For the definition of general admission, and tips on getting into Vegas nightclubs, check out my guide: Nightclubs: How do I get in??
Not all nightclubs are created equal. And not all clubs were built to accommodate people who don’t want to spend thousands of dollars on a few bottles of alcohol.
Some clubs where you might have the time of your life when you have a table can be a total nightmare without one. I’ll breakdown for you which clubs are set up so everyone has fun, and which ones to avoid like the plague unless you’re poppin’ bottles.
Tier 1 Clubs
The worst: Hakkasan
Hakkasan with a main room table is one of the best nights out in Vegas. Their DJ lineup has the biggest names in town. It’s also the worst GA club in Las Vegas.
While it’s on par with Omnia and XS for experience, though not nearly as big. That doesn’t stop them from trying to shove in as many people as possible. Once midnight hits there is absolutely no room to move for the next few hours. You won’t be able to get to the dance floor, and you’ll spend all night getting bumped into and stepped on. Even with multiple rooms to check, out the pathways are so narrow it’s still a miserable experience. I’ve received nothing but complaints from people who left after less than an hour.
Simply put the club was set up for people with tables and no thought was given to the general attendance crowd. Either spring for a table or pick somewhere else to go.
Hit or miss: Omnia
The sister club to Hakkasan can be a mixed bag when it comes to general admission. They follow the same guiding principle of packing in as many people as possible, but the club is so big that usually it’s not a total disaster.
The main room is absolutely enormous, though this is where you will typically feel most jammed in if it’s a super popular night. I’ve definitely had some bad times trying to move around or through the main room. On regular nights it’s usually fine and not too hard to get in and off the dance floor.
While there is no place to sit in the main room (for guys at least), usually if you go to Heart of Omnia you can find some space to relax for a bit. Lastly the outdoor terrace is amazing to not only take in one of the best views of the strip but also to cool off and have a conversation. Just like Hakkasan there is no reentry once you leave.
The best: XS
This might seem like a recurring theme on this blog but once again XS stands out over its competition. You will notice the difference before you even enter. The lines at XS are much more orderly, they move faster and the staff is actually accommodating.
Once inside you can usually move freely between outdoors and inside. On rare occasions when they’re super busy make sure your ticket or guestlist entrance includes indoor access. Sometimes they will sell tickets that only give you access to the pool area. During peak hours when the headliner is on there will often be a short line to get inside and to the dance floor as well. You can always go to the outdoor dance floor which many people prefer anyways.
In the outdoor area by the bar there are also gambling tables set up. So if you arrive early or just want a break from dancing go play some Blackjack. You can also snag some free drinks while you’re playing! XS allows reentry and the line for that is always very short and fast. Overall the best GA club in Vegas.
Tier 2/3 Clubs
I would try to separate these clubs into different tiers but honestly a lot depends on your preferences and who the performer/DJ is on a particular night so I’ll just group them.
Bad: Light & Hyde
Both of these clubs are top choices if you’re getting a table but they just aren’t that big. There’s very little room that’s not reserved for tables and they tend to get packed. Better options elsewhere.
These are all ok choices. If there’s a big performer at Jewel it can get overpacked but normally it’s fine.
1OAK is small so if there is a headliner it will get full fast. On other nights it’s fine.
Tao is kind of a mixed bag when it comes to GA. They don’t get big name DJs, but some random nights you will feel like a sardine, and other nights it’ll be disappointing empty.
If you ever went to Tryst then Intrigue is a pretty similar experience. Pretty consistently a good time, but not too much to explore so I’m putting it a step below.
Many would argue for Marquee to be tier 1 but since they don’t pay for the most well known DJs and it’s not as big I think it belongs as the best of the rest. Can freely move from in to out, and lots of space to relax outside when you need a break. They also have free water which is rare for Vegas ($12 for a tiny Fiji at Omnia/Hak). Bonus points for free entry for Cosmo hotel guests. Overall a good GA experience.
Drais similarly allows for you to move in and out. Exception is when they only have the inside open. Nights when they get a big rapper it can be a bit more chaotic but it’s never too bad.
Surrender is the same location as Encore Beach Club if you’re familiar with the pool party. They open up a connecting indoor room to the pool area. Inside it gets pretty packed but if you ever need a breather theres the entire EBC outdoor area to go chill out at.
LAX, Chateau, The Bank, Lavo, Foxtail, Ghostbar, any others I’m missing??
Honestly can’t tell you how these are. Either I’ve never been or haven’t been in years. Probably won’t be too full as they aren’t the most popular clubs in town. Just don’t go in expecting a ridiculous Vegas club experience and you can still have a good time.
If you’re really interested in one of the above or if you have any questions, need contacts or any other help planning your trip, feel free to send me a message.