Over the Tasteful Top at Bellagio in Las Vegas

Let’s just say that after staying at the famed Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas, I am not surprised any more why it was included in the book “1,000 Places to See Before You Die”.

It IS over the top. And that’s saying a lot when you’re talking about Las Vegas—where almost everything comes close to the top.

One needs only step inside Bellagio’s immense lobby with its spectacular Chihuly glass “chandelier” sculpture to quickly understand they are entering a no-expenses-spared property (some 2,000 hand-blown glass blossoms comprise the work).

Photo by Donna Tabbert Long

Photo by Donna Tabbert Long

Of course, most folks undoubtedly have already realized this fact after witnessing the musically choreographed fountains on the 8-acre man-made lake out front. (Talk about super amazingly cool—in every way.)

The entire mega resort—an AAA Five Diamond hotel property– includes some 3,933 rooms, five swimming pools (set picturesquely in gorgeous courtyards), 65,000 square feet worth of spa and salon (pampering is encouraged in Sin City)—and oh yeah, a fitness area (personal training sessions can be arranged) for those more self-disciplined souls.

Looking for a bite to eat? Within the hotel, there are five “fine dining” establishments, six “contemporary” restaurants, four “casual” eateries, a handful of fast-type food stops plus a French patisserie–which I confess I stopped in every morning.

I ate at Bellagio’s Picasso restaurant several years ago on a different visit to Las Vegas—and it remains one of the most memorable meals I’ve ever experienced. Lavish and astonishing food was served while I dined surrounded by several original Picasso paintings. On this visit, I indulged at Le Cirque—and I would have to add it to my list of most memorable, extravagant and delicious meals ever. Exquisite service, accompanied by perfect courses, perfect wines, all ending with a charming tiny souvenir box with drawers filled with chocolate truffles to take away. If I could only splurge on one meal in Las Vegas, this might be the one. Even if you never hit the jackpot at the casino tables, (or better yet, if you do), this would be where I’d recommend an unforgettable dinner out in Las Vegas.

Le Cirque dining room at Bellagio

Le Cirque dining room at Bellagio

With all that so gushingly said, talking about the hotel rooms seems almost a letdown. Truthfully, not all the rooms match the glitz that guests might be expecting (especially after such meals). I would advise making sure of the room you are getting for the price you are paying.

But to match an over-the-tasteful-top dining experience, my room, a Premier Fountain View (I was upgraded) seemed perfect. It had the 40” flat screen t.v., ipod docking station, plenty of plug-ins, fabulous comfy bed and linens, beautiful marble bathroom with a lovely (separate) soaking tub. blank

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Still, lots of luxury hotels can offer such indulgences; the main reason my Bellagio room was so perfectly special and memorable was its most glorious birds-eye view of the magnificent dancing fountains and its fantastic view on to the Strip (I had my morning coffee gazing across the “lake” at the Eiffel Tower.)

Photo by Donna Tabbert Long

Photo by Donna Tabbert Long

Room rates start at approximately $199 and go upwards (don’t expect an amazing view without a hefty pricetag). Be aware that no matter what room is rented, there’s also a $32.40 tax inclusive “resort fee” tacked on to all room rates at check-in. This “entitles” guests to unlimited internet access, free local phone calls, access to the fitness facility and complimentary printing of boarding passes.

The truth is, even if you don’t spend the night, even if you decide not to dine here (but you should), the Bellagio is indeed worth a visit. After all, it doesn’t cost anything to watch the incredible fountain “shows”, admire the lobby’s Chihuly glass sculpture, smell the flowers at its Conservatory, drool in front of the world’s largest chocolate fountain (at its Jean Philippe patisserie)– or simply take a wander through its casino.

Like many of the best things in life, each one of those delights at this stunning hotel is still free. (Although strolling through the casino might be pressing your luck).

For more information or to make reservations, check the website. You can also compare rates at Expedia.

Review by Donna Tabbert Long who was a guest (complimentarily upgraded) when she stayed at the hotel. Photos (except where noted) courtesy of the Bellagio.

 

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