|After hearing the
salacious rumors and reading the dizzying reports from ďbillhereĒ, we had
our hearts set on a Dennis Rodman sighting.
8-) We were really looking forward to being paid anywhere from $200 to
$500 to not play at his Blackjack table, to see and hear the hoopla and
women throwing themselves on him with our own eyes. At best we figured
maybe he would throw a punch and we could sue for $250k or more. Following
is a report on that perverse quest. (Iím joking of course.) This was our
first trip back since our honeymoon in April 1998.
Throughout our trip at the Luxor we perused the casino but no Dennis Rodman sighting. As we were sitting having drinks in Nefertiriís Lounge (drinks there not that great), a woman started screaming about her jackpot on a slot machine. I glanced over and told my brother, Ben, it was no big deal since the light wasnít flashing. I went over anyway and sure enough she had won 450 quarters. A nice jackpot but no flashing lights.
It seems they have also removed (and moved) a number of slot machines we enjoyed playing last year. Probably because they were too loose. In fact it seems theyíve tightened up the already tight slots there (and in all the strip casinos) .
The pastries at the Luxor Coffee shop on the attractions level are really good. I had a danish and cruller which were great. The coffee was not so great. It seems theyíve lowered the price of the lunch buffet ($7.99) so now itís only 50 cents more than breakfast. I remember it as being $8.99 or so.
The only real problem we had was at check out. At 10:30 in the morning on Weds there were huge lines of people waiting to check in which made it tough for those checking out and Gold Chamber was closed. Finally someone came to the Gold Chamber desk and I ran to be first in line. It turned out that it was good I didnít do express check out and just leave cause they really screwed up the bill. We were supposed to be comped the first two nights and then pay $75 for the remaining two nights in the suite (since the regular rate for a suite is $250 to $350 this was quite a bargain!). However, even after this was confirmed when I checked in, somehow someone managed to screw it up and there was a $125 charge for the first two nights and a $89 charge for the 2nd two nights. I showed the woman my confirmation letter and she very quickly and efficiently straightened it all out. (See 4/98 trip repot. The reason we were comped 2 nights was because I wrote a letter to the GM after our honeymoon explaining nicely what we enjoyed about Luxor but also the major problems we had. He wrote back apologizing with the offer for our next trip out.)
As I always say, for most part, once youíve seen one casino youíre seen them all. (Except for Luxor and its Egyptian theme!) The Venetian casino is pretty standard to a laymanís eyes. However, the waitresses attire in the Rialto Café is quite something else! Iíve never seen such an excitingly delicious combination of scant attire and fashion anywhere! :) If you go there (aside from the new Emeril's) thatís as good a reason as any to go check it out. And no Dennis Rodman sighting.
My brother heard it was a good place to play blackjack since they were training their dealers and he was right. Within half an hour he won a nice little sum of money.
Let me elaborate on
my ďyouíve seen one casino youíve seen them allĒ statement. Ok, thatís
a bit of an exaggeration. When thereís lots of people (and Dennis Rodman)
and the action is hot (and youíre winning!), casinos can be exciting places
to hang out. Going from the nice, new hotels and casinos to the older ones
downtown, you can clearly see that the ones on the strip are much nicer
and posher. The hotels and casinos downtown are a bit dated, run down,
and showing their age. The thing is that when you are in a place like Las
Vegas with so many casinos to visit, after a while they all sort of blend
Of course you canít hear it but my voice is oozing high fashion sarcasm as I type this. Letís get down to business! Youíve seen one casino, youíve seen them all. :) Youíve seen one Rodeo Drive or 5th Avenue, youíve seen them all. Overall Bellagio looks like they put a lot of attention to detail and money into it and thatís nice. Itís very nice and impressive. But really, Iím just a down home sucker for that Egyptian crap over at the Luxor.
The thing I noticed about the casino (which I didn't realize at first) is that you don't hear the slot machine noise you hear at other casinos. It's quiet. And that means no winning noises either. No Dennis Rodman sighting although I didnít think there would be considering the no kids rule and the bouncers enforcing it at the entrances. And yes, we saw a burly red coated bouncer deny access to some woman with her kids despite a plea to ďjust see the lobbyĒ.
The lobby with its glass flower ceiling was wonderful. To each side of the reception area are new works by Robert Rauschenberg made specifically for Bellagio in which items in the painting represent something about Bellagio. The atrium outside the art museum is light, open, and airy with lovely gardens. We were very impressed with the tile work.
We ate/drank at the
resturant next to the museum while waiting to get in. My $4 glass of OJ
was not as fresh as it couldíve been. Jenís (Ben's friend) french toast
was very good though. From there we had a great view of the very nice pool
area. Job well done there.
Sometimes the best finds are the small things you have to go looking for. On the way to the swimming pool, off in one of the corridors away from the casino is a little place called the Gellato Cafe. The pastries and gellato were to die for and the sandwiches on Foccacia bread were very good!!! I had a smoked salmon sandwich with probably half a pound of salmon (which should go for about $13) for $6. We were impressed! We ate one of the brownies with icing and sugar dust which was divine!
The Bellagio Art Museum
I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed with the museum and it's art. The hushed silence when you enter is quite a contrast to the bustle of the atrium area. The works in the gallery's two small rooms are separated by a large wall and in time by the 20th century (pre and post 1900).
The rooms are darkened
and the paintings are illuminated by small spots around the room. (There
are also many of those little black camera globes too.) The lighting was
superb because I could view the paintings from many angles without any
Of course, one of the ironies of all this is that everything in Vegas is a copy but in the midst of all that are these originals. They give you a hand held device in which you listen to Steve Wynn ramble on, often at length, about the paintings. Some of it is informative and other times I just switched to the next painting. Once you hear it though his voice is unmistakable. That night on TV, I noticed his voice narrating an ad for Siegfried and Roy.
Steve Wyrick at the
George Popovich at
One can have exceptional meals in any price category. Itís not what you pay for a meal that makes it good nor is high price any indicator of quality or something to your liking. We enjoyed it. I received an email from a couple (in reponse to this trip report) who were there about the same time as us celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary and enjoyed it very much as well.
Of course to get anywhere in the MGM Grand we had to go through the casino. I did a spot check but Dennis Rodman was not in attendance.
The Peppermill Lounge
The Star Trek Experience
It seems theyíve toned down the loud video which was really annoying last time. It was a much more pleasant atmosphere to hang out in. Of course they have those costumed characters from the show who come up to your table and talk to you. The Ferengi was nice enough and we took a photo with him. The Klingon on the other hand was another matter. Talk about a guy getting into the part. I think he was one of those people who spend their weekends in Klingon attire at conventions with their Klingon ďshipmatesĒ and who learn to speak Klingon at Klingon language camp. (Go see the movie Trekkies and youíll see what I mean.) I tried to joke around with him but he acted like I had insulted his honor, and if not for being a diplomat on a starbase, he wouldíve taken a batleth to my head. I told him Iíd wouldíve gone for mine in the back of my pickup truck in the parking lot. He was not amused. So the lesson is, donít mess with the Klingons. :)
Weíd never been to Binions so we went in an walked around. We saw the million dollars. It seemed to be a happening place cause all the tables were filled with people. So either itís happening or itís just smaller than most places so it just seems that way. We looked but Dennis Rodman was nowhere in sight.
But we'll be back!
There were other things we wanted to do which we did not have time for and will just have to wait until our next trip. Like Lance Burton, O, Speed World at the Sahara, and Fly Away. We didnít have any Dennis Rodman sightings but we didnít go to the Hard rock which is one of his hangouts anyway. We realize that Dennis may go broke by the time we go back so we may never end up seeing him in action at a casino in Vegas. Oh well. (Better to see Michael Jackson at Bellagio buying a $200,000 bracelet at Tiffanyís). Life just isnít always fair I guess. 8-) You canít always get what you want. But sometimesÖ.