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Las Vegas Travel Guide

Top 10 Vegas Hotel Pools

Courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Of the nearly 40 million people who visited last year, The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority estimates that about half of them were there for pleasure and recreation—and no doubt a good number of them started their recreational activities poolside. The growing number of dayclubs—featuring celebrity DJs, celebrity revelers, and over-the-top cabanas—cater to those who don’t want to wait for the sun to go down to get the party started. But there are plenty of choices for those seeking sun-drenched serenity, and some great family options, too.

With things heating up, here are 10 top picks for getting into the swim of things in Sin City.

By Deb Hopewell

Courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
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Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Something of the new kid on the block, the Cosmopolitan"> has one of the hippest pool scenes in town. By day, Boulevard boasts an expansive view of the Strip below, as well as a shaded area for foosball, ping-pong, and billiards. Cool off with liquid nitrogen-charged booze-spiked popsicles, sorbets, and cocktails. During the summer, Monday nights are "Dive-In Movies" night, with screenings of classic, cult, and blockbuster films shown on its 65-foot digital marquee. Marquee Dayclub on the 17th floor, with cabanas that boast their own private infinity pools, is party central. (Bamboo and Boulevard open to guests only; Boulevard opened to non-guests for evening events; Marquee Dayclub admission begins at $20)

Courtesy of Caesars Las Vegas
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At Caesars, all roads lead poolside. There are eight pools spread over an expansive ground-floor "oasis," set amid classical statuary, waterfalls, and fountains. The Temple pool is a popular splash zone for kids, while Venus is the resort’s "European" pool (that’s Vegas code for swimsuit tops optional), and Fortuna features swim-up blackjack underneath its 18-foot waterfall. The Bacchus pool, however, is reserved for high-profile guests, so unless you’re, say, a member of the "Hangover 3" cast, this probably won’t be an option. (Free for hotel guests; open to non-guests: $10 Monday-Thursday, $20 Friday-Sunday)

Courtesy of ARIA Resort and Casino
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ARIA Las Vegas

Local and celebrity DJs spin music poolside at this dayclub tucked discreetly away from Aria's">, but it’s smaller (16,000 square feet) than many pool clubs, and the vibe is decidedly more low key. Trees, vine-laden trellises, and exotic-looking flora add to the island mood, while the wicker furniture with mattresses in neutral shades bring a modern touch. If you feel like checking it out first, Liquid has its own restaurant that guests can enjoy without paying a cover charge. (Open to guests and non-guests with cover charges starting at $10)

Courtesy of Encore Las Vegas
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Wynn and Encore

While these are technically two resorts, they’re sisters born of Steve Wynn’s vision (and bankroll), and their combined seven pools share a grown-up, upscale feel. The"> has four pools: the long main pool, where the fitness-inclined swim morning laps; a European ("toptional") pool, and two private pools for Tower Suite guests. The crowds at Encore‘s main pool and European pool are nearly as well-behaved as those next door, but for those looking for a little more energy, there’s the DJ music and gaming pavilion at Encore Beach Club. (Wynn and Encore pools for guests only; Encore Beach $30 for women, $40 for men)

Courtesy of Bellagio Las Vegas
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Reminiscent of a sumptuous Italian villa, with a Mediterranean-inspired tile entrance, fragrant potted citrus, and hand-carved stone fountains, the five pools at Bellagio are a respite from the crowds and blaring music of other resort pools. Two are lap pools, and there are four soothing whirlpools, as well. For an even more exclusive experience, you can pay for chairs at the Cypress Premier Lounges and avail yourself of the refreshing Evian misters, fruit-infused waters, and smoothie shots. Food, drink, and massages can be ordered poolside. (Open to hotel guests only; lounge chairs start at $50, daybeds $150 and cabanas $300)

Courtesy of Flamingo Las Vegas
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Opened by Bugsy Siegel in 1946—the third hotel on the Strip and the oldest one today—the Flamingo still feels a lot like Old Vegas until you step into its pool area. Above and behind GO is a quieter pool, more suitable for families; a water slide connects to a kiddie pool below. But the real action is down on the main level, where white-clad dancers display their talent atop tiny island-stages in the pool. On busy weekends at GO, expect limbo competitions, raft races, and bootie-shaking contests. It’s definitely not for the uptight. (Free for guests, $25 for non-guests, $15 for guests of other Caesars hotels)

Courtesy of Flickr/maveric2003; CC BY 2.0
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Golden Nugget

If you don’t mind wandering off The Strip (bonus: off-Strip prices), there’s nothing quite like the The Tank at the Golden Nugget, another Old Vegas icon (built downtown in 1946). The resort underwent a $30 million renovation a few years ago, including a pool that boasts a 200,000-gallon aquarium. From three floors up, a waterslide propels you down through the middle of the tank, a Plexiglas-like tunnel the only thing between you and tiger, nurse, and zebra sharks. Once the thrill of hurtling through sharks wears off, you can retire to the two-story Hideout infinity pool on the third level. (Free for guests, $20 for non-guests 12 and over, $15 for kids 11 and under)

Courtesy of Mandalay Bay
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Mandalay Bay

The Mandalay"> just opened the newest entry in the Vegas dayclub market: the 50,000-square-foot Daylight club. But the expansive wave pool set amid an11-acre "beach" remains the centerpiece of its five-pool pool collection, which includes a quarter-mile lazy river. You can feel the energy build as, every 10 minutes or so, swimmers position themselves to ride a wave that clocks in at about five feet. Overlooking the beach club is Moorea, the resort’s "toptional" pool. (Mandalay Beach pools open to guests only; Moorea Beach Club subject to cover charges depending on day and event; Daylight $40 for men, $20 for women)

Courtesy of The Palazzo Las Vegas
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Venetian and Palazzo

These sister hotels claim some of the hottest pool real estate in town—Tao Beach at the Venetian and the Azure Pool at the Palazzo. Tao’s Indonesian-themed surroundings are the backdrop for Maxim magazine’s boisterous, DJ-led Saturday parties. Things are a little more low-key at Azure, with its laid-back but luxe South-of-France vibe. But there are pool decks at both resorts, which between them, offer 10 more options and a respite from the dayclub scene. The shallow pool with submerged lounge chairs at the Palazzo is perfect for families. (Palazzo guests can use the pools at the Venetian. Azure is $20 for men and $10 for women. Tao Beach is $20 for men and women.)

Courtesy of Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas
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Hard Rock

This is the place that started the dayclub scene. And this year, Hard"> Rehab at the Paradise pool is celebrating its 10th anniversary. This Sunday institution is like no other in Vegas, with the Nirvana pool’s sand beaches and lazy river Ground Zero for all that the Vegas pool scene can throw at you. At their Summer Camp Fridays, squirt gun battles and water balloon fights are scheduled activities. Aside from the Paradise pool, you can catch a little calm at the Beachlife area with Nirvana and Breathe pools. (Rehab is free to hotel guests daily and to the public Monday – Friday. Saturdays from $20 for women and $40 for men; on Sundays, from $30 for women and $50 for men)