Monday, May 21, 2012

Las Vegas - No Longer A Virgin...

For as long as I can remember I had always wanted to visit Las Vegas. As most teenagers I promised myself that as soon as I'd turn 21 I would head over there and party the night away. For one reason or another 21 came and went and I never made it there... that is until this year!

With so many different hotel options it can be a little overwhelming to choose where to stay in Las Vegas. We knew we wanted something right on the strip that would allow us to explore without the need for transportation. Our main hotel choices were the Vdara, the Aria, the Palazzo, and the Cosmopolitan. After much debating and a thorough evaluation of the TripAdvisor reviews we decided to go with the Cosmo.

The Cosmopolitan - Exterior
Car Entrance
We flew from Bellingham via Allegiant Air and we arrived to Vegas at around 10am and ended up getting to our hotel close to 11am. The Cosmopolitan is stunning from both the outside and the inside. Its location on the strip is enviable as it has the Bellagio Fountains on one side, the Paris and Planet Hollywood in front of it, and the super luxurious Crystals mall on the other side.

Louis Vuitton inside of the Crystals Mall
The lobby at the Cosmopolitan is very high tech in comparison to the rest of the hotel lobbys in Vegas. As soon as you enter the hotel's main floor you'll be greeted by glass columns that have screens inside of them that display ever-changing art sets. The different art sets completely alter the mood of the lobby - amongst some of the displays we saw were flowers, books, fish, lines, and my favourite of them all, naked models inside of columns full of steam (shown below and in more detail on this blog). If you enjoy art and a contemporary hotel feel you won't be disappointed staying at the Cosmo.


The Lobby at The Cosmopolitan
One word of advice when it comes to the check-in process - the line ups can be extremely long at around 11am (the time we got there) as people are checking in and out at around the same time and even though the hotel offers express checkout many of the guests are reluctant to use it. If your flight arrives at around 10am like ours did, you'd be better to go out for breakfast or lunch first and then register at the hotel afterwards. In terms of our room, we originally got a Terrace Studio but when we got there we were asked if we wanted to upgrade to a Terrace Studio with Fountain Views for approximately $30 more per night. Since this was our first time in Las Vegas we decided to go for the upgrade and I am very glad we did. The views on our studio suite were out of this world - we could literally sit in our balcony and watch the Bellagio Fountains show.

The view from our Terrace Studio
My hubby and I made the following video to showcase the suite in a bit more detail. Hope you enjoy it:



Another great aspect of The Cosmopolitan is the fact that it has three different pools, all with different moods and landscaping. My favourite pool was the one at The Marquee. The Marquee is a very exclusive day club and night club in Las Vegas - the entry cover fee is usually $40 per day but Cosmopolitan guests get in for free by showing their room key and ID - a huge perk! The Marquee has high energy DJ music playing on the background, a nice pool in the middle and some VIP cabanas along the edges of the club which come equipped with a private mini pool. If you go to the day club make sure to order a Surfside - it has some delicious tropical flavours that will keep you coming back for more!


The Marquee Day Club
If you happen to be a Foursquare user you may actually benefit from checking-in at the Cosmo. First of all follow The Cosmopolitan on Foursquare and then check-in at three different categories of venues at the resort to unlock a special Cosmopolitan badge which will get you VIP entry access to Wicked Spoon - their world renown buffet.

Having never been to Vegas before we were a little unsure as to what shows to watch and how to get a good deal on the tickets for them. Luckily enough one of my co-workers had mentioned to me that some kiosks along the strip sell discounted tickets for shows playing the same night. Sure enough we found a Tix4Tonight booth across the street from our hotel. We did end up getting a pretty good deal on the tickets and we also got some discounts on dinner options. In terms of the shows, we decided to watch Le Reve and The Phantom Of The Opera. You will not be disappointed with either of these shows but my personal favourite was Le Reve - a show in which dancers and acrobats come in and out of a huge water pool in the middle of the stage. 

In terms of shopping I would highly recommend making a trip to both The Fashion Show Mall and The Premium Outlets - they both have tons of quality stores and you can find great deals literally everywhere. In terms of dining my favourite restaurant was Taqueria Cañonita - featuring contemporary mexican fusion cuisine with views of the Venetian water canals. 

For those of who are still debating whether or not to make a trip to Las Vegas, I would highly recommend it if you are into any of the following: clubbing, gambling, dining, lounging by the pool, walking, exploring, and yes... even relaxing. As you can see, Las Vegas has something for everyone to enjoy whether it'd be unparalleled luxury or a free walk along the strip at night. All I can say now is that I'm counting the days until I can go back! Thanks for reading and VIVA LAS VEGAS!

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