Mandalay Bay is a premier megaresort in Las Vegas. It offers a diverse, South Seas-themed environment that can be enjoyed by visitors from around the world – and the aquatic playground is beyond compare. While people of all ages fall in love with the giant wave pool, soft white sand and lazy river at Mandalay Beach, adults can slip away to a spot even more after their own hearts, Moorea Beach Club. It’s a wonderful place to sit back, soak up the sun and catch sight of beautifully tanned bodies.
Discreetly tucked into the lush, 11-acre outdoor complex, Moorea Beach Club can be difficult to find. Head for the North Convention Center area, go downstairs and stroll along the path that encircles Mandalay Beach. You’ll spot a private entrance for the pool club that’s part of the three-story, glass-fronted Beachside Casino.
So what will you discover when you enter Moorea Beach Club?
Strictly for the over 21 crowd, thanks to the proximity of gaming and a “toptional” policy (meaning topless sunbathing is acceptable), there’s just something exhilarating about hanging loose on a platform overlooking a “beach” with the shining golden façades of Mandalay Bay and THEhotel towering high above.
While large pool clubs generally mean a raucous good time, Moorea Beach Club, which accommodates up to 400 people, is all about intimacy and personalized service.
“Everybody’s kind of close. Other pool clubs in town are so big that you’ll see people way over there,” said Loren Perkins-Johnson, a host at Moorea Beach Club, while gesturing to the horizon, “but never talk to them. At this one, everybody gets a chance to mingle and have fun.”
Meant to evoke the feeling of the French Polynesian island by the same name, Moorea Beach Club attracts a wide range of people – from A-listers and jet-setters to those simply seeking out a paradisal retreat.
According to Scott Morisato, the manager of Moorea Beach Club, the aim is to create a vibe that’s more “polished.”
Exuding chic design with red-cushioned, dark wooden furnishings, the centerpiece is a long curved dipping pool. An infinity-edge hot tub (that can fit a crowd!) is positioned above the main deck near the bar. A popular gathering place, Morisato said he’s already turned down the temperature from 100 to 85 degrees, and he expects to keep lowering it during the summer months.
Moorea Beach Club opens daily at 11 a.m., and it’s best to arrive early.
“We have free lounge chairs for the first 50 people who come in,” said Morisato.
That’s a great opportunity for visitors on a budget. However, if you want to kick things up a notch and add a touch of class, consider booking one of Moorea Beach Club’s other lavish seating options. Daybeds, which truly resemble beds, dot the facility. There are also three very exotic-looking “opium beds.” Basically, these are canopied daybeds surrounded by sheer drapes that can be adjusted as desired to provide shade. A couple of “living rooms” are available that offer more sophisticated sitting areas. Cabanas are situated toward the back corners of the pool club. Each one is equipped with a wicker loveseat and two chairs, a coffee table and luxuries like a flat-screen TV, safe, ceiling fan and mini fridge.
For larger groups interested in privacy, Morisato recommends the Pavilion, an area elevated above the main deck with its own pool. Another option is to reserve one of five villas located on the third floor of the Beachside Casino building.
“This is where we’ll put big celebrities,” said Morisato. “The views are amazing. If you look out you can see it all – Moorea Beach Club and Mandalay Beach.”
Swanky and well-stocked, these mini party apartments range in size from 250 to 500 square feet. Sharing access to a private pool, each villa boasts amenities like its own restroom and changing area, a shower, a wet bar, a ceiling fan and a 50-inch flat-screen TV. Plus, the “grand” villa comes with a stripper pole, a gorgeous mosaic-tiled shower, a total of five flat-screen TVs and a full bar where a bartender can set up. There’s even a wall that can be rolled out – if it gets too hot – so guests can turn on air conditioning.
Located a floor below the villas, the entrance to the Beachside Casino – with blackjack, roulette, craps and other gaming action – is handy.
“This casino is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day,” said Morisato. “It’s great because there’s no dress code. You can just go in your bikini or swim trunks and gamble. People love that.”
In addition to the contemporary décor and indulgent atmosphere, the food and drinks at Moorea Beach Club will tantalize your senses. Munch on an array of appetizers: chicken lettuce wraps, coconut shrimp, quesadillas and Beach Sliders, petite all-beef patties on brioche rolls topped with cheddar cheese and the chef’s secret sauce. The Summer Salad with fresh berries and mixed greens is perfect for those counting calories, while guests with heartier appetites may want to wolf down a Philly cheesesteak or the Hero Panini, made with layers of salami, turkey, provolone, prosciutto, tomatoes, pepperoncini and red onions. Frozen treats from the “Chef’s Favorite Ice Cream Truck Novelties” section of the menu are to die for on a sweltering day and include everything from a vanilla shake to the original Bomb Pop and orange push-ups.
Moorea Beach Club features several unique drinks too. Among the “Signature Sips” is the Beach Dragon, which consists of Bacardi Black Razz rum, fresh blackberries, lime juice, rock candy syrup and Sierra Mist. Some other good choices are the Poolside Limeade, Mango Punch and Bahama Mama.
“The bartenders make the greatest mojitos here,” said Morisato, who had difficulty selecting just one favorite cocktail. “They use fresh mint and go through all the fixings.”
Along with the classic mojitos, there are variations like a pineapple fusion mojito. Or you can’t go wrong with one of the frozen libations. Watermelon, piña colada, banana colada and strawberry daiquiri are all dispensed from machines at the bar. What could be better than unwinding with a tropical-style slushie in hand while relaxing near the water’s edge?
But Morisato recommends you don’t overdo it with the booze…especially if you’ve got big plans for the evening.
“Reserve some brain power,” he joked. “Have fun here and enjoy a few cocktails, but wait until after the sun sets to get really slammed – or you won’t be going out later.”
Of course, you’ll be able to partake in a nightclub setting during an afternoon at Moorea Beach Club. Pool partiers often find themselves shakin’ it and getting a bit crazy, due to the serious turntable talent of DJ Dezie and others who appear on Fridays and Saturdays. Special events, such as promotions with Red Bull, frequently occur on weekends as well – but no matter which day you visit, Moorea Beach Club is an experience you won’t soon forget.