Bellagio Las Vegas
3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, United States
My Rating: 91%
Price Rating: $$$$
Summary of Stay: The Bellagio is a landmark in Vegas and rightfully so. I’ve stayed at this hotel more than a dozen times and during each stay I find yet another thing that impresses me. But let’s start from the beginning.
As your vehicle pulls up along Las Vegas Boulevard, it’s impossible not to be taken in by the 8 acre fountain lagoon. In action, these fountains have literally stopped traffic as tourists want to take in the largest free show along the strip. With over 1200 nozzles, 450 lights and synchronized to various famous pieces of music, the fountains hit heights of over 450 feet.
When you pull up to the main entrance, you notice the large bank of doors that leads to the nearly 4000 rooms inside. Through the doors it is impossible not to have your breath taken away by the 2000 hand-blown glass flowers, by famed artist Chihuly, that adorn the ceiling. The vivid colors and intricate lines draw your eye upwards and past the lobby to the sun-soaked conservatory. The conservatory hosts seasonal floral displays of the grandest scale. Animatronic parts, waterfalls, larger than life animals completely made of flowers can be found in their often changing exhibits.
Because I treat gambling like a sport, I can bypass the check-in lines and go to the ‘Invited-Guests Only’ check in attendants. Unless you are staying at a 5 star boutique hotel in Vegas, you’ll likely have to wait in a line. But don’t worry - they move quickly and there is usually a half dozen attendants or more working to get guests quickly checked in.
There are a variety of room choices at the Bellagio - from private villas and presidential suites to resort and fountain view deluxe rooms. I generally get a Salone suite - which has a tasteful living area and an expanded bathroom with a tub that has a floor to ceiling window. This suite is roughly 850 sq feet and have varying views. The rooms live up to the 5 star standard and you notice it everywhere from the plushness of the towels to the stunning wall paper to the impeccable cleanliness. In 2011, the hotel spent more than $70 million on upgrading the rooms of the main tower, but honestly, the rooms have always been pristine when I’ve visited.
The Bellagio resort has an incredible pool facility for it’s guests. Towering cypress trees line opulent pools that looks like Venus designed them herself. Though the pool area can get busy and loud on weekends during summer, the rest of the time you’ll have no issue finding a pool chair and relaxing. If you plan to spend a day poolside, I highly recommend booking a cabana for added comfort and privacy. Not far from the pool is the Spa - which I have heard good things about but have yet to try.
I have heard people ask why they should spend much money on a hotel in Las Vegas when they are barely in the room. Well there are several important factors to consider. The hotels in Vegas are actually the main attraction. If you want to stay at a non-descript inn down the road you can, but you’ll be envious of the glamour and appeal and luxury of these hotels. And if you plan to spend very little time in the room, you better be somewhere you can rest perfectly and sleep well. Lower budget hotels aren’t going to have black out curtains, perfect air conditioning, sound-proof rooms and 24 hour room service. Finally most people go to Vegas for an average of 3-4 nights so splurge. Live the high life and treat yourself in a city that knows how to take care of it’s guests.
The Bellagio has some interesting history. It was originally conceived and built by famous hotelier Steve Wynn and was designed after Lake Como town in Italy. The property sits on the original site of the Dunes hotel - but after it was demolished and with a budget of $1.6 Billion, the Bellagio became the most expensive hotel in history when it opened in 1998. Two years later, Steve Wynn sold his company, Mirage Resorts (which owned The Mirage, The Bellagio, Treasure Island, Golden Nugget, 50% of Monte Carlo, and more) to MGM Grand Inc. for almost $6.4 Billion. Wynn went on to build a series of namesake hotels including the Wynn and Encore Las Vegas and the Wynn and Encore Macau. Steve Wynn is currently working on his third installment in Macau, the Wynn Palace opening in 2016 and Wynn Boston Harbour in 2018.
Highlight of the Hotel: One thing most visitors to Vegas complain about is how much walking they do. Hotels are built on such a grand scale that they actually look closer than they are. One trip I averaged 22 kms/day from walking around casually on the strip. The Bellagio is housed perfectly in the middle of the strip and across the street from Caesars Palace and their Forum Shops, and also adjoined to the City Centre complex via monorail. Whether down the immensely long hallways or half down the strip, you will be walking a lot. So take my advice and spend a premium to be close to the action.
Highlight of the Stay: The hotel is a mecca for all things entertainment. It houses the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art which regularly updates its exhibits. Here you find world class art from Picasso to Warhol, Faberge eggs to modern sculptures. The casino floor is massive but it also offers something for everyone. Although minimum bids at the tables are often higher than other casinos, the dealers are entertaining and charming and make it worth the premium. ‘O’ by Cirque du Soleil is still one of the hottest shows on the strip and is certainly one of my Top 3. Dining at the hotel is an attraction in itself with restaurants like Michael Mina (see review under Eats + Drinks), Le Cirque, Olives, Jasmines and the 2 Michelin starred Picasso. If you are looking for something more casual the Bellagio Cafe is a personal favourite but the Buffet is one of the best in the city. If you are looking for something more lively, there are several swanky cocktail bars, but the real jackpot is the two headlining ultralounges: Hyde and The Bank. Both venues are celebrity magnets and attract a sexy monied crowd. Dress codes at both are strictly enforced.
Drawbacks: Vegas can be a busy place and Bellagio is certainly one of the main hubs. While I love staying here, if you are looking for something low key, quiet and relaxing, I would likely pick another destination. Bellagio provides a romantic and whimsical place to stay while being in the heart of all the best the city has to offer.