The Cosmopolitan Terrace One Bedroom Suite : The VT Soft Review 2010
What To Expect From The Condopolitan
For three consecutive years, December has been ruined by the greatest event known to mankind - the grand opening of a band new hotel/casino on the Las Vegas Strip! In December 2008, the opening of Encore Las Vegas was flawless. All rooms were available, the entire resort was complete and usable, rooms were perfect, service was impeccable. When Steve Wynn spoke from the podium "Tonight, Las Vegas is the center of the universe" he meant it. All eyes were on Encore and to fumble this opportunity is to score a touchdown for the other teams. In December 2009, the opening of Aria was a little less perfect. Facilities were polished and complete, rooms were clean and functional, the entire resort was open and raring to go. Unfortunately, employees were untrained and uncomfortable, which turning them into the surliest group of non-ambassadors of service you'd never want to meet in your life.
The above were "hard" openings, which means that the hotel requires everything to be operating almost perfectly right from the get go. Cosmopolitan, like Palazzo in 2007, opted for the "soft" opening, which means that the first two weeks are expected to be somewhat bumpy.
In case you hadn't heard by now, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas opened its doors on December 15, 2010 to throngs of onlookers, well wishers, the entire population of Las Vegas, NV and that every so elusive sect they call 'the curious class.' Opening day, from a hotel operations standpoint, proved to be a complete disaster that continued for the rest of the week and, in some cases, on into the weekend... and beyond.
Complaints from VT staff and a friends ranged from excusable missing bathmats to less excusable missing minibar stuffs (remember the Raid the Mini-Bar Hotel Package?) to the inexcusable lack of housekeeping for four days to the downright flabbergasting tale of one VT friend having valuables pilfered from their room. Without exception, every person in our circle of friends came away from Cosmopolitan's hotel experience with at least a frown, a bunch were angry and at least two literally cried about the disaster that their trip turned into.
How soft should a soft opening be? How much collateral damage are guests expected to write off when they agree to pay full pop to be the new hotel guinea pigs? Is it the hotel's responsibility to manage such expectations before accepting bookings or fess up to known knowns when the guests arrive at the front desk starting gate?
The Cosmopolitan's opening may have been soft, but hotel rates certainly weren't. After watching the rate card for a month, I booked Cosmopolitan's lowest level room - the "City View" dual queen room - for one night at $300. So why is this a review of the Terrace One Bedroom? At check in, Receptionist X (Cosmopolitan employees don't wear name tags) told me that I had been upgraded to a Terrace One Bedroom and bumping me back down to my very specific choice proved to be a nightmare. I purposefully chose the lower budget hotel room, not the condo converted into a hotel room with the ultra wraparound terraces that nearly everybody else booked.
After trying to explain to Receptionist X why I chose the City View Dual Queen room - stopping short of saying that I'm here to write a "soft review" of this very specific hotel room offering - I changed course, hoping that the path of least resistance might get me into ANY room at all. Receptionist X, Receptionist Y and Receptionist Z could not bounce me back to my original choice. Manager A was too busy doing something else. Manager B deferred to Manager A. Chuckmonster #1 left and went to the bar, smiling and whistling "f-this-place" under my slightly smoldering breath.