Day clubs, pool parties, nightclubs, and stripclubs galore.
My last post explains how partying isn’t all there is to the city, but come on, a girlfriends’ vacay to Vegas isn’t complete without Vegas-style partying. I’m sure that a few consecutive nights of laid hair, beat faces, and glammed up garbs in preparation of doing just so is at the top of your agenda. But with a seemingly infinite number of options and nighttime hotspots close to everywhere you turn, it might take a little consideration to narrow down where you and your ladies will decide to grace your presence.
You’ll be approached by tons of promoters (yes tons -- be prepared) on the strip soliciting you to join their free before midnight guest lists at various clubs.
Decide what type of party scene you want to partake in for the night and RSVP for a club with an appropriate music selection/crowd for your tastes.
Which genre gets you and your girls on the dance floor the most? Hip-hop hits, house music, EDM, top 40, or a mix? Many clubs play a mix of it all, and bigger clubs will have multiple DJs playing various genres throughout the space, but certain clubs specialize in a specific music atmosphere, or dedicate different nights to different genres. I definitely recommend looking into who the club caters to beforehand. Thanks to Instagram, a quick hashtag search can pull up flyers and/or videos for you to get an idea of what to expect. Also, talk to the promoters -- trust me, I know it’s easy to ignore them all when they approach you and keep walking, but they can give you some helpful insight about the evening happenings.
More than likely, a big name celebrity (or 3 or 5) will be hosting different venues on any given weekend, especially if you’re visiting during a holiday weekend. Celebs will guarantee a packed house for that party, but they also bring longer club lines and higher admission prices, which you may or may not be willing to bestow.
Let’s flashback to New Year’s Eve ‘13.
Adrienne, our friends, and I chose to ring in the New Year’s at the Venetian’s TAO nightclub. On top of TAO already being extremely popular sans-holiday, J.Cole was the performing celebrity guest, and it was the big New Year’s Eve bash -- which altogether put ticket prices at a whole $150. Yikes. This included quick entry that bypassed the general line, free drinks & hors devours (which we totally missed because we spent too much time getting done up, of course), and the chance to see J. Cole perform all while celebrating at one of Vegas’s finest clubs. What it did not include was a table or bottle service of any kind. Come again? Hmmmm. I personally don’t enjoy paying anything for clubs -- not $20, not $10 -- so I was surely beyond skeptical about copping this $150 ticket.
But Tamika, Adrienne, and I wanted to celebrate with our other 6 girlfriends from home who were also in Vegas, in addition to a group of guy friends we had linked up with during the trip. So, we bit the bullet and drilled out that $150 hole in our wallets. Why? We knew we would have an epicly great time with them.
And yes, we absolutely, sure enough had a fabulous, fantastic night. Adrienne and I both deduced that that night was one of top events ever when it comes to parties, out of town club experiences, and New Year’s Eve nights we’ve experienced together -- hands down. We reminisce about this night with any given opportunity. All across the board, it was crazy, chaotic, entertaining, and earnestly unforgettable. TAO itself is LAID; a huge Asian inspired club with rich decor that will awe you even in dim lighting. From spa baths to Buddha statues, it’s apparent that the designers really hit gold with this blueprint. Being in an upscale environment where everyone shined and dripped in dapper, yet seriously got down on the flo, definitely boosted the thrill of the night. For us, though, it was all about the people we celebrated with. The 15+ of us had all pretty much taken over the section. We soaked in the once-a-year, intoxicating aura that the top of the New Year brings and counted down with the entire club as the clock finally struck 12:00, West Coast time. We gave each other cheek kisses at midnight, jammed nonstop, laughed, spilled back champagne, joined a group of Indians in their VIP (the most hilarious moments of the night), and cavorted around the club until our poor stilettoed feet couldn’t take anymore. It was a New Year’s for the books, and I don’t regret a dollar spent.
In telling this story, I want to communicate that it’s really up to your tastes in nightlife, your budget, and how much fun you typically have when you’re out to decide the best venues for you.
If you go during a holiday weekend, expect an increase of celebrities, thus, a rise in admission prices and longer lines at all the top clubs. It’s always fun to see a live performance from your favorite star, and the crowds they bring are full of energy. The costly ticket/expensive cover could be worth it if you deem it so. But keep in mind that the smaller clubs can be fun too, and way easier to get into.
Our solution? Balance. Choose one or two club events you pay for, and as for the rest, RSVP for a guest list and do everything in your power to get there early enough to take advantage of the free entry and free drinks that venues offer before 12.
Whatever you do, the most important thing is to go with people who love to have a good time. Make friends, dance with other partygoers, and get your responsible buzz on. Go be flawless, fantastic, and fun-loving! It’s not the time to be stuck up, sitting down the entire night, or standing against the wall. Why did you come to Vegas again!? But. Important note: just don’t take anyone up on offers to get married.
A few more of my Vegas club experiences so far:
XS, @ Encore → Erin, Brittani, and I came here because we’d heard it was one of the livest spots in Vegas. But once we got in, we realized it was totally not our scene. Although very much aesthetically pleasing, the incessant house music drove us crazy after about an hour. My music tastes have since expanded, and now I enjoy techno raves more after getting a taste of European music festivals and nightclubs in Ibiza, but back in 2012 I wasn’t here for it. A mix with some hip hop would have kept us happy and on the dance floor, but it just wasn’t that kind of party. There’s also the fact that I’d thrown a drink on a rather rude young African male, but that’s neither here nor there. Needless to say, we dipped out of there pretty swiftly. As suggested earlier, ask or search around to find out what the venue’s music selection is hitting for that night -- don’t be blindsided like we were.
Pure, @ Caesar’s Palace → Ahh, the remarkable night I turned 21. If I could only re-live it. The DJ was on point, the crowd was all the way live, and the venue was gorgeous. The funniest and most memorable part of my birthday night/morning (literally entered the club right after 12AM) was meeting a group of Canadians who absolutely loved us. Erin and I were getting our lives to “N*ggas in Paris” or whatever else was hot at the time, getting our groove on by their section. Next thing we know, they’re getting our attention and asking us to join them. They were probably the oldest bunch in the house, about 6-7 men and women in their mid 40s, and a few even had white hair. It’d normally be a little bizarre for us to be reveling with the oldheads in the club, but these old heads looked like they were having the time of their lives. They told us over the music that they loved our energy and our styles and wanted to party with us. Despite the fact that they were old enough to be our parents, we weren’t going to pass up on a table full of high energy, beverages, and plenty of couch space to dance on. So, we hopped over and introduced ourselves, and the rest of our time in Pure was history. We ended up spending hours dancing, cracking up at their moves, rocking and rolling with VIP, all while being served by the table hostesses, compliments of our new friends.
I remember them taking turns posing with us for endless pictures, and being greeted mid-dance by their digital camera flashes for candid shots. I assume somewhere in the folds of Facebook there’s an album full of pictures from this priceless night, photos we will never see. We were too busy strutting, twisting, bouncing (all of the above) to take many pictures, ourselves, unfortunately. Luckily, I know my recollection of it will last for as long as I have the ability to recollect -- my 21st was too popping to forget. Thank you, Pure, for being the venue that will forever hold these hysterical memories of my golden birthday.
SN: You know it’s a great night if you wake up with sore knees and shins due to dancing against couch backs, fueled by rap lyrics and banging beats that make you feel like you own the place, with a multitude of people on the floor treating you like you’re the star yourself. Those temporary leg bruises? Yup, totally worth it.
LAX, @ Luxor → This is was the first club we visited during New Year’s weekend; the Friday before NYE (which was on a Monday). Adrienne and I had just touched down and we got our names on the guest list so we could meet up with our girls there. The club itself isn’t the fanciest or biggest, but nicely sized with a good ambience. Even though it never got packed enough for them to open the second floor, there was a decent crowd that was the perfect size for the first floor. I’d give both the music selection and the overall energy a 7.5-8/10. Luckily, this was one of our free club nights. Not a night that particularly went down in history or anything, however, for it to be our warm up night, we had a great time kicking things off.
RPM, @ Tropicana → I believe this was a short lived club that’s closed now. However, when I went in 2012, it was free, and fun with good music. Maybe the Tropicana will try yet again with reinventing this nightclub.
Strip Clubs → During my first trip, Erin and I were scouring the net for a King of Diamonds, Miami style spot. Surely Vegas would have one right? Wrong. Well, at one point it used to. We learned, however, that the club, which had been frequented by visitors such as Rick Ross and other artists you would typically see at KOD, had gotten shut down to excessive ratchetness. Violence, ridiculous fines, things of the like. We just wanted the KOD experience, a venue where we would actually have fun, but surprisingly, you just can’t find that here. Stick to Stadium, Magic City, and KOD.
My two girls’ trips to Vegas both occurred in the winter. As much as I would love to delve into Sin City’s notorious beach parties here, I have yet to experience them. I did have the time of my life on both occasions, but I hear summer in Vegas and the wide array of popping pool parties trump all other seasons. I’m ultra excited to go for my friend Brea’s birthday this August, though, and my third girls’ getaway here shall be a charm.
Look out for my next and final post of this Vegas mini-series. I’ll review the great hotels I stayed in and provide a few more bonus tips that I hope can help make your trip a success! P.S. Please excuse the blurriness and overall quality of the photos here -- I blame it on inebriated photographers and underdeveloped iPhone 4 megapixels.