Imagine everything you could possibly want along a four-mile strip. That’s why celebrities head to Las Vegas. They can stay in the most lavish suites while playing at the swankiest nightclubs with VIP service, dining at the hippest restaurants and lounging by the most luxurious pools, and all of this is within 10 minutes of their suites. Sure, the celebs get everything comped, their photos in the gossip columns and have the times of their lives with their fans, but you can find them and have similar experiences … if you know where to go. Here’s a look at the Haute 5 places to spot celebrities in Las Vegas. Happy hunting.
It all started with the Palms back when it opened in 2001. Before that, Vegas insiders kept their mouths shut about celebrity sightings. But George Maloof ushered in a new era for the city when he invested $1 million to convert seven rooms on the 28th floor into a luxury suite for MTV’s The Real World. He let cameras film everything anywhere in the casino. But that’s not all. Maloof made the opening of the Palms a star-studded affair with Paris Hilton on his arm in a dress made from $1 million in casino chips. Matt Dillon, Samuel L. Jackson, Tara Reid, Charlize Theron and more showed up for the opening, and the press from it was priceless. The Palms is still the place to run into celebrities, whether at Ghostbar or Rain or even the only Playboy Club in the world.
You can always find celebrities hosting at Tao, the massive nightclub at the Venetian, whether it’s at Tao Beach, Tao Asian Bistro or Tao Nightclub. Last weekend, Lauren Conrad hosted her book launch at Tao Beach. LeBron James from the Miami Heat hosted a whole weekend at the Tao trinity. When Jay-Z hosted a night back in March with his wife Beyonce Knowles, more than 7,000 crowded into the club for a peak. Even if celebrities aren’t hosting the night, you can always spot someone famous dining or sipping cocktails in the skyboxes and VIP areas. Pamela Anderson, Lance Bass, Jennifer Love Hewitt and Ryan Phillippe are just some of the stars to recently visit.
Hard Rock Hotel
While the Palms may be geared toward the MTV generation, the Hard Rock Hotel attracts the rockers. Whether it’s because of the concerts at The Joint or the smaller Wasted Space owned by Carey Hart, or the club scene during the day at Skybar or night at Vanity, the stars are attracted to this off-Strip resort. In recent weeks, Matthew McConaughey, Wyclef Jean, Kenny Chesney, Ray J and Mike “The Situation” have been at Skybar, while Vanity has attracted the likes of Lil Jon, Rihanna, Cuba Gooding Jr. and Jerry Bruckheimer. Nice company if you can keep it.
Bigger is better when it comes to celebrities. That’s why they head to XS at Encore Las Vegas. This 40,000-square-foot behemoth co-owned by nightclub impresario Victor Drai has hosted the likes of NBA star Amar’e Stoudemire, Ryan Seacrest, Regis Philbin, Paris Hilton and John Mayer in recent weeks. Spotting them can be difficult; the VIP cabanas are above the club and somewhat closed off.
What can you say about a nightclub owned in part by Shaquille O’Neal, Andre Agassi, Steffi Graf and Celine Dion that had Mariah Carey host its opening night in 2004? Well, aside from the white walls, this place is anything but pure. Bands such as Puddle of Mudd, Train and Third Eye Blind have taken the stage at Pure Nightclub at Caesars Palace for short sets. This weekend, Amerie performs and Kid Cudi takes the stage Labor Day weekend while reality TV stars Shayne Lamas and Nik Richie host that weekend.