Monday, May 23, 2016

[USA Travel] Day 1 in Las Vegas

Las Vegas. Here we come! 

After a short drive of about 2 to 3hours from Barstow, we finally reached the ultimate rich man's playground and entertainment capital of the world, Las Vegas! Baby was of the opinion that since we are here, we should go big! Haha. We parked our car at the luxurious BELLAGIO, where we were to have our 2 nights stay!!

The Bellagio is a luxurious hotel and casino resort situated right in the middle of The Strip, which is long line/street of other resorts, hotels ad casinos! Based on province with the same name in Italy, the Bellagio is easily the most luxurious and beautiful hotel i've ever been to. At the main lobby and reception, there are over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers etched on the ceiling, and it was quite simply, colorful!

Bellagio is also home to the resident act of Cirque du Soleil's Aquatic Production ‘O’!


Due to our early arrival in the morning, our room was not ready, and check in was only available after 3pm. We decided to leave our luggage in the car, and to explore 'Sin City' on foot! We walked around the strip, and we did some shopping too. It was in the late morning when we started our tour of the strip, and most of the famed Neon Lights were not turned on yet. However, the immense scale and design of each of the resorts and hotels were outstanding.

Two other resorts which I found very unique were the 'Parisian' and the 'New York New York', which are based on their respective real life counterpart cities!

On the strip, every hotel had a theme to it! For example, 'Caesar's Palace' was obviously themed after the Roman Empire, and featured many iconic Roman statues and architecture! They even had a mini arena aptly named 'The Coliseum'! 'The Luxor' had an Egyptian theme to it, and the hotel was shaped like a pyramid!

 Las Vegas is a shopping haven, and there are two premium outlets located at the North and South of the strip! Vegas is actually situated within a desert, and there was a small sandstorm when we were on the strip!!! The wind was very strong and stones/sand would actually be swept up and there was a real risk of getting it in the eyes and mouth. To avoid this, we hopped on to the RTC which has a payment term to keep using the bus for a day at USD8. Since our bus was on the way to the South Outlet, we decided to try that first.

On arrival at the South Outlet, we were rather famished so we decided to have a simple lunch at the food court. By now, we learnt that a single portion of food in the United States is more than enough for the both of us, as the portion size is very large. Our lunch consisted of a meatball pasta, a slice of pizza which was huge, and a medium coke. All this cost us USD14! 

As we were eager to head back to the Bellagio to check out our room, we left the outlet after a few hours of exploring. Now, a point to note is, the hotel actually took our number to call us once the room was ready, but when we were ready to leave the outlet between 4pm to 5pm, we still had no call. We arrived back at the front desk of the hotel to check if our room was ready. It was, but we casually mentioned that we were supposed to have gotten a call from the hotel on this. To our pleasant surprise, the hotel took this very seriously, and made up for this error by crediting an extra USD50 worth of credits for F&B which could be used anyway throughout the hotel, at any cafe or restaurant for any meal! I have to give props to the Bellagio for this splendid service!

We booked our hotel online, and there was a promotion for Bellagio Hotel as the room rate came with a USD80 food credit for us to use it on the dinner buffet.

We went up to our room, which was really really REALLY x 9999 spacious and posh, and was equipped with a full range of amenities. The room was amazing, and it had a brilliant view of the Vegas Strip, as well as the famous iconic Bellagio Fountains up front!

It was near dinner time, and night began to fall. The various neon lights came on, and it was very pretty! Since it was near dinner time, we had a quick wash up, and headed over to the 'Planet Hollywood' Hotel/Resort Casino, where our plan was to dine at Gordon Ramsey's 'Burgr' restaurant.

Not surprisingly, there was a huge crowd and queue at the restaurant, and I was tempted to give it a miss, but Baby insisted we queue up. Looking back, I'm rather relieved I gave in to queue up! After a short wait, we were lucky enough to be asked if we could dine at the bar instead of waiting for seats, and we readily agreed!

In my entire life, I've never really been a fan of burgers, and would only eat them sparingly. It is therefore, safe to say that this would probably be the best burger I've ever had! We each ordered a gourmet burger to ourselves, and not a crumb was left after the meal! The burger bun was very fluffy and light, yet had that baked crisp to it, and did not have that processed taste found in usual fast food burger buns. The patty itself was a delight, as you were allowed to have it cooked at your preference. We both took medium, and the charbroiled taste of the meat was sinfully delicious. OMG! I could never imagine a burger to actually taste this good! 'BRING ME BACK AGAIN PLS!!'

After our tantalizing dinner, we decided to walk it off by heading back to the Strip to wander around and to see the lights. If you took the Christmas deco and lights at Orchard Road during the festive period, multiply that by a factor of a million, you would have a rough idea what Vegas is like!

A key attraction at the Bellagio are the Fountains, which actually have a show that is played together with music at different intervals throughout the day. We decided to head back to the hotel to catch the last fountain performance of the day. I've always wanted to visit the Bellagio Fountains, and now I can finally cross this off my list! The size alone of the fountains is akin to a small lake, and the jet spray of the water constantly changed to form various patterns during the show. If you come to Vegas, you MUST see this attraction! I was very lucky, as we had got a room with a DIRECT VIEW of the fountain from our room!! No words can describe it, hence check out the photos.

After the show, we explored the interior of the hotel, as well as the casino. We tried our luck, and Lady Luck was smiling on Baby! He made a bit at the Blackjack table, and he had the sense to stop too while he was up! 

We took some random photos at the indoor garden which is located next to the hotel lobby.

I really enjoyed my stay in Las Vegas, and my next post/update will be more about my explorations in the city! Vegas is not only about 24-hour casinos and the resorts on the strip, but is also a great place for fashion premium outlets, as well as for up-scale shopping!

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