If our gorgeous weather has you daydreaming about dayclubbing, you aren’t alone. March is Las Vegas’ busiest visitation month, attracting 3.6 million tourists—mostly spring breakers and college basketball bettors, almost all eager to drink in the sun … literally and figuratively.
The dayclub scene has transformed many pool experiences from one of lizardly lounging with a mai tai to a 120 beats-per-minute clubbing frenzy, replete with the peacocking, fist-pumping and bottle-servicing you’d find on any given Saturday night. That said, if you still crave the old-school luxe tranquility once enjoyed at, say, the Desert Inn, fear not: Dayclubs haven’t completely swallowed the Strip.
Since Las Vegas is pretty good at being everything to everyone, your experience is almost entirely subjective to your taste and budget. Want a bikini-clad bump-and-grind? Encore Beach Club—with its headlining DJs, Strip-side cabanas and stripper poles somewhat effectively disguised as showers—is a difficult ticket to score, day or night. But there are plenty of other options, from the sandy beach party at the Hard Rock’s original Rehab to the splashy massive held weekly at MGM’s Wet Republic. Then there’s Planet Hollywood, which has the Strip’s first FlowRider, allowing guests to surf the curl. Want an LGBT-friendly party? Check out Temptation at Luxor, returning May 17.
Others seek a setting on the opposite end of the spectrum, like the family-friendly wave beach and lazy river at tropical Mandalay Bay. But keep in mind that Daylight (a dayclub) and Moorea (a topless pool) share the same property. If you crave subdued, European elegance, the seven Roman-esque pools at Caesars Palace are exceptional, including Venus, a non-gawky top-optional area. Bellagio is another excellent choice, with multiple, DJ-free areas and cool pools for those 110-degree days. Particularly pleasant is the resort’s Cypress Pool, with limited reserved seating for hotel guests only.
Or maybe you’re looking for some serenity with a modern, urban vibe. Mandarin Oriental’s eighth-floor spot, surrounded by CityCenter, is reminiscent of something you might experience in Macau. And for those who prefer the middle ground—a taste of DJ action but with a more grown-up, laid-back setting—Aria’s Liquid and the Palazzo’s Azure deliver.
Keep in mind that dayclubs are like nightclubs in many ways, including being open to anyone who can wrangle the door host using some combination of appearance, attitude and cash. But the most relaxing luxury pools (like at the Wynn) are usually open only to hotel guests. Choose your resort (and your pool) accordingly.