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Top-10 pools in Las Vegas

11 August 2008

In between the hustle and bustle of gambling in the casinos, betting the horses at the race and sports books and going to shows, it's probably a good idea to spend a few hours decompressing poolside during your visit to Las Vegas.

With that in mind, Casino City presents its list of the best pools to choose from.

10. The Mirage
The Mirage Pool is both tropical and plush. The atmosphere -- complete with waterfalls and lagoons -- makes you forget that the City That Never Sleeps is just steps away. It's relatively small compared to the others on this list with just two pools, but the service and ambiance are what makes it special. Surrounding the pool are The Paradise Café and The Dolphin Bar. If you're looking to go topless, enter the Bare Pool Lounge, which has two pools of its own as well as live DJ music. There's also an upper deck with a VIP area that overlooks Mirage's famous dolphin habitat.

9. Tropicana Resort & Casino
With an "island atmosphere," Tropicana's pool complex with its fetching waterfalls and palm trees fits the bill. Swim-up blackjack tables and the Coconut Grove Bar make it a place you can spend the entire day without leaving the water. Right next to the swim-up bar there's an indoor heated swimming pool, a rarity on the Strip. And just steps away from the main pool is the adults-only Lagoon Pool, which is fondly referred to as the "party pool," with good reason.

8. The Venetian
Much like its sister pool at The Palazzo (see No. 3 on this list), the Pool Deck at The Venetian is both elegant and comfortable. There are three unwinding options to choose from, ranging from the four-foot deep pools to the lounge pool, where the water level rises just above the lounge chairs. The Cabanas provide everything you need (32-inch plasma TV, fruit platter and fully stocked refrigerator) and Wolfgang Puck's Riva Poolside Restaurant offers gourmet hors d'oeuvres, burgers, salads and sandwiches. Also, there's the 18,000 square-foot TAO Beach pool club that sits atop the TAO Asian Bistro and Nightclub and attracts A-List celebs on a regular basis thanks to its now legendary 14-foot fire columns and weekend DJ parties.

7. Flamingo
Waterslides and the Flamingo Fountain are the main attractions at this finely manicured, 15-acre complex. The four swimming pools are interconnected through the lagoons and around a cascading waterfall. Surrounding the pool are The Beach Club Cafe and Poolside BBQ, where you choose from a trio of tropical bars. Poolside gaming is also available during the summer months. And for a bit of history, don't miss The Bugsy Siegel Memorial, which is situated at the pool and acknowledges that this was once the home of the former gangster.

6. Bellagio
The Bellagio describes its pool area as a "Mediterranean-infused al fresco masterpiece." We couldn't have said it better ourselves. The service is unmatched here and the scenery is splendid. There are six pools to choose from and the area is open year-round thanks to the heater that keep cranking even during the winter months. But the Pool Bar and its exquisite drink selection (where else can you find "fresh juices, nectars, purees, coulis, homemade mixes and fresh garnishes"?) make the swimming part of the equation almost irrelevant.

5. Caesars Palace
Like everything else at Caesars, the 4.5-acre Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis is over-the-top extravagant. Take your pick from the 10,000 square-foot marble and granite Temple Pool, the rectangular, 5,000-square foot Neptune Pool, which is situated in front of the Neptune Bar, or the luxurious Venus Pool Club that is open to non-hotel guests for a small cover charge and offers a relaxing atmosphere with Evian spritzers, cold water service and a Mojito cart.

4. MGM Grand
If our No.1 criteria were family friendly, the finely manicured MGM Grand pool complex would most likely top the list. There are five pools and three whirlpools as well more than 4,000 lounge chairs (we didn't count them, but that's what a pool host told us). There's a specially designed lap pool for those looking for a workout, or a quarter-mile lazy river for those looking to be, well, lazy. Those looking to party also have options, thanks to five bars and the exclusive Wet Republic pool club that has eight pools of its own – including two of the salt water variety – and six waterfalls.

3. The Palazzo
Exotic is the first word that comes to mind when you catch your first glance at the pools at The Palazzo. There are nearly four acres of pools, four Jacuzzi spas as well as stunning gardens and fountains that fit right in with remainder of this lavish resort. The private cabanas are equipped with a stocked refrigerator, ceiling fan and 32-inch plasma-screen television while The Palazzo Pool Deck gives you a perfect view of the Strip. Services from Canyon Ranch SpaClub and food from Wolfgang Puck's poolside restaurant Solaro are also nice touches.

2. Mandalay Bay
Mandalay Bay has something for everyone. Three regular pools, the spacious lazy river, a lagoon pool and a wave pool will certainly keep the kids busy. Meanwhile, the adult gamblers in the family can eenjoy European bathing, cushioned chaise lounges and poolside massages at the nearby Moorea Beach Club, which also features a three-story casino.

1. The Palms
Simply put, the pool at The Palms has it all.

The entire complex was recently renovated to the tune of $30 million and takes up three acres of land and can entertain up to 3,000 guests at a time. Gourmet food, live concerts and celebrity sightings are the norm, but if you don't want to fight the crowd you can always check the availability of the 27 cabanas. Each one features a 32-inch LCD television, speakers with individual volume control, a house phone and refrigerator. Or, if you happen to be in the midst of a fortuitous run at the tables, upgrade to one of the two-story, poolside bungalows, which include two outdoor decks with a Jacuzzi on the ground floor. They have their own private bar, double-sided fireplace, 42-inch plasma, DVD, stereo and LCD's in the bathrooms and a king-sized bed.

When you're ready to party with the common folk, you can choose from a couple of different bars that you certainly won't find at home. The Glass Bar has six blackjack tables and is located under an elevated, glass-bottomed deck pool. The appropriately named The Waterfall Bar is hidden behind a 12-foot waterfall.

Also, keep in mind that The Palms is the home to the world's only Playboy Club, which is located nearby in the (where else?) Fantasy Tower and has the potential to provide some interesting pool guests.

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Best of Gary Trask
Gary Trask

Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT
Gary Trask
Gary serves as Casino City's managing editor and has more than 20 years experience as a writer and editor.

A member of the inaugural Poker Hall of Fame Media Committee, Gary enjoys playing poker and blackjack, but spends most of his time sitting in the comfy confines of the sportsbook when in Las Vegas.

The Boston native is also a former PR pro in the golf-casino-resort industry and a fanatical golfer, allowing his two favorite hobbies - gambling and golf - to collide quite naturally.

Contact Gary at gary@casinocity.com and follow him on Twitter at @CasinoCityGT.

Gary Trask Websites:

twitter.com/#!/casinocityGT