The Cosmopolitan ~ Las Vegas 2010-’12

The Cosmopolitan ~ Las Vegas 2010-’12

Back in 2009, I had an opportunity check out the City Center Resort Complex and the Aria Casino Resort during the grand opening week.  The hype was incredibly intense, because the entire City Center resort complex cost over $8 billion to build and the project was completed amidst the worst economic times of the Great Recession.  The City Center Resort Complex is like no other place on earth and it is so unique that it is difficult just to describe with words alone! Because this resort complex set such high standards of customer satisfaction from the start, the project was a grand success.

About a year after the City Center opened, a second major casino resort opened for business in this modern resort complex.  The Cosmopolitan Casino Resort was unveiled by the Deutsche Bank investment firm and it too was an instant smash hit!  I also visited this brand new Las Vegas resort during the grand opening week and the favorable first impressions sure did last!

 As I walked into The Cosmopolitan in the late morning hours the day after the grand opening night event, the atmosphere was actually calm and peaceful.  There was plenty of room to breathe and this was part of the resort design, which ensures that this casino never seems crowded. The central Chandelier Bar contributes to the open air effect, because this bar stands three stories tall inside the casino and it is decorated with millions of crystal chandelier beads that drape all the way down to the casino floor. Upon first glance, the Chandelier Bar is quite a mesmerizing sight to behold and this is a very nice environment for sampling signature cocktails!

The Cosmopolitan definitely is a place to dawn an “Indiana Jones” style hat and do some serious exploring! There are hallways that lead to hidden guest comfort rooms and lounge areas throughout this entire resort. There are hidden passages that lead to secret dining destinations too and there is minimal signage, so guests are entertained by the endless labyrinth maze effect.

While wandering around exploring the hidden guest areas in The Cosmopolitan, I was thoroughly impressed with the modern decor, which features great works of modern art! In fact, there are even modern art vending machines in the hallways that can be mistaken for antique cigarette machines as one passes by. For a cost of about $5 to $20 dollars plugged into the machine, a guest can take a piece of artisan signed original Cosmopolitan art back home as a keepsake!

While walking in an awestruck daze through The Cosmopolitan, I passed right by the entrance to The Wicked Spoon.  I figured that The Wicked Spoon was just a privately own restaurant of some kind, till I took a second look.  The Wicked Spoon turned out to be The Cosmopolitan buffet!  This was the first buffet design that I had ever seen in Las Vegas that did not look like a stereotypical buffet.  Upon first glance, The Wicked Spoon looked like a chic casual fine dining restaurant, so needless to say, I was taken by surprise!  Other visitors must have had the same first impression that day, because I was one of the first customers to ever step foot into this buffet. The decor and ambiance of The Wicked Spoon design makes a statement about what kind of cuisine to expect. The gourmet cuisine is trendsetting and the food presentations are well beyond expectations as well. If you ever wanted to attend a modern gourmet chef’s private tasting event, the Wicked Spoon Buffet dining experience easily compares! 

Another interesting concept restaurant in The Cosmopolitan is Holstein’s.  Holstein’s is located on the second floor shopping and entertainment area. The first time that I went to Holstein’s, I originally had the sole intention of dining in the Hidden No-Name Pizzeria, which oddly enough, I could not find.  While I was wandering around looking for the Hidden Pizzeria, I passed by Holstein’s a few times.  Each time that I passed Holstein’s, my interest grew.  The last time that I passed by while doing mindless circles in the search for the Hidden Pizzeria, I took a look at the Holstein’s menu and I really liked what I saw!  The first item on the Holstein’s menu that I noticed was the Bam-Boozled Shakes!  Holstein’s offers modern gourmet junk food that is presented with flare, so this is a good dining spot for entertaining friends. Saying that you had a Bam-Boozled Drunken Monkey Shake at the bar certainly sure will inspire some interesting conversation!

“A Hidden Pizzeria? … A Pizza Shop With No Name?” … After several attempts that ended in failure, I finally found the elusive Hidden Pizzeria in The Cosmopolitan and a slice of the pie in this New York pizzeria definitely was no disappointment! There are no tables or chairs in this old fashioned big city pizzeria. There is just a narrow counter that stretches around the lobby, where hungry people standing on their own two feet can lean into the pizza while doing some serious munching!

I will not give directions or reveal the secret passageways to the world famous Hidden Pizzeria that has no name, because that would ruin all the fun of dawning the trusty old “Indiana Jones” hat! If you end up getting hopelessly lost somewhere in Timbuktu like I did, then just ask the Holstein’s hostess where the secret passageway is. Even after being told, I still had difficulty finding the elusive Hidden Pizzeria and I will let this gourmand adventure go at that!

As one can easily surmise, when I visit casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, I go with the intention of wining and dining the night away.  Catching a stage show and winning a little jackpot is always on the agenda too.  The Cosmopolitan hosts one of the best pools on the Las Vegas Strip and the summer pool party season is in full swing by mid spring.  DJ pool parties happen nearly everyday and some of the greatest musical acts in the world perform at The Cosmopolitan Marquis Nightclub throughout the year. 

 The Cosmopolitan was recently sold to the Blackstone Investment Company a few years ago and so far, few operational and entertainment venues have not changed.  The Cosmopolitan continues to be one of the most popular destinations on the Las Vegas Strip and this resort has established many new modern hospitality industry trends. If an intriguingly modern and indulgent Sin City experience is what you seek, then The Cosmopolitan is the most adventurous place to wine and dine on the Las Vegas Strip!


Author: wildwestdestinations

I worked as a chef in remote resorts and National Parks, which provided the time to explore western travel destinations. I have a BA Degree in Culinary Management with high honors and currently I am working on a Masters Degree in Adult Education. My food and travel blog writing began as a means to generate income during college and now photo journalism has become my lifestyle.

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