Unique Drinking Experiences in Las Vegas

In some bars and lounges, it’s the cocktail that makes for an unusual drinking experience. At other times, it is the environment or surroundings that make it noteworthy. Like anything else in Las Vegas, a unique drinking experience isn’t hard to find; it’s just a matter of what you’re looking for to create that wow-worthy memory.

3752 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
This property is now the Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas.

With a level of service that the huge hotels cannot come close to, the 392-room Mandarin Oriental is one of the rare, non-casino luxury hotels that provide an almost residence-like respite within steps of all that makes Las Vegas Las Vegas. Located midway along the Strip at CityCenter—an address it shares with the megaresort Aria and the Shops at Crystals—it is Asian-influenced in its decor, its service, and its Zen-like serenity. Business guests favor it, especially those who can afford the China-size suites, but so do deep-pocketed families. The best check-in-with-a-view in all of Las Vegas happens at the 23rd-story Sky Lobby, whose Las Vegas Strip panoramas can be enjoyed just off the lobby, in the Mandarin Bar or further down the floor, at Twist restaurant. Spectacular Strip and city views are a theme throughout the hotel; a whirlpool with a view, anyone?
506 Fremont St
Park on Fremont is a everything that a gastropub and beer garden should be, with a very cool, hipster bar (featuring taxidermy—a must these days), as well as ample space to stretch out underneath cafe lights in the back. It’s like a little piece of Austin, Texas right in the heart of Vegas. Plus, it’s open for brunch on the weekends.
525 Fremont St, Las Vegas, NV 89101, USA
As part of the downtown revitalization renaissance, one of the new, interesting places to open in the area has been Commonwealth, a stylish Prohibition-era cocktail bar complete with its own speakeasy. The cocktail menu consists of two types of beverages--those that speak to the higher-end crowd and those that are a bit grittier--but all of them are interesting and worth ordering. Commonwealth’s interior design is a bit dark but echoes the time period it is modeled after, and the attached, secret speakeasy has its own menu (ask a bartender for tips on how to enter and they might be able to help hook you up). One of the best highlights of this bar, however, is the fact that it’s a locals’ favorite, and there is an upstairs balcony where people hang out late into the night. The people watching from this open-air balcony is fabulous as people come and go from the Fremont Street Experience, though it can get a bit crowded at times.
3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Due to its prime location and sophisticated design, one thing you’re guaranteed to get when you stay at The Cosmopolitan is a stellar view. Every room has a balcony — a wonderful vantage point for viewing the city’s lights. Though the views are certainly a selling point for The Cosmopolitan, you don’t just check into the average hotel room when you stay here. Rooms are spacious with casual seating, a desk, and an incredibly comfortable bed. Every bathroom has a roomy tiled shower and deep sunken tub — also with a stunning view. To complement the resort’s edgy, avant-garde feel, a number of visually stunning and thought-provoking coffee table books are scattered throughout the room as well. Open since December 2010, The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has quickly become a favorite for those visiting from out of town and locals looking to spice up a few hours of their day. In true to Las Vegas fashion, the property has everything you need and those checking into The Cosmopolitan don’t have to leave the property during their stay given the many dining, entertainment, and shopping options on site. But once they walk into their rooms and settle in, they might be tempted just to hunker down in their private oasis.
Level 1, The Chelsea Tower, 3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Vesper Bar at The Cosmopolitan is our favorite spot for a serious Old Fashioned—or Elderfashioned, the house’s riff, which gets a dose of St. Germain.
3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Forget any notions you have about boring vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry milkshakes. At Holsteins in The Cosmopolitan, milkshakes are given an innovative twist, and many of them have a spirited, high-proof kick. At its roots, this is a diner-style eatery, so the menu consists of burgers and finger-friendly sandwiches, but none of these meals is made complete without a funky cool treat. Among the favorites on the menu are Drunken Monkey, Frozen Grasshopper, Black Cow Float and Cereal Bowl. If a shake doesn’t sound appealing, an incredibly extensive beer, wine and cocktail list is available.
The Shoppes at Mandalay Place, 3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
As far as bars go, Minus 5 is without question the coolest place in Las Vegas. The place sits in a giant freezer, and everything inside is made of ice—the walls, the chandeliers, the seats, the bar itself, even the very glasses in which you receive your drink. When you pay the $39 cover (it’s spendy, but it includes two specialty cocktails), you are issued a warm parka or faux-fur coat for the duration of your stay. Inside, music and lights create a surreal setting that pairs perfectly with the rest of the frozen goodies. It’s a night out you won’t forget soon. There are two locations—one at Mandalay Bay and a newer, smaller one inside Monte Carlo—with the same pricing and chilly experience.
3950 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89119, USA
Aureole Las Vegas has been on the city’s fine dining circuit for a number of years and combine progressive American food with that special twist that is often only found in Las Vegas. Chef Charlie Palmer is at the helm of this restaurant, which serves meals like the signature French Onion Soup with foie gras, truffles, gruyere and puff pastry. Dining at Aureole isn’t only about the food, however. Diners are treated to a show of sorts by watching wine angels soar up and down the four-story wine tower throughout the duration of the meal.
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