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9/12 to 9/16 Venetian and Bellagio

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by sharoncity, Oct 4, 2004.

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  1. This is REALLY long and detailed. If you decide to read it all, I hope you enjoy it!

    Sept 12, Sunday - Limo picked us up for trip to airport at 4:00 am (eastern time). Trip to airport takes about 1 1/4 hours. Arrive, gate check our bags, go through security no problems. At JFK, they were having everyone with sneakers remove them. We were wearing sandals, so not an issue. Flight was good. We will definitely fly JetBlue again. There was a little more leg room, the personal TVs made the 5 plus hours go just a little quicker, and they gave you more snax/food for less money!!
    Arrived at McCarran at approx 9:20 am - ahead of schedule. A little mix up - Las Vegas Transportation sent 2 limos to pick us up! I guess thats better than no limos! But no problem, one stayed and I had no billing problems from them, so all is well. We quickly got our luggage and were on our way!
    Arrived at Venetian, left bags with the bellhop. Went directly to the invited guests line (because of a suggestion from here!) they were not accepting check-ins yet (9:30 local time), they suggested coming back around 11:00 am. So we headed to the Grand Lux. Walked up seated immediately, had a lovely breakfast of challuah french toast and Hubby had some sort of Mexican egg dish which was also good. Breakfast for two with coffee and tip was $32. We wandered around the casino for a little bit and headed towards the sports book. It was packed - opening Sunday NFL! Lots of cheering and a lively atmosphere. We stood for a little while, hubby plays Fantasy football, so he wanted to see what his guys were doing. I volunteered to go back and check the lines for check-in. Waited behind one person at invited guests line (regular line was about 50 people long with 7 or 8 people behind counter). I waited my turn and politely asked if they were accepting check-ins yet. Yes they were. As he was looking up my name I inquired if there were any strip views available. Yes, but it would be an extra $35/night. Hubby and I had already discussed it and said it would be worth it for an extra $20/night to have the view. We do stop to enjoy it and this was only our second trip to Vegas. So after I thought for a few seconds I said, okay I'll take it. He then said "Oh, thats okay, I can do it for no charge". Yes! A free upgrade! Its no big suite, but heck every room at the Venetian is a suite! I am feeling quite pleased! It is now 10:45 am and we are all checked in. We heade to our room (19-126). We had a view of the pool and north strip - TI show, Wynn's tower, Circus, Circus, FashionShow Mall.... VERY nice room. The bathrooms here are incredible. We stayed in Venezia Tower last year. The only difference I noted was the showers in Venezia have the extra jets that hit you mid-back (REALLY nice feature) and they have nightly turn down service. Thru a snail mail offer I got the room for $99/night. It included a $25 dining credit and $25 match play credit, so it was like a $75/night rate!

    After waiting for our bags, we headed over to the IP for our rental car. Budget has on office there. We rented a midsize for a day as hubby wanted to head out to Las Vegas MotorSpeedway for the Richard Petty Expierence ( he is a HUGE NASCAR fan). So we got the car and headed towrds I-15. Note - Budget did not give us a map that was of any use. I fortunately had printed out directions at home, so we knew where we were going. Hubby did the $99 ride along were someone drives you around the track for 3 laps at 150 mph. He said it was absolutely incredible and he can't wait to someday go to school were he gets to drive the car for 8 laps. (They have that there as well, but he decided to just go for the $99 one this trip, the other costs $399!) We did that at about 1:30 pm. Then it was back to the Venetian. We valet parked the car since we wouldn't be using it again until tomorrow morning.
    About 3:00 pm, we headed over to Taqueria Canonita for a few drinks and chips. Bartenders were very friendly and we enjoyed ourselves! The chips were served warm and the salsa was awesome! We headed back to the room and napped from about 5 - 7 pm (remember - we are on east coast time!) We had a 9:00 pm reservation at Kokomos at Mirage. walked over,arrived about 20 min early, but they were running ontime. Told us to come back in 20 min. So we hit the VP machines for a little while. $5 in for each of us -nothing! Oh well! On to dinner. Hubby had clams on the 1/2 shell as appetizer (served in the huge martini glass filled with glowing blue ice) and I had the lobster bisque. Hubby had Prime Rib with side of mashed potatoes, I had roasted chicken with fried rice lump crab. Everything was very good. Lovely atmosphere as well! we had 1 glass of wine, 1 beer and 2 coffees. Bill came to $146 with the tip. BTW, I really liked the Mirage. I liked the feel of the casino and the Hotel itself is very pretty. I would definitely like to stay here one day!
    From the Mirage, we walked down to Bellagio. Vegahost had put us on the guest list for Light here for Sunday night. Walked up, asked for the appropriate person and went right in. Props to Vegashost! You should note, the guys in front of us were "on the list" and ended up not going in because they were still being charged a cover and were not happy. No one asked us for any cover charge. The group was all guys, and the people in line were also all guys in their 20's. Definitely harder to get in if you are all guys. We were ther from 11 - 12 am. Definitely a happening spot on a Sunday - good crowd, good music. We enjoyed it but we were absolutely beat having had 2 hours sleep in the last 24 hours! Walked back to Venetian and called it a night!

    Sept 13, Monday
    Up at 8 am and decided to get the car to head to Hoover Dam. Again, no map! Fortunately, I had a guide book that gave some basic driving instructions and we got there no problem. Stopped at McDonalds for breakfast on the way. Took the Dam tour which took about 1 1/2 hours. Left the Dam at 12:15, drove back and returned the car at IP. Ran back over to Venetian and just made it to Canyon Ranch Spa at 1:40 for a 2:00 pm appointment. Had a wonderful massage and very relaxing sauna and jacuzzi. Really enjoyed myself! Can't compare it to any others as it was my first massage, but hopefully not my last! I was back to the room at 4:15. Hubby had hit the casino while I was at the spa. Since he wasn't there when I returned, I had high hopes on big winnings! But, alas, he had lost his money quickly and headed back to Taqueria Canonita for a few beers. Had the same bartender as yesterday, so the conversation just continued. The guy sitting next to him was a dealer at NYNY who had brought a friend to the Venetian for an interview. Hubby enjoyed talking with him regarding how they are payed, most coveted place to deal.....He came back to the room about 5 feeling mighty fine!
    I was starving - nothing to eat since 10 am - so we headed to food court because hubby had just ate a whole bowl of chips and salsa and wasn't really hungry. We ate at Panda Express for $15. Saved a whole bunch of money and it really wasn't too bad.
    Took a taxi to Freemont St. around 6:00. ($17 with tip) Wandered around, had GG shrimp for $.99, a yard of Sex on the Beach for $6. (BTW, the tall frozen drinks with the staps on them are sold at the Hawian Market Place) Tried a bunch of different slot machines as I wandered - up about $25 from downtown. Took a taxi back to Venetian ($15 w/ tip) It was 8:30 and hubby was done; he headed to room and I went to gamble. Headed over to players club to claim my $25 match play. Then I found a $.25 WOF and used the credit there. Hit only one Spin and got 20 credits - big deal. Moved on to some VP, and I'm up about $8. Found a regular slot machine and played for another hour - up about $15. Then I decided I wanted some dessert. Walked around for a while, couldn't find anything I was interested in. Ended up with some choc covered strawberries that were WAY over priced. Headed up to the room and enjoyed them while I watched the TI show from the room.

    Sept 14, Tuesday
    Up early - ordered coffee in room as we had a $25 dining credit with our rate. A large pot of coffee from room service goes for about $14! Added the smallest blueberry muffin and apple strudel you've ever seen and there goes the $25 credit!! Headed over to Mirage and Cravings for breakfast at 8:15 am. Little bit of a line - maybe 10 min wait. There were 10 stations open. Food was good, but not as good as Paris IMHO. Also, if that big room were filled, I would imagine it must be very loud and cafeteria-like. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed it and I would certainly go back, it just is not my favorite breakfast buffet. Then headed back to Venetian to finish packing and move to the Bellagio. Arrived at B about 10 am. Some people hanging around in lobby, no lines to speak of. Waited for a free desk person and asked if we would be able to check-in - YES! We had a room on the 18th floor overlooking the fountains (we had paid the extra to recive the view when we made the ressies - $159/night fountainview.) We were in our room by 10:20, bell hop brought the bags - he was very nice and friendly (he mentioned you could have a fridge brought to room by housekeeping if desired)
    The big question everyone has asked us - which hotel did we prefer, Venetian or Bellagio. Have to say I liked them both and can't pick one over the other. Bellagio - fountains, fountains, fountains! I really enjoyed watching from the room with the music on. Fontana bar was very nice, more lower limit tables in the casino, easier to navigate. Venetian - the rooms are just incredible. It was nice to have the living area to sit and relax in, windows are wall to wall, and the bathroom has it hands down over Bellagio's. Bottom line - I would be happy to stay at either one again.
    After getting settled, we headed out to the strip to just wander around. Walked down to NYNY and then headed back and ended up at Margaritaville for a couple of drinks. ($7 each for a small glass). Went out in front of IP and called home. Kids logged onto IP site and we waved to them at the camera 3 site. It was really cool and it helped them cause they were missing us!! From there it was back to Bellagio to hit the pool. It was HOT!!!!! Plenty of chairs available. Enjoyed ourselves, but it was so hot we only stayed for about 1 1/2 hrs.
    Dinner was at RumJungle. I wrote a review of that separately on the restaurant board, but bottom line, this restaurant is a gem! We really enjoyed our meal here and highly recommend it! The taxi from Bellagio to MB cost $8. After dinner, we walked back. Check-in line was pretty long as we passed (about 8:30 pm). My husband had his big celebrity encounter then as we saw Jesus Ferguson walking through the casino. He looked to be part of a wedding party. Grabbed a couple of coffees and headed to the room. Watched the fountains and relaxed for a bit. Then we headed back to the casino- lots of $10 tables tonight. Went to Fontana Bar (as recommended by dr. Al). Had a cable car that was WONDERFUL. Sat out on the patio and enjoyed the fountains. The house band was very good. Headed up to bed.

    September 15, Wednesday
    I'm awake at 6:30 am. Showered and watching the fountains (they were working on them each morning at 7 am or so) Headed to Paris for the buffet breakfast. It was as wonderful as last year!! Definitely the best breakfast buffet! From there we wandered to Bally's, played a few slots and lost. Then we walked over to Aladdin. Walked around the casino. Hubby got interested in a Blackjack lesson that was going on. He ended up sitting down for the rest of it. I wandered over and found a $5 roulette table. Sat down and started playing. I was doing pretty well, 2 Russians guys came over and bought in. We took turns winning - it was kind of neat, almost in order, we would each win a round. Lots of laughing and fun. Then an other couple came and bought in and it was down hill from there. The Russian fellas couldn't win on anything and they were soon gone. I played for a while longer, the table turned to $10 and I just wasn't feeling "it". Hubby showed up about then, so I cashed in, down about $50. From there we walked through dessert passage shops. Got son a present from Houdinis Magic Shop. Walked down to Barbary Coast to find out what time Big Elvis sang. Fell in love with this casino - $1 tables!!!! Hubby settled in at blackjack, I at roulette. I was doing pretty well until dealers changed, then it went downhill. Cashed out after about 1 1/2 hours even money. Headed over to VP bounced around for a little while until I found one that "felt" right. $20 in on a $.05 machine. Played for an hour or so and came out even again. I haven't won anything per say, but I'm not losing either, so I guess I'll take that. The entire trip, I haven't hit any VP or slot for 200 or 400 credits. The most credits I've gotten on any machine EVER has been like 50. Just once, I wanna hit something for like 400 credits or more. Just once! We played here in BC for about 3 hours and both broke even. Then we stayed and listen to Big Elvis. Man - he is BIG! But what a wonderful voice! Really enjoyed it! By now it was about 4 pm and I was hungry. Headed over to Margaritaville for drinks and Nachos. Nachos were delicous as were the drinks. Hubby headed to the room while I went to check out Caesars. Did not like the feel of this Casino at all! Definitely marked it off my list of places to stay. Back to the room for a rest. Decided to see Jubilee that night. Walked over to get tickets to the 10:30 show. Planned to see the show and then head over to Tangerines. Vegashost had us on the list for Wed night. The show was not very good, just sort of ho-hum. Definitely not worth the high price. If you can get the tickets 2 for 1, then it would be alright. After the show, we were just too exhausted to make it to Tangerines, so headed back to Bellagio and bed.

    September 16, Thursday
    Up at 7 again. Showered, did a little packing and then went down for breakfast. Did the Bellagio Buffet. Food and service were excellent. I very much enjoyed it, but definitely give just a little edge to Paris Buffet for breakfast. We were there early, about 8:15, so only had to wait about 10 min to be seated. Then it was back to the room to finish packing. Called to have the bags brought down and took a taxi back to the airport for a 12:30 pm JetBlue flight home. Flight home was uneventful and we arrived ontime. Back home about 10:45 pm (eastern time) after hitting construction delays on the Connecticut highways (what else is new!)

    Overall, we had a GREAT trip! We won't be back for a few years because we need to start saving more money for the kids educations. But we are really happy that we were able to do this together as a couple while we were young enough to enjoy it and fortunate enough to have our good health. Maybe we will go back for our 20th anniversary in 4 years! Ought to be plenty of new things to see by then!
    If you read all this, I hope you enjoyed it! [​IMG] Oh and please excuse the spelling errors, but I'm just too lazy to go back and fix them all! [​IMG]

    [ October 04, 2004, 12:22 PM: Message edited by: sharoncity ]
  2. ncgirl

    ncgirl Guest

    Nice report. Sounds like you had a great time.
    Venetian AND Bellagio wow I'm jealous. [​IMG]
    You packed alot in and in STYLE too. Give it about a week, you will be saying " well maybe we should go back to Vegas for New Years!"
    Thanks for the report.
  3. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Nov 25, 2002
    Twin Cities
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Well done. Nice rates for both places, esp. Venetian. Glad you enjoyed the Fontana Bar, was there music? There's supposed to be a light jazz band playing, but maybe if you were outside you would have missed it.
  4. wam

    wam Low-Roller

    May 5, 2003
    new york
    great report, that rate for venetian is unbelievable. we stayed there midweek in november for $159 and i thought that was great. it is a beautiful hotel. now the question, bellagio or venetian?? recently stayed at thehotel, and it was great. and isn't jet blue just fabulous and on time 90 percent of the time.
  5. Gogurl

    Gogurl Guest

    Very nice trip report. I enjoyed it thoroughly. We are staying at the Venetian in December as first timers. I can't wait!
  6. SamFenton

    SamFenton Tourist

    Sep 26, 2004
    I really enjoyed your report, very jealous you stayed at both the Venetian and the Bellagio [​IMG]

    [ October 05, 2004, 12:21 AM: Message edited by: SamFenton ]
  7. sharoncity

    sharoncity Guest

    Yes dr_al, there was a house band playing that evening. They were very good. They had the music outside as well and then when it was time for the fountains, they would cut away from the band and play the fountain music. Then they would go right back to the band. Seemed like more of an 80's mix than a jazz band, but still very enjoyable.
    Have you had the cable car from Fontana yet?? Wow was it good! Glass rim was dipped in sugar/cinnamon - very nice touch! [​IMG]
    We tried to go on Tues evening to Fontana when Dian Diaz was playing, but there was a line waiting to get in. Listened from outside for a few minutes. If you get the chance to see her perform, you won't be disappointed! [​IMG]

    Yes, we were very fortunate to get to stay in both the Venetian and Bellagio! But the rates were so good, we didn't feel like it was a waste of money. That is one of the reasons we go mid week as well. :D Hotel rates are just so much better!

    Gogurl - you will fall in LOVE with the Venetian! Such a beautiful property! [​IMG]
  8. RamBill

    RamBill Tourist

    Jun 8, 2004
    west hartford, CT
    A very good trip report, Sharoncity! It must have been nice to be able to spend a week in 2 very romantic hotels without the kids! [​IMG]

    I know what I'm definitely doing for one of my days during MM2! Petty Racing School - Woohooo!!!
    It's been like 25 years since I've been behind the wheel of a race car!

    Glad you had a great time!
  9. scoobagirl

    scoobagirl Tourist

    Jul 5, 2004
    Sharoncity, that was an EXCELLENT report! I picked up several ideas for our next trip. The details of the trip report were just what I wanted/needed to "hear". Trip reports - the longer, the better!!!
  10. vegashost

    vegashost Guest

    [​IMG] Great report. Glad you got to stay at a couple great proeprties as you wont be back here for a bit. I'm sure by the next time you start planning your trip a few more nice hotels will be here waiting for you.
  11. luckysob

    luckysob Tourist

    Aug 13, 2004
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    My wife and I went to Vegas last August and did the same thing: Venetian then Bellagio. I've stayed at Bellagio before and had always wanted to compare it to the Venetian. The two resorts are top of the line and very close, but I would personally have to say the Bellagio is the better of the two. Here is my analysis.

    Venetian has a better health club / spa, there is not really debate about this. It's probably the nicest health club of any resort I've ever stayed at. I think Bellagio realizes the problem (I'm guessing Wynn's place will have a killer Spa and Health club as well) which is probably why Bellagio is building a brand new spa / health club tower.

    Venetian has a food court, which is nice as sometimes I like to just grab a bite to eat quickly. Unfortunately you must be accosted by timeshare salesman everytime you want to enter the mall / food court. This is a real pet peeve of mine. IMHO, Bellagio is way too classy to have a bunch of cheesy time share salesman harassing guests with offers of free shows. It gets really old if you're staying there.

    The standard rooms at Venetian are bigger then Bellagio's, but it just didn't matter to us. I never once utilized the extra suite space the Venetian offered by sitting down on the couch and watching the second TV. Both rooms were equally classy and well kept.

    The pool at Bellagio is better, a lot more trees and greenery. It's pretty awesome and is clearly a showpiece to be viewed by different areas of the resort. Venetian has a few fountains, but is basically a bunch of holes in cement.

    The gaming areas at Venetian and Bellagio are both very nice. Venetian seems to be catering to a bit younger crowd, although the difference slight. The waitresses at the Venetian dress in some unbelievable sexy outfits. The majority of the women are extremely enhanced. This can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your perspective. I can't imagine the new Playboy club at the Palm will really be much different.

    Overall, I just feel Bellagio is the better resort. They seem to go the extra mile on just about everything, nothing is ever half ass. I ordered fish and chips while out at the pool and they were the best fish and chips I've ever eaten. It seems as if no detail is overlooked at the Bellagio.
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