Las Vegas resorts are continually trying to top each other in every way, but never more fiercely than with our nightclubs. I told you a few weeks ago about two new clubs. Now, for Labor Day weekend, four more clubs are joining the array of choices on the Strip (!), all more intimate and unique in character than our world-famous megaclubs like Tao and Pure. Check ‘em out:
• Lavo at Palazzo
When the people behind TAO announce a sequel, you know it’s a must-see, and Lavo (Latin for "bathe") does not disappoint. Mediterranean themed as half Roman bath, half North African souk, Lavo is technically smaller than TAO at 7,000 square feet, but in many ways better designed, with a larger lounge area and wide Strip-view patio (devoted to hookah smoking after hours), gorgeous glove leather seating, and lovely half-dressed ladies here and there in ritual bathing performances. The intimate top-floor club has a distinct New York/Euro feel, promising a sexy, high-energy, dance-anywhere-you-can scene. Hopefully the music will be equally creative and not just repeat the Tao formula.
A Vegas-sized offshoot of Miami’s ROKbar, the new club in New York-New York (who’d ever imagine this casino would be going after the hotties?) sets itself apart with a huge 360-degree video screen ribbon, making the moderate-size room feel like a private Times Square or Shibuya. Intense lighting, fog effects and an overwhelming sound system augment the oval space featuring performance/DJ stages on both ends and bottle service tables right on the dance floor with stiletto-proof banquettes and mobile modular tables. The outdoor Strip-view patio, with separate DJs, has a more relaxed and roomy vibe — a nice duality for a club that wants to make rock and dance music fans equally at home. Check the huge photos behind the bar — they move!
Miami’s Japanese-South American fusion restaurant (also in NYC, Chicago, Dallas and Tel Aviv) has likewise pumped itself up for Sin City, bringing a burst of creative cool that the Palazzo — if not the whole Strip — sorely needed. Hanging in the graffiti art and video infused dining room is trippy enough (like being inside an Anime), as is the decadently daring menu, but this SS is the first with an intimate 4,000-square-foot nightclub hidden in the back. Call it a space-age speakeasy! Great cocktails and a stunning sake list push it over the top.
Other than the larger-than-life chrome bull hood ornament, the restaurant/club overlooking a Lamborghini sports car dealership doesn’t have many "wow" factors, but the big bar, comfy Strip-side patio and large authentic Italian menu make this an interesting alternative.
Don’t forget Hard Rock Hotel‘s new rock club Wasted Space (my current favorite) and T.I.‘s new Christian Audigier nightclub too! Check with the venue’s reservations desk or your concierge for club hours and admission policies. (Related story)
Insider tip: Sept 1-7 is the annual Las Vegas Restaurant Week, when dozens of our best restaurants on and off the Strip contribute to local homeless charity Three Square for every prix fixe dinner sold ($25.08/$50.08). If you’re in town, don’t miss the chance to get a great meal deal for a great cause!
Related Orbitz resources:
E.C. Gladstone is a former editor for AOLVegas, and interviews top
Strip entertainers, restaurateurs, moguls and behind-the-scenes
players for VEGAS Magazine. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when