Las Vegas has more hotel rooms than all of Europe put together; a crazy-but-true fact suitable for a city that must be seen to be believed. But which is the best hotel? While the Bellagio and Caesar's Palace may be best known, they also feel pretty dated. I'd heard great things about The Cosmopolitan, and during my two-week layover in the US decided to try it out.
As soon as I walked through the lobby The Cosmopolitan felt different from the other big hotels I'd visited that day. The decor is modern and quirky, the atmosphere lively, and the clientele much cooler. But what about the rooms?
I stayed in a Terrace Studio room on the 57th floor. The 'studio room' part is a bit misleading, as it consists of a chic, huge living room with a kitchenette, an enormous bathroom, and a bedroom that opens out onto a long balcony. I could honestly have lived in this 'studio' for years and been happy.
The best bit about the apartment though? This view.
This is one of the reasons that in my view, The Cosmopolitan is the best hotel in Vegas - because nowhere else in the city can you get this view. When the Bellagio fountains started going off beneath me, it was incredible, and with the glittering lights from 'Paris' flickering beside it, I began to feel giddy with excitement.
There is a downside to staying in such an enormous hotel, and that's deciding where to eat. Because The Cosmopolitan has seventeen restaurants. One of them is called Eggslut (I really wanted to go there), but in the end I decided on China Poblano, a Mexican/Chinese fusion restaurant. I've eaten very well since being in the US, but this was without question the best overall meal I had.
I began the meal the way you should in a city of excess: with fancy cocktails. First up was the Pomegranate Salt Air Margarita, followed by the Flaca Margarita: orange infused tequila, fresh lime, soda, orange bitters. The salt air intrigued me - it's basically fluffy, salty, light-as-a-feather foam that replaces the salt in normal margaritas, and it was delicious with the sweet pomegranate.
The cocktails were strong, so I needed to get some food down. I feasted on happy buddha vegetable spring rolls, fresh chilli guacamole with tortilla chips, fried Brussels sprouts with arbol salsa and chiltates, refried bean tacos with tomato habanero salsa and requeson, and the chef's speciality, a rice dish with 20 different micro vegetables. I'm always excited for a meal when I don't recognise half the ingredients.
Everything was honestly mouthwatering - so delicious I embarrassed myself moaning at the table as I ate. My server was the best, chatting to me about my travels and seeming genuinely interested rather than fake-waiter-interested, recommending dishes and making a mean guacamole at the table.
I was full by then, but it was Chinese New Year so I just had to try the special dessert. It was a delight: a scoop of fresh grapefruit sorbet on a bed of wisp-thin sweet noodles, and because it was the Year of the Rooster it was designed to look like a rooster's nest.
After the meal and a brief stint in the casino, I returned to the bedroom and one of the softest, comfiest beds I've ever slept on. Though I'm usually someone who needs total darkness to sleep, for the first time in my life I left the blinds open when I went to bed. Anything goes in Sin City, but closing the blinds on that view would be unforgivable.
This article originally appeared on Fork on the Road.
All images by www.selenenelson.co.uk
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