For years Cosmopolitan was one of the best Hotels in Las Vegas. However, in recent years, the Resort has been taken over by MGM Resorts and rumors abound that things have slipped. We headed over to Vegas for a visit and stayed at the Cosmo to see if this is still one of the strip’s finest resorts or if the veneer has come off and standards have fallen.
The Cosmopolitan is a centrally located ultra-chic boutique-styled hotel. Aimed very much at the young and hip crowd, it is one of the newest hotels on the strip (until the opening of Resorts World 2022, it was THE newest) it remained independent for a long time but has finally succumbed and is now under the umbrella of the MGM Resorts Brand.
The hotel is rated as a 5-star property, with 2 pool decks large casino, high-end dining, shows, multiple bars, and a luxury spa. With the change in ownership and cutting of corners, we feel the hotel is no longer a 5-star and no longer able to offer the experience of its rivals such as the Wynn, Venetian, The Aria, and Bellagio, all of which now offer much more luxurious experiences.
The Hotel still sits above the 4-star properties such as Planet Hollywood, Paris, Caesars Palace, etc, but just lacks the service and amenities of a true 5-star resort…maybe a 4.5 star.
Our rating of 3 Stars is different, this out personal review score, not a hotel star rating it’s based on how we found the hotel and how we felt the hotel stood up to t s 5-star rating and top-level price point. And as you can tell with us giving it only 3 stars, things were not great.
There are still some redeeming features of the hotel and it’s not all bad, but on the whole, we were not big fans of the changes going on.
The importance of staying centrally on the Strip really can’t be overstated. The Las Vegas Strip is far larger than most people realize. A walk that appears really short on a map can actually be a heck of a hike. Oh, it’s only a couple of hotels over, can actually be over half a mile! So those hotels on the outside edges that look close can actually mean lots and lots of walking, and this really adds up. It’s fine the first couple of times but by the end of your trip, these extra treks really wear you down.
Staying centrally helps minimize this. You are still going to be hiking around often, but less so than if you were on the outskirts. The good news here is that Cosmopolitan is about as central as possible.
The exact center of the strip is hard to pin down as it varies rea;y depending on who you are asking, but for us, it’s pretty much the Bellagio Fountains. This is the closest point to the most amount of things a tourist is likely to want to see. And the Cosmo is right next door.
This near-perfect location, combined with a small resort that doe not require much hiking t get around makes the Cosmo a perfect resort for those wanting to minimize walking. It’s also easily accessible without driving onto the strip. Traffic is awful on the strip at times and it really helps you can access the Hotel via W.Harmon Av, without having to negotiate the traffic of the strip.
The Cosmopolitan is a pretty radical resort for las vegas in a number of ways, first of all, it’s quite new still only opening in 2010, and was not built on an existing property, Most Las Vegas resorts tend to be replacements for existing properties as after all land is limited on the strip. Instead, the resort was squeezed in on the old Jockeyclubs Carpark.
Due to the very small footprint, the Hotel was forced to build vertically else it would have been a very small property indeed. The two 61-floor towers are the 7th tallest buildings in Las Egas but the 4th tallest by number of floors and 3rd tallest hotel towers. Their unique design allowed for 3033 most of which are large suites and many have outdoor balconies, again something very unique in Las Vegas. It was at the time the most expensive Hotel Built in the City at a whopping $3.9 billion over double its budget
The Cosmopolitan was the last newly build hotel to open in the City until Resorts World opened in 2021, also taking the crown for the most expensive built resort in the city. When you compare these two resorts and factor in inflation, it’s hard to see where the Cosmo money was spent!
It was also for a long time one of the few large strip resorts NOT owned and run by one of the big 2, MGM Resorts and Ceasars Entertainment.
This ended in 2022 when MGM took over the ownership but until now full operation had not been transferred to MGM, it still runs its own loyalty scheme, identity, and its own booking systems and restaurants. It is unclear when the full running of the hotel will pass over to MGM, if at all.
For us, the Takeover of MGM Resorts seems to be the point where issues have arisen. This is hard to understand why and it may be coincidental as this also coincides with the recovery from the Pandemic, but for whatever reason, the service at the Resort appears to have reduced to unacceptable levels for a 4-star resort, let alone the 5-Stars it claims to be and prices for accordingly.
During our last visits, we just found none of the service or amenities we would expect for a high-end 5-star resort. The queues were huge, and service was incredibly slow and unhelpful. We had several issues and these were dealt with very poorly with bad communication, confused messaging, and unfortunately outright lies. We never once got the feeling our custom was valued or even wanted. This was at Check-in, Concierge, check-out, and any time we tried to deal with the Hotels staff.
This is miles away from the usual service we receive at MGM properties, even the lower-end properties, and very different from the hugely customer-focused service we used to experience at the Cosmo. We are also not alone, and we have never seen so many complaints, issues, and unhappy guests in one location.
Our plans went from planning to spend as much time and money as possible in the Cosmo to getting out as soon as we could!
As we mentioned the service was far below par for a 5-Star resort. Compared to the service we receive just next door at both the Aria and the Bellagio, or even across the road at the much lower standard Paris and Planet Hollywood, it’s really hard to accept. Infact we would not accept the manner in which we were treated from a roadside motel, and infact never have been treated so poorly at one.
You can read our other Hotel Reviews and see we are not complainers. We look for the good in everything and while we strive to remain honest, we do so in a positive way and just look to arm our readers with the information they need to make their trip better. And with this in mind, we can only report what we found and that was cold and uncaring service that just had no interest in making our stay acceptable.
This started at check-in, where the room we had requested was unavailable, and right through to check-out when we spent over 45 mins queueing and dealing with the desk, just to get an accurate bill and maybe some kind of apology for the poor service (that was 10mins queueing 30mins to get the accurate bill, and 4 mins trying to get an apology)
Every time we had any dealing with the desk or concierge we were met with cold indifference, we were having issues with our stay and there was just no contrition, and our questions were met with outright lies. You can read about the specific problems we had in our live blog, but we bent over backward to allow them to help us, and they just swatted us away with lies and differing accounts as to what caused the problem and never once seemed to care about the distress this was causing, nor actually understand what the actual problems were.
Everywhere we looked there were queues of complaints, with people stuck at desks for inordinate amounts of time, just trying to get dealt with in some sort of manner. If we had been stood alone complaining about our stay, then maybe we can accept an isolated issue, but it was apparent all around there were problems going on. And it’s clear from the general vibe on forums and groups we are members of the heyday of Cosmo is well over.
A once great hotel, now reduce to petty penny-pinching and nickel and diming their clientele to death.
On the whole, there is just not really a lot going on in the hotel. We really only used it as a base and every time we did anything it was out of the resort in the rest of the City.
We have never been fans of the Cosmo Pool Deck. It’s billed as a rooftop Deck overlooking the strip. But in reality, it’s a bland concrete expanse with very little in the way of views unless you walk up to the edge and peer over.
There are two pool decks and both left a lot to be desired in terms of cleanliness, and neither is particularly attractive, And the Chelsea Pool is frankly discussed. Both pools also suffer from being plunged into the shade from early afternoon onwards. We also had the problem of being in the Chelsea Tower and having no way to get to the Boulevard pool without walking through the Casino in Pool Gear, or you have the opposite problem in the Boulevard Tower in getting to Chelsea pools.
The first 4 floors are devoted to entertainment and dining, but what we found was large potions of the hotel, off the casino floor, were just large empty expanses of empty floor space. It’s a very weird feeling just wandering around a ghost town of a resort.
Another huge reduction in service is the drinks provided on the casino floor. The Cosmo was renowned as the Casino that let you order higher-end drinks and cocktails while gambling. While this is still the case, you are better off avoiding anything complex at all. We went with the fairly basic cocktails the Cosmo is renowned for, the Lemon Drop and the Cosmopolitan.
The Waitress came back reasonably promptly with the drinks, but we got bland sugary nastiness in a cheap tumbler instead of an interesting and vibrant cocktail. When the Cosmo, can’t do a Cosmo, you know things are going badly.
Worryingly there is none. Anyone is free to wander in and start exploring the various floors and hallways of the hotel levels. There is no one checking keys and no key is needed to make the lifts work. This will one day lead to a nasty incident.
It’s not all bad, and we used to rate this hotel very highly, and it was a real kick in the guts to have had such a poor experience this time, as there is a lot to like about the hotel.
We have explained above the location is one of the best on the strip. It’s absolutely central, close to the most amount of things, has easy access to the parking garage and lobby from off the strip, and is exceptionally convenient for almost everything you may want to do in Vegas. It’s not the only Hotel to offer such an enviable position, The Bellagio, Planet Hollywood, Paris, Caesars Palace, and arguably the Aria, are all clustered around the same prime Las Vegas real-estate
The Rooms themselves are very nice places to stay. We find the Decor is a little bland and had a doctor’s waiting room vibe, and the Boutique theme is a little old and overdone, they do offer really nice places to unwind from the Vegas madness. The Bathrooms are quirky and different and the rooms are filled with tech.
The Obvious big draw of some of the Rooms is their Terraces. The Cosmo is one of the very few Hotels to offer outdoor terraces, especially in a prime strip location and on basic rooms. While having an elevated outdoor space is really awesome in theory, the reality is less perfect. It’s often oppressively hot out on the balcony, and having the doors open shuts off the AC so soon your room will be too, and it’s also horribly noisy. The City noise is deafening and there is usually heavy music coming from one place or another.
The Terraces are then not somewhere you will want to spend a lot of time and if you want proof of this just take a look at the terraces at any given moment and you will see they are largely unused!
Still, when you get a good one overlooking the fountains it’s still a really special place to watch a fountain show or get some stunning photos to make the folks back home green!
The resort is really quite small and while this may not sound a good thing, it really is. Some of the resorts in Vegas are so sprawling and massive, that simply getting from one end to another is a huge task. But at the Cosmo, it’s a pretty easy hike even from the Chelsea Tower at the back to the front doors and the Strip.
The dining options are pretty limited. However, what dining options there are, are all top-notch? They have done a really good job of curating their restaurants and there is a good range of high-end and low-end restaurants to suit different moods and wallets. We can’t eat at Michelin-starred restaurants every meal!
The crowd tends to be a more youthful and hip bunch than in some resorts. This may r may not be a good thing, and at times they appear a bit too young and youthful, but overall it’s a really good youthful vibe going on. There are less of hardcore gamblers, just wanting to sit on a machine or hours whittling away their life savings, and more fun and vibrant travelers, drawn by the cool cosmopolitan branding of the resort.
The basic Rooms at the Cosmo are pretty Awful. Then there are the Suites, and the Terrace Suites, which again are basically to be avoided. Terrace Studio and One Bedroom Suites have appalling views and will still set you back an inordinate amount. They are nice enough internally but overlook nothing of interest and are plagued with Loud Music.
The rooms only start to pick up when you hit the fountain view level and we are now in the $350-$600 a night range. The Terrace Studio and one-Bedroom Terrace Suites both have stunning views out over the Bellagio pools. But the side-on aspect does not really do the fountains justice, but you do still get amazing views of the City.
Heading up from here things start to get very impressive and very expensive. Wrap Around Terraces are very nice if you get the fountain view, but otherwise, get you a view of an intersection and the back of the Aria.
Make sure you book the room you want as Upgrades are very uncommon, reserved only for the highest of rollers, and lower tiers of their Identity program are treated like garbage!
Full Guide to The Cosmopolitans Rooms Here – Coming Soon
|Room Type||Weekday Price||Weekend Price|
|Terrece One Bedroom Suite||$200-$300||$350-$550|
|Terrace Studio Fountain View||$230-$330||$380-$580|
|Terrace One Bedroom Suite Fountain View||$250-$350||$400-$600|
|Terrace Suite Fountain View||$280-$380||$450-$650|
|Wrap Around Terrace Suite||$350-$450||$450-$650|
|Wrap Around Terrace Suite Fountain View||$450-$550||$700-$900|
|Two Bedroom City Suite||$700-$800||$1100-$1500|
|Two Bedroom Chelsea Penthouse||$1000-$1200||$1200-$2000|
If you like a small dirty pool, filled with murky water and waste paper largely in the shade with extortionate drinks then the Cosmo Pool is for you!
Full Guide Coming Soon…
The Cosmo Casino is a bit of an oddball. It’s not particularly large and its long and thin layout, necessitated by the shape of the resort, is not a typical design. It does mean navigating the Casino is really easy which is definitely not the case with other resorts. It is also far larger than it appears. 100,000 sqft of gaming space is an awful lot, but it doesn’t feel overly large and you can easily find whatever game you are looking for.
It is however a really fun place to spend some time gambling. The overall vibe is far more relaxed and focused on people having fun. Of course, this can change massively depending on the current crop of guests but we always find it more fun and vibrant than most casino’s with less of the hardened gambling addicts crouched over the machines or shouting at newbies for playing the wrong hand on blackjack.
The Sportsbook is below par and there is no facility for Poker so if these are important to you consider alternatives, but it’s not like you have to gamble only in the casino you are staying in.
Identity has been one of the better reward schemes and has offered really good rewards for loyalty, but these days are over and it’s now far more stingy and its days are fully numbered as it will move to MGM rewards in the coming months.
The Drinks service has taken a bit of a hit recently. This used to be a real high-point of the Casino, with their full cocktail menu being offered to Gamblers rather than the more basic well-drinks most casinos offer as their Free Gambling Drinks. While they will still take these drinks as free dink for gamblers, the cocktails have really dropped in quality and are now served in tumblers. Our Lemon Drop and Cosmo were just cheap sugary rubbish. They did still offer up a pretty decent Martini though, so the classics are intact.
Overall the Cosmopolitan Casino is a great place to come gamble. It’s beginner friendly and there is a huge range of slots with some of our favorites on offer. Dlot minimums range right through from 25c to $100+ And there is always a lot of noise and excitement. Gambling is meant to be fun and At the Cosmopolitan that is definitely the case!
The Cosmopolitan is not hugely affected by conference season as it had relatively limited conference space. So it’s actually a really good choice out of season. We also don’t rate the pools so coming in the cooler months is great if you don’t care about sitting by a pool.
Summer is less desirable in our opinion. We love hitting the pools and a small pool deck just doesn’t inspire us so we prefer a more pool-based hotel in the hot months. It is also hard to fully explain ho ht it gets out on these Terraces. These are located on the sides of the building at get oven-baked with the sun reflecting off the glass as well as direct. The Heat rising up from the streets below also cooks the Terraces and makes any time outdoors incredibly unpleasant. The Fountain side terraces are a smidge cooler, but it’s not enough to make them bearable in the hot summer months.
The Cosmopolitan has dome real die-hard fans and we know some of our reviews will not go down too well with them. The thing is, we too were Die-Hard fans, and it took a lot of effort by the Cosmo to change our minds! We always love to hear alternate opinions thought and we know many people will have differing experiences from us. One thing to note is we had issues, and Cosmo was appalling at dealing with those and rectifying them, if we hadn’t had an issue we may have never experienced this.
We would still be disappointed by a few other parts of the overall degradation of the experience, but it was the service that really stung. But we really want to hear your thoughts and opinions and would love you to add a comment below.
The post The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Review – Is Staying at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Worth It? first appeared on Your USA City Guide.
This content was originally published here.