Being located smack dab in the middle of a desert, Las Vegas has always had a strong appreciation for water. Combine that with its passion for glamour, and it isn’t hard to see why pools have become the prime place to be on the Las Vegas Strip these days. While some resorts have spectacular pool areas open to all their guests — Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, Wynn, Venetian, Mirage and Golden Nugget come to mind fi rst — many have also added special adults-only “club” pools and pool parties in recent years that have turned “daylife” (i.e. nightlife in the day) into a new scene.
“Daylife is almost as popular as nightlife now,” says Joe Vargas, owner of LasVegasPoolScene.com, practically the only VIP Host service dedicated to Sin City’s pools. Those who haven’t had the experience may wonder what’s diff erent about a private pool that often requires admission fees, waiting on lines or the help of a service like Vargas.’ “It’s much more of a live atmosphere,” Vargas explains.“There’s a DJ, good looking guys and girls, people are jumping around, It’s a party.” Many of them also feature “European”-optional (i. E. topless) sunbathing. This is Vegas, after all.
Rehab, Hard Rock Hotel The godfather and still reigning champ, Hard Rock’s Rehab, which takes over their entire sprawling pool deck every Sunday, lines up party people all day long to partake. It is nothing less than an instant Spring Break, with a good sprinkling of celebs, sports stars and high rollers thrown in. There’s a reason it has its own reality show! Several dozen varying cabanas for those who have $$$ to spend. Hard Rock also hosts Relax, a slightly mellower locals-oriented party on Mondays.
(702) 693-5555, www.rehablv.com
TAO Beach, Venetian Built literally atop the famous nightclub/restaurant, TAO Beach is defi nitely a hot scene. Hot bodies pack into a tight, stylish Asianinspired space, with a big bar, DJ shrine over the wading pool and creative amenities. Seven ultra-luxury cabanas provide a respite for the many celebs that come through, but the bright orange daybeds are where the real action happens. European sunbathing Mon-Fri. Special Djs appear at Sunset Sessions on Sunday evenings.
(702) 388-8588, www.taolasvegas.com/taobeach/
Wet Republic, MGM Grand A huge contender, Wet Republic lives up to its stately name, with two big (salt water) pools, several hot tubs, tiers of luxurious cabanas (including VIP bungalows you could vacation in) and a great open bar/lounge deck. Not only do top name Djs often appear, but their servers actually include several moonlighting showgirls! Open seven days.
(877) 880-0880, www.wetrepublic.com
Bare, Mirage One of the most popular with locals and celebs alike, Europeanoptional Bare manages to be intimate and social at the same time. The VIP-level glass-walled soaking tub has to be one of the best places to see and be seen on the Strip. Open seven days.
(702) 791-7442, www.barepool.com
Sapphire, Rio Co-owned by the “world’s largest” Gentlemen’s Club, the Europeanoptional (and in this case, encouraged!) Sapphire pool is undoubtedly one of the most attitude-free adult fun spots, genuinely attracting many of the club’s dancers (oh, if these daybeds could talk…) while providing amenities including pool toys and grotto-like hot tubs. Sapphire’s limos will even pick up your party! Open seven days.
A distinct alternative to the sister property’s TAO Beach, the vibe is decidedly more chill here, with plenty of smartly chic cabanas, big blue daybeds, two separate wading pools and a large secluded Jacuzzi. Food by Wolfgang Puck’s Solara, servers bring chilled amenities every so often, fashion shows on Saturdays, and massage services by the adjacent Canyon Ranch are available (including hiring a dedicated masseuse for your entire party per hour, or a sunscreen massage!) You get the feeling this is where the grown-ups are. Open Fri-Mon.
(702) 607-1218, www.palazzolasvegas.com/ azure.aspx
GO Pool, Flamingo A great combination of approachability and strong service, Flamingo’s European-optional private pool draws a devoted party crowd from all corners. Cabanas include services that rank with the best, for relatively bargain rates. If you’re not having a good time here, don’t blame them. They even have floating beer pong tables! Open seven days.
Ditch Fridays, Palms Once a week, the always-sexy Palms pool (glass-bottom balcony pool, 27 cabanas) becomes a big locals scene, ushering in the weekend. Bunnies from the Playboy Club upstairs are among the frequent sunbathers.
Moorea Beach Club, Mandalay Bay Moorea is actually adjacent but separate from Mandalay Bay’s artificial beach and wave pool, but no matter, it is one of the more discreet and luxurious of the European-optional pool clubs. For one of the ultimate Vegas experiences, check out their Villa Rotui sky cabana. Open weekends.
Daydream, M Resort Located at the off-Strip elegant locals-friendly M Resort, Daydream is a classic Vegas pool club with a difference — approachability. Managed by the same people who oversee the Blush ultralounge at Wynn, Daydream sports 10 highamenity cabanas around an Infinity pool. Open seven days.
(702) 797-1808, daydreamlv.com
Venus, Caesars Palace Run by the Pure nightclub people, Venus Pool Club turns a discreet corner of the Caesars pool area into a little bit of Ancient Roman decadence. Cabanas here are among those with the highest level of amenities. European optional. Open seven days.
(702) 650-5954 www.venuspoolclub.com
Obviously, each pool has a somewhat different atmosphere and clientele, which is why concierge services like LasVegasPoolScene.com make sure their clients find the best pool for them. Says Vargas, “Some people might be a better fit at TAO Beach, some might prefer Rehab, some might like Wet Republic. Some places come with more amenities than others.” All of the club pools charge varying admission prices according to whether you are local/non-local, male-female and day of the week. But in many instances, admission can be waived — if you know the right way to go. Your best bet is to contact an independent host like Vargas (even if you’re not renting a cabana, they may be able to help), or your hotel concierge. “We’re a personal concierge,” Vargas explains. “We take care of everyone from celebrities to first-time visitors, and treat them all the same. We guarantee reservations, because of the relationships we have with the pools.” Whatever pool you choose, though, you’re sure to have an experience that would happen “only in Vegas.”