Review: The Golden Tiki - Las Vegas

The Golden Tiki opened in July of 2015 so, compared to Las Vegas's other tiki bar, Frankie's Tiki Room, it's still fairly new on the scene. Most people will agree that the Golden Tiki feels quite Disney-like in all its details. There's music from Pirates of the Caribbean piped in right as you enter, there are "artifacts" on display throughout the place (much like at Trader Sam's), there's a talking skeleton on a pirate's ship, twinkle lights scatter the ceiling, and, probably our favorite of them all, there are Dole Whip cocktails. Side note: why doesn't Trader Sam's serve some of those?! Some folks have said that they think this bar has gone too far with the "Disney" touches but we like the imaginative theming quite a bit! We're always up for unique tiki experiences and this is certainly one of them. 

Design

Because the Golden Tiki is tucked away from the main action of Vegas in an unassuming strip mall in Chinatown, you might be surprised by what was hiding behind its doors if you didn't already know. On the outside, there are a few tiki touches and the doors seem to promise a night of adventure. 

Inside, there's quite a bit to explore in terms of tropical touches.

A seat at the bar will equip you with some video poker games and the like, should you be inclined to gamble in hopes of winning drink money! 

Throughout, there are different areas of the bar with very distinct features, as pictured below. 

There are also tables off to the side and these fun booths which are great for groups to gather away from the main action. 

It's worth mentioning that no trip to the Golden Tiki is complete without taking a "shelfie" in their giant clamshell! Some might even say this warrants a trip off the Strip just for a fun photo! 

Drinks

I've visited the Golden Tiki on two occasions. The first was for my tiki-themed bachelorette party and the second was to revisit the drink offerings with Greg. On my first visit, I was focused more on having a good time with my friends so I didn't pay enough attention to the drinks. I couldn't tell you what we ordered but everyone enjoyed what they had and they loved the atmosphere of the bar (I've since had some of those friends ask me where they can find similar spots in different cities across the country). In any case, for the purpose of this review, I'm going to focus specifically on what Greg and I ordered on my second visit. 

The drink menu has changed since we were there, but here's the most recent iteration from the Golden Tiki website (click to enlarge). This gives you a good idea of the variety of drinks available at the bar. 

On our last trip, we started with a Three Dots and a Dash (left) and a Bamboozle'd (right). Here are the descriptions from the menu at the time: 

Three Dots and a Dash - "One of Don the Beachcomber's classics. Combines Rhum Agricole with a Demerara Rum from Guyana, along with honey syrup, Velvet Falernum, Allspice, lime and Angostura bitters." 

Bamboozle'd - "Rhum Agricole is mixed with Chareau Aloe Liquor, Clement Creole Shrub, cane syrup and pineapple juice with a hint of Thai Basil. The result is a sweet and savory tiki delight." 

The Three Dots and a Dash was very good and what we'd expect from this classic but the Bamboozle'd wasn't something we'd order again. The description sounded tasty and exotic but the flavors weren't really a great mix. Since our visit, the Bamboozle'd has been removed from the menu so it's likely been replaced with a tastier option. 

Our second round of drinks really hit the spot. We ordered the Banana Batida (left) and Hemingway's Ruin (right). Here's what was in them: 

Banana Batida - "Avua Cachaca is mixed with banana liquor, coconut cream and Dole pineapple whip, mixed, and topped with grated nutmeg, creating a delicious variation of this classic Brazilian cocktail." 

Hemingway's Ruin - "Don's Mix, composed of cinnamon and grapefruit, is added to Cana Brava rum, Maraschino Liquor and lime juice to create a delicious Hemingway variation." 

The Banana Batida was delicious and creamy. I'm guessing you probably can't go wrong with any Dole Whip cocktail at this bar! The Hemingway's Ruin was a delicious cocktail with a daiquiri-esque taste. We'd definitely order both of these again and we're excited to explore more of the Dole Whip options the next time we visit. 

Atmosphere

The first time I visited the Golden Tiki was on a fairly empty Sunday night. My friends and I were able to sit in a cozy booth and really enjoy the tropical atmosphere. The second time I visited was on a packed Saturday night. Greg and I were able to snag one seat at the bar in a relatively short amount of time but we couldn't relax much with all of the hustle and bustle going on. It was also impossible for us to snag the clamshell for a "shelfie" that night. As with most tiki bars, we've decided that this one is best visited during an off-peak time...that is, unless, you're looking for a party! Regardless, both experiences at the Golden Tiki ended up being fun! 

Conclusion 

The Golden Tiki is definitely worth a visit the next time you're in Vegas. It offers a nice contrast to all of the action on the Strip and it can easily be paired with a trip to Vegas's classic tiki bar: Frankie's Tiki Room (pictured below).

Both spots are open 24 hours and offer the opportunity to gamble while enjoying some great tropical drinks in the mini-oases they provide in the desert - experiences unique to Sin City for sure! 

Have you been to either of Las Vegas's tiki bars before? What are your favorite drinks that you've had? Let us know in the Comments section below!