The gulf between the Sin City of the past and the resort city of today is fairly wide. In 1988, about 17 million people visited Las Vegas. That year, Frank “Lefty” Rosenthal’s name was placed into the state’s notorious Black Book, effectively ending the era of mob influence in Las Vegas. The next year, the opening of The Mirage ushered in new Vegas, and while the family-friendly experiment that followed was largely a failure, today’s Las Vegas is far more welcoming to families (and foodies) than before. Now hosting almost 43 million annual visitors, it has to be.
Although Las Vegas has replaced showgirls with clowns and lust with gluttony, adult experiences aren’t extinct. There are, by my count, nine “toptional” pools in Las Vegas, ten if you include the non-resort pool at the off-Strip Sapphire gentlemen’s club. These can be roughly categorized as either “day life” pools or European-style pools, with the latter offering a more relaxed sunbathing experience than the more lively daylife scene. But don’t confuse these toptional daylife pools with weekend day clubs: Despite the similarities and the skimpy attire, weekend day clubs are another animal altogether… and not a topless one.
For subdued topless sunbathing, the Venus pool at Caesars Palace and the European pools at Wynn and Encore offer supremely sophisticated experiences. However, you’ll need to book a stay, as they are guest-only pools. All others on the list qualify as daylife pools: Typically, these are not restricted to hotel guests, skew to a younger demographic and usually feature DJs. They include the long-running Bare Pool (The Mirage), Moorea Beach Club (Mandalay Bay) and the Radius Pool and Wet Lounge (Stratosphere). The day club at Marquee (The Cosmopolitan) is toptional Monday through Thursday only, and at Tao Beach (The Venetian) Monday through Wednesday.
Off-Strip offers a few alternatives. The Artisan Hotel Boutique boasts that it has “Las Vegas’ most sensual topless pool,” if that’s your scene. Meanwhile, both the daylife pool at Daydream pool club at M Resort and the Sapphire pool hedge their bets by permitting pasties. With hotter temperatures fast approaching, note that you must be 21 to visit the pools and advance reservations are strongly suggested.
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