Bellagio Hotel & Casino
3600 Las Vegas Boulevard South, Las Vegas, Nevada
By Chuck Hawks
One of the most talked about hotel/casinos in Las Vegas is the Bellagio, which opened in 1998. Bellagio is named for, and designed to resemble, the Italian resort town on Lake Como. The consensus five-star (*****) Bellagio was also awarded AAA's Four Diamond rating.
The Bellagio has many stunning features, foremost of which is the 35 million dollar computer controlled fountain (actually composed of 1000 individual water jets) in the middle of an 11 acre lake in front of the property. It literally defies description; you simply have to see this free water show, choreographed to music, to believe it.
Other highlights include the (over rated) 11 million dollar glass flower sculpture overhead in the lobby, the airy and spacious registration desk, very well appointed rooms, and the 300 million dollar Gallery of Fine Art. The latter includes works by Renoir, Monet, Van Gogh, and Picasso and should not be missed.
A huge glass roofed conservatory floods the whole area adjacent to the lobby with natural light, and contains a pond and thousands of flowers. Needless to say, the many restaurants and shops are attractive, upscale, and expensive.
The beautiful (and busy) Cafe Bellagio coffee shop, which fronts on the Conservatory, is an extremely attractive alternative for breakfast or lunch. It is expensive and the food itself is perhaps better at Monte Carlo, Mandalay Bay, and the Venetian, but a relaxed breakfast overlooking the Conservatory is an enjoyable experience.
The large and attractive casino is the quietest on the Strip, a miracle achieved by simply turning down the volume of the slot machines. Why didn't anyone else think of that?
One of the quieter and more pleasant bar/lounges on the Strip is just off the lobby, at the left as you enter the casino, and they stock Irish Mist, unlike most bars in Las Vegas. The total tab for constructing the Bellagio is said to have been between 1.6-1.8 billion dollars. Customer satisfaction is good.