“Just the right amount of wrong” The Cosmopolitan
Sitting on the plane after six long days in Vegas, I’m exhausted just thinking about everything we did and saw. And yes, you read that right – SIX. DAYS. IN. VEGAS. And I’m proud, albeit shocked; to say we’re still alive.
Whoever deemed New York City as the city that never sleeps probably went there before ever visiting the bright lights of Las Vegas. There is no sleep in Vegas. There is no “cheap” or “budget” in Vegas either no matter which booking engine you use. There is no such thing as a relaxing day, evening, or anything in Vegas. But there are lots of fun things to do and if you’re lucky enough to spend a few days in Vegas with some of your best friends, well then, you’re just plain lucky.
Girls Getaway at the Cosmopolitan in Vegas
We decided to splurge and get two rooms at the Cosmopolitan – a hotel none of us had stayed at before, but had all partied and gambled at.
In all honesty, I probably owe my survival to the Sahra Spa & Hammam – the best form of detox I’ve found in my ten-year drinking career. Even their website boasts the spa as the ultimate “rejuvenation in the center of the strip.” Just walking through the spa doors on the third floor of the glitzy hotel felt like I had transcended to some far away place that specialized in making my everything feel better – my hangover-headache, my not-so-happy-grumbling-stomach, my newly-bruised-what-the-heck-did-I-run-into-shin and my overall severely-dehydrated-body.
In honor of my hangover, the staff recommended the Red Flower Hammam Experience; one of their premiere treatments, which offers a ritual of heat, steam, massage detoxification and relaxation. Even at the early hour of 9am, the staff was very friendly and knowledgeable, guiding me through a relaxing experience which began on a warm motherstone in the hammam with water cascading along my body. Then a vigorous scrub, followed by a purifying clay wrap and ending with a massage. The entire treatment lasted an amazing 80 minutes and I felt good as new!
One of the reasons, aside from the beautifully designed Chandelier Bar of course, we decided to live it up and go with a tad more expensive property was all the buzz about the Blvd Pool. One place where the saying “you get what you pay for” goes a long way is Las Vegas. Not only do you get comfortable rooms and down pillows, mirrors on almost every wall, Bigelow bath products (and more of course), but this is where you’ll get complimentary (and sometimes easier) access to the pool which is key for a summertime visit to Vegas. What pool you decide to spend your days in Vegas is about as important as whether you wear your hair curly, straight or in a sockbun on Saturday night – it’s that big of a deal.
The Cosmopolitan is also home to Neapolitan – which provides a slew of menu items of hand-crafted cocktails and ice-cream combos. The combos of Makers Mark, peanut butter, banana and bacon may sound like a terrible idea, but you’ll change your tune after the first sip.
Vegas Pool Scene – How to Maximize Your Fun
If you’re new to Vegas, the pool system in town is a bit of a conundrum in and of itself: you party all night long and inevitably end up with a devastating hangover, but in order to get not only a spot at the pool but hopefully a good spot, you’ve got to rise and shine before half of your party has even made it home from the night’s festivities.
The Vegas pool scene is raved about in every magazine and blog for a very valid reason – it’s a party in the sun you don’t want to miss it. Best way to avoid having to rise with the sun and cross your fingers you’ll stumble onto a miraculous set of 7 side-by-side chairs? DAYBEDS AND CABANAS. Sure they might be expensive, but if you do the math (luckily I was with people who were better at it than I), it’s actually well worth the cost.
Most daybeds/cabanas range from a $500 – $1500 minimum – basically the amount you have to spend in food and beverage throughout the day. If you’re going with a group of people, drinks (especially copious bottles of champagne) and fish tacos quickly add up. Instead of racking up close to that and having to worry about your budget, split a daybed with your group and live a little.
That’s what we did and as you can see from our pictures, we were happy we did. We had a prime location in the sun (umbrellas were available) sitting on the edge of the pool and a dedicated cocktail waitress that not only mixed our mimosas per our lazy request, she also got us sunscreen when we ran out (which gets added to your tab). Talk about living like sun queens!
Show Time in Vegas
One of my favorite things to do in Vegas is seeing a new show. There are so many shows going on nightly and each one amazes me more and more every time. This go-round we saw the Viva ELVIS, one of the most talked about Cirque shows in Vegas, which set up shop inside ARIA Resort & Casino.
My mother has raved about The King for decades but it always went over my head as I was more focused on the never-ending battles of N’Sync and Backstreet Boys, so why on earth is a group of 27-30 year olds going to see Elvis? Was there a glitch in our email chain stating our plans? Luckily there were no Elvis impersonators on stage (which alone speaks volumes for Vegas), but there were some amazing acrobatics and dance routines. This was my fourth Cirque show I’ve seen in Vegas and by far the most diverse when it comes to costumes, choreography and just overall story-lines. The cast has been performing in front of sellout crowds for months urging them to “get all shook up”, but it’s only running for a few more days so if you’re in Vegas, GO SEE THIS SHOW. And if you think superheroes, trampolines and blue suede shows don’t go together, think again.
If you happen to miss it before Elvis leaves the building for good, be sure to check out Zarkana, which promises to be yet another visually stunning aerobatic spectacular show by Cirque Du Soleil, beginning its permanent residency at ARIA starting on November 1. TIME Magazine proclaimed it “the show of the summer” and has already been seen by more than 1.2 million people during its 2011-2012 international run.
No matter what you decide to see and do in Vegas and no matter what your Southwest Rapid Rewards Visa looks like after all is said and done, if you paint the town with a group of your girlfriends and let your hair down, you’ll leave a winner every time. Not everyone who visits Vegas can say that…
Jayme Lamm is a freelance writer and marketing consultant based in Houston focusing on travel writing and is in a full-court press writing her hugely opinionated sports column, The Blonde Side.