Summer may have just hit full swing here in New York, but it won’t be long until the leaves start to change.
Keep the summer vibe by heading to Vegas’s hot spot pool/club hybrids.
Ditch Fridays, Palms Pool
Fri., noon- 7 p.m.
The scene: The perfect kick-off to a weekend in Vegas, Ditch Fridays features a massive, eclectic crowd without that jammed-packed feeling. Celebrity DJs spin here on occasion, but resident DJs The Captains of Industry are every bit as entertaining.
TIP: It tends to be a late-arriving crowd. Getting there early will almost guarantee admission.
Wet Republic, MGM Grand
Daily, 11 a.m.- 6 p.m.
The scene: The labyrinthine walk through the massive MGM Grand complex ends at the secluded Wet Republic pool, which might feature the most even pool-to-club ratio of the hybrids. There’s dancing (on weekends, the dancing is set to top DJs from around the world), there’s relaxing in the pool and a whole lot of mingling.
TIP: Check the schedule in advance. Wet Republic features a long list of celebrity hosts, and on those days the atmosphere gets even crazier.
TAO Beach, Venetian
Daily, 10 a.m. - sunset
The scene: Deep orange umbrellas and cabana roofs dominate the landscape, but the strength is actually in the kitchen; along with the drink menu, food is served from the award winning TAO Asian Bistro.
TIP: Head to the back corner of the Beach for the smaller pool if your goal is to lounge rather than mingle.
Thurs.-Sun., 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
The scene: The newest kid on the pool/club block, Liquid fills to capacity fast, and then rocks all afternoon to a top 40 and hip-hop hybrid. Seating is difficult without paying extra but doing so gets the partygoer a luxurious cabana (replete with 40 inch flat screen television, for $1,500-$2,500), daybed ($500-$750) or chaise lounges ($75-$150).
TIP: Patrons with reservations can still get turned away at the door if the pool area is filled to fire code maximums. Arrive early.
Venus Pool Club, Caesar's Palace
Wed.-Sun., 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
The scene: Borrowing from its host hotel’s theme, the Venus Pool Club comes close to reviving ancient Rome’s bacchanalia. Yellow-hued umbrellas line the pool, while the lifeguards appear to sit on chariot thrones. It’s a more relaxing atmosphere here, with partiers leaning more toward sipping than binge drinking.
TIP: The daybed placement here might be the best of any of the pool clubs: Close to the action around the pool without the claustrophobia.
Rehab, Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
Sun., 11 a.m. - sunset
The scene: Rehab, shown above, was the first of the pool/club hybrids in Vegas, and is still the place to be on Sundays. It’s the most over-the-top experience of the pool club scene, with mixed drinks served in water bottles and patrons hamming it up for reality show cameras (Rehab has its own show on TruTV).
TIP: A reserved chair might cost $100, but it’s charged as a food and drink minimum. If an all-day Rehab trip is in the cards, you’ll consume nearly that much anyway.
Tips for partygoers:
1) If you’re with a pack of guys, be prepared to wait. While the door policy at most Vegas pool clubs might not be as strict as high-end Manhattan establishments, there is a need to keep a proper male/female ratio. Try splitting up into smaller groups and staggering entrance times.
2) Monitor your alcohol intake. “The Hangover” was only funny because it wasn’t real. In addition, sitting by a pool all day will only amplify the effects of booze.
3) Be nice. The wait-staff, bouncers and bartenders have seen it all and put up with it all, but a smile (and a decent tip) will ensure better service.
4) Arrive early. Everything is crowded in Vegas. If you don’t want to cool your heels in a hellish line, don’t be late.