If it’s a spiritual getaway you crave, the Buddha Lounge provides mid-work week asylum. This low-key lounge (formerly known as Opium Den) attracts a non-scenester crowd, perfect for soul-searching (or soul-mate finding). Exposed brick walls frame a bordello-like room that hosts ‘80s nights, hip-hop parties, and the obligatory East Village rock session.
•29 E. 3rd St., between Second Ave. and Bowery, 212-505-7344; Tue-Sat, 8 p.m.-4 a.m.
This swanky Chelsea nightclub is the next best thing to an African safari. Push through the elephant-trunk door handles—that is, if you get past the super-strict doormen—into a South African–themed game lodge, complete with a zebra hide bar and large wood pillars draped in Cape Town–imported beads. While you won’t catch any wildlife, you may eye celebrity game like Owen Wilson and Lindsay Lohan basking in the soft orange-sunset backlight.
•544 W. 27th St., between Tenth and Eleventh Aves.; 212-947-8000; Tue-Sat, 10 p.m.-4 a.m.
Wish you were alive during the French New Wave? Dekk is as close as you’ll get. In addition to the Parisian benches and dim lighting, this Tribeca wine bar offers a cinema space screening all your favorite indie classics.
•134 Reade St., between Hudson and Greenwich Sts.; 212-941-9401; Mon-Fri, 11:30 a.m.-midnight; Sat-Sun, 11 a.m.-midnight.
If you feel like DJ Rekha’s monthly Basement Bhangra party at S.O.B.’s can’t get here any sooner, then head to Earth NYC to get your Bombay fix. The Kama Sutra–inspired space sets the mood with two floors of low-sitting red sofas and a 30-foot wall lined with more than 130 candles. This club-lounge is somewhat exclusive, so we suggest you arrive early to avoid the strict door policy—and to catch the Indian tapas.
•116 Tenth Ave., at 17th St.; 212-337-0016; daily, 5 p.m.-4 a.m.
Making the trek to New Jersey is a trip in and of itself, but Lua goes one step further by treating its visitors to a Latin-inspired experience. The Hoboken bar-restaurant features more than two dozen tequilas and specialty drinks, including a Passion Fruit Mojito ($11) and Guava Caiparinha ($10). And with the floor-to-ceiling glass windows facing the Manhattan skyline, you can fully appreciate the beauty of home.
•1300 Sinatra Drive North, Hoboken, NJ, 201-876-1900; Sun-Thu, 6 p.m.-2 a.m.; Fri-Sat, 6 p.m.-2:30 a.m.; Sat-Sun, noon-3:30 p.m.