Resorts World Las Vegas is permanently closing the lounge that leads into its high-end Chinese restaurant, Genting Palace to turn the space into the only tiki bar on the Las Vegas Strip. The Genting Palace Lounge, recognizable for its black archway and jade walls will make a hard pivot, transforming into an on-Strip tiki lounge, which will open on Monday, April 17.
On April 17, the bar will reopen as the Golden Monkey Tiki Lounge. The Las Vegas Strip hasn’t seen a tiki bar since the early 2000s, when the Venetian Resort closed its short-lived Taboo Cove. The Golden Monkey promises to be an elevated retreat with vibrant colors and playful features typical of tiki bars. The venue, which already boasts bold colors, will get an infusion of golden monkey statues to sit high above the bar and other more modern touches.
The bar will serve traditional tiki drinks like the rum-based jungle bird and mai tai. Many drinks will be available in punch bowls meant for sharing with large groups — and taking pictures of.
Tiki bars got their start in Las Vegas in 1960, when Aku Aku opened at the Stardust Resort and Casino. In 1962, Don the Beachcomber, who is largely credited with laying the foundation for the tiki bar craze, opened an eponymous tiki bar at the Sahara Las Vegas — that bar definitely felt more I Dream of Jeanie than tiki. But by the ‘80s, both tiki bars had closed. In 2001, the Venetian Resort tried to revive tiki with the Taboo Cove, but the bar closed just four years later.
Genting Palace and the Genting Palace Lounge debuted when Resorts World opened in June of 2021. The Genting Palace Lounge was bold and modern, a contrast to the main restaurant which is enveloped by shades of white and cream, with delicate floral wall designs. The Genting Palace Lounge, accessible from the Hilton lobby inside Resorts World, featured a white marble bar top behind a row of bold red velvet bar stools. Low tables were surrounded by lounge chairs upholstered in boldly patterned fabrics that blended with the room’s speckled carpet. Walls of jade shelves and windows led to the glossy black jewel-box entrance. The Genting Palace restaurant behind the tiki bar will remain open.
Las Vegas has other tiki bars off-Strip, including the divey Frankie’s Tiki Room , the Italian restaurant backyard, Tiki di Amore, the tiki-meets-punk rock bar the Red Dwarf, and the twisted adult Disneyland spectacle, the Golden Tiki. Technically, the Grand Bazaar Shops have Island Time Floats Tiki Bar & Tacos, but it’s more a tiki bar in name than anything. And in 2009, Trader Vic’s inside the Miracle Mile Shops closed — but that Polynesian restaurant lacked the woven bamboo, torches, and floral sarongs that elevated its earlier incarnations firmly into tikidom. While conversations continue to be had about colonization and the appropriation of Polynesian culture as they relate to tiki bars, some bartenders are working on more sensitive ways to celebrate the genre.
The Golden Monkey Tiki Lounge entrance will be located through the Hilton Lobby at Resorts World and will be open daily from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Reservations can be made online.