permitted in all of the casinos and in some of them, the smell of stale smoke and new smoke is overwhelming. But in the Cosmo, the newness of the hotel means that this isn't yet a problem, which was great!
THE DECOR: This hotel is amazing. The designers were geniuses -- every detail was gorgeous. The black/white/pink/silver colour motif was awesome. The furniture was cool and modern. No details were overlooked (the artwork was incredible, the hotel makes great use of technology, etc.). It's a gorgeous hotel.
THE NOISE FACTOR: For the most part, the hotel was not noisy. The casino didn't have that same "noise factor" that same of the other casinos had (e.g. no "dinging" of machines). My hubbie and I noted on many, many occasions that the room hallways were extremely quiet. In fact, in the 4 days that we were there, we never saw another soul on our floor (not even coming in or out of their room). It was weird! It was so quiet that it actually had a calming effect as you walked to your room
And for the most part, our room was quiet. As I say, we were in the East Tower and on the 56th floor. That said, evenings got noisy. On Thursday and Friday nights, it got a bit noisy from the bars/clubs, but by the time we returned to our room at 3:00a.m., it was quiet and we slept beautifully. On the Saturday night, it was a bit of a different story. When we were in our room at about 12:00 midnight, it was so loud that we didn't know how we'd ever sleep. As you've probably heard in the other reviews, the club is on the 7th floor of the East Tower. If you really want to avoid the club, request the West Tower (although the location of the West Tower just isn't nearly as good). On the Saturday night, it was loud. Very loud. Even with the doors and curtains closed, you could hear the music pounding. If you were trying to sleep and aren't used to music, it would be impossible. We headed out again, and by the time we got back to the room at 3:00a.m., the music had been turned down slightly. You could still hear it, but we didn't have a problem falling asleep.
THE STAFF: Honestly, we found the staff to be fantastic. Over the top great. In fact, there was part of us that thought that the hotel had read all of the negative reviews about the service and told the staff to turn it completely around. Every single staff member we came into contact with (checkin, identity membership, conciege, check-out, casino staff, maintenance, servers)... each and every one of them was amazing. We actually started to joke (in reference to the negative reviews)... "What horrible people work here..." . Honestly, they were great. Upbeat, fun, nice and helpful.
THE RESTAURANTS: We ended up eating at a few of the hotel's restaurants. First, we ate at Holstein's. We both liked our burgers, but didn't find them anything special. Then we ate at China Poblano. It was a last-minute decision and we ended up loving it! We ate some of the tacos (carnitas, fish, beef) and also ate their signature chinese "Street Sandwich". It was incredible. On our last day, we had breakfast at Le Henry and it was fantastic. I ate the french toast and my hubbie had the corned beef hash and we loved both (oh, and the lovely squeezed orange juice).
THE CLUBS: My husband still loves to go clubbing when he gets the chance and I embraced the chance to get out to the nightclubs while away from the kids. On Thursday, after we first arrived, we went to the bouncers outside of the Marquee. We had heard that the Marquee was THE place to be and wanted to find out about strategies for getting in (we're in our mid-thirties and now simply refuse to stand in line for 3 hours!). The bouncer was nice and told us to come on Thursday night. Because Thursdays are a big night at Tao (at the Venetian), it's much more reasonable at the Marquee. They only open one room (the "Boombox room") but it was a lot of fun. Our hotel key got us in for free and past any line and we had a great time. The dj was great (a wide range of music) and everyone was having a good time.
Friday and Saturday night were a different story. We actually met up with some extended family and headed to the clubs at The Palms on Friday night, but saw the Marquee when we got back. Even at 2:00a.m., the line was still going strong. Young people everywhere (very young, completely decked out, etc.). It was a bit of a zoo. It was nothing that bothered us at all -- but if you're one that doesn't like to be surrounded by a super-young crowd, it's something to be aware of. And Saturday night was even worse! The line-up was still extremely long and a bit crazy at 3:30a.m. (the start of a couple of fights, drunken young people, etc.). What was good was that the "overflow" of people meant the casino and bars were full of young people all decked out, ready to have a great time.
As I say, we hit some very bad (cold) weather and so didn't spend a lot of time at the pools. But on Sunday, before we left in the late-afternoon, we had a chance to hang out at some of the pools. First of all, it was the Grand Opening (ever) of the Marquee Dayclub. We got in free with our hotel key and it was great. It was sunny and beautiful, the dj was great and it was cool to see. It wasn't packed by the time we had to leave, but we had a fun time. They did a beautiful job -- nice pools, palm trees, private cabanas (with private jacuzzis)... it's a great looking place.
We also hung out for an hour at the pool on the 4th floor. It's a great area. The loungers are comfortable, the pools are warm, the jacuzzi is great, they have ping pong and pool outside, which was awesome. They have tv's right there... the music/vibe was great. We ate lunch there and it was fine (nothing too special, but still good). All in all, if we'd hit warmer weather, we would have been happy to spend some time there!
ALL IN ALL: Well, this has turned into a "novel" of a review (I can't believe how long it is!). But honestly, we really loved this hotel and felt that it deserved our good review. The Cosmopolitan was fantastic in every way and played a big part in us having such a wonderful trip. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this hotel and in fact, I've already told friends that the Cosmo is THE place to stay in Vegas. I truly believe that when we return to Vegas over the years, we will stay at the Cosmo each and every time.
We spent 4 full days in Vegas and ate at wonderful restaurants and saw some great shows. When I get a chance, I'll try to post a trip report about those things too... Happy reading
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The Cosmopolitan Hotel in Las Vegas - A Great Choice