10 Tips for staying at the Bellagio Las Vegas

Bellagio Fountain View From Salon Suite

When it comes to travel it's all about maximizing, getting the most for your money, whether that means traveling more for your money or upgrading the travel you go on.  Las Vegas is a place where you can get a lot for your money if you know how to VacationWise. It can be hard to beat the value you get in Las Vegas, having everything from some of the nicest hotels anywhere in the world to every type of entertainment you can imagine.

Bellagio Fountain in Pool Area

Here are 10 Tips from our recent stays at the Bellagio Las Vegas

  1. Amex Fine Hotels & Resorts:  Bellagio is part of Amex's Fine Hotels and Resorts (FHR). If you have a platinum Amex card simply log on to American Express Rewards. Booking through Amex FHR will get you a noon check-in, 4PM guaranteed checkout time, room upgrade if available, a once per booking $100 resort credit which you can apply towards food or spa services, and a $60 credit towards breakfast each day (2 People X $30 each).  The $100 credit applies once per stay but if you have a friend or spouse who has a platinum amex you can each reserve alternate days getting you the credit every day.  Thats $160 per day you can apply to food, considering the rates this past Presidents Day Weekend were starting at $170, essentially your paying $10 to stay at the Bellagio after credits.  I recommend breakfast at Cafe Bellagio and the Buffet for a late lunch / early dinner.  Between the unlimited caviar, crab legs and food at the buffet, in addition to a large breakfast you're likely not going to be able to eat much more in one day.
  2. Getting to Vegas:  In the travel world there are always deals if you know how to look. I found a flight on Delta for only 5k points and $5.  You can transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points directly to Delta for booking rewards tickets.  For the flight back I ended up using Amex Rewards Points to pick up a pair of first class tickets. If you have the Business Platinum card, Amex refunds 50% of the points you spend back to you (usually within 48 hours).  Another option for an inexpensive flight is the travel benefit with some of the infinite Visa cards that deducts $100 off any pair of roundtrip tickets.  I have this on my Ritz Carlton infinite Visa but opted to use points instead on this trip.
  3. Plan your stay:  If your schedule is flexible you can choose a time that gives you the best prices and options.  Surprisingly, even though my stay was over a holiday weekend, I seemed to get the mid-week pricing from Sunday to Monday.  Off peak and shoulder season dates can have some pretty incredible deals.
  4. Re-Check Rates:  Rates change in the hotel industry.  If occupancy rates drop for some reason, so could rates.  I had a standard room booked at $289 about a month in advance.  I re-checked the day before going, which was after the cancellation period and the same room had dropped to $189.  I simply gave Amex a call who contacted Bellagio and they upgraded us to the Salon Suite free of charge.  
  5. Use the Mobile Check in Line:
Bellagio Check in Line
Check-in lines can be an hour or more during peak times at the Bellagio.  Just past the long check in line is a very short mobile check-in.  Simply download the app onto your cell phone, check in on the app and then your phone will notify you as soon as your room is ready if your early or allow you to skip the long regular check-in line.
6. Upgrade Your Stay:  Ask about upgrade options at check-in.  Rates vary depending on occupancy but it never hurts to ask, on my stay this weekend I was offered to go from an 850 square foot Salon Suite to the 1,500+ square foot Penthouse Suite for $100, instead I opted to pay $25 to get a fountain / strip view in my Salon Suite (definitely worth the incredible views).
7. Lounge Access and more Free Food:
Amex Centurion Lounge Entrance
Amex Centurion Lounge Las Vegas
The Amex Platinum not only gives you access to Delta lounges when flying on Delta but also Amex Centurion Lounges. LAX has a great Delta SkyClub Lounge and Las Vegas McCarren Airport happens to have a very nice Amex Centurion Lounge.  Both of these provide good food and a great place to hang out before flights.
8. Water: At most hotels they either include free water or you just ask them at the front desk and it is typically complimentary.  Fiji water at the Bellagio was running $8, but we found they have ice cold filtered water by the pool bar you can use to refill anytime.
9. Sign up for MLife: M life is the rewards program for MGM international which includes several properties. If you don't opt for a platinum Amex or don't care about food credit, Bellagio Mlife rewards program has some pretty amazing deals you get access to just for signing up.
10. Hyatt Points:  Be sure to add your Hyatt number to your stay or submit a missing stay request after the fact.  You will also need an Mlife account prior to checking out in order to receive credit toward your Hyatt account.
I would also recommend the express checkout so you don't have to wait in line.  Just remember to check your bill, as often they seem to miss giving you all the credits for Fine Hotels and Resorts.  This can be fixed with a simple email to memberservices@mgmresorts.com, as wait times on the phone lines can be quite long.

I have to laugh sometimes as I find traveling can be cheaper than staying at home.  With my weekend trip to Vegas, I can eat at the Delta Lounge on my way out of Los Angeles for free, have an amazing Bellagio Buffet dinner with my $100 credit and get free breakfast at the Bellagio the next morning, and of course visit the Amex Centurion lounge on my way back.  Flights, great food and a fun weekend for a few points and only $175.   I figure I would spend close to that on food anyway over a weekend.

Of course, there is no end to the options for entertainment or ways you can have fun.  I decided to step it up a notch and take a Gallardo for a spin to Red Rock Canyon for a day thanks to the guys at Royalty Exotic Car Rentals.

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