Vista Lounge at Mohegan Sun

Vista Lounge Mohegan Sun Dance Club

 Tripsavvy / Kim Knox Beckius

Wombi Rock, a three-story mountain made of 12,000 plates of Italian onyx, is the centerpiece of Mohegan Sun's Casino of the Sky. Situated beneath a planetarium dome strewn with more than 2,000 stars, it was home for years to Leffingwells Martini Bar: a rather staid place for a drink and a chat. In July 2012, though, the gleaming peak was transformed into a truly otherworldly night spot: Vista Lounge at Wombi Rock.

At the exclusive Opening Party on July 21, I had the chance to experience this new incarnation and take these photos. It's the same rock. The same planetarium dome. And yet, there's a whole new vibe once you wander inside Vista Lounge. It's not just the beverage menu, which now features bubbly potions like the oh-so-drinkable blood orange signature cocktail (Prosecco, Lillet, Pama, Solerno, Fresh Lime Juice), cosmos and dessert-inspired concoctions like Tiramisu (Van Gogh Double Espresso, Butterscotch Schnapps, Hazelnut, Splash of Irish Cream) and Pineapple Upside Down Cake (Van Gogh Vanilla, Di Saronno Amaretto, Pineapple Juice, Grenadine). Nor is it the addition of two custom-designed blackjack tables. What really alters the atmosphere inside this casino fixture is the sound system.

The specs say it's a state-of-the-art, near-field, bi-amped, 60-thousand-watt monster of a sound system. That might not mean much to you, either, but what I can tell you is this: I can't fathom how the evening's celebrity host, Playboy model Jenny McCarthy, resisted the dance floor. She opted instead to sequester herself behind her entourage in corners of the club--or "plush coves," as the casino calls them. I, for one, couldn't resist the beat, and I even convinced my colleague, Bob Curley, to bust a move with me.

Vista Lounge is a 21 and over nightclub (ID required) open nightly from 5 p.m. until close (1 a.m. Sunday through Thursday, 2 a.m. on Friday and Saturday). Dress to draw looks (most of the women were in short skirts). "Fashionable and dressy" is the official dress code.

For more information about Vista Lounge at Wombi Rock, call 860-862-4009.

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Celebrity Host Jenny McCarthy

Jenny McCarthy
© 2012 Kim Knox Beckius

Model, actress, comedian, mom and autism activist Jenny McCarthy was the celebrity host for the debut of Mohegan Sun's new Vista Lounge. Sadly, aside from pausing for a few red carpet photos and quick interviews and uttering an expletive-loaded, one-sentence welcome, she was not terribly visible at the opening party. It was interesting to listen to the chatter as she entered the club: Several women commented that the voluptuous model and former Playmate of the Year--who posed nude for Playboy again recently at age 39--looked much skinnier in person.

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DJ Gets Credit for Jump Starting the Party

Vista Lounge DJ
© 2012 Kim Knox Beckius

Jenny McCarthy, who attended the event with her dad and not current beau Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears linebacker, (McCarthy has since married Donnie Wahlberg) may not have gotten the party started, but the DJ at Vista Lounge certainly did. With its impressive sound system and compact, spotlighted dance floor, the club could easily be in a major city... instead of the Connecticut woods. We saw some really talented dancers on the floor.

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Signature Drink

Vista Lounge Mohegan Sun Signature Blood Orange Cocktail
© 2012 Kim Knox Beckius

The signature cocktail at Mohegan Sun's Vista Lounge at Wombi Rock is made with Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur and Prosecco for a touch of sparkle. There are two full bars: one on each floor of the club, and there are plenty of cozy couches tucked away in Wombi Rock's nooks where guests can canoodle.

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