From swim-up blackjack to a waterslide in a 200,000-gallon aquarium, Las Vegas resort pools pull out the stops for adults. Sunning on a chaise and hailing down bartenders are only half the fun.
These days, poolside perks in Sin City include cabanas stocked with cocktails, spiked snow cones, table games like foosball and pingpong, massages, Sunday brunch, live music and butlers who pamper.
Whether you’re a high roller or an haute-food lover, there is a pool just for you. Pool season is from March until September, and old and new hotels are in on the action, including Las Vegas Boulevard’s newest property, The Cromwell, and classics like the Golden Nugget and Caesars Palace.
Check out these spots, where pools get as much play as the casinos.
1. Shark Tank
At Golden Nugget Las Vegas downtown, the pool area is dubbed The Tank for its eye-catching aquarium, which rivals the country’s best. Gaze into a 200,000-gallon tank stocked with sharks and colorful fish while standing in the pool. Or opt for the pure thrill of sailing down a waterslide that funnels through the tank, separating you from the fish and sharks, but with amazing views. There is also an infinity-edge pool on the third-floor at The Hideout and a poolside watering hole called H2O Bar.
2. Massages and Swim-up Blackjack
Last summer, Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis – at Caesars Palace Hotel & Casino also home to the year-old Nobu Hotel – expanded to include swim-up blackjack. Relax after a few hands at any of the eight pools, including Venus Pool Club, an adults-only 10,000-square-foot sanctuary. Roman statues, an 18-foot-tall waterfall and poolside spa services by Qua Baths & Spa are paired with upscale snacks and drinks like Neptune’s Tea (black tea, mango puree, lemonade and lemon-tea vodka) from Snackus Maximus. DJs amp up the scene even further on Fridays and Saturdays.
3. Sand on the Strip
Mandalay Bay Hotel & Casino hosts Las Vegas Boulevard’s only beach – thanks to 2,700 tons of sand carted in from California. Rent a bungalow, sip a fruity drink and you’ll swear you’re in Aruba. World-class performers like Ziggy Marley, One Republic and Counting Crows are some of the acts in this summer’s concert series. There’s no need to change out of your swimsuit to play blackjack, roulette or craps at Beachside Casino; even the dealers don beachwear. Kicking off its second season is DAYLIGHT Beach Club, an open-air club with a 4,400-square-foot pool, DJs and six LED screens.
4. Party on the Rooftop
Debuting Memorial Day weekend, Drai’s Beach Club & Nightclub at The Cromwell Hotel & Casino – the Strip’s first boutique hotel not connected to a casino – is nightlife guru Victor Drai’s latest venture. It also boasts Vegas’ only rooftop pool. DJs from far-flung places like Sweden and Australia spin tunes at ticketed shows held at the 65,000-square-foot pool area, which includes two full bars and VIP bungalows with showers.
5. Foosball, films and Florence & the Machine
Relive your youth via foosball, pingpong and billiards at Boulevard Pool, part of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Depending on the night, activities include dive-in movies (where you watch a film while lounging in a pool) or concerts by musicians like Florence & the Machine. Food and drinks like fried-chicken waffles and monkey bread, both on the weekend prix-fixe Bubbles & Brunch menu, take on a comfort-foods twist. Indulge in a poolside massage spiced up with exotic-nut extracts and coconut milk.
6. Sip out of a coconut
Red Rock Casino Resort & Spa’s 3-acre pool playground a few miles west of the Strip is worth the trek. Settle into a cabana or daybed at the chic Sandbar Backyard and order tropical-inspired small bites like shrimp ceviche paired with cocktails like Barbados Punch served in a coconut. This summer’s concert series attracts acts like Goo Goo Dolls and Plain White Tees. Because the resort was built around the pool, its different areas spill into Sandbar Backyard, a poolside hangout, which means you never have to go inside.
7. Swim-up Blackjack and an LGBTQ Party
Open since last summer, Tropicana Las Vegas’ Tropicana Pool rolls out its latest posh amenity this month: swim-up blackjack. Also in the 2-acre playground are cushy recliners, daybeds, cabanas, DJ booths and a sand volleyball pit. Held each Saturday, Xposed! is the first LGBTQ beach party on the Strip. Signature cocktails scream South Beach, not Sin City, with names like Miami Vice and Setting Sun Sangria, prepared at the Coconut Grove Bar -- near Tropicana Pool.
8. Quiet Sanctuary
Looking for a spot to nap or hole up with a good book? Aria Resort & Casino’s 16,000-square-foot LIQUID Pool Lounge – small by Vegas standards – is the place. Its Zen-like ambiance – think hand-crafted wicker daybeds with khaki cushions encircling the 1,200-square-foot pool – features perks you’d expect, like drinks and celebrity DJs. Food is served at the nearby 50-seat Liquid Restaurant, where you’ll find Cabaletta’s Saison Golden Ale, an exclusive beer developed by Baltimore’s Stillwater Artisanal Ales and Aria mixologist Craig Schoettler.
9. Snow Cones and Massages
A resort with botanical gardens and an installation by famed glassmaker Dale Chihuly would naturally extend its refined beauty to its pool. Cypress Pool at the Italian-themed Bellagio features a serene ambiance (no DJs here) and treats for adults like spiked snow cones, including Simple Cherry—cherry vodka and salted-caramel sauce. There also are poolside massages and Evian-water misters and chilled towels to combat a heat wave.
10. Daytime Disco
Unveiling a new-and-improved pool area this year, including furniture, an expanded bar and an LED display, WET REPUBLIC at MGM Grand Hotel & Casino rocks a dayclub vibe. Cozy up in a VIP bungalow or splash in a private plunge pool in this 53,000-square-foot venue. Manning the DJ booth are big names like Steve Aoki, Afrojack and Calvin Harris. You can jam to the tunes while sipping the signature cocktail, Don Julio’s Sunshine: pineapple juice, tequila, melon liqueur and Cointreau.
11. Brunch and Fun Under the Sun
As its name implies, BARE Pool Lounge at The Mirage Hotel and Casino (http://www.mirage.com) is Vegas’ original European-style topless-optional pool. On top of daily comforts like daybeds, dipping pools, cocktails and VIP cabanas, Sunday brunch is an extra dose of indulgence. Folded into the brand-new menu is a bacon-apple waffle drizzled with brown-butter maple syrup, paired with a Mimosa or Bloody Mary, of course.