In the continuing -- and perhaps a bit self indulgent -- Friday series here at the blog entitled "Lisa Likes", this week I want to share with you about our tremendous experience last weekend at the Bellagio hotel in Las Vegas.
First and foremost, let me dispell the idea that vacationing in Las Vegas means that I'm some type of "high roller". We chose to spend our family Thanksgiving in Vegas for a few reasons:
- The location is easily drivable from our home in Central California and easy for our son who's in college in Boston to visit via a direct flight.
- The weather this time of year is amazing - we had four days of bright sunshine and temps in the low seventies.
- The plentiful hotels and restaurants mean good deals for accomodations and meals.
- We don't gamble so it's easy for us to have an affordable vacation for a relatively reasonable amount of money.
During our recent trip, we visited the Bellagio for our second time. Our first visit came shortly after its opening in the late 1990's. While the Bellagio now has new neighbors to the South and a new "look" at the Planet Hollywood (formerly the Aladdin) across the street, it has withstood the test of time. I recall during our previous stay that it was less open to the public than it now seems to be -- I seem to remember strollers not being welcomed back then, but now you see many families visiting the lovely interior components of the hotel. The environment is still decidedly upscale and luxurious, but never to a fault. And the good news is that with advance planning, you can enjoy that environment affordably without breaking the bank.
Here are a few of my favorite features at the Bellagio:
- The location -- centrally situated in the midst of the Strip, the hotel has plenty of great nearby passtimes (if you feel like exploring!) Within a few minutes walk on either side you'll find plenty of affordable shopping, great restaurants, a movie theater complex, and even churches.
- The grounds -- incredibly beautiful! From the iconic fountains arrayed across its front side to its lovely pool area and gardens, the vibe is beauty. One of my favorite areas of the Bellagio is the Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, especially during the quieter morning hours.
- The fitness center -- it's free for hotel quests and packed full of the latest fitness equipment and helpful trainers. I loved using the Nike+ workout system with my iPhone for the first time.
- The staff -- from the personable young man who helped us check in at the front desk to the housekeeping staff who were friendly and worked around our schedule and left our room inpeccable, everyone was warm and welcoming. We visited during an incredibly busy weekend, and yet we were met with a consistently high level of customer service during every interaction we had with staff.
Add in free parking, great music, relatively little "sleeze factor" and a filtering system that keeps the air free of the smell of smoke, and you'll see why I'd return to the Bellagio in a minute for our next Las Vegas vacation.
Your turn: What's your favorite place to stay in Las Vegas? Where does your family go for a quick getaway?