December 2010

Intrepid Traveler Big Night Out

Want an over-the-top New Year’s Eve? Las Vegas is still the go-to destination  by RAHA LEWIS

  • Surrender
  • Tryst
  • Rain
  • Mandarin Bar

For those who like to cocoon as one year slips into the next, this list is not for you. But if you want to greet 2011 with thousands of like-minded revelers, get thee to Las Vegas for some blue-chip parties.


“Celebrities, locals and tourists alike are looking to have an amazing time. The energy here is unmatched,” says club entrepreneur Jesse Waits of December 31 at the Wynn Hotel and its sister, Encore. Of general partner Waits’ two clubs, this is the more intimate, boasting the chain’s characteristic opulence. If you, say, fancy a cocktail served with 23-carat flakes, just ask for the Ménage a Trois, and it will be yours...for $2,000 a glass. $150 for men, $75 for women; tables start at $1,000. Call 702-770-3375.


Some 5,000 celebrants are expected to ring in the New Year at Waits’ Encore club—home of the $10,000 cocktail that comes complete with its own stingray-embossed signature cufflinks. And the club lives up to its name, with 95 VIP tables and a 40,000-square-foot outdoor pool area with gambling tables and 30 cabanas. Note, the long, thin lamps you’ll see are actually dancing poles, so approach with caution. No definitive word on celeb attendees, though last year, Ne-Yo and Nicky Hilton partied here. General-admission guests are welcome, but table reservations are highly recommended. $150 for men, $75 for women; tables start at $1,000. Call 702-770-0097.


This is the first New Year’s Eve party at Sean Christie’s place at the Encore—the Disneyland of nightclubs. And it’ll be one wild night. Public displays of euphoria too much for you? Opt for a private bungalow overlooking the strip. A-listers on the NYE guest list aren’t confirmed at press time, but attendees at the venue’s opening weekend included Sam Worthington and Reggie Bush. $75; tables start at $1,000. Call 702-770-7300.


Not into clubbing or gambling but looking for an end-of-the-year high that’s still deluxe? Think about seeing in 2011 while enjoying an expansive view of Las Vegas and sipping a signature cocktail on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental. “This place is for the sophisticated, the young and young at heart,” says the hotel’s general manager, Rajesh Jhingon. Don’t forget to look at the ceiling—it’s inspired by a Chinese to-go box. $100; tables start at $300. Call 888-881 9367.


This club at Aria Resort & Casino hosted Vegas’ MVP Awards in November—that’s Most Valuable Partyer, so it’s a safe bet they know how to do it up right here. Ring in New Year’s in their two-tiered, 25,500-foot club complete with laser beams, manufactured smoke and flat screens. Last year, the 10-foot flying robot Kryoman of Ibiza fame—yes, an actual LED-fueled dancing robot—appeared, firing lasers and cannon blasts of cold oxygen at revelers (who could no doubt have used a cool-down by that point). Reservations strongly recommended. $150; tables start at $3,000. Call 702-693-8300.


Since Labor Day 2008, this Palms Casino Resort club has been packing in crowds on Saturdays with Paul Oakenfold Presents Perfecto, the DJ’s dance frenzy of music, lights, screens, lasers and indoor fireworks that is tailor made for a serious year-ending blowout. “We want everyone to party hard and have a good time,” says Bronson Olimpieri, VP of brand management for its owner, the 9 Group. “There is no place in Las Vegas I would rather be,” declares Oakenfold. “The energy in this club—nothing like it.” $75; tables start at $50 per person. Call 702-942-6832.


Cosmopolitan, the Strip’s youngest hotel, is opening with a massive bash on the year’s biggest night—organized by event planner Colin Cowie and headlined by the genre-spanning combo of Jay-Z and Coldplay. This is invite only, but you can still be in the eye of the hurricane at the hotel’s brand-new club, where DJ Erick Morillo will be spinning. A celebrity host hasn’t been confirmed, but we’re told the headliners might be mingling after their performances. $300; tables start at $1,000. Call 702-333-9000.


There’s no law that says you can’t keep it rocking into the next day. House-music phenom Tiësto kicks off his monthly Vegas residency by cranking the tunes for 4,000 partyers at the Hard Rock Hotel’s state-of-the-art venue on January 1. Neil Moffitt, CEO of Angel Management Group, first worked with Tiësto after meeting the then unknown in 1997 in Ibiza and offering him a residency at his Amnesia nightclub. This is one hot ticket. Reservations strongly recommended. $110. Call 702-526-8211.