Michele Di Palma lists her top picks for Vegas Pool Season…
The official first day of summer was last week and that means one thing–it’s Vegas pool season! With Vegas hitting summer temps in April, the pools have been open for a few months now. But, if you’re like me and have been keeping your summer body under wraps, it’s time to put on that nylon/spandex strappy number and spray tan on some abs. I absolutely love pooling in Vegas. I’m not a spring chicken anymore so it takes some convincing (i.e.alcohol) to get me to a day club. I much prefer keeping it classy and lounging in style at a beautiful resort. I have a few necessities for a successful pool day; mainly good people watching, fun music and a great food and drink menu. Fortunately, it’s easy to find all three on the Strip. So, pack your sunscreen and grab your shades because whether it’s 80 or 115 (it’s a DRY heat, remember….ha!) here are my favorite Las Vegas pools for grown-ups:
1. Wynn–Topping my list, the pools at the Wynn win with a beautiful layout and lush landscaping. The Wynn offers a chill pool environment for all ages at the main pool. If you’re looking for full sun, head to the pool early. The shade starts to take over in the early afternoon and available lounge chairs in the remaining sunlight will be hard to find. They layout of the Wynn resort pool never makes it feel too crowded and the staff will help you find seats and set up your towels for you. Water stations are sprinkled throughout the pool area for complimentary lemon or cucumber infused hydration and the servers come around frequently to take food and beverage orders. In addition to the Wynn resort pool, the hotel also offers an adults-only European party pool with a DJ on weekends. The vibe here is younger and energetic but it can feel a little like a cattle call with rows upon rows of lounge chairs all facing the pool. If budget allows, I recommend renting the chairs right next to the pool for a less sardine-like experience. Better yet–camp out at the resort pool and just walk over to the party pool to check out the action while you have a drink.
2. Bellagio–The various pool options at Bellagio make this resort is one of my front runners. There are five pools to choose from so it never feels too crowded and you can choose a more lively or relaxing pool experience. Bellagio’s largest pool is generally where the party is while the smaller pools with fountains in the middle are perfect if you’re looking to nap and for more personalized food and beverage service. Bellagio offers the ‘opportunity’ to reserve a chair and table in advance for $50. Seriously. I’m not kidding. I highly recommend against doing this no matter how anxious you may be about finding a spot. I have not ever had a problem locating an open chair in a sunny or shady spot–even on holiday weekends. $50 for a chair with a reserved sign is just a waste of money. That being said, I have paid for a spot at the Cyprus Pool–Bellagio’s private pool. This, I would do again. The Cyprus Pool chairs are oversized, plush lounge chairs that each have their own umbrella and table. Plus you get personalized service, expanded menus and even surprise complimentary refreshments. If you’re looking to treat yourself with a glamorous pool afternoon, the Cyprus Pool at Bellagio delivers.
3. Palazzo–One of my other go-to’s is the pool at the Palazzo. The pools here deliver full sun all day and as with Wynn and Bellagio, also offer multiple pools to suit your mood. What sets the Palazzo apart for me is the view. While most Vegas pools are tucked away at the back of the resort, The Palazzo pools are closer to the strip, so you actually get a bit of a strip view from the pool deck instead of just the resort. If you need a break from the sun, the Solaro restaurant, located at the pool entrance, serves delicious lunch items by Wolfgang Puck without taking you too far away from the water. In my experience, pool service can be a little slow here so the option to get high-end takeout (even sushi!) and head back to my cushioned lounge chair is a perk.
4. Aria–Aria is new on my list. I just started staying at this MLife property in the past year and have enjoyed exploring the resort. The pool scene at Aria is an interesting mix of people looking to let loose and have a good time and those wanting to chill. Aria has two large elliptical shaped pools available to resort guests and one private pool, the Sky Pool, which is similar to the Bellagio’s Cyprus Pool but is for guests staying in Aria’s Sky Suites. Palm trees and bushes separate the pools and provide shade throughout the day, which is helpful, because Aria charges for umbrellas, too. I rented one once and would never do it again as the pool attendant couldn’t figure out where to put it to make shade. After 25 minutes of watching him struggle, I told him he could stop trying and I just bought a hat in the spa gift shop–for less than the cost of the umbrella. I find the most unique feature of Aria’s pool deck to be the party size hot tubs. Aria features three jacuzzis that are large enough to fit the cast of Ocean’s 11 and then some. Not that I’ve ever gone in one of the Aria hot tubs. It sort of skeeves me out a bit to have that many people steeping in hot water, but I’m sure it gets a lot of use in the colder seasons.
I’ve visited many other pools in Vegas, but these four are aces in my book. Give me a refreshing cocktail, a great book, and a lounge chair and I can happily spend the day laying out at any of these resorts, recovering from the night before and resting up for the fun ahead!
[Photos: Michele Di Palma]