If you saw our review of RATED RED, then you know that AREA 15 already has a pretty cool concept with The Portal. Not quite virtual reality, nor a traditional theater, The Portal uses four-walled video mapping to immerse you in live shows, movie screenings, and specialty exhibits. Never content to rest on its laurels, AREA 15 has added a massive new offering to its portfolio with ‘Illuminarium Las Vegas‘. And chances are, your senses will never be the same.
The ‘Illuminarium’ complex is a freestanding building behind the main AREA 15 edifice and adjacent to LIFTOFF, another new attraction that we told you about here. While strikingly color-drenched during the daytime, its impressively-lit exterior is especially eye-catching after dark. The same could be said for its interior, but we’ll get to that in a bit.
As soon as you enter the lobby, you’ll be bombarded with sights and sounds to immediately remove you from the outside world. The place is absolutely gorgeous and appears to be an outrageously expensive undertaking. A ticketing counter is front and center, with a full bar and patio to the left, a cafe to the right, and a retail shop deep inside.
Illuminarium Vegas AREA 15 official launch
VEGAS 411 was on hand for the official media launch of Illuminarium Las Vegas. Celebrities, performers, and dignitaries attended the gala, enjoying cocktails, light bites, and a seafood extravaganza served over a spectacular ice bar. Guests were given a preview of each of the three available adventures.
There are two chambers within the Illuminarium. The first is rectangular and fully featured, with ever-changing imagery and three-dimensional sound. Dazzling 4K-rendered colors cover every floor and wall surface, and thousands of details will fool you into thinking that you’re inside a fantastical forest or looking up at neon-festooned buildings from a rain-soaked city street. While impressive and realistic, this room is just a teaser for the massive presentation that lies through the next door.
Illuminarium Vegas Room #1
What makes Illuminarium so much more than The Portal is interactivity. Insects and small animals will scatter from your feet as you stroll through the cavernous main room. You’ll kick up moon dust with your shoes and feel the power of an elephant heard thundering through the floor. Take in the fragrances of Georgia O’keeffe’s famous flowery artwork and the scent of fresh rain on a savannah. The hyper-realism is quite astounding.
There are currently three daytime experiences to choose from O’KEEFFE: ONE HUNDRED FLOWERS, WILD: A SAFARI EXPERIENCE, and SPACE: AN EXPERIENCE BEYOND EARTH. The titles are presented individually throughout their scheduled days. You can view the full calendar by heading here. Each experience offers a trio of pricing options, which range from standard admission to an all-inclusive package with keepsakes and retail credit. A portion of proceeds from WILD: A SAFARI EXPERIENCE are funneled to WildArk Advocacy, an environmental protection group.
“Illuminarium has partnered with WildArk to create the WILD Fund and will donate a portion of all ticket and merchandising revenue to WildArk to help protect the charismatic species and their habitats highlighted in the WILD spectacle.”
Illuminarium Vegas WILD SAFARI EXPERIENCE
Later in the evening, Illuminarium Las Vegas transforms into an adults-only playground. Multiple bars, pounding music, and pulsating images are part of AFTER DARK, a wildly entrancing nightclub vibe. One of the three ongoing themes is integrated into Illuminarium AFTER DARK, depending on the night of the week.
The AFTER DARK concept will broaden in the weeks ahead, promising live deejays and VIP bottle service to provide a night out like no other Vegas nightclub. An added perk is that parking is ample, free, and very close. That’s especially attractive to ladies in heels.
Illuminarium AFTER DARK Las Vegas
Once you return to the reality of Sin City, Illuminarium provides two options for dining and cocktails. Lumin Cafe and Kitchen is a gorgeously cheery restaurant with delicious selections by Chef Kim Canteenwalla and Elizabeth Blau. The covered outdoor patio has a full-service dedicated bar with comfortable seating for conversation and flirting until the wee hours. Both are available for private and corporate events. Click here for hours and information.
Lumin Cafe and Kitchen
There are currently only two Illuminarium locations in the United States (the other is Atlanta). With its advanced technology, infinite possibilities, and our desire to escape from life’s limitations, expect many more to appear in the coming few years. But for now, head to AREA 15 and enjoy an experience at Illuminarium Las Vegas. The possibilities are truly endless.
Illuminarium Las Vegas is located at 3246 W. Desert Inn Road, next to AREA 15. It is open daily. Click here for hours, ticketing, and group information.
All photos by Vegas 411