I’m not a Vegas virgin. I have been twice before, but this time would be different; I was going with two of my friends. It was a long weekend and we were going to make the most of it. We booked a great air and hotel package to Las Vegas through Southwest Airlines that included a hotel stay at the Bellagio and free tickets to the Beatles Love, a Cirque du Soleil show. Vegas has much more to do than just gambling!
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There are a lot of hotel options available through Southwest Airlines, and we wanted a luxurious experience so we chose a fountain view room at the Bellagio. The Fountains of Bellagio shoot up to 420 feet in the air from the lake in front of the hotel and are perfectly choreographed to over 30 different pieces of music. I love the fountains, but for a trip to Vegas in July, there are some things that just aren’t as fun due to the heat – and the Bellagio fountains certainly fall into this category. So, I was very excited about watching the fountains from the room.
We took a Thursday early morning flight and went straight to the Bellagio. After waiting in line to check-in, we were told that regular check in was 3 pm and if we wanted an early check in there would be a $30 fee. We were fine with that and proceeded to the check-in counter. The woman that was to check us in clarified the earlier statement…the check in fee only applied if we checked in before 10 am. Since it was 9:40, we decided to just wait. I found it interesting that we were not given the full story upfront. Luckily, we asked enough questions. We went back to check in a little after 10 am.
Our Room at the Bellagio
They had a room available for us on the 25th floor of the Spa Tower. Once we got to our room, we wanted to check out the view. It took us a bit of time to find the controls for the curtains (which are by the bed), but once we opened them, we could see the fountains and the Paris hotel. However, in order to see the fountains, we had to look to the far left…not quite the view that I expected when I paid for an upgraded fountain-view room.
Moving on to details of the rest of the room: there were three of us staying in the room and there was plenty of space, even with our three suitcases. There were two small club chairs and one desk chair. The beds were comfortable. The bathroom was great, with two sinks and a large shower with a seat as well as a separate soaking tub. The vanity had shelves, and this helped us to be able to keep things tidy.
Exploring Las Vegas
We settled into the room and then we were ready to head out and explore. We decided to head to the Venetian for lunch. In order to minimize our time outside in the heat, we walked through Caesars Palace and the Forum Shops. The Forum Shops are definitely worth a visit. In addition to some great stores, there is a fountain that comes to life in a fiery display of the fall of Atlantis, every hour beginning at 11am. You should arrive a little early to get a good spot to see the show.
We crossed the Strip and had a lovely lunch at Bouchon in the Venetian. I had a croque madame and my friend, Rebekah, had waffles. Both of our selections were amazing. Even when I was full, I didn’t want to stop eating. The sauce was so delicious, the egg was perfectly cooked, and the cheese was melting all over the bread. Rebekah’s waffles came with caramelized bananas, whipped cream, Tahitian vanilla bean butter, cherry rhubarb jam, regular butter, and syrup. The Venetian also has a nice shopping area on the second floor, the Grand Canal Shoppes. You can ride on a gondola in the canals, which would be a nice option on a romantic getaway. (Our friends at My Cultural Curiosity go to Vegas every year)
After lunch, we walked through the Palazzo to get to the Wynn. We did a bit of shopping and checked out the flowers at the Wynn. The displays were pretty but had more fake flowers than at the Bellagio (which has a lovely garden area). We headed out from the Wynn and crossed the Strip to the Fashion Show shopping mall where we made a quick stop at Nordstrom. We eventually found our way out of the mall (through Neiman’s) and started heading back to our hotel.
First, we walked through Treasure Island, also called TI. While this hotel may not be one of the luxury hotels on the strip, it is in a great location and could be a good affordable option. Next, we walked past the Mirage. We figured we would explore it later in the evening when we would go to see the Beatles LOVE show. Then, we were back to the Forum Shops, Caesars, and then the Bellagio. It was a fun tour and walking through the Vegas hotels is a great way to avoid being outside too much. Next time, maybe we will try some of the more unusual things to do in Vegas.
Later that day, we were back in the room to rest before heading out for drinks. It was almost time for the fountain show, so I wanted to find the TV station that has the fountains music so we could hear it as we watched the show. Well, Google was my friend and told me the TV station. Unfortunately, that TV station no longer existed. I called the concierge only to find out that they had recently had a “system upgrade” and the station was not operational…well that sounds like a system downgrade to me. Without the music, the fountains are nowhere near as neat.
A little after 5pm, we went out to get drinks at Hyde. It was a nightclub, but I knew that it overlooked the fountains, so we waited in the three-person line and got a table right by the fountains (there wasn’t a cover until later). My other friend, Leigh-Anne had just arrived from a later flight. I went out to the casino floor to find her, and I found some ladies handing out two-for-one coupons for drinks at Hyde. I took two so we were able to get two free drinks when we went back. Hyde had the experience I had been looking for when we decided on the fountain-view room – climate-controlled viewing of the Bellagio fountains – complete with music!
I’m a big fan of the location of the Bellagio, and overall the hotel was great. I’d stay here again, but I don’t know if I’d spring for a fountain view room. Have you stayed at the Bellagio? I would love to hear about your experience in the comments.
- Check out package deals as you could save money or get free show tickets like I did – Southwest Airlines air and hotel package.
- There are ways to walk down the strip (going from hotel to hotel) without spending too much time outside. This can be really helpful especially during the summer.
- If you have time when you are in Las Vegas, consider a helicopter tour to the Grand Canyon.
- If you are getting drinks early in the evening on the strip, you can probably find someone handing out two-for-one coupons. You may also be able to avoid cover charges.
- At the Bellagio (and some of the other hotels), checkout is at 11 am, but if you call, they may be able to give you a 1 pm late check out. Additionally, there are multiple ways to check out so that you do not have to stand in the line in the lobby. We used the feature on the TV and it was very quick and easy.
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