LAS VEGAS POOL PARTIES
Las Vegas has a reputation for being hot in a number of ways, including the weather. If you spend all your time on the casino floor, you can forget that there's a desert outside, but for half the year, the weather goes from warm all the way up to damn hot. So, as you might expect, pool parties have always been an important part of Vegas culture. However, since the turn of the new century, the pools of Las Vegas have gone from a place to relax and have a drink and a dip to a place to party surrounded by a host of hot bodies. Why it took so long for someone to organize this is baffling, but at least they got around to it eventually.
History if Beachlife in Sin City
About ten years ago, the Hard Rock Cafe started what they now call Beachlife (as opposed to nightlife), and pioneered it with their epic pool party, Rehab. Drinks, celebrities, concerts, bumping music, you name it, was brought pool side for a regular weekly party. That led to many more poolside parties, including Relax Mondays (for recovery after Rehab Sundays, naturally), the Nectar poolside music festival, Summer Camp Fridays, which give you a spring break experience in a single day, and on and on.
As with everything in Vegas, popularity led to two things: more popularity and competition. Nowadays, if you don't plan ahead and get in line early or if you're not staying at the pool's hotel, you have to either face some serious waiting in line or spend some money.
Daybeds, Cabanas & Lounger
The money covers VIP entry, a lounger, a day bed, or a cabana. VIP entry is more or less a license to jump the line, and prices vary from location to location. VIP "hosted" entry means that the host of the pool will part the velvet rope just for you, so if you want to drop a few bucks and look like a badass cruising past the line of waiting potential partiers, it's worth the cost.
A lounger is the next step and it reserves you a spot poolside, which usually includes towel service, and puts you in touch with a member of the wait staff so you don't have to wait in line for your drinks. A daybed is essentially the same service for a group of up to five, but the real luxury is the cabana. A poolside tent or shelter all your own, these are often pricey, but can be shared between up to 10 people, and are definitely the way to go if you have someone to impress or if there's a concert or show you don't want to miss. Cabanas include free non-alcoholic drinks in a mini-fridge, a plasma TV with DVD, and depending on the pool, they may also include spa treatments, food, video games, you name it.
But remember how I said popularity leads to competition? Well, most of the big hotel casinos have their own awesome pools with parties, cabanas, etc, all the way up to the Encore Beach Club, which has a three-tiered pool which is the size of a football field!
Vegas Pool Party Season
So, how do you decide? Well, the season runs from late March/early April into September, so you have plenty of time to explore your options, but cost obviously matters. Rates vary enough that they're not worth publishing, so you'd be better off using a Vegas booking service like 1800.VEGAS.VIP (vegasvip.com/pool-parties.html) to act as your middle man. They can assess what you're looking for, factor in your budget, and tell you where you should go and even book your VIP entry for you.
But what pool is right for you? Well, the Tao Beach, atop the glamorous Tao nightclub, has a focus on being intimate (it only has seven cabanas) and features a very nightclub vibe. Encore, obviously, with its size, has everything, including extravagant bungalows with a view of the Strip and a private hot tub. This beach club also has a daytime menu from the Switch restaurant, and its own gaming area. The Venus Pool Club is less of a pool party and more of a low-key vibe center, with DJs spinning subtly, a white marble decor spilling over from Caesar's Palace, and privacy for topless bathing. In fact, several of the pools in Vegas offer the ability to shed a bit more clothing than your typical pools, including Tao, Pure, and Bare.
If you plan to visit Vegas during the "summer" season from March to September and you're looking for something different than the typical gamble/show/dine Vegas experience, a pool party is a great way to break up your vacation. The sun and the drinks and the hot bodies are a great start, but just imagine how awesome it'll be when you breeze on into one of the best parties in the country, heading right past the line, ready to be treated like a VIP.
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