The disco lights are already on in Medellin’s new Dollhouse nightclub, three weeks before the grand opening on May 14th. The main room is a vision of red carpets and marble-like columns, with mirrors on every possible bit of wallspace, but the only people illuminated by the purple and green strobes are workers, adding the final touches to the decor, and a troupe of dancers practicing their steps.
The Dollhouse, located in the city’s southern Itagui neighborhood, is no mere addition to Medellin’s cheesy and sometimes sleazy nightlife scene, general manager Andres Zuluaga explained to Colombia Reports. It’s a “world class five-star VIP entertainment center.”
Zuluaga’s vision is grand: “We’re going to be the first real VIP club in Latin America. We want to change the culture, and bring Las Vegas to Medellin.” It’s time that Colombia’s second city got a venue like the Dollhouse, he says. “Over the last eight years foreign investment and tourism have increased massively, but the city still lacks premium venues – that made it a no-brainer for us.”
The club will be open every day of the week from 6 PM until 6 AM, with dance and music shows every night, a gambling room, a covered smoking terrace with a panoramic view over the city lights, and the best service in town guaranteed. No client will have to wait more than 90 seconds for their drinks, the management promises, and the club is watched over by security team of Colombian and American former-Special Forces personnel; “We want our clients to feel safe.”
Very Important People who wish to keep their identity hidden will be able to do so, with a private side entrance that leads straight to a corridor of executive suites, each with their own bar and bathroom. “No-one needs to see you here if you don’t want them to,” manger Juan Carlos Sanchez explains. With a flick of a switch, the windows of the private suites, which surround the main room, are converted into two-way mirrors, so that their occupants can see out without being seen. Each suite has a fax machine and is fitted with Wi-fi internet, “perfect for executives to do business – come early, stay late.”
Far from the seedy image of many Medellin night-life venues, the Dollhouse is keen to point out that is is woman-friendly; the dancers will be keeping their clothes firmly on. “We will have the most beautiful girls, nice shows, professionally choreographed, for everyone to enjoy,” Sanchez says. And just to prove that the Dollhouse isn’t only for men, Monday nights will be “ladies’ night” – part of the club will be cordoned off for women only, with male dancers to entertain them.
Another departure from typical Medellin nightlife is the quality of the food, according to the management. The club’s chef is a Mexican, who worked for six years at the world-famous Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas, and he aims to bring something new to Medellin’s dining-out choices. “Whatever you want, even if it’s not on the menu, you ask me and I’ll try to make it,” he promises.
Zuluaga wants to keep the club affordable, despite the luxury vibe – cover charge is COP20,000, and mixed drinks start at COP8,000. Reggaeton star Don Omar will be performing on the opening night, followed in the coming weeks by Daddy Yankee, Tito El Bambino, and Puerto Rican duo Wizin y Yandel.
And guests won’t have to miss a single minute of the performances – each urinal and bathroom stall is fitted with its own television screen, broadcasting live from the stage.