The Bellagio Hotel and Casino is an essential pitstop for every first-time visitor to the Strip. Built in the 1990s on the former Dunes Casino site, this Las Vegas icon was the most expensive casino construction in the world at the time. While its world-famous synchronized water show draws the biggest crowds, it’s worth venturing inside to explore the elegant Italian-inspired interior as well.

The palatial design draws inspiration from the Lake Como town of the same name. Elegant artworks and sophisticated sculptures lie peppered throughout the complex to reinforce the classy Italian theme. A massive recreation of Lake Como sets the scene for its famous water show, while Cirque du Soleil performs the aquatic spectacle O in the theatre. Add to that a lush conservatory, a fine art gallery, and a smorgasbord of high-end cuisine, there’s little wonder it’s among the top attractions on the Strip.

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What are the highlights and features of the Bellagio Hotel and Casino?

With 3,015 rooms in the original tower plus another 915 added in 2004, the Bellagio Hotel and Casino is one of the Las Vegas Strip’s largest hotels.

Without a doubt, the casino’s biggest drawcard is its world-famous water and light show, which takes place on an enormous 8-acre fountain and pool. The system, which reportedly cost $40 million to build, uses 1,200 nozzles and 4,500 lights to create a captivating spectacle for all ages. Aim to arrive during the evening to fully appreciate the show.  

The Bellagio’s other significant claim to fame is O, an aquatic spectacular from Cirque du Soleil running since 1998. The twice-daily show sees synchronized swimming and aerial acrobatics entertain a crowd of 1,800 spectators.

Another highlight is the casino’s exquisite lobby, the centrepiece of which is the Fiori di Como. Esteemed American artist Dale Chihuly hand-sculpted 2,000 technicoloured glass flowers that now hang in the ceiling above reception.

What are the best things to do at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino?

Gambling is the main attraction at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino. Slots are particularly prevalent here, with over 2,300 machines residing on the floor. Table games such as baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette are available, both on the public floor and in the high roller’s lounge at Club Privé. Big-name professional poker players like Doyle Brunson and Jennifer Harman frequent the invite-only Bellagio Poker Room, which is affectionately called “The Office.”

Gourmet gastronomy is an integral part of the Bellagio experience, where 16 excellent eateries serve all manner of cuisine. The best of the best is Picasso, a fine-dining French fusion establishment that’s earned 2 Michelin Stars and the AAA Five-Diamond Award – it’s widely regarded as among the top restaurants in the USA. If you can’t get a table, the award-winning Le Cirque and Michael Mina are worthy alternatives.

Good to know about the Bellagio Hotel and Casino

The Bellagio resides in the centre of the Strip and is a universally known landmark in the city. If the casino looks familiar, that’s because it set the scene for the 2001 blockbuster Oceans 11 and features in a slew of other famous films and music videos.

The gaming floor remains open 24/7, although each restaurant operates on its own schedule (book ahead for upmarket eateries).

The world-famous water and light show is free and takes place every 30 minutes in the afternoon (from 3 pm to 8 pm on weekdays and from midday to 8 pm on weekends) and every 15 minutes in the evenings until midnight. 

If you need a break from gaming, the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art has featured works by famous artists ranging from Warhol to Van Gogh (an entry fee applies). Alternatively, the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Gardens showcase a colourful ensemble of orchids and chrysanthemum set to a seasonal theme.

Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas

Location: 3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA

Harry Stewart | Contributing Writer