I missed my chance to rub sunscreen on the royal shoulders (and sell the pictures), but in honor of Prince Harry and Mexican Independence Day, I made sure not to miss one of the last weekends to party by the pool. Not the pool next door, where the leathery retirees battle the 10-year-olds for turf. A $70 million Strip oasis worthy of Steve Wynn.
Encore Beach Club wasn’t the first dayclub, but it’s one I hear about constantly for its incredible roster of DJs, heavy concentration of gorgeous “beach”-goers, world-class aesthetic and good pours even in blended cocktails. So I figured it was the best place to dip my toe in the pool club phenomenon. All I needed was a primer on attire and a guest who appreciated the finer points of waterproof mascara and Avicii. My friend Nick was the perfect plus-one. She’s a music writer, and the girl dodges traffic impressively in high wedge heels.
- ENCORE BEACH CLUB
- At Encore. Recess Fridays end September 28; Splash Dance at Surrender ends October 4; Daystar Sundays end October 14.
We made it into EBC just before the doors closed on a capacity crowd. It was one of those images that screams Vegas, a postcard of white umbrellas, sunrise-colored accents, tropical greenery and tan bodies in motion. They were in the water and under swim-up shower platforms, dancing to DJ Mighty Mi’s opener for the Swedish sensation. A lucky few enjoyed premium views and amenities from the cabanas and bungalows around the perimeter, while others sampled bottle service on white lily pads. One bungalow had a Jacuzzi overlooking the pool, and its inhabitants sprayed champagne on passersby before chucking bottles in the water (which EBC security took care of in about a second). The more I looked, the more I noticed the official red shirts of staff, doing everything from gathering soaked towels to delivering drinks. The venue is as well-oiled as some of the tourists.
Sizing up a Speedo fist-pumping his skinny lemonade, Nick said one word: “Spain.” We stuck close to the Spaniards, because they were sticking close to the stage. And it paid off. Avicii quietly climbed behind the decks, then blasted us with his soaring, rapid-fire smorgasbord. Nick pointed out that he sang the words to nearly every song, his right hand slapping the air in a gesture that looked almost like Star Trek’s “live long and prosper.” The crowd slapped and jumped along with him, getting tighter as the set went on. Nick was forced to get cozy with the only pasty, hairy back we saw all day, and after a few minutes of this sweaty tango she needed a smoke.
Standing by the pool, we saw a man holding a woman’s shoe, which he licked. He said it smelled like bubble gum and offered me a lick. Other guys asked us to take pictures for their bachelor parties or sunscreen their backs, the oldest tricks in the book. But we obliged. We were caught up in the mood of EBC. It was everything I hoped, though I learned a few things for next time: 1. Don’t stash anything in a planter; spend the $10 to check a bag. 2. Do bring your favorite underwear for later, but notice when they fall out of your beach bag. 3. Do your hair, but understand that it’s going to get wet. 4. Don’t steal Nick’s sunglasses, especially not in front of the cops.