Almost every major hotel in Vegas has a pool club as well as a nightclub, but a combination of both on a rooftop at the heart of the Las Vegas Strip...now that can only be found at The Cromwell, courtesy of Victor Drai.
Along with Drai's Beach Club and Drai's Nightclub high above, there's also Drai's After Hours below ground. So if you stay here, at least in summertime, you can literally party around the clock without ever leaving the resort. But we'll go into that more later.
The Cromwell is a modern hotel with a boutique-style attitude. Even though the crowds of the Strip lie just outside the door, you'll be comfortably set back from all the chaos amid the dimly lit, sexy chic décor.
Imagine your experience going something like this: Beneath the porte cochere at the rear of the property, smiling valets clad in gray suits greet you and hold open the door. You enter an intimate reception area that feels like stepping into a romantic old world parlor. (The bookshelves are even lined with leather-bound tomes.) In the casino, deep shades of red in the carpeting and on the walls set the mood for...well, we'll leave that up to you to determine. But be aware, after you ride up to your room in one of the corset-laced elevators, anything can happen.
Speaking of amore, another standout at The Cromwell -- guaranteed to delight your palate and surprise your stomach -- is Giada, the first restaurant by chef, author and Food Network television personality Giada De Laurentiis. Her Italy-meets-California cuisine is original and tastes fabulous. Located on the second floor, the restaurant has remote-controlled hydraulic windows that wrap around the perimeter and showcase breathtaking views of the Strip and the Fountains of Bellagio. You'll also get an eyeful of good things before being seated as you pass the antipasti bar, pizza ovens and a station where pasta is rolled. No matter what you order, it will be divine -- just be sure to save room for the lemon ricotta cookies.
Now what were we talking about earlier? That's right, partying!
If the club scene isn't quite your thing, don't worry. There are two bars at The Cromwell where you can enjoy laid-back drinks. Interlude, the casino's center bar, is a great social gathering spot. Or near the front desk, try Bound with its classy gold and black interior. Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world's leading mixologists, created the cocktail menu. He's known for using unusual ingredients that pay tribute to and defy tradition. For example, the gin-based Breakfast Martini contains orange marmalade. Other must-trys include the espresso cocktails like the Never Say Goodnight and The Cromwell Fizz, topped with Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne.
As mentioned, when it comes to really letting loose and having a good time, you have three great options at The Cromwell. Drai's Beach Club and Nightclub are situated 11 stories high. Naturally, the views of the Strip are magnificent, but that's not all they offer. Here's the rundown: The beach club has 10 towering 35-foot palm trees, two full bars, two main pools and an assortment of lounge chairs, daybeds, bungalows and cabanas (some of which have their own private pools). Just inside, the nightclub boasts a state-of-the-art sound system, a dance floor (it actually opens out onto one of the pools), an elevated DJ booth with space for seven control-table operators, 270-degree wraparound video walls and a giant disco ball. Pretty cool, right?
And on weekends your daytime and nighttime revelry can be bookended with a visit to Drai's After Hours. The plush club spread throughout four rooms in The Cromwell's basement serves up craft cocktails and seductive dance music in glowing candlelight.
Few hotels in Vegas are able to offer all elements of the party scene with such unabandoned decadence. But The Cromwell does and does it with wholehearted gusto.