AAA Editor Notes
Bellagio is at 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. S. (at Flamingo Rd.). Inspired by the village of Bellagio on the shores of northern Italy's Lake Como, this $1.6 billion resort was the most anticipated major hotel unveiling in Vegas history when it opened in 1998. More than 15 years later—a time during which twin Wynn resorts and CityCenter made grand opening splashes—Bellagio's lobby arguably remains the Strip's most beautiful. Covering 2,000 square feet of ceiling space, Dale Chihuly's colorful, hand-blown glass sculpture “Fiori di Como” resembles some surrealistic upside-down flower garden straight out of Alice's adventures in Wonderland.
Just beyond the lobby is the real thing: the outstanding Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens. No less imaginative than Chihuly's glass flight of fancy, this whimsical and meticulously maintained garden's theme changes with the seasons, which means it's worth a visit every time you return to Vegas. The ever-present crowds bear this out.
In the casino, billowy, softly lit awnings above the game tables give the space a classy, European-inspired feel—although zombie-eyed slot machine slaves and rowdy frat boys stumbling down the aisles never let you forget you are indeed in Vegas. Out front is the resort's signature feature, the man-made, 8-acre Lago di Bellagio and its dazzling Fountains of Bellagio. Choreographed to music (songs range from “Rondine al nido” to “Luck Be a Lady”), some 1,200 water launchers create a mesmerizing water ballet that is hands down the best free show in town.
Food is available.