Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2014

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James Madders brings European flair to Azure

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Leila Navidi

Azure Luxury Pool lead door host James Madders.

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There's nothing more important than staying hydrated once the mercury hits three digits, and Azure's collection of poolside cocktails are that refreshing antidote to the desert swelter. Available only at Azure, the Strawberry Smash pairs fresh strawberries with Bombay Sapphire gin, adds in some agave nectar and fresh lemon juice for that sweet-and-sour flavor and tops it all off with soda water.

In his hometown of Brighton, England, James Madders was something of a teenage savant in the nightlife industry. At 18, he was the youngest person in the south of England to have a nightclub management license. By 20, he had introduced bottle service, guest lists and a stricter dress code, but had outgrown the scene in his seaside home. London, St. Tropez or Ibiza could have come calling, but for Madders, it was Las Vegas or bust.

"You can imagine it being like an exaggerated version of a Tim Burton film," said Madders, who began making trips here once he turned 21. "You've got Paris over there and then you have New York over here, and then you have multimillion-dollar hotels right next to you. It's out of this world, but I love it."

As lead door host of the Azure Luxury Pool at The Palazzo, Madders brings European flair to the secluded retreat, where poolside massages, Evian water mistings and a menu by Wolfgang Puck help make the pool one of the city's most elite refuges.

"(Azure) is very intimate," Madders said. "You're always within the party, no matter where you are. Whether you have a daybed, a chair or a cabana, you're always with everyone. It's a global, European party atmosphere."

And as the first person most people see when they arrive at Azure, Madders makes sure his guests are taken care of.

"I want to make sure when people come in, they're already impressed," he said. "No matter who you are, you'll always be welcomed and looked after. I try and do that in my British gentleman style."

— Originally published in Las Vegas Magazine

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