Dive In!

In an article by Steve Friess of the Boston Globe called, “When you need to cool your heels and forget the slots, there is a pool for every taste,” he assessed pools in Las Vegas with these questions in mind, “Is the pool innovative? Does it fit the hotel’s theme? Is it any deeper than the typical 3-to-4 feet of most of its rivals? Is it clean? Is the layout logical or clever? Does it invite us to jump in? Do the lifeguards appear to be paying attention?”

He wrote, “In addition to the Wheel of Fortune slots, underdressed cocktail waitresses, and overpriced room service, there’s one thing every hotel on or near the Las Vegas Strip has in common: a pool. Or, in the parlance of the resort business, a ”water feature.”

Not all the water features here are created equal, however. Some are inventive expanses with sandy beaches, waterfalls, and bubbly hot tubs. Others are mundane, water-filled holes in the ground that reflect little of the kitsch for which Las Vegas is famous.”

Here are two of his analyses:

The Flamingo: A+
3555 Las Vegas Blvd. South
702-733-3111; 888-308-8899
Who knew one of the oldest and least elaborate casino-resorts on the Strip would have a backyard so big, so lush, and so much fun? The network of water slides would have been enough, but there is also a second pool with a pounding 14-foot waterfall, and a third, more conventional and sedate pool, for those seeking a calmer atmosphere. Even that last one is clever, with 10-foot-tall concrete pink flamingos quietly spitting water out of their beaks. Live flamingos and African penguins are in the nearby garden.
Coke $2.25, rum and Coke $5.50.

Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino: A+
3950 Las Vegas Blvd. South
877-632-7800; 702-632-7777
As we treaded water in the 7-foot-deep pool waiting for the waves to start and sweep us to the sandy beach, we wondered: Why didn’t anybody think of this before the Mandalay opened in 1999? There are three more conventional pools and a lazy river. (An adults-only topless pool is positioned such that youngsters cannot see it.) Lifeguards seem happy, vigilant, and alert, rare on the Strip…”