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By E. C. Gladstone

Labor Day marks the “home stretch” of pool season in Las Vegas, and prime time for our competitively lavish cabanas. While renting a cabana might seem an extreme indulgence to some (prices rival those of rooms, going up on weekends and even up-per on holidays), it makes sense if you’re planning on a whole day at the pool with the family or friends. Typically you must be a hotel guest to reserve one, but you can invite a number of non-hotel guests (limits vary) along. And if an “adult/club pool” is in your plans, it may actually be a good deal since it includes admission fees for your whole party!

The best of them all include ample relaxation seating as well as reserved chaises, complimentary fruit/snacks and soft drinks, plasma TV, iPod-docking stereo, house phone, a safe for valuables and personalized service. Most also offer private massage service from their resort spa.

Here are my favorites:

• As far as cabana comforts, the Wynn resort is hard to beat — theirs are so luxurious you may want to move in!
Bellagio‘s popular 50+ cabanas are roomy and pleasant, as you’d expect for their famously refined pool area.
• Those at The Venetian &Palazzo are comparable — and they even have A/C units.
• With certainly the most magnificent pool area, The Beach at Mandalay Bay also has over 70 cabanas of several classes from $150/daily upwards.
• Anyone can reserve the Red Rock Resort‘s cabanas at their cool circular pool deck, and they include Nintendo Wii and several treats daily (but start at a steep $400).
LVH, MGM, Mirage and TI–all nice pools—are also good options.

Best deals:

Mandalay Bay‘s Private Garden Bungalows ($150 & up)
• The Golden Nugget‘s sexy & shady cabanas ($175 & up) are perched on two levels above their shark tank — you can take a tube slide straight down into the pool!
Excalibur‘s recently remodeled deck includes an adult-only pool with pleasant cabanas, a bargain at only $75-150.
•Both TI and the JW Marriott, Summerlin offer half-day options at $100 or less (does anyone really spend 12 hours at a pool anyway?) and even the Marriott’s not-too-shabby Grand Cabana maxes out at $225 on weekends.

Adult/club pools:

• The nicest party pool, MGM’s Wet Republic, also has the best standard cabanas — roomy and chic, with huge TVs, DVD players and Xbox game systems (their 4 VIP cabanas feature king beds and private Astroturf terraces)
Moorea at Mandalay Beach’s four open air “pavilions” are also gorgeous — and the Villa Rotui sky cabana, with panoramic views, rotating circular bed, stripper pole, wet bar and private pool is as cool as it gets.
Sapphire pool at Rio may not have the swankiest cabanas, but its definitely the most “adult” party pool — and the only one which will pick up your party in a limo!
• For Vegas’ biggest pool party, Rehab (Sundays at the Hard Rock Hotel ), renting one of their see-and-be-seen open cabanas is a good way to get you and 12 or so guests in faster — hope it’s worth $1,000 or more!
• And if you’re dead set on the swank spa-quality cabanas at TAO Beach (Venetian), the bleacher-style bed-bungalows at Bare Pool (Mirage), or the exclusive Venus Pool cabanas (Caesars Palace) on a weekend…then you don’t need my help!

I’ve been told to warn you: prices can vary for many reasons, and advance reservations are pretty essential.

Insider tip: There are a lot of amazing concerts and DJ events here Labor Day weekend, but one definitely stands out: Ice Cube at the House of Blues on Saturday, August 30. A true hip hop legend in a room that small? Holla.

Related Orbitz resources:

E.C. Gladstone is a former editor for AOLVegas, and interviews top
Strip entertainers, restaurateurs, moguls and behind-the-scenes
players for VEGAS Magazine. Like many Las Vegans, he sleeps only when
absolutely necessary.

Tagged: Las Vegas

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