Forget the cheap buffets and that guy on the Strip who swears he can get you an escort for half off the competitor’s. (You don’t want to know which half is missing.) Vegas is an upscale town full of upscale bars. We’ve got views that kill, drinks that delight and atmospheres that absolutely applaud alliteration. So pick up your Macallan 15 Year, put your feet up on whichever manservant makes the best foot stool today, and enjoy the best upscale bars in Las Vegas.
And we’re off. Get it? It’s like a horse race because Andre’s is all fancy like that. This is the spot to sip cognac and smoke fine cigars — all in a room designed to pull the smoke out of the air so you don’t have to smell some imposter’s Swisher Sweets. At Andre’s, you’ll feel like a master of industry watching your millions multiply while you pretend to understand what you’re seeing as you stare at a stock ticker app on your phone. You may not be a millionaire — or maybe you were before you got to Vegas and now you’re clinging to your accustomed lifestyle after the tables took your cash — but Andre’s will make you feel like a million bucks.
This is the first of several restaurant bars on our list, and for good reason. Pairing food with alcohol is a complex and nuanced process that requires the highest quality and education. That’s where Delmonico shines. The bar features a whiskey selection that’s virtually unrivaled. Sure, we threw in that quick qualifier to cover ourselves, but when you want high-end whiskey this is the place to go. The upscale atmosphere of the restaurant shines through to the bar and creates a drinking experience ideal for everyone who understands that upscale is about taste, exploration and enough whiskey to fill a whale’s bathtub.
Everything about the Delano is upscale, which is why it makes the list twice. But Franklin is especially impressive because of its willingness to understate itself. In the art gallery-like setting of the Delano lobby, Franklin stands like a resting place between one luxury and the next. The see-through fireplace warms the outer bar and intimate inner area. And the fact that no one can smoke gives the wonderfully upscale advantage of being able to breathe and smell your date’s perfume. You’re not completely secluded from the commoners of the Strip, but you’re far enough back that if they want to find you they have to come to your world. That’s the relaxing but interactive nature of Franklin.
La Cave Wine and Food Hideaway
This is another example of how food and drink create the most upscale of experiences. The spectacular wine selection is designed to pair with a small-plates menu to pull in flavors that your blue-blooded taste buds can only dream of. One look at La Cave inside Wynn, and really one look around anything at Wynn, and it’s clear how important the upscale demographic is to the whole property. This is a hotel of class for people of class who want drinks of class. And La Cave is a perfect example. It’s got more class than a high school. Yep. Ended on a dumb one.
Upscale can sometimes be taken literally. In the case of Mandarin Bar, the view from the Mandarin Oriental hotel is one of the aspects that make it literally a sight to see. Beyond the breathtaking floor-to-ceiling expanse, the bar has food and drink menus that pair perfectly with pensive stares toward the horizon. And live jazz brings an aura of artistry. This is the place to impress a date and solidify an intimacy that only Mandarin Bar can bring. If you want to prove you love someone, or hope someone is going to fall in love with you, or want to forget love entirely and have a splendid night to yourself, Mandarin Bar is all that jazz and more.
When you come to the desert you naturally want to sit in a room adorned with a fireplace, warm lighting and exquisite rugs. We’re actually not being sarcastic for once. That’s totally what you want. And you can find it all at Foundation Room. On the top floor of Mandalay Bay, high above the House of Blues, Foundation Room stands like a magic carpet owned by a quasi-Eastern gentleman with a penchant for bluesy club spaces. We say “club spaces” because the nightclub milieu with its DJ booth, dance floor, table service layout isn’t exactly the atmosphere at Foundation Room. It’s more of a club in the sense of a social space for partaking in beverages and discussing culture over the beats of a booming sound system.
This time we’ve got a restaurant that pairs its bar with a whole, unique world of upscale excellence. On the third floor of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, STK reigns as the steakhouse of the glittering masses that flock to the property. But if you don’t go all the way through the wavelike space, you can just hit up the bar for drinks, food and an atmosphere unlike anything you remember from when you went to a steakhouse as a kid. The DJ sets the mood. The bartenders know how to keep you damp. And everything about the space exudes the same kind of casual opulence, or laissez-faire extravagance, that The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is known for.
Tower Suite Bar
Yes, it’s a lobby bar. Yes, it’s better than pretty much every other lobby bar you’ve ever seen. The Tower Suite Lobby at Encore is a place where those fortunate souls who can afford the rooms traverse from their spending sprees to relax in their golden beds. But anyone wanting a taste of that sweet, suite life can indulge in theTower Suite Bar. The light furnishings may seem like a calm resort in pictures, but this is all upscale hotel. The form of the place is understated to facilitate the function. But that doesn’t stop this spot from showing just how brilliant a lobby bar can be. When you want the upscale experience, and you want to be seen enjoying the upscale experience, wind your way to the Tower Suite Bar.
Like the Delano, Vdara has no gaming and no smoking. So people have to find some other fun things to do. When they’re not having fun in their beautiful rooms, they drink up a storm at Vice Versa. The bar combines a lovely indoor space and a truly gorgeous patio space complete with fire pits and flora that separates the patio from the sidewalk. Of course the only traffic that sidewalk will really see is people going from Vdara to Aria or vice versa (see what we did there?), but it still feels nice to have that leafy wall to make you feel like you’re hidden away in a mountain retreat. Relax at this bar. Snuggle at this bar. Enjoy being alive at this bar.
Finally we get to head downtown. Las Vegas has done much to improve the area over the years, and one such improvement is the Wayfarer Bar inside the Inspire Theater. The building is on the corner of Las Vegas Boulevard and Fremont Street. But the outside view doesn’t do an ounce of justice to Wayfarer. Like the best things about each decade from the ’20s until now, this bar embodies elegance and a long lost willingness to use the color brown as an accent. It does everything so well you might forget you’re just a few hundred feet away from whatever costumed characters are on Fremont Street at the time. But just sip your drink some more and don’t worry about it. When you’re at Wayfarer, nothing can touch you but the bill.