Lifescapes International

Resorts World Las Vegas Part 3 – Pools with a View

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An evening out – a world-class dinner and show with late-night gambling with friends, followed by a morning nap in the sun’s warmth…

Or perhaps your vacation dream is watching the world go by as you sip cocktails poolside…

Of course, you could watch your children play from the comfort of a nearby shady cabana or maybe just take a break from family altogether.

Our design caters to all these guest scenarios and more, demonstrating how the resort pool area is truly one of the most important draws at a world-class property. As Resorts World Las Vegas prepares to open its doors on June 24, we examine how we created what is arguably one of the most unique pool complexes in the city.

It is first important to understand how resort pool areas have evolved, especially in Las Vegas. Once part of ground-level gardens that wove around two and three-story hotel room wings, pool areas have moved up, as the dense properties have begun stacking uses to maximize space, often on rooftop podiums of gaming and retail. By putting the pool area on the roof, developers ensured that the space got the best sun exposure possible and wouldn’t be cast in perpetual shade by the ever-growing hotel towers. The stacked arrangement shortens the guests’ walking route and benefits hotel operations, because pool area support can be located somewhere below, and easily accessed via service elevators to drop staff just where needed.

Once we understand where to place the pool area, our next consideration is how to design a dynamic destination experience that caters to all travelers’ needs, while also offering choices that encourage multiple days of enjoyment. The pool area shouldn’t be one large chaise lounge parking lot. You can get bodies in chairs, but that doesn’t offer people a real reason to be there. Our extensive experience in design of this type has shown us we must create garden and pool rooms that break the large space down into segments so that every person feels a sense of intimacy and connection to water and people.

For the 5.5-acre pool complex at Resorts World Las Vegas, the rooftop challenges are also the reason it is so unique. Situated at the base of a curving hotel tower, with private villa gardens that project out into it, the pool area took on an arching, rambling form to meet the various hotel entry points and connect to fixed service locations. This is fortuitous because the flowing form creates a sense of wonder for the guest to experience as they move through the gardens. Not only are they greeted with dramatic views of the Las Vegas Strip as they enter the pool area from the tower, but the curved forms ensure that they never see the whole pool complex at once. This is the key to a successful design – create a sense of wonder about what is coming next. The feeling of mystery draws guests further in, as if the gardens go on infinitely. Our solution also worked perfectly because the meandering experience complemented the eclectic, upscale, beachy vibe that Resorts World Las Vegas was looking for.

Lifescapes’ design team (with the coordination of our Principal/Senior Project Manager, JoAnn Kusano-Millman, and the resort’s architect, Steelman Partners), was able to develop smaller, more unique pool garden environments to discover off the central arched promenade pools. These destinations still feel very much connected to the greater space, but are sheltered by lush planting, cabanas, poolside dining, and bars. All in all, the nine pools within five unique pool experiences allowed us to create moods and activities that cater to any guest’s desires. The offerings vary from water play equipment for family enjoyment to a garden that features pools woven through an open, casual grass area, dotted by palm clusters, where guests can sway in hammocks or play games. Raising the bar even further, a palm tree-lined connection shelters the most exclusive pool garden, offering glimpses of a specialty bar, cabanas, and an iconic infinity pool with broad, unobstructed views of the Las Vegas Strip. Roger Voettiner, our Vice President of Horticulture, designed the softscape so that every space is unique and offers a signature experience, while seamlessly knitting it together into an overall cohesive planting palette.

Only having pool areas for the general resort guest isn’t enough for a property of this caliber. Catering to the most discerning guests, it’s crucial that a destination like Resorts World Las Vegas offers private villas with outdoor pools and gardens that the VIPs can call their own. For the exclusive Crockfords Las Vegas Villas and Palaces, we designed gardens that offer private yards, pools and seating areas with richly layered planting, fountains, and art. These gardens offer complete privacy from the adjacent resort pool area through high walls, large stands of bamboo, and Carolina Cherry Laurel hedges, while shade and shelter from tower views are created by the broad canopies of Medjool Date Palms.

Whoever is coming to Resorts World Las Vegas, we are sure that they will find their own special moment of surprise, entertainment, relaxation, or play in the landscape destinations that we created. Seeing people experience and enjoy our designed environments translates to success for our clients, and is the ultimate reward for us! That time is almost here as we, like so many others, anticipate the June 24 debut of Resorts World Las Vegas!

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