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Best of Chris Sieroty

Gaming Guru

Chris Sieroty
 

Small touches make The Cosmopolitan unique

15 December 2010

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- Construction workers at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas can relax after spending years building and putting the final touches on the multibillion-dollar resort that debuts tonight on the Strip.

Now it's up to the 5,000 employees, who have spent the past few weeks in orientation in anticipation of the resort's opening, to make The Cosmopolitan a success.

Cosmopolitan CEO John Unwin expects a large crowd for the grand-opening party, which will feature a concert by Las Vegas native Brandon Flowers, the frontman for The Killers. New Year's Eve concerts with Jay-Z and Coldplay have already sold out.

Unwin expects the opening-night crowd to remain long after the special events surrounding the hotel-casino's debut have concluded.

"The Cosmopolitan is about creating a resort experience that is truly different than anything that exists right now in Las Vegas," Unwin said.

He added: "When you combine spacious suites, high design ... (an) award-winning dining collection, unparalleled service and gaming, we know we are giving guests an experience that's been missing in Las Vegas."

Even from the Strip, The Cosmopolitan seems to have a lot in its favor. Its location, for one, is a convenient walk to or from anywhere on the Strip.

The Cosmopolitan, which stands on 8.7 acres between Bellagio and CityCenter, has a vertical multitower design that blends into the skyline of CityCenter. The property's private terraces provide views of the Strip and the entire city.

Unwin said The Cosmopolitan is a true luxury hotel with oversized rooms that have contemporary furniture, amenities and art designed by interior architect David Rockwell.

The $3.9 billion hotel-casino is a reminder to its Strip neighbors that business is no longer only about synchronized fountains, pirate ships or faux New York City skylines. There's consumer demand for more sophisticated experiences.

Upon entering the hotel's lobby, guests will be greeted by rows of columns patterned in high-definition video screens displaying works of digital art 24 hours a day.

The video columns play video art created exclusively for The Cosmopolitan by Digital Kitchen and David Rockwell Studio, said Amy Rossetti, public relations director.

The lobby has several individual red registration desks, which are seen in the resort's television commercials. Alyssa Anderson, public relations manager, said additional staff with iPads will be stationed in the lobby to help guests check in or receive services.

"Each desk will be staffed by an individual attendant to interact with guests, creating a more intimate environment," Anderson said. "We are using new technology to make check-in an easier experience."

Elevators are directly across from the main check-in, eliminating the need to walk through the casino. Along one side of the lobby from the front entrance to the casino, the walls are covered in hand-stitched chocolate leather.

Several bars and lounges are located throughout the hotel-casino, including The Chandelier.

The three-level bar and lounge in the casino's center boasts a different perspective on each level; two of the stories are within the handcrafted, three-story chandelier, which is encased by 2 million crystals.

On the 100,000-square-foot casino floor, International Game Technology games are installed and waiting for guests to try their luck. Blackjack and craps tables are ready for opening night, but guests won't find a poker room.

Rossetti and Anderson pointed out the seven cabanas positioned around the casino floor. The cabanas use gold-braided ropes that let gamblers create a semi-enclosed space while playing slots or table games.

Rossetti said the cabanas come with couches, televisions and bottle service. The first-of-their-kind casino cabanas offer comfortable spots where guests can gamble and socialize.

Toward the eastern edge, the casino opens up onto the Strip. Guests can look through the two stories of floor-to-ceiling glass walls onto Las Vegas Boulevard.

The hotel has three entrances along the Strip. The most notable is the northeast entrance, which allows access from the Bellagio. The area includes the Bond lounge and The Henry, a 24-hour restaurant and bar decorated in a Scottish tartan style.

The Bond lounge will host live shows, upbeat house music and unusual light-emitting diode art.

"We feel this will be a heavily trafficked area," Rossetti said. "And with live entertainment at the Bond, we'll attract visitors from the Strip into our casino."

The hotel has 36,000 square feet of second-floor retail space. Nine restaurants are on the third floor; Cantor's Race and Sports Book is on the fourth floor.

Rossetti said all boutiques and restaurants will open today. Sports wagering also will be available at the Book & Stage, a bar and entertainment venue off the casino floor, she said, and the Vesper Bar next to the casino will offer traditional cocktails in a glossy, high-style 1950s decor.

The retail space has several high-end boutiques, including RetroSpecs & Co., Beckley and the first Las Vegas outlet for the British brand AllSaints.

Also packed into two 50-story glass-and-steel skyscrapers are a 30-room, 43,000-square-foot spa, two fitness centers, a nightclub and three pools. The buildings are connected by several low-rise structures, so guests won't need 20 minutes to walk from their rooms to the casino as they might in other Strip resorts.

Two glass elevators in the parking garage will offer guests immediate access to the casino or the retail and restaurant levels. Rossetti said designers wanted to give guests the option of heading straight to a restaurant instead of having to cross a casino to get to dinner.

The restaurants are all new to Las Vegas . Chef José Andrés will establish China Poblano, his take on Chinese and Mexican cuisines, and he'll open a version of his Washington, D.C., tapas bar, Jaelo.

There's also Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill by the New York-based Bromberg brothers, Bruce and Eric, and STK steakhouse, a celebrity hot spot in Los Angeles, New York and Miami.

A major difference between The Cosmopolitan and other Strip hotels is that it started life in 2005 as a condominium-hotel, which explains why most of the rooms are 730 square feet or larger, with terraces and kitchenettes.

Other room amenities include Sub-Zero refrigerators, technology control panels, microwaves and plasma-screen televisions.

After Deutsche Bank bought the property, Rockwell was hired to design the existing rooms, bringing in a mix of handcrafted furniture, large marble- floored bathrooms and mosaic-tile showers.

The oversized bathrooms include Japanese soaking tubs and rain showers.

The closets are lined with hand-screen-printed wallpaper with designs by Piero Fornasetti. In several rooms, the wallpaper is called "Tema e Variazioni," or "Theme and Variations."

Fornasetti's design of a girl's face is shown in black-and-white engraved images within circular plates on a gray background.

Fornasetti was an Italian artist and interior designer who lived from 1913 to 1988. He was inspired to create the design from the face of a woman whose photo he saw in a 19th century French magazine.

Each hotel guest will receive white terry-cloth slippers and toiletries.

The largest suites are 4,550 square feet each and include 890-square-foot private terraces. Each terrace has a Rockwell-designed couch, footstool and table in a faux wicker style.

Unwin said his resort offers "the best room product on the Strip."

That room comes with a price of $135 to $300 a night depending on the location.

The hotel-casino also has three pool areas. The Boulevard Pool overlooks the Strip with unobstructed views in all directions. The area can accommodate 2,500 to 3,000 people for private events or concerts.

The Bamboo Pool has a more private, canyonlike feel. It has a parklike environment with covered walkways and grassy banks and an open area with a view of the surrounding towers.

The Day Club Pool is a lounge by day and an extension to the Marquee club at night. The 60,000-square-foot Marquee club opens on New Year's Eve with headliners Jay-Z and Coldplay.
Small touches make The Cosmopolitan unique is republished from CasinoVendors.com.