Friday, December 5, 2014

The Bellagio


Every body should go to Las Vegas once in a lifetime.
Just to affirm that the world is insane. Except 'me.'


Unless you think Vegas is normal.
Then you need help.


I went there ten years ago with a friend who wore a kilt. We walked up and down the strip. It took about three hours as everyone wanted to take his photo. They kept calling him a paper.
(A piper we later worked out)


So we went again, for two days, staying at the Bellagio for a laugh. We did not gamble one single cent - the silliness of it all is enough. It is marvellous in its ridiculousness. With the odd bit of sheer class thrown in.  


The Bellagio is owned by MGM Resorts International and was built on the site of the demolished Dunes hotel and casino. It was inspired by the town of the same name  on the shore of Lake Como- hence the fountain/lake in front of it. And it is huge.
                                         The corridor disappeared into infinity.
                                                     And beyond.

Think of the biggest hotel you've ever got lost in.
Then double it.

The main bit has 3,015 rooms, on 36 floors. The  Spa Tower has 33 floors with 935 rooms.
The ceiling in the hall has over 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers, covers covering 2,000 sq ft . Must be a right awkward one to dust.
Some of the 8000 staff drive around in little cars is it is  very long way to walk.
The rooms are beautiful but everything, (I mean everything, we had to get  torque wrench to the duvet) is nailed down. There are no tea or coffee making facilities as they want you to go out and walk the  40 miles of corridors for coffee ( not cheap). Once you get there you buy a bottle of water and a sat nav to get  back to your room.


The opening ceremony in 1998 cost 88 million dollars. Then it was the  most expensive hotel ever built. It had a 100  million dollar upgrade in 2011. So what was the initial build?
1.8 billion, give or take a penny.

               The view from the back of the Bellagio. It was an extra $50 per night for a lake view.
                                   It was dark so you couldn't see it anyway. So why bother.

The fountains of Bellagio are a vast, choreographed water feature with performances set to light and music. "Time To Say Goodbye", "Proud to be an American", "Your Song", "Viva Las Vegas", "Luck Be a Lady", and "My Heart Will Go On".The latter was fabulous - until the music started.

We like the bit when you see and hear all the nozzles wind up to the surface and set themselves- a bit like underwater Tiller Girls having a scratch and fidget before the line up.

Then - a smoke machine type thing started to blow a white cloud across the water-  a solid, crystal haar ( like they get in Aberdeen except this was pretty and no danger to shipping ).  Then the  jets of water started to do a wibbly wobbly watery wave thing. It was heart achingly beautiful.
Then Celine started in her Foghorn Leghorn voice and spoiled it all.
But by the big bit where she shouts loud enough to break up the iceberg by sound waves, the super duper nozzles start to give it malkie and the noise is like a thousand firecrackers. It totally drowns out Celine.
Thank goodness.

But to get to the fountains low down at the front, we had to walk the long road from our room at the back and high up.

                             past the crystal obelisk,  parked under the great glass dome.

a bit of tree....

that was actually a scary face, 
at the back of this was a young lady playing classical harp

Indeed, you can just see her here..
I think she was playing the Flower Duet.

All acorns and autumn flowers- for thanksgiving I presume.
The best bit was watching the gardeners redoing it all first thing in the morning, all dirty nails and hard work, scuttling around trying to be invisible.

these two wee guys moved back and forth
up to no good

Smile face and  flower horsey

This wee guy was moving so fast after his nuts the camera couldn't keep up.
                                  Ok, so the other half had to drag me away from that as 'This time we say                                                   Goodbye' was next up for the fountain treatment..

The fountains are set in a 8-acre man made lake which was originally used to  water  the golf course that stood on the site originally. The hotel is very keen to point of that the fountains use less water than irrigating the golf course ever did. But why would they as I presume the water that shoots out the fountain nozzles just goes back into the lake.
I read there was 1,200 nozzles, more than 4,500 lights and they cost  $40 million to build.

There are four types of nozzles:

Oarsmen – jets with a full range of spherical motion (The waves do the tinkly bit at the start of the Titanic you that went down a storm)
Shooters – shoot water upwards ( the start of each chorus)
Super Shooters – send a water blast as high as 240 ft (73 m) in the air (Celine's shouty bits) .
Extreme Shooters – send a water blast as high as 460 ft (140 m) (added in 2005) (Celine's big finish)

Sing as you go through the next few photos.
It's be nothing like the real thing but you'll get a response from the cat.

Caro Ramsay  05 12 2014


  1. Caro, this is a hoot. As an antidote, I offer this video of the real Bellagiio--on Lago di Como. The music is still cheesy, but at least on YouTube, you can turn the sound off. If only we could turn the sound off when it comes to Celine.

  2. More years ago than I care to remember. I got engaged at a New Years Eve Party in a penthouse in Vegas. 'Nuf said.

    Thanks for the memories. :)

  3. I've been to Vegas two-three times, I think, twice at technology trade-shows, once just passing through. I remember well the shock of my first visit, the absolute astonishment at the pure idiocy of building such a place in the middle of the desert. Get whoever you want to sing at me, it won't change my opinion. If Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian weren't evidence enough that mankind is doomed to a tragic end, there's always Las Vegas...

    Oh, Jeff. I knew you'd had a tragic life (marooned on a desert island, after all), but I never knew how truly low you'd swung. There's material enough for a series of made-for-TV movies!

  4. I wouldn't go near Las Vegas or touch any part of it with a ten foot pole. Or even a five foot pole (apologies to Roman Polanski).

  5. I think I am preferring Annamarie's Bellagio. It's much prettier and looks like it doesn't smell of floor polish.
    EvKa has somehow infected my brain with thought of what the love child of Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian might look like.
    I need to lie down now.

    1. :-) A while back, I was 'conversing' with Tim Hallinan, and he was talking about the doubt that strikes him (and most writers) with every new book, not believing he'll finish it, that it's no good, etc. I told him something like, "Whatever doubts you're having today , they're FALSE DOUBTS, they're the devil on your shoulder. If it will help, visualize that Writer's Devil of Doubt the way he usually appears to writers in their darkest moment: the body of
      Kim Kardashian with the head of Donald Trump whispering in the voice
      of Paris Hilton. Just knock the SOB for a loop, then look over your other shoulder and see the ghosts of Dickens, Anthony Powell, and Balzac whispering in your other ear. THOSE are the voices you should be listening to!!!" He wrote back that his would be the other way around: the head of Kim Kardashian and the body of Donald Trump. He was, as always, absolutely right.

      [Shudder] Hope you sleep well tonight! :-)