Las Vegas

The Pool Parties Helping Las Vegas Get Back On Track in 2021

DJs, swimming pools, and bottle service… all in one place.

the marquee pool
Photo courtesy of The Marquee

So what does a Las Vegas pool party mean in 2021? Well, it depends on how you define "party." The traditional dayclub images of half-naked bodies fist pumping in "nightclubs by the water" are out. Instead, our favorite pool parties are effectively operating as lounges. Here's the rundown: Crowds are limited, reservations (for daybeds, cabanas, etc) are required and yes, you're expected to wear a mask—even when in the water. The only exception is when you're eating or drinking and the latter is never in short supply when hanging by a pool in Vegas. 

Of course, as the season continues, more people get vaccinated, and coronavirus cases drop, policies can always change and evolve. So contact pools directly for the latest details before booking a reservation. Some of our favorite party spots—Drais's at the Cromwell, Jemaa at Park MGM, DayDream at The M, and Tao Beach at the Venetian—are choosing to remain closed as the 2021 pool season gets underway. Others are more than happy to pick up the slack. So get familiar with the best pool parties welcoming guests in time for summer.

Wet Republic
Photo courtesy of Wet Republic

Wet Republic

MGM Grand
Sometimes timing is everything. Wet Republic underwent a multi-million dollar renovation ahead of the 2020 pool season, but was forced to shift its format due to the pandemic. Gone (for now) are the venue's famous champagne showers, Hot 100 bikini contests, and big-name headliners like Calvin Harris and Steve Aoki. However, guests can still take full advantage of a new sound system, video screens, cabanas, and ultra-sleek bungalows with private plunge pools. Even while operating at half-pace, Wet Republic remains an enticing 21-and-over alternative to the chaos of the main MGM Grand pool complex next door, which admittingly does have a nice lazy river.   

Marquee

The Cosmopolitan
Marquee is doing its best to keep the energy up with a DJ Friday, Saturday, and Sunday during the day and Friday and Saturday at night. However, the club is now operating as a lounge, almost like an outdoor restaurant. There’s a renewed emphasis on the food, so ask about the seafood towers. And you can order all the bottle service you want. Marquee is open to everyone -- not just hotel guests -- but daybed or cabana reservations are required. With that being said, one of the best ways to enjoy Marquee is by booking a bungalow -- a three-story hotel suite that overlooks the pool and has direct admission to the deck.

The LINQ
Photo courtesy of The LINQ

Influence

The LINQ
The rooftop pool at The LINQ Hotel is expanding its days of operation this year from Thursdays to Mondays, giving guests ample opportunity to play beer pong and cornhole between dips in the pool. The view of the High Roller wheel at the LINQ promenade is a nice bonus. The taco bar serves Dole Whip cocktails and if nothing catches your eye on the food menu, feel free to have ribs and brisket delivered from Virgil's BBQ next door. If you'd like 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.    

Encore Beach Club

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 only makes social distancing easier, especially when cabana or daybed reservations are required for entry. EBC still has a DJ spinning music, but like last year, headliners like the Chainsmokers and David Guetta are currently on the sidelines. Instead, the emphasis is on the food and booze. Come by and hang out during the day Friday through Sunday.

liquid pool
Photo by Anthony Mair, courtesy of Liquid

Liquid

Aria
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.

Daylight
Photo courtesy of Daylight

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. The ambiance is more chill these days, but expect to still hear a combination of house, top-40, R&B, and hip-hop. Reservations are accepted Friday–Sunday, but sorry—no nighttime events this season.

Go Pool

Flamingo
With waterfalls, palm trees, and a twisting swimming pool, Go Pool has the feel of a tropical lagoon. It operates seven days a week as a 21-and-over pool, while the neighboring Beach Club Pool remains all ages. Come by for drink deals on Margarita Mondays or Twisted (Tea) Tuesdays. DJs are back, but no celebrity guests this year. Lounge chairs have been removed from cabanas (which were never too fancy to begin with) to encourage social distancing and the waterslides are strictly off limits. The good news: if Go Pool seemed a little too cramped and crowded in the past, it's now a far more comfortable place to enjoy the scenery. 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

Citrus

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 doesn't currently have any DJs on the roster, but continues to pump out loud, high-energy music over the sound system. Citrus runs from 10 am to sunset seven days a week. 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.

Venus at Caesars Palace
Photo courtesy of Venus at Caesars Palace

Venus

Caesars Palace
Venus has experimented with different formats over the years. Formerly a topless pool, it's now all-ages during the slow season and will resume operation as an adults-only enclave when the main Garden of the Gods pool deck is back open. 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, or fruit are on standby, but you can also place a mobile order from the Caesars Palace Food Court.

mirage bare pool
Photo courtesy of Mirage

Bare

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.

Circa
Photo courtesy of Circa

Stadium Swim

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.  

Moorea Beach Club

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.
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