Las Vegas: The Pool Scene

Las Vegas might just be America’s coolest landlocked beach resort. Swimming pools here can be as over-the-top as the Strip sidewalk shows — fringed with lush landscaping and tricked out with wave machines, swim-up bars, ultraquiet misting machines, and wild water slides. Or they can be snazzy affairs — think private cabanas (with satellite TV, Wi-Fi), which range in price from about $40 a day for a basic one at the Stratosphere to $500 a day (at Mandalay Bay). Here are a few of our favorite pools and why we love them.

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Flamingo Las Vegas

Lose yourself in a tropical fantasyland where real penguins, swans, and pink flamingoes scamper about. Take a dip in Bugsy Siegel’s original oval-shaped pool, or head to the Flamingo pool’s upper deck for swim-up blackjack (20 and up only). For the kiddie’s there’s a good-size gated kiddie pool and a series of waterslides. The tan-and-white-striped cabanas have the standard amenities, but make reservations — with only about a dozen available, they go quickly.

Perks We Love: The swim-through grottoes, ample supply of rafts and pool toys, chaise longue upgrades, the crazy wildlife. 3555 Las Vegas Boulevard South. 702/733-3111.

Mandalay Bay

This is the mother of all pool scenes. Mandalay Bay’s amazing pool experience includes an 11-acre beach spread with a huge wave pool, a Euro-inspired topless pool with plush day beds called the Moorea Beach Club, a meandering river, and some of the cushiest cabanas in town. What’s more, the beach is piled high with a couple thousand tons of California-imported golden sand. After sunset, the beach becomes one of the city’s hottest night spots, attracting buffed and bronzed partiers for cocktails, music, and mingling.

Perks We Love: Those comfy day beds at Moorea Beach are just lovely, as is the meandering river. 3950 Las Vegas Boulevard South. 702/632-7777.

061115_Vegas_Pools_Four_SeasonsF.jpgFour Seasons Hotel Las Vegas

If you love serenity and special treatment and privacy you’ll love this lovely spread. High-end, comfy chaise longues are set up along a landscaped pool deck with trellised arbors offering plenty of shade. There are no wacky water slides, no distracting rafts and inner tubes, no craziness whatsoever — just supreme calm. Polite staff tend to your every need, from Evian spritzing to all the fresh ice water you need. This is the ultimate in glamour and seclusion.

Perks We Love: Fresh fruit at your fingertips, chilled towels, absolute exclusivity, solicitous attention, oh, and cucumber slices for your eyes. 3960 Las Vegas Boulevard South. 702/632-5000.

Hard Rock

The Hard Rock throws fabulous pool parties and bears an uncanny resemblance to that Polynesian beach hideaway you’ve always dreamed about — buckets of soft sand, both in the two pools and along its lushly landscaped beach. And lest you muss the pulse of the music while you’re swimming laps, there’s even a high-quality underwater sound system. Feeling lucky? Hit the swim-up blackjack and craps bar. The crowd is mostly young-adult hipsters and bon vivants. If you’re outside this demographic you might feel like a fish out of water.

Perks We Love: Underwater music, four Jacuzzis (that’s more than most properties), swim-up gaming, the Palapa Lounge. 4455 Paradise Road. 702/693-5000.

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