The only way to survive summer in Las Vegas is by spending most of it in a pool, preferably with something frozen and boozy in hand. Fortunately, the city offers a vast array of palm-studded pools to choose from, ranging from sophisticated retreats to wild dayclubs that put the average backyard pool party to shame.
For many Vegas pool goers, poolside libations are frozen, sugary and served in gallon-sized souvenir cups that inevitably end up abandoned by the lounge chairs. And while there’s nothing wrong with occasional — or frequent — premade strawberry margarita served from a machine, these five Las Vegas pools offer something a little more creative.
Rooftop craft cocktails
Is there any better combination of words than rooftop pool and cocktails? The Citrus Grand Pool Deck at the Downtown Grand offers up dazzling views of Downtown Las Vegas along with a trendy, urban pool experience complete with string lights, an herb garden, and citrus-colored daybeds. The cocktail menu features drinks prepared with fresh ingredients such as the Ella Fitzgerald (Absolut Citron vodka, sparkling wine, blueberries, and elderflower syrup) and the Watermelon Fresca (El Jimador Blanco tequila, watermelon, and agave nectar).
Citrus Grand Pool Deck, Downtown Grand, 206 N. Third St.; 702-719-5100
Sophisticated poolside mixology
For those who have outgrown the champagne-soaked day clubs of Las Vegas, the next step is The Aquatic Club. The Palazzo’s newest pool gives off serious Gatsby vibes and features a cocktail menu to match. Swimmers can sip classic Red Snappers, French 75s, or go contemporary with drinks such as the Tee Time, which is made with Absolut Lime and Pok Pok Ginger and served in a watermelon.
The Aquatic Club, Palazzo, 3325 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-607-7777
Pool time at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is all about innovation. The resort’s pool deck features dive-in movies on the big screen, a popular summer concert series, and one of the wildest dayclubs in town, Marquee. For truly great poolside cocktails, Cosmopolitan’s Chelsea Pool makes waves with berry mojitos, housemade sangria, and even a Bacardi Rock coconut rum drink served in a coconut.
Chelsea Pool, Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 702-698-7000
Pina coladas on the west side
For the ultimate Instagram-worthy poolside cocktail, it doesn’t get much better than a piña colada served inside a pineapple at Red Rock Resort’s Sandbar Pool. The luxurious pool experience, which is just moments from the famed cliffs of Red Rock Canyon, offers Las Vegas locals — and tourists willing to leave the confines of the Strip — the chance to enjoy margaritas, mojitos, and the aforementioned piña colada filled pineapples in a lush resort environment.
Sandbar Pool, Red Rock Resort, 11011 W. Charleston Blvd.; 702-797-7777
Garden of the Gods is a legendary Las Vegas pool oasis that’s worth diving into at least once in a lifetime. The Caesars Palace pool complex serves a diverse array of cocktails including Frosé (frozen rosé with Stoli Citros vodka, elderflower, and berries), Ciroc Colada (a piña colada made with coconut water and served in a coconut) and rum-infused Dole Whip. Somehow, the palatial pool complex looks even more beautiful after a few cocktails.
Garden of the Gods, Caesars Palace, 3570 Las Vegas Blvd. S.; 866-227-5938