Poolside Lounge Serves Up Holiday Spirits

Just opened: Merry Crimson at Red Rock Resort

By Rob Kachelriess

THE DEETS

WHAT: Merry Crimson
IT’S … A pop-up holiday lounge at Red Rock Resort
OPENED: November 27, 2020
WHO’S BEHIND IT: Station Casinos
FUN FACT: The space was originally known as Cherry when Red Rock Resort opened in 2006, but has been mostly quiet in recent years.
LOCATION:  Red Rock Resort
HOURS: Thursday to Sunday | 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday to Saturday | 5 p.m. to 1 a.m.
WEBSITE: Browse the cocktail list and book a reservation
INSTAGRAM: Red Rock is busy this holiday season

A Holiday Party on the Westside

Never let a good space go to waste. The Red Rock Resort quietly introduced Crimson at Sunset as a socially distant poolside lounge in September, and now the concept is enjoying a full-scale holiday makeover as Merry Crimson. The colorful mirrored tunnel at the entrance is a hint of things to come–bright lights and holiday decorations anywhere and everywhere. The main room almost feels like a private party with comfortable furniture, festive decor and snowflake chandeliers hanging overhead. 

If nothing else, Merry Crimson is a great place to snap a photo. One selfie station has a swing. Another is modeled after “A Christmas Story.” There’s also a large gingerbread house next to the DJ booth, where the music alternates between holiday classics and club hits. 

Just remember to bundle up, the pool deck is quite chilly, especially when the temperatures are 50 and below. With a bar covered in lights, inflatable holiday characters, movie projections and brightly decorated palm trees, it’s a charming outdoor retreat. The difference between the two areas isn’t lost on the servers, who wear white cocktail dresses inside and thick Christmas sweaters outside.

Drinks Santa Would Love

Wherever you sit, the main attraction is the holiday-themed cocktails, divided between “naughty” and “nice” on the menu, although they all seem to skew on the sweet side with accessible, but engaging flavor combinations. A great example is the Reindeer Room, a modified vanilla-pear Old Fashioned that goes down a little too easily.

  
Anyone sitting outside will want to warm up with the Drunken Cocoa Bomb, a spiked hot chocolate with an interactive touch. Warm milk is poured over a cocoa-marshmallow ball that dissolves into a creamy drink with Captain Morgan’s gingerbread rum. Stir it all together with a cinnamon stick.

The Ornamentini is another drink elevated by its presentation. The combination of Absolut Elyx, cranberry and spices arrives in a lightbulb-shaped holiday ornament that’s poured into a martini glass. For something with slightly more heft, try the Nutcracker, which mixes 8 Ball chocolate whiskey with peanut butter syrup and a frothy cream. 

The Cost

Cocktails $16 to $19, bakery treats $20, spiked hot chocolate and s’mores kit $40, jello shot platter $45, bubbles and bottle service options range from $120 to $2,395.

The Gist

Merry Crimson is a refreshing change of pace–a casino lounge that’s full of holiday cheer and free of pretentiousness beyond the velvet rope out front. Bundle up if booking a seat on the poolside deck on a cold night. The cocktails succeed on presentation and festive flavor combinations.

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