Nightlife in Las Vegas: the club scene
- Recommended for:
- Nightlife, Budget, Mid-range, Expensive
Where to go clubbing in Sin City.
Las Vegas’ clubs are some of the best known in the USA, thanks to their almost weekly appearances in the gossip magazines. They’re as celeb-studded as you’d think – actors, models, sports stars and people who are famous for being famous will either be partying (in the VIP area) or “hosting” – which can be anything from performing, giving a quick shout out to the crowd or simply being in the room.
Entry is strictly controlled – you need to dress up (the uniforms are largely shirts and jeans for guys, and belt-like dresses for girls) and get there early (around 11.30pm) to get in fastest. For (slightly) cheaper entry, it’s worth getting on the guestlist – either by passing by the club on another night or asking your hotel concierge to put you on there (it’s much easier if you’re staying at the same hotel) – though not essential, as guestlist lines are often as long as, if not longer, than the standard entry queues.
The people on the door can pretty much charge what they like for entry – another reason to dress up, as they can hike the prices up if your appearance doesn’t appeal. And try and get as many women in your party as possible – all guy groups will be kept waiting for a long time at the door, in the hope that you’ll buy a VIP table with bottle service (where your minimum spend will be about US$300 - each). It’s excruciatingly expensive, but on the plus side, you might end up on the table next to whichever celeb is in the club.
Pretty much every hotel has a club, but the hottest one in 2010 has been Surrender at the Wynn (3121 Las Vegas Blvd S, 702 770 7300, www.surrendernightclub.com), which opened in May. It’s nothing like the clubs you’ll be used to back home – a small room with a dance floor opens out onto the magnificent Encore Beach Club complex (pools, palm trees, VIP bungalows and an open air gaming section).
Another newbie, Haze (3730 Las Vegas Blvd S, 702 693 8300, www.lightgroup.com) in the basement at Aria – it opened in December 00, has a great atmosphere (it’s probably my favourite club), although it’s not so easy on the eye as most of the other Vegas clubs – it reminds me of a huge hangar with a tiny podium in the middle of the dancefloor for the celeb hosts.
Vanity at the Hard Rock (4455 Paradise Road, 702 693 5555, www.vanitylv.com) completes the trio of new clubs. Like Haze, it opened last December, and while it’s smaller than most other clubs in Vegas, no expense has been spared on the decor – it’s a glam affair of mirrors, a vast chandelier and what are probably the prettiest loos in Vegas.
Of the other clubs, Pure at Caesars Palace (3570 Las Vegas Blvd S, 702 731 7873, www.purethenightclub.com) is perennially popular (I’m not a fan of the downstairs dancefloor, but I adore the balcony upstairs, which has unbeatable views of the Strip), XS at Wynn (3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, 702 770 0097, www.xslasvegas.com) is another outdoor club set around a pool, LAX at the Luxor (3900 Las Vegas Blvd S, 702 262 4529, www.laxthenightclub.com) is always good for a night out with a younger, more studenty crowd. And after you’ve danced your way through those, the place to finish the weekend is Drai’s (3595 Las Vegas Blvd S, 702 737 0555, www.drais.net), in the basement of cheap casino Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall, opposite Caesars, It only opens at 1am and it’s invariably where clubbers and celebs end up burning the early morning oil.
Where to stay
You can see my full list of recommendations here – Las Vegas hotels.