Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Juan Ruiz
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Las Vegas has an abundance of hotels and resorts for all tastes and budgets. So when we decided to have our Level UP Travel meetup in Sin City, picking a hotel was both exciting and a bit overwhelming.
With so many options, and adding the option of paying with cash and/or points, I ended up getting a little bit of analysis paralysis.
As Las Vegas has rebounded from the pandemic, so have the prices. Weekend rates were astronomical, however, weekday rates (which is when I got into town), can still be a bargain — especially at luxury properties.
When I finally narrowed my options down, I ultimately settled on one of the most famous Las Vegas hotels: the Bellagio Hotel & Casino.
Let’s take a look at how I paid for my stay, an overview of the property, and whether or not I’d return.
The 3,933-room Bellagio Las Vegas is located right in the middle of The Strip, next to Caesars Palace and in front of the Paris hotel. It’s been a tourist destination since it opened in 1998 thanks to the famous Fountains of Bellagio.
The resort is located just 3 miles from Harry Reid International Airport (LAS), which is just 10 to 30 minutes depending on traffic.
I ordered an Uber after I claimed my luggage and was at the hotel in about 20 minutes on a Thursday evening. Other Upgraded Points writers had longer experiences due to later arrivals.
I mentioned how long it took me to finally decide on a hotel. Las Vegas is one of the few places (the only one in the U.S.) where you can stay at a 5-start hotel for really cheap, or free if the conditions are right.
I went back and forth between paying cash for a cheap hotel like Excalibur in order to get Hyatt elite nights, using IHG One Rewards points at The Venetian, or Hilton Honors points to stay at Crockfords Las Vegas, LXR Hotel & Resorts — which is a stunning property at Resorts World.
Then I remembered that I had a bunch of myVEGAS points that I have never used. For those who aren’t familiar, myVEGAS is a free casino game app owned by MGM Rewards that earns rewards points you can redeem for real prizes, including travel.
I have been playing myVEGAS off and on for years, earning points along the way, but I had never redeemed them because I hadn’t been to Las Vegas in so long.
When I checked my balance, I had almost 2 million points to use! You can redeem points for anything from drinks for 5,000 points to helicopter rides for 600,000 points. Since I had so many, I redeemed 150,000 points for 1 night at the Bellagio.
The process to redeem the points was pretty straightforward, although there is no real way to know if your “comp night” is eligible to use until you go to make the booking. If it isn’t available, you can always cancel and get an instant refund of your myVEGAS points.
Once I selected my free night redemption, I received an email with a link and code to use on mgmresorts.com, which then brought up a calendar showing which dates were eligible for comp nights. Fortunately, the night I needed was available.
After a few more clicks, I had my confirmation and the reservation was already showing in my MGM Resorts app.
For the night I stayed, cash prices were:
Despite being relatively cheap, especially compared to weekend prices, I was happy with my (truly) free redemption.
This can represent some great opportunities to earn World of Hyatt elite nights at relatively cheap hotels in Las Vegas. This also means you can redeem World of Hyatt points at MGM properties.
However, in Las Vegas, this isn’t always the best redemption.
For example, the Bellagio is a Category 6 property, so award nights cost between 21,000 to 29,000 points per night. With rates starting at $135 per night, burning those valuable points wouldn’t be a good value.
And since Hyatt redemptions aren’t always available when rates increase (often dramatically), it would take a unique opportunity to squeeze value out of award nights in Las Vegas.
Hot Tip: See where the rest of the Upgraded Points team stayed in Las Vegas!
One of the best perks of booking directly with MGM is the app and mobile check-in. Both work flawlessly.
Before my flight to LAS, I completed my stay information, added my Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (as it had an Amex Offer for MGM Resorts on it), and requested a mobile check-in via the app.
By the time I had landed, my room had been assigned to me and my digital key was ready on my iPhone.
Since I arrived by Uber, I was taken to a separate drop-off area in the lower driveway area. The driver pulled up past the famous fountains and then dropped me off in the dedicated area.
After navigating some escalators and revolving doors with my luggage, I found myself in the buzzing lobby and casino.
The mobile check-in proved to be a huge time saver, as there was a long line to check in at the front desk. Since I already had my key and room number, I just took the elevator straight to my room.
For those who prefer a physical key, there were kiosks by the front desk where you could enter your information and have a key printed.
Thanks to the Hyatt and MGM relationship, Hyatt and MGM elite members get reciprocal benefits.
As a Hyatt Globalist member, I status matched to MGM Gold, which provides the following perks:
In order to qualify for a waived resort fee, you need to book directly through MGM. Since myVEGAS is part of MGM, I had the $45 daily resort fee waived. Had I booked through Hyatt, I would have had to pay the resort fee.
I did not receive an upgrade, unfortunately. Had I had a rental car, I would have avoided the $30 weekday valet charge. But I could skip the line when needed!
Hot Tip: Traveling to Las Vegas soon? Here is how to maximize hotel elite status matches with Hyatt, MGM Rewards, Caesars, and Wyndham!
The Bellagio Las Vegas really is an impressive property. There is so much going on that it can be very overwhelming at first.
Besides the massive casino, there are restaurants, bars, show venues, high-end shopping, botanical gardens, and more, all inside!
Outside has a beautiful and serene pool area and, of course, the famous Fountains of Bellagio out front.
Here is a closer look at the amenities at the Bellagio.
This is probably not a surprise to many, but there is a very large casino at the Bellagio.
The Bellagio casino offers slots, poker, and table games (including blackjack) and the BetMGM Sportsbook at Bellagio.
While some hotels in Las Vegas are non-smoking and non-casino properties, that is not the case here.
The casino weaves its way through the property from the main entrance near the front desk all the way through the other entrances near the shopping areas.
Despite this being a smoker-friendly casino, I never found the smell to be too strong, as the air filtration is quite good.
Since the casino is integrated into almost every section of the main level, there was a constant flow of people making their way through from one end to the other. This gave a pretty good vibe to the property as I saw all types of groups (including families with kids) enjoying themselves.
Hot Tip: You must be 21+ to gamble. Children are not allowed to hang out in the casino, only pass through.
You will not go hungry at the Bellagio. There’s a plethora of good restaurants and quick service options to choose from.
For my quick stay, I only visited the Pool Café, but the list of Bellagio dining options is impressive:
The Bellagio Pool is a beautiful oasis in the middle of the chaos of Las Vegas.
Relaxing in the Mediterranean-themed courtyard quickly made me forget about all the neon lights and loud music just on the other side of the manicured gardens and lounge chairs.
There are 5 different courtyard settings, each slightly different, but all with the same relaxed vibe.
There was 1 main pool with smaller pools and Jacuzzis flanked off to the sides.
You may have seen that some Las Vegas hotels have day parties at their pools. This was not one of those hotels. The area was very laid back and family-friendly.
There was a small retail area with sunscreen, drinks, and snacks.
There was also a bar that served drinks all day long (and coffee in the morning).
And the Pool Café served sit-down meals throughout the day.
The Bellagio Pool is open to hotel guests and outside visitors daily from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Throughout the courtyard are cabanas, daybeds, and special lounge chairs that can be rented by the day.
Chaise lounges start at $40, daybeds start at $75, and cabanas start at $200 per day and can be booked online.
A true luxury hotel isn’t complete without a proper spa and salon. Anyone looking for a bit of pampering will be happy to find the critically acclaimed Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Bellagio Spa & Salon.
Located just off the main entrance, near the botanical gardens, and away from the casino, the Bellagio Spa “aligns its services with nature and gathers rituals from far-off places with ancient traditions.”
From makeup and hair services to full body massages and gemstone-infused collagen masks, there are treatments for everyone.
Bellagio Spa & Salon is open daily from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. and reservations can be made online.
One of the most popular (and free!) attractions on The Strip is the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens.
Located right past the main entrance of the hotel, guests and visitors can stroll through the stunning gardens that transform throughout the year thanks to the talented horticulture and engineering team on the property.
During my visit, the Fall Harvest display titled “Artfully Autumn” was featured and it was stunning. The experience paid homage to modern architecture and artists such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, and Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Passing through here is an easy and free must-do in my opinion when visiting Las Vegas — especially during the holiday season!
The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is complimentary and open to the public, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Although the Conservatory & Botanical Gardens is one of the most popular attractions on The Strip … the most popular is watching the Fountains of Bellagio.
Free for all to see and experience, whether from inside the hotel or just walking by, this 8.5-acre man-made lake is one of the most iconic and recognizable water features in the world.
With more than 1,000 fountains swaying and spraying water over 450 feet in the air, in sync with lighting and music, each show is as beautiful as it is unique.
Whether watching the fountains in the afternoon as sunset approaches or on your way back to the room after dinner backlit by the countless lights of Las Vegas, it is easy to see why they are so popular.
The Fountains of Bellagio have shows daily, Monday through Friday every 30 minutes from 3 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., and then every 15 minutes from 7 p.m. until midnight.
Saturday, Sunday, and holidays the shows run every 30 minutes from 12 p.m. until 6:30 p.m., and then every 15 minutes from 7 p.m. until midnight.
The Wi-Fi at the Bellagio was free, strong, and easy to connect to.
Whether I was in the casino, by the pool, or in my room, I had a great connection.
On my laptop, I easily got over 180 Mbps, which is blazing fast, especially for such a large property.
As you can already tell, there are a lot of entertainment options at Bellagio.
In addition to the casino, pool, dining options, Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens, and the Fountains of Bellagio, there are even more entertainment options!
Cirque du Soleil is known worldwide and this resident show, “O”, takes all of the incredible theatrics and acrobats and adds water.
Synchronized swimmers, divers, and characters perform in, on, and above the water to create a beautiful show.
Show schedules can be found and tickets can be purchased online.
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is where art lovers can find an ever-rotating exhibition of rare and famous pieces of artwork.
The gallery is open daily from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and tickets can be purchased online.
While the Mayfair Supper Club may be known for its good food, Mayfair After Dark adds a dash of energy to turn it into a late-night lounge.
A classy burlesque experience awaits, with live music, dancing, and good drinks.
Mayfair After Dark is open on Friday and Saturday nights and reservations can be made online.
After seeing the rest of the resort, I had high expectations for the fitness center — and I was not disappointed.
Located on the second floor of the spa, the fitness center is massive and overlooks the pool area.
There were plenty of Cybex machines available.
A great selection of free weights was on offer.
There was also a TRX training zone.
Despite the extensive equipment, I found very limited bike options. Noticeably missing was the super-popular Peloton bike.
However, there was a good water bottle refill station which is very important in Las Vegas where staying properly hydrated can be a challenge.
The Bellagio fitness center is open daily from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. for hotel guests only.
Las Vegas is a consumer paradise. You can easily spend your days walking through casinos, shops, and malls. So if you need some retail therapy, you won’t need to look far.
The Bellagio Shops are on the higher end of the luxury scale, so be prepared to be tempted.
As you can see, it is easy to part with your hard-earned money at the Bellagio.
I booked a standard King Room, which was my only option, and was also the cheapest option. Unfortunately, I did not receive an upgrade despite my MGM Gold status.
I was assigned room 5647 in the Spa Tower, which I learned was the non-renovated tower — and it showed.
The Spa Tower is back past the spa and Conservatory and a decent walk from the casino floor. I liked the location, as the slot machines and cigarettes aren’t the first things you see and smell in the morning when you get off the elevator.
The room is listed on the website as 510 square feet (47 square meters), which felt accurate as the room was a pretty generous size for a standard room.
When walking into the room, I was greeted with a small entranceway with a stone floor and a marble shelf.
The bathroom was immediately on the left and quickly showed its age.
The large wooden amenity with 2 small sinks was perfectly functional but lacked the luxury feel of the rest of the resort.
The big glass shower area was nice from a distance, but the grout was nasty and the tile felt dirty. Plus, the shower head was weak, so all of that space felt like a waste.
Multiple shower heads would probably be a better experience for a future renovation.
And I had no desire to use the bathtub as it was old and looked like it could use a deep clean.
Bathroom amenities were by Lanovera and were actually quite nice. I don’t recall using this brand before, but the soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and lotion were all good quality.
The bedroom area was nice and comfortable looking from a distance, but after spending some time in it, I couldn’t imagine how the hotel could charge $800+ for it, which was the rate for the night I checked out.
The king bed was very comfortable and I appreciated the blackout curtains, but there was not much more about the room that I enjoyed.
The chairs were old and stained.
The clock radio was an original iHome with an Apple 30-pin dock made for iPhones that were discontinued in 2012.
And there was not a single USB outlet in the room, not counting the one behind the TV. That is the most absurd aspect to me.
Besides those negatives, the desk was fine.
The 40-inch TV was decent but felt small. The renovated rooms get 55-inch versions.
The 1 piece of smart technology in the room was the minibar, which was stained and well-stocked with expensive whiskey nips. No, thank you.
Although I was disappointed by the room overall, I did get great sleep and I really enjoyed being an elevator ride away from a great casino.
Admittedly, I had very little interaction with the staff.
The mobile check-in and check-out were extremely easy to use, so I had no need to visit the front desk.
The limited service I received from the staff was either at a quick service restaurant or at the blackjack table and they were all very pleasant.
I think in general, Las Vegas is happy to have tourists back after seeing what can happen when they are forced to stay away.
In my opinion, the Bellagio has a little something for everyone. Couples, families, bachelors, and bachelorettes … no matter what brings you to Vegas, the Bellagio probably has it.
The location is unbeatable — many people travel to Las Vegas just to walk through this hotel and watch the Fountains of Bellagio.
Once inside, you have top-notch dining, entertainment, and gaming. And if you are staying over, the rooms are comfortable and the pools are a welcoming oasis.
Add in the fact that you can book with and earn World of Hyatt points (and elite nights), or even book a night with a free Facebook game like MyVEGAS, and a stay at the Bellagio doesn’t need to break the bank.
I really enjoyed my stay, and plan to visit again in the future, but hopefully in a renovated room!
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.
The price for a night at the Bellagio Las Vegas can vary greatly, from $0 comp nights to over $1,000. If you can find a cheap, mid-week rate, then yes, it can be worth it.
Yes, but you should request that they be credited during your stay or they will be delayed.
Players must be 21 or older to gamble in Nevada.
The Fountains of Bellagio have shows daily starting at 3 p.m. every 30 minutes and then every 15 minutes starting at 7 p.m. On the weekends and holidays, the shows start at noon.
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