Things got worse when after a big delay the failed stand up comedian clerk said, "Actually, we don't have your room ready yet and I don't have any idea when it will be ready -- why don't you go get something to eat at one of our restaurants and check back in a bit."
Suddenly, we noticed many of the people in the crowded check in area were not in line to check in, they were *all* waiting for their rooms. One couple informed us their wait time had just eclipsed two hours. Still baffled at how so many people were room-less during check in, one hopeful guest said "they only have one cleaning person per floor so they can't keep up with the demand -- CES and AVN are in town".
We decided to chalk the incident up to hotel opening glitches. Why? Because The Cosmpolitan Las Vegas is soooo freakin' gorgeous.
Wow. Room 1719, a Terrace Studio with a view, was jaw dropping. It was nothing like we had ever seen in Vegas. Encore rooms are amazing, Wynn had a better opening and has a far superior pool, The Hotel had its day, and Palms Place is a great alternative for big groups, but we knew right when we walked in that the Cosmopolitan was the new *it* hotel in Las Vegas.
The room just flows. It sticks with the Roaring Twenties meets 2011 themes that David Rockwell and gang have established throughout the property and the room felt big without being overwhelming. Also, it is important to note that this room did not have a peekaboo bathroom as described by VegasChatter. Why? We are guessing maybe there are some rooms without the somewhat dreaded, so 2007 peekaboo bathrooms.
The fact that this room had a full-on kitchen, two full baths and a living room reminded us what we liked so much about the after effects of the recent recession and real estate collapse -- guests reap the rewards! For a very fair price (approximately somewhere between $200 - $350 depending on dates) folks can stay in a full fledged condo like environment right on the strip. We know this is more than likely a result of the whole Cosmo condo/Deutsche Bank fracas, but hey, guests win and that is a good thing.
In-room WiFi is free and easy in Las Vegas. Sounds to good to be true? Well it is, at least at the moment. For at least 20 of the 36 hours we were in Vegas the in-room wireless was down...yeah. To make matters worse the wired ethernet connection was also on the fritz.
If Cosmo can come through with free in-room and lobby WiFi it will be a boon for business, however, until the reliability gets better plan on making plenty of trips to the nearby Starbucks at Planet Hollywood to get your WiFi fix.
Don't need to be connected to the internet at all times? Two flat screen televisions are also present in the room with plenty of television options, for those of you who still love your television.
Cosmo views rival Encore views for the "Best views in Vegas". Since the hotel is an all terrace hotel you can reach out and touch the view. Granted this presents some inherent dangers, but we are hopeful guests will enjoy the open air and not abuse it. Vegas cabbies, it should be said, are not as hopeful.
Room 1719 overlooked the strip and gave us a front row seat to the Bellagio fountain show. Furthermore, you get to hear the sounds as well as see the sights of the strip. While that might sound like a minor difference it really does change your Vegas experience -- you feel more like a Vegas participant and less like a Vegas viewer.
From the outside The Cosmopolitan is underwhelming, both architecturally and in terms of its property footprint. However, the designers were able to cram a lot of experience into such a small strip footprint by using both vertical and environmental advantages. The Cosmo is 52 stories high and uses height to its advantage throughout the property. From the visually stunning hanging crystal chandelier to the many bars, restaurants and seating as you ride up the lobby escalator you will be well aware this property is about elevation not expansiveness.
On the plus side, being vertical allows Cosmo to offer a completely unique Vegas experience. Instead of navigating an expansive, sprawling layout you spend most of your time riding checking out the different lobby floors. The best thing about this is finding the hidden gems on each floor, sure finding the billiards table is easy, but can you find the foosball table? The somewhat hidden pizza joint?
The downside to this unique vertical experience is it is quite easy to feel claustrophobic in a vertical property surrounded by hotels with much larger footprints, however, the designers get around that as well, by using the Strip as part of their design.
Do you notice how most every property in Vegas traps you in a windowless maze like casino? Not Cosmo, instead they use large windows in restaurants and *shock* even the casino floor so you can see what is going on on the Strip from Cosmo.
This not only helps dissipate any claustrophobic feelings you were having but it also creates a unique Vegas experience that feels almost Times Square-like.
We were half expecting to look out and see Carson Daly (circa 1990s) or Matt Lauer hosting a show overlooking the Strip.
The pool was closed so we didn't spend any time there, but if there is one downside to the Cosmo, aside from the shaky service at the moment, it would have to be the pool area. We can't imagine the intimate feeling you get from the property in general will transfer well to the pool. Seems more likely there will be a huge fight for chairs and you will need to prepare yourself for hordes of people, but let's give it a chance ok? We will check back in May. One of the cool things about the pool is, like everything else on-site, the pool overlooks the Strip, which, at the very least should add some flavor to the Vegas pool scene.
One other byproduct of "small footprint on the Strip" deserves mentioning and that is how you get in and out of the hotel. Like everything else, the property made the best use of its verticalness, but in the case of catching cabs or buses the height is a detriment, not an asset. Though during our visit cab lines were never long, it was not easy for cabs or buses to get to and from the hotel. Many cab drivers we asked were already complaining about the lack of egress at the Cosmo.
As we have said repeatedly, the service was sub par. Making people wait hours for rooms at check in and having no internet for 18 hours is hard to recover from. However, everyone seems to really care. They smile and chat you up, which at first we felt was a ploy, but by the end of it we really felt like the staff was trying their best to solve the bevy of opening issues they were having.
If we check back in six months and they are still smiling as they try to walk through the raindrops that will not be a good sign, but if they have corrected these opening issues and are running a fine tuned Vegas hotel machine they will be in good shape.
Let's just say, at the moment you are far less likely to have these service issues at Encore, but the Cosmo service issues are not insurmountable -- especially when you take into account what a gorgeous hotel it is.
As we said, for between $200 - $350 you can get one of these roomy terrace strip view rooms this winter and that sounds like a deal to us. Sure it is pricey for Vegas, but not when you look at what you get for your money, room wise.
This place just feels very "right time right place" for Vegas. It isn't over the top, but it is stunning, you get value for your money, and you will be treated to a new, unique, Vegas experience.
Should you stay at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas?
Ask yourself a couple questions: Are you the type of person that can put up with hotel stay snafus? Are you ok with crowds as long as it never *feels* crowded? Do you want to have the newest, most unique experience Vegas has to offer right now? If you answered yes to all these questions you should give The Cosmopolitan a try.