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This story first appeared in the June 27 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.
MANDARIN ORIENTAL POOL
It doesn’t get more secluded than the tranquil, non-gaming Mandarin, featuring a bamboo-shaded entry. Renowned for its service, the Mandarin boasts two pools, two Jacuzzis and a plunge pool (all for hotel guests only) along with a cafe looking over Aria Resort. Staff provide hourly refreshments like mini smoothies and circulate regularly to wipe guests’ sunglasses. The 17 cabanas ($350-$750) include plush robes and PlayStation 3.
FOUR SEASONS POOL
Michael Bay-level producers who want privacy (but also easy access to gambling and gourmet restaurants at adjacent Mandalay Bay) skip the crowds for this nongaming hotel’s pool (guests only) surrounded by lush landscaping. Guests cool off with low-cal cocktails like the Skinny Jeans and complimentary Evian spritzes, tray-passed popsicles, daybeds and lounges. Get extra pampering with a poolside foot massage ($40 for 10 minutes).
PALMS PLACE POOL
With weekday cabana prices starting at just $75, the sixth-floor swimming pool at the nongaming Palms Place is an affordable draw. The vibe is mellow enough that posting a selfie won’t raise eyebrows back at the office, but the scene still has a pulse. Guests can nibble on sushi from chef Kerry Simon, whose glass-walled restaurant faces the pool. A swimsuit concierge from Palms’ Bikini.com pop-up shop can deliver a bikini poolside. No entry fee.
DRAI’S BEACH CLUB AT THE CROMWELL
Home of The Strip’s only rooftop pool, just-opened Drai’s boasts million-dollar views of the Bellagio fountains and packages like “The Roof Is on Fire,” where guests get detonators to set off fireworks (30 seconds: $9,000). Some visitors bemoan the no-drinks-in-the-pool policy, but who wants to swim in margarita mix anyway? Cabanas and bungalows, $400-$8,000; entry fee, $20-$30.
MARQUEE DAYCLUB AT THE COSMOPOLITAN
Two pools, bars, a dance floor and a gaming area make up this party complex, which, with Encore, is considered one of Vegas’ two hottest dayclubs and has lured Rihanna and Bruno Mars. Cabanas are $3,000-$15,000, some with private infinity pools. During Memorial Day, the club used unmanned delivery drones for bottle service. No word yet if it will be a regular thing. Entry fee, $20-$30.
ENCORE BEACH CLUB AT THE WYNN
Encore makes St. Tropez look like a retirement village with its big-name DJs (Zedd; David Guetta) and decadent stunts like the “Champagne Showers” (up to $10,000, depending on champagne) in which servers arrive in a bathtub-sized boat and douse themselves in a bubbly spray before pouring you a glass. The posh cabanas and bungalows (some with their own pools) run $2,000-$25,000; entry fee, $25-$35.
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