Pool hangouts and parties

While they've always been a prominent feature for hotels, the importance of a great pool scene has skyrocketed over the last few years, thanks almost entirely the exploding popularity of daytime pool parties during the warm months. The Hard Rock's "Rehab" led the way, but now it's rare to find a major hotel that doesn't have some kind of gala happening at their pool.

The "IT" party may change from season to season, so check with your concierge -- or just a friendly bartender -- after you arrive if you want to make sure you hit the hippest of the hip parties. There's no such thing as a lame Vegas pool party, though, so rest easy knowing that wherever you go you'll see something worth telling friends about.

Here are a few basics about Vegas pool life that you should know:

Pool season

Most major hotels have at least one pool that is open year round, but there's a big difference between being "technically open" (meaning you're welcome to walk around and look at a deserted pool while the temperature is too cool to think about jumping in) and being "really open." Dates for "really open" vary a bit, but usually you can count on open pools from March through October.

Pool admission is usually free only to hotel guests

First of all, not every hotel pool allows non-guests to enter at all. Those that do won't let you in for free. Costs vary depending on day of the week and other factors, but a good estimate is to expect entry fees in the range of $10 for women and $20 for men; oftentimes double that rate on weekends. Yes, dudes have to pay more than chicks. Get used to that, because it happens a lot.

Rules are different for pool parties

Even if a pool doesn't normally allow public entry, they will for their scheduled pool parties. Don't expect it to be cheap. While hotel guests sometimes still get free entrance, everybody else pays to get into the party. And pays a lot. Guys should expect entry fees to start at around $40 and go up from there. As always, women will get in for about half that cost.

You get no break on prices once inside

When they're not having a party hotels don't usually jack up drink prices very much, if at all. But during a party... well, if you find yourself paying $20 for a drink don't be surprised. If it's any consolation, at least it will be a huge drink.

If you're under 21, don't bother trying

Those of less than legal age can enter most pools most times, but nobody underage is getting into one of the pool parties. This is a rule the hotels enforce very strictly. At least they have since Paris Hilton turned 21.

Boobs in the breeze

Yes, there are pools with "European bathing" areas, meaning tops are optional for the ladies. Yes, the scenery is often spectacular. And, yes, guys you'll usually have to pay to enter, even if you're a hotel guest.

If you don't like kids, stay away from these

The pools at Circus Circus and Excalibur are often flooded with children. If you're looking for a wild hookup scene or a quiet, relaxing spot to soak up some UV and read a good book, these two pools aren't for you at all.

8 responses to “Pool hangouts and parties”

  1. Steve the Texan said:

    Unless you're at least a C-list celebrity, it's not likely you and your friends will get into pool parties for free. Sometimes there's no charge for guests of the hotel (or if you know someone involved in the party), but in general you should plan on paying an entry fee. Even if you show up with a group of women.

    Many pool parties do offer guest lists, but those are often reserved for partiers who have been big spenders in the past or have a special deal with the hotel. It's not unheard of for a group of women to get on the list, though. (A group of run-of-the-mill dudes? Never getting on any list.) You can contact the hotel and try your luck.

  2. Rose said:

    Are pool parties like clubs in that groups of women can get in for free? Are there guest lists?

  3. Steve the Texan said:

    CJ, rules may vary slightly from hotel to hotel, but in general basic lounge chairs are free to use at Vegas pools. The challenge often is finding an open one available, as pools stay pretty packed during the hot months. Towels are also provided for free, although plan on tipping the towel staff a couple of dollars. Do note that entrance to pools, even when there's not a party going on, is usually free only to guests of that particular hotel (as is often the case in Vegas, women are often allowed in for free or at reduced cost).

  4. CJ (Liverpool, UK) said:

    Hi, following on from Katie's question, do you have to pay for basic sun loungers or is it just day beds? Also Do the hotels provide towels for sun bathing or is it only for the day beds that you need to pay for? I'm staying at the Vdara In September but planning on going to Caesars Palace to use the pool- not for a pool party.

  5. Steve the Texan said:

    There are wide, wide differences in costs, depending on the day of the week, the hotel and which party you attend. As ballpark estimates for the peak season you can figure the low end cost of a daybed to be somewhere in the neighborhood of $50-$75 and cabanas starting around $400 or so. On the high end prices can easily be triple that or more.

  6. Katie (Essex, UK) said:

    Hi There,
    We are 6 girls, coming to Vegas in June (for my Hen :D) and i was just wondering how much Cabana/Table prices were at Pool Parties??

  7. Steve the Texan said:

    Absinthe has closed. There is some speculation -- a lot of speculation, actually, from good sources -- that the closing is only temporary and it will return in a couple of months. But it looks like October of 2011 will be absent Absinthe.

  8. Jim the Scot said:

    Steve is Absinthe not playing at Caesar's during October?

Post a comment

Your comment