June 26, 2011

Rockin' the Cosmopolitan

During our recent WSOP trip to Vegas, Santa and I stayed at the new Cosmopolitan hotel and casino, located between Bellagio and City Center. I had wandered through the casino during trips in March and April, and had been impressed with the casino design and ambiance. So, when I found a Vegas.com special deal for an average room rate ~$140/night (with most other sites charging over $350/night), I figured what the heck, might as well try it out. So, I ditched the rooms I had booked at TI (~$120/night with the "resort fee") and took a whirl with Cosmopolitan.

It was a great impulse buy. I've stayed at Bellagio, Venetian/Palazzo, Wynn/Encore, and Aria, which all compete for the same high-end customer base (I've stayed in a suite at Caesars Palace, but I keep them a notch below these other properties as Caesars' base rooms are not on the same luxury level as the elite properties). In my view, Cosmopolitan fits comfortably into the elite Vegas resort niche, and offers some unique twists that make it a fun hotel option.

My value package offered either of the base room options; I booked a Terrace Studio room, which was slightly larger and had a walkout terrace (the other option, a City Room, does not have a terrace). When I went to check in, a friendly young man approached me, led me to a check-in counter, and after looking up my reservation, immediately offered to upgrade us to a Terrace One Bedroom room at no charge (and without my even attempting the $20 trick). He also let me choose which side of the hotel we wanted for a view, and a lower or upper floor. I opted for the Bellagio side, and we would up in the east tower (closer to the Strip), on the 59th floor.

As you'll see from the photos below, the view from our terrace was impressive, overlooking the Bellagio fountains, and having great views of Bellagio, Paris, and the Strip running north toward Wynn. The room itself was decorated in a contemporary style, and was every bit as nice and comfortable as comparable rooms at the other elite Strip resorts. The terrace was surprisingly large (over 100 sq. ft.), and would provide a comfortable place for a morning or evening drink when temperatures are lower. The smaller footprint of the casino made for quick access to restaurants and shops, as well as making it a breeze to walk to poker rooms at Aria and Planet Hollywood (making it easy to overlook the resort's regrettable decision against opening a poker room).

What really sets the Cosmopolitan apart from the other elite Strip resorts is its atmosphere. The crowd in the hotel seems younger and less stuffy than at, say, Bellagio or Wynn. The Cosmopolitan's employees likewise seem friendlier and more approachable; every employee I encountered seemed genuinely interested in assisting me, and several made suggestions as to fun things to try at the resort. Just as a couple of examples, I requested fresh towels from housekeeping after a late afternoon shower, and a friendly lady delivered them in less than five minutes, while the two ladies at the Identity players card sign-up desk were absolutely hilarious.

We did check out the pool area so we could collect our bag of freebies offered as part of a summer promotion; our loot included a cloth pool bag, flip flops, straw fedora-esque hat (which will be featured in next year's Ironman of Poker), sunscreen, and waterproof playing cards. In a bad beat, my bag didn't have the cards, preventing the Cosmopolitan from getting a perfect score. But, I can almost overlook that slight given the beautiful pool area, complete with pool tables with craps table designs on their felts. The pool looks like the perfect place to relax and read a book during the day, and transforms into a party area in the evenings, often with live music, DJs, and even movies.

If you're looking for a fun yet luxurious hotel experience in a great Strip location, Cosmopolitan is hard to beat. If you're on a trip with a spouse or significant other who you want to impress, Cosmopolitan definitely delivers on the "wow" factor. As long as its room rates remain competitive with the other elite Vegas resorts, Cosmopolitan has earned itself a spot as one of my regular Vegas hotels.

View from our terrace looking north late afternoon.
(Click on pictures for larger view.)


Day and night views of Bellagio from our terrace.
Rio is visible on the left in the night picture.


Day and night views of Paris from our terrace.
The night picture of Paris is my favorite of the trip.


 
Bellagio fountain show from our terrace.
This might impress a spouse or significant other,
particularly if you throw in cocktails or champagne.

Great views from the elevated pool area.


Apparently they can't keep out the riffraff.




Yo Eleven! Corner pocket!

5 comments:

  1. Wait, did that Cosmo "summer package" include a cabana or poolside lounge that went unused? That is some serious poker-player degen-ism if so beause that pool looks sweet, if not a bit small.

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  2. Great pictures and nice write-up of the Cosmopolitan. The 'free' upgrade' especially to the Bellagio side is not a bad thing at all either.

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