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The Bellagio Return: Gambling, Sports, the Great Outdoors, and Beverly

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by UKFanatic, Oct 24, 2015.

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  1. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    My Trip Report

    As I work less and less, I find more and more free time. And there is only so much football I can watch on a Saturday, so decided why not write up a report of my trip last week to the Bellagio. While on the trip, I wasn’t planning to ever write a report, so I will do my best to recall the details. Here goes ….

    Brought the gf along on this trip. The ostensible reason for the trip was to celebrate my bday, but I never really need and excuse for Vegas. We set out last Friday morning on an early Southwest flight. Both she and I recently obtained pre check clearance and it was totally worth it. Between that and my SW A list status, we breezed through the airport. The flight was uneventful and I got a nice nap. Some annoying, eventful stuff started as soon as we landed.

    We stayed at Bellagio this trip. Any faithful readers of my trip reports might recall the issues I had during my last stay at Bellagio last year. I swore the property off, except for the occasional hit and run at the tables and the dim sum at Noodles. But my lady friend really likes Bellagio and it had been so long since I stayed there that the negative memories have faded a bit. Besides, I go to vegas so often, I usually want to accommodate whomever I am travelling with. So I was mildly interested in my return to the Bellagio. Too bad things started off on the wrong foot.

    We get off the plane, head down to baggage claim, and our limo driver is nowhere to be found (first world problems!). I call the Bellagio and they say someone is scheduled to pick me up and should be there. Wait around another 15 minutes and a driver finally shows up. Only it’s not a Bellagio driver or car. It’s an outside company. Sigh. That never seems to go as smoothly as a house car. In any event, the driver is a nice guy and he and I connect over the fact that his nephew played basketball a decade ago for a UCLA team I remembered well. Eventually, we get to Bellagio. That’s where the next problem occurs.

    We head to the VIP checkin and it is a madhouse, busiest I have ever seen the place. After wading through the chaos and reaching a desk attendant, they start to check me in. The attendant hands me back my cards and says we have a comped room for three nights checking out Monday. My brow furrowed immediately. I tell her that, in fact, that we are staying four nights and that my host sent me a conformation (which I proceed to read for her). She types at the computer for a moment and then says, no problem, we can extend your stay to Tuesday, three comp nights and the last night at a casino rate. Ummm, hell no! My host comped me four nights up front. The desk attendant tells me we can work it out at the end of the trip and I refuse. I call my host and put her on the phone with him. They talk for a few minutes and now I get my comped suite for all four nights.

    In the grand scheme, a transportation and reservation screw up are not the end of the world. But I was pretty darn frustrated with immediate problems, especially since my host had been trying to persuade me to come back to Bellagio since I stopped last year. This trip was their chance to impress me again and things definitely started off on the wrong foot. Let’s move on to better stuff.

    Went up to the penthouse suite. I have not stayed in them since they were renovated and I like the little changes. The suite had a good refresh and even the hallway on that floor was better illuminated and in better shape. I don’t think I took any pics of the suite, but I will check and post some pictures below. We unpacked and walked over to Aria for lunch.

    We of course went to our mutual favorite, Julian Serrano. Place was very quiet for a Friday. Ate some great food and I decided to stop in the high limit room for a little blackjack before heading back to Bellagio. That mistake was on me, lol.

    Things did not go well. Took out a marker for $10k at a double deck table and start playing purple chips. First two shoes I alternated between winning few and losing a few. Then came the third shoe. It was a killer. Didn’t win a single hand. I think I pushed once. But that was it. Fourth shoe was nearly as bad and I was busted before reaching the last hand. So I started this trip in a 10k hole. Then we crawled back to Bellagio with my tail between my legs.
    At Bellagio I made a prop bet on the Toronto/KC game (no runs in the first inning) which would eventually win and decided to try out the Bellagio blackjack tables. They were much kinder to me than Aria. After a couple hours, I had won back my ten grand and was feeling better about the trip. Took a quick break to workout and then clean up for dinner.

    We had dinner on the patio at Olives. Food was very good and the temperature was perfect for sitting on the patio. It was, however, a bit rainy that night! Our seat was fine, actually, but some of the tables near us got soaked. Still, it was a fun time.

    After dinner, my gf wanted to take a break and enjoy a hot bath in the room. So I checked out the conservatory. I really like the current display. Probably because I like fall colors. Anywho, I know I have pics of it and will post them shortly. I also swung by the BJ tables on my way up to the room and won a few thousand. So after a bad start, I ended the day ahead!

    Wake up Saturday and head to the sportsbook. I stink at betting college football. I lose to monkey with a dartboard consistently. But I tend to do better at SEC games than others, since I watch a lot of those teams semi-regularly, And in typical degenerate fashion, I decide I need some action for the day. Not wanting to risk much, I bet $20 each on seven different games. Wish I had bet more!! I win six, lose one. My only loss was Penn State plus the points. The other six wagers weren’t even close. Sigh. Should have bet more.

    After making the bets that morning, we have a rental car lined up. I am determined to venture off the Strip and check out something new or fun each trip. So for this trip I planned a trip to the Clark County Wetlands Park. I see it almost every time I fly in (the grassy area on the east edge of town, just north of Boyd stadium) and have always been curious about the very idea of a wetland area in the middle of the desert. So after a short drive, we find ourselves well removed from the hyperactivity of the Strip.

    I love the outdoors and thought the excursion was totally worth it. The weather was surprisingly bad for most of the trip, but it was pleasant and partly sunny that Saturday morning. Lots of short hiking trails throughout the park. We saw some wildlife, the highlight for me being a roadrunner that kept following us around (it was clearly interested in my saying “meep meep” toward it). There was an area of the park that burned last year, which created Halloween-tastic creepy sensation as we hiked past it. I also learned that there is one long trail that leads all the way out to Lake Las Vegas. Very interesting area and super-easy hiking if you want some relaxing outdoor activities in Vegas.

    After the hikes, we go back to Bellagio for some dim sum at Noodles. Excellent as always. I honestly cannot remember what we did the rest of the afternoon. It was a blur of blackjack and roulette. This trip was one of my best ever for roulette. A few really good hits, although no huge ones. Still, we hit something on almost every spin and left the roulette table up every time (which is rare for me).

    Saturday night we have dinner at Le Cirque. This is probably not a popular opinion, but I was a bit underwhelmed. My expectations were very high and it was good, just not as good as I was hoping. The décor was colorful and fun, which we both liked. I had a crab and caviar appetizer that was excellent. But my sea bass entrée was pretty average. Got the sorbet for dessert and it was very good. Overall, I enjoyed it, but not enough to go again. I like Mina and, maybe, Prime much more at Bellagio. For the price paid, I would rather just go to Robuchon.

    After dinner, we gambled a bit and digested. The gambling went well enough and I realize I am up almost $30k! So time for a break. We hop in the rental car, still wearing our fancy dinner clothes, and drive to ….. the pinball hall of fame! Because where else do you go when you’ve had too much to drink and are dressed formal, lol. Seriously, the gf has heard me talk about the place, so she wanted to check it out. We play for an hour until they kick us out and then head back to Bellagio. Play a couple more hands of blackjack and then it’s off to bed.

    Sunday in Vegas means NFL. I asked my host to get me a reserved seat in the new nonsmoking area of the book. So I get down there, place some bets, and check in with the hostess about my seat. Turns out, they reserved me a whole table with three seats, buts it’s in the smoking section. Not thrilled about that, but it’s still a reserved seat. Besides, with the extra seats, I invite my gf down to join me. She made it by halftime.

    I made several bets, including a couple large ones on the morning games and a large Over bet on the Colts and Pats that evening. But my Carl’s Stone Cold Lock of the Century … of the Week was the Packers minus the points. Arghhhh! That game just killed me. GB had multiple chances form the red zone on their last drive. If they score a touchdown, they cover. Nope. Field goal. I lose! Suck it, Rodgers. But fortunately I hit my other larger bets and, as a result, almost broke even. I can live with that.

    Before the afternoon games, though, my gf and I decide to go to the buffet for some food. As I get up from our table, I mention to the server that we should be back later and to leave my tab open (we had ordered just a couple drinks that morning). She says no, I have to close it out and pay the $250 minimum per seat. Uhh, what??? I tell her I set it up through my host, only asked for one seat not three, and nobody ever told me there was a minimum spend. She says it doesn’t matter. I tell her I am not going to sign anything authorizing that amount, that they have my name and room number, and that they can take it up with my host. Then we leave. I was kind of pissed. Nothing wrong with a minimum spend for a reserved seat. But in the past, I have had reserved seats in the books at Aria, MGM Grand, and even the freakin Bellagio and never had a minimum spend!! So if they changed the policy, so be it. But my host never mentioned that when I asked for the seat. So I sent him an upset text as soon as I left the book and he took care of it for me. But still, that’s the kind of stuff I want to know up front. In a lot of ways, that was the final straw for me at Bellagio. No plans to stay there again unless a friend insists on it. Just another screw up in a long line of screw ups. I am much happier at Aria, MGM, and Wynn.

    After the buffet, I decide to play some blackjack. Bad plan. I end up giving back all of winnings, to the point where I think I am down a grand for the trip. Sigh. Should have quit while I was ahead. Decide to cool off and take a break until after dinner and the show we had planned.

    We went to the comedy club at MGM and had a good time. The seats were front row, so the comedians screwed with us, which was fun. After the show, we go back to Bellagio and get some late night food at the café, which I always enjoy. Then, we hit the blackjack tables again. It goes much better in the evening and by 2am, I am up 30k again! And I swear to myself, no more gambling for the trip. We head upstairs and collapse.

    So our suite was at the end of the hall facing Caesars Palace. For reason I will never understand, Monday morning starting at 7:30 Caesars starts doing some construction work where they used a helicopter to transport large items around the property, including drop offs right across from our window. I can’t sleep through it and decide to go downstairs and break my rule about no more gambling for the trip.

    I start betting purple chips at blackjack and find myself up 4k at the table. I’m thinking, sweet, enough money to play more roulette when the gf wakes up. But I am greedy and dumb. In my mind, 5k sounds like a nice, round number, and I keep playing. The table turns cold. Ice cold! I start losing left and right, increasing my bets. Suddenly, I find myself down about 20k at the table!!! What! The most dramatic hand of the trip came shortly after that.

    I start a double deck shoe and lose the first four hands. But the count is very favorable. So I decide screw it, and push the remaining 9k of chips in front of me into the circle. Dealer gets a seven. I get two eights. Gotta play it right. Reach into my pocket, get out more chips, and split. I end up drawing to a 17 and 18. Well, at least I did not bust. I am hoping for one win and a push. Dealer turns a six to give her 13 total. I cringe as she turns the next card. Ace. I sigh and lean back in my chair. That was an ace I was expecting for me!!! Dealer turns a …. 10! Boom. $18,000 hand! But sadly, that was the only hand I won that entire shoe. Still, eventually ended up busting. So my happiness was short lived.

    I decide to change to the bac room and try the shoe game. I take out a marker for 40k and the shoe starts hot! The first hand was a crazy won where I split to four hands and doubled down on three of them. A few hands later, I pressed my bet up a bit and hit a double down! Fifteen hands in and I am back up 20k for the trip! The gf texts me that she is awake and I decide it’s a good time for a break.

    But since I never learn my lesson, after she gets up, we go back down to the same table that just treated me so well. Didn’t treat me as well the second time. Lost about 10k, but at least I had enough sense to remember that I am still up 10k for the trip and we decided to take a break.

    We walked across the street to the mall at Planet Hollywood, but don’t end up buying anything. After that, we decide to go ride the roller coaster at NYNY. The gf wants to stop in the Coke World as we walk down the street. I haven’t been in there in years, so it sounds like a good idea. And I never realized there is a second floor to that place! And they serve all the funky international sodas upstairs! So we go up there and take a little break. The international sodas come in a little sampler platters, but screw that. I want a Beverly! When I ask the cashier if I can get an entire glass of Beverly, not just a sample cup, she stares at me and asks “do you know what Beverly tastes like?” My gf cracks up. Anyone who has tried Beverly knows exactly why the cashier asked me that, but I am strangely fascinated with the stuff. So I tell her not to worry, I know what it tastes like and she pours me a whole glass, lol. I think I am the only person to ever order that much Beverly in Coke World.

    So after my nasty drink, we go to NYNY. The Noir card lets us walk right onto the coaster. They even ask us where we want to be in line. So we ride up front. It was fun. Then we walk back to Bellagio. The gf loves the tea at Petrossian Bar. I have never done it, but agree to. It was surprisingly good. The little sandwiches and treats were yummy and the black tea I got was of slightly better quality than my usual Lipton, lol.

    After tea, we spent the entire afternoon in the spa. When we finish at the spa, we still have an hour until dinner, so we hit blackjack and roulette again. It goes well, win another 9k, and this time I really do decide no more gambling for the trip. Very happy to go home up almost 20k.

    Dinner is at Lago. Third time I have gone there. I like it. Not nearly as good as JS, but still good. Plus, we had another patio seat right next to the fountains, which was a spectacular site. I will post pics of it below.

    After dinner, we grab a drink, I place a few bets for this weekend’s NFL games, and we pack up. The next morning we leave earl. Didn’t need to. Mechanical problems delay our flight home for almost two hours, but it’s all good. We still get home in time for dinner.

    The best news is that I remain up for the year. My TR from last month chronicled my comeback over the past few months. I don’t want to reverse that trend, but I have three more Vegas trips this year. I am thinking I will play big the next trip and as long as I do not lose my ass, I will probably play small for the last two. We shall see. Hope you enjoyed this read. Pics below ….
     
  2. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Here are some of the better pics from the trip ....

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    Always a classic

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    The conservatory

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    View from the room

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    The wetland park

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    Meep meep

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    My new turtle friends, sans swords and pizza

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    The book on Sunday

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    The view from Lago
     
  3. PayTriple

    PayTriple The Cucumber King

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    Great report, thanks for sharing and glad you won!
     
  4. rscpa

    rscpa Low-Roller

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    Great report and pics! Happy you won....
     
  5. jamesxnj

    jamesxnj VIP Whale

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    Awesome report...Can't imagine those swings,glad you came out on top!
     
  6. Tbone3336

    Tbone3336 VIP Whale

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    Congrats on the continued winning streak! Thanks for the pics, pretty neat the wetlands, never knew about that area.
     
  7. Kimsa70

    Kimsa70 High-Roller

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    Great write up! Congrats on the win!
     
  8. sindustry

    sindustry VIP Whale

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    Totally sucks how Bellagio dropped the ball, repetitively, this trip.

    I like how you go to Vegas under the VMB radar and give us awesome TRs and pics! I'm also a fan of JS and have wondered how Lago is...still haven't committed time to try it yet.
     
  9. NCAAHoops

    NCAAHoops Low-Roller

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    meep meep very enjoyable read. Congrats on the win. Can not see how the B can constantly drop the ball so I can understand the frustration. Hope you get to add to your winnings in the last few trips this year.
     
  10. sindustry

    sindustry VIP Whale

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  11. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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    Nice job swiping the win!

    And I just watched the soda video posted by sindustry...wow.
     
  12. UncleBen

    UncleBen Low-Roller

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    You've got a lot of patience with the B. I'm not sure if several small errors are worse than 1 big mistake. Problems happen but it's often how they are resolved that can make the difference. I guess the front desk clerk and sports book waitress didn't care too much about that.
     
  13. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    The menu at JS is larger and has more options I really enjoy. But Lago is very good too. May not eat there often moving forward, since its probably my third favorite restaurant at the property and Ido not foresee spending much time there. But it is goo and worth checking out.

    Also, I just recalled, the snack bar outside the sportsbook is currently closed for remodelling
     
  14. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    That video is hilarious. I'm the weirdo that actually likes Beverly. But I have also had the South African soda she drinks (the fourth soda). It is good too
     
  15. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    I forgot to mention that I also got screwed on the back end with a few of my charges. Had plenty of EC to cover it, but my host ignored my text messages for more than a day. No more Bellagio stays for me
     
  16. Slotchick

    Slotchick High-Roller

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    Fun read (with exception to Bellagio issues), congrats on the win!!
     
  17. RM777

    RM777 Low-Roller

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    Thanks for the TR, UK! Nice win!
     
  18. Packer

    Packer VIP Whale

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    Man UK you sure do fly under the radar. You have been to vegas as much or more than any of us this year. We really need to meet up one of these trips. Love your TRs. Might have to try the wetlands too as I never knew it existed. So happy you left a winner in gambling and you are up for the year. The bellag sure keeps messing with you. Really sounds like you aren't missing all that much if you stopped going there anyway. I used to go to the bellag the first couple years it opened and it was spectacular. Not so much anymore. After that petty move on there part last year I would have banned it then if i were you. I also stay and go to different places due to my friends/guests so I get that. Next trip I will try the beverly in your honor and report on it. Oh, nice 18k winner on the 8's! A year to date winner is always great. Thank you again for a great tr.
     
  19. UKFanatic

    UKFanatic The Arbiter of Taste Caviar Kid

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    Thanks. I am terrible about meet ups, as the few other VMBers I have met can attest to. I have definitely missed a lot more meetups and get togethers than I have made. Its my inherent laziness, lol. Part of it is that I also don't think I am much fun to gamble with. I mostly play the don't at craps and I always shove my bac bet out very quickly (usually banker) while everyone else is studying the board. I just think I am a pretty dull gambler. But I always post in my timers where I am staying and I usually wear my VMB wristband, so anyone feel free to come up and say hello if you see me walking around.

    The wetland park was nice because it was so easy to get to. Just drive east on Tropicana to the edge of the city and you are there. Pretty short drive from the strip. Not nearly as spectacular as VOF or Red Rock, but it was a nice little getaway from the Strip.

    As for trying Beverly, you sir are a brave man! Actually, since my trip in a couple weeks is at MGM, I might go over there and try the sampler platter. They have some international sodas I have never tried and a couple of my friends swear by Mezzo Mix!
     
  20. npom

    npom High-Roller

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    What is Beverly and what does it taste like?
     
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