If you ever spent time in City Bar, Aria’s easily bypassed, central casino sports bar, its transformation could come as quite a shock. The former Light Group took charge of this venue and converted it into a swanky cocktail lounge in 2014, and in recent months, Hakkasan Group struck a match and shaped it into Alibi Ultra Lounge, where DJs spin nightly starting at around 10 p.m. When things really get going, curtains are drawn and the stylish nook feels like an intimate and sought-after experience.
It’s no surprise Alibi has found new life in 2016. It will be the perfect before or after activation for Jewel, Hakkasan’s new nightclub opening in May just an escalator ride away. But more significantly, the new lounge model looks back a decade to a time when smaller, more adjustable nightlife venues were all the rage on the Las Vegas Strip. The scene is cyclical; today’s party people want the massive experience one night and something warmer, more conversational and relaxed the next. With its lush decor, focus on mixology and moody vibe that adjusts to its patrons’ desires, Alibi plays all the right notes. Alibi Ultra Lounge at Aria, 702-693-8300; daily noon-5 a.m.