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September 16th, 2010 at 5:58:02 PM permalink
It looks like Mr and Mrs Mosca are spending 4 days 3 nights at The Bellagio. I read the Bellagio review, and the thread about unfriendly dealers, and we've spent a lot of time looking online over the past week or so.

We haven't been to Vegas since '94... and then we weren't really gamblers. And we had a 3 year old with us, so when we did play, it wasn't together, and it was for short periods, as one stayed in the room while the other played, then we switched, and finally that didn't really work and we gave up (The Hilton, that trip, which I also earned through work).

What should we expect? I play tables for $25, and I just started enjoying blackjack again. Mrs plays slots, mostly quarter but some multiline penny, and sometimes dollar, and she paces herself. If the action at The Bellagio is too hoity-toity for us, we'd have no problem at all hitting the door for someplace else, as long as it isn't all that far. What's good nearby, if we don't like our home base?

Shows... we've seen a couple of the Cirq shows, and they're obviously impressive as hell. Mrs wants to do a traditional Vegas show, like Cher, or Manilow, something like that. Honestly I think those would probably be pretty decent, but I'm not a fan of either. Any suggestions? Of the two I'd probably pick Manilow, he's professional as all hell IMO and would deliver. Any other suggestions here?

I got the word on the gardens, I'll be bringing the camera.
Joined: Apr 16, 2010
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September 16th, 2010 at 6:03:59 PM permalink
Try the Venetian or the Pallazo. Once you stay there, you won't want to go back to the Bellagio.

If it must be an MGM property, then try the Aria. The rooms are great and the staff is a bit warmer then the other properties.
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September 16th, 2010 at 6:09:23 PM permalink
You'll have no trouble finding $25 blackjack at the Bellagio, and there are frequently several S17 games going at that limit.

They also have plenty of slots in those denominations.

As for proximity, the Bellagio is right at the heart of the Strip, so you'll be within a short walk of many other casinos.

Manilow puts on a good show.
Joined: Aug 8, 2010
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September 16th, 2010 at 6:12:18 PM permalink
If you want to splurge on a show, see "O". I've also enjoyed the Blue Man Group, though I would definitely say it's not for everyone.

You don't have to gamble at Bellagio, but most of the adjacent properties are just as high-end, high-priced, and terrible-value. I would hoof it over to the Palms or the Gold Coast if I wanted to gamble. I would also not play $25/hand, but that's up to you. Note that your wife's slot experience will be MUCH, much better at the Gold Coast or Palms than on the Strip, which gives the worst returns in Vegas. It's a ten-minute walk, or a free shuttle to the Gold Coast from the Barbary Coast (and you can use that same shuttle to go to the Orleans, another place that offers much better value than the Strip).
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.---George Bernard Shaw
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September 16th, 2010 at 6:38:25 PM permalink
Congratulations Mosca! You have worked hard and done good.

The fountains in front of the Bellagio are the best free thing in the whole city. Do take some time one evening to venture out front with Mrs. Mosca to enjoy the show. They rotate presentations every 15 minutes on weekend evenings, so you don't have to wait long.

You can also enjoy the fountains from restaurants on the hotel side of the lake. Circo has lake views and is not too bad price wise for a restaurant in the Bellagio. Reservations are a must.

The buffet at Bellagio is famous. Unfortunately, fame has a high price. Expect to wait in a looong line (unless you are fortunate enough to score a "line pass" from your host.)

As for Cirque shows, "O" at Bellagio is a standard.

Do visit The Venetian/Palazzo complex. Take a gondola ride with the Mrs.

At the shops near Ceasar's Palace, grab a free truffle from the chocolate clock.

I don't know if you would enjoy the Wynn/Encore, not much to make it "special" compared to Bellagio, but it does have a different, more personable vibe since it is smaller.

If you are into the Rock and the Roll, the Hard Rock Hotel should be one of your stops. Lots of interesting memorabilia, but usually loud and crowded, depending on who's performing in, "The Joint".

Have a great time!
Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication - Leonardo da Vinci
Joined: Nov 11, 2009
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September 16th, 2010 at 6:41:40 PM permalink
My wife and I have stayed at the Bellagio 2 times, and I never get the impression that the casino is hoity-toity or stuffy as many reviews have stated. To me it's very low key, and that is the antithesis of the loud/flashy/excitement that people are looking for in Vegas, so that may be a reason for the negativity. They do ask for keycards religiously at all times for hotel elevators, so make sure you have them on you.

Since Bellagio is at or near the top in MGM chain, I would not expect many comps at all, even at the $25 level. I know from a slot perspective, the players club wants to see 1000 pts before they even talk comps. Blackjack runs the gamut, from the $5 CSM handicap tables, to multiple $500 minimum tables. If you want to run into Phil Ivey, he usually plays craps there.

Now that the tram rums between Bellagio and Monte Carlo, you can take it for a quick jaunt to the south strip (MGM/MC/NYNY) if you feel uncomfortable.

The one thing Bellagio doesn't have is many low-end restaurants, other than the 24 hr cafe and the coffee/bagel shop, but even then you could spend $15 a person for coffee and a muffin.

As for slots, my wife found plenty of penny to play, and they had a fair number of quarter 3 reel/1 line last year. Not sure if that has changed.

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September 16th, 2010 at 6:46:09 PM permalink
I will respectfully disagree with Mr. MKL. If it is your first time in Vegas since '94, don't bother with the Gold Coast and Palms. You haven't seen any of the new stuff on the Strip, like Venetian, Wynn, Aria, Bellagio, Paris etc., and those are must-sees. Get those out of the way first before you hit the off-strip places. The MGM properties do offer liberal strip rules (0.26% house edge) on their shoe games so you could play $25 a hand there for a long time with a small expected loss, and probably get a comp or two. I don't know about their three-card payouts. Slots are slots. The Palms does have better payouts, but you're already playing slots, so it's not going to be that much of a difference. You also might get more comps if you focus your slot play at the B.
If you have extra time at the end of your trip, you might consider going off-strip but you could easily fill four days with just strip activities. I like to mix. The allure, grandeur and overall niceness of the strip properties makes it worth my while to gamble a bit there. But for serious (?!) play and long-term sessions I go off-strip. Just don't play at the Harrah's properties.
"Dice, verily, are armed with goads and driving-hooks, deceiving and tormenting, causing grievous woe." -Rig Veda 10.34.4
Joined: Nov 12, 2009
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September 16th, 2010 at 7:42:22 PM permalink
Enjoy the trip. The Bellagio's worth a stay I believe and the rooms are beautiful, but I personally love the Wynncore properties and casinos better. The Bellagio is in the center of the strip though. Dealers are far friendlier there and drink service is regular no matter what you are playing (slots are always slower). The Bellagio dealers during the day are just surly. However, I had a great dealer experience playing Pai Gow Poker. I wouldn't say the Bellagio was hoily-toily at all, but it was simply unfriendly. With lots of competition around, there was no reason to behave that way, even if I was playing $10 blackjack (which is always available). And the behaviour was the same among many dealers on the days I was playing there (I wrote the Bellagio review on this site). At the $25 level you'll likely run into a more friendly crew.

Do the $20 trick and try to get the water view if you haven't already.

Something nearby? Walk across the street to the Paris. Slumming it? Try Ballys. Looking for Chic? Hop over to Aria or go kitty corner to Bills. And Caesars is across the hallway.

And I completely agree with the previous poster. If you haven't been to Vegas since '94, stay on the strip. See the Eiffel Tower, the new volcano show at Mirage, and the Venetian (St. Peter's)/ Wynn / Encore properties. The interior of the Paris in my opinion is beautiful.

So bring your walking shoes and have a blast. We're looking forward to your trip results.
----- You want the truth! You can't handle the truth!
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September 17th, 2010 at 4:11:09 AM permalink
Quote: boymimbo

If you haven't been to Vegas since '94, stay on the strip.

Just make sure you buy a one day bus pass and see the light show Downtown. It's worth it.
Donald Trump is a fucking criminal
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September 17th, 2010 at 7:09:07 AM permalink
Quote: Nareed

Just make sure you buy a one day bus pass and see the light show Downtown. It's worth it.

Be sure to buy the bus pass. I like the bus service, so I would pay for it whether or not they ever policed it, because if we don't pay for it, it will go away. However, on Sunday the Transit police were getting on the buses and checking to see if everyone had a valid ticket. Not sure how much the fine would be, but you can bet it is more than the $7 24 hour pass fee.
Always borrow money from a pessimist; They don't expect to get paid back ! Be yourself and speak your thoughts. Those who matter won't mind, and those that mind, don't matter!

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