Hotel Review: The Bellagio in Las Vegas

If you dream of pampering yourself by living like the super-rich, then treat yourself to a stay at the Bellagio in Las Vegas. The spectacular and spacious lobby will take your breathe away as you arrive and register. The ceiling is adorned with a truly breathtaking display of 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers in terrific colors.

From the lobby you will catch a glimpse of the Bellagio’s conservatory and botanical gardens. But don’t hurry to get there. Save that visit for later when you can devote more time to casually meander around some of the most incredible flower arrangements and greenery you have seen. This is where couples get married, and around the edge of the garden are some eateries you will want to check out.

Far too many visitors to Las Vegas only know the Bellagio from watching the dancing fountains from the street. Let me assure you that as spectacular as that free show is, especially at night, watching the incredible fountain show from a room 20 or more stories up is about a hundred times better. The higher perspective adds immeasurably to the enjoyment, as does having the music playing in your room on a special television channel. You will find yourself mesmerized, sitting comfortably in front of your room widow. In fact, you will surely often rush back to your room from whatever else entertains you in Vegas to catch another water show. Hint: Enjoying this pleasure requires that you get a lakeside room, and only about 25 percent of rooms at the Bellagio offer that wonderful water show view from above.

Besides the water show there are many other reasons to spoil yourself with a Bellagio stay, especially the fabulous outdoor pool area. You will definitely feel like you are in some exotic place with huge trees, fountains galore and lots of birds flying around. Plus there are many pools and hot tubs, giving you plenty of choices of where to flop down. People watching around the pools is as good as it gets anywhere. You will soon feel that you must be vacationing along the Riveria, not in the Nevada dessert. Even when the temperatures soar, the ubiquitous misting cools you, and there are plenty of shady areas for those of us concerned about getting too much sun.

I confess: Long ago I lost the urge to gamble, yet I keep going back to Vegas because of the Bellagio. The dancing fountains and pool area are big reasons, and there are more. The restaurants at the Bellagio offer five-star dining that rivals what you can find in any major city worldwide. With its French-Mediterranean cuisine, Picasso is my favorite and I promise it will be yours once you try it. It is modest in size, very cozy and hanging on the walls are authentic paintings by Picasso. The food is absolutely to die for. Hint: Make sure when you get a reservation to ask for a table facing the dancing fountains, because they will be directly outside the lakeside windows. Like some other restaurants, Picasso is ground level and around the lake. Get the fixed-price dinner selection and you will depart convinced that you probably have had the best meal in your life.

There are nine other fine restaurants that will make you forget any prior commitments to watch calories. Another favorite, close to Picasso is the Prime Steakhouse, where you can satisfy all your urges to eat full-flavored meat. It tends to be somewhat noisier and less elegant than Picasso, but in its own way will give you a memorable experience. Besides the fancy restaurants there are many casual places to eat terrific food.

When your conscience gets the better of you and a little exercise seems needed after so much indulgence take a walk through the street-style shopping area, the Via Bellagio. There you will find a selection of some of the world’s finest clothing and jewelry stores, including Giorgio Armani, Prada, Hermes, Dior, Tiffany, and Fendi, for example. Never mind actual buying, just enjoy ogling the expensive merchandise and the beautiful people working in the stores.

On the culture side – YES, even in Las Vegas – schedule a little time to visit the Gallery of Fine Art. There you will give your aesthetic side some nourishment. At this time there is an incredible show of Ansel Adams photographs. There is no better way to appreciate the grandeur and majesty of the American landscape than through his black and white photographs.

And yes, if you want to see a big Vegas show, the Bellagio has that too. Still the best, in my opinion of the Cirque du Soleil shows is “O.” Even repeat Bellagio customers like me go back to see “O” because the show changes over time and continues to amaze. Hint: Splurge and get a seat close to the stage, because it really is even more spectacular up close.

If walking around what seems like a small city does not satisfy all your desires for exercise treat yourself to some sessions at Spa Bellagio. Trust me, you will not find a better array of exercise equipment. Better yet is the hot tub area. And if you like a good massage, then I can assure you that the Bellagio has recruited the very best personnel.

You get the idea. In truth, you never have to leave the Bellagio to have a fantastic rich-and-famous-style vacation, especially if gambling is not your thing. Though gambling in the Bellagio is also special; it is an expansive area and not as crowded as in other casinos. Get a lakeside room and the view of the Vegas trip will satisfy any urge you have to go outside to other hotels. Though that urge can easily be satisfied by not going very far. Across the street are several other fine hotels and casinos. Lastly, let me assure that whatever type room or suite you get, the furnishings are luxurious. Some people say that rooms aren’t important in Vegas. I disagree. If you want to splurge and live like you imagine only the super-rich do, you definitely want a room at the Bellagio. Bet that once you try the Bellagio you will return. That’s the safest bet in Las Vegas.

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