Monday, April 19, 2010

VIP Lounge at Bellagio Las Vegas and Check In

Bellagio Exterior
(Logo ©MGM MIRAGE)

*Updated 19 April 2010: Thanks to Tripadvisor member t-bonz325 I just found out I was talking about a completely different lounge! Bah. Big mistake. Sorry folks! But the Executive Suite Lounge is almost the same thing, minus the special elevators.

Following the drive to Las Vegas and getting stuck in traffic, we finally arrived at the Bellagio. This post starts out the Bellagio review for Spring 2010 (who knows if we will return...), with posts continuing on the Penthouse Suite, Tower Deluxe Room, Noodles, The Conservatory, Bellagio Fountains, and Public Spaces. Of the entire series, there is still more to come. So hang on there! Too much to write, with so little time.

First off, arriving at Bellagio was simple. There were two entrances: one on Las Vegas Blvd. (aka the Strip), and the second one on Flamingo. The Las Vegas Blvd. one is the one you want to take if you are driving, as the Flamingo entrance only goes to the Port Cochere and the "through traffic" goes on a U-turn to where you came from.

It was almost a time warp as we headed into the parking garage. No high tech numbering system of how many spots were available (available at MGMMirage property Mandalay Bay, Palazzo, and Wynn- they should have it updated here!). Est. 1998 for sure! Even the text felt old to today's standards. Yellowish tones to the plastic and the green made it feel quite old.

After parking, we entered the Bellagio doors, which were heavy and all marked with the signature "B". Unlike the Mandalay Bay, the handicapped entrance was only operable by pressing a button, not by a sensor. Just as we entered, people were taking photos with everything Bellagio. The welcome sign at the parking entrance. The Conservatory. Everywhere!

The parking lot was to the left of the main building. Thus, if you were staying on the main tower, be you would be walking to the center of the hotel every time you arrived at the Bellagio from the parking lot to get to your room.

Entryway to VIP Lounge

What was the exception? A special VIP lounge, for people staying in the high level rooms- from floors 29-36 and the Villas. There were two entryways to it- one being straight ahead from the parking garage entrance. The other one was next to Noodles (I think) in the Casino. Both were unmarked, but the bluish tone of the door signaled its presence.

Interior View VIP Lounge Facing Inside
(Interior- facing the check in area)

Blurry VIP Lounge Interior Facing Conservatory
(Interior- facing the garden area, shaky hands)

Inside, we took a seat while one of us (not me) went to check in. Although I was fully decked out on Tripadvisor gear (plus my camera), I did not go to watch my companion to check in. Besides, last time he checked in without me, we got an extra bedroom for our villa at Pelican Hill (500 dollar bonus)! He is just very nice to the check in agent and never asks for a specific type of room (always works for a better room!). What could we get this time with some luck?

At check in, basically we wanted our rooms with not any suggestions- give us whatever you have, of course. My companion though did ask of the ability to switch to Aria the next day, as we deliberated about the darkness and agreed that for one night, it would be fine. What did the check in agent respond to this?

(paraphrased) "Although we are all under MGM Mirage we can not do the booking for you as we are all separate hotels. We can however keep the rooms for you for the next night for now while you look at the rates for Aria."

and so we agreed, and what else did she say?

(paraphrased) "Take a look around at Bellagio first before you make your decision. :)"

I think she would be really happy at this because this phrase let the Bellagio earn the rest of the accommodations money for the trip. Why? Because this prompted a visit to Aria before booking there. As I'll tell you later on, Aria was dark, especially in the first floor. So dark in the casino, that it affected the state of being from being happy to tired and annoyed (that is, me. I usually am always happy to walk through hotels. Not this one!). None of us wanted to stay there after walking through Aria's casino to find the SkySuites entry so we could ask for the next day's rates and compare to this place I am talking about. Although there were some sky-lit portions, most of the first floor was pitch dark. Ugh. I wished she would see us the day after checking out from the Bellagio so I could see her reaction of us not staying at Aria, but she was not there.

Anyway, getting back on topic, we got our line passes to the Buffet and the Cafe Bellagio, keys to our rooms (which were even listed as VIP), and that was it for check in after some more questions by the check in agent on show and dining reservations! Friendly and done well, and fast too!

Food Counter VIP Lounge

Of course though, we did not leave until we got some of the food and drink available. What was enticing right away? Chocolate covered strawberries. That's right, folks. Unlimited chocolate covered strawberries. Yum!

Chocolate Covered Strawberry and Ham and Cheese Brioche

So this is what I got before I went to our room. Very little, I know, but piling up on tons of food anyway would make me look like a cheapskate! Plus, I was sick and there was not much to choose from as most items were sugary. I took a chocolate strawberry just because I wanted one, and the ham and cheese brioche as I wanted something salty to eat and out of the two choices (ham and cheese or spinach) this seemed more tasty. Both were quite excellent. The chocolate strawberry had a ultra sweet, fat, and red strawberry covered in high quality milk chocolate and "dark chocolate caviar", as I learned at the Jean Philippe Pastisserie later on the day (8 dollars for a tin). Chocolate and strawberry go amazingly well together, if you do not know, and this was definitely that! Kids love it, adults do too. Flashback to the past: my manager at my school cafeteria who moved on to be a chef would make chocolate covered strawberries to sell. Definite favorite with the school for sure! Sold out within minutes. As for the ham and cheese brioche, it reminded me of JJ Bakery or Taipan Bakery's Ham and Cheese Bread. Very similar, with the brioche having multiple layers and a buttery interior. Bits of ham and cheese added more flavor. Yum! Later on, I did try the spinach brioche and it was the same bread but with a moist spinach topping with I think some egg as well for binding.

Side View Food Counter
(Same counter, different view with an employee replenishing food items)

Before we headed off to our room upstairs we also took some hot tea (a very nice selection here as well, from high quality brands) as well as some water. See the metal kettles to the left? Those are filled with coffee and hot water.

And of course, we took some time to relax as well, as the lounge is a perfect place to relax. There is a nice relaxing feeling inside, and the floral arrangements give off an nice fragrance to the lounge.

VIP Services Special Elevator Hall

We left afterwards to the rooms, and there was a special elevator hall for the suites. More pretty, with sitting space. After pressing the button to go up, an elevator was there! How quick!

But this is not the end of the post yet. I have more photos and info :).

3/4 View VIP Lounge

Food Counter Frontal View VIP Lounge

Because, the VIP Lounge's food counter offers more than what you expect. Yes, the main marble counter already has coffee, hot water, tea, honey from France, napkins, white and red wine, and the delicacies. But there's more! See the cabinets? They are there for a reason.

The top cabinets have multiple bottles of liquor (not that I want any as I am not of age yet), which are giant bottles of well. Smart customers went up to make their own cocktails and drink mixes. There are also wine glasses as well, so that you are not stuck drinking wine in a coffee cup, which some guests did so that they could bring their wine to their room.

The bottom cabinets are the drink refrigerator, with juices and beverages. The special part is that the soft drinks are made of glass, not the usual plastic. So enjoy! Take some home. And enjoy some there. Because you can't find them easily at the supermarket. The right of the bottom cabinets house the food for the day, which are covered by napkins. Anything that is accidentally not covered by a napkin is thrown away. An employee threw a cookie away after it had not been covered by a napkin and was off from the tray the cookies were placed in the cabinet.

As for a funny story about the fridge, there was a small girl who couldn't close the fridge. After getting her Coke, she proceeded to close the fridge with her feet, kicking the door in to the fridge (HAHA!). One employee fast walked with a running expression to then close the fridge door. Guess what? The door did not shut. What ended up happening, was that the girl then carefully closed the door with her hands. This time, the fridge door shut. Bellagio, you do know you need to fix the right fridge door on the first set of cabinet doors to the left? Because it only closes on certain circumstances, which most guests don't fit into.

Closeup Nighttime Delicacies VIP Lounge

And if you needed a better close up picture of the food items available, here they are. These items, the chocolate covered strawberries and the brioche, were only available during the late afternoon and the night. The selection of cookies (oatmeal raisin, macadamia/white chocolate, and chocolate), as well as the fruit were available all day.

Lunch Delicacies at VIP Lounge: Ginger and Mango

During the lunch hours, the items were switched to dried mango and dried spicy ginger. All of very high quality, again. Had a few pieces of each and was quite happy. The ginger helped with me being sick, but attempting to make ginger tea did not work as the hot water tasted like coffee. Coffee flavored water with candied ginger is not fun!

For breakfast, a selection of pastries, like croissants and danishes with fillings, were available. But no fruit platter or milk (skim, for coffee and not for breakfast) was available, so if you were looking for a full breakfast selection, you will be disappointed. But for those looking for a quick breakfast on the go, this will suit you well! Get a hot cup of coffee, and some pastries and apples, and leave. How nice.

Another thing about the food: take as much as you want, as the employees never mind you about it! They sometimes helped customers to make drinks, but that was it. Unlike Shangri-La's Horizon Club Lounge, you could get something and go, without any disturbance from the employees. Great for those who want to take some more items just for the room. Like us, and almost every guest staying there. Water, drinks, and food were often taken by guests to be brought to their rooms. Take advantage of it. It's included in your room rate, after all!

Conservatory View from VIP Lounge

To end the post, I just wanted to mention that the VIP Lounge also offers a nice side view of the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens. This feature of course attracted lots of people and lots of cameras- if you want less people, you'll have to visit early morning and not lunch or anytime later! Photo enthusiasts were there to take pictures of the Conservatory, and so were many families and people. Some took video. But anyway, of what probably makes the Bellagio so busy compared to the other hotels on the strip, is this Conservatory. A full post on the Conservatory with pictures will come soon. :) The current theme, until May 9, is Spring, which you see in the picture.

Flowers nearby VIP Lounge

And how are these flowers? They are right next to the VIP Lounge. What separates them is the window, which is see through on one side only. The other side, open to the main public, can not easily see inside to the VIP Lounge.

There's more to the VIP that I did not take pictures of. There's a separate bathroom and business services, including Wi-Fi, available. (Hmm...I should have not used the in room internet after all. 15 dollars in room, free in the lounge. I think). You can get more business service info and more info at the Bellagio website; it is practically the same as the Executive Suite Lounge but in a slightly different location and setting.

Next up in the series? Penthouse Suite/ Tower Deluxe rooms reviews and CityCenter.

Just came here? Read the entire trip series by following through this link index. (click)

Bellagio Las Vegas
3600 Las Vegas Blvd South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Tel: (702) 693-7111


This trip series posts are listed in order below:
Driving Scenes: CA-Las Vegas, Spring 2010
VIP Lounge at Bellagio Las Vegas and Check In
Bellagio Review 2010: Penthouse Suite on the 35th Floor
Bellagio Review 2010: Tower Deluxe Queen Room on the 35th Floor (Room Connector)
Walkaround: Bellagio, CityCenter (Aria, Jean Philippe Patisserie)- Las Vegas
Noodles (Bellagio)- Las Vegas
Fountains of Bellagio- Las Vegas
Pho Vietnam & Capital Seafood- Las Vegas
Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Spring)/ Check In Area- Las Vegas
Aureole- Las Vegas (Mandalay Bay)
The Buffet (Bellagio)- Las Vegas
Las Vegas Spring 2010 Trip Day 3: Caesars Palace Forum Shops and Driving Scenes: Las Vegas to LA

6 comments:

EatTravelEat said...

Original Comments:

Protocol Snow said...

Nice pics of that sweet executive suite lounge. I've been to Bellagio so many times but have never seen that lounge because I'm not baller status!
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EatTravelEat said...
Protocol Snow,
Thanks! I'm not of baller status either!
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tigerfish said...
OH I am so envious...
I don't dream of staying in Bellagio: it must be v v expensive.

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kirbie said...
Ooh, the executive suite lounge looks so cool! I want to stay at the Bellagio now.

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EatTravelEat said...
tigerfish,
Normal rooms are usually 149 a night but it doesn't make sense to stay in them as they are not as nice as say the Palazzo for the price, although Bellagio as a place is nicer than Palazzo. Suites go upwards from 200+ per night which if you look at it from a different perspective is ultra cheap as the same room in Bellagio for 400 dollars costs 1000+ in Asia!

Kirbie,
Yep, it is quite nice! Although more food selections would make it EVEN better! More food to talk about! Like how hotels do it in Asia.

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Protocol Snow said...

Woah, what happened to Mandarin Noodle Deli? The old owner sold the restaurant? Do the beef noodle soup and other dishes taste similar?

EatTravelEat said...

Protocol Snow,
Nope! It's completely different now. The old owner told us she was going to take a short break and be back about three months or so in the dining scene. But where will she open her new restaurant is questionable!
I just might post it today... maybe!

tigerfish said...

Thanks for your suggestions and tips! We usually stay in Hilton which just set us back by $49-69/night but I was thinking should be ok to splurge once in a blue moon. :D

EatTravelEat said...

tigerfish,
You're welcome! Some other hotels that are nicer are also about 20 dollars more or even the same but are much nicer with a more convenient location. Just all about looking for sales now, although it does look like room rates are going to go back up later on as the economy improves.

annepavao said...

Hello, I worked in the Vip lounge for many years, including when you were there, I wonder who assisted your companion:)
I just wanted to say you were right in the first place: that is the VIP lounge. The Executive Lounge is by the main entrance, on the left side of the front desk.
The VIP lounge is for casino players that have room, food and beverage complimentary during their stay.
The executive lounge is smaller, for paying suite guests.
The only difference between the two is that the Executive Lounge does not serve liquor, only red and white wine, tea and soft drinks.
I hope this helps future guests :)
I love how you write. It was very nice seeing my "home" again.

Thank you,

A.J.