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Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas

published  First Published: 16/02/2010
Article written by: Nigel Brookson
The hotel was extended in 2004, adding a US$375 million Spa Tower, 928 rooms and suites, 5,575 sqm of convention space, a restaurant and several retail outlets. By the end of last year, all the original rooms and suites were also renovated. The property is managed by the MGM/Mirage conglomeration of hotels and resorts, which also developed the ambitious City Centre project on the Strip.
Arrival by car takes you up a sweeping driveway around the lake to the entrance, where rows of limousines are parked and smartly dressed porters stand ready to open your door. The huge lobby has a bank of reception desks to the left with queues of people waiting to check in and out throughout the day. To the right is the casino and beyond that the lifts to the bedrooms, while at the far end of the lobby is a glass-roofed conservatory with a garden of 20,000 flowers. Facing on to this area are several of the hotel’s restaurants.
The ceiling above the lobby is decorated with an explosion of giant glass petals in rainbow colours – a “chandelier” designed by US sculptor Dale Chihuly, whose pieces are also displayed in galleries around the world such as the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. As with everything in Vegas, the hotel can feel a bit overwhelming – as well as hundreds of guests passing through, there are countless visitors milling around, heading to the restaurants or gambling in the casino. The only way to escape the melee is to get to your room.
The property is located on the Strip (also known as Las Vegas Boulevard South), opposite the Paris hotel and casino with its imitation Eiffel Tower. The Bellagio is hard to miss, especially when the fountains in front are “performing”. Every 15-30 minutes, 300-metre high jets of water pumped from the 8.5-acre lake in front of the hotel “dance” to music played from speakers.
The following video was shot by me infront of the Bellagio, where the film 'Ocean's Eleven' finished.

McCarran International airport is 6km away, just off the southern end of the Strip – it takes ten to 20 minutes depending on traffic. The hotel has free valet parking (although a tip is customary) as well as a free self-park option at the car park to the left of the main entrance up Bellagio Drive.
Bedrooms vary dramatically in terms of the amount of space and amenities you get, with the best rooms often available only to “guests of the hotel” and therefore unbookable. However, even the lowest category rooms offer a selection of essential comforts such as good-size marble bathrooms with walk-in showers and tubs, well-stocked minibars (with everything from chocolate poker chips and Kodak fun cameras to Tattinger champagne and a martini kit), evening turndown service, and big, comfortable beds.
My Bellagio King room at the back of the hotel overlooked the swimming pools far below, but although it had a floor-to-ceiling window, it was not very light. It was also closer to 30 sqm than 47 sqm, and I found that when it came to working, the workdesk didn’t provide much space to spread out on. The décor was pleasantly neutral, with soft fawn-coloured carpets and walls, cream and ochre marble, dark wood furniture, and abstract prints.
According to the Bellagio’s website, there is wifi access throughout, but when I tried to connect to it in my room it didn’t work, and when I called down to reception I was told the hotel didn’t have wireless access. An ethernet cable was provided in the room but it cost US$12.95. (Internet connection costs US$14.99 for 24 hours.)
Although many of the bedrooms have flatscreen TVs, the one in my room had not been updated from the old tube variety. Other amenities included robes and slippers, an iron and ironing board, electronic blinds and drapes, air conditioning and multi-line telephones. In-room dining, available 24 hours, provided a decent set of options plus the chance to order on-the-go boxed lunches from US$20.
Higher category rooms offer all manner of upgraded facilities, such as whirlpool tubs, deluxe spa products, his and hers bathrooms, entertainment lounges, dining areas, wet bars and conference rooms. The Executive Suite lounge (7am-9pm) opened in January and offers guests private check-in, free boarding pass printing, internet, drinks and nibbles.
Eating and drinking options are plentiful – 18 in total – and some are of a very high standard indeed. Yellowtail Sushi restaurant and bar, which opened last year, is one of the newest offerings and serves modern Japanese cuisine. For an all-American breakfast, lunch or dinner 24 hours a day, Café Bellagio on the ground floor by the conservatory is a popular bet – and the queues prove it.


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