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I ushered in Easter this year like any reasonable person would do by spending the weekend in Las Vegas. Despite not being a huge fan of Vegas (or more accurately the “Vegas experience”), I still had a great time at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas.
After getting things sorted out in the hectic valet parking area, we made our way inside the hotel. We arrived close to 2pm on Saturday (on a holiday weekend), so things were very busy in the lobby. Some of the lines for check-in looked like they had about 10 to 15 rows of guests in them.
Luckily, because this hotel is part of the Marriott Autograph Collection, Marriott Platinum and Gold members (along with Identity elites) are given access to the Autograph Lounge. It’s a lounge just to the left of the main entrance that offers you a quiet place to check-in with complimentary coffee. Best of all, there were no other patrons in there when we checked in so it was a breeze.
The staff in the Autograph were exceptionally professional and courteous, which didn’t surprise me given that this was an exclusive check-in for elites.
We originally paid $420 for our Saturday night room, which was a Terrace Studio. However, we were able to utilize our elite status to upgrade to a wrap around suite at the last minute for an additional $200. That wasn’t bad at all considering that the wrap around suite was going for $1,600 that night.
If you’re not checking in with elite status, you’ll use the main check-in area seen below. I took that photo when things settled down but the lines can get quite long.
We had to wait a little while for our suite to get ready so we hung out at the James Bond inspired Vespa Bar. It’s a stunning bar and it’s so gorgeous that I originally thought it was the famous Chandelier Bar at the Cosmo.
After close to an hour, I got a text message that our room was ready. We were placed on the 39th floor of the Boulevard Tower (the Cosmo is divided into two towers). The towers were formerly known as the West and East Tower but now go by the Chelsea Tower and the Boulevard Tower. The Boulevard Tower is home to most of the bars and restaurants while the Chelsea Tower has more of the business/conference center activities.
The elevators to the Boulevard Tower are tucked away on the left side of the Casino if you’re coming in from the main entrance on the Chelsea side, but the elevator lobby areas are pretty stunning. Just make sure you pay attention to which elevators will take you to your floor — plenty of (often tipsy) folks got on our elevator and later realized they were on the wrong one.
Outside the elevators on the 39th floor there’s a telephone that looks like decoration but it’s actually a working phone with an automated line, which I assumed went to the front desk.
Finally, we made it to our wrap around terrace suite, which blew us away. You can read about my full review of the wrap around terrace suite here.
It’s an extremely spacious room with plenty of seating options if you wanted to have guests over. It’s got a bar and dining areas, large bedroom and two bathrooms that are both equipped with showers. Here are a few shots from the room but read my review for the full picture.
What makes this room so special is the view, or more accurately “the views.” The room has three sliding doors that open up to a long terrace that stretches the entire span of the corner room’s exterior. On the 39th floor we had brilliant views of the Bellagio Fountain, Paris, and other parts of the The Strip. This view greatly enhanced our Vegas experience as it was perfect place to watch the sun go down and the city lights turn on.
This time lapse beautifully captures the transition at sunset.
The Chandelier Bar
Another major attraction at this hotel is the Chandelier Bar. It’s a massive three-story bar ornately designed, with different levels offering their own unique cocktails. It’s by far one of the most visually stunning bars you’ll probably ever see.
If you make it to the bar, you’ll need to try out two drinks. One is the famous “flower drink” which gives your mouth one of the craziest sensations you’ve ever felt. (Even if you don’t drink alcohol, you could still feel this effect with a virgin cocktail.) The second is the fire breathing dragon, which is a unique cocktail that will have you puffing out smoke from your mouth and nose.
There are also a few other bar/lounges you can check out at the hotel. Click here to find out more about those places. In addition to the bar scene, there’s a huge restaurant scene you can read more about here. The more casual restaurants are found on the second level while the more upscale restaurants are located on the third floor. Be prepared to spend money because these places aren’t cheap.
There were so many places there was no way I was going to be able to try them out. However, we did try out Momofuku, which served up some tasty ramen.
We also ate breakfast/brunch at the Wicked Spoon. As Platinum elite members, we were given the 15% discount and entrance to the VIP/priority line which was much shorter than the main line. However, I was not overly pleased with the buffet. Even with our discount factored in, I didn’t feel like the food was worth it. It wasn’t an unpleasant experience, I just didn’t feel the price was justified at ~$32 per person.
Pool and gym facilities
Each tower has its own gym and pool. Although some reports online state that the pools are open to the public, I was told that both pools are only open to hotel guests, which makes sense as they check for your room key when you enter.
I much preferred the pool in the Boulevard Tower located on the 4th floor, open from 8am to 6pm. It’s bigger, prettier, and just looks like it has more going on. This pool is more of an upbeat pool compared to the Chelsea Tower pool (found on the 14th floor) but it still felt like more of a hang-out pool area than a true “MTV Spring Break” party pool area. At least that’s the vibe I got from it.
From just about everywhere in the pool, you’ll have great views of the Vegas skyline.
I was going to snoop around the cabanas and take more photos but I felt one of the staff members shadowing me (I get this sometimes when taking photos with my DSLR at big hotels), so I just played it off and took a quick photo.
There’s a nice shaded area where you can catch sport games on TV and play pool, too.
When I visited the Chelsea Pool later on in the day, it was a mad house. I prefer not to walk around busy pool areas taking photos so I didn’t get any photos of that area. If you’re visiting this place in the summer, you probably want to make it to the pool area early to lock down a spot with one of the day beds or lounge chairs.
The gym in the Chelsea Tower was very nice. It had tons of different types of equipment, multiple rooms for different types of exercise sessions, and just a beautiful design and decor throughout. This gym is located on the same floor as the pool area (level 14) and is open 5AM to 8PM.
For $15, you can sign up for one of their cardio “boot camp” classes that go for 60 minutes.
If you’re a tennis player you can reserve the tennis courts free of charge and they will also provide you with all of the necessary equipment.
I took a quick look at the gym in the Boulevard Tower located on the 15th floor but didn’t go in because the door said there’s a $25 charge but that it’s included in the resort fee. I didn’t understand why they’d have that price listed on the door if it’s already included in what all guests paid so just to avoid any possible unwanted charge on my room, I didn’t use my room key to get into the gym. Unlike the Chelsea Gym, this one is open 24 hours but it’s less than half the size of the other gym.
The Cosmopolitan casino
The casino at the Cosmo isn’t nearly as big as some of the other casinos. Some like the Aria are twice as big. I preferred to walk over to the Aria to try my hand at Blackjack since I felt the casino environment was a bit more open. And although we didn’t spend much time in either casino, from what I could tell the drink service at the Aria casino was much better than what we got at the Cosmo.
The Cosmopolitan is an excellent choice for a stay in Vegas if you’re looking to enhance your Vegas experience. The stunning views of the Bellagio Fountains from the terraces are terrific, especially from the wrap around suites. The facilities like the pools and gyms are big and beautifully designed and there’s many different dining options. Add in that this hotel had some solid customer service, and I think this might be my go-to hotel for future Vegas stays.
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Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. His content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.