I recently spent two nights in Vegas for a tech trade show and had to check out the latest Tiki bar off the strip, Golden Tiki. Located just down the road from The Venetian and in the same plaza as the other Hot & Juicy crawfish joint, Golden Tiki offers tiki lovers an alternative to the cramped and smoky (in a good way) atmosphere offered at Frankie’s Tiki Room, but lacks a little bit of the coolness factor.

The look and design of Golden Tiki leans more towards the Enchanted Tiki Room in style, featuring waterfalls, tiki gods and a jungle room atmosphere that is a perfect escape to the brutal Vegas dry heat. The bar itself is massive, taking up a good chunk of the room and wrapping around the inner perimeter, so there is a bartender within inches of you at all times. The room is lined with traditional huts and comfy couches, which add to the lounge ambiance, and a back room is home to massive pirate ship.

I hadn’t eaten all day and just got off a six-hour flight from Newark, so I only had one drink, The Painkiller, which was superbly made by my bartender. Golden Tiki features a twist on the traditional rum beast by dropping a dollop of frozen pineapple Dole whip into the creamy concoction. The result is to die for — even though I’m sure purists will be screaming. In fact, Golden Tiki has a full-blown, soft-serve Dole whip machine on premise and bartenders were serving up free Dole whip shots to everyone that day. I left with a generic Tiki Farm mug and a huge smile. Vegas has another great Tiki bar and the world is good.