Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace Las Vegas
The Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis at Caesars Palace is a 21st-century thermae, or Roman imperial bath, as rendered by modern architects to the presumed tastes of contemporary emperors looking to splash out. The swimming area contains enough classical statuary, arches, and – most days – naked flesh to make Nero blush. Outrageous swimming pools may be a Las Vegas staple, but this one looms large as the best place to cool off on the strip.
There isn't much to say about the water itself – Caesars is strongly chlorinated, which seems smart – so it's what surrounds the pool that makes the swimming experience so singular. Unlike the spectacular rooftop pools that have proliferated in Sin City, the Garden of the Gods Pool Oasis is built on ground level. Why is this significant? The landscapers had a tremendous amount of space to get flamboyant, install full-size palm trees, and build weighty Romanesque structures.
The most striking watering spot in this garden is the Temple Pool, which is crowned by six massive columns that support a giant rotunda that shades a statue of Julius Caesar himself. As over-the-top as the presentation is, swimming under the dome is a spectacular feeling. Each of the other pools is named after a Greco-Roman deity and projects its own personality – one quieter, another (recommended) adults only, a third (not recommended) featuring swim-up blackjack. All of the pools receive great sun and DJs are always on hand to spin house music at a significant, but not unpleasant volume.
The complex gets crowded on warm weekend days, and while there's plenty of water, lounge chairs can become a hot commodity. Late risers should be prepared to pay up for reserved cabanas and chaise lounges. Or just stay in the water.
More information: A basic room at Caesars Palace costs around $150 depending on whether you're in town over the weekend. The pool experience is free for guests.