So this last weekend Magnetic was invited out to Las Vegas for the grand opening of the Foxtail Pool Club at the SLS Hotel, one of the strips newest hotels that just opened last August.
I’ve personally not been out to Vegas for a couple years so I was looking forward to catching up on the club culture in America’s wildest city. Full disclosure, Vegas has never really been my thing and really only a place I’ve gone to because of trade shows or work obligations.
However, being a big fan of what the SBE guys have done with the SLS properties in Miami and Los Angeles I figured it would be worth dipping my toes back in the pool and give it a try.
I still have emotional scars from the last “pool” party I attended out in Las Vegas, which was at the Hard Rock Hotel in 2012. Yeah, it was the Hard Rock so I take full responsibility for that one and certainly will wipe the slate clean.
The idea of standing around in a big pool of drunkards warming the water up with their pee has never been a great idea, from Cabo to Vegas… it’s all the same. Thank god for high powered filters.
So I packed my carry on bag and headed to that genius little airport they call Bob Hope in Burbank, the seasoned travelers secret weapon.
First bummer, I was in boarding group C on Southwest which guarantees you a middle seat next to the most undesirable pair of people on the plane and no place for your carry on. Fuck yeah, middle seat and a checked bag.
It’s only 45 mins in the air and I got lucky with the bookends this flight, so nothing to complain about really. I got in smoothly and headed to the SLS to settle in and plot the course for the next 48 hours.
From the moment you walk into the SLS you can immediately feel the LA influence from the people to the retail outlets, which is a good thing. It’s our little slice of home on the strip.
The SLS remodel of the old Sahara, which operated from 1952 - 2011, respects the history of the joint with little nods to its past (a legendary Rat Pack hangout). The new look is a slick modern aesthetic with a dash of kitsch and some subtle genius from Philippe Starck, one of SBE’s go to guys. The SLS Hotels are just designed well and this one in particular was especially nice compared to most the tacky mazes that line the strip.
So let’s get into it.
The Pool Club
The Foxtail Pool Club might be the perfect size for a Las Vegas party pool, it’s not too big and retains some country club class of days gone by. The sound system is just loud enough to satisfy revelers but not so loud that it annoys the non pool party guests. They even have a non party pool if you just want some peace and quiet to let your vibrating brain settle for a bit.
Friday - Sunday were stacked with some nice housey nice line ups including Rebecca and Fiona, Sebjack and Erick Morillo all delivering some good poolside vibes.I’m going to throw in my two cents here and say bring on the Tropical House this summer, just saying.
Photo By Hew Burney
Photo By Hew Burney
The weather Saturday got a bit rough towards the end of the day with some wind and rain but people stuck it out until it literally started pouring. Sebjack even did some back to back spins with Erick Morillo who popped on the decks to close it out.
Sunday brought some good sunny vibes and Erick Morillo closed out the weekend with his happy vibey house music. Full summer season here is probably going to be insane.
The Nightclub: LIFE
I’ve always been averse to huge clubs but I totally get why people love them, so I’m going to be really objective here. LIFE is the SLS’s big nightclub play and they are bringing some heat, literally, there is a huge fire fountain on stage that makes the place look like it’s going up in flames.
The club is pretty easy to navigate which is really key in a space this size, it most likely was a theater back in its other life during the Sahara years. This means lots of tables, wide walkways and an obvious front/back so you never lose your way. That may sound stupid, but sometimes big clubs can become a bit difficult to maneuver when you’ve had one too many and / or it’s super crowded.
I was able to catch Erick Morillo’s set on Saturday night which got the crowd whipped up into a frenzy, that and the LED sticks they handed out. I definitely will be back soon to catch the much touted Reflections night with Steve Angello, which apparently was nuts the night before.
If you are looking for the perfect sized “big” room LIFE is a really good bet.
Right when you walk in you are smashed over the head with design. You feel like you are in some kind of 80’s inspired French vampire rock and roll fantasy with a splash of rococo for good measure. It’s odd to be sure, but fucking cool at the same time. Big white leather couches, creepy white chandeliers and light fixtures, “Late Baroque” inspired canvas tapestries and floor to ceiling mirrors all help create a magical space for your stay.
You really just have to soak it in and go with it, don’t fight it… shhhhhhh.
My favorite touch, the ceiling mirror, so perfectly tasteful and tasteless at the same time. You can almost see the ghost of Liberace zipping in (dressed as a bell boy and covered in sparkles) to give you a little “Mmmmmm hmmmm you dirty monkey” kind of wink. You definitely want to hang out and have a pre party in your wacky abode, the couch alone demands it.
Executive Chef Jose Andres continues his residency at the SLS with a new concept called Bazaar Meats. If you are not familiar with this culinary genius make sure to check him out online or make a “b line” for one of his restaurants if your are in DC, LA or Miami… or Vegas.
This location is of course all about meat and what a menu it is. Unfortunately for me my dining companion was on a no meat diet so being the polite and not wasteful kind of guy that I am we dined primarily on vegetarian fair. I know, not rad.
I did however order a ridiculous piece of Tuna and ate some incredible vegetables, even a vegetarian would be in heaven here. The carrots were exquisite, and I’ve always been very “meh” on carrots, as was the cauliflower and roasted beets.
If I make it back, I’m going for the steak. Which I can almost guarantee is out of control.
Needless to say make sure to call for a reservation and be prepared to drop some cash. It’s worth it, even for the vegetables alone.
I might have found one of my new favorite spots in Vegas, an oasis of cool at the end of the strip that is just right in all the right places.
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