This article originally appeared in Sellebrity, Volume 1, Number 2.

It’s been 48 hours since your flight touched down in Las Vegas. Your first night in town was unforgettable: bottle service at Omnia with your closest friends by your side and your favorite DJ ensuring you danced up an appetite for 4am pancakes at Peppermill. Night #2 was similarly epic, with stops at Marquee, Drai’s and XS before finally drifting off to sleep as the sun peeked over the horizon.

But after two consecutive all-out nocturnal assaults, a three-peat is out of the question. You still want a night to remember, but the ringing in your ears and the bags under your eyes dictate something a bit more…mellow. Can you still have a quintessentially Vegas experience with an exclusive ambiance and a fabulous setting, but without the oontz?

As it turns out, you can. For those wishing to get away from the crowds and enjoy a discreet evening in a beautiful room with cocktails nearly as amazing as your friends, Las Vegas may be the ultimate destination.

Delano Las Vegas

If it’s an Instagrammable Strip view you’re after, you can always choose to dodge strollers and pay for the privilege of visiting tourist favorites like Stratosphere or Paris Las Vegas’s Eiffel Tower. Or you could dress to impress, then take a dramatic (and complimentary) 64-story glass elevator ride to Skyfall at Delano Las Vegas, where you’re greeted by wall of glass framing the most jaw-dropping, panoramic view of Sin City imaginable.

Making a night of it? Reserve a private VIP table on the dizzying outdoor patio or in the moody, darkly-lit lounge area and enjoy small bites from Alain Ducasse’s adjacent restaurant Rivea while sampling Skyfall’s comprehensive cocktail menu (including, of course, the punch-packing Vesper, made famous in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale).

But if your tastes run closer to those of a flamboyant Bond villain than 007 himself, there can be no better drink choice for your table than the Pink Flamingo Punch. Serving 6-8 of your most impressed friends, this Absolut Elyx, vermouth, aperol, stawberry & champagne concoction is served in a massive copper flamingo. You’re sure to be both shaken…and stirred.

Mandarin Oriental

Seeking to get away from it all without leaving the center Strip? Look no further than the exclusive Mandarin Bar, where 270-degree Vegas views, chic décor and unparalleled mixology reign supreme. Located 23 stories above the city in the sophisticated Mandarin Oriental, this hidden contemporary gem offers vistas from every seat and a stunning cocktail program curated by mixologist Michael LaPenna.

Try The Golden Leaf for a tropical twist on the classic martini that’s available exclusively at Mandarin Bar, or the bespoke Five-Star Martini offered only at Forbes 5-star hotels. Executive Chef David Werly’s Eclectic Bites menu features innovative dishes perfect for a pre-show meal.

And for the ultimate in exclusivity, look no further than Mandarin Bar’s The Edge, a private, luxurious space with full waiter service that’s perfect for gatherings of up to 30.


There is no lounge experience in Las Vegas as exclusive, as coveted or as beautiful as the Philippe Starck-designed Hyde Lounge. Most Vegas visitors know Hyde as a gorgeous nightclub, but few are aware that, from 5pm onwards, the space functions as an upscale lounge space, with no spots more desirable than the seven tables on Hyde’s outdoor terrace.

The reason why? Imagine an evening spent sipping award-winning cocktails, with an occasional warm desert breeze interrupting the patio’s cooling misters. Your seat is perched on the banks of an eight-acre lake, beyond which lies an uninterrupted, panoramic view of the Las Vegas Strip.

But when your view is interrupted, it’s by an illuminated, 450-foot-tall wall of water that dances along to music. That’s right, the Bellagio fountains are just a few dozen feet away, so close that their aquatic gymnastics completely fill the sky like a curtain closing on a stage. And no, that’s not rain you feel on your head….it’s the gentle mist from the fountains, arriving to help cool you on a balmy desert night.

There is only one word to describe an evening like this on Hyde’s terrace: magical.

The Cosmopolitan

Currently the hottest restaurant in Las Vegas, jewel box-themed New York transplant Beauty & Essex encompasses four unique experiences; dining in one of two breathtaking dining rooms, people-watching in the intimate Parisian bar, relaxing in the private, crystal-draped lounge…and a pawn shop. Yes, you read that correctly.

Nothing if not eclectic, entrée into Beauty & Essex is through an unmarked door in the rear of a pawn shop on The Cosmopolitan’s third floor. But behind that unassuming portal lies a true hideout where nothing else seems to exist. Reservations are unnecessary for the lounge and bar areas, but the exquisite service is retained…as is the mouth-watering menu (including, wait for it, French onion soup dumplings).

Stake out a spot in the drop-dead-gorgeous lounge and peruse the cocktail menu, helpfully segmented into “sweet,” “savory” and “barrel aged” categories. There’s no wrong choice, and the gin, St. Germain, pink peppercorn and lemon Pink Panther is particularly memorable. But no matter what you order, one thing’s for sure…you won’t want to leave.

The Cosmopolitan

A surefire way to ensure the success of a new bar or lounge in Las Vegas is to create a space that looks like nothing else in the world, then to serve a signature libation like no one has ever tasted. Hence the fame and cult following of The Cosmopolitan’s Chandelier Lounge.

Chandelier must be seen to be believed. Three stories in height and draped in thousands of beaded crystal strands bathed in soft pink & purple light, Chandelier is the centerpiece of the entire Cosmopolitan resort. Each of the bar’s three levels offers a different lounge experience, complete with bespoke, mind-blowing cocktail menus featuring descriptions like “miracleberry ginger gobstopper ice sphere with scented lolligarden.”

But it’s the lounge’s center tier (“Level 1.5,” officially) that offers the most relaxing and immersive experience. Inaccessible from the rest of the resort except for a single curving staircase, Level 1.5 successfully recreates the experience of relaxing inside of a crystal chandelier, while suspended between two of Cosmopolitan’s three stories for maximum privacy.

But no matter which level you visit, Chandelier’s off-menu Verbena cocktail is a must-have. A relatively straightforward lemon verbena & ginger infused margarita, the drink is topped with a Sichuan flower which, when chewed, releases alkaloids into your salivary glands that make them hyper-sensitive. Your entire mouth tingles before becoming numb, and for a few minutes your tongue becomes so sensitive that, when breathing through the mouth, the very *air* around you can be tasted. You may or may not enjoy the sensation (most love it), but you’re guaranteed not to forget it.

The Cosmopolitan

Despite being named one of the hottest spots in America by OpenTable, the amusingly-punctuated Rose.Rabbit.Lie remains one of the best hidden gems in Las Vegas. Located well off the beaten path behind dozens of nondescript conference room facilities on Cosmopolitan’s 2nd floor, this contemporary reinvention of the classic supper club concept is actually a maze of loosely Alice in Wonderland-themed rooms offering multiple distinct experiences.

Turn left from Rose.Rabbit.Lie’s anteroom and you’ll find yourself in The Study, an intimate lounge that’s an homage to the adventurous spirit of 19th-century British explorers. Wooden bookshelves display African artifacts, antique knickknacks and rows of vinyl, should you decide to kick the atmosphere up or down a notch using The Study’s record player. The bar’s cocktail program (“The Study List”) features eight of Las Vegas’ most innovative libations, with a liquor selection that’s second to none.

Wandering back through the anteroom leads you to The Music Room, a narrow, Art Deco-inspired speakeasy featuring live jazz bands, singers and tap dancers. The room-length bar features Music Room-specific drink offerings, including draft mules and pre-bottled riffs on Mai Tais, Manhattans and Sidecars.

When hunger strikes, the adjacent Library offers an award-winning (and hot wax-sealed) menu with surprising twists on old favorites, such as caviar tacos, pot au pho and short rib stroganoff. The back-lit triptych of Hieronymus Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights casts an inspirational glow on the Library’s cozy booths and tables, and assists in ensuring an evening like no other.

The Venetian

Priding itself on providing old school service in a bold, contemporary enclave, The Dorsey aims to singlehandedly bring back the ultra lounge concept to Las Vegas. Legendary NYC barman Sam Ross oversees the sleek lounge’s cocktail program, which features everything from a to-die-for penicillin to a tropical Jungle Bird (served in a ceramic tiki god) to table-friendly punch bowls.

The gorgeous brass, leather, marble and French oak-trimmed main lounge features deep, supremely comfortable couches and, glass bubble chandeliers and minimalist lamps…but for those needing to see and be seen, there can be no substitute for the entrance-adjacent Birdcage: a massive, circular leather booth inside a floor-to-ceiling brass birdcage with full-on views of The Venetian’s lively casino floor.

If you’re looking to escape the action, head back to The Dorsey’s library, a cozy, wood-lined space centered around an innovate steam-and-LED fireplace. And should you tire of the cutting edge digital artwork on the bar’s eight screens, the library offers an eclectic selection of books to enjoy from the comfort of your “fire” adjacent banquette. So order up another drink…you could chill here all day (or night).

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