The Eastside Lounge for an Eastside girl

One of my favorite new places to go is the Eastside Lounge at Encore.

This is partly because the “Eastside” portion has a duplicitous meaning — it’s on the east side of the Encore lobby, but it also reminds me of an intimate gathering spot you would find after carefully seeking out such a spot in New York City.

The Eastside Lounge at Encore

The Eastside Lounge at Encore

In the daytime, guests can stop for a quick drink and watch sunbathers sprawled out poolside. But at night, the pool is merely the Eastside’s reflection pond. The lights get dim, the cigarettes and cigars get unwrapped from the gentlemens’ coat pockets, and the mood changes into a low-key conversation spot.

Being from New York myself, I know smoking isn’t allowed in public places anymore, and trying to find a place that brings the word “quiet” to mind is getting increasingly more difficult. But the sophisticated ambiance, stiff drinks and comfortable furniture all make it feel like you’ve stepped into a private smoking club or old-school gentlemen’s club (as in distinguished gentlemen’s club, not strip club) on Madison or Lexington Avenue.

Great drinks and intimate seating arrangements make this lounge a delightful place to sit back and enjoy your vacation — from your vacation. Although it’s right off the casino floor, the lounge’s few steps down filter the noise and make you feel as though you’re in a secret location, where you can relax, get comfortable and chat with company.

But don’t worry, should you get the urge, the blackjack tables are only steps away.