LAS VEGAS -- In the continuing evolution of lounge entertainment,
Vegas-style, the ultralounge has been spawned.
The ultralounge, the hip hotel nightspot, may be described as
follows: somewhere between a lounge and a nightclub; not too loud
but not too quiet; typically features offbeat music that may
promote spontaneous dancing; opens late evening and closes near
dawn; attracts a more-sophisticated and slightly older clientele
than dance clubs; and typically offers appetizers or dessert in
addition to specialty cocktails.
The following is a sampling of ultralounges:
Tabu at MGM Grand
Chic and cosmopolitan in both decor and atmosphere, Tabu aims to
draw a hip, upscale crowd that appreciates the finer things.
Engaging models/hosts serve up a lively mix of libations --
including body shots -- while changing into ever more provocative
outfits as the night progresses.
Music is a twist on classic lounge tunes and European-influenced
vocal house blends. Volume, thankfully, is kept at a comfortable
level to allow conversation.
Special-effects lighting produces sensual images on walls and
tabletops, while the "beautiful people" primp and check each other
It's Hollywood meets Las Vegas, and that seems to be a winning
combination, as Tabu is jammed by midnight.
Caramel at Bellagio
Named for the candy that once coated the rims of the martini
glasses here (an idea that didn't work -- the caramel melted too
quickly), this intimate room, located in the casino near the
buffet, starts to come alive after diners finish their repasts on
Bellagio's restaurant row.
Handblown glass sculptures and opaque marble tables adorn the
room, while tunes from Sinatra to the Stones set the mood in this
Dancing -- mostly slow -- takes place in the room's center, so
those participating are on display. A light menu offers shrimp
cocktails, pates and smoked salmon.
Window coverings pull down at about 10 p.m., providing couples
ensconced in comfy sofas a measure of privacy.
Ghostbar at the Palms
Perched on the 55th floor, this indoor/outdoor lounge and
skydeck boasts a panoramic view of the glittering strip.
Patrons luxuriate on intimate lounging furniture in both the
main lounge and the snug VIP room.
The crowd here is slightly younger than the average ultralounge
demographic, and the energy level ratchets up as the night -- or
morning -- goes on.
Mist at Treasure Island
And you thought Treasure Island was a family resort? That was
last month. The emphasis at "TI" (the property's new nickname) is
now on adults.
In addition to Kahunaville (a Caribbean-themed bar and grill)
and Breeze (another tropical-twist watering hole), Mist fits with
the new theme. More neighborhood bar than hipster hangout, this
lounge appeals to all classes, with monitors showing everything
from sporting events to music videos.
Risque at Paris
Upstairs from Paris Las Vegas' new Ah-Sin pan-Asian restaurant
is Risque, an ultralounge that succeeds at living up to its name.
Lush couches, beds and wide ottomans give Risque a sexy edge. And,
in a daring design, the club's male and female rest rooms share a
common, translucent wall.
A late-night dessert bar features creations by pastry chef
Couples on the intimate dance floor and in the balconies provide
the ultimate form of ultralounge entertainment: people-watching --
and it's very good here.
Shadow Bar at Caesar's
Since off-Strip strip joints are siphoning off guests by the
thousands, it's a given that the hoteliers would do whatever it
takes to get some of that revenue back. Most hotels now feature a
showroom-based, adults-only revue -- and sexy lounges are the
obvious natural progression.
Shadow Bar at Caesar's is probably best categorized as an
ultralounge/classy go-go bar hybrid; a combination previously
thought to be mutually exclusive.
After dancing their set, the ladies at the Shadow Bar don
elegant eveningwear to mingle with guests.
Bartenders bottle-juggle and do back flips, while the 30- to
50-something crowd enjoys cocktails and appetizers in cozy
Light at Bellagio
Doing double-duty as both nightclub and lounge is Light's
Those needing to see and be seen gravitate to tables near the
dance floor, while couples looking for intimacy retreat to the
secure VIP area for privacy with a view.
There is action aplenty to take in here, with no lack of takers.
A parade of limos disgorge celebrities who show up to party in the
It's all nirvana to the clubsters, of course, as the buzz of
another star sighting travels around the room at warp speed.
Bellagio's hotel-front water ballet spectacle is a mere sideshow;
the main attraction is inside, and it is quite a scene.
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