Up All Night at The Cosmopolitan Hotel

We spent 24 hours uncovering all the secrets of the glamorous, eclectic destination—human-sized bird cages and hidden cocktail bars included.

An up-close view of the lights and crystals of The Chandelier, The Cosmopolitan's iconic cocktail bar.

The trailblazing hotel was the first to add a bit of much-needed glamour and edge to the notoriously kitschy Sin City when it hit The Strip with its boutique lifestyle concept, in 2010. A decade later, it’s still a coveted destination for the more discerning visitors to Vegas. How has it stayed relevant? Constant reinvention. The collection of venues under its high umbrella is always welcoming fresh, boldfaced names from the culinary and nightlife worlds, ensuring a constant flow of new energy. Or, as chef mixologist Mariena Mercer Boarini puts it, “We cater to the curious class.”

Read on for the ultimate day at The Cosmopolitan.

The hypnotizing displays inside The Cosmopolitan's lobby.

11 a.m.: Arrival

It’s only late morning but you’re already transfixed during check-in by the abstract fashion video art playing on eight LED screen-wrapped columns in the lobby. Titled “Monarch,” the mesmerizing piece is just one of the digital narratives on a loop in the arrival space designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group. Stay long enough and you’ll see the blurred naked bodies of “Seduction” and the animated geometric wallpaper of “Pathways.” “It’s all encompassing—it almost hugs you,” says Simon Pettigrew, senior vice president of Hotel Operations.

(Clockwise from upper right) Mouthwatering selections at the new Block 16 food hall from Lardo, District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew., Pok Pok Wing, District, Tekka Bar: Handroll & Sake, and Hattie B.'s

1:00 p.m.: America’s Cult Culinary Hits

Lunch is at the new food hall Block 16, where a collection of culinary talents have come together to bring cult outlets to Vegas for the first time: Nashville’s famous hot-chicken joint Hattie B’s, NOLA transplant District: Donuts. Sliders. Brew., and James Beard Award–winning chef Andy Ricker’s Pok Pok Wing, inspired by humble Vietnamese bia hoi beer stands. On the personal hit list of The Cosmopolitan’s executive chef Bryan Fyler: Korean pork shoulder and spicy kimchi sandwich at the Portland-based Lardo, collard greens and pimento mac-and-cheese with the hot chicken at Hattie B’s, and the “game-changing” cinnamon roll, bruléed on the spot, and paired with a Vietnamese iced coffee at District. “Their coffee program is bar none,” he says.

Getting a trim at The Barbershop.

4:00 p.m.: Pamper Yourself

Ever since his days at Kiehl’s Since 1851 Barber Shop, José Sosa has approached grooming as an art form. It’s certainly on display at his just-opened venue The Barbershop, where classic cuts and straight-razor shaves come with drams of Angel’s Envy bourbon. If you happen to find yourself nearby come nightfall, dip past the janitor’s door into the Prohibition-inspired music hall, outfitted with vintage Chesterfields and a 100-year-old bar sourced from an old Kentucky hotel. It’s a fitting fixture given that the prodigious whisky menu is enough to impress even the most informed Bluegrass State connoisseur.

A stunning view of the Vegas Strip from a terrace at The Cosmopolitan.

5:30 p.m.: A Toast to Vegas/Take In the View

As the descending desert sun sets The Strip aglow, it’s time to head to your room and text Rose, the hotel’s chatbot and resident mischief maker. A refresh by Virserius Studio has livened the spaces in the 3,033 rooms in The Chelsea and Boulevard Towers with jewel tones, whimsical wallpaper, and pop art works. The 21 Boulevard Penthouse suites, designed by Daun Curry, Richmond International, and Adam D. Tihany push that already-bold aesthetic over the top, with Italian glass mosaics and golden, human-sized birdcage swings. “It’s the next evolution of The Cosmopolitan,” says Chief Strategy Officer Patrick Nichols, who notes the diversity of designers on every project. “People try to catch up—we always try to stay fresh.”

The bar at and appropriately pale local mascot at Ghost Donkey inside Block 16.
6:30 p.m.: Mezcal

At The Cosmopolitan, you never know what you’ll find behind closed doors. Tucked discreetly in the back of Block 16, an outpost of New York’s lively tequila den Ghost Donkey is a playful addition to the property’s growing assemblage of speakeasy-style bars. Order the signature mushroom margarita crafted with huitlacoche-infused mezcal and seriously addictive truffle nachos that have earned devout fans at the original location as Mexican tunes fill the soundtrack.

The evening crowd and Skye D. Miles entertaining the audience at Rose.Rabbit.Lie.

8:00 p.m.: Dinner and a Show

Far from some of the gimmicky performances found in Sin City’s more unrefined corners, Rose. Rabbit. Lie.—a modern supper club housed in a sleek Avroko–designed space—is more Rat Pack than Blue Man Group. The four-piece in-house band is led by Malik Pointer, whom Pettigrew describes as a cross between James Brown and Prince. A few standouts among chef Steven Gotham’s gussied-up American classics: hackleback caviar tacos in a Yukon gold potato shell; Beef Wellington, slender cuts of prime tenderloin served inside a puff pastry cocoon with Hudson Valley foie gras and king trumpet mushrooms; and anything from the inventive cocktail menu, but especially Through the Looking Glass, a tequila-and-cachaça infusion with caramelized pineapple, star anise, and rosemary, presented in a glass porthole.

The dramatic, sweeping staircase at The Chandelier.

10:00 p.m.: Cocktails

The Cosmopolitan’s dedication to creating fresh experiences is what stands it apart from its peers, but it also knows when to leave well enough alone. With 21 miles of extravagant crystal-bead swags glowing with digital projections, The Chandelier, designed by the LAB at Rockwell Group, preens like a catwalk gown on the red carpet. “It’s our showpiece,” Mercer Boarini says. “I still find it awe-inspiring and transformative. Nowhere else are you inside of a three-story chandelier. You feel the glamour.” Navigate to the concealed Level 1.5 and order Mercer Boarini’s trademark Verbena, an exotic off-menu twist on a margarita whose tongue-tingling Sichuan flower garnish—street name, “buzz button”—awakens your taste- buds to subtle flavor nuances. “It’s all word-of-mouth. People will stop me and say, ‘Do you know where I can get that flower drink?’”

Down a hidden hall for a slice of the good stuff at Secret Pizza.

2:00 a.m.: Late-Night Slice

Down a nondescript hallway on the third floor lined with vinyl album covers from Vegas mainstays like Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin lies another hidden gem, Secret Pizza. You won’t find any information on the hotel’s website, only whispers from those in the know (which is now you). Crispy, simple, and thin-crusted, the slices on offer are textbook New York corner joint. End your night with a few whacks on the vintage Vegas pinball machine.

A hangover-killing morning repast at Eggslut.

10:00 a.m.: Eggslut To-Go

A queue forms from morning until night for the California breakfast sensation’s gourmet egg sandwiches, such as the Wagyu tri-tip steak with chimichurri, and the house-made turkey sausage daubed in honey-mustard aioli. Chef Alvin Cailan’s focus on high-quality, organic ingredients and cage-free eggs has brought the brand high acclaim. Same with his creativity. A fan favorite: The Slut, a coddled egg atop a house-made potato purée, poached in a glass jar and served with baguette.

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