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Resort pool season is back — find new food, drinks and dayclub choices

Updated April 15, 2022 - 2:54 pm

It’s been a long two years with the COVID-19 crisis upending everything, including Southern Nevada’s famed pool season. But now — for spring and summer ’22 — hotels and resorts have fully reopened their shimmering outdoor amenities, many having invested millions of dollars in improvements. Some pools are even seeing their debuts this year. The season is definitely back in a good way.

From downtown Las Vegas to the Strip and into the suburbs, here are updates on menus, drinks and lively dayclub choices for the warm months ahead.

Most major pools throughout the Las Vegas Valley are open from roughly 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, with a few open into evening hours.

Check back throughout the summer for menu updates and more pool listings.

Downtown

Downtown Grand’s Citrus Grand Pool Deck looks out onto downtown’s unmistakable skyline. The 35,000 square-foot open-air entertainment space features a sparkling infinity pool, restaurant and full bar, semi-private cabanas, fire pit and backyard games like corn hole, foosball and table tennis.

Citrus’ menu includes lemony Caesar salad (chicken or shrimp; sliced tomatoes and mozzarella with basil pesto and balsamic reduction drizzles); watermelon-jicama-feta salad with lime dressing; a burger (with garlic aioli and cheddar); and BBQ chicken flatbread (with balsamic caramelized onions); and avocado toast with shrimp.

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Stadium Swim at Circa is one of the city’s newest resort pools and the first to be open 365 days a year. The spectacle features six temperature-controlled pools and two swim-up bars beneath a 143-foot, 14-million megapixel LED screen.

Built for ultra-partiers who love sports, Stadium Swim’s flagship menu selection is the astonishing S.S. Feast for 10. It features lobster corn dogs; chicken, beef brisket or vegetarian nachos; a shrimp cocktail; sliders (beef and Impossible); chicken fritters; crispy seasoned fries and dipping sauces — all for $1,000. There are also a la carte choices like walking tacos; fish and chips; chicken Caesar wraps; breakfast burritos; and yogurt parfaits.

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Golden Nugget welcomes hotel guests to its three-story Tank and Hideout pool complex, which features a 200,000-gallon shark tank aquarium, an enclosed three-story water slide and 17 private cabanas across three floors.

The grande dame of downtown hotels features H2O Bar, where guests can order finger food like parmesan-crusted ham and cheese and Philadelphia-style cheesesteak (with sauteed onions, peppers, and mushrooms in creamy cheese sauce) sandwiches. Make a memorable — and Insta-worthy — toast with a 60-ounce Pink Cadillac cocktail (tequila or mezcal, Chambord liqueur, fresh lime juice and agave syrup).

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The Plaza’s 70,000 square-foot pool at the Plaza deck looks upward to the striking mural imagery on the hotel’s lofty towers. It’s only beverages at this wading scene, though. In the morning, start with bloody marys, mimosas and micheladas. Later in the day, sip on a 32-ounce Paloma (Lunazul Blanco Tequila, grapefruit juice with agave nectar) or a Vegas Mule (Drake’s Organic Vodka and ginger beer). Frozen drinks are hot sellers on the rooftop, including pina coladas with Malibu rum.

Even better, the pool deck is home to some of Las Vegas’ most fantastic pickleball courts for furious paddle matches.

The Strip

Aria’s three pools — Ellipse, Sky and adults-only Liquid — are exciting oases in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip. The Pool Bar is currently offering its complete food and beverage menu only to registered Aria and Vdara guests.

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Bellagio’s beautiful pool grounds are defined by five lovely courtyard settings filled with dappled light reflected from its reflective waters. Visitors can dine at the Pool Cafe. Dishes include lemon-blueberry pancakes (creme fraiche, yuzu preserves and white chocolate); chilaquiles (red chile chicken, black beans and salsa verde); lamb kebabs (harissa-hinted yogurt and cucumber-mint salad); and a roasted turkey club sandwich (cheddar cheese and candied bacon).

Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace features seven sparkling pools, including the perennially popular Neptune Pool — the resort’s largest. The exciting space is excellent for sipping on cold beers and tropical cocktails. There are even swim-up blackjack tables.

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Delano Beach Club at the Delano is a secluded yet invigorating boutique hotel scene with arty panache, including its in-pool chessboard. The menu is welcoming with options like garlic hummus with warm pita; BBQ pork sliders with cheddar cheese and crispy onions; pesto chicken sandwiches; BLT sandwiches elevated with aioli; and attractive watermelon boats with toasted coconut and mint-citrus honey.

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The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is one of the most popular pool destinations for out-of-town visitors and locals on staycations. The Boulevard Pool, with its center-of-all-things aura, has plenty of cocktail selections for party people, including All the Feels (Casamigos Blanco Tequila, Casamigos Mezcal, grilled pineapple-habanero syrup and tamarind-tangerine sour mix); Resting Beach Face (sparkling rosé wine, pink guava, apple rosewater and citrus with fruit garnish); and the Watermelon Crawl (Botanist Gin, Belvedere Blackberry & Lemongrass Vodka, fresh watermelon and lime juice). For noshers, the Overlook Grill serves up al fresco American classics for breakfast and lunch. Menu highlights include avocado toast Benedict (avocado spread, marinated tomatoes, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce with breakfast potatoes on the side) and pistachio-mochi waffles (strawberries, honey-yuzu jam and matcha powdered sugar).

Also shrimp tacos (crispy corn tortilla shells, smoked jalapeno aioli and salsa); and a smashburger (cheddar cheese, bread-and-butter pickles, special sauce, lettuce and tomato on a Martin’s potato roll with fries on the side).

Oh yes, there are bottomless brunch cocktail specials, too.

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Four Seasons Las Vegas’ pool is luxurious, classy and secluded from the hum of the Strip. Its menu ranges from overnight oats (coconut milk, peanut butter, pecans and banana brûlée) and mac and cheese bites (chipotle-scallion aioli) to roasted Tuscan chicken salad (olives, artichokes, pine nuts, tomatoes, Parmigiano-Reggiano, garbanzo beans and Mediterranean vinaigrette) and an eye-popping shrimp salad sandwich (avocado, roasted corn, jalapeños, sprouts, lettuce, tomatoes and brioche).

The Linq Hotel’s Influence pool features life-sized games and tables for competitive beer pong showdowns, all with a breathtaking view of the bustling Linq Promenade beyond and the rotating High Roller above. The menu trends to the informal, starting with boneless chicken wings with fries (a choice of habanero, BBQ and Buffalo sauces and ranch or blue cheese dressings on the side). For a Southwestern snack, a rice bowl is savory (black beans, roasted corn, cotija cheese, pico de gallo, guacamole and cilantro-lime dressing). For sushi lovers, California and spicy tuna rolls are available. For drinks, consider a tropical Tiki Talk (Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum, pineapple juice, orange juice, grenadine and coconut syrup) or zippy Linq Lemonade (New Amsterdam raspberry vodka, fresh muddled raspberries, fresh lemonade and a float of Chambord.

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MGM Grand’s Pool Complex is an astounding 6.5-acre zone filled with four swimming pools, three whirlpools, cascading waterfalls and a lazy river. Thursday through Monday, Wet Republic Ultra Pool rocks it aquatically for adults. Daily, hungry swimmers and sun soakers can dine at Cabana Grill on delectable noshes like cheddar cheese waffles with fried chicken (chipotle butter, maple-butter syrup); lobster nachos (queso fundido, pico de gallo, guacamole, sour cream); and steak fries (grilled mushrooms, housemade steak sauce, truffle fries)

Park MGM’s intimate pool complex has lounge chairs, daybeds and cabanas for chilling out. The curated menu has fresh options like an acai bowl (almonds, housemade granola, Greek yogurt and seasonal fruit); a Mediterranean salad (olive oil-marinated feta cheese, lettuce, arugula, olives, chickpeas, cucumber and red onion); and an Impossible hamburger (lettuce, tomato, avocado and chipotle aioli).

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The newest swimming destination on the Strip, Resorts World Las Vegas’ immense pool array is an extravaganza of water and sunshine defined by numerous glimmering basins, including Main, Family and Bimini. For al fresco food and drink, head to Agave Bar and Grill. Menu offerings include grilled elotes (cotija cheese, mayonnaise, Hot Cheetos and lime); shrimp ceviche (serrano chiles, tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion and lime with chips); quesabirria (slow-cooked beef, broth, cheese, cilantro, onion and tortilla); and battered shrimp tacos (chipotle-lime mayo and slaw). For an unexpectedly chewy drink, try a boba-filled mimosa in lychee, mango and strawberry flavors).

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One of Las Vegas’ classic resorts, Sahara Las Vegas recently unveiled a shiny new attraction: Azilo Ultra Pool. In an eye-catching space defined by Moroccan flourishes, loungers can soak up Mojave Desert sunshine — or relax in the shade of a cabana — while enjoying an extensive menu. Choices include summery Panzanella salad (grilled peaches, country bread, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion and red wine vinaigrette); poke nachos (soy-marinated tuna, wonton chips, sriracha aioli, nori and wasabi mayo); and salmon-mango maki (spicy salmon, cucumber, avocado, mango and citrus sauce). There’s even a jubilant selection of fresh fruit served in a hollowed-out watermelon basket.

Mandalay Bay Beach is an 11-acre water wonderland with a huge wave pool and a slow-flowing lazy river.

On weekends, Daylight Beach Club brightens the 50,000 square-foot destination. For eats and sips, head to Beach Bar & Grill. Start a visit with a breakfast sandwich (fried egg, American cheese, bacon or sausage and brioche bun). For lunch, dip tortilla chips into spinach-artichoke dip or pick up a trio of crispy taquitos (Southwest chicken, pepper jack cheese and ranchero beef with guacamole and sour cream). For a hand-held, grab a Buffalo chicken sandwich (provolone cheese and blue cheese-iceberg lettuce slaw). Then cool off with a gigantic 32-ounce sundae brimming with swirled vanilla and chocolate ice creams, chopped peanuts, strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce, rainbow sprinkles, maraschino cherries and a sugar cone.

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The Venetian’s vast pool scene is an exuberant, watery world all its own.

The Venetian tower pool deck features four large pools — including three infinity pools. The Palazzo tower pool deck is adorned with seven pools. The Venezia Tower is a verdant refuge with its garden setting. Multiple eateries are available to pool-goers, including Capri Pool Restaurant & Bar and Spritz Restaurant & Bar.

At Capri, look for treats like a pastry basket (chocolate-pistachio croissant, banana coffee and strawberry-orange turnover); quiche (sun-dried tomato, zucchini, yellow squash, feta cheese); housemade everything bagel and lox ( cured salmon-scallion cream cheese, wild arugula, heirloom tomatoes and capers); and blackened fish tacos (Atlantic cod, locally made corn tortillas, cilantro slaw, pineapple pico de gallo and sriracha aioli). For group celebrations, dig into a majestic seafood tower (Maine lobster, king crab, jumbo shrimp, salmon ceviche, sashimi, cocktail sauce and ponzu dip).

At Spritz, fuel up with a California omelet (egg whites, Hass avocado, fire-roasted bell peppers, arugula and mushrooms with fresh berries on the side); truffled fries (Parmesan, parsley); and blackened fish tacos (black cod, corn tortillas, parmesan and parsley). Why not make an edible event of it with an orange creamsicle dessert (vanilla ice cream, orange sherbet, graham cracker crumble).

And then there’s the incomparable Tao Beach Dayclub. Its Balinese-inspired design has long been a favorite of Vegas revelers of the poolside set because of its all-encompassing party vibe. Its pan-Asian cuisine is a serious draw, too. Standout menu selections include sushi boats and tableside sashimi service.

Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas’ eighth-floor pool deck is one of the most refined outdoor spaces on the Strip. With a stunning view of illuminated Las Vegas Boulevard, it features two pools, two whirlpool baths and a plunge pool. Attentive waiters deliver refreshing beverages, gelati, sorbets, smoothies and light bites from Pool Cafe.

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The Pool at Wynn and the Pool at Encore both welcome guests for relaxing sunny days. Wynn Las Vegas’ Encore Beach Club is a music-filled, three-pool venue complete with cabanas and daybeds that take watery fun into the night.

Three dining menus are available.

Tableau offers specialties like Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream; lobster Cobb salad with buttermilk dressing; and salmon with bacon-braised chard. Terrace Pointe Cafe serves informal classics like croissant French toast; shrimp, crab and lobster roll; open-faced French dip sandwiches and banana split-waffle bowl sundaes. Elegant Jardin greets the morning with a powerful Green Machine smoothie (kale, apple, celery, cucumber, ginger, cilantro, parsley and lemon) but also has a sweet side with Grand Marnier-hinted French toast (white chocolate brioche, fresh strawberries, vanilla-whipped mascarpone and streusel); and that ultimate of breakfast dishes – eggs Benedict (tasso ham, hollandaise and chives with hash browns).

Off the Strip

Just west of Las Vegas Boulevard, Palace Station’s pool and whirlpool combo is a compact but welcoming outdoor space with food and beverage offerings.

The approachable menu includes bacon and egg fried rice (applewood-smoked bacon, scallions, peas, carrots, pickled ginger and sunny-side-up eggs) and Greek salad (mixed greens, cucumbers, tomatoes, red onion, feta, Kalamata olives, hummus, pepperoncini, lemon-oregano dressing and pita crisps). For grinders, there’s a Cali-style turkey patty melt (avocado, tomato, Swiss, lemon-basil aioli and griddled sourdough) and a Cubano sandwich (mojo pork, shaved ham, Swiss cheese, mustard and dill pickles). Finish with a frosty Dole Whip in classic pineapple or lime flavors (add a Mount Gay Black Barrel Rum float if so inclined).

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Virgin Hotels Las Vegas has brought Élia Beach Club to town with its Mykonos-inspired decor and jet-set international atmosphere. Visitors to the two-story sunshine party place can dine at Kassi Beach House.

Kassi’s inventive menu includes scrambled “green eggs” (squash, zucchini, avocado, arugula, parmesan and salsa verde); ricotta pancakes (salted caramel, bananas and maple syrup); oven-roasted branzino (confit fingerling potatoes, olives, fennel, cherry tomatoes and wine sauce). Flatbread it with veggie pizza (eggplant, fennel, red onion, green peppers, cherry tomatoes and salsa rosa). Decadent pastas are the stars here: cacio e pepe spaghetti; squid ink gemelli with Dungeness crab; and lobster tagliatelle.

Summerlin

With its stunning geological backdrop — the namesake Red Rock Canyon Conservation Area — Red Rock Resort is a nature-lovers go-to for pool time recreating. After hiking, Sandbar Pool’s concentric palette of wading pools and sit-down-and-soak whirlpools is a gem. For munching and sipping, Sandbar Grille has a handy menu with selections from spicy Buffalo-style cauliflower wraps to a buttery Maine lobster roll.

Henderson

With its southerly vantage point over the entire Las Vegas Valley, the 8-acre pool area at Green Valley Ranch Resort is a stunning place to frolic in the sun, or maybe just relax. It’s an unexpected orchard-like spot in the sere Mojave that features a sand-bottom pool for families. There’s also the Pond, an adults-only weekends-holidays pool experience with its own private bar and bottle service.

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M Resort’s M Pool is a 100,000 square-foot venue featuring two 5,460 square-foot heated, infinity edge pools. On weekends and holidays, DayDream Pool Club welcomes adults.

The resort’s edible offerings include poached tiger shrimp (with cocktail sauce and lemon slices); ahi tuna poke bowl (cucumber, avocado, edamame and sticky rice); grilled steak quesadilla (cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole): pizzas in styles like pepperoni and BBQ; chicken Cobb salad (with chopped romaine, crispy bacon, avocado, grilled chicken, cherry tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, blue cheese and white balsamic vinaigrette); and crispy chicken sandwiches (with honey-dijon mustard sauce and pickles on a brioche bun).

North Las Vegas

For a family-friendly oasis along the 215 Beltway, take a staycation at Aliante Casino. A pool and whirlpool await, as well as snacks like a pineapple fruit bowl; chicken Caesar wrap; turkey club sandwich; footlong hot dog) in chili-cheese, sauerkraut or Chicago styles); Philly cheesesteak; and nacho fries. Refresh with icy strawberry frosé or Electric Lemonade (Grey Goose vodka and blueberries).

Contact Greg Thilmont at gthilmont@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4551. Follow @gregthilmont on Instagram.

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