Inside Opening Weekend at Élia Beach Club: the Scene, the Celebs and the Minds Behind It All
Over the past few months, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has been slowly rolling out its new rooms and casino, restaurants
Over the past few months, Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has been slowly rolling out its new rooms and casino, restaurants and bars, and now its entertainment and social spaces. This weekend, the highly-anticipated Élia Beach Club debuted—just as temperatures hit triple digits—with a lineup that included Sofi Tukker, Lane 8, Loco Dice and Deadmau5. The club’s Mediterranean-inspired style and the expertise behind its management team—all legends in the nightlife industry—make Élia a must visit. Élia Beach Club is the first venue of the joint partnership from nightlife leaders and managing partners Mio Danilovic, Jason “JROC” Craig and Michael Fuller, and JC Hospitality at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.
CELEB talks with Danilovic, Craig and Fuller about their newest venture poised to make a big splash in the desert.
What Is Élia Beach Club
With inspiration from Élia beach on the Greek island of Mykonos, Élia Beach Club is breezy, invigorating and elegant—like the European party scene from which it draws reference. Mykonos is a popular party spot, known for its summer nightlife and daylife. Other destinations such as Tulum and Ibiza were also cues for this team of visionaries. Because of the popularity of these global destinations, it is evident that the decor and musical programming of these locales is what party goers want to hear, see and experience.
“The guest’s experience starts at the door. Like a play, there’s a beginning, there’s a middle, and there’s an end and within that play, there are different characters who have their roles,” Craig says. “And with that comes with the language in which we speak to guests and other surprises that are different from what you’re going to see around town.”
“We’ve been referencing a lot of the legacy brands that made an impact culturally,” Fuller says. “We talked about Ian Schrager and his parties and how Utopia created a movement that wasn’t just a nightclub, it went way beyond the walls.”
Creatively helmed by Danilovic, who boasts an impressive portfolio of beach club successes, including Joia Beach in Miami, designer Francois Frossard managed to pull the island destination from across the ocean and place it down right in the middle of the desert.
“This project is something that we’ve been working on for a few years now—we were able to help formulate the entire beach club but also give some great input for the whole hotel over the last three years,” Danilovic says.
“We all have had successful careers individually. And we’ve had admiration and respect for each other. We’ve worked with each other in the past multiple times on different projects. We all got to work on Hyde Bellagio with Mio a long time ago, and I reconnected with Mio when I was in Miami, and we did some great work out there,” Fuller says. “I couldn’t imagine having better partners coming back to Vegas.”
The scenic Mediterranean locale is brought to life on Élia’s poolside deck, with wood-frame cabanas, jute woven poufs and the stone accents that simply shout Greek influence. Covered by a thatched-straw roof, the stage is an inviting focal point in the middle of all the energy. Overlooking the sea-green colored pool, sound canvasses the venue elevating the experience. The dynamic floor plan provides a number of different desirable vantage points for cabana guests to feel integrated into the vibe of the performance, as well as patrons that choose to stay at pool level. Every guest, whether pool level or at a VIP cabana, will be offered an immersive, accessible and welcoming experience.
“You’re coming to Las Vegas, but you’re going to this venue and you feel like you’re in a tropical space that could be Bali or Tulum,” Craig says. “We are creating a new guest experience for the Las Vegas dayclub scene that gives the customer a taste of different experiences from around the world.”
What excited all the partners the most about Élia was the ability to create a new brand that could then be translated around the world to other resorts. “This is a great platform for us to create a new brand that will be known worldwide, and what better place to create a brand than in Las Vegas,” Danilovic says.
Adds Fuller, “we all have very long life experiences. And we’re referencing places we’ve been to and people we admire and what we want to invent moving forward. We think that we’re at this critical juncture in nightlife, Las Vegas nightlife and daylife, where things are gonna change dramatically.”
Élia is designed to seamlessly blend the relaxation of a pool- or beach-side vacation with the invigorating rhythmic experience of the Vegas music venue. The music at Élia is focused on all genres of house music, incorporating tropical house, world house and deep house, with a mindset of escape, dancing and just good vibes filling the atmosphere of the venue.
What Happened Opening Weekend
Élia was first seen by executives and the media on Thursday, June 10 amid the fanfare of the Unstoppable Weekend festivities at Virgin Hotels Las Vegas, hosted by Virgin Group founder Sir Richard Branson. As the space focuses on good vibes, good music and the overall joy and wellness that connectivity brings to peoples lives, Damon Damato, a breath visionary, led the Élia Beach Club team in a breathwork and meditation session for all those on hand to witness.
The first beach club day party kicked off on Friday, June 11 with VIP guests in attendance such as Flo Rida, AnnaLynne McCord, Rachel McCord, Audrina Patridge, Marta Pozzan, Beau Casper Smart, Emily Sears, Laura Sellar and more. They enjoyed musical performances by Sam Blacky and Sofi Tukker.
Attendees at Élia Beach Club stayed hydrated in the heat with Caliwater cactus water, Everbowl superfood bowls, poolside massages and cryotherapy facials by ARTHA Wellness Sanctuary, and fresh tapped coconuts.
On June 12, supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio hit Élia in a metallic neon mini skirt and black one-piece bathing suit paired with clear sandals as she was joined by friends who took over a VIP cabana hut to enjoy the Lane 8 performance.
Closing out the weekend, Loco Dice, followed by Deadmau5, played into the sunset hours, a sweet finale to a multi-day adventure music and daylife lovers will never forget.
Élia Elevates the Beach Club Experience
When you think of a beach club, a resort in the desert might not be the first thing that springs to mind. At least, not before Élia. Now, your thoughts may turn to an oasis among the dunes, a Vegas location that elevates your vacation by transforming your state of being.
At Élia, the good vibes experience is in both its ethos and its actuality. The menu for Élia is hand-picked and curated to delight the senses and focuses on environmentally-conscious, organic cocktails and health and wellness. Poolside yoga, meditation pop-ups and light therapy will also help turn Élia’s pool deck into a place of transformation and revival.