For a place which sits in the middle of the desert, much of Las Vegas remains resolutely defined by water. Sure, much of that is metaphorical; pouring your money down the drain and drinking like a fish both come to mind, but geographically and architecturally, many of the highlights here revolve around h2o.
To think, the famous Fountains of Bellagio, the Caesars Palace Water Show, the gondola rides along the canals of the Venetian, and even the nearby Hoover Dam, all rely on water’s flow.
In a place where the hottest months see temperatures regularly reach 40°C and days with no rain, you’re going to need somewhere to cool off, away from the strip and tables. These are those places; our 5 of the best pools in Las Vegas.
GARDEN OF THE GODS POOL – CAESARS PALACE
Firstly, know that Las Vegas does have a Winter of sorts, between November and February, when temperatures drop and outdoor pools aren’t open. For the rest of year, and peaking in August, you’ll find fun and frolics aplenty under the Vegas sun.
Let’s start in the Garden of the Gods pool, at the world famous Caesars Palace. Actually seven interconnected pools each with their own exclusive ‘cabana’ available for hire, and each rendered in a different style and level of boisterousness, the narrative thread is the Roman architecture; all pillars, statues of the Gods and other motifs of opulence.
In the Fortuna Pool, you can play blackjack poolside, with swim-up tables (complete with table service, of course) meaning you never have to leave the pool to have a punt and a pint. This one gives ‘card washing’ a whole new meaning we think. Of all the big time gaming casinos on the strip and beyond, this is perhaps the most frivolous you’ll feel, even when the chips are down.
Ideal for: Playing blackjack in a pool.
THE TANK – THE GOLDEN NUGGET
If you’ve always fancied getting up close and personal with a fearsome shark but couldn’t quite face the whole cage diving experience, then the Tank at the Golden Nugget, Las Vegas, might be the one for you. Here, guests and swimmers share a swimming space (separated by glass, of course) with a 200’000 gallon shark tank and aquarium, replete with several huge, sharp-toothed specimens alongside schools of gorgeous fish.
While you rub gills with the sharks in the Tank’s shallow end, which connects to the aquarium, the real thrill here is found when taking the pool’s 30 foot water slide, which runs straight through the shark tank!
While ‘’Only in Vegas’’ springs to mind, interestingly this concept do actually exist elsewhere, including at Aquaventure, on Nassau Paradise Island. But still…
Ideal for: Swimming with the sharks.
BEACH – MANDALAY BAY
One of the world’s foremost famous aquatic playgrounds, Mandalay Bay Beach sits on 11 acres of prime Vegas real-estate, and is a mini-manmade city made of water.
There are eight different pools in total, including a 1.6 million gallon wave pool which can generate waves up to 6ft; try riding one of those after an all-you-can-eat buffet. For a slower pace, there’s a lazy river with a mellow current where you can gently float along on a rubber ring. Oh, and there’s also a beach with 2700 tons of real Californian sand – yep it is quite literally a beach in the middle of a desert; a weird concept, perhaps, but this is Vegas, after all.
Ideal for: Desert based beach time.
THE POOL – BELLAGIO
Whilst we’d love to go frolic in the spray of the Bellagio’s record breaking fountain show, we’ll instead make do with cooling off in the resort’s Pool. Don’t let the austere name fool you; this is a swimming pool of class and sophistication, make no mistake.
What sets it apart, we think, is the laid back energy here; the music is set to ‘chill’, the conversation rakish not raucous, and there’s a distinct lack of splashing and lashing. If you want to ramp up the privacy, consider hiring out one of the Bellagio pool’s private cabanas.
Ideal for: The adults, looking to escape the ‘Spring Break’ feel of some of the other iconic Vegas pools.
BOULEVARD POOL – COSMOPOLITAN
On the fourth floor of The Cosmopolitan sits the sprawling, sociable Boulevard Pool, rendered as BLVD in text form. Boasting some of the finest views of the strip you’ll find while wet, BLVD is most well known for its hugely convivial atmosphere, where beautiful people come to mingle, make new friends and maybe even do a bit of networking, if that’s your jam.
During the summer, movies are shown on the marquee, and sometimes even huge concerts are held here, with the likes of Kendrick Lamar and the 1975 having graced the stage recently. The vast deck can hold up to 3’000 people, so if you’re looking for a party with fantastic energy, the Boulevard is your spot.
Ideal for: Meeting new friends.