There was a time when most Las Vegas visitors were attracted by the decidedly indoors-y delights of extravagant gambling, indulgent dining and over-the-top shows. But in recent years the city’s hotel swimming pools — which for so long only augmented resorts’ other offerings — have developed into major attractions, with lush landscaping, live entertainment, private cabanas, specialty menus and beautiful people.
Here’s a closer look at our favorite pools — and pool parties — in Vegas.
Attracting 4,000 sun-worshippers every summer Sunday, Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel pool is the biggest party in Las Vegas, with resident deejays blending jungle, rock and hip-hop beats for enthusiastic revelers shaking off the night before. Open through October, Rehab is perhaps the best place in Vegas to see a celebrity in a swimsuit, but it can cost up to $100 (and involve quite a wait) to get in.
Operated by the Light Group, Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage Hotel & Casino and Liquid Pool Lounge at Aria are see-and-be-seen destinations where six-pack abs and barely-there bikinis are de rigueur.
The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas luxury resort, which opened in December, is offering up a trio of pool-oriented delights during its first summer. The Boulevard Pool overlooks the Strip and features The Yard — an energetic area with dedicated spaces for ping-pong, volleyball, foosball and billiards. More intimate and laid-back is the Bamboo Pool, adjacent to the resort’s spa, which offers fresh and organic poolside dining, specialty cocktails and cabanas with flat-screen TVs and minibars. Aiming to extend nightclub-like excitement to the outdoors, Marquee Dayclub is a 22,000-square-foot space incorporating a pair of pools, multiple bars and six blackjack tables.
Encore Beach Club is an opulent oasis combining three-tiered pools, comfy daybeds with private safes and eight luxury bungalows with stunning Strip views. Here, poolside pleasures and gambling coexist: The club’s gaming pavilion houses eight tables (including blackjack and craps).
At Planet Hollywood, Pleasure Pool delivers celebrity-level luxury that lives up to the resort’s name. With a live deejay daily, misting-chair rentals, two pool bars and a café (plus the Miss Pleasure Pool Bikini Contest every Saturday at
4 p.m.), it’s upbeat and upscale.
Off the Strip, at the Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino, VooDoo Beach is a sun-soaked, sexy party that attracts locals and tourists alike. With waterfalls, a sandy pool entry and poolside spa treatments, it’s both escapist and exciting. Meanwhile, for 21-and-over guests seeking European-style bathing, Voo Doo offers a truly grown-up experience — and no tan lines!
With its distinctive Bali-themed exotica, Tao Beach has become a firm fave over the past four summers. Plus, with its 40-foot tall bamboo trees and Asian-inspired daybeds, Tao Beach is among Sin City’s hottest daytime pool experiences. After dark, it becomes an extension of the famed Tao nightclub. Really, why would you ever leave?
—Paul Rogers, Custom Publishing Writer