My review of Drai’s Nightclub and Afterhours in Las Vegas? One of Vegas’s top nightclubs, Drai’s turns an average night into a holiday weekend party.
Knowing that a fashion convention was taking place in Vegas that week, my friends and I were excited about a night out on the town with fresh company. There is typically a dull period in the nightclub scene during non-holiday seasons. Nightclub hosts seem to lower their appearance standards just to get warm bodies to fill the space, which is ridiculous to me. I mean, we live in one of the most exciting cities with some of the most beautiful people in the world. There’s no excuse.
Running out of options for where to go on a Sunday evening after missing my reservation on the guest list of one of my favorite nightlife locations, we decided our setting for the evening would be Draí’s Nightclub and Afterhours at The Cromwell Boutique Hotel & Casino. Wary due to Drai’s past history of crime and violence – albeit at a different location of this reimagined venue – I wasn't sure what I was getting my group of friends in to, but I had the vain thought that I didn't want for my scrumptious outfit to go to waste.
Upon arriving, we realized there were absolutely no parking options at The Cromwell besides valet. Hoping to find parking at the nearby Flamingo Las Vegas Hotel & Casino, we searched the parking garage twice, but with no luck. After deciding we were not going to settle on our next parking option at The LINQ, which would have meant almost a mile-long walk to Drai’s, we sucked it up and requested valet service at The Cromwell. We were hoping it would be our only expense for the evening.
Draí’s entrance was immediately to the left of the main lobby, and my friends and I could tell security was tight, which gave me a sense of relief but also meant it would take us longer to join the party inside.
Most nightclubs honor a 1:1 male to female ratio, especially on industry nights, but Draí’s seemed to require all of the men to pay a cover charge that usually begins at $30 and is subject to increase based on business throughout the night. Unable to reach my host in the mist of all of the chaos, my friend was able to flirt her way into receiving a guest pass for us all, and we were finally in the clear after being delayed for an hour with parking and entry.
We rode the elevator up to Draí’s, and as the doors opened, we could hear the roar of the crowd. It was a circus inside! All of the tables seemed to be sold out and the bar area and dance floor were packed. I don't recall an exclusive “name-brand” disc jockey spinning, but between the energy of the music, go-go dancers, and the crowd, I felt as if I was at some hit concert. We heard a familiar “Vegas club mix” of music – electronic and top 40, with some hip-hop thrown in for added spice.
The crowd swayed as guests trampled on top of each other, often spilling their drinks, in their attempts to change location. I’m glad we weren’t paying for drinks once we got inside, because Drai’s prices are among the steepest on the Strip. Beers and mixed drinks are standard high Vegas prices, but bottle service tips the scales with some of the highest starting prices out there. (I’m told if you’re among the ultra-ballers you can order your own rooftop fireworks display with your bottle service, complete with detonator.)
I noticed a few spectators were lucky enough to snag a viewing spot on the outskirts of the dance floor, but they, too, were frequently bumped by partiers moving to and fro. I hadn't seen a crowd like that since New Year's Eve; my friends & I were stoked! Shoving onto the dance floor to join in on the crowd’s energy, we gave each other looks of satisfaction that said we never wanted to leave. It was definitely one of those nights we wish we remembered.
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