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Always an enchanting experience, Bellagio's Conservatory has gone zen for spring. The resort's annual spring exhibit usually has a decidedly Dutch or Americana feel, but 2015 brings a departure from that with a display inspired by a Japanese garden.
Already a massive, labor-intensive undertaking (it takes 100 people more than 140 hours to change out each show), Bellagio's horticulture and design staff flew to Tokyo and Kyoto for inspiration. A 26-foot temple replicates Japan's Golden Pavilion Temple while turtles, cranes, parasols, bonsai trees and cherry blossoms can be found throughout the exhibit. There's so much to see we apparently missed the 75 Koi exploring their temporary new home. #NextTime
Shopping / Bellagio / The Strip / Guerlain / → All Tags
What is Guerlain? What is this thing being built right at the parking garage entrance into Bellagio with an ornate bee-adorned golden bottle printed on the plywood? Is it liquor? Honey? No, it is perfume and makeup, and some of the fanciest of both in the world.
Poker / MGM Resorts / Aria / Bellagio / The Strip / → All Tags
It looks like the days of poker players being able to have stacks of cash on the table alongside their chips may be coming to a close, at least at some casinos along the Strip.
Chris Grove of Online Poker Report broke the news last week that MGM Resorts has made the decision to no longer allow cash to play on poker tables at any of their casinos as of April 1. MGM currently operates nine poker rooms in Las Vegas. Among them are two of the most prominent rooms on the Strip at Bellagio and Aria.
There was a time in Las Vegas when cash was king. Although, chips have long been the preferred currency when it comes to table games, it was once quite common to see bets placed in the form of $100 bills. Gamblers used to be able to throw a stack of bills down on the felt, the dealer would announce "money plays," and the bet would be considered live. There is a legendary story of a player walking into Binion's Horseshoe back in the 80s with a suitcase containing $777,000 in cash, which he promptly bet on the don't pass line. He won the bet and walked out onto Fremont Street with his winnings, no questions asked.
The next time you visit the sportsbook at Bellagio you'll see a different space then you’re used to. The sportsbook just wrapped up a renovation in time for one of the busiest sports betting weekends of the year, March Madness.
Much of the older desk seating that was used for horse bettors has been removed, allowing for a more lounge or living room-type atmosphere with couches and comfortable leather chairs and couches like you see at The Mirage and Aria. In addition, Bellagio's sportbook is the next within the MGM Resorts family to install the InteractivePro tables. They were introduced to The Mirage sportsbook last year and also can be found at MGM Grand now.
Vegas News / MGM Resorts / Shake Shack / Prime / Bellagio / Gaming / New York-New York / Monte Carlo / Nine Fine Irishmen / Resorts World / Frontier / The Mirage / Future Vegas / Luxor / Excalibur / → All Tags
In our book, MGM Resorts' quarterly earnings call is a must listen. Beyond a reciting of dollars and cents, it's always filled with fascinating insight into what's really popping for the gaming company, and what's on the horizon. Here's what we learned from the latest call that took place earlier this week:
Shake Shack is so money: Everybody knows cult burger fave Shack Shack opened at New York-New York late December. You may have even stopped in by now. What you probably don't know is the Las Vegas location is "already the highest-grossing Shack Shack in the portfolio's history, second only to Times Square."
Vegas For Beginners / Poker / Gambling / Tips / The Strip / MGM Grand / Excalibur / Monte Carlo / Mandalay Bay / Caesars Palace / Aria / Bellagio / Venetian / Survival Strategies / → All Tags
There are many factors you should consider when deciding where to play poker during your time in Vegas, such as what games and stakes are offered, how much you receive per hour in comp dollars, tournament offerings, the level of competition, and so on.
Another factor that should not be overlooked is what promotions a given room offers and how much value you are likely to get out of those promotions. Most poker rooms in town offer some sort of incentive for players in the form of high hand bonuses, bad beat jackpots, "aces cracked" bonuses, or hours-based free rolls. What many people don't realize is that the house isn't giving away free money with these promotions, they are simply taking money that players have contributed to a fund and giving it back out in the form of a bonus.
Poker / Gambling / Tips / Survival Strategies / The Orleans / Boulder Station / Suncoast / Bellagio / Aria / Venetian / The Strip / Off Strip / Rio Las Vegas / → All Tags
Ever since the start of the "poker boom" back in 2003, when an unknown accountant from Tenessee with the unlikely name of Chris Moneymaker won the World Series of Poker, no-limit Texas Hold 'Em has been the game of choice among poker players everywhere.
It's easy to forget that, in the grand scheme of things, no-limit hold 'em is a relatively new game. If you were in Las Vegas back in the 90's or earlier, you would be much more likely to be playing a game like 7 card stud or even a variation of draw poker. While most poker players today are content playing no-limit, there are many who long for the days when this variation of the game didn't have the near monopoly it seems to have on the poker world today. The good news is, if you look hard enough, there are still places in Las Vegas where you can find some alternatives. Here's a look at some poker rooms around town that offer up a bit of variety for those looking to mix things up:
Vegas For Beginners / Tips / Survival Strategies / Caesars Palace / Valet / The Mirage / SLS Las Vegas / Bellagio / Planet Hollywood / → All Tags
Not all Vegas hotel porte cocheres are created equally. Sometimes, you can leave your car with valet, grab your bags and quickly get where you need to go. Sometimes valet is on the opposite side of the property and entirely inconvenient for your visit. It's not fun lugging yourself through the casino until you get to whichever part of the property you want to be in. Here are some valet tips for visitors who prefer to drive themselves, but don't know Vegas quite as well as they'd like to yet:
'Tis not really the season until Bellagio fires up the Christmas tree.
The resort held a lighting ceremony for its always breathtaking holiday tree (writing that just to make someone twitch) last night. This year's fir stands 42 feet tall, weighs 6,800 pounds (!!) and is covered in 7,000 twinkling white lights as well as 2,500 multi-colored ornaments.
Also within the Conservatory, guests will find those adorable polar bears made of white carnations, mischievous animatronic penguins, a walk-through snow globe, a model train display and tens of thousands of poinsettias. The winter exhibit will be on view through January 3. VegasChatter reader @paperposter has already dropped by and shares the images you see in this post.
Resort Fees / Delano Las Vegas / MGM Resorts / Bellagio / Aria / Mandalay Bay / MGM Grand / The Mirage / Vdara / The Signature at MGM Grand / New York-New York / Monte Carlo / Luxor / Excalibur / Circus Circus / → All Tags
Effective this week, the properties of MGM Resorts will see resort fee increases ranging from an extra two to five dollars a night. Here's how it will all break down:
The most magical time within Bellagio's beauteous Conservatory, for us, isn't during any one of its five seasonal displays, it's in-between them. Seeing those elaborate, yet incredibly intricate displays dissembled and assembled is one of the most fascinating sights in town. A well-choreographed production, a swarm of employees work day and night, round the clock, for about a week to cart away one exhibit and create the next.
The Strip / Bellagio / Just One Dish / Desserts / FIX / Eating / Dining / → All Tags
Do you ever get to the dessert menu and suddenly go into a mild panic because you can’t decide between all the delicious flavors? Sometimes you want cookies. And, chocolate. And, creamy custardy goodness. The trouble is, you probably aren’t still hungry in the first place and, though the separate dessert stomach is totally a thing, you don’t need to order something from three different categories of sweets. Or, at least you probably shouldn’t.
FIX at Bellagio can solve this dessert dilemma with its FIX Crème Brulee ($15). Its presentation of the standard dessert features an added bonus at the bottom: a layer of cookie butter. If you’re not familiar with the sweet concoction, you should run, not walk, to FIX to have your taste buds blown away. It’s made from mashed spiced biscuits popular in Holland and Belgium.