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When I went to California and its surrounds, I really wasn’t enthused about the Vegas part of our trip, since I knew I wouldn’t really be frequenting the casinos given that I’m not the risk-taking sort. I’d rather save my hard-earned pennies for things like travel!
I was pleasantly surprised when I realised that there are actually heaps of fun things to see and do, even without once stepping foot into a casino. I spent quite a bit of time at the Bellagio alone, despite not being lucky enough to be a guest there, and just had to share with you some of the pictures that I took.
Although most of the photos relate to number 1, here are 5 things to keep you occupied at the Bellagio in Vegas:
1. Conservatory and Botanical Gardens
The garden exhibit in the Bellagio changes seasonally and depending on the holidays throughout the year. I was lucky to visit in the spring, when the conservatory flourished with colour and whimsy. Everything that appeals to the kid in me was there under one roof, and I was immediately hooked! There was a sailboat on a lake with a bridge over it.
I’ve had the pleasure of being in a hot air balloon twice, and I think they are one of the great pleasures in life. There’s just something magical about gently floating over a landscape as the sun rises, causing the colours of the land below to change while the land ahead is studded with the brilliant colours of other hot air balloons. Perhaps it is because I equate hot air balloons with travelling to dreamy faraway lands that I love them so much, as lanterns, jewellery, pictures in a book, and so on.
Bicycles. Now, I have a confession to make. I can’t ride a bike. At least not confidently enough to ride on a traffic-laden road or (alas!) to join a cycle tour. But I love the way bicycles look in pictures, whether against a wall to add interest, or to add movement in a photograph.
2. Jean Philippe Patisserie
Just around the corner from the conservatory, you will find the most amazing cakes! French born and trained Jean Philippe Maury won the title of Best Pastry Chef in France in 1997, and has been the executive pastry chef at the Bellagio since 1998, and at the Aria Hotel since 2009. At the patisserie in the Bellagio, you will not only find stunning showpiece cakes and sweet treats to tempt, but also the largest chocolate fountain in the world!
Surrounded by so many tempting goodies, I simply couldn’t decide what to have! So I chose the trio of creme brûlée, rose macaron and (my favourite) a peanut caramel lollipop, all presented on a solid chocolate base! Too.much.sugar. Even for my sweet tooth. This is definitely one to share.
Aria store open until midnight Mon-Thurs, until 2am Fri-Sat, and until 1am Sun
Need to walk off some of that sugar? Take a wander through the Via Bellagio, where the lavish decor is matched by the stores which include high end brands such as Chanel, Hermes, Dior and Tiffany.
Open daily 10am-midnight
4. Cirque du Soleil’s “O” show
After you’ve watched a few Cirque du Soleil shows, they start to get a bit same-ish. There’s always a juggler, contortionists, trapeze artists, and various acrobats. The “O” show, from the French word for “water”, “eau”, is the most unique Cirque du Soleil show I’ve seen to date. Featuring synchronised swimmers, divers and the usual acrobats in, on and above a water-filled stage, be prepared to be mesmerised by the artistry. And maybe also prepare yourself for getting a little wet if you’re seated right at the front in the “splash zone”.
Shows twice a night Wed-Sun at 7.30pm and 10pm
Tickets from $98.50 (limited view) to $247.50
5. Fountains of Bellagio
Prefer a water show that’s not as heavy on the wallet? Then step outside, where the fountains put on a water, music and light show at regular intervals throughout the day. An alternative is to nab yourself a table at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant in the Paris Hotel, directly opposite the Bellagio and overlooking the fountains.
Mon-Fri every 1/2 hour from 3-8pm and every 15 mins from 8pm-midnight
Sat-Sun and holidays every 1/2 hour from 12-8pm and every 15 mins from 8pm-midnight
Have you been to the Bellagio in a different season? Was the conservatory just as whimsical and beautifully presented?
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