The Grand Lakeview Suite: Bellagio's Most Iconic Digs
The VegasTripping Review 2015
"Please call 702-xxx-xxxx to reserve."
Suites with a process this archaic are special. They're often positioned in awkward areas of a hotel tower, limiting their availability. Other times, they're simply too large and extravagant to be priced in the general market. And sometimes they're both these things. All of them are controlled by casino. That means the hosts restrict them, often blocking the most lavish ones on a simple rumor that a seven-figure player is taking heavy losses at one resort and may try his luck elsewhere. Inevitably, they sit empty except on the biggest weekends.
But make the call anyway and if four-figures per night doesn't deter you, then wait as the hottest of hot shot hotel managers goes to bat for you with the hottest of hot shot casino managers in hopes that they'll grant you a reservation. Slow weekdays usually aren't a problem, big weekends are impossible, and it seems schmucks like me only stay in these rooms through total flukes.
I booked a two-bedroom penthouse at Bellagio for a couple nights 11 months in advance. I don't know anyone who books a room that early, but we were celebrating a 21st birthday and with an MLife Platinum rate of circa $600 per night for the weekend, it was a steal.
Months passed, other Vegas trips were had, and a rumor started in the middle of it all: Mayweather and Pacquiao are finally going head-to-head that very weekend. Just my luck. After the contracts were signed, Bellagio was asking $1500 per night for a standard room. I was sure to get bumped. It didn't matter how much apology food and beverage credit they'd be willing to give - this was a birthday trip and the suite meant everything. Plus there's the crowds, the table minimums, the lines. Ugh.
Too many questions, too many possibilities. I hated being in limbo so we settled on postponing to June 14th, a weekday trip. As a bonus, the rate was a bit lower at $570. Nevertheless, I still kept the original reservation, eagerly awaiting the inevitable phone call.