Christmas Magic in Sin City

Another Vegas trip for the record books! Man, we love that town. I just sat down from being away with my husband for 3 days during our annual Xmas excursion to Sin City. It’s not only our escape but our gift to each other for Christmas because it’s something we both enjoy. I even took a strand of holiday lights and draped them over a tall lamp in our suite. We brought our few gifts we wrapped up for one another, as well. Yahass, Queen! I make sure we do it the way I see best. (cue laugh track.) Grab the leftover eggnog and let me share the majority of what happened in Vegas since it clearly won’t be staying in Vegas.

I booked a great room through The Cosmopolitan’s website during a Black Friday special they had going for a minute. Travelers Tip: Always sign up for resort reward programs and it will in someway someday pay off. The Identity program at The Cosmo is fabulous! Slide and show that card each and every time you hit the resort, gain points, redeem points and receive special resort offers. With bags and warm jackets packed, we jumped in the car and headed towards Vegas going the back way passing through Twentynine Palms and up into Primm before Las Vegas. The roads were barren and dark but paved very well. However, given the winter weather we were having the fog was so thick that visibility was nil. It was a bit much. It finally cleared but I was done with it as was my hubby who was driving.

Arriving later at night gave us a different view driving towards the Strip since we usually arrive during the day. With the lights becoming brighter as our car drew near, excitement grew also as we made our way to the resort Friday evening. We’ve stayed at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas now a dozen times and each one is unique and special. Once breezing through VIP check-in and grabbing a “welcome drink” in the lounge we found our room on the 30th floor of the East Tower facing Bellagio fountains. The view is spectacular and when you book a room splurge for this view. It’s stunning. Thank me later! As soon as we had closed the door waiting for our Bellman, both milk and cookies as well as a bottle of champagne were delivered to our room from my dears in PR at The Cosmo. Those girls, tho…. 🙂

Most of our dinners were planned ahead but we decided because of our late arrival we would wing it Friday evening. Saving the secret pizza place at The Cosmo for a late night bite, we chose new standard Beauty & Essex. It’s was surprisingly wonderful! I noshed on a few items from the raw bar while Jacques had a dozen oysters plus a few other small plates on the table for us both. Chef Chris Santos has brought his whimsical flair of great cooking to The Cosmo and we are thrilled we had a taste! Afterwards the casino called our name, the slots for Jacques while I sat down with a good cocktail at the Blackjack 21 tables for a bit talking to my favorite dealer! Good times.

Saturday we met up with Amber for lunch at China Poblano downstairs and then off to a run around the Strip, Planet Hollywood and Bellagio, before resting up for dinner and our show later at Luxor. Now here’s a sad tale… I was trying to find just the right slot machine to drop my earnings into but funnily enough when I have a few dollars to play I become very frugal. However, there she was calling my name. It was Cher! OMG! Right there. I was Strong Enough not to Turn Back Time and Bang Bang out of there so I sat down. Well, baby! She took my money and didn’t give it back! One of her loyal gays! I’m still devastated over it all. “Not Cher!” you say. I agree. It was shocking.

Our favorite place at the resort fed us on Saturday night. STK is everything! The DJ was pumping a mix of Michael Jackson’s “Bad” into “Purple Rain” by Prince that gave me the feelings. The food was spectacular as always. We love this damn place. Later in the evening we jumped in a taxi towards Luxor to see Amber and the ladies of Fantasy perform their fierce show. We’ve seen the production a few times but I truly could watch Amber dance all day! The show is heavy of choreography and sass with a phenomenal vocal lead named Lorena Pearl. Her voice is The One. Check out the Luxor website for the 2017 Ladies of Fantasy calendar featuring the hot bod squard in their theme “Natural Beauties.” Gorgeous!

Christmas Day we woke up, the hubby ran to get Illy coffee at Va Bene downstairs and we opened the few prezzies we had brought one another in the room. Santa brought me some great cologne and a few special mementos while many in my inner-back circle were very generous at work. It’s been a great Christmas! Later that day we roamed the beautiful Shoppes at Crystals and had a great lunch Bardot Brasserie next door at Aria. The weather was fairly frigid so we didn’t stay out and about much with the warmth of The Cosmo making us feel that’s where we should be. Inside! I actually got a few workouts in downstairs at the fitness center (hey, make use of that resort fee!) and then back for a soak in the sunken Japanese tub before dinner on the 3rd level at Jose Andres’ Spanish gem, Jaleo. Delicious!

After polishing off two pitchers of sangria and a ton of small plates we cabbed it to Treasure Island to see Cirque du Soleil staple Mystere. Now for the truth bomb… the show has seen its day and time. It inspired many other great productions to follow however has gotten lost in the dust. The show needs to revamp, reimagine and cut out a majority of the comedy filler one finds at Cirque shows, but especially here. We’ve seen most of the shows so unfortunately this one fell a wee bit short. The trapeze artists were amazing and then of course the two sexy men doing the muscle press were mind blowing but the majority of the show seemed secondary and time-constraining. We wanted to play some tables afterwards but the dealers looked so sad and lonely there was no energy to encourage me to stay around. And a table dealer’s energy and personality makes the experience!

Monday morning we packed up bags, had some coffee and croissants, said goodbye to the quiet Strip below and checked out of The Cosmopolitan… until next trip. We discussed it while waiting for our car in valet that should be around Spring/Summer. Twice a year usually does it for us. I could honestly live there full-time. Maybe one day! Traffic heading back was decent and moving as we jumped on the backroads through Amboy past Primm and back into the desert home. Another unbelievable adventure to our home away from home where one can find “just the right amount of wrong,” The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. And on a final compliment, KUDOS to whoever is in charge of the branding and logo apparel at Monogram inside The Cosmo. So many great choices of resort drag it was hard to make a decision, and that a great thing!

Now for a wee bit of head-scratching future happenings at The Cosmo. According to our bellman we spoke with at length waiting for our car in valet, free parking at the resort is allegedly being addressed as it has been at all MGM properties. Sad face emoji. As many in the know are aware of all MGM resorts now charge for parking, breaking the standard that the Strip had always offered free parking. Cosmo and a few others have held off but according to him, not forever. I naturally understand inflation and infrastructure improvements, et al. Now this hasn’t been publicly addressed yet so this is not only here-say but also coming from an employee. It is however, inevitable.

However, and this is a note to all decision makers at hotels and resorts throughout the travel industry, if you quietly absorb the extra costs (parking fees, resort fees, etc.) into the room price per night we consumers will not mind as much as if we have to pay a huge resort fee plus parking each day. Not everyone uses the “inclusions” of resort fees. For a well-rounded trip of three days that’s an estimated extra $200. These details and determinations always help in our decision making when planning travel. And, as we could see from our balcony at The Cosmo, the lines getting into Bellagio’s parking below were quite snarled during busier times. And of course, MGM Grand is one big cluster fluster. So that’s something to keep in mind. #RollTheDice

Thanks again to The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas for a wonderful time and we will see you again very soon! Happy New Year! X

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