Bellagio

The epitome of quality, romance and elegance on the Las Vegas Strip, the Bellagio hotel offers luxurious rooms, gourmet restaurants and upscale shopping along with a healthy dose of cultural enlightenment.

The vibe:

Italian elegance, romantic, classy but not stuffy

What we love:

The Bellagio Las Vegas has some of the best free attractions in town. There’s a reason you’ve seen the Bellagio Fountain in TV shows, commercials and movies like “Ocean’s Eleven.” They’re awesome. Every 15 minutes to half hour (starting around noon), the fountains dance in carefully choreographed patterns to music including everything from Broadway tunes to timeless tracks we all sing along to.

People say there’s no culture in Las Vegas, but we beg to differ. The Bellagio’s Gallery of Fine Art has regularly rotating exhibits of paintings and artifacts. Past exhibits have included the works of Monet, mobiles from Alexander Calder, ceramics from Picasso and Andy Warhol’s celebrity portraits.

The centerpiece of Bellagio, located just off the main lobby, is the Conservatory. This is one garden you’ll be glad you don’t have to water. It takes a staff of more than 100 to take care of the thousands of potted flowers, trees and plants that make up the beautiful displays that change five times a year.

Chocoholics, two words for you: Bellagio Pâtisserie. This place serves up beautiful pastries, creamy gelato and more chocolate candy and truffles than you’ve ever dreamed possible. But the main attraction here is the world’s largest chocolate fountain. Yep, it’s certified by Guinness World Records.

Good to know:

The Bellagio’s focus on elegance and luxury means it’s not really the most kid-friendly property in town.

All rooms, with the exception of the 19th floor, are non-smoking; there will be a $500 – $1000 plus tax deep cleaning fee at checkout for those who smoke in rooms. Your best bet is to just do this in designated areas, like the resort’s casino, bars or clubs.

Because of the large lake in front of the hotel, the front doors are set back a bit from the Strip. That means you’ll have a short walk to get to the Las Vegas Boulevard sidewalk. Don’t worry though – as you’re walking you can be entertained by the Bellagio fountain.

The Bellagio hotel has some of the best restaurants in the world like the AAA Five Diamond Award-winning Le Cirque or Picasso and the Michelin Award-winning chef Michael Mina. That means the restaurants aren’t really for the budget-conscious. If you’re looking for a family-friendly restaurant or cheap prices you’ll have to go off-property.

All hotel lobbies in Las Vegas are busy but the lobby at Bellagio is at the intersection of some of the most trafficked thoroughfares in Vegas. You have people checking in, people headed toward the conservatory, people walking in from the parking garage, people walking in from Vdara, people walking in from the Bellagio Spa Tower elevators … you get the picture. A lot of people are converging on the lobby and the lobby is not large. Throw in tourists looking up and snapping photos of the stunning Fiori di Como glass sculpture by Dale Chihuly that’s hanging from the ceiling and you get a lot of people in one area. Our advice, be patient and watch out for luggage, selfie sticks and distracted guests.

There is valet and self-parking. Guests will be charged $18 per day for self-parking and $30 per day for valet parking. Rates vary.

Insider tips:

The Bellagio is all about luxury – even at their buffet. Elevate your all-you-can-eat experience by reserving a seat at the Chef’s Table at The Buffet. You’ll be greeted by the chef, get a specialty menu with things like artisanal cheeses, housemade desserts and tableside carving of meats. You can be waited on at the table or venture through the buffet line on your own.

Too much dancing in your heels last night? Save your feet some pain by taking the tram from Bellagio to ARIA, Vdara, Park MGM and The Shops at Crystals. It runs daily from 8 a.m. – 4 a.m., every seven minutes. The Bellagio stop is accessible from a hallway in the Bellagio Spa Tower just past the restaurant, Harvest.

The Fountains of Bellagio are one of the resort’s main attractions so to take full advantage, be sure to book a fountain view room. There are also several restaurants at Bellagio that have outdoor patios overlooking the fountains including LAGO, Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant and Lounge and PRIME Steakhouse.

If you love the fountains so much that you wish you had your own, you can…sort of. If you’ve got a spare $250,000, Hyde Bellagio, a nightclub inside the hotel, offers at special package where you can control the water show. You’ll get a 30-liter bottle of champagne (that’s equivalent to 40 bottles); a VIP outdoor patio table and a gold-plated box with a red button. Hit the button and the fountains dance for you whenever you want them to, even if it’s after hours.

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