Bellagio is just such a HUGE luxury hotel it is impossible to describe it, so let us look at some elements. Go into the lobby, the size of two tennis courts, and, says the gal, you look up to a massive decorated ceiling, Fiori di Como, which contains over 2,000 Dale Chihuly hand-blown glass flowers (the total area covered is more than 2,000 square feet). From here you go straight ahead to a giant glassed conservatory, with outsize flower sculptures and live music. You could also have turned right, into the casino, which operates 24/7, though pre-dawn there are more cleaners, polishing, and refreshing carpets, than gamblers.
The front desk is at least 100 yards long, and sometimes, like the beginnings and ends of conferences, there might be a wait. No problem, you can look through to an indoor garden, and while you stand in line managers come along with bottles of water, chilled towels and cookies (yes, this is a very thoughtful hotel, and you do get a feeling of a woman’s touch – the Bogota-born GM is Ana Marie Mormando). One manager was also watching the lines carefully and when he thought fit he flicked one of the ‘check in’ signs to ‘check out’, or vice versa.
I was in 16083, which meant room 83 on the 16th floor. I was right at the end of the corridor, which gave me a full 400 ft work-out between elevator and room. It was extremely quiet, and bright and light, with soft lavender and green shapes on fabric and one wall. I looked straight across to Caesars Palace or, to one side, the Rio casino, with mountains behind. I did have to be careful not to forget anything I might need. Add to the 400 feet the elevator ride and then a definitely complicated journey through the casino to get to wherever, say the gym (which opened specially early, five o’clock, during last week’s Virtuoso Travel week.
The leading Vegas resorts have a significant identifier, like the Eiffel Tower in front of the Paris casino-resort, and the Statue of Liberty at New York. Not to be outdone, Bellagio has an identifier, but it is different. Its eight-acre lake, in front of the luxury hotel, used to be a golf course. Now, designed by WET, the lake erupts every 30 minutes to produce The Fountains of Bellagio. The display is choreographed to such well-known tunes as ‘Time to say goodbye’, and as soon as one performance is finished crowds start lining up for the next… this is Vegas!