We’ve been in a relationship with Tao Beach longer than most Las Vegas dayclubs. The pool-party concept was still fresh when the Champagne was first poured in 2007, and Tao’s intimate single-pool setting, Asian décor and those adorable Buddha statues enthralled us. As the years went by, we felt guilty about sneaking off on Saturdays to play in one of those fancy new multi-pool complexes.
But Tao didn’t take it personally, and it didn’t try to change just to please us. Ten years in, Tao is still cozy enough to feel like you’re hosting your own party with friends, and the music is a mixture of dance and hip-hop, instead of a full-on EDM blitz.
“You can get to know people, they become your friends, and they come back and see you season after season,” says cocktail server Kadie Miller. “I can stand on one side of the venue and look out and see everybody on the other side, wall to wall.”
When you’re together this long, you’ve got to do what you can to keep the relationship fresh. Tao Beach relies on a strategy that’s done well for many couples: role-playing.
“We have clients that come in [asking for] ‘a specifc bottle of Champagne, and I want to see you in a mermaid outfit and deliver it to me on a surfboard,’” Miller says with a laugh. “The next one [wants] the race car with race car outfits, and the next one—schoolgirl outfits.
“Those are our best days, when clients come in and they want us to have fun as much as they want to have fun.”
Behind the scenes is a treasure trove of costumes and accessories, Miller says, with everything from coconut bras to “cops and robbers” attire.
Photography by Tomo
“And we just got this maid outfit that’s a huge hit,” she adds. “We got these little dusters, and you can dust a cabana.
“It’s supercute and it’s a smash hit every time.”
The cosplay doesn’t stop there. This summer, Fridays at Tao Beach are “Playboy Fridays,” with the servers adorned in the classic bunny ears, bow ties and cufflinks—in black bikinis, of course.
Miller and her friends are more than willing to take a photo with guests, but she points to Buddha’s belly as the prime spot for the perfect selfie.
“We have this big Buddha in this reclined pose next to the pool, and we get people all the time who will lie down next to it and mimic the pose,” she says.
It goes without saying that bubbles rule at Las Vegas dayclubs, and Tao Beach is no exception. The menu famously boasts a $250,000 30-liter bottle of Armand de Brignac on the highest end, with bottles starting at $400.
But, as Miller is quick to point out, you’re not just paying for the bottle.
“It’s not because Champagne is liquid gold,” she says. “It’s because you’re getting the experience. We like to dress up, put on fun outfits and deliver Champagne.”
If you’re browsing the specialty cocktail menu, Miller recommends Bubbles and Berries, a mix of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, Belvedere Vodka, St-Germain liqueur and muddled strawberries.
“It’s superlow in calories and it’s delicious,” she says, adding that it’s a perfect drink for ladies.
As for her favorite dish on the menu, Miller points to the sweet potato fries.
“They’re waffle-cut fries sprinkled in sugar, and they come with two sauces that are the greatest thing ever,” she says.
“Curry mustard and a mango ketchup, totally to die for.”
Tao’s music programming is a rotating mix of up-and-coming local acts, established stars and industry veterans such as Jermaine Dupri. Headliners can often be seen pulling day-night duty at Tao Beach and the nightclub inside The Venetian.
This season’s talent lineup includes Wellman, Eric D-Lux, Carnage, DJ Mustard, DJ Khaled and Ruckus.
“Ruckus was my favorite,” Miller says. “We did a little interview and I said, ‘Hey, who’s your favorite Playmate?’ and he said, ‘Well, she’s not a Playmate, but my wife.’
“It was adorable.”
11:30 a.m.–6 p.m. daily, at The Venetian, taolasvegas.com/beach, Instagram: @taobeach