Known for the seats around the combination firepit-fountain and for the luxuriant dresses worn by the bosomy waitresses, this place is old Vegas at its best. Or, at least, it was, until they put flatscreen TVs on every available surface and ruined the vintage feel. Still, the drinks are impressive; try a Scorpion, which will arrive in a glass that’s bigger than your head.
Scantily clad, buxom cowgirls – check. Mechanical bull – check. Pabst Blue Ribbon – check. Therein lies pretty much everything you need to know about PBR Rock Bar, located in PH’s Miracle Mile Shops right on the Strip. If beer’s not your thing, try one of the cocktails like the Hoedown Throwdown (Southern Comfort, vodka, and so on) served in a handled Mason jar. Toss back a couple and get ready for the bull.
Next to Aria’s Cirque du Soleil theatre, Gold is an inspired, 1950s-themed collaboration between Cirque and the Light Group. This gleaming ‘ultra-lounge’ is comfy and swanky, and tends to get busier as the evening wears on. With all the gold-dipped tones – even the bartenders and servers seem golden – you might leave feeling the Midas touch.
While you’re sitting and sipping your Shark Attack and gazing into the 117,000-gallon aquarium, it might occur to you to wonder: where are the mermaids? Don’t fret: they, and their companion mermen, will be along in a while, diving in on the hour in the evenings (except Tue) and performing underwater versions of Swan Lake. Cheap drinks and jellyfish tanks add to the eccentric appeal.
So many vodkas, so little time. This new bar, adjacent to Asian eaterie Andrea’s, offers some 150 different flavours – think bacon, think peanut butter – in a variety of concoctions that range from delicious (blood orange cosmopolitan) to very nearly demented (sugar cookie martini). But, hey, feel free to pick your own poison.
The Chandelier is at the centre of the new Vegas bar scene – and a three-storey chandelier is at the centre of this gorgeous, multi-level bar. You’ll be surrounded by sparkle, and dazzled by your fellow cocktailers as you sip a Fire-Breathing Dragon – or ask your bartender to come up with something to commemorate the moment.
Who needs stargazing when you can enjoy the shimmering lights of the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of your bar stool? Duck into this lobby bar at the Luxor for a few of its speciality cocktails – named after Luxor attractions – like the Carrot Top (vodka, rum, grenadine and more) or Bodies (tequila, orange liqueur, OJ), and you may forget all about the night sky.
Mixologists reign at the bar of this Italian/tapas restaurant, which aspires to a 1920s speakeasy feel. The bartenders focus on quality, tradition and innovation – the cocktail menu is arranged according to the history of spirits. Ask for a Bee’s Knees – a ’20s-era nectar of gin, honey and lemon.
Having dramatically remade its restaurants, the MGM then turned its attention to its bars. Along with Rouge, the Centrifuge is the most eye-catching, a circular bar near the front of the casino with TV screens, dancing girls and excellent cocktails. It’s more expensive than it should be, but still worth a look nonetheless.
Whether you’re Up or Down, there’s a Parasol cocktail for you. These two pricey, Euro-chichi hangouts overlooking the waterfall – which is lit up by projected images and colours – have more charm than standard casino bars, and are full of the sort of beautiful, wealthy people who like to hang out at this most chichi of resorts.
So named for the year that pilsner beer was first brewed, this new gastropub from chef Michael Mina is heavy on both the beer and the food. Mina’s hand is evident in bar bites like lobster corn dogs and Korean BBQ salmon burger, but you can just go for the beer too: more than 60 varieties are available. Get an $18 ‘beer wheel’, with eight different brews – after fortifying yourself with the 1842 Burger first.
If you like to drink to the sounds of tinkling ivories, but you want something a little more refined than the duelling pianos at Bar at Times Square, Petrossian might be right up your alley. Named one of the best hotel bars in the US premier hotel-industry magazine Santé, this upscale lounge features pianists throughout the day and an afternoon tea service beginning at 1pm. Also, liquor.
Suspended 55 floors above the city (check out the see-through patio with a view all the way to the ground) and decked out in blues and space-age silvers, Ghostbar is a dramatic spot. Enter via the private elevator (and prepare to pay the private cover charge), and try to get here before the glamorous masses: it starts to get busy from 11pm.
Aria at CityCenter is one of the best sights in the city—and its lobby bar, called View Bar —is one of the best spots for people-watching, centrally located as it is in the airy lobby, across from the check-in stations. But you’re paying – and quite dearly—for the views: cocktails run from $15 to $20. Kick back and make them last while you watch the beautiful people stroll by.
Inspired by the James Bond cocktail of the same name, Vesper is an oasis amid the otherwise thrumming activity of the Cosmopolitan. This isn’t to say it’s quiet; situated away from the casino near the hotel’s lobby, Vesper is often buzzing, but with a more sophisticated – cosmopolitan, if you will – vibe. The drinks, prepared by serious alcohol artisans, are amazing if pricey. But what a way to spend your money.