On the Strip


Eat, Play, Live

epl-1By Grace Bascos

With French flair, The Cromwell makes boutique unique.

The Las Vegas skyline is constantly evolving, but this time it’s not a mega-resort that is changing the face of the Strip. Following a $185-million renovation, The Cromwell revealed itself as a sexy, sophisticated hotel-casino with Parisian influences, hot new nightlife options and a first-ever restaurant from Giada De Laurentiis. It’s a whole new way to look at Las Vegas.

Parisian Style
Rooms at The Cromwell are all styled to resemble a Parisian loft apartment. The residential feel starts underfoot with playful English-French phrases printed on the hallway carpets. In the rooms, distressed hardwood floors and vintage luggage and trunk-style furnishings anchor the space, while custom photographs by Deborah Anderson play to a more sensual side.

Raise the Roof
Drai’s has been synonymous with Las Vegas nightlife for nearly two decades, thanks to his infamous Drai’s Afterhours, which operated in the basement of Bill’s until late last year. His new 65,000-square-foot Drai’s Beach Club • Nightclub elevates the party. “I always imagined how amazing a rooftop nightclub would be in Las Vegas,” Victor Drai says. “To see my vision come alive in such a spectacular manner is a dream come true.” If underground is more your scene, have no fear, as Drai’s returns after hours downstairs at The Cromwell. “I’m not going to change the feel—I’m just going to make it better.”

Everyday Italian
Giada De Laurentiis’ first restaurant, Giada, occupies the hotel’s second floor and has perfect panoramic views of the Bellagio fountains across the street. In creating the space, De Laurentiis wanted it to feel as if you were coming over to her home for a dinner party. Her hands-on approach ensures her style of California Italian cuisine translates to the plate, but her touch is also evident in the design—from the welcoming bread oven and antipas to counter near the door to the monogrammed “G” on the chair back.

Mixology Maestro
When it comes to creating cocktails, world-renowned mixologist Salvatore Calabrese leads the pack. Known as “The Maestro,” Calabrese has crossed the pond, bringing his custom shakers, glassware and coveted recipes from London to The Cromwell’s swanky new bar, Bound by Salvatore. He credits the creation of his iconic Breakfast Martini to his wife, who once served him toast with marmalade for a morning meal. Calabrese then took the jar to work and—presto—a star beverage was born. “A great cocktail has to satisfy three elements: eyes, nose and mouth. It has to look great. It has to smell divine and taste incredible.”