A resort lounge is about more than just comfort. A first-rate hotel lounge has ambiance, mystique and it has the understated confidence of an establishment that knows its worth and doesn’t need to flaunt it. Classier than a bar, yet more demure than a nightclub, a lounge exists in the in-between state where businessmen mingle with retires in argyle socks and where American frat boys sip vodka sodas with European honeymooners. A lounge is where whispered conversations, three a.m. slow dances and savored, “not ready for the night to end yet” cocktails reign supreme.
The following are five sophisticated lounges in Las Vegas that serve up cool comfort in a style that’s both unique and 100 percent “Vegas.”
Parasol Down at the Wynn Resort and Casino
If it seems like the parasols at the Wynn are following you as you ride the escalator down to Parasol Down, you’re not wrong. The pink, gold and orange hanging umbrellas continually lower and lift – gently spinning like beaded and tasseled ballerinas and earning themselves the nickname of “Dancing Parasols.” You wouldn’t be blamed if you didn’t notice them at first, however, as the floor-to-ceiling window view of the resort’s 40-foot outdoor waterfall is every bit the captivating focal point it was designed to be. After dark, the falls and surrounding lake explode in light and color during a show that includes holograms and over a thousand colorful lights.
Quiet, airy and tucked away from the bustle of the lobby upstairs, Parasol Down is ideal for an afternoon cocktail or romantic pre-dinner drink.
The Chandelier Bar at the Cosmopolitan
People-watch from behind a beaded curtain of crystals at the Chandelier Bar, a three-story lounge that’s part art display and part trendy hangout. The lounge sits inside a massive chandelier comprised of seven million crystals, giving you an opportunity to rub elbows with celebrities and sip Champagne while enveloped in a glittery, crystal-draped hideaway. Each of the bar’s floors has its own specialty drink menu and distinct vibe. You can hob-nob with the high rollers on the casino floor, get cozy on leather sofas on the second floor or groove as a DJ spins tracks on Chandelier Bar’s top floor.
Order the gin-based cocktail “We’re All Mad Here” and you’ll be in for a surprise treat. An ode to Alice in Wonderland, the cocktail starts blue but changes colors once blended, and is served with a tongue-tingling edible garnish.
Foundation Room at Mandalay Bay
Once upon a time, the House of Blue’s Foundation Room was a ‘members only’ venue. Though the elite lounge is now open to the public, its exclusive vibe still exists, thanks in part to its remote location – it’s hidden on the 43rd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino – and in part to the private elevator you’ll need to take in order to get there. The Foundation Room offers one of the most picture-perfect views of the Strip, showcasing the golden glow of the Mandalay Bay sign as well as an unobstructed view of the Las Vegas Strip that includes both the Eiffel Tower and the Stratosphere.
Go at sunset for a #nofilter photo of the punch-pink sky and try Cucumber Zen cocktail (made from mint and lemongrass-infused vodka, cucumber-scented vodka, fresh lemon, lime and cucumber). After you’ve taken in the view from the bar’s patio, head inside to dance and enjoy the cozy ambiance of the lounge’s low-lit, wood-paneled interior, accented with art from India and Tibet.
Skybar at the Waldorf Astoria
Perched on the 23rd floor of the Waldorf Astoria (formally the Mandarin Oriental) the sophisticated lounge with the floor-to-ceiling glass windows offers one of the more spectacular views of The Strip. Though the bar’s menu – which includes caviar and $29 cheese plates – might give the impression that Skybar is a showy lounge for the rich and stuffy, the bar is far from pretentious and the vibe is surprisingly low-key. Maybe it’s the unobtrusive bartenders, the gentle music or the comfortable leather sofas, but Skybar feels like the kind of bar where you could easily while away an evening with a glass of wine and a good book, a rare find in a city where loud and frenetic bars and clubs are the norm.
Try one of the many Nevada-themed cocktails – such as the Golden Knight, the Boulder Dam, the Sinatra or the popular Arizona Club – and then soak up the alcohol with a filling “Ménage à Trois”: skinny fries, tater tots, and sweet potato fries dipped in peach and bourbon ketchup, Chimichurri aioli and BBQ sauce.
Downtown Cocktail Room
Offering both unruffled, sophisticated ambiance and delicious, affordable craft cocktails, The Downtown Cocktail room offers a distinct “New-York-City-meets-vintage-Vegas” vibe with a hipster twist. Part lounge and part upscale cocktail room, the bar, which is located in trendy downtown Las Vegas, features 43 seasonal menus. It’s a great place to go for happy hour – when the vibe is intimate and subdued–or late night when a DJ spins house music. Though the lounge lacks an official dress code, you won’t find the stereotypical socks-and-sandals, gratingly loud, drunk tourist here. This crowd may get tipsy – the cocktails are strong – but the energy in the room remains chic and understated.
Try any of the bar’s cocktails – they’re all fantastic – but save room for a beer in the bar’s hidden, bar-within-a-bar speakeasy.