Luxe Life Blog
Photos: Intimacy and sophistication at new nightspots Hyde and RPM
The era is ending for supersized Las Vegas nightclubs, as intimacy and sophistication are the new buzzwords for 2012. On Thursday, I took preview tours of the new, luxurious jewel box lounge and nightspot Hyde in the Bellagio and RPM at the Tropicana.
HYDE AT BELLAGIO
It took 5 months and more than $10 million to convert the 10-year-old oval piano lounge Fontana into the new, 10,000-square-foot, square-shaped venue that’s the fifth Hyde in the country but the first in Las Vegas for the Los Angeles-based hospitality restaurant, hotel and nightclub group SBE.
It’s an extraordinary transformation since its July 3 closing. Hyde is divided into three seamless indoor and outdoor sections, two bar areas, a large sprawling lounging area and even a unique boutique “study” inside a club with trinkets for the night’s temptress or souvenirs. Each of the two-level areas divided by fabric screens for video imagery look right out onto the Bellagio Fountains.
As a dayclub, the Living Room of the “hidden” Italian-designed villa setting will open at 5 p.m. for the early evening cocktail crowd who will enjoy the best views of the dancing fountains. As a nightclub from 10 p.m. onward, the Grand Salon opens, and a white, furnished Tuscan Garden area complete with living topiary and orchids comes into its own.
It will be open onto the water show day and night, and the shiny and gold-sheathed stunning servers have a mixologist to prep original, smoking-ice drinks and tapas bites from the Sirio Maccioni restaurant Circo next door. The DJs perform from behind a booth that looks like a fireplace made from petrified wood.
As SBE VP Oliver Wharton explained to me: “With maximum capacity of just over 700 people and 42 VIP tables, it’s all about being intimate and personal with incredible service. This is like being in a luxurious exclusive Italian villa hidden inside a beautiful hotel.
“We know that residents and visitors are tiring of the huge mega-clubs and want to reclaim sophistication in smaller, more intimate surroundings. Nobody else has the views of the fountains we have day and night!”
RPM AT TROPICANA
It’s the Revolution Party Machine and not revolutions per minute you might have thought. The new nightclub at the Tropicana will be a nonstop party through the night, and every 20 minutes, expect mini shows with sexy dancers, interactive star music video surprises, confetti cannons and balloon drops orchestrated by producer Seth Yudof, and you can dress up your sexy server in the fashions or undergarments you’d like her to wear for the night. Even their drinks menus light up in the dark, so no more cellphone flashlights!
The top level has banquette seating, dancing areas and 48 new VIP booths. A champagne and tequila muse will ride a swing on an inner-circular ceiling track to deliver bubbly and serve shots. In the $1 million-plus makeover, the DJ booth has been moved to dance-floor center, and three video screens enable him to present lighting effects and videos simultaneously -- and also out to one wall of video in the club’s entryway from the casino.
The former Nikki Beach has now vanished behind frosted glass, but when it reopens this spring, cabanas outside RPM will flow seamlessly into the new beach dayclub. Singer Mary J. Blige, who has turned down prior nightclub requests, will count down into New Year’s and sing her hits from a mini-stage actually on the new celebrity booth. “American Idol” Season 6 winner Jordin Sparks celebrates her 23rd birthday at RPM on Jan. 7, and nine porn princesses will celebrate the Adam & Eve AVN Awards Party on Jan. 20.
DJ Hollywood, a front-runner in the DJ-nightclub craze back in the days at Pure in Caesars Palace, is the RPM resident for the weekly StarFaker industry night parties, and DJ Sour Milk from Los Angeles will be the Saturday night “Unleashed” regular. Friday nights have been dubbed WTF for What the Fridays!
RPM’s nightlife czar Richard Wilk told me: “Vegas clubs that are huge and keep patrons and regulars anonymous have had their day. Now the customers are more demanding, wanting more entertainment at a more reasonable cost with impeccable service that acknowledges them as a regular returning friend of the club and not just a one-time customer. RPM guarantees that!”
Knowing hotel mogul Steve Wynn, we also can expect the ultimate in over-the-top, luxurious intimacy when he opens his new nightspot Climax in late 2012, taking the place of the four-star Alex restaurant that surprisingly shuttered this year.
Also opening New Year’s Eve: 1 OAK at the Mirage. Fergie is at I OAK, Mary at RPM and “Modern Family” stunner Sofia Vergara at Hyde, as detailed in our NYE Weekend Celebrity Preview posted this morning.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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