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Cheap Las Vegas Bachelorette (Hen) Parties on a Budget

Planning a cheap bachelorette in Las Vegas for your bestie? You’re in luck! Vegas is one of the best cities to throw the bride-to-be an epic party without breaking the bank. Here are 6 tips and tricks to keep the costs low and the fun levels high throughout the festivities:

1. Plan your travel early for your budget bachelorette

Plan your budget bachelorette at least 3-4 months in advance so your group can save on flight deals and hotels. Vegas’s hotel market is very competitive, which means many of them offer excellent amenities at a great price. Staying at a hotel on the Strip also reduces transportation costs, especially if you choose to walk. Also, some hotels, like the Palazzo, have suites that could fit 6 people. This can be more economical than getting 2 rooms if you don’t mind squeezing. Alternatively, if you have a larger group that wants to stay in the same house….

2. Consider vacation rentals instead of hotels 

Depending on the size of your budget bachelorette, it may be cheaper to book a condo or house through AirBnb or VRBO instead of getting a hotel. Most likely, you can find an upscale rental for a per-person price that’s more affordable than many hotels. If you choose to go this route, it may also be cheaper to book a shuttle instead of relying on multiple Ubers to go back and forth from the Strip.

3. Take advantage of free activities

You don’t have to bet money at the casinos or buy $$$ tickets to shows to have a good time in Vegas since there are plenty of free activities as well! Vegas features warm weather most of the year, which means you can spend time outdoors by the pool, people-watching on the Strip, or even hiking in the nearby Red Rocks Canyon. Other free Las Vegas activities include watching the Bellagio Fountains, the Mirage volcano eruption, taking in the sights and smells at the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, and checking out the wildlife at the Flamingo. You can also play bachelorette party games, which are a fun way to celebrate the bride-to-be without going out. Chances are, the other bachelorette guests will appreciate a chill daytime activity before a big night out.

4. Sign-up for free guestlists at dayclubs and nightclubs

This is key! As an entourage of all-ladies, you’re going to have a big advantage getting into the hottest clubs in Vegas at little-to-no cost. Your group will be able to get in free to many clubs, and maybe even snag complimentary bottle service depending on the venue, time of year, and headlining DJ. Many clubs will offer cheaper bottle service packages for groups of girls. Use the Discotech app to look up events, compare prices, sign up for guestlists, buy tickets, and reserve tables. Keep in mind that for almost all free Las Vegas guestlists, you’ll need to be at the door by a certain cut-off time, usually by 11:30pm for nightclubs. Lines in Vegas for popular clubs can be long, so you should arrive at the club earlier to have ample time to get in. If you know you might have a hard time getting your group moving, we recommend buying tickets, which are good for admission all night.

5. Pregame 

Drinks in Las Vegas add up, especially at the club, where your average cocktail runs $12+. To help cut costs for your budget bachelorette party, pick up drinks beforehand to pregame. Alternatively, use an alcohol delivery app to have it sent straight to your door! This way, you’ll have a nice buzz going the moment you step inside the party and save money to boot.

6. Be social!

Remember, everyone is in Vegas to have a fantastic time. Chances are, there are a couple of stag parties out and about hoping to meet a group of lovely ladies to treat to drinks and entertain. Don’t be shy! Hey, it doesn’t hurt your wallet either.

These 6 tips and tricks should help you plan the best budget bachelorette for your lucky gal pal. Who knew having fun in Sin City could be this affordable?

Best Clubs Without Bottle Service

You may have been there: It’s late, and you’re at a club. The pounding music has started to make you question the merits of “celebrity” DJs. (Celebrities to whom?) The sweaty men and loud women crowding you are so far gone they think everyone is as excited as they are about the bottle of champagne they just spent $1,200 on. Look, it even has a sparkler in it!

Suddenly, instead of having fun, you think to yourself: Is it over yet? When can I just go home?

Good news: You’re not the only one.

“People are getting weary,” said Ronnie Madra, a co-partner with Richie Akiva at Butter Group, which owns 1Oak, Up & Down and NeverNever. “People are tired of the branding and the websites and the marketing and the minimums. Some still relish it, but as the world is changing, the landscape of nightlife is going to go with it.”

“The modern form of bottle service first started in certain clubs in the late ‘90s-early 2000s, and then things fully swung that way,” said Angelo Bianchi, the creative director of the Blond, a private club in New York. Bianchi made his name in New York nightlife as the doorman for the famously cool Beatrice Inn and Jane Hotel. “That was the reason for the success of the smaller clubs in 2006, and they were the anti to that bottles-and-models system. At Beatrice, we never sold one bottle. It was a point of pride.”

That’s why Bianchi partnered with co-creative director (and Beatrice and Le Baron alum) Julio Montero to create the Blond at Aby Rosen’s 11 Howard hotel (more on that below), and it’s why Madra and co-creators Ronnie Flynn and Deevee Kashi started NeverNever, the tiny, dark dancing space next to Up & Down that has a much tighter door policy than its siblings. At NeverNever, the crowd looks cool, artistic, international and well-dressed. Most important, they don’t all look the same. There is no obligatory bottle service.

Madra said NeverNever happened “as a necessity” to cater to a younger crowd turned off by commercial club glitz, who were venturing to Brooklyn and even Long Island to party. While it takes generally $5 million or so to open a new club, Madra spent $30,000 to open NeverNever—and made that money back before the end of the first week.

“We built it as a little place where we are not going to get rich over night, but you can make a little profit and you can bring in a goulash of personalities and social standing,” he said. “There’s no sign on the door; you can’t really Google it. That’s what we like.”

In fact, plenty of places work as the outside of the model-promoter system. They’re quieter and more hidden, but the great thing is that the amount of fun you have is usually in direct proportion to just how quiet and how hidden they are—and how discerning the guy at the door is.

“People are interested in having an authentic experience where they are not walking into a situation that feels one certain way,” Bianchi said. “They’ll know within the first few minutes of walking in whether they’ll come back. People don’t want to go to places that feel like clubland, they want something organic. They want to go to somewhere on a quiet street.”

We’ve compiled a list of the top global nightclubs without bottle service. Enjoy!

Berghain, Berlin

This is another world-renowned institution, and while it’s no chic lounge, at least it doesn’t have models and bottles. The former power plant is so notorious that GQ profiled its famous doorman, and fashion heavies frequent it on their German excursions. There’s no rule at the door, other than the fact that you probably can’t get in. You definitely won’t get in if you’re wearing a suit, high heels, or any bright colors. Music here is heavily skewed to techno and house; phones and cameras are prohibited. There are no mirrors in the bathrooms. There is no VIP area. Don’t even think about trying to buy your way in. Expect to see an older crowd, well-cultured in dark, aggressive, club-going leather, possible fetishes, and heavy tattoos.

Where: Am Wriezener Bahnhof

When to go: Don’t get there before 4 a.m.

Pikes Hotel, Ibiza

Set aside your preconceived notions about Ibiza being chock full of EDM clubs stuffed with young Brits on Ketamine. That’s about a two-street strip; the rest of the desert island is beautiful, spare, and subtle in its pleasures. Pike’s Hotel, which is formally called the Ibiza Rocks House and is hidden in the rocky hills above Ibiza town, is one of those jewels. The place is built in a 15th century stone mansion that was converted to a hotel in 1978; the lounge and music area famously hosted jet setters, bohemians, musicians, and artists in decadence for years. (It provided the set to Wham’sClub Tropicana video of the 1980s.) The space plays lots of rock ‘n’ roll and funk/disco, plus famous old school DJs most nights; costumes and props are in some rooms, if you become inclined.

Where: Camí Sa Vorera, San Antonio

When to go: Not before 2 a.m.

Raspoutine, Paris

The Blond held its Paris Fashion Week party here, which is saying something about the level of its status as an international A-List spot. Bianchi said it’s his favorite place to relax out when he’s in France. The general design of the room hasn’t changed for decades, with Byzantine red velvet and pink neon trim on the seats and walls; this is a testament to the brilliance of what used to be a bordello. The top of French creative life files through here at some point or another: high-powered fashion photographers, owners of other clubs, financiers, designers, editors, singers, painters—and, yes, Russian money—from all ages and races. Handsome, well-known-among-a-certain-set DJs imported from all over the world perform until early in the morning hours.

Where: 58 Rue de Bassano

When to go: The most fun you’ll have is a late night here during fashion week—odds are you’ll encounter the most beautiful women you’ve ever seen. (I did). Show up after the early birds finish their dinners and cabaret dances. The real crowd you want to see gets here after 1 a.m.

The Scotch of St. James, London

It’s a veritable bastion of music history: The Beatles and Rolling Stones performed live sets here, but it’s no concert venue. The owners of Paris and New York nightclub Le Baron had a hand in its rejuvenation, and now it’s updated to reflect a modern outlook; fashion types (Stella McCartney, Kate Moss, Cara Delevingne) hold parties there on special nights. So do New York nightlife gurus out for work abroad. If you go, drink Scotch whisky or bourbon—they’ll go well with the Denim Jeans and disco.

Where: Mason’s Yard.

When to go: Show up around midnight on a Wednesday or Thursday. You’ll be good.

Doheny Room, Los Angeles

The spot on Santa Monica Boulevard has a warm, airy California feel and a potentially softer hand for people who want to get inside. The walls are lined in banana palms and portraits of David Bowie and Faye Dunaway; in true LA style, the menu has lobster and vegan sushi. Upstairs offers more of a club atmosphere—you can buy a table if you want, and you will see a DJ and maybe even bottle service, though not at the level of annoyance. For LA, that’s saying a lot.

Where: 9077 Santa Monica Blvd.

When to go: Go to dinner at 9 p.m.; upstairs will have energy around 11 p.m.

Paul’s Cocktail Lounge, New York

Colloquially known as Paul’s Baby Grand (but officially named Paul’s Cocktail Lounge, so as to avoid confusion with Baby’s All Right and Baby Grand, two other NYC late night places), this is the little room Paul Sevigny created under the auspices of the Roxy (formerly Tribeca Grand) Hotel. The walls are covered in large palms (wallpapered and otherwise); the male wait staff wear white, double-breasted suits and carry themselves with the dignity of those who have partied in the glam bygone days of another era. Open format is the key here. You’ll hear dance tunes from Madonna to Scissor Sisters here; don’t expect Calvin Harris or Drake. Ludwig, the doorman, is fickle and wise; if he turns you away a time or two, he may welcome you with open arms on the third try.

Where: 2 Sixth Ave.

When to go: Go at midnight or 1 a.m. It’s closed on Sundays and Mondays.

The Oasis Clubhouse, Buenos Aires

The private members-only club is just that—unless you know someone, or want to purchase a guest pass for the entire place. While the rest of the club has a lounge, terrace, bars, a pool and gardens, weekends are the draw if you want to drink and dance: There’s usually a DJ and plenty of internationally minded sophisticates to talk to while you’re there. The feeling here is relaxed and faintly Parisian, with a twist. The place feels like a hidden Argentine villa decorated with American and European expats. (It very nearly is.) You won’t work up a sweat dancing, but you will feel extremely self-satisfied at how well you’ve managed to infiltrate the cool-people crowd. And the cocktail list is extremely well put.

Where: Costa Rica 4651 Palermo Soho C1414

When to go: On the early side of the evening, for a cocktail and respite.

Mr Fongs, New York

The brainchild of five owning partners, including Adam Moonves (yes, the son of that Moonves), Fong’s lacks signage and glitter, which is exactly why you venture down under the Manhattan Bridge deep in Chinatown, anyway. The feel here is softer, with Brooklyn creatives of all ages mixing with Manhattan artists and publicists. The DJ in the corner is almost an afterthought (there is a jukebox), but he’s there to move the crowd a bit once the night gets on.

Where: 40 Market St.

When to go: Sometime around midnight should be fine. Avoid the weekends.

NeverNever, New York

This is the secret club on the backside of Up & Down. A short, dark hallway connects the two, but a big man in a dark suit is positioned there, and you won’t be able to get from one to the other. NeverNever is more exclusive—and more secretive—than Up & Down; Benny, the doorman out front, seems erratic, but he’s sharp as a razor’s edge about whom he lets in. If you do make it past Benny, expect to see a lot of Australian surfer studs slightly disheveled in the way that charms American girls, their off-duty model girlfriends, writers, chefs, and lots of doormen/DJs/managers from other clubs who come in late to network and gossip. You’ll hear a lot of new wave and indie music here; you won’t hear hip-hop. As Madra said: “It’s not about the big experience, it’s about the right experience.”

Where: 246 W. 14th St.

When to go: No earlier than 1 a.m., weeknights. Two a.m. is better.

Paradise by Way of Kensal Green, London

The place has a menu filled with seasonal delectables and gastro pub fare, but the late-night drinks and music scene is what we’re after here. Inside are multiple levels with dark corners for chatting or eyeing the famous Sunday Roast. It’s located close to Queen’s Park and Kensal Green stations in West London, so the music (DJs, R&B, Jazz, Electronic) is as eclectic as its patrons (youngish, casually pretty) and wine list.

Where: 19 Kilburn Lane

When to go: Go for an early at 10 p.m. before heading elsewhere for the night.

Rose Bar, New York

This is the gold standard for grand New York lounge-y bars where you can hear a DJ and dance a little, or cuddle in a comfortable banquette and watch people while you sip a boulevardier under a large Damien Hirst. It’s in the Gramercy Park Hotel, so the crowd is mixed, with moneyed Internationals, uptown twentysomethings, and on certain nights, music lovers who come to hear Chairlift or CRX play secret sets. (Credit Matthew E. Green and his staff with directing a robust indie scene there.) Go on Wednesday to hear Johnsville DJ; his knowledge of dark and sexy tracks (Donna Summer, Larry Levan, Poolside) beats anything you’ll hear elsewhere.

Where: 2 Lexington Ave.

When to go: 11 p.m. or later, but before 2 a.m.

No Name, Los Angeles

Los Angeles has cornered the market on showy places with sparklers and ladies with faux appendages (hair, breasts, lips, and so forth) so to find a place truly away from big film spenders and swimsuit models on the make takes some work. Enter No Name, the unmarked spot on Fairfax that works hard to avoid those patrons. It’s unlisted, so the only way you’ll get in is through word of mouth or a quasi-secret invite system that feeds into a list as inflexible as a sidewalk. Once inside, you can order food, if you want, or gawk at the art and actors that line the walls. Listen to the DJ play Edward Sharpe; maybe drink an Old Fashioned.

Where: 423 N. Fairfax Ave.

When to go: Early, by New York standards. The place clears out by 2 a.m.

Silencio, Paris

The scent inside Silencio is subtle, intoxicating, and unforgettable, just like the weird Club Silencio that inspired it, from Mulholland Drive. You don’t really notice it at all until you’re all the way down the winding stairs to the bottom, where cavernous rooms include one for smoking, several for lounging, and a chic dance floor right in the front of the DJ booth. The bar in the center is expensive and extensive. Be ready: The fashionable crowd in front of the DJ will dance, if given the chance.

Where: 142 Rue Montmartre

When to go: If you have the chance to go, go, and the earlier in the morning (2 a.m. or so) the better. This is one of the world’s best clubs in the real sense of the word: hidden, chic, with an interesting mix of all types of creative, beautiful, stylish, and odd people. The whole thing is an experience without seeming constructed or artificial. What you won’t find inside: suits, Louboutines, body-con dresses. What you will find inside: Rick Owens, Yoji Yamamoto, Celine, Saint Laurent, obscure fashion brands from Spain, France, New York, California.

The Blonde, New York

This might be the hardest door to get into in New York at the moment; once inside—if you get inside—you’ll find the sort of interesting mix that the models/bottles formula scattered: tall, pretty, and fashionable women who happen to work as models, sure, but also young street artists, understated rich kids from Paris, a British photographer or two, and a couple of New York local downtown kids—gay, old-school club kids, too—mixed in for good measure. Even though the space is part of the Howard Hotel, it’s never open to the public, and doorman Dereck is famously standoffish, so don’t expect to get in easily. The vibe is chic, dark, intimate and faintly European; expect to hear everything from Talking Heads and Fleetwood Mac to Rihanna and 2 Chainz.

“When you walk into the Blond, we didn’t want to make it feel like a club,” said Anis Khoury, general manager of the 11 Howard hotel. “Plush, comfortable—that word comfortable just keeps coming up. The Blond exemplifies what a comfortable setting should be, a place where you go to meet friends of friends.”

Where: 11 Howard St.

When to go: Late, after midnight, on Tuesday, Wednesday, or Friday.

4 A.M. Last Call Proposed for California Clubs

Young tourists seeking a taste of Los Angeles nightlife are almost always in for a bitter pill. As originally reported on L.A. Weekly.

Expecting Hollywood glamour and all-night partying on a world-class level, revelers from out of town are more likely to get kicked to the curb at 2 a.m. because of California’s strict alcohol laws.

It’s embarrassing. State Sen. Mark Leno today announced that he has introduced legislation that would change our party pooper ways:

He wants to allow local governments to extend drinking hours until 4 a.m. Woot-woot?

Leno:
“This legislation would allow destination cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego to start local conversations about the possibility of expanding nightlife and the benefits it could provide the community by boosting jobs, tourism and local tax revenue.”

His bill, SB 635, would allow only nightclubs and restaurants to go until 4 a.m. (Stores that sell alcohol would still be subject to earlier hours).

Leno’s office says it would help bring California nightlife in line with that of such after-hours beacons as Las Vegas, New York, Chicago and Miami.

The legislation is supported by the California Restaurant Association.

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Some have argued that having all the drunk people leave bars at 2 a.m. puts pressure on communities and police, and that later closing times might actually spread the burden and allow some to sober up if they so chose.

Matt Gray, executive director of Taxpayers for Improving Public Safety:

“Uniform closing times put significant stress on public transportation systems and the law enforcement agencies tasked with managing and dispersing large crowds of patrons when they all leave the clubs at 2 a.m.”

But the big argument here is money. Lots of it. Leno’s office notes that nightlife in California is worth billions and that we’re home to 1 out of every 4 top-grossing nightlife venues in the nation.

However, the top 10 venues are in late-night-serving cities like New York, Vegas and Miami. Leno:

“Many cities in California have dynamic social activities that are vital to their economies, but they lack the flexibility to expand their businesses.”

Are you for this? (We know you are).

Vessel SF Closing May 30, 2015

Vessel SF, a SF nightlife institution for over 8 years, is closing doors for renovation at the end of May 2015. From the VesselSF website:

Friends and Family of Vessel, the end of an era is upon us. After 8 years of being a staple in the San Francisco nightlife scene, Vessel is closing its doors and will reopen in the Summer of 2015 under a whole new name and concept. We can’t express how much every single person that’s shared memories at the club means to us and we invite you to come celebrate our subterranean playground one last time!

There was a very short list of DJ’s who we thought would be the right fit to play the last song on our beloved dance floor and we’re honored to welcome Max Vangeli back to his San Francisco home for a final bow. Max is a world renowned producer that’s thrived in the dance music scene over the last 10 years and Vessel was truly his home where he started to perfect his craft. Max has since gone on to play the best of the best festivals in the world including Tomorrowland, Ultra and EDC as well as playing every major club across the globe so bringing him back to his roots will bring out the best in him.

We would be honored to see old and new faces to help us close this place down in style!

Vessel SF has been one of my personal favorite clubs in SF – it didn’t always have the hottest DJs or the best ratio but we invariably had a great time. Check back for announcements of the new concept later this summer!

 

Temple SF the Only Bay Area Club on Top 100 List

San Francisco is known for many things but nightlife is definitely not one of them. Nightclub & Bar magazine released their annual Top 100 list of the highest-grossing American nightclubs yesterday, and only one Bay Area club made the cut: Temple Nightclub, which clocked in at a respectable #24, with estimated annual revenues of $10-15 million. As usual, Vegas and Miami dominated the list, with nine of the top ten slots, but SF doesn’t even hold a candle to San Diego (which has 7 entrants on the list), Dallas (7), Boston (4), or Scottsdale, Arizona (3).

But while SF may lack clubbing cred, Temple appears to have only benefited from its recent renovation, which added a cafe, recording studio, and co-working space to the mix. The refreshed club now features an improved sound system, not to mention some sweet LED lighting powered by patrons’ dance moves. One additional player that could probably do well in SF’s club game if they felt like it: Hakkasan, which has no clubbing component at its SF restaurant location, but manages to bring in over $100 million in Vegas, making it #2 overall on the top 100 list.

First Look – Omnia Las Vegas – Pictures & Video

Check out the first captured photos of Omnia Nightclub at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas in all her glory:

The ribbon is officially cut, a new chapter begins at @CaesarsPalace! #OMNIALasVegas A photo posted by OMNIA Nightclub (@omnianightclub) on

Beautiful weather for our opening night! Enjoy a view of the Las Vegas Strip from the Terrace. #OMNIALasVegas

A photo posted by OMNIA Nightclub (@omnianightclub) on

#Omnia #omnianightclub #grandopening #vegas #caesars #hakkasangroup #chandelier #lights A video posted by BrandoninLV (@brandoninlv) on

Hakkasan and NOW Omnia! Hakkasan group just got that much stronger. View from behind the DJ. #Hakkasan #Omnia #Vegas

A photo posted by maxmasterson1011 (@maxmasterson1011) on

#omnia #lasvegas #$5Mchandelier #hakkasangroup #nightclub A video posted by Rodalyn (@zummerlove) on

#omnia #omnialv #omniavegas #omniaopening A video posted by @timessquare69 on

HOLY #OMNIA!!! This just happened! #hakkasangroup

A video posted by Christopher Quiban (@qris_luv) on