Las Vegas may be better known for its casino than its pools but the daytime pool scene is only growing as revenue from gambling decreases. EscapeAnd since the Vegas crowd demonstrates a nearly insatiable appetite for daytime drinking and dancing, the resorts have turned more and more to the daytime pool scene to rev up profits during the punishing summer heat (when room prices themselves plummet).
To do Vegas pools properly (meaning from the comfort of a climate-controlled cabana), you’ll need to spend some serious cash. But you can enjoy the city’s best pools on a budget, too. Here are our choices for the city’s best ways to beat the heat. Keep in mind that the Las Vegas pool season opens in mid-March and closes around mid-October.
The Beach at Mandalay Bay
For those looking for an inland sandy beach, you’ve met your match. The Beach at Mandalay Bay has 2,700 tons of sand and a quarter-mile-long lazy river. Plus, a 1.6 million-gallon wave pool, lounge areas with cabanas, daybeds and private villas; restaurants and bars; shops; and a summer concert series. This is also one of the most family-friendly of all the pool complexes in Las Vegas.
Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The largest of Cosmopolitan’s pool areas, the multilevel Boulevard Pool has an unobstructed view of the Strip below. Big shareable daybeds give cover from the sun, and you can hang out in the wading pool, play ping-pong and foosball, or belly up to one of three bars. The pool springs to life at twilight, when Dive-In movies play on the 65-foot screen or the concert series brings live performances. We recommend heading to Overlook Grill for a pool break and brunch—just steps away from the pool.
Encore Beach Club at Wynn Las Vegas
Dress to impress for this upscale Vegas pool party scene. It’s adults-only and famous for bringing in top DJs. White wicker, wood, and brilliant red drapery make this lush, three-tiered pool complex a sight to behold. Patrons lounge on oversize lily pads and dance under shower poles—and those who splurge enjoy private bungalows overlooking the Strip, with private dipping pools, showers, and air conditioning. Daybeds have private safes for stashing your things, and the 26 cabanas are outfitted with refrigerators and flat-screen televisions
Tank at the Golden Nugget
The Golden Nugget, which has gone through a number of refurbishments, has one of the best pool scenes in Las Vegas. A multi-level extravaganza revolving around a 200,000-gallon shark tank, there’s a water slide that goes right through it. As you might expect, the pool is popular with kids, but there’s an adults-only infinity pool with a bar on the third floor, too. Book a behind-the-scenes tour if you want to get up close and personal with the sharks. Beyond the marine life, there’s also a big variety of great cabanas that come stocked with TVs, safes, sectional sofas, host service, and mini-fridges, all at gentler prices than the fancy Strip pool scenes.
Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace Las Vegas
Eight distinctively different pools are spread around a massive pool complex surrounded by classical landscaping, Roman statues, and an 18-foot waterfall. Head to the Fortuna Pool to play swim-up blackjack, and to the adults-only Venus Pool Club to chill out sans screaming. The pool complex is massive (there are 44 cabanas of all different types around the property) so you can just wander the pools until you find one that fits. Be sure to book a poolside service with Qua Spa, who administers in-cabana massages.
The Pool at Bellagio Las Vegas
If you’re looking for a more sedate scene, head to the five pools of Bellagio Las Vegas. The atmosphere is relaxed, and most guests are there to bask in the Mediterranean atmosphere that is a welcome retreat from the Strip. Poolside massage therapists and roving servers make it extra lovely. For those who want the extra VIP treatment, the reservation-only Cypress Premier Lounges include a personal host, infused water, smoothie shots, Evian misters, and chilled towels. The cabanas come with Wi-Fi, HDTV, a fully stocked refrigerator, and pool rafts. Where many of the big pools take guests on day passes, Bellagio keeps things private to keep down the chaos. Children must be 14 or accompanied by a parent or guardian to enter.
The Pool at Waldorf Astoria
For those who want a calm pool scene with a lot of privacy, the sleek pool deck on the eighth floor of the Waldorf Astoria is just the ticket. It has fabulous views over CityCenter, two pools, two Jacuzzis, and one intimate plunge pool. It’s all serene here, and for the most luxurious in pool service, we love booking a cabana and ordering lunch in from the Pool Café. The cabanas have a complimentary mini-bar stocked with sodas and juices, sun care amenities, a 48-inch TV, magazines, and newspapers, and you can reserve them for a full day.
The Beach Club Pool and GO Pool at Flamingo Las Vegas
There are two sides to the pool scene at Flamingo: family-friendly at The Beach Club Pool and adults-only at the GO Pool. On the kids' side, there are water slides, a cafe, and kitschy decor that fits into the Flamingo's retro look. There’s plenty of fun to be had in a pool complex that’s not so big it’s overwhelming, but not so small that your kids accidentally wander into a wild bachelor party. On the day club side, you'll experience a more typical Vegas pool party with DJs, celebrity appearances, and flowing booze seven days a week.
TAO Beach at Venetian Las Vegas
There are 10 different pools at the Venetian that include family-friendly options, serene adults-only oases, and even a sporty pool deck. But the party-hard crowd will want to go to TAO Beach, the pool component of the acclaimed restaurant and club. Snack on delicious dishes while listening to the hottest DJs spin, then splash right into the pool to cool down. Special celebrity guests are known to make appearances here, so keep your eyes peeled.
*Editor's note: TAO Beach is closed for the 2020 season as it undergoes renovations and set to re-open in 2021.
The Mirage Pool and Bare Pool Lounge at the Mirage Las Vegas
Lush landscaping and serene waterfalls make the Mirage Pool feel like an oasis. It can get crowded with sunbathers, but it's certainly more of a place to relax than to party. But if you want more of the Vegas-style atmosphere, head to the Bare Pool Lounge, an adults-only spot where European-style sunbathing (read: topless) is permitted.
Grand Pool Complex and Wet Republic Ultra Pool at the MGM Grand Las Vegas
There's a pool for everyone at the MGM Grand. For families and relaxation seekers, there's the 6.5-acre Grand Pool Complex, with four pools surrounded by waterfalls, three whirlpools, a lazy river, five bars, and a restaurant. Otherwise known as the ultra-pool at MGM Grand, Wet Republic packs thousands of revelers into two saltwater pools, plus lounges, daybeds, cabanas, and bungalows. It’s all part of a 54,500-square-foot outdoor club with massive LED displays with special effects and a bar that stretches for days. A legend of Vegas' party scene, Wet Republic is open to non-hotel guests.
Delano Beach Club at the Delano Las Vegas
The Delano Hotel is a boutique property within the Mandalay Bay complex that has a pool just for Delano guests. The Beach Club brings Miami vibes to the Strip and given its exclusive nature, the pool is perfect for those seeking comfort and luxury in a bit more of a discerning Las Vegas experience. Enjoy signature cocktails on a luxurious lounge chair or play a game of chess on their oversized submerged chessboard.
NoMad Pool at NoMad Las Vegas
The best of the new day clubs is the third-floor roof deck pool at NoMad Lad Vegas designed by French architect Jacques Garcia, reminiscent of his own work in Marrakesh, and of the Jardin Majorelle. Awash in cobalt Majorelle Blue, with oversized wicker chases and daybeds, it’s an incredibly decadent scene. The lure here is craft cocktails, devised by Leo Robitschek of NoMad’s NYC bar, and poolside dishes by the team behind 11 Madison Park. Look for the upscale lobster roll, a prawn cocktail with oysters, and the Moroccan quinoa bowl with honey harissa and salmon.
Tropicana Pool at the Tropicana Las Vegas
Start your pool day with swim-up blackjack and happy hour at Tropicana Las Vegas. Each day, Tropicana Pool offers a reverse (morning time) happy hour featuring domestic beers, frozen cocktails, and mimosas, so it's a great spot to go in the morning before you hop around to the other pool scenes. Of course, you can always stay for a round, or several, of blackjack.