We stayed in the nicest place we've ever stayed on this trip--the Bellagio. It's smack in the middle of the strip and was the first hotel, when it was built in the 90s, to turn the corner from themed cheesiness to opulence. It worked for them. The place is magnificent.
Every hotel in Vegas has a "thing"--something unique and grand to draw the tourists. For the Bellagio, it's the fountains. In front of the hotel is a massive 9 acre lake*. In the lake are approximately 1,200 fountain nozzles that present a choreographed show to music every half hour to 15 minutes. Some of the sprays go 24 stories high. If you want to see a brief clip, click here and select Video Tour. The music ranges from opera to classical to Sinatra to pop. It's incredible to watch. If you've ever seen Ocean's 11, this is where they all stand at the end.
Here's a view I found online from the top of the fake Eiffel Tower at the Paris Hotel across the street (no, I'm not kidding). This gives you an idea of how giant the fountain show is.
Matt and I made sure to catch the show a couple of times. The first show we saw started, and we both cracked up when we heard the music: Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On. Really? Talk about cheesy. Still, the fountains were great, and as we left I said, "Well, at least if we see another one we know it can't be worse than that song choice!"
The next night we went out, and when the music started playing and we realized it was God Bless the USA we almost couldn't stand up we were laughing so hard. It's not that there's anything wrong with those songs--necessarily--it's just that we had hoped for something really fun or dramatic, and instead got sappy Americana. But whatever.
When you walk in the lobby, you're immediately captivated by this crazy, 2000 square foot hand blown glass sculpture hanging from the ceiling:
I LOVE this thing. Not sure why, but I can never take my eyes off it.
The other main attraction at the hotel, besides of course the casino, is the conservatory. It's a huge glass-ceilinged room with some of the most incredible flower and plan work I have ever seen. They change it out 5 times a year, but the workers are constantly working to replace old flowers with new ones, repair problems, etc. The only problem with this room is that everyone wants to stop in the middle of the walkway to take their picture, so you have to stop every 3 feet to avoid walking through someone's frame. Drives me batty, so I usually only walk through once.
There's also a fine art gallery, and a restaurant filled with Picasso originals, but those are for rich people so we don't go.
Our room was, as expected, lovely. There was a great bathtub, a switch panel by the bed to open and close the drapes and sheers automatically, and the best dang shower I have EVER been in. The water pressure is so good you can actually feel a breeze created by the velocity before you get in. They have turn down service, and you get tasty chocolates on your pillows. All the comforts that should be present in such a hotel and then some.
They have followed a trend that I find very disturbing, but which seems to have become the norm now in hotels. This is probably my single greatest pet peeve about staying in a hotel. In what must be some sort of cost saving measure, hotels never use fitted sheets anymore, Bellagio included. I cannot tell you how much this bothers me.
I am completely OCD when it comes to my covers. I admit it. They have to be just right or I can't sleep. I have been known to get up out of bed and remake the covers just to I can get back in and rest. At the top of the list of importance is that I cannot be having sheets all bunched up at my feet. Blech. Well, when a bed is made with a flat sheet on bottom instead of a fitted, this is practically inevitable. Matt has finally resigned himself to listening to me grumble constantly about this if we're at a hotel. I can't say I was surprised that the Bellagio is no different, but I was holding out a little hope that a hotel that can supply me with endless designer shampoo and lotion could spring for a dang fitted sheet.
All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed our hotel and its amenities. And if ever I get to go again, I will bring an iPod to listen to my own music during the fountain show if need be. And I'll bring a fitted sheet.
*I didn't make all the facts in this post up--I found them on Wikipedia, which means they must be true.