Beat the heat this summer at Las Vegas’ hotel pools

With summer rearing its scorching head on Las Vegas, now is the perfect time to tell you about all the amazing hotel pools you’ll be able to cool off in during your visit.

Almost every resort on the Strip, as well as a handful of the properties in downtown, boast pools for their guests. Unlike dayclubs, which are for the 21 and over crowd, hotel pools are suitable for all ages. Along with singles, you’ll often discover a very diverse crowd including families and laid-back couples.

Although some of these pools may allow non-hotel guests to swim and soak up the sun (either with or without a fee), don’t expect that. If you want to check out a pool located at a hotel other than the one you’re staying at, be sure to call in advance to find out exactly what the policy is.

Here’s a look at what’s new and what’s been updated on the Vegas hotel pool scene for summer 2014. Plus, we’ll shine a light on 10 of our favorite hotel pools. Whether they have swim-up blackjack, overlook the Strip or just provide refreshing dips, you’ll want to be at them. So come on…dive in!

What’s new?

Picnic at Downtown Grand

Picnic at Downtown Grand

The contemporary Downtown Grand, which opened in downtown Las Vegas at end of 2013, debuted its pool area – called Picnic – about a month ago. Picnic has several rows of picnic tables situated near the bar under a tent-like shade structure, making them perfect for enjoying food (salads, sliders, chicken wings, hummus and more) al fresco. Picnic also features a charming, somewhat park-like setting with faux grass, lime green sectional seating, a fire pit and strings of lights hung overhead. A simple rectangular dipping pool is surrounded by lounge chairs, and there are also 15 cabanas lining the perimeter. At a recent grand opening party, a group of synchronized swimmers in vintage bikinis performed a routine. The best thing about Picnic, without a doubt, is its view. Located on the “rooftop” (the third floor of Downtown Grand’s Casino Tower), this hotel pool overlooks all the action just north of Fremont Street Experience. Picnic is open daily from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m. On select weekend nights, you’ll find special events and live entertainment running from 8 p.m. – midnight.

What’s changed?

The Riviera just celebrated its 59th anniversary. Naturally, you would expect a place that’s been around for so long to go through the occasional makeover. This season the resort’s pool area features new patio furnishings as well as a new poolside food menu. Among the options are chicken fingers, a chicken salad sandwich and a classic burger ranging in cost from $7.95 to $10.95. Seating at the Riviera’s pool is available for a nominal food and beverage minimum ($50 for daybeds; $125 for cabanas on weekdays and $200 on weekends). Another truly unique thing here is that there’s a tattoo shop, 3 Lions Tattoo, that operates a private poolside cabana. It can accommodate small groups, with up to five people getting tattooed simultaneously. That’s sure to make for an unforgettable Vegas vacation. The Riviera’s pool is open daily from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The main pool at the M Resort

Villagio del Sole at the M Resort

The main pool at the M Resort is called Villaggio del Sole. The Piazza Grille, a poolside café that was closed for the past few seasons, has just reopened. So now you can order sandwiches, salads and grilled entrées while lazing happily in the sun. Plus, Villagio del Sole has introduced two “Penthouse Patios.” These are upgraded VIP cabana experiences featuring lawns with lounge-style furnishings, umbrellas and games like beer pong and bean bag toss. Depending on the day of the week, they can be rented for $150 – $250. Stretching across 100,000 square feet in what’s described as a “backyard pool piazza,” Villaggio del Sole is spacious and – thanks to two expansive infinity-edge pools and two large hot tubs – feels like an oasis in the middle of the desert. It’s open daily from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. On May 3, a kickoff celebration for Villaggio del Sole and M Resort’s dayclub, DayDream, will be held from 11 a.m.  – 6 p.m. with special promotions, entertainment and giveaways.

At MGM Resorts International properties in Las Vegas, there haven’t been any major changes to the main pools, but you can partake of some new signature cocktails while you work on your tan. What better way to keep your cool than with a refreshing drink in hand? At the hip elliptical-shaped pools at Aria, sip on a glass of Cabaletta, which is a golden ale created especially for the summer season. At the Bellagio’s sophisticated pool area, you can enjoy a kids’ treat with a grown-up twist – the Simple Cherry snow cone. It’s made with Skyy cherry vodka, cherry syrup and a salted caramel sauce. And sunbathers in the Grand Pool complex at MGM Grand should try Don Julio’s Sunshine, a combination of Don Julio tequila with Cointreau, Midori melon liqueur, sour mix, pineapple juice and a splash of grenadine.

The new pop-up shop at Palms Pool

The new pop-up shop at Palms Pool

Any day spent at Palms Pool, an outdoor complex with the gleaming Palms and Palms Place towers soaring above, will be like no other. The watery wonderland features three pools: a traditional pool with an islet that holds several daybeds, a wading pool with a shelf for lounge chairs and lilypads, and a small glass-bottomed pool on an elevated deck overlooking everything. There’s also a huge hot tub, a 12-foot waterfall, three bars and several gaming tables. As if that list isn’t enough,, a website devoted all things bikini-related, is launching a poolside pop-up shop on May 2. It will be available every Friday and Saturday. Showcasing the sexiest styles in swimwear, you’ll be able to utilize their “Bikini Concierge” service, which will not only provide expert style advice, but also deliver bikinis to you on the property within an hour.

There’s one other change to be aware of concerning hotel pools in Vegas. The pool at The Quad is currently closed for renovation. Work is expected to continue throughout the summer with the reopening tentatively set for August or early fall. In the meantime, if you’re a guest at The Quad, you are welcome to use the Beach Club pool at the Flamingo or the pools at Paris Las Vegas and the Rio.

What’s always hot?

From the chicest and the largest to the most unique (try to envision Greek statuary and a shark tank), here are 10 hotel pools in Las Vegas that never go out of fashion.

Mandalay Beach

The wave pool and poolside casino at Mandalay Beach

There’s nothing quite like Mandalay Beach, the 11-acre aquatic paradise at Mandalay Bay. In addition to three large pools, a lazy river with a current that runs at 3 mph and 2,700 tons of white sand, it has a three-story, glass-enclosed building with a casino and a 1.6-million-gallon wave pool where you can wade in the surf.

Similary, the Monte Carlo has an incredible poolscape, complete with a small wave pool, a sand volleyball court and a 400-foot-long lazy river (inner tubes are available for rental or purchase). There are four different swimming pools, daybeds, cabanas and a menu of poolside eats as well.

Golden Nugget in downtown Las Vegas calls one of its pool areas The Tank. Wondering why? As its centerpiece, there’s a 200,000-gallon aquarium filled with several different species of sharks and other colorful creatures from the ocean – as well as a three-story water slide to take you right through the center of it!

The resort pool at Wynn Las Vegas

The resort pool at Wynn Las Vegas (photo by Barbara Kraft)

Both Wynn Las Vegas and Encore have impressive resort pools in polished garden settings. Not only are these pools heated, but they are surrounded by lounge chairs. Each resort also offers cabanas along with secluded areas for European ( tops optional) sunbathing.

The multilevel Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan is situated on the resort’s third floor, looking out over the Las Vegas Strip. The half-scale replica of the Eiffel Tower at Paris Las Vegas looms large in the sky. There is a sizable main pool with shallow areas so lounge chairs can be placed in the water. You can also relax in a huge hot tub, play games like table tennis and foosball or grab a drink at one of three bars.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino’s 6.5-acre outdoor complex consists of three distinct pool areas – Nirvana, Breathe and Paradise Beach, which plays host to Rehab on Saturdays and Sundays. The front section fosters a Hawaiian-like atmosphere, while the back section (situated nearer to the HRH Tower) has a high-end resort feel. Among the many highlights here are a lazy river, a water slide, swim-up gaming, several sand beaches, palapas, a concert stage and countless bars.

The pool at Tropicana Las Vegas

The pool at Tropicana Las Vegas

Did you know the pool at the Tropicana Las Vegas is where swim-up blackjack originated? Today, this South Beach-themed complex spans 2 acres filled with pools connected by lagoons. It also features tropical gardens, palm trees and waterfalls. Not only can you rent daybeds and lavish cabanas, but there are recliner-like lounge chairs.

The Red Rock Resort, Casino & Spa has a huge 3-acre pool complex. The main circular pool is called the Sandbar. At the center of that pool is a sunbathing island with a fountain. Eight small wading pools and a couple of hot tubs dot the decks and cabana areas. It also has a café, two bars and poolside gaming.

Temple Pool in the Garden of the Gods at Caesars Palace

Temple Pool in the Garden of the Gods at Caesars Palace

The outdoor oasis at Caesars Palace is known as the Garden of the Gods, and rightly so. Scattered among the landscape are towering Greek columns, classical statuary and beautiful fountains as well as stately blue-cushioned daybeds and lounge chairs. The Garden of the Gods is divided into several different areas including the Fortuna, Jupiter, Neptune, Temple and Venus pools. Plus, there’s a bar that serves up martinis and fine whiskeys called the Sun Lounge, swim-up blackjack tables and bottle service provided by “goddesses.”

The Palazzo has a spectacular pool area as its centerpiece that also connects to the pools at The Venetian. There’s a large resort-style pool, along with six smaller pools and four hot tubs. Magnificent fountains, a leafy landscape, 41 cabanas and a central bar round out the mix of amenities.


I’m a Las Vegas native. By profession, I write at Mostly about the city’s hotels, but on other topics – gaming and transportation – too. I really love staying at hotels. And the ones here are among the biggest and best in the world. Some key things I’ve learned: Resort fees are inescapable (frustrating but true), a friendly attitude at the front desk may score you a great view and over-the-top room amenities – bath butlers, Japanese tea service, menus with “intimate” items – do exist. What else should you know about me? Well, I’m comfortable at a blackjack table. And I like eating late-night pancakes in hotel coffee shops. A lot. Follow Renee on Google+.