Sin City has endless casual drinking establishments, but it also has many upscale establishments where you can dress up and drink even more refined. These establishments, which fall into the entertainment category of “Lounge” or “Ultra Lounge,” are establishments with more impressive interior design and décor that attract a more well-dressed clientele starting in the late evenings.
Like their nightclub counterparts, Las Vegas lounges emphasize music, alcohol consumption, and sexy people-watching. However, there are a few key differences between the Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip and the more famous nightclubs of Sin City.
What is the difference between a lounge and a nightclub?
Lounges are smaller places than nightclubs, with a layout usually half the size (or less) of nightclubs.
Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip usually do not have dedicated dance floors like nightclubs. However, unlike a regular bar, in any lounge, you will often find a large number of people dancing to the music, either standing in their seats or in small open spaces in the lounge that does not have dance floors but can be a de facto gathering place for drunken strangers to dance together.
Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip offer drinks of all price ranges but usually emphasize craft cocktails and higher-end mixology; nightclubs offer more standard drink options and emphasize pulsating music and light shows/pyrotechnics. Seating availability. The lounges often accommodate groups with seating at a reasonable price or simply require a credit card account with no minimum charge in exchange for seats. In nightclubs, seats are only available if the customer reserves an expensive VIP section requiring at least one or more bottles.
Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip often offer dining options, sometimes a full dinner menu, but more often, a limited set of appetizers to complement a drink menu or overall theme. Nightclubs rarely offer any dining options, as their focus is on drinking and dancing. That said, a few nightclubs do offer appetizers, such as fruit plates or fries, as an option for VIPs, and many lounges and clubs even allow you to order pizza and other resort restaurant dishes and have them delivered late at night to high-cost tables.
What’s the difference between a Lounge and an Ultra Lounge?
All along the length of Las Vegas Boulevard, various lounges and ultra lounges offer diverse and obscure beverages to entertain the 42 million strip visitors a year. How are the two categories different?
Truth be told, the distinction between the “Lounge” and “Ultra Lounge” categories is subjective, but most nightlife industry insiders agree that it has to do with the atmosphere that the management of a particular venue tends to project across the spectrum from “cool” to “relaxed,” from “noisy” to “down to earth.”
Loudness of music
In a lounge bar, the music is quieter-often live music is played-which, which promotes a relaxed atmosphere and encourages conversation among guests. Ultra Lounge, on the other hand, tends to play louder dance tunes, often played by a live DJ, that encourage you to move and rock out.
Again, both Lounge and Ultra Lounge lounges create an upscale aura that surpasses that of regular bars and dive bars; however, Ultra Lounge wants more dancing, so they usually provide wider aisles, smaller open spaces, and less space taken up by couches, tables or other seating.
So, you and your wife have put on your best outfits for tonight, and you intend to visit one of the best lounge bars in Las Vegas on the Strip. You’re dressed damn well for a reason, and you’re on the lookout for a Vegas drinking spot with more energy and activity than your average bar.
Here are the best Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip to help you make your choice.
#1. Clique Bar & Lounge
A popular hotel and meeting place for beautiful people in their twenties and thirties from around the world since its opening, the Cosmopolitan continues to stand out from all other Las Vegas lounges on the Strip, maintaining its modern style and sophistication and constantly adding new entertainment. A popular playground for traveling and affluent young foreigners as well as locals, Cosmo Casino has always attracted the “cool kids” crowd with its long list of lively restaurants/lounges and many Instagram-worthy attractions.
At the center of Cosmo’s first floor is Clique, a gem tucked right in the middle of Las Vegas’ seemingly endless treasure trove of Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip. Clique lures curious passersby into its arms with a steady stream of cool kids gathering at the entrance at all hours of the night and the timeless Top 40/hip-hop tunes playing on the radio and coming from behind half-drawn curtains. Once inside its seductive walls, you’ll love the sexy wait staff, the mixology at the tables, and the original cocktails, including a wide selection of cocktails, champagnes, and aperitifs.
The several outdoor areas inside the Clique often turn into places to dance when the clock strikes midnight, which is a great way to shed excess energy or even just people-watch. And if you’ve only signed up for the latter, you can not only have a drink but also sample a variety of appetizers and dishes from Clique’s popular menu – we recommend the signature wings, juicy sliders, delicious deep-fried Oreos… Or all of the above?
Located in the heart of the Cosmopolitan on the casino floor, this Las Vegas lounge boasts a wide range of experiences. Table mixology, timeless music, and signature cocktails are just some of Clique’s offerings.
Tabletop Mixology takes center stage in this sophisticated lounge. It allows original recipes invented by innovative bartenders to grab your attention and quench your thirst. Clique also offers a wide selection of cocktails, champagnes, and aperitifs.
#2. The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails
The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails, also located in the Cosmopolitan, is a memory of a bygone era and one of the best Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip. Relax in the barber’s chair for a classic haircut, beard trim, or dangerous razor shave, all under the watchful eye of a master barber. While you groom yourself, sip one of the many fine whiskeys from the barbershop’s extensive collection.
Behind the barbershop’s unassuming door is an upscale bar that reminds us of the Prohibition era. In the evening, The Barbershop Cuts and Cocktails hosts live entertainment and offer a wide selection of whiskeys.
#3. The Alibi Ultra Lounge
The sparkling jewel of the central Strip overlooking the desert, Aria is one of the largest hotels on planet Earth: 4,004 rooms, including 568 suites, and two superb AAA Five Diamond Award-winning hotels. The ultra-modern accommodations complement the ultra-modern entertainment venues on the casino floor: Aria has perhaps the best collection of upscale restaurants – CATCH, Javier’s, Lemongrass, Carbone, Din Tai Fung, and Sage, to name a few – among all the restaurants on the Strip resort, in addition to several high-end places to sit down and have some unusual drinks.
The best of these, Alibi Ultra Lounge, benefits from its coveted location in Aria: It’s immediately visible from the main entrance for Aria visitors, and it’s in the center of the casino floor, with heavy foot traffic on all sides. Alibi’s rich, cozy interior is beautifully decorated in dark tones, and its staff, a master mixologist – one of the best in Vegas – impresses the entrants with a combination of high-end spirits, original ingredients, and exceptional service.
It’s especially crowded on weekdays when there’s a major industry or white-collar conference in town, as Aria is a popular hotel for professional services employees on business trips. Friday and Saturday nights are also crowded, especially when a well-known artist performs at Jewel Nightclub, less than a hundred feet away, drawing a crowd and thus pushing secondary traffic to Alibi.
Still, most Vegas party insiders would agree that the scene at Alibi is often more fun than the stage at Jewel on any given night: the music is always top-notch, and the crowd is often filled with beautiful, well-dressed customers complementing the beautiful, well-dressed drinks served in the bar and chic lounge areas.
A timeless soundtrack and luxurious, relaxing ambiance make this Las Vegas lounge the perfect place for any gathering and one of the best Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip.
#4. Electra Cocktail Club
The Electra Cocktail Club at the Palazzo is the centerpiece of the resort’s casino floor. Bold and contemporary, Electra is the brainchild of celebrated mixologist Sam Ross and his partners. Traditional and abstract custom artwork adorns the space, provoking and inspiring the free-spirited people who come to Vegas. In the evenings, Electra’s 40-foot high-definition electronic wall showcases colorful artistic imagery synchronized to the rhythms of hip-hop, R&B, and rock music expertly mixed by local DJs.
The whole scene encourages attendees to quickly order and drink their drinks and then immediately take all available seats to dance, dance, and dance all night long. However, don’t forget to order your drinks. Electra Bar’s menu focuses on strong drinks of rum, mescal, and agricoli, as well as light cocktails, including a peach daiquiri and Ross’ signature frozen penicillin, a smoky blend of whiskey, lemon, ginger, and honey.
Other offerings like the Cucumber and Elderflower Daiquiri (with white rum, fresh lime, cucumber, and elderflower) and the Discontent Mai Tai (with two rums, Aperol, fresh lime, curacao, orgit, and Anderberg) are good to the last drop and worth the pause and enjoy before letting the music keep you occupied.
This Las Vegas lounge offers excellent cocktails. Special attention is given to rum, agricoli, and mescal, strong drinks that taste just as good as wine or whiskey. Electra’s innovative bartenders can concoct a unique cocktail to suit your tastes, from dry to sweet and everything in between. You can also choose signature drinks from the menu, such as the Penicillin, a frozen version of the Penicillin, the Age of Aquarius with mescal and passion fruit, or the Tears of the Unicorn with gin, sherry, and pineapple.
Among other Las Vegas lounges on the Strip, this one stands out because of the digital canvas that takes up the entire wall of the Electra. As night falls, artistic images appear on it. From traditional to abstract, the custom artwork is designed to draw attention and provoke thought. Throughout the evening, contemporary hip-hop and rock music, masterfully mixed by resident DJs, is played in the room.
#5. Juniper Cocktail Lounge
“There’s a new gin bar in town” is the name of this new Las Vegas lounge located in the center of the newly renovated Park MGM Casino. The Juniper Cocktail Lounge, which features the largest collection of gin in Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip, takes its name from the juniper berries from which the gin is made. The menu features a carefully selected cocktail list using homemade juices and syrups, as well as a skillfully chosen menu of spirits.
The ambiance is open and warm, with a welcoming atmosphere. At night, a DJ and bottle service add eclectic energy to the mix.
#6. Skyfall Lounge @ Delano / Mandalay Bay
The Delano brand embodied the white style and splendor of South Beach for nearly a decade before moving across the country to Las Vegas. This signature splendor was taken from the beach to the desert and carefully replicated throughout the Mandalay Bay Hotel, including the famous and well-established rooftop ultra-lounge. Located next to the Rivea, the James Bond-style Skyfall Lounge is a multi-sensory spot with the best panoramic views of the Las Vegas Strip among all Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip.
Here you will find modern interior design, innovative food, signature cocktails, and a low-key sound. Despite the strict dress code, Skyfall Lounge has a laid-back atmosphere: a carefree escape from the cacophony and stress of Sin City as local DJs spin mellow tunes to relax you, and you can nod your head to the beat of eclectic rhythms. Any seat on the 64th floor of Skyfall Lounge offers a beautiful, unobstructed view of the Strip.
But in-house mixologists provide another level of elegance with an extensive and seasonally changing cocktail and drink menu. If you want to make sure you have room to enjoy the view, advance reservations are recommended; alternatively, you can present your room key to Delano/Mandalay to get in without a line and get a free glass of champagne if you arrive before 8:30 p.m.
#7. Rhumbar @ Mirage
Current mood: relaxed island. If this applies to your trip to Vegas, Rhumbar, a very stylized cocktail and cigar/candy lounge inspired by the cool breezes of the Caribbean, is your style. The spacious lime and coconut-colored outdoor patio instantly conjure up thoughts of a tropical vacation with a frozen fruit drink in hand, only instead of the shoreline, you’re just steps away from crashing waves against the bustling Las Vegas skyline.
The establishment has floor-to-ceiling windows that offer unobstructed views of the Strip lights across the swaying palm trees to the manicured landscape of the Mirage. As for entertainment, Rhumbar is NOT just a day at the beach. Yes, diners can puff on a cigar or hookah while sipping the finest collection of rum cocktails among all other Las Vegas Lounges on the Strip. Or they might shift their gaze from the many big-screen TVs to weird characters dressed only in Vegas, such as Darth Vader and Pikachu, passing through the lively Mirage lobby on their way to Las Vegas Boulevard.
Still, the nightly music format varies between DJs, singers, and live bands and features an upbeat vibe with a distinct Latin flavor – salsa, reggaeton, bachata, Caribbean hip-hop sounds – that encourage guests to rock out on outdoor patios under the desert stars.
#8. Artisan Lounge @ Artisan Hotel
Classy. That’s the only word most often used to describe the Artisan Lounge, a pristine entertainment venue inside the Artisan Hotel. Its true location is technically classified as the Vegas Strip, but it’s actually tucked away one street west of Las Vegas Boulevard on Industrial Road. Surrounded by lush vegetation on the outside, Artisan Lounge is renowned for its reputation as a hidden gem: once discovered, the candlelit establishment treats its curious customers to stunning interior architecture, wood paneling in rich tones, mirrored ceilings, soft leather sofas and reproductions of classic paintings by Monet, Picasso, and Da Vinci.
Popular among knowledgeable Vegas locals and their hipster friends from California and beyond, the Artisan Lounge offers a pleasant respite from the hustle and bustle of the Strip yet is always crowded enough to feel like everything is going on endlessly. Attendees delight in the bar’s creative, reasonably priced drink menu, cozy dance floor with a variety of music, and an ultra-cool outdoor patio that invites long conversations among old and new friends.
Oh, and two more huge extras: food is served from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., and the Artisan Lounge, not to mention the rest of the hotel, has free Wi-Fi, so you can immediately share on Instagram and Snapchat the sights and sounds of your memorable time with all your envious friends around the world.