Saturday, May 25, 2013 | 2 a.m.
In the scorching heat of the Mojave, stumbling upon a tropical beach might seem like a mirage.
But in Las Vegas, it seems anything is possible. A neon beacon of luxury and excess, this desert city features several manmade sand beaches, some decorated with tropical flowers and dotted with towering palms.
As the city gears up for summer, here’s a look at a few places to find that tropical fix you may have been seeking:
VooDoo Beach — Rio
This sunny beachscape has it all: a sandy entry to four pools, waterfalls, whirlpools, three Jacuzzi spas and two bars. And every so often, the beach hosts A-list bands for poolside concerts. The best part? Everyone 21 or older is welcome: Guests and nonguests can take a dip or lay out free of charge.
Paradise Beach North, Paradise Beach South and the Nirvana Pools — Hard Rock Hotel
This $40 million pool paradise packs a lot of beach. Stroll over to any one of the three pools — Paradise Beach North, Paradise Beach South and Nirvana Pool — and you’ll find palm trees, flowers, waterfalls, daybeds, cabanas and real sand. At the Nirvana Pool, a guests-only pool, there’s a cafe, bar and grill. “The sand and beaches are an added element to give our beaches a true paradise feeling in the middle of the desert,” said Hard Rock spokeswoman Abigail Miller. Cover charges range from $20 to $50, but locals are admitted free on weekdays.
Mandalay Bay Beach — Mandalay Bay
This is might be the most luxurious beach in Las Vegas. Spread across 11 acres of the Strip property, Mandalay Bay Beach boasts 2,700 tons of sand, a 1.6 million-gallon wave pool and 100 rentable cabanas, daybeds, bungalows and personalized villas. Only guests from Mandalay Bay, The Hotel and Four Seasons Hotel are allowed entry. There is no cover except for concerts, which widely vary in price. Guests with a little extra dough can rent the entire beach for a barbecue. It costs $15,000 for 10 people and an extra $250 for additional guests. As a rule, parties max out at 30 people.
The Yacht & Beach Clubhouse and The Westin Lake Las Vegas Resort & Spa — Lake Las Vegas
The Clubhouse offers members and their families a white sand beach with a swim zone, an outdoor pool, cabanas, a lounge and a snack bar. A stay at Westin Lake Las Vegas (rates range from $150 to $700 per night, depending on the size of the room) gives guests access to the white sand beaches that line the manmade lake. Kayaks, paddleboards and boats are available for rent.