The Bellagio is one of the premier resort hotel casinos in Las Vegas. The hotel casino complex was developed by Steve Wynn (Mirage Resorts Inc), one of the pre-eminent Las Vegas casino entrepreneurs. In October 1998 the 36 storey, 3,026 room (including 270 suites), $1.6bn Bellagio opened. The hotel/casino was built on the 122 acre site which used to host the Dunes Hotel Casino and Golf course at the corner of Flamingo and Las Vegas Boulevards. In late 1992, Steve Wynn bought the Dunes for $75m and then closed it down and demolished the majority of it to build the Bellagio.
Construction of the Bellagio started in 1995. The resort’s design was inspired by the idyllic village of Bellagio which overlooks Italy’s magnificent Lake Como. In March 2000, it was announced that Mirage Resorts (including the Bellagio) has been sold to Kirk Kerkorian/MGM Grand for $4.4bn in cash. MGM Mirage merged with the Mandalay Resort Group in a US$7.9bn deal in 2004 (deal closed in 2005) and so the Bellagio is now owned by MGM Mirage & Mandalay Resort Group.
The hotel has a 12 acre lake, called Lake Como, which is filled with 1,200 fountains which run the length of the Bellagio’s grounds (1,000ft with spouts up to 460ft). Each evening on Las Vegas Boulevard crowds in front of the Bellagio are treated to a show of music lights
and choreographed dancing fountains (the fountain design was by WET Design). The hotel has a 14,000ft² 50ft high conservatory filled with exotic plants and garden for guests to relax in, along with a large indoor garden lending an air of tranquillity. When first opened the Bellagio had a $285m dollar gallery featuring many original paintings by famous artists, however, since Steve Wynn sold the Bellagio in 2000 this has been disposed of by MGM (the gallery still survives and plays host to selected pieces from collections across the world).
The resort buildings around the main hotel were designed to replicate a Tuscan village which lines the edge of the lake (52 cabanas, five outdoor pools and four whirlpools). These are all booked out as special deluxe resort rooms to the guest and underwent renovation in 2003. The hotel has a myriad of luxury decoration and one of the most well-known decorations is the 70′ × 30′ Dale Chihuly floral sculpture of hand-blown multicoloured glass, which is mounted on the hotel lobby ceiling.
The casino itself is 156,000ft and holds 173 game tables and 2,700 slot machines. One must not forget that the hotel is very much geared to the casino. An elegant VIP lounge is provided exclusively for casino customers (MGM Mirage players club) with guest tower elevators
solely for their use. The players in the casino can also receive complimentary meals and rooms if they spend enough.
The resort features a variety of restaurants all featuring panoramic views and providing both indoor and outdoor dining experiences (the Picasso has two Michelin stars, Le Cirque has one Michelin star and Michael Mina Bellagio has one Michelin star). The Bellagio features extensive ballroom and meeting space including ballrooms of 45,458 and 22,052ft² as well as
50 smaller meeting rooms. Each meeting space includes outdoor balconies overlooking the magnificent pool and gardens. There is 150,000ft² of convention space altogether, 19 restaurants, 15 retail outlets (42,000ft², 8,500ft² of gallery space, a 6,000ft² fitness centre, an eighteen station styling salon, the 1,000ft² Bamboo exercise room, a 1,800 seat state-of-the-art showroom, the south and east wedding chapels, Tuscany Kitchen (exhibition kitchen), a six storey parking structure, 5,000 stalls of surface parking, 15,000ft² of executive offices and 500,000ft² of employee and support offices.
The Bellagio closed its well known night club ‘Light’ in September 2007 and carried out a complete refurbishment in conjunction with The Light Group. The new night club called ‘The Bank at Bellagio’ opened on 31st December 2007 for a New Years Eve extravaganza. The Bank has foyer lined by Cristal Champagne bottles and a Champagne glass light fixture that reflects a kaleidoscope of colour. The main room of the club is multi-tiered with VIP booths lining the edge of the dance floor (8,000ft²). The club has two bars at either side of the club and a centrally positioned DJ booth overlooking the dance floor. There are seven other bars and nightclubs in the Bellagio.
The architects and designers of the hotel and resort included: Deruyter Butler with Atlandia Design (Wynn’s in-house design architect), Jerde Partnership (theme architect) and Marnell Corrao (contractor and architect of record). The hotel has added a further tower and a spa tower to its facilities. In addition, the hotel has undergone several partial renovations since it was first opened. Martin Harris construction was responsible for the renovations of some of the rooms in 2003, which cost US$110m.
The Hotel Tower and low rise buildings have a total of 4.8m ft² (445,920m²) and there are 71 elevators. The Bellagio Hotel and Spa Towers is one of the many hotels in Las Vegas that uses the ‘window eye trick’. For example
the Hotel Tower is 37 storeys high but is disguised as a 16 storey building.
Companies involved in the construction of the new tower included: Southwest Steel (structural steel), Culp & Tanner (structural engineer), Lifescapes International Inc (landscaping), Shen, Milsom & Wilke Inc (integrated communications technology and acoustic consulting), Texas Wall Systems Inc (curtain walling, panelling and flooring), ValleyCrest Landscape Development (landscaping), Jake’s Crane (lifting), Rigging & Transportation International Inc (transportation of materials), Century Steel Inc (formwork and steel).
New spa tower at Bellagio
On 23 December 2004 (construction started in 2002) a new 33 floor 119m (392ft) spa tower opened costing US$375m; the architects were Marnell Corrao Associates and the Worth Group. The tower includes 60,000ft² of ballroom and meeting space (including the 30,800ft² Tower Ballroom), 5,000ft² of retail space and the new Sensi and FIX restaurants. The spa tower adds an additional 925 rooms to the hotel’s inventory including: 819 standard rooms; 107 suites; and two 4,075ft² master suites (the hotel now has a total of 512 suites). Also associated with the spa tower is a 30,000ft² pool area expansion, a salon expansion and renovation in the low rise portion of the building and a new state-of-the-art 60,000ft² spa on the second floor. The new spa has treatments from all areas of the word including: Indonesia, China, Egypt, Thailand, Bali and native American. The facility has 56 treatment rooms with 12 skin care rooms with private showers, four Ashiatsu rooms, two Thai massage rooms, two Vichy rooms, two Hydrotherapy rooms, a Watsu room and four couples rooms as well as a meditation room and a men’s spa area. The new tower has given the Bellagio AAA five Diamond status for the seventh year running since 2002.
The deluxe guest rooms and suites all feature sweeping vistas of the resort lake, surrounding mountains and the Las Vegas skyline. Each room is elegantly equipped with custom European-style furnishings and art. Room facilities include remote-controlled cable television, stereo, electronic in-room safe and a lighted wardrobe section to accommodate full-length gowns. The writing desk is equipped with a two-line telephone and computer/fax accessible data ports. The en-suite bathrooms are decorated with Italian marble floors and surfaces, contain robes, a third telephone, a soaking tub and separate shower.
With the addition of the new tower there are now seven suite types including: Salone, Bellagio, Cypress, Tower, Penthouse, Lakeview and Grand Lakeview. These are decorated in a style common to the hotel using dark woods (mahogany furnishings) and a neutral colour palette with hues of beige and espresso but accented with stronger shades of deep red to vibrant amber. Italian marble is used for flooring and bathrooms. The suites offer high-speed Internet access, iHome clock radios, DVD players, multi-line phones, fax machines and flat-screen, high-definition televisions (30-50 inch). Other amenities include laptop safe, minibar, automatic remote control curtains and twice-daily housekeeping visits. The suite interior design was instigated by MGM Mirage Design Group.
The two 4,075ft² suites at the top of the new spa tower are called the Chairman and Presidential suites and these have floor to ceiling windows, 14ft ceilings, bronze panels and porcelain light fixtures as well as a personal solarium, L shaped bar to seat six, fireplace and indoor garden with fountain. Other features include a board-room for 10, two master bedrooms with private bathrooms including whirlpool bath and four televisions (20-50 inch) with DVD player controlled by an AMX remote control system.