Long before the ultra-lounge, the nightclub or even the disco, there was the Las Vegas lounge. Every casino had one and for the price of 2 martinis, you could see the likes of Redd Foxx, the Righteous Brothers and members of the Rat Pack. Today, casino lounges electrify with live music and lavish settings during congenial hours of the evening, leaving time for dinner and a show. If you want to sample the city’s thrilling nightlife or a signature cocktail with a lot of eye candy on the side, get a hot taste of the new cool in these Las Vegas lounges.
This Beatles-inspired setting is adjacent to the Cirque du Soleil LOVE stage at the Mirage. The lounge puts you in a yellow submarine that floats through Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. There are lots of psychedelics here with pulsating light patterns, infused with the creative finger paintings of patrons. VIP tables incorporate infrared technology into guests’ tabletop artwork, projecting these oeuvres onto odd-shaped columns placed throughout the room. The Abbey Road Bar is open all day and night for casual cocktails. Music ranges from Beatles to Jay-Z.
At 51 stories with a spacious rooftop terrace, the view at Voodoo is half the entertainment here. Located directly above Voodoo Steak Restaurant this is a dine and dance joint that comes with a dare: you can order up a strange potion that comes in a big bowl-like glass or mix your own monster cocktail from the Spellmaker cart. The cart allows you to mix up to 40 cocktails from such brand names as Grand Marnier, Chambord and Navan, Angostura bitters, peach, passion fruit and simple syrups, citrus slices, zest twists and sprigs. Name your label in packages for vodka, gin, tequila, rum and even Champagne.
For a sip with a show, take a seat at the bar at Parasol Up or Parasol Down. These stacked lounges look out onto the Lake of Dreams, which comes to life every half an hour with a different show each time. The environment is more casual cocktails and conversation than intense “meet market.” As you relax under the decorative umbrellas or out on the patio over a lake as calm as glass, the lights go down, the lasers come on and the water with its spruce mountain backdrop turns into a stage of sights and sounds. Suddenly, 2 holographic flowers may appear just over the water doing a coquettish dance to a vibrant serenade; or a screen will rise on the mountaintop with an amusing short that extends into 3-D through special effects projected onto the lake. It may last 3 minutes or 10. But dazzling it will be.
The weather outside is frightful but inside Minus 5, it’s delightful. Grab a fur and a vodka – served just at the right temperature (27 degrees Fahrenheit) in a glass made of Canadian ice. In cold seats of carved ice you wonder whether you’ve landed in the palace of the Snow Queen or the secret cave of Superman. Don’t get too comfortable. Guests cannot stay more than 1 hour.
Looking for flaming tiki bowls with the pink umbrella? This is the place. It’s old Vegas – in its original spot on the Strip and serving much of the same fare it did in the early ‘70s. The Peppermill was the place for dark corner romances with “good” girls who just needed that extra punch from their punch. Today, it’s still the romantic lair of yesteryear with a centerpiece water feature of flowing fountains and fire. Leggy girls in tight cut dresses take the orders. Specialty of the House? The Scorpion: 64 ounces of sting with doubles of vodka, rum, grenadine, sweet and sour, balanced with OJ on the rocks or blended with a double of vanilla ice cream.
Lark Ellen Gould is a journalist who focuses on culture trends and curiosities in Las Vegas. She has written more than 5 books about the city.