The testament to how important pools are to Las Vegas tourists is this: No matter what time of year, out-of-town guests think they are always open. It could be 20 degrees and raining in the middle of January (admittedly rare, but go with me) and friends of mine will always say something like, “Yeah, we’ll probably hit up the pool at some point.” You will? Really?
But come the first rays of springtime, all those pools are wide open, and by Memorial Day Weekend (or MDW, as some clever marketing types here will have you abreeving), they are positively packed. While one of the perennial favorites is The Tank at the Golden Nugget (“Downtown Gem”), complete with shark tank, waterfalls, mezzanine cabanas and a constant parade of flesh, there are many other pools worthy of a splash, or at least a dip.
Beyond the city’s pool clubs (“Summer Love,” page 62)—those would be the venues that take the place of nightclubs until darkness falls—are places like Mandalay Bay Beach, the closest Las Vegas can come to a beach, with a sandy shore, wave pool, lazy river and stocked cabanas spread across 11 acres of sun-soaked bliss. Then there’s Caesars Palace’s expansive Garden of the Gods, which packs eight pools into 5 acres, among waterfalls, swim-up blackjack, signature cocktails and the exclusive European-style Venus Pool Club. The Planet Hollywood Resort pool complex, known as the Pleasure Pools, is an island getaway, and the Moorea Beach Club at Mandalay Bay exudes a sophisticated vibe.
The point: Basically, wherever you are in town, there is a watery oasis right around the corner. And if you get hungry, might I recommend Hussong’s Cantina (“Paradise Found”) inside The Shoppes at Mandalay Place. Head straight for the El Pepino margarita, at turns refreshing and spicy thanks to cucumber and jalapeño, and don’t look back. Of course, keep in mind this week’s mantra: Stay hydrated.