A Tale of Two Las Vegas Luxury Pool Experiences

The best months for a trip to Las Vegas are April/May and September/October. Despite its desert setting, the winter months can be quite cold. And the summer months are incredibly hot. These spring and fall windows are ideal for enjoying the range of indulgent experiences this fantastic city has to offer, including pool parties and chill-out sessions.

In the heyday of the 90s, my two key spots were Mandalay Bay for its beach-like pool vibe and the Hard Rock Hotel for a 20+ party vibe. The concept of “dayclub” had not yet emerged, although the Hard Rock would have been an early version. As the Vegas pool scene is constantly evolving, there are many new and revitalized players for 2022. On a recent trip, I visited two hotels and two pools that offer experiences at the ends of the spectrum of Vegas, although each is equally enjoyable and rewarding but for different reasons.

Tao Beach Dayclub at the Venetian Resort

The Las Vegas dayclub concept reportedly debuted at The Venetian Resort in 2007 with the Tao Beach Dayclub. These new formats evolved from the nightclub scene, where different tiers of reserved tables (cabanas) with bottle service became new business and entertainment models. The Tao Group began a massive renovation of this venue in 2019, which was finally completed in early 2022.

The new Tao Beach is twice its original size at 47,000 square feet. The Bali-inspired venue is built around the DJ booth with a dance floor that extends into the main pool; 21 luxury cabanas, seven VIP cabanas with private pools and a maximum capacity of 3,000 people.

Honestly, my first day club experiences in Vegas were disappointing. The sites were tired; our reserved table had zero shade in one case, and these were just not luxury experiences. With the new Tao Beach, however, the remodeling is just the beginning. Tao Group has transformed the entire experience and set a new standard in what to expect from a Las Vegas dayclub. Indeed, what you pay for is not the hut or the entertainment or the food. It’s the total experience and those things you take away in the form of memories, content and stories that you will share.

Starting with the talent, Tao Beach features some of the best DJs around today, including Sofi Tucker, Fisher, and Alesso, who played on my first experience. Since Alesso was also there for a wedding, he organized his entire wedding party and played a long set with extra energy until the closing. This includes big hits like When I’m Gone (with Katy Perry), Let Me Go (with Alesso, Florida Georgia Line & watt) and Heroes (we could be). The crowd was 100% engaged and the April weather was perfect.

Then there are the facilities. VIP cabanas can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 or more for a prime weekend getaway, and they can accommodate up to 15 people. Those with the private pool at the back of the room offer optimal DJ vision and maximum feel-good vibes. A bachelor party next door to us was having champagne celebrations which I was told cost over $10,000 per session. Whether lounging or just relaxing, VIP cabins include plenty of comfortable amenities with plenty of shade while allowing you to dance in the sun while staying refreshed in the waist-deep plunge pool.

Finally, there’s the menu, which is completely overdone. It shares a lot with its sister restaurant, Tao Asian Bistro, with hearty fish options, including the biggest seafood tower I’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting with sushi, crab, lobster, shrimp, oysters and more. The range of menu options and the way they are presented is part of this luxury nightclub experience.

I found it ideal for staying at The Venetian Resort, as it’s an easy walk from the rooms to the Canal Shoppes, from where you access Tao Beach right next to the eponymous restaurant and nightclub. Other great bars and restaurants to visit on-site include Dorsey Cocktail Bar and Estiatorio Milos, which offers Greek-inspired seafood flown in daily from the Mediterranean.

The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas

The Waldorf Astoria Las Vegas is the polar opposite of Tao Beach and The Venetian in terms of the Las Vegas resort and pool experience. First, this is not a casino hotel but rather a five-star luxury hotel that serves as a respite from the craziness of the Strip and much of Las Vegas in general. You enter through a valet on the ground floor and proceed immediately to the 23rd floor to check in and access the rooms from a separate bank of exclusive elevators. It’s quiet and refined in the spirit of the Waldorf brand (and, to be clear, the Mandarin Oriental, which preceded it).

The property itself is located across from the Shoppes at Crystals, which features luxury brands such as Gucci, Tom Ford, Tiffany & Co., Valentino, and HERMÈS. Indeed, with views from the Waldorf’s eighth-floor restaurant, Zen Kitchen, these signs beckon to indulge in designer shopping just steps from the property. And in terms of being in the center of it all, this is perhaps the most desirable area on the Strip today. The CityCenter complex also includes the Aria and Park MGM, which are within walking distance for Lady Gaga shows, famous restaurants like Catch Las Vegas and The NoMad Library; and all the games you might need.

The Waldorf pool and spa are also located on the eighth floor, amid the colorful glass and steel towers that make up CityCenter. There are three types of cabanas available for daily bookings, which cater to different guest profiles. There’s a family cabin ($300) located in a secluded family neighborhood; there’s an Upper Cabana ($300) at the end of the main pool; and there’s an adults-only cabana ($350) in a secluded area with two pools, a plunge pool, and two hot tubs. Each cabana sleeps six and includes a stocked minibar with personalized service. It’s a Las Vegas oasis and a perfect way to spend a full day, where you can also head to the spa for a treatment and come right back.

I would be remiss if I didn’t also highlight the SkyBar, which is a great lounge atmosphere located on the 23rd floor of the Waldorf. There’s probably no better place for a pre-party cocktail – I’d recommend the Spanish Trail – in preparation for whatever the evening has in store. The SkyBar’s massive windows provide views of the Strip below with the Aria, Cosmopolitan, Paris, Bellagio, and Caesar’s Palace seemingly close enough to touch. Be sure to book a table by the window to watch the sunset. If you want a light starter, sushi is a recent addition to chef Katsunori Kawaguchi’s menu, and it’s excellent.

About Keith Johnson

Check Also

Sharkiat by Fathy Salama will give a Cinema Electronica 2 concert – Music – Arts & Culture

“We will be playing new compositions that I recently wrote specifically for this concert, including …