The Bellagio might be the first name that comes to your mind, when asked to name a casino on the Las Vegas Strip. It has become one of the most iconic resorts n the Las Vegas Strip. Although some may believe this is a result of its feature role in the movie Oceans 11, those who really know will tell you the reputation of the Bellagio preceded its starring role in cinema. The Bellagio made news when it was built, when it opened, and it has become known for many things during its 20 years on the strip. Perhaps the most refreshing is that two of its top attractions are still absolutely free for visitors. The Bellagio fountain shows are known around the world, and today, the Beautiful Bellagio Botanicals, at the Conservatory, are becoming equally as popular.
Construction on the Bellagio began in May 1996, on the site of the former Dunes Hotel and Casino, and was completed, in October of 1998. It was a project developed by Steve Wynn, and built by his company, Mirage Resorts, Inc. By opening day, the Bellagio cost was 1.6 billion dollars, and since then it has been known as the first billion dollar resort in history. The inspiration for the resort came from the town Bellagio, on Lake Como in Italy.
The resort stands 36 stories, and houses over 3,000 rooms. Known for it's elegance, atmosphere, and fine customer service, it was awarded the AAA Five Diamond honor, for 15 continuous years, becoming the first Vegas strip hotel to ever surpass 10 consecutive years. The resort houses a casino, the exclusive designer Bellagio Shops, and 14 restaurants, three of which boast at least one Michelin star. A permanent fine art collection, as well as world class temporary exhibits, are displayed in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art.
With all of that, a stay at the Bellagio may be out of the question for many of us. But we can still get a taste of the atmosphere. The casino has the same 1 cent slots that can be found at any other casino. And, as mentioned above, it's two most famous attractions, are the two that are free. The Bellagio fountain shows take place every 30 minutes during the day, and every 15 minutes after 8:00 p.m. An audience gathers for nearly every performance.
And the star of this gallery, the Conservatory, is open to the public. At the main hotel entrance, the Conservatory is located just past the front desk. The displays change seasonally, so frequent visitors, can get a different stunning experience every few months. There is a one week black-out period between displays, to allow the gardeners and horticulturists to make the transition. Be sure to check the Bellagio Conservatory page, to know when the dark dates occur.
Beautiful Bellagio Botanicals
A friendly face greets us near the entrance to the Conservatory, encouraging us to come in, and enjoy the fun.
In mid-afternoon, the visitors can grow to a crowd, as you can see.
Finding ways to capture the beauty of the Conservatory, without all of the visitors was a challenge in the afternoon. Early morning visits would be more inviting for those seeking some serenity in the gardens.
But I was happy to catch these friendly faces.
My traveling companions and I had a running joke during our visit, performing a "Price is Right Showcase" move, for some of our showcasing images. We won't force them all upon you, but we had fun taking them. Here, Michelle showcases an acrobatic scarecrow.
At the back of the Conservatory, there is sometimes a promotional display, in support of the current shows being housed in the resort. This display, "Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee," was in honor of the Mohamed Ali program that was being featured at that time.
The name of this display was Proud as a Peacock. The centerpiece featured these two stunning and flamboyant peacocks.
Somehow, we managed to get shots of the glorious creatures from all sides, with very little human interruption.
We did the photo exchange with a friendly couple, taking their picture together, so they in turn took ours. So here we are, my friends and I also Proud as a Peacock, among these beautiful Bellagio botanicals, at the conservatory.
The Conservatory itself fills about 14,000 feet. It offers a colorful and vibrant escape from the buzz on the strip. The skill in design and horticulture craft displayed are quite impressive. If the opportunity to visit these beautiful Bellagio botanicals arises, don't miss it.
If you are looking for other fabulous things to do, be sure to check our main Vegas story, where we give you a LOT, in fact 101 Things to Do in Vegas. There are quite a few more FREE activities and events if you are trying to stretch the travel budget.
As for the rest of the Bellagio, the color scheme and theme of the gardens continue throughout the resort. In the main lobby, the lovely autumn hues make a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
The Bellagio chandelier, composed of handcrafted glass flowers, is also somewhat famous. Visitors from around the globe often stop for a picture with the chandelier behind them.
As an added bonus, we share our short video clip of the Bellagio Fountains show. Dusk was approaching, so the lighting is not the best, and you can hear the families oohing and aahing in the background. If we had good sense, we probably wouldn't share it, but we will.