Escape the heat of the Mojave Desert by cruising down Tahiti Village’s lazy river, swimming with sharks at the Golden Nugget Hotel or raving at Wet Republic Ultra Pool at the MGM Grand. Here are the best hotel waterparks in Las Vegas.
Tahiti Village has one of Las Vegas’s longest lazy rivers. Heated in the winter, cool in the summer, it’s lined with Tahitian torches and interrupted by four waterfalls. When you get out, thatched umbrellas and towering palms offer respite from the Nevada sun. Although the resort’s calm atmosphere lends itself to a family vacation, the casinos are just a five-minute drive away. After a night on the Strip, continue the party in Tahiti Village’s adults-only heated hot tub.
In the heart of downtown Las Vegas, the Golden Nugget Hotel is home to the Tank, a $30m pool complex wrapped around a shark aquarium. Swimmers can gawp at the sharp-toothed residents, safely protected by reassuringly thick glass. The Tank also has a twisting water chute that cuts straight through the aquarium. It’s over quickly, but perhaps that’s a good thing. For grown-ups, there’s the Hideout, an adults-only enclave with a bar, infinity pool and cabanas.
If you’re a beach lover, Mandalay Bay is the place to be. Its 11-acre (4.5ha) pool complex is edged by 2,700 tons (2,449 tonnes) of real Californian sand. Surf boards are best left at home, but a roaring wave pool is ample replacement. Mandalay Bay also has a lazy river, lagoon and private cabanas. There are shops selling designer swimwear, plus a beach-side grill and bar. If the heat gets too much, head inside to the Minus5º ice bar where everything from the walls to the glasses are made of ice.
If lazy rivers are a bit snooze-inducing, head to the Go Pool DayClub at the Flamingo. Here house DJs and true international superstars entertain a raucous crowd wearing, well, not too much. Check out the events calendar before you go. For something a little more PG, the Flamingo’s Beach Club has water slides, day beds and cabanas. It’s also right next to the Beach Club Bar and Grill, which serves snacks and drinks.
The largest hotel in the United States, the MGM Grand has a waterpark to match. Its 6.5 acres (2.5ha) includes four swimming pools, three whirlpools and tumbling waterfalls. The real party, however, is found at the Wet Republic Ultra Pool. The 54,500sq ft (5,060sq m) complex is where DJs host weekly raves and swimwear-clad guests dance in party cabanas. To go big – is there another option in Vegas? – order signature cocktails and premium bottles.
Comfortably outside the flashing lights of the Strip, Cancun Resort offers a more family-friendly vacation in Sin City. Central to its water park is a towering Mayan pyramid with a waterfall. Climb one side to access four water chutes which end in a smaller pool, the Mayan Cove. Circling the water park’s edges are enough sun loungers and shade to properly shelter from the desert sun.
Polo Towers shuns Las Vegas’s bigger-is-better attitude to provide a refined swimming complex. Guests head to the rooftop, where chilling out on lounge chairs is accompanied by views across the neon-lit city, best enjoyed at night. Younger children can head to the aqua play park, where a splash pool and shooting fountains provide a welcome distraction.
Plucked straight from a fairy tale, the Excalibur’s spires and towers will ignite your inner kid. Fun is found across four pools – there’s one for adults only – and its waterslide. Indulge by booking a cabana, which comes with a television, refrigerator and ceiling fan. Overlooking the pool area is a spa offering hot stone massages and facials.