Las Vegas is endlessly busy; the constant noise of slot machines buzzing in casinos, young party scenesters hitting pool parties and nightclubs, and travelers joyfully snapping shots of the bright city (with drink in hand) on their smartphones—it is always alive with excitement. While these are some of the reasons people visit, it can also be pretty draining.
On a recent trip to the city, upon stepping inside The Cromwell, the new 188-room boutique hotel by Caesars Entertainment Group, we were immediately filled with a sense of relief. Right away, the resort felt like a breath of fresh air compared to the hustle and bustle outdoors. As you enter, to the left is the reception area (which they prefer to be considered more of a concierge desk), and one thing that is immediately noticeable is the lack of guests waiting to be checked-in. That’s because the property allows guests to be checked-in virtually if they prefer.
“We have many options for registering. We reach out via e-mail in advance and can take all requests and information at that time. If you provide a credit card authorization in advance, we can deliver keys to your taxi, limo or upon arrival in valet and off you go,” said Karie Hall, General Manager. “We are in development on an app that allows you to do advanced check-in and very soon will have the ability use a smart phone as your key to the room. The plan is that we can do all of the transactional stuff on the app or via text and you will get your room number along with the encrypted key info right on your phone.”
Through the grand lobby doors that lead to the reception area, guests enter into a room that looks more like a study with books adorning shelving along the walls rather than a hotel front desk. Dark woods and beautiful marble decorate the space while elegant furniture sits off to one side, inviting tired travelers to rest before heading to their room. Truthfully, they had us sold with this first impression, but we didn’t want to seem too eager (playing hard to get at its finest).
Along the way to the hotel elevators, Bound Bar sits to the left of the pathway with cocktails created by esteemed mixologist Salvatore Calabrese, Curios retail shop on the right and the casino floor is sprinkled throughout with 440 slots, table games, a high limit room and The Abbey, a personal gaming experience which can be booked for private events. Large sparkling chandeliers guide the way along the titled floor that pairs with rich reds and purples coloring the space with a sexy-yet-elegant Parisian feel (à la Moulin Rouge).
Before heading up the elevators to the rooms and suites, hotel guests have to show a hotel key, ensuring that only invited parties can make their way upstairs. Written along the beige carpeted hallways on each floor are famous French quotes in English and French surrounded by black paisley wallpaper and dim lighting. Each morning complimentary fresh coffee carts are set out on each floor in front of the elevators, and in the afternoon, teas, lemonades or fruit-infused waters are transitioned in. Details like this are just another reason why we couldn’t get enough of the resort (not to mention the coffee was delicious!). Included in your room rate is also complimentary breakfast and from 5-6 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays, hotel guests are invited to join General Manager Karie Hall for Moët & Chandon Champagne.
The Cromwell has four types of standard accommodations and four suite categories. Inside the guestrooms, the Parisian-chic theme remains with hardwood floors, brilliant antique trunk-style furnishings, a spacious wardrobe, 55-inch flat-screen TV, Bluetooth radio and king- or queen-sized beds with a large tufted leather headboard. Queen rooms come with a smaller leather couch to one side while king rooms boast an L-shaped sofa and game table along with custom photographic artwork by Deborah Anderson.
One of the most used items in our room was the vanity table mirror with its classic small bulbs lighting its border. On the table is a complimentary flat iron for use and in the coming months, the hotel hopes to add a vanity bar with beauty products available for purchase.
Among the suites, my vote goes to the 1,411-square-foot Gallery Suite because of its spacious living room and dining area that put a main focus on entertaining. It’s the kind of space you want when visiting Las Vegas; it’s chic and seductive. A half moon couch sits in the center of the main room looking directly into the wet bar area and fridge, and is separated by a long table with red and black bar top chairs. Retro touches and neutral tones set the ambiance in the bedroom and the master bath comes with a steam shower and separate tub. All accommodations come with Australian-owned Muk professional haircare products.
But if you ask Hall her favorite suite, she’ll quickly tell you, “The Boulevard, I love the panoramic view that you get from both the living space and from the master bath. The bathroom features are incredible as well. Where else can you soak in a steam tub/shower while watching the Bellagio fountain show?”
Probably one of the property’s most popular venues is Giada, the restaurant from Emmy-Award winning celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis. Built with an indoor/outdoor atmosphere, the mostly white eatery features an open-kitchen, cushioned chairs, a lounge area and seating near roll-up windows for an al fresco feel. De Laurentiis, a petite brunette with an infectious smile, serves up her signature Italian and Californian dishes here that have been made popular from her career on the Food Network. All dishes are extremely fresh, made-to-order and can be customized to accommodate any food allergies.
The restaurant is also set up to make dining an experience; expect to go in and really enjoy a meal among friends and family for at least two hours (you know, do as the Italians do). According to Hall, any time the celebrity chef is in-house, getting a table at the restaurant can be more challenging, as many guests are excited for a chance to get to see her in person. When reserving a table, the hotel recommends one on the terrace with a view of the Fountains of Bellagio show.
Although the property errs on the sophisticated side, don’t be fooled, they also know how to have a good time. Located on the top floor is Drai’s 65,000-square-foot Beach Club & Nightclub, a multi-sensory environment capable of accommodating 4,500 guests. Open Friday through Sundays, the beach club is quickly garnering prestige among Vegas’ older more seasoned pool parties. Surrounding the pools are 13 mezzanine cabanas, two mezzanine grand cabanas, nine bungalows with five sharing pools and 40+ daybeds and booths. One of the best features of the bungalows are their private restrooms with showers so you’ll never have to wait in long lines.
Having visited other pool parties, Friday at Drai’s was a little bit more laid back than something like Wet Republic or Encore Beach Club. Because of this, it actually made getting to know our neighbors easier, which is part of the fun of being in Sin City. The DJ lineup at present seems to still be working its way up to the more established venues but we have no doubt that the Calvin Harris’ and Tiesto’s of the world will make their way through its doors.
Thursday through Sunday nights, guests can throw on their hottest outfits and head over to Drai’s nightclub for an evening of neon lights, flowing libations and heart-pumping beats. If you want the full experience, book one of the eight tables behind the DJ booth which includes two private restrooms. Once the party ends upstairs, you can head to Drai’s After Hours downstairs to keep the excitement going into the wee hours of the morning. Essentially, you’ll never have to leave the hotel from sun up to sun down (and back up again) if you so choose.
Overall, The Cromwell is for the guest that enjoys the glitz and glamour of the city but understands the value of a well-thought-out hotel that caters to a more discerning traveler. “Due to our size we can control the entire experience in ways that much larger competitors just can’t. We can have that personalized experience flow throughout the entire property,” expressed Hall. Since their opening, weekends and special event nights have seen the greatest number of bookings. However, their reputation is steadily growing and word is being spread about this stylish and charming boutique property. One thing's for sure though, we'll definitely be back (especially for that coffee).