Las Vegas

Inspired by the "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas" attitude, and that it usually happens after dark, nightlife impresarios keep dipping into their vast pockets to create over-the-top experiences where party-mad Visigoths—plus, well, you and me—can live out some wild fantasies. The number of high-profile nightclubs, trendy lounges, and sizzling strip bars continues to grow, each attempting to trump the other to attract not just high rollers, but A-list celebrities and the publicity that surrounds them.

Many of the newest clubs even have gambling. Though, we ask, Why bother when you can lounge beside the pool by day and bellow at the moon by night while dancing half clad at a club until noon the following day (when it's back into the pool you go)?

In the late 1990s, once the Vegas mandarins decided that the "family experience" just wasn't happening, Sin City nightlife got truly sinful again, drawing raves from clubbers worldwide. A wave of large dance clubs, such as the Luxor's (now-defunct) Ra, opened their doors, followed by a trendy batch of cozier ultralounges—lounges with dance floors and high-tech amenities.

The game of one-upmanship has continued—recent additions that have kept the city hopping include Light Nightclub at Mandalay Bay and the mammoth Hakkasan at the MGM Grand. What's more, bawdy 1950s-era burlesque lounges are continuing their comeback with a gaggle of clubs now dedicated to the art of striptease.

Few cities on Earth match Vegas in its dedication to upping the nightlife ante. So with all these choices, no one—not even the Visigoths—has an excuse for not having fun, however you define the "f" word.

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  • 1. Drai's After Hours

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    All hail Victor Drai, classiest of Vegas nightlife sultans. The wild scene inside this after-hours titan is closer to a dance club or a rave...Read More

  • 2. Hyde Bellagio

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    SBE founder and CEO Sam Nazarian made a splash in the local nightlife scene with this posh ultralounge, famous for its front-and-center view...Read More

  • 3. Mandarin Bar

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Few views of the Strip are as breathtaking as the one you'll get from this über-chic lounge on the 23rd floor of the Mandarin Oriental at CityCenter...Read More

  • 4. Petrossian Bar

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Leave your designer handbags on the bar; this is a place to see and be seen. Sophisticated clientele frequent this piano lounge with experts...Read More

  • 5. 1 OAK

    Center Strip | Dance Clubs

    The "OAK" in this nightclub's name is an acronym for "Of A Kind," and, indeed, it's darker and louder than just about any other dance club in...Read More

  • 6. Alibi Cocktail Lounge

    City Center | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Who knew you could have an alibi 24 hours a day in Las Vegas? This cocktail lounge offers up that along with bottle service around the clock...Read More

  • 7. Bound

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Salvatore Calabrese created the inventive cocktails at this hidden gem tucked away at the back of the Cromwell, including a breakfast martini...Read More

  • 8. Casa Fuente

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    This full-service cigar shop reproduces the decor and atmosphere of El Floridita, Ernest Hemingway's favorite Havana watering hole. Its sophisticated...Read More

  • 9. Cleopatra's Barge

    Center Strip | Cabaret

    This kitschy lounge, which features a replica of the floating boats that once carried Egyptian royalty down the Nile, has been transformed in...Read More

  • 10. Drai's

    Center Strip | Dance Clubs

    Victor Drai wants your business day and night, and he nabs it with his multiuse space 11 stories up at The Cromwell. Drai's boasts the only...Read More

  • 11. Fizz Las Vegas

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Drink like Sir Elton John and his husband, David Furnish, at this chichi and very private champagne bar decked out with more than 50 provocative...Read More

  • 12. Hit Bar & Lounge

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    Located next to the high-limit area on Monte Carlo's main casino floor, the swanky and intimate Hit Lounge doubles as the classroom where members...Read More

  • 13. Koi Lounge

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Circles are a big theme at this lounge that fronts Koi restaurant. More than 20 Tibetan hand-carved prayer wheels are positioned around the...Read More

  • 14. Lily Bar & Lounge

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    This colorful (hence the name) ultralounge is quite literally at the center of the action in Bellagio; it's smack-dab in the middle of the casino...Read More

  • 15. Napoleon's Dueling Pianos

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    This baroque Paris piano bar can get loud, but it's all good fun. Free performances nightly at 9 pm. ...Read More

  • 16. Omnia

    Center Strip | Dance Clubs

    Las Vegas nightlife is always looking for the next big thing, and in the case of Omnia, that means a 75,000-square-foot behemoth of a club with...Read More

  • 17. Terry Fator

    Center Strip | Cabaret

    Las Vegas has long been a haven for impressionists, only this one lets his puppets do the talking. Fator is the likable second-season winner...Read More

  • 18. The Bank

    Center Strip | Dance Clubs

    Status is everything!" goes the motto at this white-hot, megadance club. The Bank sets itself apart with etched-glass walls, avant-garde chandeliers...Read More

  • 19. The Bourbon Room

    Center Strip | Bars/Pubs

    You wanna rock? Head to this model of the Bourbon Room from neighboring show Rock of Ages for all the hair metal your head can stand to bang...Read More

  • 20. Vesper

    Center Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    The Chandelier Bar may be Cosmopolitan's bar of the moment, but you shouldn't overlook the sleek Vesper Bar, the true mixologist space here...Read More

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