The Las Vegas pool scene is getting splashier all the time.
It wasn't long ago that it was dominated by toddlers wearing inflatable floatation devices and teenagers doing their splashiest cannonballs next to your rickety metal lounger. But over the last five years, Vegas resorts have created an adult oasis of glamorous pools and beach clubs that rival most of America's actual beach resorts.
From the margarita-induced chicken fight of the Hard Rock Hotel to the beach club of Mandalay Bay, here are our picks for summer's best poolside hotspots.
Where: MGM Grand
When to Go: Weekend concert series
New for 2008, MGM Grand's (MGM) Wet Republic is Vegas' most ambitious poolside social scene to date. The pool lounge is an adults-only outdoor sanctuary.
It's equipped with two salt-water pools surrounded by extravagant waterfalls and a sexy ultra-lounge featuring amateur go-go booths and a white marble-topped bar.
It also boasts VIP amenities such as private cabanas, Veuve Clicquot snowcones and Red Bull vodka popsicles.
Guests sprawl out on a deck of teak loungers or in VIP bungalows and cabanas offering oversize daybeds, plasma TVs and sheer drapery for extra privacy. There's also a tanning ledge within the pool that ensures an all-day shimmer for those booking one of the water loungers. A stage area hosts a summer concert series by revolving DJs and pop artists.
Moorea Beach Club and Ultra Lounge
Where: Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino
When to Go: Midweek afternoons
It's Vegas' version of the South of France. On a concrete terrace off Mandalay Bay's wave pool, this beach club offers Tahitian styling for long afternoons in the desert sun.
With a never-ending beat of electronic dance music, a bustling lounge offers minimalist décor, low-flung red loungers and a be-seen crowd of well-sculpted singles pounding high-end mixes of Grey Goose.
Moorea Beach Club offers all-day revolving DJs and cocktail service by one of Vegas' sexiest pool staffs.
Where: Venetian Hotel and Casino
When to Go: Sunset session on Sundays from 5 p.m.
Buddha meets bikinis at the rooftop pool and lounge spinoff of Venetian's Tao. The adult-theme pool complex includes a full-service restaurant, VIP Lounge and outside terrace with strip views. A smaller-than-expected pool is surrounded by stylish wooden loungers of sprawling singles in colorful board shorts and string bikinis.
The inside bar mixes an Asian-theme décor with bamboo woods and heavy Buddhist icons. The outdoor bar and lounge is really the place to be, a luxurious child-free environment for sun worshiping to DJ house music in pristine cabanas with spritzing staff yielding Evian misters and rippling abs that make skipping lunch mandatory.
Bare Las Vegas
Where: Mirage Hotel and Casino
When to Go: Best on weekends
Vegas' only pool scene operated by an actual nightclub, Bare is a pool lounge and "beach" club by Light Group -- owners of Bank and Caramel Lounge.
The intimate pool and lounge deliver a tropical vibe of towering palm trees, orangey fabrics and teak cabanas that mix Asian and South Florida design. A crowd of Mirage guests and bikini-clad goddesses descend on the pool lounge for all-day DJ mixes from 11 a.m. till 7 p.m.
Bare offers cabana and daybed reservations in advance via its Web site starting around $150 to $250. Daybeds are arranged in small alcoves around a lap-style pool with bamboo cocktail tables and Evian misters. Cabanas are a bit more posh with bottle service or pitcher service of mojitos served with chilled cucumbers for puffy, hung-over eyes.
Rehab at the Hard Rock
Where: Hard Rock Casino and Resort
When to Go: Sunday afternoons (May-October)
Essentially, it's a nightclub in a pool, with glam girls attempting somersaults from the shoulders of their beefy boyfriends. The Sunday pool scene at the Hard Rock Las Vegas makes no attempt to be refined or dignified.
With beer cans and margaritas in hand, the city's sexiest beach bodies take to Hard Rock Hotel's oversized pool for the Rehab pool party of house DJs, intense flirting and Vegas' best people watching.
Patrons arrive around noon, as well-bronzed ladies lay on poolside loungers wearing $1,400 Chanel bathing suits and enjoying the splashy chaos.
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