5 LGBT winter travel picks for 2015

By on December 17, 2014 

WinterTravel2015

Winter travel can often be hectic with the potential for weather delays. But with so many great options awaiting, it’s worth taking the risk (and maybe buying some travel insurance). The upcoming season brings such fun opportunities as popping champagne in Sin City and cruising to Aussieland. Here our are 5 top picks.

Las Vegas

When it comes to amazing places for ringing in the New Year, Las Vegas is among the leaders. And this year, gay travelers from around the world can take part in Evolve Vegas NYE, a three-day over-the-top celebration, from Tuesday, Dec. 30, to Thursday, Jan. 1. The schedule of events includes exclusive performances of Zumanity by Cirque du Soleil and Frank Marino’s Divas Las Vegas, multiple parties and opportunities to tour Sin City’s many attractions. The main New Year’s Eve party is being held at Havana Nightclub, with the evening to include special appearances by Jujubee and Raven from RuPaul’s Drag Race, viewing of the Strip’s iconic fireworks show at midnight, and music by the Abbey Los Angeles resident DJ Casey Alva. The MGM Grand, which recently completed a $175 million renovation, is serving as the host hotel. For more information, visit lasvegas.com.

SEE WHO ELSE MADE THE LIST! 

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Evolve Vegas NYE announces headliners and new package options!

Vegas, Las Vegas. Gay Vegas, MGM Grand, Jujubee, Raven

Evolve Vegas NYE, the first International New Year’s Eve event of its kind in North America, takes place December 30 – January 2 in the city recently named Favorite American City to by OutTraveler.  The Ultimate Package provides accommodations in the luxurious MGM Grand Hotel & Casino and admission to all events.  The Party Package allows you to book your own accommodations but still “EVOLVE” with the crowd!  And the single EVOLUTION ticket promises a night full on fantasy and excitement.
Headlining the Main Event, appropriately entitled ‘EVOLUTION’, will be Jujubee & Raven from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, just one of many OMG! Moments you’ll experience throughout the night.  This will be the most exciting NYE party of the year as we welcome guests from more than 30 countries and provide entertainment and experiences that only happen in Vegas.  Come “EVOLVE’ with us when the clock strikes midnight and you dance your way into the New Year with DJ Casey Alva, the Abbey’s resident DJ in Los Angeles.  You’ll also experience the Iconic Las Vegas Fireworks from a private EVOLUTION viewing area.
Transportation will still be provided from the host hotel the MGM Grand and VIP packages are available! Tickets on sale now at www.EvolveVegasNYE.com

“PUCKER UP for your chance to see Britney Spears on New Year’s Eve!”

NL Evolve Kiss Contest LargeWe’re asking people to #EvolveKISS the one you love or even SMOOCH your POOCH and KISS the competition goodbye!
There are many ways to enter! Upload to Facebook, Twitter or Instagram a kissing photo and tag #EvolveKISS!  You can also upload your photo directly to our Facebook and Website! http://bit.ly/KISSLV
Get creative and practice for the special KISS at midnight at Evolve Vegas, the first International Gay New Year’s Eve Celebration in Las Vegas!
Grand Prize Winner will receive 2 tickets to the New Year’s Eve performance to Britney Spears and tickets to all 3 Evolve Vegas parties taking place December 30th– January 2nd.  Second & third place photos receive American Express Giftcards!
Our main NYE Event: “EVOLUTION” will take place at the Havana Nightclub in The New Tropicana with special guests Jujubee & Raven from Ru Paul’s Drag Race.  Package and individual tickets on SALE now at www.EvolveVegasNYE.com

Seven striking things at the SLS Las Vegas

Vegas hotels are like babies. Although easy to conceive, they are hard to deliver. And each arrival is greeted by clamoring crowds, all eager to check out the newborn on the block.

Well, there’s been a recent birth at the north end of the Las Vegas Strip: SLS Las Vegas Hotel & Casino.

The resort debuted with a bang last Friday night. Not only was there an eye-popping fireworks display, but the grand opening celebration was a visual treat as well. Celebs were spotted at the event. Food and drinks flowed copiously and tasted every bit as good as it looked. And a backdrop of pulsating lights and music fed the nonstop party atmosphere.

This extravagant evening was a long time in the making. Sam Nazarian, CEO of the nightlife and hospitality empire SBE, purchased the historic yet rundown Sahara Hotel & Casino in 2007. Since then, he’s hung on tight to his vision – through an economic downturn and top-to-bottom renovations – of giving the property new life.

So was the SLS Las Vegas worth the wait and all the fanfare? We think so. And here’s what we love about it.

Monkeys at SLS Las Vegas

The monkeys

That’s right, the monkeys. Everybody loves monkeys. Tall monkeys. Small monkeys. Dinner jacket-wearing monkeys. Monkeys are just fun.

You’ll see four simians scampering about with a fork, a mirror and two goblets in the SLS logo. You’ll see them around the property – in a chandelier, in artwork that hangs above the casino floor and on the resort’s white sedans. And you’ll see them at the Monkey Bar, across from the registration desk. Framed black-and-white photos of monkeys in suits line its back wall.

The bottom line: Monkeys set the perfect tone – because the SLS Las Vegas, though stylish, is far from being stuffy and conventional.

Digital effects at SLS Las Vegas

The digital art installations

Don’t go looking for an erupting volcano, dancing fountains or a Lake of Dreams at SLS Las Vegas. This resort hasn’t got them. Instead there are seven different digital art installations created by KT Corporation from Korea. At the main entrance, you’ll walk across LED color-changing floor tiles that are triggered by your feet. A digital “cloud” hovers over the Center Bar. You’ll discover the north side of the parking garage forms a canvas for 3-D video mapping at Foxtail Pool Club. (This one is sure to blow you away.) There are also striking digital screens behind the front desk and near the valet entrance off Paradise Road. And captivating LED installments also come to life in LiFE nightclub.

Décor at SLS Las Vegas

The décor

Except for the bones of the building, the former Sahara has been completely made over. But in a nod to the past, Nazarian has had custom carpets created from photographs of the legendary property at its prime. On other carpets you may catch sight of iconic images – like Sean Connery as James Bond – by British photographer Terry O’Neill.

There are oversized brass birdcages for dancers at the Foxtail lounge, and the walls bear the lettering of French graffiti artist Tarek Benaoum. No stencils were used. He did all of this freehand.

Inside restaurants such as Katsuya by Starck, a pair of giant eyes reminds you that it’s all about seeing and being seen at SLS Las Vegas.

Bazaar Meat and The Griddle Cafe

The food

All of the dining venues at SLS Las Vegas are standouts – from the Mediterranean delights at Cleo and the dumplings at Ku Noodle to the scrumptious spread at The SLS Buffet. But The Griddle Café and Bazaar Meat belong on your must-visit-ASAP list.

SLS Las Vegas is the only place outside of Hollywood where you’ll find The Griddle Café. Breakfast is served all day here – including pancakes, French toast and waffles loaded with goodness. Red Velvet panCAKEs, anyone? They’re topped with cream cheese icing. Once you’ve tasted The Griddle Café’s sweet fare, you’ll want more and more and more. Ah, what a heavenly sugar high.

Then there’s Bazaar Meat. As its name suggests, this carnivorous restaurant is a cut above traditional steakhouses. Decorative red glass is suspended from a white domed ceiling over the bar, much like falling drops of blood. There’s a display of scary-looking handmade knives (you can actually purchase them) outside the entrance. And a butcher shop-esque arrangement of exotic, top-quality meats is on exhibit inside. Created by culinary innovator José Andrés, you’ll enjoy watching your meal prepared to perfection in Bazaar Meat’s open kitchens on wood-burning grills, in charcoal ovens and on rotisseries. If you’re a meat lover, it just doesn’t get any better than this.

Nightlife at SLS Las Vegas

The nightlife

Nazarian and his team are kingpins in the nightclub industry. So it’s a safe bet the club scene at SLS Las Vegas will be ranked among the best in Sin City.

Hollywood favorite The Sayers Club opened its second location at the resort. This small live music room is a cool place to grab a drink on any given night. But what’s better is that you never know who might show up to perform. At the grand opening party, Lenny Kravitz became the first artist to take the stage. Swedish pop star Tove Lo will appear on Aug. 28. Who else will be there? Bruno Mars? Stevie Wonder? John Mayer? You’ll just have to stop by to find out.

While The Sayers Club is intimate, the multilevel LiFE nightclub is enormous. Surrounded by LED installations and HD projections along the walls and DJ booth, it will feel like you’ve entered a sensory playground – especially when aerialists descend from the 60-foot-high ceiling. In addition to VIP balconies and the artists’ green room on the second floor, the open-air Beach LiFE pool is located on the third floor.

Unami Burger, Beer Garden and Sports Book

The beer garden

It’s common knowledge that a good burger will enhance any sports viewing experience. And a burger always tastes better when it’s accompanied by a cold beer. So combining all three on an outdoor patio would be the best of all worlds. Drumroll, please, for Unami Burger, Beer Garden and Sports Book. It stretches alongside Las Vegas Boulevard near Sahara Avenue. The people watching here is already great fun and it’s only going to get better, thanks to developments on the other side of the street, like Rock in Rio (arriving in 2015) and Resorts World Las Vegas (debuting in 2016).

Fred Segal shopping experiences at SLS Las Vegas

Fred Segal

Hermès. Check. Louis Vuitton. Check. Chanel. Check. You’ll find all of these big brands at resorts on the Strip. What you couldn’t get – until now – was Fred Segal.

Established in the ’60s, this iconic retailer from Southern California has made his first foray into Sin City. Segal has created and is curating a shopping experience that spans more than 10,000 square feet at SLS Las Vegas. His seven boutiques offer a broad range merchandise including jeans, jewelry and bathing suits.

“This retail experience is really interesting and different. It’s an authentic experience and not a version of anything else that’s been brought here,” said Segal at a press conference held last week. “I think it’s a truly individual experience for Las Vegas.”

And we think SLS Las Vegas – where luxury meets playfulness, and high-tech wonders meet a vibe of relaxed simplicity  – is a truly unique addition for the city too.

SOURCE: Blog.Vegas.com

History Made in Las Vegas – First International Gay New Year’s Eve Celebration!

Press ReleaseGuests from Six Continents Celebrate on the Las Vegas Strip

Las Vegas, recently voted Favorite American Destination by OutTraveler Magazine, is the host city for an exciting new event, Evolve Vegas NYE (New Year’s Eve).  #EvolveVegas is a 3-day gay New Year’s Eve experience that will bring men from more than 30 countries, on six continents, to the city that provides non-stop fun, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Hosted at the world famous, MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, Evolve Vegas NYE takes place December 30, 2014 – January 1, 2015 and offers shows, receptions, parties, dining, shopping, tours and more.  And for those who want to continue the fun, a weekend in West Hollywood, California, one of the hottest gay meccas in the U.S., takes place January 2-4, 2015.

“I am so excited, as this will be the first time in my 30 year Las Vegas career that I will be performing for an all gay audience.  Finally, I can do pop-culture jokes that everyone will get!  This night is going to be one Big Party!” says Frank Marino headliner of the Divas Las Vegas. Celebrating the 25,000th show this year, Frank Marino’s Divas is one of the most spectacular production shows in the city, and is just one of the many events included in the Evolve Vegas NYE experience.

The event will kick off with a private VIP reception, featuring Zumanity performers and champagne, followed by the sensual Cirque du Soleil performance that offers a seductive twist on reality.  Zumanity makes the provocative playful and the forbidden electrifying and allows you to leave all inhibitions at the door and let loose as this adult-themed production takes you on a sexy thrill ride full of sensational acrobatics and naughty fun.

After the show, guests will party at the official opening reception at Liaison Nightclub at Bally’s Hotel & Casino.  With unrivaled décor, a top-tier sound system and impeccable service, Liaison, the first gay nightclub in a Las Vegas Strip resort, offers guests an elegant experience with hot entertainment and DJs spinning until the wee hours of the morning.

Day Two is a free day to shop, explore the city or experience the beautiful landscapes of Southern Nevada including the Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam, Red Rock, Valley of Fire, even Mt. Charleston which features snow skiing….yes snow in Las Vegas!

New Year’s Eve will kick off with another VIP party, before opening up to the main celebration at the Havana Nightclub on the Las Vegas Strip.  This event will also welcome local gays, as well as hot DJs, exciting entertainment, special guests, seductive dancers, complimentary cocktails and a private VIP fireworks-viewing from the patio of the club.

If that’s not enough, Day Three offers the Mob Museum in Old Vegas, The High Roller at the Linq, the VooDoo Zipline at The Rio, or Madame Tussauds at The Venetian. There are many more to choose from and the activity of choice is included in the package.  That evening a historical first is taking place with the private showing of Divas Las Vegas, only available to Evolve Vegas NYE guests. This energetic show starring Las Vegas’ longest running headliner, Frank Marino, features an all-star cast of superstar female impersonators who not only recreate, but almost uncannily duplicate the likenesses of stars ranging from Liza Minnelli to Britney Spears.  After the show, the festivities will continue at Share Nightclub, a gay ultra lounge with a hip nightclub downstairs and a private Ultra Lounge and bar on the second floor.

CONTINUE THE PARTY IN WEHO

For those who would like to extend their stay, a limited number of tickets are available for a weekend in West Hollywood, California.  Transportation will be provided on luxury motor coaches for the short 4-hour ride through the Mojave Desert, and luxury accommodations have been booked at the Sofitel Hotel at Beverly Hills, a stunning property offering elegant European accommodations and dramatic décor.  On Friday night, guests will have the opportunity to sample all of West Hollywood’s gay nightlife and festivities with special offers for Evolve Vegas NYE participants.

Shop along Rodeo Drive, visit the Santa Monica Pier, experience the West Hollywood scene or relax in your room on Saturday afternoon and enjoy a blowout party at the Here Lounge at night.  After a tasty brunch on the patio of the Sofitel, guests will head back to Las Vegas on Sunday afternoon for one last fling, or fly home from Los Angeles and start the New Year pumped up from an amazing week on the West Coast of the USA!

According to Evolve Vegas NYE President and CEO Mya Reyes, “Evolve Vegas NYE has been very carefully designed to provide a unique experience for our guests from the USA, as well as those coming in from Amsterdam to Australia and everywhere in between.  There has never been a New Year’s Eve event like Evolve Vegas NYE in North America, and we are excited to bring this first-of-its-kind experience to Las Vegas.”  Reyes has spent more than 14 years marketing to the LGBT consumer, is one of only 13 gay travel specialists in the U.S. and speaks to marketing and tourism entities around the world on developing an effective marketing campaign to address and serve the needs of gay consumers.

Evolve Vegas NYE packages are inclusive of hotel, land transportation and all events.  Remaining availability is limited, book your package by visiting http://www.EvolveEvgasNYE.com, which is available in seven languages.  You may also contact Evolve Vegas NYE at donovan@evolvevegasnye.com for more information.

PHOTOS – http://bit.ly/PressReleasePhotos

Contact:  Mya Reyes
Telephone:  702.763.7363 x700
Cellular: 702.334.1516
Email: mya@lasvegasgvb.com

A Weekend in Downtown Vegas

BY NEAL BROVERMAN

Ten miles from the Strip lies a much-different Las Vegas, with parks, performance spaces, and even history.

I love Vegas: the messy drunks, ersatz cityscapes, cigarette smoke, even the douchey bros and packs of shrieking sorority girls are strangely familiar and reassuring. All of it just means I’m near blackjack, fancy meals, gay pool parties, and Cirque de Soleil. But it’s easy to forget that people power this adult Disneyland; that a real city exists beyond the neon and plastic.

Maybe that’s why Downtown Vegas fascinates me, since it’s the closest thing to a real city that Las Vegas, home to 2 million souls, can claim. I’m not the only one interested in this once-thriving, long-derelict, now-back-from-the-dead collection of densely-packed casinos, high-rises, and restaurants. Led by Zappos’ young CEO Tony Hsieh, which relocated his shoe empire to the city center, the area is now seeing new investment, development, and young residents. A nascent art scene is headquartered in a downtown hospital-turned-JCPenney-turned-coffeehouse/art gallery. A mini-Coachella debuted in downtown last year, winning praise for its organization and street art. A cultural district is establishing itself around the gorgeous Smith Center, which in September debuts the first performance of Kinky Boots outside Broadway.

My boyfriend is not a Vegas fan. He doesn’t gamble, barely drinks, and house music gives him migraines. So, I lured him to downtown with a promise of a different Vegas experience, complete with a Book of Mormon matinee at the Smith. We stayed at the cabana suites of the 73-year-old El Cortez, the city’s longest operating casino. Recently renovated to look like a Miami Beach resort, the cabana suites are across the street from the actual El Cortez, with its mix of seniors and hipsters (more of the former for now) playing poker and slots. A room key is required to enter the lobby of the suites, which is staffed by a 24-hour attendant and filled with a mega-TV, plush coaches, and constantly-rotating bowls of fruit and candy. Decorated in black, white, and turquoise, the actual rooms are imminently comfortable, with a huge bed we had trouble getting out of every morning. Our view over Ogden Avenue provided a clear view of the curious, but mostly sad, gamblers making their way into the El Cortez; we couldn’t help but guess at their stories.

We didn’t spend much time in the room, with the lights and music beckoning. Unlike the half-mile of crowds and elevated sidewalks separating Strip hotels from Las Vegas Boulevard, downtown’s pleasures are always easily accessible. We made a habit of stopping at The Beat coffeehouse, which occupies the ground-floor of the aforementioned former hospital, now known as the Emergency Arts Center. The coffeehouse is surrounded by a record shop and performance space, while a tiny burlesque museum sits across the agave and soy milk. Above, several floors of galleries and shops occupy old examination rooms, and the whole space holds some of that antiseptic hospital odor.
Passing meticulous murals of zombies and lost souls on nearly every downtown building, we ambled to the city’s container park. Guarded by a praying mantis that spits fire (a remnant of the Life is Beautiful music festival), dozens of giant storage containers are now filled with burlesque boutiques, barber shops, and a BBQ place described by fans as the best in the west. Climb to the third floor for dramatic views of the Las Vegas valley and desert mountains, and peer down at the giant playground or watch the live music that’s a regular feature. A dark tunnel connecting two sides of the park is a perfect makeout spot.

The Smith Center for the Performing Arts is a bit removed from the action on Ogden and Fremont. We planned on walking to the show, but the heat and a chronic inability to be on time to anything forced us to drive. After nearly locking the keys in the car, we started to race for the front door, but a Smith Center golf cart picked us up so we wouldn’t have to break a sweat. There was enough time to take in the two-year-old arts center, which holds a jazz club and two theaters. Architect David Schwarz designed the Smith to recreate elements of the nearby Hoover Dam, creating an homage to 1920s Art Deco that’s stunning, not schmaltzy. The grounds are pristine, the lobby massive and the show packed. Robbie and I took pictures in front of The Smith’s winged god, which decorates a stairwell landing and mimics the Dam’s angelic guardians. Inside, the main theater is as grandiose as Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre, where the Oscars are staged.

It was almost time to gamble (my favorite past time anywhere), but Robbie’s hunger couldn’t wait, so we settled into a table at the Triple George Grill, a favorite pre- and post-show stop that serves San Francisco-flavored fare. Filled will well-dressed locals and in-the-know visitors, the Triple George is very old-school Vegas, with lots of steaks, martinis, and dark wood. Robbie questioned my decision to order salmon in the desert, but it was just as good as anything in North Beach. The TGG’s happy hour is worth checking out, as is their sidewalk dining when the sun isn’t punishing. 

We had a short streak at theDowntown Granduntil someone spilled a drink on the blackjack table. We headed to Fremont Street, a long pedestrian promenade in the heart of downtown. Cheap but legendary casinos like the Golden Nugget dot its sides, and kiosks and live music surround you at every turn. It’s hard to not feel awestruck by the stimuli; next to you is a moving mass of humanity, in front is flashing neon, and above zip-liners cut through the air. Even if the crowd is not as polished as the privileged masses populating the Strip, they’re more entertaining. We danced and held hands as a raggae band played.

We won, we lost, we won, we lost, we came back. We thought we’d pick up something quick to eat on the walk home, but couldn’t resist the temptation of Insert Coin(s), a video arcade/bar that occupies a prime spot in the small, but busy, Fremont East District. After kicking ass on “Terminator 2” — is there a better bonding experience than shooting robots with your boyfriend? — we headed to Nacho Daddy, another local favorite, just off Fremont. Daddy’s barbeque chicken nachos effectively soak up a liquor-filled gut, and my vegan nachos were just as satisfying.

Scarred by the traffic getting to Vegas (a seven-hour+ trip, of which it’s usually four), we decided to leave the next day after brunch. Being no newbie to downtown, I knew I had to take Robbie to Eat. Another walkable spot, Eat has the best brunch, and people-watching, in the city. Musts: cinnamon buiscuits with warm strawberry compote; truffled egg sandwich; shrimp po boy. We drank too much of their mothership roastwork coffee, even if we managed to make it back to L.A. in just under four hours.

I won’t lie. We did slip away from downtown for just a bit. It being summer in Vegas, we had to hit one of the city’s two amazing gay pool parties (we made it to Temptation Sundays this time, but hope to hit Xposed!before the summer’s out). While we never felt singled out as being a gay couple while in Vegas, there is something wonderful about being around other gays and getting affectionate without judgmental eyes. So, when downtown gets its own LGBT pool fiesta (just wait), it may just lure us away from the Strip for good.

See more images of downtown on the following pages. Photos by Robbie X Pierce.

Outside the container park

The Smith Center

Grounds of the Smith

 

Knowing Vegas: What’s the most expensive drink on the Strip?

Las Vegas is full of mysteries, even if you’ve lived here your entire life. That said, we want to solve them, so we asked what questions about Las Vegas you’ve always wanted answered. We’ll tackle them one by one in Knowing Vegas.

This week’s question concerns alcohol. What is the most expensive drink served on the Strip?

Well, in a town all about excess, this first one is quite fitting.

The cocktail includes $500 Charles Heidsieck 1981 Champagne Charlie, Rémy Martin Louis XVIII Black Pearl cognac, Sence Rose Nectar, aprioct puree and orange juice.

“The drink was designed with men and women in mind, so the Ono also comes with a set of cufflinks and a gold, diamond and pearl necklace,” XS General Manager Yannick Mugnier told eater.com.

For a limited time only, this drink is a blend of Louis XIII Rare Cask 42.6, Pappy Van Winkle’s Family Reserve 23-year, Martini Gran Lusso 150th Anniversary Vermouth, D.O.M. Benedictine “Black Monk” 500th Anniversary Edition, Peychaud’s Bitters, Angostura Bitters and garnished with flamed orange oils.

“The Five Star, priced at $5,000, is in celebration of the venue’s five year anniversary. The drink will only be available in 2014 in honor of the landmark celebration,” Tamara Sewell of XS public relations said.

This cocktail is a mix of Cristal Rose champagne, Hennessey Ellipse and 150-year-old Grand Marnier.

“Served with 23-karat gold flakes and liquid gold syrup,” Wynn social writes.

  • High Limit Kir Royale, MGM’s Teatro Euro Bar, $2,200

This drink consists of Louis Roedererr Cristal Rose champagne, Hardy Perfection cognac, Grand Marnier Cent Cinquantenaire and raspberries.

“This $2,200 libation is only available at The Teatro Euro Bar,” Mrs. Glitterati writes.

This is a pricey, “super rare” single malt whisky.

52-year-old rich citrus lemon with peat smoke and hints of spice and wood,” the Wisky Exchange writes.

The cheapest drink on the list is a mix of a rare Johnnie Walker 1800, Sweet Vermouth, Whisky Barrel Aged Bitters and a Maraschino cherry according to Business Insider.

SOURCE: The Review Journal

Earn Commission with Evolve Vegas NYE – 3-Day International Gay New Year’s Eve Celebration!

GayCities Rectangle

Las Vegas was recently voted Favorite American City to Visit by OutTraveler Magazine and this year there’s even more reason to spend time in the City That REALLY Never Sleeps!  Evolve Vegas NYE is more than a party, it’s an EXPERIENCE and guests are attending from more than 30 countries on 6 continents.  The host hotel is the luxurious MGM Grand and events take place throughout the city.  Travel agents from Amsterdam to Australia are booking Standard and VIP commissionable packages, and the event promises not to disappoint.

Shows, receptions, tours, parties, excursions, dining and shopping are just a few of the many activities planned for this exciting event and packages are all inclusive of all activities, land transportation and hotel stay including complimentary breakfast.

The Las Vegas event is followed by an optional weekend excursion to West Hollywood, California where the fun continues.  Accommodations are at the European-style Sofitel Hotel at Beverly Hills and events include a Bar Crawl on Santa Monica Blvd., leisure time at Santa Monica Beach, shopping on Rodeo Drive, and a Hollywood tour including a stop at the world-famous Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  The last evening features a closing party at the Here Lounge where entertainment and fun people will take you into the wee hours of the morning.

Visit http://www.evolvevegasnye.com for more information.  If you are a travel agent or tour operator interested in selling Evolve Vegas NYE packages, please contact donovan@evolvevegasnye.com.

To view the Evolve Vegas NYE press release click here.

10 must-visit lobby bars in Las Vegas

It might be hard to believe that some of the best places to spend an evening in Las Vegas are just steps away from your hotel’s front desk. Unlike other cities, the lobby bars here are not necessarily reserved for quiet conversation…nor are they always the precursors to other more hyped bars and nightclubs. Boasting stylish décor, Sin City’s lobby bars are hip spots in their own right. For cool cocktails and a good time, these are 10 of the best.

Art Bar at Downtown Grand

Art Bar at Downtown Grand is appropriately named because its ceiling is filled with paintings done by local artists. Snag yourself a seat on one of the long couches or upholstered chairs and order a cocktail, which will be a masterpiece too. Among your choices are the Van Gogh Espresso Martini, the Guggenheim Manhattan and the Mona Lisa, which is made with Southern Comfort, Smirnoff vodka, crème de menthe and hot chocolate.

With its classy gold and black color palette, Bound by Salvatore at The Cromwell is a dark, clubby bar with the chicest cocktails around. Salvatore Calabrese, one of the world’s leading mixologists, has created a menu of drinks using unusual ingredients in a way that both pays tribute to and defies tradition. For example, the gin-based Breakfast Martini contains orange marmalade. Other standouts include the espresso cocktails, like the Never Say Goodnight, and the well-crafted Cromwell Fizz, which is topped with Moët & Chandon Impérial Champagne.

Petrossian Bar at Bellagio

The elegant Petrossian Bar at Bellagio certainly lives up to the resort’s high standards with its refined seating, sophisticated cocktails and flawless service. In addition to a vodka sampler tray, you can enjoy afternoon English tea service ­– complete with freshly baked scones, Baxters jam and clotted cream. Plus, live musicians (including David Osborne, Norman Vito, Shelly Taylor, Whitney Phoenix, Joey Singer and others) perform on the bar’s one-of-a-kind Steinway grand piano in the mid morning, late afternoon and evening hours.

Vesper Bar at The Cosmpolitan

When you enter Vesper Bar at The Cosmopolitanbe sure to look up. The ceiling is covered with a metal mesh that’s meant to resemble a cloud. Your eyes will also be captivated by mirrors and shimmering silver accents, all of which create a décor that mixes swanky with glitzy glamour. The menu features many classic cocktails with modern interpretations – but by all means, you should try the James Bond-inspired Vesper.

A great gathering spot, the Lobby Bar at Caesars Palace recently reopened after undergoing a major renovation. Blending gold accents with contemporary Roman art, you’ll feel like a god or goddess while you sit back and relax with one of the classic libations. Perhaps a Hemingway Daiquiri or The Chairman’s Manhattan? The signature Cleopatra’s Smile contains Ketel One Citroen vodka, Aperol Apertivo, Pavan liqueur, fresh-squeezed grapefruit and lemon juices, and clover honey syrup. Along with beers and wines, you’ll also discover plenty of fine spirits including gins, vodkas, American and Canadian whiskies, bourbons, ryes, tequilas, rums and brandies from around the world.

Bar Vdara at Vdara

With its light-enhancing sculptural screens and a curved reflecting pool, Bar Vdara at Vdara looks like a cross between a funky gallery and a charming patio. The bartenders have perfected the art of the cocktail here, skillfully crafting drinks with a “modern twist” – like the Maple Manhattan, which is made with Crown Royal Whiskey, dry vermouth, house maple syrup and a cherry garnish. Health-conscious patrons will appreciate the Green Dream and Watermelon Smash, two fresh juice cocktails.

The Lobby Bar at Red Rock Casino, Resort & Spa offers an exquisite setting for a drink. Hovering above is a splendid 32-foot-long chandelier formed from cascading pieces of crystal. Drop by the bar for the weekly Wined Up Thursdays event from 5 – 7 p.m. For only $25, you can indulge in bottomless wine and several savory appetizers.

An intimate spot near the front desk, Rojo Lounge at Palms Place is sure to put you in the mood for liaisons (whether dangerous or not), thanks to the sexy red-lit bar and black vinyl sofas. Also contributing to the romance-filled atmosphere is a menu of outstanding cocktails like the Range Rover, Chasing the Dragon, Pushing Daisies and O Captain! My Captain!

Arabesque Lounge at The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa

The Moroccan-themed Arabesque Lounge at The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa is exotic without being ostentatious. Boasting indoor and outdoor seating, it serves up tempting cocktails – such as the Ali Baba, Le Sahara, Agave Margarita and signature Casablanca – with an incomparable visual treat: the sparkling waters of Lake Las Vegas.

Something of a neighborhood pub-style bar, you’ll feel right at home in Sully’s at Bally’s. Situated between the front desk and the casino floor, it offers thirsty visitors a convivial welcome to Las Vegas. Amid wood-paneled columns, you’ll spot TV screens playing all the day’s big games. And with an extensive draft beer selection, there’s no better place to while away a few hours before, after or instead of hitting the town.

In the near future, expect to see two new lobby bars debut on the Strip. On Aug. 23, 2013, you’ll be able to chill out with a drink in the living room-style Monkey Bar at SLS Las Vegas. And in early September, Delano Las Vegas will unveil Franklin, a lounge with a sleek atmosphere. Featuring a hanging art installation that resembles fireflies in the evening sky, Franklin will pour craft cocktails and dish out small plates. In the late-night hours, it will also have club-like elements such as DJ-spun music.

SOURCE: Blog.Vegas.com