The Hard Rock Hotel’s Breathe pool keeps summer afloat

Breathe Pool Lounge
Photo: Erik Kabik / Courtesy
Jason R. Latham

It’s not yet June and there’s already a “last days of summer” sensation flowing throughout the Hard Rock Hotel’s 5-acre pool complex. That’s something we ought to get used to—a foreboding feeling of finality—as the resort inches toward its rebirth as Virgin Hotels Las Vegas.

“This is a transition summer for us,” explains CEO Richard “Boz” Bosworth, who’s overseeing the planned renovation and reintroduction of the resort’s legendary pool scene. Rehab Beach Club is gone for good, and while a new daylife experience won’t debut until April 2021, the beat goes on—for one last summer, at least—at Breathe Pool Lounge.

Heralded as one of the Hard Rock’s best-kept secrets, Breathe will spend its final summer playing host to blowout farewell parties and open format DJs—many of them local—offering an alternative to the Strip’s popular EDM.

“We want to have some fun this summer,” Bosworth says. “It’s the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, [and] we’re planning some live music—country western and rock”—to go with a DJ lineup that includes Damien Anthony, Yonny, Chuck Fader and Big Ben.

Breathe’s location lives up to that best-kept secret reputation. Positioned on a second level rooftop above the Nirvana and Dish pools, it’s far less crowded than your average daylife venue, with unobstructed sunlight and views of the Strip.

Once you’ve settled into your daybed, grab a menu and prepare to be pleased by the price point. Breakfast, snacks and sandwiches stay in the $10-$20 range, with platters serving up to five people running $65 to $95. Not bad for a group outing. “This summer we’re highlighting food,” Bosworth says of the expanded menu. “Personally, I love the Buffalo cauliflower, and we’ve got a firecracker chicken wrap that is crazy.”

For the thirsty guest, Breathe offers a bevy of reasonably priced specialty cocktails (the Bomb Pop is highly recommend), “skinny” drinks, shots, beers and “spiked” seltzers. There’s bottle service, of course, but Breathe eschews the typical daylife model, Bosworth explains, by not relying on alcohol and other beverages to make up 85-90 percent of its revenue. That means you actually get to sip your Champagne, rather than taking it directly to the face from the barrel of a water gun.

Drink up while you can, for as the song goes, summer lovin’ happens so fast.

BREATHE POOL LOUNGE Hard Rock Hotel, 702-693-5505. Friday-Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

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