Built on the site formerly occupied by the iconic Dunes hotel and casino, which was demolished in 1993, on the Las Vegas Strip, the Bellagio is one of the most famous casinos in the world. Nowadays owned and operated by MGM Resorts International, the Bellagio opened, to no little fanfare and at no little cost – the opening ceremony alone reputedly cost $88 million – in October, 1998.
Inspired by the town of the same name, which overlooks Lake Como, in the region of Lombardy in northern Italy, the Bellagio is renowned for its elegance. Externally, the Bellagio is best known for the ‘Fountains of Bellagio’, which are set in an artificial lake, covering 8 acres, or 3.2 hectares, between the hotel building and the Strip. At regular intervals throughout the afternoon and evening, anyone nearby can witness a choreographed water ‘ballet’, complete with illumination and musical accompaniment.
Internally, notwithstanding its central role in the Hollywood movie ‘Ocean’s Eleven’, which was released in 2001, the Bellagio is probably best known for its poker room, which plays host to high-profile World Poker Tour events, including the ‘Five Diamond World Poker Classic’in December each year. That said, the gaming floor as a whole is impressive enough, covering 116,000 square feet and offering 2,300 slots with jackpots of up to $2 million. Accommodation-wise, the Bellagio offers a total of 3,950 lavish rooms, of various shapes and sizes, most of which are located in the original, main tower.