The final night of the annual late summer trip was in a "partial lake view" Bellagio Suite located in their Spa Tower. We arrived around 1 PM and quickly were at the Front Desk. At the time I had made the reservation, there weren't any full lake view suites available, which are in the original tower, so I asked if there were any at check-in but they were still sold out. The clerk assured me that where my room was located, on the 28th floor towards the south end of the building, I would have a great view. Sure enough, we couldn't have asked for more. A full lake view plus views of The Cosmopolitan going up. In fact, it might have been even better than a room in the original tower due to being set back further from the Strip. As a bonus, it was $50 cheaper!
The Spa Tower is a little bit of a walk from the front desk and casino but is near the Convention Area and City Center monorail station. There was excellent security at the elevator at all times with a person checking keys and a key required to select a floor once in the elevator. I have noticed that to be slipping (or nonexistent) in many places recently and it was good to see at Bellagio. Once we got to the suite, it did not disappoint. It is a true suite with separate living room and bedroom plus a "his" bath with steam shower and a "hers" with a large Jacuzzi tub. There is also a half bath off the entry way. The room is decorated in dark neutral colors and is much more pleasing than the look of the older suites. It is loaded with all the latest bells and whistles like motorized drapes, 4 flat-screen TVs, DVD and IPod players. There is also plenty of other little touches; scales in each bathroom, robes and slippers in the closet and full toiletry supplies including razor, shaving cream and toothbrush. The couch was very comfortable and the bed provided the best night sleep of the trip. All in all, it was everything we expected from Bellagio.
Outside of the room, our feelings towards Bellagio change considerably. After checking in, we wanted a quick bite to eat. Your fast dining options are limited to one: "Snacks." Yes, that is the name of their snack bar and it isn't mentioned in the 28 page Dining Guide that is in the room. While it was quite possibly the best snack bar food we have ever had, $28 for a BLT, mini pizza and a Coke is ridiculous, even in a casino. A similar issue arose at dinner time. If your are not in the mood for 5-star dining, which is aplenty, your options are once again limited. It was late and we wanted room service as we enjoyed the fountain show from our suite. A quick look at the menu yielded very little that couldn't be called pretentious. We ended up jumping on the monorail over to Monte Carlo and ate at The Pub.
The quality of the room, the experience of the fountains from above and the beauty of the public areas make Bellagio (along with Wynn) the best Vegas has to offer. It's hard to not love the place. However, the total pretentiousness of the environment (afternoon tea and caviar in the lobby bar) makes it hard to relax and enjoy yourself. We are rarely top chef diners or turndown service people so those amenities are of little use to us and the ones we do use are not there. Having to leave for a simple casual meal or Starbucks makes shelling out for the luxury impractical. The quote to sum it all up came from Lisa... "We are paying for the inconvenience!"
If you are looking for a full-blown, money is no issue, luxury Vegas experience or are a $1000 a hand player; there isn't much that can top Bellagio. However, there are a lot of other hotels with nearly the same luxury but without the over-the-top budget or attitude. We were happy that we splurged for the one night in an awesome room especially since it's been almost a decade since we last stayed at Bellagio. But now it's back to many more nights at places like Mandalay Bay and South Point, which are much more our style, until our next stay in another 10 years!
The long-awaited Planet Hollywood and Flamingo maps have been posted on the Property Map page along with an updated Caesars Palace map showing the new pool area and mothballed Octavius Tower.
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