Bellagio’s Junior Suite Fails to Impress

bellagio

Iun Hockley shares his thoughts on the Bellagio’s Junior Suite

Ah, The Bellagio, featured in so many movies; the iconic fountains; the palatial exterior; the famous gardens; the luxurious restaurants and the broad, sprawling casino where no-one seems to be winning very much at all. Every Vegas trip, I like to have a “treat” for myself – an overpriced meal in luxurious surroundings; a spa treatment with all the extra trimmings; front-row seats in the theatre; $20 bets on blackjack… As Mrs. Iun was joining me for this particular trip, our treat was a King Room in the Bellagio. Or so we thought.

We had visited the Bellagio before and were charmed by the mushroom-like glass ceiling in the lobby, we loved the gardens (especially with the aquarium tunnel) and of course, we spent plenty of time filming the fountains. This time was different: as guests, we felt a certain thrill in that we were to be accommodated here among the Glitterati in such a famous setting. Our expectations were soon drowned in disappointment.

A 45-minute wait a check-in was trying, but manageable, given the fact that we arrived almost exactly on time for 3:00 pm. When we arrived at the front desk, the lady was polite, but firm: You booked a run-of-the-house room; therefore you can have a smoking queen room, not the non-smoking king you requested. Was there any way around this, I asked? The response was: upgrade for an extra $50 a night. Numbers ran through my head: Already paid $200 for the room, $45 dollars for resort fee, an extra $50 a night brought the total to just under $300 a night. I was about to say no, but then I saw the pleading look in Mrs. Iun’s eyes, and for a moment, my ice-cold heart melted. Instead of saying “No, that’s outrageous” I responded with “Yes, that will be fine.” I wish I hadn’t.

Our room was at the far end of the farthest tower, so it entailed quite a long walk past the gardens, the café, the Jean Pierre patisserie, the pool, the gift shop. It was a great location if we wanted to take the monorail; which we did, once. In fact, our room had a lovely view of the monorail, the backside of the Cosmopolitan and the freeway. I was already cursing under my breath.

bellagio

The room itself absolutely put the “Junior” into the phrase “Junior Suite”: The room itself certainly felt no bigger than the standard rooms at the Mirage, Monte Carlo and the Luxor. The two floor-to-ceiling windows would have been wonderful, if it had not been for the appalling views. Furniture was dinged, scratched and the carpet needed replacing – moss green doesn’t evoke the jungle, it makes you want to watch your step. I have traveled to many hotels in Asia that are ranked 4-star and their rooms are in much, much better condition.

The bed for me was incredibly uncomfortable, and no amount of pillows could position my head correctly to prevent pain. I did not sleep well for three nights. Automatic drapes were a nice touch, yet they could not be closed independently – if one window was covered, both were.

The “suite” part of the room was most certainly the bathroom: his and hers vanities, separate shower and tub – the tub itself was a Whirlpool model that I had a lot of fun with. Shower pressure was good, it even had a seating ledge inside and the toiletries were top-notch. Individually lit mirrors were a nice touch, too.

Where the “suite life” ended was with the service. From the slightly huffy service at the front desk to the bartender with his gruff “get you something?” nobody seemed to be pleased to see or serve us. Our room was not made up every day until well after 5:00 pm, despite requests to have it made up ASAP when we were out. Replacement sheets were stained, obviously dirty glasses were not replaced and the bins were only cleaned in one instance. The bellmen were shockingly rude when collecting and delivering our luggage. I had three dollars in coins, and the gentleman just looked at it, sniffed and walked away. When we collected our luggage on checkout, I proffered $3 in notes and $5 in quarters. The response: “I’m not a piggy bank”. This left something of a sour taste in my mouth and more or less capped the stay off for us. We had never felt truly welcome at The Bellagio, and that was more than enough confirmation.

[Photos: Iun Hockley and LasVegasJunkie]

 

24 Comments on "Bellagio’s Junior Suite Fails to Impress"

  1. Norbert Rivard | August 21, 2017 at 7:13 am |

    Too Snooty for me!! I’ll spend my 5K somewhere that at least acts like it likes us!!!

  2. Toni in DFW | August 21, 2017 at 7:40 am |

    Way too snooty for me as well. I’ve had much better service at Circus Circus for less than half the price. I’m sorry your holiday was ruined by poor service. Have you tried contacting management? They could certainly do something about the crappy attitude of their employees.

    The piggy bank comment? I would have taken the quarters back. I DO have a piggy bank. When it’s full, it’s my gambling money for my next trip to Vegas or Shreveport.

  3. This looks like a resort tower King room, I do not see junior suite mentioned on the Bellagio website at all….not much of an upgrade at all.

  4. ChrisinNashville | August 21, 2017 at 12:34 pm |

    Hmmm. Hate to hear this. I have had very good experiences at the Bellagio from service to room to restaurants. Maybe “run of the house” room is for low floor back views? Try the Mirage next, it’s excellent and much cheaper.

    • Believe it or not, when I booked this trip, The Mirage was only $10 cheaper, so I thought “Why the heck not try the Bellagio?!”

      The above review should adequately describe “Why the heck not!”. Next time though, The Mirage is definitely back on the list!

  5. We stayed once,had a fountain view, room was ok we thought it looked a little tired and that must have been 5 years ago not stayed there since. Some Vegas casinos seem to treat visitors with distain it’s almost as if your a nuisance for visiting.

  6. This is why we do not stay on the strip unless we have to for a conference. A few weeks ago, we stayed at the Suncoast in a huge beautiful room with big bathroom with long counter and double sink, fridge, and coffee maker. There was a club chair with ottoman, big TV and nice desk. We had a beautiful view of the golf course and the mountains. Our room was comped, but if it were not, it would have been $59 plus 20.33 resort fee. Lots of reasonable food choices and other casinos close by. (I love the Red Rock, but they are pricey too!.)

  7. That isn’t a Junior Suite. And I like the Mirage, too, but FYI this bathroom is so much bigger than a Mirage bathroom, crappy customer service or not.

    • The kind folks at the hotel labelled it a “Junior Suite” and you are 100% correct that this bathroom is bigger than the standard Mirage bathroom. :D

  8. Richard's Dad | August 21, 2017 at 10:06 pm |

    Wow, lesson learned. I had no idea “Run of the house” meant they could stick you in a smoking room (I understand you have no say in bed type but a smoking room?) Wow. I was actually going to try splurge on Bellagio on my next trip, I think I’ll try Venetian instead. Thx!

  9. Agericus Garcia | August 22, 2017 at 2:09 am |

    Could anyone tell me what the resort fee is for,
    Is it an extra tax fee of sort for the local or state govt?
    The front desk person i asked prior to booking gave this lame answer
    1. for parking privilege even if you have no car or no intention to rent one.( because you’d be relying on taxis if you needed yo go somewhere.)
    2. access to certain amenities like the room & house phones in the rest of the casino.
    3. access to the spas, shops, restaurants, concert & other venues etc. in the hotel/casino.
    Imagine that! you are barred use or entry into any of these without this resort fee.

    I find this absolutely ridiculous.
    Could you shed light on this that would make any sense at all about this mysterious, & i feel underhanded, way to milk patrons further.

    • Essentially the Resort Fee is an additional charge for WiFi access, pool access, access to the gym… and… um… pretty much it. It’s also taxed on top of the first figure they quote. It’s basically “money for old rope” and just another way of shaking down paying customers. It does not usually include access to basic spa facilities – e.g. sauna, steam room, hot tub, cold plunge pool.

    • The way I have always understood it is thusly. Since Vegas is such a popular tourist destination, people are always using those travel discount sites to find the best deals for rooms. And since so much of their economy is driven by tourism they basically have to cave to having their hotel offerings on these websites. In order to make up for the lost room revenue they are incurring, they came up with a nifty little workaround – the resort fee. It basically is a fee for nothing other than WiFi at this point, that the hotels use as a way to recoup their losses from the discount sites since all that revenue is theirs and not part of any third party.

  10. Interesting review of a place I’ve had nothing but the opposite experience. Especially when it comes to customer service. Has been outstanding from check in through check out.

    I will say the pool front desk staff has been awful there, but more than made up from the servers.

    If I were looking for a better experience, I’d probably try the Wynn rather than a lower tiered hotel.

  11. Cathryn Carter | August 22, 2017 at 2:29 pm |

    So interesting. I’ve always wanted to try Bellagio. Thanks for the review. I personally love the Dale Chihuly installment in lobby. Visit it every time. I agree staff seems snooty on gaming floor and at bars. Much friendlier at Palazzo/Venetian/The D and even Flamingo.

  12. You can definitely tell that Steve Wynn does not own the Bellagio anymore.

  13. Les Thurston | August 23, 2017 at 2:48 pm |

    I am quite surprised at your experience. We have stayed many times at Bellagio, most recently just 3 weeks ago. We had tried Caesars Palace and received precisely the treatment you described at Bellagio. We came back to Bellagio and have been happy ever since. We have received the best treatment from the entire staff at Bellagio than anyplace else we have stayed at. As for the bed, I wish I had one of their mattresses at home. Their beds are sooo comfy. I am sorry for your unfortunate experience.

    • I think it really depends on the day and the people – some people have amazing experiences in terrible hotels and others have terrible experiences in amazing hotels. To be cheated by the Front Desk, sneered at by a bartender and and being insulted by the Bellhop all at the same place points to a fundamental problem that is endemic to the organisation. You might get a bad one out of three and shrug it off, but to be three for three is worrisome.

  14. Stayed at MGM Grand in January, waited 45 minutes in line, got an upgrade to Stay Well Exec Queen, everybody there was nice and housekeeping came before 11am each day. The Stay Well lounge desk even got my group of 12 a reservation at a restaurant in Monte Carlo an hour in advance. The 675 sq ft room was even bigger than what I stayed in at the Aria before. I’d recommend the Stay Well level of MGM, it was a great experience.

    • We were originally booked in a stay-well room a few years back, but the Mrs was desperate to spend the weekend in LA and we missed out on the Grand. Maybe next time. Maybe.

  15. We were considering Bellagio for our recently completed trip, but ended up going with Aria. Which had nothing but exemplary service. Hate to think our experience would have been like yours had we gone with Bellagio.

  16. I had a 3 day comp stay at the Bellagio. I experienced “customer no-service” there as well. From the bell desk, front desk to housekeeping. If I had to pay I would have been more than pissed. My suggestion if u want to splurge bellagio isn’t the place to do it. Wynn/Encore would be the place I splurge. Top notch staff all the way.

  17. Sorry, but in the US tipping with change is pretty insulting. I don’t blame the staff at all for reacting the way they did.

Comments are closed.