I don’t need to tell you that there’s no shortage of places
to get a drink in Las Vegas hotels — in fact, most every casino resort has
several options to choose from, any time of the day or night. But just as a
wine cooler is not the same as a handcrafted mojito, some bars and lounges are
a bit more worthy than others. Whether you’re looking for a business meeting
place, a low-key romantic room (note to Valentine’s Day procrastinators) or
just a stylish spot with no cover, no line and no attitude… these are the best
property picks. IMHO, anyway.
10) Rush Lounge, Golden Nugget: An almost Hollywood-worthy
stylish lounge in perhaps the least expected place. Frankie Moreno’s house band
is also reportedly among the best in town.
9) Tempo, Zen, Las Vegas Hilton: Inside the casino-side Tempo lounge
is an ultra-Mod escape you would never expect at the Hilton. Also have to give
a shout out to the vintage Benihana Village Zen lounge, which really is quite
8) Cleopatra’s Barge, Bradley Ogden lounge, Caesars Palace:
Despite several more modern options here, my heart belongs to Cleo’s vintage
kitsch, complete with artificial smoke and cheesy lighting. The casino-side
lounge of Bradley Ogden’s A-list eatery is also a sweet spot.
7) Fontana, Sportsbook, Bellagio: The Fontana lounge not
only offers world-class entertainment, but also one of the best views of the
fountains from its balcony. The Sportsbook bar is elegant enough to be suitable
for any occasion.
6) Liquidity, Tender Steak lounge, Luxor: Liquidity is a
cool mid-mod designed bar with rainfalls everywhere you turn, and DJs at peak
hours (try the “jaded mojito”). Right off the casino, Tender’s clubby, comfy
bar serves classic cocktails like Moscow Mules and Old Fashioneds. Done.
5) The lounges at Delmonico and Cut, Venetian / Palazzo: Two
restaurants win out here — Delmonico’s lounge has its own pianist during happy
hour, and you can order Emeril’s great apps. Cut, by Wolfgang Puck is the definition of mod luxe,
and also has a fantastic bar menu and handcrafted cocktails.
4) Parasol Up/Down, Wynn Las Vegas: Truly one of the property’s gems,
this split casino bar overlooks the Lake of Dreams in two linked but distinct
identities, so evocative of a mid-century international fantasy, you expect
Audrey Hepburn to glide in at any second (try the Viking martini or cucumber
& lavender mojito). New sister hotel Encore’s Eastside Lounge is a sweet escape, too.
3) The lounges at Koi, StripHouse, Planet Hollywood: While
the Heart bar on the casino floor has some intrigue and energy, I lean toward
the great lounges in restaurants Koi (a room which evokes the inside of an
oyster–great saketinis) and StripHouse (a noir-style bar decorated with
vintage erotica). Both unique.
2) West Wing Bar, MGM Grand: The definition of hidden gem, MGM’s
West Wing Bar (beyond Centrifuge) is New York sleek and sexy (leather loungers
for two!) with a menu of caipirinha varieties. More accessible, Rouge sets a
high mark for an open-walled lounge. (try the Stoli Lychee)
1) eyecandy, Mandalay Bay: Virtually everything a lounge could
or should be–a cool dance floor with go-go platforms and side banquettes,
comfortable bars with original cocktails by master mixologist Tony Abou-Ganim
(try the Pineapple-Ginger Mojito, or “Pure Joy”) and a variety of private lounge
areas too. Fantastic.
Honorable Mentions: Napoleon's and Eiffel Tower Restaurant
bar at Paris; Stir at Platinum, Rojo at Palms Place, and the Gaudi lounge at
Sunset Station (still the most improbably gorgeous casino center bar anywhere).
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, and several other publications . Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when absolutely necessary.