My wife and I become pool people when we go to Las Vegas. Her idea of the typical Vegas day begins at the pool around 9am. She will lounge around, have a drink and light snack or lunch, read, doze off, and every once in a while she will even go in the water, although that’s not required. Then about 3pm or so she will go upstairs and start her day. If our trip is 5 nights, 3 days will be spent this way, a 4th pool day might be cut short to visit the spa, and possibly one day is spent away from the pool doing something else.
The pool is an important factor in our choice of hotel, what time of year we visit, and even which day of the week we prefer. We have been lucky enough to have experienced many Las Vegas hotels and their pools. All of her favorite Las Vegas pools have one thing in common----they are not part of her normal world. The best of them create a world of their own.
We don’t want a party at our pool. We know where to find a party in Las Vegas if we want one. My wife wants a place to relax and take a break from the world for a few days. Remember that when you read this list. These pools certainly aren’t for everyone, but if you are looking for the same things we are from a Vegas pool, check them out.
1. Four Seasons. The pool itself isn’t special or ornate by Las Vegas standards, and it isn’t large. But it is more than adequate for the number of guests. There is one full size pool and one extra hidden hot tub not seen from the pool. The pool area is completely surrounded by a tall wall, with a side entrance to allow guests access to the Mandalay Bay pools, but still keep the rest of the world out.
You enter the pool area next to Verandah, with some shrubbery separating Verandah’s outside seating from the pool seating. You will usually find us on this side as we enjoy the trees for shade and the ambience. Instead of trying to describe the experience again I am stealing a piece of our Trip Report from our first stay at Four Seasons.
The pool is everything we had heard. My wife has never felt so pampered at a pool. You walk into the pool area and go to the stand where there are complimentary magazines and copies of all 4 newspapers. You decide where you want to sit, and are escorted to your lounger. Towels are laid out and an extra one is left for swimming. Every lounger has a table, and you are set up with a pitcher of Ice Water. This pitcher will never be empty. While many employees walk by and provide service, we also had one person who came by to check on us every 20-30 minutes. I’m not sure if he was assigned to us, or just did this on his own. There was no need for a cocktail waitress he would take care of your needs. And of course after the 1st day he knew that my drink of choice was Pina Colada.
The food at the pool was provided by Verandah, and much better than normal pool fare. All day attendants would walk by offering amenities, small samples of fresh fruit juices, smoothies, frozen melons and Popsicles. And yes, a couple of times a day they come around and spray you with water, and even offer to clean your sunglasses.
Very simply, my wife went to the pool and didn’t want to leave.
The Mandrin Oriental pool is 2nd only to Four Seasons, and I wouldn't put up a fight if anyone thought it was the other way around. But know that we are talking about a quiet serene atmosphere, where you are pampered---not your typical Las Vegas pool.
The pool is on the 8th floor, and is not on the Strip side of the building, but the side that faces Aria and Monte Carlo. Because of this wind is a bigger factor than at most pools, although hopefully that won't be a problem in June.
As you enter the pool, by the front desk, you will see the long pool in front of you. If I remember there is one small pool to the right and then steps down to the main pool, of which you've probably seen pictures. I believe at the end of this long pool it is a couple of steps down to a seating area with couches. We did not spend much time in this area.
Then you reach a corner of the building and there is another area of loungers against a wall, this is the area we preferred because we got some shade from the building. Around this corner is a hot tub, and an infinity pool which is VERY cold. I think the idea is to move from one to the other, but I'm not a fan of cold pools.
When you arrive you will be escorted to your area of choice, have an umbrella set up, etc. Then you will be introduced to your server. This person will bring drinks, food and take care of your needs. She does not walk around with treats, others do that.
My wife absolutely loves the Pina Coladas there, the fact that they are served in real glasses, and most of all that they will deliver when you're in the hot tub, lol.
The food comes from their pool restaurant, not from MOzen. It was all right, but not like from Verandah at Four Seasons.
As long as you know what you are expecting, you will love this pool. It’s a great place to relax, read, or even take a nap.
The Orleans pool isn’t anything like the top two choices, but it isn’t like the pools at the Strip hotels either. There is one very large pool, a kiddie’s pool 12”-18” deep, and a surprisingly nice large hot tub. There is a huge amount of seating, including a couple of lawn areas. There is a large gazebo with chairs and sometimes a ping pong table. And the bar is up away from the pool. There are only 3 cabanas, these are near the hot tub, which is well away from the pool. They are very basic, but nice and comfortable.
About half of our days here I get a cabana, but my wife is happy just lounging in the sun. We don’t eat much at the pool, maybe some nachos. And my wife’s favorite lunch here is a hot dog from the sports book. And the drinks are literally half the price of the Strip pools.
There are usually a few kids here. But these are families on family vacations. Mostly well behaved and always watched by parents. We learned some time ago that we prefer the noise made by children at the pool, over that of the 20- somethings at the popular pools. That’s the one thing that Four Seasons, MO, and Orleans have in common; you won’t find “young adults” partying at any of their pools, there’s nothing to draw them there.
One other really great thing about the Orleans pool is the music on Tuesday. Just like in the casino on Tuesdays the music is all Oldies music. Such a nice and welcome change from the music at the other Vegas pools.
We know exactly where we want to lounge at Wynn; a little shade for me and a little sun for her. Most of the time the atmosphere at Wynn is a little calmer than the typical Vegas pool. There aren’t many children when we are there, again adding to the calm. The service and food are decent---but of course nothing comparable to the 5 star hotels.
We like the design of the pool, with the long walking area in the middle. The cabanas here are very nice, but we usually don’t get one. This pool also has a tendency to get louder in the afternoon, so we don’t stay quite as long.
The Mandalay Bay pool is nowhere near as nice as it once was. You can thank MGM for that. They believe pools should generate profits instead of being a guest amenity. So they removed most of the foliage from the river and sides, and replaced them with income producing cabanas. So there is less lounging space and much less shade (unless of course you are willing to pay for it).
At Mandalay Bay you will find us next to the lazy river. We like walking in the river, but even more we like watching others enjoy it. We don’t care about the beach or Moorea, or really use the other pools much. We are there for the river.
Does it get crowded? You bet it does. And it’s not anywhere near as pleasant when it is. But we are not stupid enough to stay at MB when the kids are out of school or on Fridays/Saturdays when the weather is good. But on a Tuesday in October it’s still a great and even relaxing pool.
Mandalay Bay brought us back to Las Vegas after an absence. It’s a wonderful hotel, and brought the resort back to Las Vegas.
Please understand; we’ve enjoyed the pools at Mirage and Aria. And at one time Monte Carlo was one of our favorites. Bellagio and Venetian, while not our favorites are also pools we enjoyed. And we’re not even going to talk about Flamingo or Tropicana in the days when there really were resorts in Las Vegas.
So those are our favorites. Feel free to laugh, disagree, or make a list of your own. But at least now, when it’s early May or October and Las Vegas has absolutely fantastic pool weather, you’ll know where to find us.