There's a beach at the Bay

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LAS VEGAS -- You wouldn't think that in a city such as this -- surrounded by desert, that is -- that I would get excited about a bunch of sand. But I did.

Rather, it was the location of the sand -- in Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino's 11-acre tropical pool complex -- that got me charged up.

Sand on the Strip? ou bet -- 1,700 tons of it to be exact -- complete with row upon row of chaise lounges and a wave pool that is capable of producing waves of up to six feet, thanks to the wonders of modern technology.

When I visited, however, the switch must have been set to "gentle lapping" because that is what the water was doing on the Strip's only bona fide beach. must admit it was pretty relaxing to close my eyes, turn my face up to the sun and hear that sound.

The task of finding an empty table at the poolside cafe, however, was considerably less relaxing. he eatery, located smack dab in the middle of the pool complex, is the perfect spot for people watching and enjoying a salad or hamburger.

For poolgoers who don't necessarily want to spend their time searching for a table, the cafe offers service at all three of the property's pools, which are surrounded by lush tropical foliage and the occasional private cabana.

The complex also features a jogging track and a lazy river ride with inner tubes and a meandering current.

Clients should be advised to bring their room key with them if they decide take a swim or eat at the cafe because attendants at the complex's entrance turn away anyone who cannot produce the plastic card key.

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