There’s nothing quite like a night out in Las Vegas. Between the flashing lights, glittering marquees, and $20,000 champagne, everything is over-the-top, lavish and absurd – and that’s half the fun of it.
Vegas clubs are among the best in the world, attracting A-list entertainment and frequented by the famous, the wealthy, and the royal – and those just looking for a good time. Much like the rest of the city, it can be a bit overwhelming to decide where to go and what to see – especially if you’ve only got a few days.
I’ve danced the night away at the most popular clubs in town – many of them multiple times. From this, I’ve experienced for myself just what makes them some of the highest-regarded scenes on the globe. But each club is unique, and each serves a different purpose; some are better suited for kicking the night off (what I call The Opening Acts) whilst others serve best as the main course (The Headliners). Read on to discover them for yourself – and get ready for a night unlike any other.
THE OPENING ACTS…
Hair is done, makeup is flawless, and heels are strapped on; in other words, you’re ready to hit the town. The clubbing scene in Vegas doesn’t really get into full swing until midnight, but that doesn’t mean you should hold out on hitting up the city’s swanky party haunts before then – in fact, the earlier you go out, the more freebies you’re likely to get. So grab your girls and call that rideshare: the following are some of the best places to start the night.
- Location: Bellagio
- The lowdown: Upscale lounge by day, party hub by night. Hyde is a quaint space that overlooks the Bellagio fountains (um, talk about coolest party spot ever) and the music is consistently pretty great. Sometimes, they get random socialites to come spin/hang out, too, like Brody Jenner or Joe Jonas – weird but also kinda fun. Best part? Free, unlimited champagne and vodka for ladies until 1 AM.
- Location: Wynn
- The lowdown: Similar to Hyde Bellagio, this is great for starting your night off (although I did spend my entire night here on a Thursday once and it was a blast). It’s an extremely pretty place, with a large outdoor patio that overlooks a little lagoon with a waterfall – they even have people spinning cotton candy on some nights. Ladies get drink tickets upon entry, and the club often cinches cool acts like AlunaGeorge, Kesha, and Daya to perform.
Surrender/Encore Beach Club at Night
- Location: Encore
- The lowdown: The space that’s Encore Beach Club during the day becomes Surrender after dark (or, in the case of the summer, EBC at Night.) Pretty big EDM acts like Dillon Francis and Major Lazer play here often, and promoters are generous with drink tickets/comp bottle service. Though the club itself is small for Vegas standards (particularly during the winter, when the pool patio is closed), it’s a great spot to load up on drinks before dancing your way over to XS for the rest of the night.
You’ve sipped on some drinks and sampled a club or two, but the night is still young. You’re ready for the full Vegas experience: the strobe lights, the excessive fog bursts, the intervals of confetti explosions amidst sparkling bottles and A-lister DJ soundtracks. You’ve come for the main event, which means you’ve likely arrived at one of the following:
Marquee Las Vegas
- Location: The Cosmopolitan
- The lowdown: As you might expect from the hotel it calls home, a night out at Marquee feels curious and bougie, evidenced by the fact that you enter the club via elevator. Marquee comprises of three sections: the main room where the headliner plays (complete with a sound system powerful enough to fill Madison Square Garden), a separate, hip-hop/throwback room called The Boombox (my personal fave – it’s less pretentious and the music is arguably better, depending on who’s headlining), and a smaller room called The Library (which I’ve actually never had the chance to explore!). Branching off of The Boombox is an outdoor patio that leads towards the area occupied by Marquee Dayclub – a lovely little balcony with a cityscape vibe and cool views of the Strip. The entirety of Marquee is modern, mischievous, and mesmerizing, making any night out here one you won’t soon forget.
- Location: Encore
- The lowdown: Upscale, over-the-top, and charismatic, XS is Las Vegas nightlife at its finest: a hip hideaway where beautiful people and dancing queens convene to while away the hours at the best spot in town. The club comprises of two main spaces: an indoor dance floor facing the DJ, and a huge outdoor patio complete with string lights, private cabanas, gambling tables – and, oh yeah, a giant pool. (If you come during the summer, be sure to check out the club’s iconic Sunday Nightswim; it’s the craziest pool party under the stars you’ll ever experience). The layout of XS feels comfortable and open – not to mention, all you have to do is enter to feel as if you’ve walked into the coolest party. Ladies get free drink tickets, and they consistently host the most A-list DJs – think Skrillex, Diplo, Kygo, The Chainsmokers, and David Guetta. With design like opulent sugar for the eyes, the entire club is excessive – but are you really surprised?
- Location: MGM Grand
- The lowdown: THE definition of mega-club, Hakkasan is 6 stories of opulence and intrigue – not to mention, stairs…lots of them. Like XS, they often get some great headliners (Zedd, Steve Aoki, Tiesto, Calvin Harris) but the club gets packed very quickly, which means lines to get in can stretch 1-2 hours if you don’t get there early enough. The MGM Grand is a monstrocity in and of itself, so it’s only fitting that it would house the biggest club in the city. But size and crowd issues aside, I’ve also witnessed some of THE most Vegas moments at Hakkasan – like random 15-minute open bar periods, dollar bills raining from the ceiling, and pillow fights at 3 AM.
- Location: Caesar’s Palace
- The lowdown: The same group that owns Hakkasan owns Omnia, so there are similar vibes here. Crowd control is undoubtedly its biggest issue, so it’s best to arrive as early in the night as you can to avoid waiting in line for hours – and keep in mind that Omnia rarely gives freebies. In addition to the main room, there’s an upper-level outdoor patio that overlooks the Strip as well as a separate hip-hop room (similar to The Boombox at Marquee). The main room has a massive, transformer-like chandelier that rotates and moves in sync with the music, and the club itself is gorgeous. Calvin Harris makes this his second home on Friday nights, but you’ll also find EDM acts like Kaskade and Cash Cash headlining as well (which I’d almost recommend over Calvin…I saw him here once and while he was great, it was packed in there to the point of discomfort. Plus management was really rude – although that likely holds true on non-Calvin nights as well.)
Got a favorite place to party in Vegas? Leave me a note in the comments below!