Vegas is nothing without its indulgences – a little sin here, a lot of opulence there. Contrary to popular belief, however, plenty of vacationers visit with the intentions of experiencing a little elegance in this city of debauchery. Well, nothing says panache quite like a three-story bar within a giant chandelier. Ready to class up a notoriously "bad boy" getaway? With the tag "Just the Right Amount of Wrong," the 2,995-room, uber-hyped Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is the latest light source on the LED wonderland that is the Vegas Strip.
But the $3.9 billion Cosmopolitan, opening last December only after a wild ride of defaults, foreclosure proceedings, buy-outs, recapitalizations, redesigns and the customary lawsuit thrown in for color, is markedly different from its sister casinos. The first major Vegas property to be built almost entirely under the influence of the Great Recession, this one is – dare we say it – modest. Getting around the casino takes all of 15 minutes, and at a lilliputian 8.7 acres, the property’s 13 restaurants, three pools, spa, fitness center, nightclub, convention space and retail stores are all literally within earshot of each other (by comparison, the Caesar’s Palace is a whopping 85-acre behemoth). CEO John Unwin summed up the Cosmopolitan experience as one of “approachable elegance,” which sounds almost alien in a city whose fantastical architecture is outdone only by the fantastical wattage.
The Lanai Suite
But while the Cosmopolitan may be jockeying for 99 percent sensibilities, its definition of “modest” clearly runs along 1 percent lines. Case in point, the Cosmopolitan’s top-of-the-line, super-slick, multi-storied, what-is-this-Great-Recession-thing-you-keep-going-on-about Lanai Suite. The first floor of the space is made up of an expertly styled, intimate living room with designer furniture and spiced through and through with Vegas-worthy tech like a 52" flat screen TV, a state-of-the-art connectivity panel and surround sound throughout. A sliding glass door opens to the private terrace featuring oh-so-chic outdoor furniture and a deluxe Jacuzzi. The upper level offers breathtaking views of the city’s razzle-dazzle skyline through two-story windows and features a plush, king-sized bed and a Projection TV that drops down from the ceiling. If this is “modest,” one can only wonder about the Cosmopolitan’s spin on “extravagance”…
…for all of a nanosecond, because the Cosmopolitan will very happily pound the idea into you! Powerhouse foodies head the menus at Estiatorio Milos (via the acclaimed Costas Spiliadis), Comme Ça (a la Food & Wine’s Best New Chef for 2004 David Myers), Scarpetta (headed up by Top Chef’s Scott Conant), and Jaleo (a take on tapas by José Andrés). Tranquility awaits in the desert-inspired Sahra Spa and Hammam, whose design recalls the vaporous geoscapes of illuminated slot canyons and gorges. And then there is the chapel.
And let's not forget that aforementioned snazzy bar. Comprised of illuminated beaded curtains, The Chandelier is part architectural art exhibit, part chic club. Each level offers a different scene: The bottom is supposed to be the most energetic of the three, the middle is reportedly the most popular (speciality cocktails abound) and the top is a mystical lounge. Admired for both its glimmering beauty and stellar service, The Chandelier has – in quite a short time – become a Vegas must-see.
Visitors to the Cosmopolitan can even experience Las Vegas at its most dubious: Gleefully embracing the city’s more infamous aspects, this is the hotel that has a “pop-up wedding chapel” and cheerfully boasts “you can go from single to married to single again in less than 24 hours” in a genuine faux-wedding.
So maybe “modest” wasn’t the right word… Particularly if a Kardashian is involved.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
3708 South Las Vegas Blvd.
Las Vegas, Nev. 89109