The Bellagio in Las Vegas. This place is an institution and the subject of many movies about this casino town. In some ways, 21st Century Las Vegas is the Bellagio, it´s that big. It was inspired by the Bellagio resort on Lago di Como in Italy, north of Milan. When you compare it to some of the "big" casinos in the UK like Aspers Casino in Stratford- well, there is no comparison! Glamorous gambling dens like the Baden Baden Casino in Germany and The Ritz in London have all had an influence here. It's just that the Bellagio is in Vegas and, well, that means it's Big Baby!
Probably the most memorable movie to feature the Bellagio is The Hangover. When they first hit that amazing suite, the first thing that is said is "Now, this is Vegas!" Yup. And then you cut to the next day. That is how to totally trash a Las Vegas suite, Tyson tiger in all. The also visit the Luxor Casino, but that comes later- it´s not far.
So, as you can imagine, this was not the hardest thing we have ever had to do in our lives: review the Bellagio, because it lived up to its awesome reputation (and some). Many people only ever experience the Bellagio through its world famous fountain show at the front of the hotel (it´s possibly the best thing you´ll see for free in Vegas). You´d be mad not to stay there for at least one night in your life. Put it on your Bucket List!
HungOver in The Bellagir
The Bellagio is on the Strip opposite the Paris and next to Caesars- right bang in the middle of the action in other words- actually it dominates the strip when its magic fountains are going (or should we say Lake Bellagio- it was Pink Panther night when we were there). The actual hotel and casino is set back nicely behind the water feature.
The casino floor is huge, as you would expect, and so are the grand open spaces, but the restaurants and hotel manage to feel remarkably intimate- almost cosy. It might have almost 4000 rooms, but this hotel is slick and well run. And the whole place has service to match- we couldn´t fault it. Maybe a bit too slick but hey, that´s Vegas. You could also opt for the 8,000 sq. ft. three bedroom, seven bathroom Villas. These are the "room-lets" that are featured in the Hangover.
Playing Roulette at the Bellagio
All of the roulette tables (there are 1 in total) are American tables with a 0 and a 00 pocket. The minimum bets range from $10 to $25. The high limit lounge is called Club Privé- as you would expect, table limits are considerably higher in here. There´s also a higher limit room called the "baccarat bar" (they have roulette too). The minimum bet is $100 in here, but this is where you want to play roulette if you are serious about your odds, as they offer single zero roulette here with "La Partage" rule (effectively French Roulette but the betting layout is in English). This takes the house edge down to 1.3%
There are pools, a golf course, saunas, spas, some amazing restaurants and bars in which to ponder your best roulette strategy. Ity´s a wonder that anyone makes it to the casino floor.
The rooms at the Bellagio are legendary- even the entry level ones are over 500 square feet- not exactly pokey. And the design feels right- they haven´t gone for a cheesy Renaissance look here- it´s just elegance and great views of the city, especially in the "Tower" rooms.
And when you get hungry, or thirsty, you are in for a treat as the Bellagio has 2 AAA 5 Diamond restaurants (which is the highest rating in the US). Picasso and Le Cirque. Food doesn´t come cheap though in these establishments.
We headed for the Yellowtale Japanese restaurant. Good sushi, although we had better at Nobu. If you are on a budget, search out the buffets which are good value.
Having said that, a night in the Bellagio can be reasonable (for Vegas). You can get a deal for a standard room for around £100.
If you are up late, head to Hyde- designed by Philippe Starck. There are 10,000 square feet to explore! (Everything is BIG in the Bellagio).
This has to be on your Bucket List of you are a casino fan. On the roulette front, try and head to the higher limit tables in the Baccarat Room where they have single zero roulette, otherwise you are going to be playing American Roulette with a 5.26% house edge. Not good.