At a Glance
What is it?
A mega club from nightlife impresario Victor Drai.
Where is it?
On the roof of The Cromwell on the Center Strip.
What kind of crowd does it draw?
Pretty much everybody that wants to party.
What are the prices like?
When is the best time to go?
Late nights on weekends is when the party really gets going.
Why should I go here?
Because it’s probably the hottest (and one of the best) clubs in Vegas.
What else do I need to know?
Between this, the after hours club, and the pool club, you could party 24 hours a day at this hotel.
What’s the bottom line?
Drai’s has just won the nightclub wars.
Pack up your club clothes, put away the body glitter, and set down your overpriced cocktail, the Vegas nightclub war is officially over: Drai’s at The Cromwell has officially won.
Part of it is because this is the newest party place in town and so that automatically wins it some sort of cachet, but the bigger part of it is that it’s a fantastic space with a deliriously over-the-top atmosphere and the kind of energy that you can’t fake. Where other clubs are dark and intense, this one is light and open and fun. It’s the kind of place you want to hang out, dance, drink, and have a good time.
The place is named after nightclub impresario Victor Drai, who started with a club in Hollywood and then came to Vegas in 1997 with Drai’s restaurant in the basement of what was then Barbary Coast. Late at night (or early in the morning depending on how you want to look at it) it transformed into Drai’s After Hours nightclub and became one of the most popular spots in town to party until dawn.
When the hotel with Drai’s closed for its renovation into The Cromwell, a huge effort went into creating the ultimate party spot. They added several stories on the top floor of the hotel with a massive rooftop pool, two levels of private cabanas, and an indoor/outdoor, multi-level nightclub space that overlooks the whole thing. As if that weren’t enough, they built an entirely new structure on the side of The Cromwell just to support the oversized pool deck and to house the elevators that ferry people to the club.
Once you get up there, the space is dramatic. The indoor part evokes a theater, with tiers of VIP seating and the DJ booth all cascading down to the massive dance floor. Where the stage would be is a giant opening that leads to the outdoor pool and cabana area, all of which becomes a part of the nightclub. It’s a lot better lit than most Vegas nightclubs and so you get a really good sense of the space and how gorgeous it is, especially from that outside area and its views of The Strip and the Bellagio Fountains.
The sound, lighting, and special effects systems are top of the line, enveloping you in a whirl of motion and energy. It’s a bit overwhelming, especially on the packed dance floor, but that’s what the kids like these days. Music is a little bit of everything – the night I was there I heard everything from pop to hip hop to straight up high energy EDM and back again all within the space of an hour. As a former nightclub DJ (back when it was much less sexy) I really appreciate the genre busting mix as opposed to one non-stop heavy base thump soundtrack.
The lines are long and the crowd is huge, packing every single square inch of space on the typical night. It is mostly the younger, party set but a more relaxed one. Other mega-clubs in Vegas have an almost aggressive air about them (I’m looking at you Hakkasan) but here it was like everyone just wanted to have a good time and not care about the poser games that happen elsewhere.
Prices are, as you might expect, very high. Although you can get around it if you are a woman or a local, most tourist guys will have to pay at least a $40 cover. Drink prices will run you $10-$20 depending on what poison you pick and if you want a VIP booth you’re going to have to pay anywhere from a couple of grand to many, many grand for the privilege.
If that’s not extravagant enough for you, you could also get your own fireworks display set off from the rooftop pool deck. Basically you get to design and then set off the pyrotechnics, along with a VIP booth and bottles of champagne. Costs range between about $20,000 and $737,000, the latter of which includes a private, chartered 737 jet to fly you and up to 100 of your friends to Vegas, a 3 1/2 minute fireworks show, and 100 bottles of Dom Perignon. The things people do with their money…
Drai’s is undeniably the club of the moment but with a package and presentation like this it deserves for that moment to last for a long time.