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Wetting Chasers

With gorgeous designs and indulgent features and amenities, these luxurious hotel-casino pools take an afternoon swim to another level.

Michele Chiappetta
June 28, 2019

In the heat of our Oklahoma summers, there are few things more inviting and tempting than some time relaxing and cooling off in a pool. Unfortunately, many of us don’t have pools in our backyards. And sometimes a visit to the neighborhood pool or a local splash pad isn’t what you’re looking for. Thankfully, there’s another option for water time in the Tulsa area —three local casino pools, each of which offers a way to get cool and float on through the summer with ease.

What Tulsa lacks in coastline, it makes up for in aquatic playgrounds, and when it comes to the art of the pool party, any of our casinos — Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, Osage Casino Hotel, and River Spirit Casino Resort — are a great way to give yourself an escape from the routine for a day or two. And what better time to do it than when you can swim, sunbathe, and enjoy entertainment poolside.

Many Tulsa-area casino pools are as unique and impressive as the hotels that house them. Whether you’re after a wet-and-wild party or a serene spot to cool off, here are our three favorite pools where you’re guaranteed to make a splash.

What Tulsa lacks in coastline, it makes up for in aquatic playgrounds.
What Tulsa lacks in coastline, it makes up for in aquatic playgrounds.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa

Exclusively reserved for hotel guests, the Hard Rock’s pool areas provide a stylish resort feel. “We do cater to our hotel guests, and we maintain that area just for them,” says Jason Darrow, food and beverage manager.

The Hard Rock has two pool areas — a family area for everyone, and an adults-only area. At 100-feet long and over 3,400-square-feet, the main pool offers a Baja shelf that holds 20 in-pool lounges coupled with a connected 20-person hot tub. There are convenient lockers, poolside games, luxury cabanas, day beds, fire pits, and more on the surrounding 12,000-square-foot deck. Relax poolside in comfy lounge chairs and get a sun-kissed tan.

The full-service bar offers tasty frozen drinks, and the pool menu includes options like fruit platters and pizzas. For parties or privacy, consider renting a cabana or two — they seat up to six adults each and feature a refrigerator stocked with water and light snacks, a radiant heater, a barrel misting fan, a television and USB charging capabilities. Small events can be catered upon request.

There’s entertainment to be had too. “On weekends, we have a DJ playing throughout the summer,” says Darrow. And there are special events, like VIP dinners and pool parties, held for the Hard Rock’s One-Star Rewards Club.

“Our pool area has been a hit,” says Darrow. “It’s been packed. Guests definitely use it during the summer. You have the spa, the pool, the games, live entertainment, fine dining, a buffet… We have everything here.”

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa pool area.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa

777 W. Cherokee St. | Catoosa

River Spirit Casino Resort

Open seasonally, the LandShark Pool Bar and Tiki bar and dining areas of River Spirit recently endured rising floodwaters from the Arkansas River due to a stormy May and June. With the area scheduled to reopen to the public in mid-July, the tropical-themed pool area offers a decidedly beachy resort feel — with palm tree decorations and tiki-style thatched roofs.

Guests enjoy a swim-up bar that has been incorporated into a lower level of the pool. The Landshark Pool Bar features tables and stools in the water, so guests don’t have to get out of the water to enjoy a drink. Order a cold LandShark lager or a refreshing frozen drink like Havanas and Bananas (made with Cruzan aged dark rum, Bailey’s Irish Cream, crème de banana, and coconut purée). The Tiki dining menu offers tasty treats like shrimp ceviche, buffalo sriracha shrimp, turkey and avocado wraps, and personal pizzas.

Other amenities include lounge chairs, dining areas, and a gorgeous view. “There’s a beautiful fireside lounge and seating area so you can enjoy the beautiful vista of not only the pool but also the Arkansas River,” says Sheila Curley, a representative for the resort. There are also cabanas available for rental, with full food and beverage service.

If you’re not staying at the hotel, you can still request a day pass at the lobby desk to enjoy the pool and bar area.

River Spirit Casino Resort pool area.
River Spirit Casino Resort

8330 Riverside Parkway | Tulsa

Osage Casino Hotel

With a 97-by-60-foot, 120,000 gallon, family-friendly pool that comfortably serves 240 people, the Osage Casino Hotel just north of downtown Tulsa is drawing crowds for the summer. Enjoy a view of the Osage Hills and an indulgent resort feel that will have you forgetting you’re in the middle of Oklahoma.

Among the amenities you can look forward to are poolside lounge chairs, a tanning ledge, hot tub, cocktail servers, and a fire pit surrounded by rocking chairs. If you’re staying at the hotel and want easy pool access, ask for one of the 12 rooms that feature patio walkouts to the pool area.

“We have a poolside bar open Thursday through Sunday — 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” says Kasey King, the hotel manager. Food and drink specials are available, including appetizers, salads, sandwiches, cocktails, and smoothies. “The Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Pink Bikini and the Banana Hammock are favorites so far,” says King.

The casino hosts pool parties with DJ Kylie and live music, different fun and games, and giveaways, 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. every Saturday. And you can rent one of the six cabanas for the day — they come with five pool passes and complimentary water and cocktail services. And if you want to enjoy the pool without renting a cabana or staying at the hotel, you can obtain a day pass.

Osage Casino Hotel pool area.
Osage Casino Hotel

951 W. 36th St. N. | Tulsa