A Vegas virgin, it was with much trepidation and apprehension that I took my first trip to Sin City earlier this month. Inevitably, the question lobbed constantly when I disclosed the loss of my Vegas purity to others was regarding accommodations- and few people had heard of the Cosmopolitan, the Vegas property at which we’d chosen to stay.
I was familiar with pop culture, however, and found Vegas in general to largely fit in with the Vegas I’d seen in movies and on TV. However, the Cosmopolitan managed to be both very Vegas and not at all Vegas-y from what I’d seen. Unlike the rest of Vegas, no discernable theme is apparent when exploring the vast, opulent property- but the feel of the hotel/casino isn’t dissonant, just full of crazy-awesome surprises.
Perhaps the centerpiece of the casino and common areas is the Chandelier Bar- a three story watering hole actually encased in a purple tinged, glittering chandelier. The effect needs to be seen to be believed, nearly dreamlike in its execution and with a kind of old-world, super excessive Roaring 20s feel. Cocktails are treated with the same level of incredible detail, quickly delivered works of art with touches such as fire-breath inducing dry-iced raspberries.
The mid-level is where shopping is located, with such diverse offerings as a Kid Robot outpost- and lacking the standard Vegas mall feel overall. The casino is on the first floor, and it’s a bit like most Vegas gambling spots with a bit of the unique Cosmo bent to it.
The Cosmopolitan’s series of restaurants have a heavily New York-bent, with an outpost of the Blue Ribbon Sushi empire as well as a secret pizza joint serving up shockingly authentic slices. (Ask at the desk how to find it- even this lifelong New Yorker was impressed.) A dinner at Blue Ribbon revealed extensively attentive customer service (consistent throughout the property) and stellar cuisine- five star dining in a casual atmosphere. Don’t skip the fried chicken- the chef will serve it in an appetizer portion if you ask, and it is a huge standout at the well-regarded eatery.
Buffets- while not my general style- are an integral part of Vegas. And while the much lauded Bellagio buffet as well as the Spice Market failed to impress at all, the Cosmo’s Wicked Spoon is a stylish outlier on the Vegas buffet scene.
If you want to get your buffet on but don’t want to mingle with the unwashed masses, check out this spot. Single serve pots, ramekins and general minis are of sublime quality, comprised of well-sourced and even local ingredients, and entirely buck the sucky food in giant quantities trope of Vegas cuisine. Presentation is inventive but it’s not all flair- nearly all dishes sampled were both delicious and balanced. It’s almost humbling to have enjoyed a buffet so thoroughly, but I’d have visited several more times if I were in Vegas longer.
A brand new property, the rooms at the Cosmopolitan are both brand-spanking new and top notch. Bathrooms are a true standout, with big jacuzzi tubs in many, and a standalone shower stall big enough for two people. Amenities are C.O. Bigelow, and the understated luxe theme is palpable throughout. Beds are unfairly comfortable, drawing you in for lie-ins when you could be out exploring all there is to see in Vegas. (Pics below.)
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas isn’t a bargain pick, but the experience offers tremendous bang for your buck in the crowded Vegas travel scene. I’d go so far as to say if you’re going for a wedding or event, staying elsewhere is unimaginable.
Have you checked out the Cosmo for dinner or a stay? What were your impressions?