Photos and Review by Oyster.com Investigators
Since it opened in 1998, the Bellagio has been scooping up awards -- Travel + Leisure, for example, voted it one of the 500 best hotels in the world. What do you expect from a 3,933-room Italian "villa" bordering an 8.5-acre lake that magically rises up in the middle of the desert. Its attractions -- the 1,200+ dancing water fountains, the butterflies in the botanical garden, the on-site Chanel and Prada boutiques -- have become a must-see for anyone visiting Vegas.
Along with the Wynn, Encore, Venetian, and Palazzo, the Bellagio is among the priciest and most luxurious hotels along the Vegas Strip. But unlike the nightly parade of twentysomething clubbers in thigh-high dresses at the Wynn or the Venetian, the Bellagio is a bit more conservative, drawing moneyed middle-agers for a dinner at Jean Georges' steakhouse or afternoon tea at the Petrossian.
The Bellagio is in the center of the densely packed three-and-a-half mile long stretch of hotel-casinos known as the Strip. On one side of the hotel is Caesars, and on the other side is the gargantuan CityCenter, which opened in late 2009. Across the street is Bally's and Paris. With such a prime location, most guests just prefer to walk to some of the most famous attractions.
To get to other attractions along the Strip, cabs are easy to find at virtually any time of day or night. A generally less expensive option is the Deuce, a double-decker bus that runs up and down the strip 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and costs $3 to ride. There's also a monorail system, which stops at Bally's, Caesars Palace, , the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Hilton, and the . A single-ride ticket is $5; a one-day pass is $13. If you're traveling along the Strip with at least one other person, a cab is often the least expensive option.
Virtually every hotel on the Las Vegas Strip is a 10- to 15-minute cab ride from McCarran International Airport; the ride typically costs about $15 to $25.
There's the luxurious bed sheets and the elegant marble bath thanks to renovations in 2011 and 2012.
The Bellagio has a main tower, which consists of 2,586 guest rooms; a Spa tower, with 928 rooms and suites, and nine villas, which are available on invite-only basis.
The Bellagio's main building wraps around its exclusive guest-only inner sanctum -- a manicured Italian courtyard with 52 cabanas, four whirlpools, and five clear-blue pools. Empty lounge chairs can be difficult to come across, as the pools are packed daily from noon to five. The poolside cafe serves full meals, and poolside drink service is available. But as is typical of many big Vegas hotels, pool waitresses are outnumbered by the throngs of guests. Expect a bit of a wait.
The poker room is a stop on the World Poker Tour -- then there's the high-rolling Club Prive with high-end spirits.
The Bellagio's sizable 100,000-square-feet casino offers all the popular betting games, plus a 150-screen Race & Sports Book and approximately 2,400 slot and video-poker machines. A stop on the World Poker Tour, the 7,000-square-foot poker room here sees some high-stakes action at its 40 tables -- as does the tony high-limit Club Prive, which offers its own exclusive menu of fine Scotches.
Tourists flock nightly to Bellagio's 8.5-acre lake and its over 1,200 dancing water fountains, musically timed to shoot water as high as 460 feet in the air to the tune of over 25 songs. Every 15 to 30 minutes throughout the day, the Fountains of Bellagio can be seen dancing along to anything from Elton John to the Hallelujah Chorus.
Cirque du Soleil's award-winning aquatic performance "O" has taken up permanent residence at the Bellagio; Cirque du Soleil enthusiasts can see it five nights a week at the "O" Theater on the casino floor.
The Bellagio is home to the Guinness World Record holder for the largest chocolate fountain in the world, at a mighty 26 feet and 3 and 3/16 inches. The Willy Wonka fantasy is the work of French pastry chef Jean Phillipe-Maury, whose shop in the lobby provides purchasable sweets for kids after they stare up at the mesmerizing dripping chocolate for an hour or ten.
Kid-friendly eats can be had at the Pool Cafe, the buffet, Cafe Bellagio, or room service -- but none, alas, have a kid's menu or even child discounts (the closest you get is that kids 4 and under eat free at the Buffet).
Safety is a priority. Lifeguards supervise the pools at all hours, and guests cannot go up to their rooms without showing their keys to a guard.
The family-sized Bellagio Queen comes with two queen size beds and accommodates four. Cribs and rollaways are available for nightly fees. Connecting rooms are available and can be requested upon booking, but none of the rooms or suites contain pullout sleeper sofas.
Of Bellagio's twenty or so restaurants, Todd English's Olives, Cafe Bellagio, and the Buffet at Bellagio typically pull in the most guests. This is because Olives is the most affordable restaurant with a view of the fountains, and Cafe Bellagio and the Buffet are among the few that serve breakfast (and also among the cheapest).
This 3,933-room Italian "villa" is the embodiment of Vegas luxury -- an extravagant five-pool courtyard; formal room service; a superb fitness center and spa; the best buffet on the Strip; and attractions like the indoor botanical gardens and the famous dancing fountains.