Food & Drink

From XS to Surrender: The Thrillist Guide to Vegas's Best Nightclubs

Published On 05/20/2014 Published On 05/20/2014
club
Danny Mahoney
Danny Mahoney
Al Powers
Martin Tessler
Al Powers, Powers Imagery
The Light Group
Caesars Entertainment
Brenton Ho, Powers Imagery
MGM Resorts International
Erik Kabik
Tryst
Beacher’s Madhouse
MGM Resorts International
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1. XS Nightclub 3121 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Palm trees, pools and parties await you in a gold-plated, mirrored interior at Winn’s premiere nightclub XS. With table service both indoors and outdoors to serve the 100 VIP tables spread throughout, you can expect lines at one of Vegas’s most indulgent and most beloved nightclubs to be snake far beyond the door. When you’re ready to escape the dance floor (and its EDM soundtrack), try your hand at one of the poolside blackjack tables outdoors. But don’t spend it all -- you’ll need a hefty chunk of change to close out that bar tab.

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2. Hakkasan Las Vegas Restaurant and Nightclub 3799 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

If you like world-famous DJs (Tiesto, Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris), eating exquisite Cantonese food, and imbibing specialty cocktails, odds are you'll love Hakkasan Las Vegas. You can sip on a wide variety of mezcals alongside Japanese whiskies, and the cocktails themselves are often works of art, including the longtime favorite Smoky Negroni, which blends Ransom Old Tom gin, vermouth, and Campari with Grand Marnier infused with smoke. Thirteen flights are also available that showcase whiskey, rum, and other high-end spirits.

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3. 1 OAK 3400 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Short for “one of a kind,” nightclub 1 OAK brings a unique combination of art, fashion, and celebrity to The Mirage. Although its moniker is slightly misleading (there are also locations in LA and NYC), 1 OAK offers an incomparable nightlife experience, from surprise performances by up-and-coming musical talent to celebrity appearances. Beats span hip-hop, Top 40, and house jams, but what 1 OAK lacks in discriminating music tastes, it makes up for in a strict dress code. Attire is necessarily “upscale chic,” and you’re warned that all entrance is at the discretion of the bouncer. Best of luck to you and yours.

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4. Marquee Nightclub & Dayclub 3708 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

No Vegas club handles the day-to-night transition quite like Marquee. The premiere spot at The Cosmopolitan is notorious for its dayclub, an exclusive adult oasis you’ll likely recognize for its crystal blue swimming pool with bikini-decked bodies packed like sardines. After guests have successfully dehydrated themselves in the daylight hours (thanks to both sun and cocktails), they can celebrate round two at Marquee’s nightclub, where international house music DJs have year-round residencies. If EDM isn’t your thing, snag a seat in The Library, an elite drinking lounge complete with leather armchairs and pool tables.

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5. Light Nightclub 3950 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89119 (Strip)

Inspired by Cirque Du Soleil, Light offers a similarly creative and experimental take on Strip entertainment: smoke and mirrors, people hanging from ropes, and DJ sets from Skrillex are just the beginning at this laboratory of Vegas nightlife. A massive floor-to-ceiling LED screen behind the DJ booth stimulates your senses, and a mix of EDM and hip-hop gets you moving on the dance floor. When it comes to performers, house favorites range from Disclosure, Morgan Page, and Baauer (the guy responsible for the "Harlem Shake") to rap and R&B acts like Tyga and Nas.

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6. Chateau Nightclub 3655 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

A nightlife triple-threat, Chateau gives you the option to dance the night away in its club, take the party outdoors to its second-story terrace, or head to its Versailles-style, open-air rooftop gardens nestled under the Paris Casino's replica of the Eiffel Tower. Who can refuse panoramic views of the Strip from a VIP cabana? On the dance floor, you'll be getting down to Top 40 hits that keep Chateau's frequent bachelorette parties happy. Oh, and Shaq has played a DJ set here. More than once. Yes, Shaq, as in Shaquille O'Neal.

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7. TAO Nightclub 3355 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Located in the Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian, this Asian bistro meets nightlife hotspot is a staple on the Strip, offering -- perhaps unexpectedly -- excellent Chinese, Japanese, and Thai small plates in its extravagant restaurant downstairs (and we mean "extravagant" -- bathtubs full of rose petals line the entranceway and a giant Buddha statue supervises your dinner) and a rotating lineup of DJs in its multi-room nightclub upstairs. You'll feel like a celebrity (and possibly bump into some) as you bounce from one swanky room to the next, getting down to top-40 hits and, on certain nights, special acts that have included Snoop Dogg.

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8. Hyde Bellagio 3600 Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

A legendary Vegas nightclub, Hyde Bellagio is on the cozier side at 10,000sqft, so unless you have a table, things are going to be intimate on the dance floor, where you can get down to a solid mix of top-40 hits, EDM, and hip-hop. The open-air view of the famous Bellagio fountains makes up for the smaller space, and regular costume parties with themed outfits and champagne showers step up the club's game, too. You can expect DJs ranging from Lil Jon to Brody Jenner, as well as multiple bottle-service packages. Come earlier in the night and it'll feel more like a lounge than a club, if that's the scene you're craving.

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9. Surrender 3121 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

You'll want to dress to impress at this lavish after-hours club at the Wynn Resort, where you can hit the 5,000sqft dance floor for guest appearances from DJs like Diplo and Will.I.Am. It usually gets pretty packed in front of the DJ booth, so if you're looking for some air, head to the spacious pool area behind it, which has become the real draw at Surrender anyway. There's plenty of room underneath the tall palm trees there (and at the extra bar areas and gaming tables) to get as far away from the pounding music as you like and kick back with friends and cocktails.

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10. Tryst Night Club 3131 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

This Wynn nightclub with a subtle, intimate atmosphere as well as an outdoor deck and pool area boasts a waterfall by the pool with a little bit of breathing room compared to other Vegas latenight staples.

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11. Beacher's Madhouse 3799 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Celebrity impersonators are scattered throughout the crowd at this MGM Grand night spot, which rocks a variety show on stage that includes wrestling and heavy metal balancing acts, and even acrobats who deliver bottle service.

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12. Haze 3730 Las Vegas Blvd S, Las Vegas, NV 89109 (Strip)

Pass through a series of rusted steel walls before crossing a bridge over a moat into Vegas' coolest superclub, which wreaks havoc on your senses via a 20-foot wall of flickering lights & interactive projection screens, hanging puppetry-inspired props, and of course bumping house tunes.