in Las Vegas just turned one-year-old, and so to celebrate, I was invited to experience this hip hotel, one year in. I’ve stayed at many hotels in Las Vegas but this hotel was a memorably great experience for four main reasons: The rooms were trendy yet reasonably priced, it was in a great location on the Strip, the pool scene was crazy and fun at Drai’s Beach Club, and it was a real treat eating at Giada.
1. Upscale and affordable trendy rooms
Formerly known as the Barbary Coast Hotel & Casino and then Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon, the hotel went through a massive $185 million renovation before it opened last year as the Cromwell, owned and operated by Caesars.
The Cromwell has 188 rooms and suites as well as a 40,000-square-foot casino and great food and nightlight options (which you’ll see below). My room was dressed in warm, darker colors, giving it a vintage yet modern look. At times it was harder to see in the room because of the dim lighting, but for the style, it was worth it (no, I’m not old!). And there was a brightly lit vanity area outside of the bathroom. So, as long as that area has light, I’m good!
The room used vintage luggage as furniture and had a h couch and a comfy bed. My favorite part of the room was the whimsically styled bathroom with black-and-white, mosaic-tiled showers with fun English/French phrases on the wall.
Tip: Treat yourself to room service in the morning! In addition to French press coffee, order the green juice, a great pick-me-up before a day of fun, sun and drinks!
2. The Vegas pool scene
is home to a 65,000 square-foot rooftop pool and club (two floors were added to the top of the old hotel).
When you get off the elevator, you’re met with two amazingly big pools and stunning views of the Strip, lined with daybeds, cabanas and VIP bungalows. My boyfriend met me on my second day in Las Vegas at the pool. So, our day began with Drai’s Beach Club! As you can imagine, even though he was tired from working, he woke up once we were in the middle of tons of people, dancing, jumping and having the time of their lives!
While I’m not the party person that I used to be (shocking, right?), the pool scene at Drai’s helped me relive my sorority days. That’s one of the reasons why we go to Vegas, people! Even my boyfriend agreed: Once you’re immersed in the pool scene, you can’t not love the energy and fun of it all. We ended up staying longer than our group, still sipping on champagne. I even met Mr. himself. I clearly thought it was a good idea to hug him and thank him for transforming the Las Vegas day and night club scene! It was a good idea.
The last night in Vegas, we watched the perform in Drai’s Nightclub, which the pool dayclub transforms into at nightfall. The pool lit up the whole top of the hotel and it was a great end to the night.
3. Food at Giada
Food Network Star ’ (first-ever!) restaurant didn’t fail to impress anyone at my table. , made to look like her home, was decked out in floor-to-ceiling windows, giving us a great evening view of the Las Vegas Strip and the . And the tables and chairs were white and comfy with just a touch of color on the table setting. (The chairs were so comfy that I even witnessed a little boy sleeping face down on the chair after his meal; someone clearly enjoyed the food and the chairs!)
We received beverage options via a helpful iPad with images and details on the drinks. I choose a rosé, which normally I wouldn’t go for, on the waiter’s recommendation. It was so light and not a typical rosé. It was called .
We started with some of Giada’s signature antipasti: prosciutto di parma, finocchiona, burrata and gorgonzola dolce. Then we moved on to the “lemon spag-geh-tee” as Giada told our table! We were surprised to see her popping around to tables. Apparently she comes to the restaurant about once a month.
I could seriously eat that lemon spaghetti every night for dinner. What’s better than Giada De Laurentiis herself actually handing you your spaghetti? Our entrees included bone-in Tuscan ribeye, whole roasted chicken cacciatore-style, risotto, crab and scallops with sides of lemon potatoes, arugula salad, and spinach. I highly recommend this place for the lemon spaghetti, views and comfy atmosphere.
4. Location: close to everything
The location of the Cromwell was pretty ideal. We were basically situated in the middle of the Strip, across the street from the Bellagio and next to all of the action. One night we went to see English singer-songwriter at . I was surprised at how great of a show this guy put on! I didn’t know that the creator of The Pussycat Dolls, Robin Antin, produces his show. It was a vintage Rat Pack Vegas-style show, with a band and lots of Vegas dancers.
My boyfriend and I also hung out at the LINQ Promenade for dinner at . The restaurant had a great view, from which we could see the .
Then we hopped over to , had some yummy drinks (try the lavender drink!) and watched great live music from . And we couldn’t end the evening without actually witnessing the totally stunning views on the High Roller, so we went for a ride. I recommend going at night to see all of Vegas lit up, and be sure to choose the bar option so you can have a few quick drinks made for you as you rise to 550 feet during your half-hour ride.
To book reservations at Cromwell visit or call 1-844-I-AM-CROM (1-844-426-2766). Photos credited to Caitlin Martin.
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