Located on the second floor of the HRH Tower of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas is Vanity Nightclub. A sprawling 14,000-square-foot space that features 56 tables situated around a recessed dance floor, there are two standout elements that set the venue apart: the 20,000 crystal and light-emitting-diode (LED) chandelier and the ladies bathroom.
“Our concept was to try to create an interior that is geared toward women, since everything else in nightlife is geared toward men,” says Charles Doell, principal of Mr. Important Design, who is responsible for the design. “Our take on that was jewelry, so we’ve used a lot of jewel tones — gold, silver and even rose gold — and facets in the walls. We combined that with soft cut velvet curtains and the effect is great.”
The establishment’s tag line is “It’s All About You,” and that marketing proposition was considered in every detail. “Once we settled on a name, it was a logical step to make it about vanity and pamper the female guests,” Doell says. “The ladies room is 2,000 square feet, and has a private makeup area and sinks for women. We also backlit the mirrors to provide the ladies with softer lighting, which they say they appreciate. They even have a house mother in there to help the girls with whatever they need, be that a hair clip or a curling iron so they can touch up their hair.”
Gold and mink-trimmed curtains drape the bathroom and a large settee finish the room. For a while, they even served complimentary champagne to girls as they entered. “They had a hard time getting the women to leave and go back to the club,” Doell laughs.
Standing in the middle of the room, it’s impossible not to be wowed by the enormous chandelier that emerges from the floor and climbs up a pillar before spreading out to cover the bulk of the ceiling. “We created a cyclone chandelier, which covers about 1,100 square feet. It’s comprised of 20,000 LED lights set inside glass crystals,” Doell says.
Seaming Solutions handled the actual fabrication of the system, which cost about $700,000; FBP Systems provided the programming for all of the lights. The capabilities of the system are practically endless.
“We can do graphics, text and video, and have each come up from the base and spread through the chandelier,” Doell says. “It’s an amazing effect but hard because there’s so much programming required. The most difficult part is that you have to take into account that this is a 3D background the images will be displayed upon. If you have a flat LED ceiling, that’s one thing, and it’s simple. If you’re doing a 3D object, you have to map it just right, or else it looks off.”
Vanity, which opened in 2009, isn’t worried about alienating the men by skewing the design toward the ladies. Ian Kohoutek, executive director of nightlife for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, shares the resort has “a large male following especially with the Hard Rock brand. We’re just driving extra females to property to accommodate all the men.”
Kohoutek says ladies are given comped admission on Fridays and free champagne until midnight every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. “So long as we get them in, we’re good. If they like whomever we’ve booked to host, such as Kristen Cavallari or Audrina Patridge, then they’re more likely to stay even later. The host matters a lot,” Kohoutek says.
Equally important are the locals. “We always offer free admission to locals here,” Kohoutek explains. “This is the locals’ hotel. We’re drawing from off property and off The Strip often, and those patrons are the ones we’re trying to capture most of all.”
Photos courtesy of Erik Kabik.