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. Foundation Room

    South Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Ancient statues, tapestry-covered walls, pirated Mississippi road signs—the Foundation Room gets high marks for aesthetic appeal. Though it...Read More

  • 3. 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

  • 4. 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

  • 5. Parasol Up

    North Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Not to be confused with sister lounge "Parasol Down," this exquisite-looking—and exquisitely tranquil—setting near the entrance of Wynn Las...Read More

  • 6. Peppermill's Fireside Lounge

    North Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Pining for a genuine taste of retro Las Vegas? This kitschy and shagadelic lounge remains one of the town's truly essential nightspots. Just...Read More

  • 7. 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

  • 8. The Artisan Lounge

    West Side | Piano Bars/Lounges

    This not-yet-well-known favorite of ours is in the slightly out-of-the-way Artisan Hotel and is sort of an upscale version of the Peppermill...Read More

  • 9. Velveteen Rabbit

    Downtown | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Nothing like a feel-good story in Las Vegas. Sisters Pamela and Christina Dylag saved and scrimped to open this great, velvet-lined cocktail...Read More

  • 10. 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

  • 11. Blue Martini Lounge

    South Las Vegas | Piano Bars/Lounges

    It's in a shopping mall eight minutes from the Strip (by taxi), but we won't hold that against the Blue Martini, because it's still pretty cool...Read More

  • 12. 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

  • 13. Commonwealth

    Downtown | Piano Bars/Lounges

    As urban renewal continues Downtown, the one-block stretch of Fremont east of Las Vegas Boulevard (dubbed Fremont East) remains the hottest...Read More

  • 14. Coyote Ugly

    South Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Barmaids in tight clothes break into choreographed bar-top dances intended to make Hooters look like a church picnic at this noisy tourist trap...Read More

  • 15. Downtown Cocktail Room

    Downtown | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Hiding from your creditors? Seeking a good spot for a séance or a Spin-the-Bottle party? If so, then consider stepping—carefully—into the gorgeous...Read More

  • 16. Eastside Lounge

    North Las Vegas | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Head to this swanky lounge in Encore Wednesday through Sunday at 9 pm to hear Michael Monge sing the classics as well as hits from Billy Joel...Read More

  • 17. Eyecandy Sound Lounge

    South Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    High technology hits the Strip at this vast "interactive" ultralounge in the center of Mandalay Bay's casino floor. For "future shock" freaks...Read More

  • 18. 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

  • 19. Franklin

    South Strip | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Delano gives its classy lobby lounge a moniker that goes with its theme: the 32nd president. Bourbons, whiskeys, and barrel-aged drinks are...Read More

  • 20. Ghostbar

    West Side | Piano Bars/Lounges

    Perched atop The Palms, this apex of ultralounges has rock music, glamorous patrons, glowing lights, and a glassed-in view of the city. Step...Read More

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