No longer content with partying from sundown to sunup, Las Vegas found a way to fill the brightest hours with Champagne showers, bottle parades, costumed characters, world-class DJs and all the other shenanigans once reserved for the nightclub. But who needs a ceiling when you have a cloudless desert sky? Indoors is so five minutes ago.
Therefore it’s high time we honor the best party puddles and more with this, Vegas Seven’s inaugural Daylife Awards.
(DAY)LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
The OG party pool celebrates 10 years of over-the-top madness and stories to definitely not write home about. Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel rose to notoriety with a little help from its reality show. Featured on the Travel Channel’s 21 Sexiest Beach Bars, Rehab’s sandy shores and a celebrity machine that churned out an endless parade of stars have earned the party many other honors: “wildest pool party in Sin City” from Extra, the “biggest and craziest pool party” by the Los Angeles Times and “legendarily raucous” by Travel + Leisure. The fact that it has survived changes in ownership and management, and that this year’s 21-year-old attendees were 11 when this ball got rolling—well, that’s to be admired. Oh, and it has a friggin’ waterslide. Sundays, RehabLV.com.
Encore Beach Club cabanas have more amenities than most hotel suites: flat-screen TVs, plenty of space for a grip of friends to chill out on the sofas and chairs, ceiling fans, ample shade, mirrors to check out your hotness and backdoors that overlook the Strip. Opt for a second-story cabana to observe the madness of the entire pool complex from aloft with your own refrigerators, infinity hot tubs, private restrooms complete with showers, cooling systems and even your own patio to soak up the sun. Like a boss. EncoreBeachClub.com.
HOTTEST HOTTIE HOT SPOT
How do you guarantee the best eye candy from around the country? We’re not talking about picking out the crème de la crème at the door, or preventing ratchets and bottle rats from hitting up the pool playground. No, you import them—select party girls hand-selected from select cities. From the Mile High Takeover—with its bevy of lovely ladies from Denver—to the Arizona and Cali beauties of the L.A. Bikini Brigade, Liquid Pool Lounge imports only the best of the best bodies to party poolside. In Aria, LightGroup.com.
BEST BET. PERIOD.
Not sure where to spend the hot Las Vegas months but know you want to hear some good tunes? Marquee Dayclub has teamed with Kaskade for Summer Lovin’, and one of America’s best DJs will be spinning almost every weekend. So, even without seeing the calendar, you are basically guaranteed a great time no matter when you decide to hit the party-puddle circuit. With custom visuals, décor, performers and even unique collectable swag for each gig, Kaskade’s Summer Lovin’ will keep you coming back for more fun in the sun. Plus, you can catch him at Marquee Nightclub if you need even more music. In the Cosmopolitan, MarqueeLasVegas.com.
BEST DJ LINEUP
Angel Management Group brings out the big guns in 2013 with a roster including many of the biggest names in electronic dance music. As Wet Republic Ultra Pool received a facelift this offseason, so did the talent, thanks in part to Hakkasan nabbing top names and sharing its spinners with the adult pool that coined the term “daylife.” Tiësto, Deadmau5, Steve Aoki, Calvin Harris, Fergie DJ, R3hab, Tommy Trash, Danny Avila, Laidback Luke and more jump in the booth throughout the summer. At MGM Grand, WetRepublic.com.
BEST COLLEGE SCENE
The spring-break vibe continues all season long as tourists from make the 2-acre Palms Pool complex their debauchery destination. This year’s Ditch Fridays recently launched with Busta Rhymes, Method Man & Redman and Diddy. There’s even a Ditch Saturdays party, if you need one more reason to postpone studying for those summer-session classes. (Wait, we’re ditching Saturday now, too?!) Palms.com.
While spiked drinks are no rare find on the Strip, spiking a ball over the net is a particular pleasure reserved for the beach volleyball court at Bagatelle Beach. As you experience the sweet sensation of your toes in the sand, take a moment to realize you’re finally living out that sexy scene from Top Gun. After a few serves (and a couple of shots), not even those cuties at the cabana will be able to coax you off the court. This welcomed addition to daylife really is the best way to be a baller. At the Tropicana, BagatelleLasVegas.com.
BREAST IN SHOW
Tucked behind the verdant landscaping that marks the entrance to Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden & Dolphin Habitat is that most rare, exotic and lovely of creatures: topless women. Yes, Bare Pool Lounge, that longstanding stalwart of unfettered inhibitions, returns to champion its bikini-busting ways. This year, the pool is taking a stand against its chlorine-rager counterparts and focusing on a more relaxing experience. Making its bow this season is the Bare Brunch, a post-Saturday-night retox affair where the beats are conversation-level and the Bloody Marys are flowing from its six cabanas to its raised VIP area with infinity pool. Which all goes perfectly with the pool’s European-style sunbathing. Because who wants to worry about the drop when there’s such delightful scenery to take in? At The Mirage, BarePoolLV.com.
MOST ANTICIPATED NEW POOL
Light Group is firing with both barrels over Memorial Day weekend, first with its anticipated Light nightclub at Mandalay Bay, and then with the companion (and oh-so-appropriately named) Daylight Beach Club, also at Mandalay. Stretching over 50,000 square feet, Daylight is going to be a beast, accommodating 5,000 aquatic party animals milling around its giant pool with 23 cabanas and 70 daybeds. The DJ lineup will feature some of the heavy hitters who are setting up residencies in the sister nightclub, such as Sebastian Ingrosso, Axwell, Alesso, Nicky Romero and Skrillex. About the only thing missing are the predators casually swimming overhead at the neighboring Shark Reef. They’ll have to pay a cover just like anyone else. DaylightVegas.com.
LAPS AREN’T JUST FOR SWIMMING
Girls glistening in the sun are awesome. And strippers are awesome. So why did it take so long to put them together? To be fair, there was a Sapphire Pool at the Rio in 2009, but now the gentleman’s club has brought the action to its own (literal) backyard with the construction of the 21,000-square-foot Sapphire Pool & Dayclub. Food by Kerry Simon should be enough to lure anyone to a new facility, but Sapphire also features entertainers on duty. In other words, strippers hanging out, willing to chat with you while you work on your buzz, tan or buzzed tanning. The girls, topless as they are, are constrained to wearing pasties, but that only gives you something to look forward to once you’re back inside the club. 3025 Industrial Rd., SapphirePoolLV.com.
BEST GETAWAY DIP
Just 10 minutes south of the Strip proper (assuming you don’t miss the exit and have to make a U-turn in Jean), M Resort is far enough away to constitute calling it a “getaway,” yet close enough to actually get around to doing it. Locals enjoy 30 percent room discounts, making it hard not to justify a little staycation. Your first order of business? The pool. A tiny adults-only enclave off the main pool complex, DayDream Pool Club opens May 25 for weekend parties soundtracked by DJs Hollywood and Hope. Just squint and you’re in Palm Springs! DayDreamLV.com.
Just a skotch calmer than its frattish brethren elsewhere on the Strip—and thanks in large part to its popularity with a more low-key Euro crowd—Azure Luxury Pool could easily get up, hop on a plane and plant itself next to a resort anywhere in the Mediterranean. But why, when it enjoys east-west exposure and almost unobstructed views of the Strip, the mountains and, well, the other patrons? Oh, the beach balls still bounce, the bikinis are still tiny (not to mention some of the men’s shorts) and the Bellinis are still boozy. Azure offers the best of the Med mixed with the best of Sin City—just with a slight French accent. At the Palazzo, Palazzo.com/Azure.
BEST POOL-CLUB DINING
At full capacity, Tao Beach is a heaving, coconut-scented scrum of bronzed bodies pressed together like trees in a rain forest canopy competing for prime sun exposure and proximity to a water source. (Somewhere beneath them, there is a pool—somewhere.) But try as he might, man cannot live on day-drinking alone. While Tao Beach has always offered a great menu of small plates, large plates and desserts (mochi!), the new Sunday Brunch already has us adding the outrageously delicious Fortune Cookie Waffles ($18) to our Christmas list. Dishes, including the crispy Tao Temple Salad ($12) and splurge-y Kobe steak and eggs ($88), come from Tao Restaurant’s own kitchen (as opposed to a co-opted nearby prep kitchen). There’s no need to hide your Buddha belly; after diving into the Kung Pao Chicken Wings ($15) and complimentary glass of Chandon Rosé sparkling wine—everyone else will have one, too. At the Venetian, TaoBeach.com.
BEST PLACE TO KEEP YOUR COOL
Alternating between serene oasis and young Hollywood clubhouse, Venus European Pool Club is as much a place to cool off as it is to heat things up. Mediterranean cyprus, palm and olive trees provide shade, as do umbrellas, cabanas and the air-conditioned main bar. But the staff takes chilling-out to a new level with Evian face spritzes and frozen towel presentations. Even as you doff your top to take advantage of the European sunbathing, you can still say, “Brrr—that’s hot.” At Caesars Palace, AngelMG.com.
MOST IMPORTANT MEAL OF THE DAY
It’s a fact of life: Daylife happens even when the pools are closed. Saturdays between October and March, Lavo Brunch makes you forget that it’s the offseason, drawing its dining-room curtains for a Champagne brunch that’s both breakfast bonanza and day-party extravaganza. While you’re digging into lemon ricotta waffles or Lavo’s famed spaghetti with giant Kobe meatballs, drink in the live performers, banging DJs, patrons dancing on tables and magnums popping left and right. All of which ends early enough to collect yourself, shake it off and get back out to a Saturday night in Las Vegas. In the Palazzo, LavoLV.com.
BEST OFFSEASON PARTY
Like a raucous kid’s birthday on steroids—and with copious amounts of booze—Ghostbar Dayclub (GBDC) proves that piñatas and party hats are always a recipe for a good time. With more neon than the 1980s combined, and throwing caution to the wind with branded umbrellas opened indoors (superstition be damned!), GBDC fills the pesky gap between nightlife and after-hours when the dayclubs are closed for winter. The daytime soirée routinely busts out the beer bongs and “Shots, Shots, Shots!” Then there are the costumes that make it Halloween all winter when staff—as well as guests—don everything from superhero outfits to sexy sports themes. You wish your college frat parties were this cool. In the Palms, Palms.com.