Do Summer Right with the Best Pool Parties in Las Vegas

Bikinis, booze, and bottle service. All in one place.

Photo courtesy of Station Casinos

It's been something of a dirty word throughout the pandemic, but can we finally say it? Dayclubs are back. Until now, most pool parties have been operating as waterside lounges with limited capacity, masks, and other social distancing protocols. But as of June 1, Nevada is back to full capacity and if you've been vaccinated, you can feel free to leave that crumpled up face mask in the glove compartment. Under new guidelines, you'll see the return of general admission tickets and advertised headliners with fewer social distancing restrictions or reservation requirements on daybeds and cabanas. Things are getting back to normal in Vegas, but to be safe, check with individual pools for the latest policies. There's more than a few pool parties to bring the spirit of the dayclub back to Las Vegas this summer.

Photo courtesy of Drai's

The Cromwell
When it comes to views, it's hard to beat Drai's. The nightclub and beach club soaks in the scenery of the Strip from the 11th-floor rooftop of the Cromwell hotel. Lounge by two large pools on the main 30,000-square-foot slip-proof deck with five smaller elevated pools shared by VIP bungalows. The 15 mezzanine-level cabanas are reserved for high rollers and come with their own private pools, showers, and restrooms. The entertainment is heavy on rap and R&B acts, and this summer sees the return of Future, Wiz Khalifa, and other big-name headliners.

Photo courtesy of Resorts World Las Vegas

Resorts World
The massive new Resorts World opens on the Strip June 24 and while you'll have to wait until November for headliners like Celine Dion to take the stage inside the theater, EDM will be pumping by the pool under the hot Nevada sun. Ayu Dayclub opens July 1 with residencies by Zedd and Tiesto as well as sporadic appearances by Becky G, DJ Snake, and Madison Beer. Moonbeam is a day-to-night Sunday party with hair braid stations, art installations, and photogenic backgrounds designed to light up your Instagram feed. Ayu Nights, a series of after-dark parties will help fill the void until Zouk Nightclub opens this fall.

Red Rock Resort
Red Rock Resort has put the Crimson party space to good use in recent months with pop-up cocktail events. Now the venue's pool deck and patio is getting some well-deserved attention. Crimson Pool complements the hotel's already impressive pool deck as a 21-and-over weekend retreat with its own food menu, booze, and live DJs. Two rows of cabanas frame a long rectangular pool that's more of a place to look good in a bikini than practice Olympic-style laps. 

Photo courtesy of The Luxor/Temptation Sundays

Temptation Sundays is the only LGBTQ-focused pool party in Las Vegas, taking full advantage of the Luxor's expansive pool deck on the west side of the pyramid-shaped resort. The event is geared toward both locals and tourists with non-hotel guests welcome. The fun gets underway every Sunday at 1 pm through the end of September with reservations strongly encouraged. Temptation Sundays has been around for 11 years, providing the Las Vegas LGBTQ party scene with welcome representation on the Strip.

Photo courtesy of Station Casinos

Green Valley Ranch
It's hard to resist the sand-bottom beach-style pool that dominates the eight-acre "backyard" at Green Valley Ranch, a Mediterranean-themed resort in Henderson. But if you prefer a secluded lounge vibe, the Pond is an intimate adults-only oasis with a bar, waterfall, live DJs, and palm trees. The best part? No noisy kids. Cabanas have a starting food-and-beverage minimum of $300 (not a bad deal compared to Strip counterparts).

Virgin Hotels
Elia Beach Club opens June 10 with big shoes to fill. It's on the site of what used to be Rehab, the original Vegas-style dayclub that set the standard for partying under the sun, before the Hard Rock was sold and transformed into a Virgin Hotels property. The entire pool deck has been rebuilt (bye, bye lazy river) with Elia the heart of the party scene, surrounded by a promenade that includes dining spots like Kassi Beach House and Casa Calavera (where Mexican cuisine is the specialty). The name (pronounced ee-LYE-uh by the way) is inspired by the largest beach in the Greek island of Mykonos, and the stone and wood decor suggests a more relaxed tone for a Vegas dayclub. Yet the energy will remain high with a focus on house music at the DJ booth. Elia plans to set itself apart with organic cocktails as well as morning yoga and meditation sessions. 

Wet Republic
Photo courtesy of Wet Republic

MGM Grand
Right before the pandemic hit, Wet Republic underwent a multi-million dollar renovation with a new sound system, video screens, cabanas, and ultra-sleek bungalows with private plunge pools. After operating in lounge-mode for most of the past year, the longest-running dayclub in Vegas is bringing back headliners like Steve Aoki, Kaskade, and Afrojack. As far as pool parties go, Wet Republic is among the most chaotic on the Strip with big crowds and long lines with a TSA-style security check out front. If you need a break from the madness, float down the lazy river at the main MGM Grand pool complex next door.

The Cosmopolitan
Marquee Dayclub has a fresh new look for the 2021 season with expanded seating by the DJ booth and five new cabanas. The rooftop pool deck is also putting added emphasis on a revamped food menu with sushi and seafood towers especially popular. Chris Lake, Deorro, Pauly D, Vice, and Mustard lead the current lineup of resident headliners. Daybeds and cabanas are great, but the best way to enjoy Marquee is by booking a bungalow: a three-story hotel suite that overlooks the pool and has direct admission to the deck.

Photo courtesy of The LINQ

The rooftop pool at The LINQ Hotel is back open seven days a week, giving guests ample opportunity to enjoy the loose backyard-style party vibe. Take a dip, play beer pong, and squeeze in a few rounds of cornhole with an awesome view of the High Roller wheel as your backdrop. The taco bar has a nice lineup of summer cocktails, ranging from a variety of mojitos to loaded fresh-pressed lemonades. Hang out in one of ten cabanas outfitted with 60-inch TVs, overhead sound systems, and other perks. Daybeds are all new this year. Want to spend the night? Book a hotel room with a courtyard adjacent to the pool deck. It's almost like renting a cabana with a bedroom.

Wynn Encore
The expansive 60,000-square-foot deck at Encore Beach Club (or EBC Pool these days) offers something unusual in Vegas: a pool with space and room to breathe. That made social distancing easier this past year, but now things are picking up with fewer restrictions and the return of headliners like the Chainsmokers, Major Lazer, Kygo, and David Guetta. The Wynn kitchen team has done a great job of putting together an elevated poolside food menu. The action carries over to late evening hours for regular NightSwim events. Think of it as a way to go nightclubbing without dressing fancy. You can even try your hand at the poolside blackjack tables and win back some of that front door admission charge.

liquid pool
Photo by Anthony Mair, courtesy of Liquid

Matching the contemporary image of the Aria resort, Liquid has always been a little more intimate and upscale than other pool parties in Vegas. The venue, currently rebranded as Liquid Pool Lounge, is a secluded escape for those 21-and-over Friday through Sunday. The wicker furniture is comfy and the eight massive VIP cabanas—which if needed, can be split into 16 cabanas—come with their own private pools, TVs, and daybeds. The drink menu traditionally has a wide variety of mojitos and champagne.

Photo courtesy of Daylight

Mandalay Bay
Daylight immediately sets itself apart from other pools in Vegas by having its own dedicated parking lot. That means you don't have to trudge through a casino lobby to get to it. Other highlights include 23 VIP Cabanas and a pair of ultra-VIP bungalows framing the DJ stage. Expect to hear a combination of house, top-40, R&B, and hip-hop. Special nighttime events happen Fridays and Saturdays 9 pm–2 am.

With waterfalls, palm trees, and a twisting swimming pool, Go Pool has the feel of a tropical lagoon. It operates seven days a week: 21-and-over Friday–Sunday and all-ages Monday–Thursday. The 14 cabanas aren't the fanciest on the Strip, so feel free to save a few bucks with one of more than 50 daybeds. Maximize day drinking at the Mount Gay Rum Bar with made-to-order punches and Dole Whip cocktails. When you're done swimming and tanning, visit the Flamingo Wildlife Habitat just steps away from the pool deck. It's one of the best free attractions in Vegas.

Citrus at Downtown Grand
Photo courtesy of Citrus at Downtown Grand

Downtown Grand
Just a block from the Fremont Street Experience, Citrus is one of your best bets for a Downtown pool party. The bright and colorful rooftop deck operates from 10 am to sunset seven days a week while pumping out loud, high-energy music over the sound system. Try the taco platter and thank us later. Admission is free for hotel guests and anyone with a reservation for a lawn table or one of three different cabana designs. The Downtown views are no extra charge. 

Venus at Caesars Palace
Photo courtesy of Venus at Caesars Palace

Caesars Palace
Formerly a topless pool (at least officially), Venus remains an adults-only enclave, tucked away in a corner of the sprawling Garden of the Gods pool deck. Secluded by rows of trees, Venus' best attribute is privacy and seclusion, but the intimate hideaway knows the importance of lounge beats played loud enough to be felt underwater. Cocktails, sandwiches, wraps, and fruit are on standby, but you can also place a mobile order from the Caesars Palace Food Court. Night Swim events are new this season, running 7 pm–1 am Thursday-Sunday. 

mirage bare pool
Photo courtesy of Mirage

The Mirage
Bare built its reputation as an intimate topless pool, and after downplaying that image in recent years, seems to be giving new life to its "go for it" attitude. It's an easy layout, with chairs and cabanas surrounding a rectangular pool—with a revealing see-thru wall offering a glimpse of what's going on below the surface of the water. Bare is surrounded by palm trees, which add a tropical feel and welcome seclusion from the rest of the sprawling pool complex at the Mirage.

Photo courtesy of Circa

One of the most impressive things about the new Circa resort is the Stadium Swim rooftop pool deck. The whole thing is staggered in levels on a slope to face a massive 14-million-megapixel LED video wall—making it the best pool for catching a big game. A DJ booth is centered directly underneath. Sometimes the atmosphere is like a sports arena. Sometimes it's like a frat party. The cabanas feel like mini-apartments and there's a couple swim-up bars to spare the nuisance of getting out of the water to order booze. There's really no "season" here. Stadium Swim's six heated pools are open year-round.  

Mandalay Bay
Moorea Beach Club is where the adults come to play. The secluded pool deck always had a chill vibe—even before COVID changed everything—and a place for (occasionally topless) sunbathers to enjoy their privacy. To escape the crowds even further, book some time in the third-level villa, which comes with its own plunge pool. If you dare venture outside, find time to check out Mandalay Bay Beach next door, which has a massive wave pool, lazy river, and nearly 3,000 tons of sand.  

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Rob Kachelriess has been writing about Las Vegas in Thrillist for more than seven years. His work has also appeared in Travel + Leisure, Trivago Magazine, Sophisticated Living, Modern Luxury, Leafly, Las Vegas Magazine, and other publications. He's more of a cabana guy than a pool guy. Follow him on Twitter @rkachelriess.