The Cromwell Hotel, Tour/Review of Room #526, Las Vegas, Nevada USA

The Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas, Exterior

The Cromwell boutique hotel shook things up on the Las Vegas Strip when they open last year.  In a place of massive new hotels with thousands of rooms and a maze of hallways the Cromwell is a beautiful, small casino hotel in the heart of the Vegas Strip.  The property is manageable in size and has almost everything a top notch Strip hotel should have.  One thing that really sets this place apart are the two nightclubs;  Drai’s Beach Club  and Drai's After Hours Club. 

Lobby of the Cromwell Hotel

The hotel's lobby is small and simple.  With only 188 rooms, a small check-in desk is all you need.  If you are driving yourself, getting into the Cromwell can be a bit of a puzzle.  It's located at the corner of South Las Vegas Blvd and Flamingo; you want to enter the parking garage from the Flamingo side and then follow the signs to the valet/entrance.  

Hallway of Cromwell Hotel

This cool new hotel is almost over the top, but just before it seems a bit much, you remind yourself you're in Vegas! 

Guest Room of Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas

Room 526 felt a bit small, but that was due to all the luxurious furniture in the room.  It is a Luxury King room with a large comfortable sofa and chair and plenty of style. They call the decor "Parisian-inspired" not sure I get the French connection, but the rooms are very modern with a mix of old and new touches. 

Guest Room of Cromwell Hotel

The room was quiet; couldn't hear my neighbors, but it was mid week and it might be different on a busy, high energy Las Vegas weekend.  The Cromwell bed was very comfortable, and the linens were nice and soft.  The rooms heating / AC was very quiet and easily controlled.  Lamps beside the bed provide very little reading light.  No clock radio or alarm.

In room makeup table.

The dedicated makeup mirror with great lighting was a very nice touch.  It should be noted that the WiFi was very slow.

Guest Room bathroom in Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas

The bath was small but efficient.  No separate toilet area.  Plenty of towels and nice amenities manufactured by Muk.  Shower only, no bathtub.  The shower bench was handy, and the mirrored wall inside the shower was interesting (more on that later).

Guest room at the Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas

Here you can see the interesting mix of furnishings - a modern lamp next to a purple velvet wing-back chair, next to a heavy metal studded cabinet.  A small issue with this room is that the lighting is designed more for drama and design than it is to create usable illumination.  I had to move my suitcase to the sofa so I could place it in a small pool of light.

Two-Way glass window into bath/shower

Earlier I mentioned the mirrored wall inside the shower.  Surprise! It is a one-way mirror!  When you turn the lights off in the bedroom you can see into the shower...  Kinda sexy...  Unlike other rooms I've seen like this, The Cromwell has no curtain or blind available to hide this view.

View from room #526 at Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas

This room offered a bit of a view out over Flamingo Road South towards Bally's Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.  Window was well insulated for sound.

Rooftop Pool at the Cromwell Hotel

During the day the rooftop of The Cromwell is a beautiful pool for hotel guests.  After dark the rooftop becomes home to Drai’s Beach Club / nightclub.  Note that bathers are required to walk through the public casino to access the pool!

Drai's Beach Club / Nightclub on the roof of The Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas

A massive glass wall opens combining the dance floor with the pool area.  This is a modern with modern sound and lighting effects systems.  Another underground lounge, Drai's After Hours, is just that, underground below the 1st floor casino.

Coffee service available on each floor.

The hotel offers guests refreshments on each floor at the elevators. 

Gym at Cromwell Hotel

A small, well equipped gym located on the ground floor near the main desk is available for guests.  

Casino/Lobby Bar at Cromwell Hotel

Unlike the big resorts with lots of bars and lounges, The Cromwell has one lounge inside the casino and another just off the entrance.  NOTE: I received one night's free accommodation from this hotel.

Giada Italian Restaurant in Cromwell Hotel

On the second floor, looking out over the Strip, is GIADA Italian restaurant.  This is the first restaurant opened by Emmy-Award winning celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis.  Reservations are suggested.  Stools at the bar are often available for walk-ins.  But if you can't get a table, it is nice to know that the in-room dining at The Cromwell is supplied by GIADA.  

Casino of the Cromwell Hotel Las Vegas

The casino is on the first floor, and is modern and luxurious.  They participate in the Total Rewards program.  My personal experience in the casino was mixed.  After playing for awhile, I came out pretty much even.  I consider myself lucky when that happens in Vegas.  For more info visit The Cromwell website.

The Cromwell Hotel in Las Vegas Nevada, Exterior

If you want a comfortable Las Vegas vacation at a small boutique hotel, The Cromwell could be just what you are looking for.  It is in a great location along the strip, and has an edge on other properties due to it's branded nightlife.  It should be noted that this small property doesn't have a theater or spa.

Xcom Global and FreedomPop Mobile WiFi Hotspot Review

Xcom Global Mexico and USA WiFi Hotspots

No one likes to pay for expensive WiFi at hotels and resorts, but you do have some options.  I check out two mobile WiFi hotspots here, a "free" option from FreedomPop, and a prepaid daily hotspot rental with an unlimited data option from Xcom Global, which serves the USA and 179 countries.  (What is a WiFi hotspot?)

Xcom Global USA Mobile WiFi Hotspot

Xcom Global sent me a USA Mobile WiFi Hotspot to test out on my travels.  Xcom offers a daily rental service with unlimited data.  You order the hotspot online, and it’s delivered to you just before you depart.  It arrives in a carry case with a USB charger, cord, instructions, and a prepaid return envelope.  Printed on the outside of the hotspot are the WiFi SSID and the password that secures your connection.

Xcom Global USA Hotspot in Las Vegas.

I took the hotspot to Las Vegas, using it in two hotels, various restaurants, and in the Convention Center.  The biggest convenience was not having to worry about finding a WiFi connection I could trust.  I just turned on the Xcom hotspot, and all of my devices (phone, iPad and Chromebook) instantly had secure connections.  Speed was good.  Not crazy fast, but worked very well for maps, email, and basic web viewing.  Xcom says the data is unlimited, but bandwidth will be decreased or cutoff by the local wireless provider if you use a lot of data.  My connection was never fast enough to support streaming video or online backup.  When you are done with the device, return it in the provided prepaid shipping envelope.  Current cost is $14.95 per day.

FreedomPop WiFi Hotspot.

As part of my normal travel gear, I also took a FreedomPop WiFi hotspot to Vegas.  This can be a "free" service.  You buy the hardware, and then are offered lots of service upgrades beyond the free 500MB monthly option.  The catch is that free service is only a slower 3G connection, and I found coverage limited.  Last year I upgraded to a 3G/4G device which costs me $3.99 a month for 500MB of data.  I have also added the monthly unused data rollover service option for $3.99.  This allows me to accumulate up to 20GB of data.  If you go over your plan’s base data or rollover amount, you are charged on a per megabyte rate.  Plans and rates vary; check FreedomPop website

Over the years I have found the FreedomPop hotspot more than enough for my limited data usage while on the road.  The Xcom and the FreedomPop Internet connection speeds were similar.  If you are on a limited budget and watch your data usage very closely, this can be a good option.  I also use the FreedomPop as a backup Internet connection for my home.

Xcom Global Mobile WiFi Hotspot for Mexcio.

While watching my Twitter feed, @MurrayOnTravel, Xcom Global noticed I was headed to Mexico, so they sent me a review unit for that trip.  It included a Universal Plug Adapter/USB charger, cable, instructions, case, and return label.  When you travel from country to country with Xcom, they may give you different devices for specific countries.  I sure was glad I had this device at my first hotel in Puerto Vallarta.  It was a beautiful modern resort, their WiFi service provider was not always reliable.  I pulled out the Xcom Global hotspot, and I was online.  At first it was very slow, but I contacted Xcom tech support by email, and they suggested I follow the reset instructions provided with the unit’s instructions.  After that it worked flawlessly.  Details can be found on the Xcom Global website.

Xcom Global WiFi Hotspot overlooking beach at Iberostar Resort.

I did have one more problem, which was my fault.  I left the unit on a balcony chair in Mexico's hot mid-day sun after taking the above photo.  A few minutes later I lost my Internet connection.  The unit had overheated.  I put it in the mini-bar refrigerator and crossed my fingers.  Later that day it fired right up. 

Xcom Global Mobile WiFi Hotspot at the St. Regis Punta Mita Resort beach.

The Xcom Hotspot worked well in six different locations in Mexico's Riviera Nayarit region, which included some remote resort locations.  I would suggest international travelers look seriously at the Xcom Global service.  The pre-paid daily rental option is a real convenience, as is the unlimited data and the ability to support multiple devices.  For US residents traveling in the USA, other options might be a better choice if you watch your data usage closely.