Opened in 2014, the Cromwell Las Vegas channels a touch of NYC’s SoHo or Miami’s South Beach to the Las Vegas Strip. Owned by Caesars Entertainment, the hotel occupies a dramatically repurposed stand-alone structure. It was once home to Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon—a hotel with more modest aspirations. By Las Vegas standards, where room counts run into the thousands, the Cromwell, at 188 rooms, is considered boutique, part of a Las Vegas luxury trend: hotels with fewer rooms, more personal service, and the promise of a hipper, younger, more “happening” scene. But what sets the Cromwell apart from other boutique trendsetters is that while they are hotels within hotels, this is more like edgy New York and Miami properties that have found creative ways to live within the confines of older spaces they inherited. Thus, smaller rooms than are today’s Las Vegas standards, but with design-hotel-level artwork and other touches. And while there is a small casino, the emphasis is clearly up on the roof, poolside at Drai’s Beach Club and Nightclub, at the basement-level Drai's After Hours Club, and on the second floor, at Giada, the first restaurant for Food Network celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis.
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The Cromwell is midway down the Las Vegas Strip, and close to The Forum Shops at Caesars, which, because winning at the tables apparently puts people in a spending mood, is one of the most successful shopping centers in America. With Drai’s hot rooftop scene, it’s not really necessary for partiers to venture out from the Cromwell, unless of course an ex- or two show up, at which time the Cosmopolitan’s Marquee Nightclub and Dayclub, where the poolside DJ starts cranking up mid-afternoon, is an excellent alternative. And if the music gets too much, history buffs can head for the Mob Museum, just off the north end of the Strip.
Need to Know
Rooms: 188 rooms, including 19 suites. From $179. Check-in: 3–7 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: At Giada, Emmy Award–winning Food Network host and Culinary Hall of Fame inductee Giada de Laurentiis uses her Italian heritage and California inclinations to create lighter interpretations of Italian classics. Spa and gym details: The Cromwell has no spa, but there is a small fitness center with 24-hour access.
Who’s it for: For now, the Cromwell draws a younger, hipper crowd that follows the party (wherever it goes). Our favorite rooms: The views aren’t much, but the snugness of the standard rooms is easily overcome by upgrading to a 1,411-square-foot Gallery Suite, decorated in the style of a Parisian apartment, with antique trunk furniture and wood floors. Sip and chat: Catch up on what’s happening while enjoying a bubbly with general manager Karie Hall at the Cromwell’s lobby bar, Bound by Salvatore, 5–6 p.m. Friday and Saturday evenings.
Pro Tip: Never Drink at Las Vegas Tables
But when you’re feeling lucky, try the recently opened Cromwell, a boutique casino that’s less frenetic than most, even though it’s in the heart of the Strip. For more drinking tips, check out our feature "How to Drink Anywhere in the World" from the May 2015 issue.