IMG 6897Nicely positioned between City Center and Bellagio, you'll find a chic casino hotel called The Cosmopolitan.  With two large towers, nearly 3000 guest rooms, a 100,000 square foot casino, 12 restaurants, three pools, a giant chandelier bar, and more, the Cosmo is ultra-modern, super sleek, very hip, and a bit over the top.  You’d think this would seem like another Las Vegas mega-resort, but surprisingly, it has the comfortable feel of a boutique hotel.

Opened in December of 2010, the Cosmopolitan was originally meant to be a mix of 2,200 residential condo/hotel units and 800 hotel rooms, but when the economy tanked, it was restructured simply as a resort hotel.  Originally, it was to be owned and run by the Hyatt Hotel Group, but after more financial woes and legal battles, it’s now part of Marriott International’s Autograph Collection, partnered with Ritz-Carlton.  No matter...the Cosmopolitan seems to have shaken off it’s tumultuous past and emerged as a stunning success.

IMG 6488The moment you step inside, you’ll know this hotel is very unique.  The Cosmopolitan combines state-of-the-art technology with elements of classic luxury.  The lobby features eight large, square columns, covered with mirrored panels, which are also video screens - one minute you’re looking at your reflection, then you’ll see a titillating projection of a steam room with shadowy figures walking and stretching inside.  My partner and I stayed there in August of 2012, and when we walked in, saw shelves of books projected on the columns, as well as the video panels behind the check-in desks, giving the lobby the appearance of an old English library.  We had arrived early in the day, so there were no long lines for registration.  We were attended to immediately.  We had originally booked a Terrace One Bedroom, but asked for anIMG 5727 upgrade to a Fountainview room.  We were told, by the friendly, helpful staff member, that this is a very popular request, but she still managed to find one for us on the spot!  Perfect!

Our room was on the 25th floor of the Eastside Tower.  When we got off the elevator, we were surprised to find that the hallway didn’t go on for miles as they seem to in other mega-hotels.  We simply turned a corner and there it was!

IMG 5764We couldn’t have been happier with our room.  At 610 square feet, it felt enormous - larger than our apartment in New York!  As we walked in, there was a sitting room area to the right, with a comfortable easy chair, a coffee table and a whimsical, curved purple sofa.  Next to the sofa, a good sized desk, above which was a large flat-screen TV.  To the left, was a small kitchenette, with a microwave, sink, and mini-bar.  Directly ahead was a dressing area - large, mirrored closets with robes and slippers ready to be used, shelves instead of drawers, and a leather cushioned trunk to sit on, which cleverly opened up to provide more storage space.  Across from that, the bathroom, with double sinks, a separate WC, and a very, very spacious glassed-in shower/tub combo.  Believe me, if you wanted to have a little party in the shower, there would be more than enough room.  Interestingly, the shower has a floor-to-ceiling glass wall that looks out on the bedroom.  If you’e a more modest type, there areIMG 5777 louvered blinds to drop for privacy.  Further in, past the shower, is a Japanese soaking tub (Vincent’s favorite!) - a deep, square tub in which you can immerse yourself to the shoulders.  The tub has two windows - one looks outside, the other looks into the bedroom.  Speaking of the bedroom, the king sized bed was very comfortable, if a little too soft for my taste; but I like a rock-hard mattress.  There was another flat screen plasma TV and nice side tables with books and knick-knacks.  If you need some alone time, there are telescoping pocket doors to close off the sleeping area from the rest of the room.  Music, temperature and lighting can all be controlled from a remote panel next to the bed and there is a IMG 5766button on the phone marked “Beck and Call”.  Need extra towels?  Concierge services?  Room service?  Just press Beck and Call.

One of the most attractive features of this room, was the 110 square foot terrace.  In Las Vegas, it’s rare to have a window that opens, much less a full sized balcony.  This one was big enough to accommodate 4 or 5 extra guests with sleeping bags if necessary.  And the view!!  From our terrace, we could see the Strip, from Planet Hollywood, to the Balloon and Eiffel Tower of the Paris hotel, to Caesar’s Palace, the Flamingo, the Venetian, and even a bit of the Mirage Volcano.  The best part, however was that right at our feet, were the Fountains of Bellagio.  We never tired of seeing the show, and from our bed, we could often see the final 460 foot blast of the central fountain.  It was as if they were dancing just for us.  If you stay here and have it in your budget to get a Fountainview Room, DO IT!!!

IMG 6486Downstairs, the casino is done in rich reds, browns and golds, with soft, indirect lighting.  While always busy, the casino never seems to me as noisy as others on the Strip  The light fixtures above the gaming tables look to me like crystal representations of red feather boas.  There are surprising touches everywhere: A large color changing geode marks the entrance to the sports book lounge, old fashioned cigarette vending machines which sell art, and a large high-heeled shoe in which you can pose for pictures.DSCF2887

The Cosmo boasts some impressive restaurants: Comme Ca - David Meyer’s modern French brasserie, Scott Conant’s Scarpetta - featuring traditional yet sophisticated Italian fare, Jose Andres’ Jaleo - a Las Vegas take on an authentic tapas restaurant.  The intoxicating aromas coming from this establishment have me dying to try it!  There’s also The Henry - open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serving up classic sandwiches, salads and egg dishes, Va Bene, a Vegas style Italian coffee bar, and many more from which to choose.     

IMG 5835If nightlife is your thing, there are a number of choices.  For simple, classic cocktails try the Vesper Bar, just off the main lobby.  There’s also Bond - a modern lounge surrounded by LED screens, with windowboxes that at any given time might showcase dancers, musicians or performance artists.  There’s the Marquee Nightclub, which features live performances by top music stars and has a dance floor bordered by four-story-high LED screens, and lastly, my current favorite; The Chandelier - a three level cocktail bar swathed in strings of Swarovski crystals.  You’ll feel as though you’re lounging inside a chandelier!  And with unique specialty drinks like the Verbena and the Fire Breathing Dragon, you’re sure to find something to your taste.IMG 5889

And finally, if you want to relax...or recover after a night of partying, you can try one of Cosmopolitan’s three pools: The Boulevard Pool - a nice social scene overlooking the Vegas Strip, the Bamboo Pool - a calm, secluded pool on one side of the hotel, or the Marquee Dayclub Pool - an adults-only, lounge-like pool which becomes an extension of the Marquee nightclub in the evening hours.  Adjacent to the Bamboo Pool, you’ll IMG 5887also find the Sahra Spa, where you can relax, feeling like you’re walking through a peaceful desert canyon; the wind-sculpted walls curving and stretching high above you.  The overall feel is lovely and very zen.  

I find that the Cosmopolitan is currently one of the pricier properties on the Strip, but if you do have the budget for it, I definitely recommend a stay with them.  In their ads, the tag line is “Just the right amount of wrong.”  Well, if you stay at the Cosmo, wrong will feel SO right!DSCF2703

* A little side note: During the winter months, the Cosmopolitan’s Boulevard Pool is being transformed into an ice rink, complete with fire pits, hot specialty drinks, s’mores, and a skating rink made of real ice.  A nice change of pace in Sin City!