Checking out what’s new in Vegas at MGM Resorts
Las Vegas is constantly evolving, and no one is more attuned to the necessity of making those changes than MGM Resorts International, the company behind such Vegas properties like Mandalay Bay, Aria and Bellagio. Two weeks ago, Bullz-Eye was invited to check out MGM’s latest hotel, the completely renovated Delano Las Vegas, and sample the accommodations, restaurants and nightlife that visitors can expect during their stay. But because there’s a lot more to what MGM Resorts is doing beyond the launch of the Delano to enhance its guest experience, we were invited back this past weekend to witness first-hand some of the newer additions that have helped transform Las Vegas into a destination that’s more about luxury than gambling.
In fact, MGM has seen a major shift over the last 10 to 15 years in how important things like food, entertainment, pools and nightclubs have become for the typical Vegas visitor, to the point that casino gaming now only makes up about 30% of its business. That’s a pretty remarkable statistic for a city where gambling used to be its bread and butter, but it just goes to show why MGM is striving to stay ahead of the curve in addressing the priorities of its guests, and they’ve done an amazing job so far. This may have been my first visit to Sin City, but after discovering all the cool things it has to offer, it definitely won’t be my last.
There’s nothing worse than air travel, especially when you’re forced to deal with unwanted layovers and delays, so by the time I finally arrived in Las Vegas and checked into my room at the hip and swanky Delano, the only thing on my mind was face-planting into the comfy hotel bed for a much-needed nap. But the folks at MGM had invited myself and three other travel writers joining me on the trip to an once-in-a-lifetime cognac dinner at Sage inside Aria, and it was an event not to be missed.
In addition to a specially crafted five-course menu by Chef Shawn McClain, with Drappier champagne pairings chosen by Director of Wine Kim Wood, we sampled five different cognacs brought by special guest Benedict Hardy, the CEO of Hardy Cognac. Though the menu featured plenty of highlights, including a Fois Gras Custard Brulee, Kobe Skirt Steak Diane and Dark Chocolate Panna Cotta, the chance at tasting some high-end cognacs was a real delight, especially the pre-1870s unblended variation confidently called Perfection, a genuine antique that runs $25,000 bottle (or about $800 a glass), of which only 200 or so remain.
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Posted in: Lifestyle, On Location, Travel
Tags: Aria, BATHHOUSE, Bellagio, BLVD Creamery, Delano Las Vegas, Della's Kitchen, Double Barrel Smokehouse, ESPA Spa, Fleur by Herbert Keller, Four Seasons, Hardy Cognac, Las Vegas, LIGHT nightclub, MGM Resorts, Michael Jackson ONE by Cirque du Soleil, Painting with the Dolphins, PRESS, Sage, Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and Dolphin Habitat, Veranda, Wine Amplified
Bellagio Poker Room still rules
The changes in Las Vegas have been stunning over the years. With the recent addition of City Center and also the hip and trendy Cosmopolitan hotel, the standard for the best spots in Vegas is constantly evolving.
Still, many of the established names still hold up even with the new competition. The Bellagio for example is still one of the best spots in Las Vegas, particularly if you’re looking for an upscale experience with a female friend.
It’s also still one of the top destinations for poker. The Bellagio Poker Room remains one of the best in town and the spot where many pros go to play. Everything is top notch, from the luxury surroundings to the dealers and the cocktails. It’s open 24/7 with around 30 tables. Of course you’re not coming here if you have a small bankroll. The minimums are higher than you’ll find in many other rooms on the Strip and you’ll see some huge pots here.
Then you have Bobby’s Room, the ultimate spot for poker high rollers. It’s described on the Bellagio website as follows: “Be one of the privileged few to get in on the high-stakes excitement inside our signature poker room. Decked out in winning style, this coveted experience pays tribute to its namesake, Bobby Baldwin, the 1978 World Series of Poker Champion and Chief Design & Construction Officer, President & CEO, CityCenter. Within its storied walls are tables providing maximum privacy and concentration.” If you’re heading to Las Vegas with a serious bankroll and an appetite for some white-knuckle poker, then this is your spot!
Of course many players love the online world of playing poker. It’s a completely different experience but many enjoy the convenience of being able to play at any time. It’s excellent for poker practice. But of course there are all sorts of issues as well like deposits. If you’re having trouble depositing funds on online poker sites you can read why credit cards are being declined can be read here. Hopefully we’ll get to the point where the regulators finally acknowledge this is a game of skill and even out the rules for everyone. Until then places like the Bellagio offer a real experience for poker that you really can’t match online.
Posted in: Lifestyle, Vices
Tags: Bellagio, Bellagio Las Vegas, Bobby Baldwin, Bobby's Room, gambling, Las Vegas, Las Vegas poker rooms, poker, poker high rollers, poker rooms, wagering, world series of poker
Popular casinos to visit in Las Vegas
If you’re taking a holiday in the city of Las Vegas, it is pretty likely that you will be visiting some of the casinos that are found around the city, especially along the Strip. The city offers well over one hundred casinos which can make selecting a few rather difficult. While these casinos all have their own flavor, certain ones are simply more popular than others.
The Bellagio is one of the more opulent casinos found in the city. It is well attended due to its casino game offerings including its poker rooms. These rooms have been the site of various poker tours. Measuring a total of 7000 square feet, the room is complete with 40 poker tables as well as two areas with high limits. Among these is the famous Bobby’s Room which was named for the 1978 World Series of Poker Champion, Bobby Baldwin. The casino also features a fountain show with the fountain being synchronize with a music and light program. Gamblers at the Bellagio should take a short time out to experience this one of a kind show.
Located within close proximity to the Bellagio is the Venetian. Visitors here can expect to find a theme from the Italian city of Venice. Complete with canals and gondolas, many may even for a brief time feel like that are actually in Venice. Like the Bellagio, poker has quite a presence here at the Venetian. The poker room found here is one of the largest in the city with 59 poker tables making it easy to cash in to a game while visiting the Venetian. Expect to find various versions of poker just like those available at CasinoOnline.co.nz . This includes the popular community card poker games of Texas Hold ‘Em and Omaha Poker which are enjoyed by many at online casinos. Some tables do offer high limits but lower limit tables are present as well.
Posted in: Lifestyle, Travel, Vices
Tags: Bellagio, Bellagio fountain, casinos, Las Vegas, Las Vegas holidays, Las Vegas hotels, luxury hotels, luxury travel, Vegas casinos