Isle of Man

Isle of Man

We here at SoCal, love our home—we love the endless summers, the traffic congestion, the ubiquitous out-door-dining and of course the ability to get to the desert, the sea, the vineyards and Mexico quickly, if the electric car would only go that far…so we take to flight, travel, spend time in other cultures and countries. This time, we have sent our best writer, Niki Smart, to visit that small land between England and Ireland, the Isle of Man, for a summer travel report:

As kids, my sister and I spent a year living with our father in the Isle of Man, and to be frank, we both loathed it. We complained endlessly, or at least I did, and gave it unflattering names like the Isle of Bile, the Isle of Vile, the Isle of Just Shoot Me Please…and so on. You’d think then, that some 40 years later when my sister suggested we go back and reevaluate the Isle of Man, that I’d be reluctant, but I was curious and agreed. Maybe it was time to reassess the place.

Fist off, a 3-hour ferry ride from Liverpool to the Isle of Man’s capital, Douglas—and a quick side note; 40 years later, Liverpool has an amazing waterfront area laden with restaurants, cafés, history, art, culture and much visit-worthy coolness.

As a child, the ferry ride had always seemed pretty rough, but I thought maybe that was because I was a little. Surely it couldn’t be that bad? Oh. So. Wrong! The voyage was as grueling as I remembered, meaning, I came very close to losing my lunch. Arriving in pouring rain, three motion-sickly hours later, my sister and I struggled to figure out how to get to our seafront hotel because the entire promenade was seemingly being dug up, traffic was being rerouted without any clear signage, and parking was a messy bitch. To top it off, since it was a rainy, Monday night, not many restaurants were open, and as we trudged about in the grim cold searching for a place to eat, I thought, “Well, we just made a big bloody mistake.”

The Little Fish Café helped cheer us up with the British classic of fish and chips, plus a window seat looking onto the quayside of colorful sailboats. Strangely enough, there was also a brightly painted wallaby in our view. Intrigued, I looked up the significance because—hello—a wallaby in the Isle of Man? I discovered that in roughly 1985 several wallabies escaped Curraghs Wildlife Park (the Isle of Man’s only zoo,) and had since started breeding in the wild. Apparently, there are now nearly one hundred wallabies roaming the Isle of Man and I instantly felt a kinship to them. They’d been sent to the island against their will (just like us as kids), and I was certain those poor creatures longed for their Australian home the way I’d longed for mine during my year of no escape.

On day two, the sun came out, and after a warming, cheerful breakfast at Noa Bake House (a bicycle café in an old market warehouse), my sister and I drove to the opposite side of the island— a whole 10 miles away—to visit Peel. For part of this drive we were actually on the racecourse that the motorbikes use during the infamous TT races, complete with padded corners at the sharper turns.

Peel is a quaint seaside/fishing village nestled under the eye of the ruins of Peel Castle. Built in the 11th century by the Vikings, Peel Castle has a long history, and is rumored to be haunted by a ghostly black dog. We walked the circumference of the castle grounds along rugged coastline and landed up on the tiny, but charming, Fenella beach. My brave sister bought a “kipper bap” (a bun with a fried kipper wedged in it) from a food truck parked right by the beach/castle—salty, but delicious. Look at this menu! It’s not one you see everyday.

Driving 3 miles south of Peel, we stumbled upon Glen Maye, a fairytale place of fern-filled woodlands, 20 foot hanging ivy, a bridged gorge and waterfalls. It blew my mind a little bit because it was so ridiculously gorgeous. Why aren’t they filming movies here, I wondered? It would make a magical backdrop for Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or GOT. I was what the British would call “gobsmacked” by nature. After some staring about in disbelief, a friendly passerby suggested our next stop: the Niarbyl Bay Café.

The Niarbyl Café is down a little country road that leads only to the café plus a few historical cottages. The view was impressive, the tea and scones were perfect, and the walk down to the historical cottages was well worth it. I can’t quite explain what was so incredible about this café, but it made me high on life just to be there. Heading back to Douglas, our chosen restaurant for the night was the Tandoor South Indian Restaurant, where both the service and food were first-rate. My perspective of the Isle of Man was improving.

Day three, the wind hit 45 mph and I started worrying a) about our rough ride back to Liverpool and b) that we might be stuck on the island as the ferry was cancelled for the day. Our day of hiking, however, was not cancelled because my sister insisted on going to see Cashtal yn ard—and yes, I spelled that correctly. The well-preserved Cashtal yn ard is one of three Neolithic tombs, dating from about 2000 BC, and I have to say, it’s pretty stirring to stand before such history. We drove along ever-narrowing lanes, splashed through a ford, and hiked in sideways-rain to see the place, and still it was worth it.

This was followed by a quick stop at the iconic Great Laxey Wheel; the largest working waterwheel in the world. We’d planned to visit the wheel by hopping on the vintage electric tram but the heavy rain made the ride sound less appealing. Having had enough weather for one day, we sought refuge in the Manx Museum where the Island’s 10,000-year history is presented through film, galleries and interactive displays. It’s free and quite delightful.

On our last day, the weather turned kinder, helping us have another “off the charts” day exploring. We visited Castle Town’s medieval, 25-foot high Castle Rushen—a stronghold that served as a home to kings in the late 12th century and later as a prison during the 18th century. If you’ve ever wanted a truly medieval experience, this may be the place to go visit. We skipped from castle life to rural life at Cregneash—a folk village that depicts the typical way of life that a small Manx village in the 19th century would have had. Here we got to see a Manx cat (a cat with no tail) as well as several brown haired, four-horned Manx Loaghtan sheep. Other than the biting wind, I imagine the folks living in the village must have been a happy bunch as Cregneash lies on a rolling hillside with stunning panoramas to all sides.

From Cregneash we drove to the very southwest tip of the island to see the Calf of Man— a tiny island that is a Nature Reserve and Bird Observatory. This was our last and favorite stop because the views were simply spectacular.

Our final meal was at Barbary Coast Grill and Bar, a fun place with tasty burgers that let’s you “spin the wheel” —and if your table number hits, your food is free (not your drinks though, but a very generous offer none-the-less).

Dreading our ferry trip home, we bought “Travel Calm”, and thankfully at least our stomachs traveled calmly over yet another seriously rough Irish Sea voyage. To sum up our trip, other than the jarring ferry ride, the Isle of Man was outstanding. I wish I could go back in time and show my young-self all the magical amazingness the island has to offer. And please allow me finish by saying I believe the wallabies have found themselves a rather wonderful place to call home.

Journey Up the Nile River

Journey Up the Nile River

TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE

July 2019

There are many kinds of vacations—the relaxing, island vacation, the adventuruous trip up the mountains of Peru, the majestic splendor of old churches throughout Europe, and then there is the Middle East. A term coined in 1850s by a British India official, it is composed of 18 countries, 60+ languages and nearly four million people. It is the birthplace of most of the world’s religions and “has been a major center of world affairs; a strategically, economically, politically, culturally, and religiously sensitive area.”

So, let’s just say, it’s not Hawaii.

There are over 200 Nile cruise ships. Many originate in the small town of Aswan, which is down the Nile. This is where our journey begins—after we leave the hustle of Cairo. To get to Aswan you travel by plane or train—driving is not recommended.

An overnight trip to Aswan by an overnight train is a unique experience. The train station in Cairo grows smaller in the distance as we head south on a 549 mile journey. Waking early morning, a rattling train is now alongside the Nile River; a country with a long history that hasn’t seen, in these parts, enormous change: Men still pull carts with cattle, horses carry cane sugar. In one brief moment a dead cow carcass can be seen in a small pond by the side of the road. Time has stood still in these parts.

Aswan is a smaller version of Cairo. To be sure, there is a McDonalds, a Kentucky Fried Chicken, and likely anyday, a Starbucks, but for now, it is a popular city that sits on the Nile, with a substantial amount of river boats.

Aswan is the “Jewel of the Nile”. Pink and grey granite thrusts upward through the Nubian sandstone, forming mountains, cliffs and jagged outcrops. While there countless mosques, there is also Archangel Michael’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral—a towering catherdral  in the Coptic architecture — the architecture of the Copts, who form the majority of Christians in Egypt. 

Security is a way of life in Egypt. In Cairo and in places like the Coptic Church, security runs high. Armed guards and blockades can be found at many hotels and indeed at this Coptic Church. But retail and restaurants flourish in the city of Aswan—it is only until late one after noon on a Friday that the azan, the call to prayer can be heard by countless speakers throughout the city—these callers, called muezzinine, are a cacophony of  sounds—it becomes a surreal moment in a backstreet hotel as the soundtrack shifts, the sun sets, we are surely not in the West anymore.

The river Nile. The view of the river as seen in Aswan.

Photograph by Zuke Oshiro

“What you can expect from a Nile River cruise is the adventure of a lifetime.”

DAY ONE we board the Santuary IV. The Sanctuary Sun Boat IV is a contemporary chic, sleek boat with heavy art deco influences. There are 36 standard cabins, two presidential suites and two royal suites. We are greeted as enter the plank by the entire staff offering refreshments and introductions. We are divided  into groups and assigned an English-speaking tour guide, who will accompany us to the various temples along the way. Afternoon tea will be served. Everynight an activity is planned—tonight, after a gourmet dinner is served, we watch as traditional fokloric music and a “whirling dervish” perform.

As one look about it becomes clear that this journey invites all kinds of people—local Egytians, A London-based Sufi businessman with his family, and elderly couple from Scotland, a couple from Cape Cod, a Brazilan opera singer and her daughter, and Egyptian family with their California-based son-in-law. The staff is attentive, ocassionaly too attentive, but the dinner, which is buffet-style, is a nice start to the this ride up the Nile.

A felucca is a traditional wooden sailing boat used in protected waters of Egypt. Its rig consists of one or two lateen sails.

Photographed by Zuke Oshiro

DAY TWO a large buffet breakfast is served each morning. Groups gather on the first deck and we head out for adventure.  We journey to the majestic Philae Temple on the Island of Agilika. We begin to make friends with some Egytian locals and their California-based relatives. The temples are surreal. Over three thousand years old, the preservation is impressive. We are to dress like and Egyptians for a post-dinner party. We bargain with the locals to buy a “galabeyya”, the traditional Egyptian outfit. Each night, at dinner you are seated in the same place. We are seated next to a Brazilian opera singer and her daughter. The after-dinner party is a chance for everyone to mingle and dance into the wee Egyptian hours. This is the requisite fun of travelling by boat—it’s a small party, you get to know everyone, and their stories.

DAY THREE we set off the visit the Temple of Horus. We begin to understand some aspects of the Egyptian pharoah culture. The mythology is deeply complex. For example Horus, is the sky god and there are two, Horus the Younger and Horus Elder. There is a surprising lack of sexuality in these temples, and everyone is quite fit. The drawings are impeccable and rarely vary in form.

We head to The Temple of Esna. The Temple of Esna, which was buried beneath its own debris for many centuries, is located in the center of the town, close to the River Nile and only a short walk from your boat through the local market. We are given passage by way of carriage. The remains of the Temple contain a hall of columns with 24 pillars beautifully decorated with lotus and palm capitals. Also notable is that while looking up, astrological symbols can be seen, 12 of them.

To suggest that it is overwhelming is an understatement. One has to pinch themselves to remind themselves of the reality—you are in Egypt, in the MIddle East and these are the temples that Hollywood has been in love with for so long.

So that evening, as entertainment, they have set up a projector to show the 1978 film, “Death on the Nile”. This version features Peter Ustinov as Hercule Poirot, the famous Belgian sleuth. Actually filmed along the same route we are on, this two hour and twenty minute film runs late into the Egyptian night—we all retire early for our last day.

 

DAY FOUR The east and west banks of Luxor. This is the big one, the grandaddy of temples. We’re suddenly seeing more people at these temples.  First stop, Temple of Luxor, dedicated to the god Amun. We have had a change in our tour guide! The people in our group requested a new guide. Welcome Medhat, looking like something out of a central casting for Indiana Jones, he is informative and affable. We move onto the Temple of Karnak.
After lunch, visit the Valley of the Kings or The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh, Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes, as it was once known. We will have the chance to visit at least one tomb in the Valley of the Queens, and visit the Temple of Queen Hatshepsut. On the way back to the river Nile, you will pass by the famed Colossi of Memnon, known in Ancient Greek times for their haunting voices at dawn.

 

It’s over. We arrive at our final moments on board the Santuary IV — saying goodby the ship is abuzz with activity. Rooms are quickly seen to. We head to the Luxor airport to head back to Cairo. We have made friends. We travel over vast stretches of desert, broken by the sudden appearance of a great lake, which seems to run for miles. We are back in Cairo for 12 hours.

There was something about this trip, that for the well-worn traveler speaks to that ocassional need for danger—not physical danger, but to be somewhere where your native language is foreign, the landscape, the people, the culture is vastly different than anything previously experienced. Bali was one of those places, The Maldives certainly. Cairo, Aswan, Luxor, all spoke to a distance of things known, flavors never tasted, history seen in terms of thousands instead of hundreds. Dangerous? Sure—you’re in the Middle East—you cannot get to Israel easily from Egypt though it is under 500 miles away. But it’s Egypt, it’s Cairo. It’s the Pyramids! It’s everything you ever imagined and more. To be sure, there was a moment, leaving the hustle of Cairo in a taxi and the Pyramids suddenlhy appear in the distance—it’s a moment. Crusing up the Nile via a five star luxury boat, that too, was many moments.

https://www.sanctuaryretreats.com/egypt-holidays

The Iconic Mondrian L.A. on Sunset Continues Summer Reign with Full Redesign

The Iconic Mondrian L.A. on Sunset Continues Summer Reign with Full Redesign

Earlier this Summer, Sunset Boulevard destination staple, The Mondrian L.A., unveiled it’s complete redesign after a whopping 19 million dollar renovation. The level of luxury exuding from this West Hollywood location fits in perfectly with the beautiful days of an L.A. Summer. There’s a unique direction in design specific to the 236 rooms and hallways of the hotel bring in an essence of imagination through the Alice in Wonderland inspired decor. Take into account the floor-to-ceiling windows, marble touched bathrooms, and 24 Hour room service.

           

The renovation came in at a whopping 19 million dollars to create the ever-inspiring luxury hotel’s re-imagined aesthetic. It’s the perfect place for a local getaway while being able to also step outside and enjoy California-inspired cuisines at Ivory on Sunset and play at Skybar’s iconic sun-drenched pool deck by day, star-studded nightlife hotspot after sunset.

  

 

For Reservations and Calendar of Events, Check out Mondrian Los Angeles Online.

Mexico: A Love Affair

Mexico: A Love Affair

Frequently, we are asked, “is Mexico safe?”, which is ironic considering…but let’s leave politics for the pundits and facebookers. Mexico is a feast, literally of places to visit. From Los Angeles, Mexico City is a three- and half-hour plane ride costing under $300. Hotels, restaurants, museums abound and are all reasonably priced. The people are extremely friendly. Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. One of those is Miguel San de Allende, located 170 miles from Mexico City, and a 10-hour drive from the US border. While the outlying areas of the town and municipality have changed over time, the historic center remains much as it was 250 years ago. The layout of the center of the city is mostly a straight grid, as was favored by the Spanish during colonial times. However, due to the terrain, many roads are not straight. There are no parking meters, no traffic signals and no fast food restaurants. And we are thankful for that. There are weddings by the hour—initiated by the callejoneada, a wedding parade that’s customary in San Miguel. The parade has a mariachi band and a donkey with Tequila shots. Welcome to Mexico!

We have travelled to the west side of Mexico where you will find Puerto Vallarta — a resort town on Mexico’s Pacific coast, in Jalisco state. It is known for its beaches, water sports and nightlife scene. Its cobblestone center is home to the ornate Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe church, boutique shops and a range of restaurants and bars. El Malecón is a beachside promenade with contemporary sculptures, as well as bars, lounges and nightclubs.  Made famous by American film director John Huston. Even though John Huston had visited the town when it only had a few thousand souls in 1929, while navigating up the Pacific coast on one of his innumerable trips to his beloved Mexico, plus another time while scouting for locations for Typee (a movie he never shot), not much had changed when he came back in the early 1960s with a new movie project, “The Night of the Iguana”, and a location for the set called Mismaloya, tipped off by a local entrepreneur. The small town flourished with tourists, especially Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, who had a house in town where they would fight, drink, make love and make up. This is considered part of the so-called “Mexican Riviera” a term coined by the Princess Cruise Line.

On the other side of the continent is Mayan Rivera. This is a stretch of Caribbean coastline on Mexico’s northeastern Yucatán Peninsula. It’s known for its numerous all-inclusive resorts, such as those in the town of Playa del Carmen, and its long beaches. To the south, Tulum is home to yoga retreats and the preserved ruins of an ancient Mayan port city, perched on an outcrop above a white-sand beach. You could include Cancun, which on the “American side” is about as Las Vegas as a tourist attraction can get. Be warned—you will be dogged and hassled until you relent and enter an establishment. But, if your travel a short distance south, you will come to Playa del Carmen. A party town, this is also where you can get aboard a boat and head to the island of Cozumel. Going further South you will find Tulum—a town that sits on the Carribean Sea. Here, you can experience a cenote — a sinkhole, and there are many. In Tulum, you can experience   the Castillo, or castle, which is perched on the edge of a 12-metre limestone cliff, overlooking the Caribbean coast. Negotiating its steep steps is best done sideways, a fact which will assert itself on the way down. There is something magical about the place, and upon setting foot on the warm white sands of the Carribean, it is hard to not jump into sea. And you will. No matter which coast or inland destination, Mexico provides a unique experience for any traveler.

When we think of Mexico, we think “so much, so close!” Any direction you look, Mexico has offerings like few other countries.

Holiday Travel on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Holiday Travel on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Smart Tips for Holiday Travel on the Amtrak Pacific Surfliner

Ease the stress of holiday travel with these expert tips for trip planning, booking and saving money on train travel. 
     
LOS ANGELES – Holiday travel can be stressful whether you are going home to visit family or taking a vacation with your loved ones. The holiday season is the busiest time for travel, and for those opting to travel by train, there are many ways to ease holiday travel stress and enjoy the journey to your destination. The Amtrak Pacific Surfliner carries 3 million passengers a year to top destinations from San Diego to San Luis Obispo. Journey along the coast to enjoy breathtaking views, onboard amenities, and conveniently located stations while spending quality time with friends and family traveling to festive destinations.
Here are some insider tips to make the most of a train trip:
Beat the Crowd and Plan Ahead

If you are planning a trip that involves taking the train from Wednesday, Nov. 21 through Sunday, Nov. 25, book your tickets as soon as possible as the Pacific Surfliner will be reservation-only during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. While extra rail cars will be added to handle the surge in travelers, tickets sell out quickly. To check availability or book tickets, visit pacificsurfliner.com/holiday.

Also keep in mind that Fridays and Sundays are typically the busiest travel days on the Pacific Surfliner, especially on the 700-series trains between Los Angeles and San Diego. Consider choosing one of the 500-series trains instead, which are typically less busy, or if your travel plans allow, ride midweek or midday when it’s less crowded. With an Unreserved Coach ticket, you can choose to take an earlier or later train at no charge if your plans change.

Pro Tip: If you are traveling between stations with luggage service, you can check your bags (the first two are free) instead of carrying them with you. Passengers are also allowed 2 free carry-on bags, up to 50 lbs and 28” x 22” x 14” each. To learn about bringing other items onboardincluding music instruments, baby items and more, visit amtrak.com/special-items.

Take Advantage of SoCal Savings
California Everyday Discounts offer year-round savings on Pacific Surfliner travel for children, students, seniors, and riders with disabilities. Save 15% or more on Pacific Surfliner trips when you book with a promotion code. Visit PacificSurfliner.com/discounts for more details.Pro Tip: Check the website for more offers and trip ideas, including upcoming events, special service and deals: PacificSurfliner.com/promotions.

Upgrade to Business Class
One of the best ways to enhance your travel experience is by upgrading to Business Class. You’ll have a guaranteed seat and extra space to stretch out, plus you’ll receive a complimentary snack and drink, and bonus Amtrak Guest Rewards points. Business Class tickets provide a seat on a specific train, so if you need to change your plans, call 1-800-USA-RAIL or go online to modify your reservation in advance.

Pro Tip: The number of Business Class seats on each train is limited, so it’s best to book early before they sell out.

Grab a Bite to Eat from the Café Car
Craving a delicious treat? The onboard Café car offers a variety of carry-out style foods including sandwiches, salads, pizza, snacks and beverages, locally sourced from along the Pacific Surfliner route.

Pro Tip: Riders ages 21 and up can also enjoy local craft beers, California wines, and mixed drinks, including Bloody Mary’s, mimosas and more.

Don’t Miss the Ocean Views
Much of the Pacific Surfliner route hugs the coast, with views of beautiful beaches and rugged bluffs between Solana Beach and San Clemente on the south-end, and between Ventura and Surf-Lompoc on the north-end. Try to get a spot on the west-side of the train to have the best opportunities for photos, time-lapse videos and general sightseeing.

Pro Tip: The train switches directions after stopping in Los Angeles. If you are facing forward on the left side when you arrive at this station, you will find yourself traveling backwards on the right side once the train continues its journey! Keep this in mind if you are traveling through Los Angeles and are trying to get an ocean seat.

Stay Connected
Follow Pacific Surfliner (@PacSurfliners) on Twitter to stay up to date on the latest train updates before and during your trip. Browse social media and your favorite websites thanks to free Wi-Fi, and keep your devices charged by plugging into the power outlets – there is one located at every window seat.

Pro Tip: While the trains feature free basic Wi-Fi for general web browsing activities, the Wi-Fi does not support high-bandwidth actions such as streaming music or video. Instead, download your favorite Netflix show before-hand and binge watch on the train without Wi-Fi!

Do and See More
Ride the Pacific Surfliner to countless holiday events and attractions this season including parades, light displays, and waterfront fireworks. Enjoy a train ride along the coast while spending quality time with friends and family as you travel to these festive events.

Pro Tip: Many stations are central to great restaurants, shops and attractions. And you can also use your train ticket to connect to bus and transit services at most stations for free or at a discount. This makes it possible to go more places without needing a car.

With daily service to San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo, the Pacific Surfliner is a great way to experience the best of Southern California. Plan ahead and keep these tips in mind to make the most of your trip

For train schedules, special offers and more, visit pacificsurfliner.com. To stay up to date on the latest announcements, breaking news, and information for Amtrak Pacific Surfliner visit news.pacificsurfliner.com/.

About the Pacific Surfliner
The Pacific Surfliner travels along a 351-mile coastal rail route through San Diego, Orange,
Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, serving 27 stations. It is the busiest state-supported intercity passenger rail route in the United States with 24 daily trains and annual ridership of nearly 3 million. To learn more and plan a trip, visit PacificSurfliner.com, like Pacific Surfliner on Facebook, or @pacsurfliners on Twitter.

About the LOSSAN Rail Corridor Agency
The Los Angeles – San Diego – San Luis Obispo (LOSSAN) Rail Corridor Agency is a joint powers authority composed of rail owners, operators and planning agencies along the entire LOSSAN rail corridor.  In addition to working to improve passenger rail ridership, revenue, on-time performance, operational flexibility, and safety, the LOSSAN Agency assumed management responsibility for the Pacific Surfliner service in July 2015, following the execution of an interagency transfer agreement with the state of California. For more information, visit lossan.org.

Headed to Vegas? Palms Casino Resort Introduces Apex Social Club & Camden Cocktail Lounge

Headed to Vegas? Palms Casino Resort Introduces Apex Social Club & Camden Cocktail Lounge

Las Vegas has long been an easy, quick playground destination for Angelenos and Southern Californians alike. We love their nightlife, endless attractions, cuisine, and glamour, but mostly how the city constantly works hard at keeping things modern and ahead of the curve in offerings of entertainment. Palms Casino Resort has just about completed a $485 million revitalization plan of its property to include the new Apex Social Club and Camden Cocktail Lounge due to open in mid May 2018. These new concepts were created by Clique Hospitality’s Andy Masi, and nightlife partners Ryan Labbe and Jason “JRoc” Craig

As we redevelop Palms from top to bottom including our most iconic spaces, it only makes sense to partner with nightlife leaders Clique Hospitality to help bring this vision to life,” said Jon Gray, General Manager of Palms Casino Resort.

APEX Social Club, located in the space formerly known as Ghostbar, has long held the unofficial title as the best view in Las Vegas. APEX Social Club will capitalize on the unrivaled 180-degree view while reinterpreting the space and turning the 8,000-square-foot space into an open-air boutique nightclub.

Trendy, warm finishes accompanied by sounds from local and national DJ’s will greet guests upon arrival to the 55th floor venue. Guests will also be surrounded by a number of one-of-a-kind art pieces, which will serve as a focal point to the room, creating a sophisticated, upscale vibe. To complement the stunning view and venue, guests will be able to experience specialty-crafted cocktails, age-old favorites or indulge in tableside bottle service, all while capturing peering down on the city below. You know what they say; a good view never goes out of style.

Camden Cocktail Lounge, located adjacent to the main entrance, is another reimagined venue. A dynamic cocktail lounge at its core, Camden Cocktail Lounge will focus on mind-blowing cocktails, all presented in a distinctive over-the-top manner and with flair unlike anything seen before. Bartenders, all of them masters of mixology in their own right, will put their own whimsical spin on beloved classics or create new favorites for guest’s right before their very eyes.

Guests will be able to imbibe in an environment that successfully toes the line of classic and modern decor. The attention to detail inside Camden Cocktail Lounge will be second-to-none. Programming will change daily with a mixture of live music and DJ-driven sounds.

These are legendary venues, and if the walls could talk, you would hear some amazing stories,” Craig said. “We’re going to add a few chapters to those stories.

A lot of people miss the heyday of Vegas when it was about the room and the energy and not just the talent,” Labbe said. “We’re bringing those days back.

Also added to the group is Eric Hobbie, the mixologist stirring up the new signature cocktails for soon to open APEX Social Club and Camden Cocktail Lounge.  He’s been tapped as the brand’s Corporate Intoxicologist where he engaged to create unique, signature cocktails that represent Clique and their respected cocktail programs across venues from Vegas to San Diego, by highlighting creativity through mixology. He is a Certified Beer Server, Certified Sommelier, CRT Tequila Specialist, Graduate of the Academy of Spirits, and is Bar smart certified, insuring Clique guests receive nothing but the best. Hobbie is thrilled to be part of the team and looks forward to making his imprint on the high-end brand.

 

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