Category Archives: Bellagio Conservatory

Chinese New Year Means Days of Swine and Roses at Bellagio Conservatory

The newest seasonal display at the Bellagio Conservatory is up and this time it celebrates The Year of the Pig in honor of Chinese New Year.

Or, as Chinese New Year is known in Las Vegas, “The season of kissing up to Asian gamblers.”

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Yeah, it’s a weird one. Just go with it.

Bellagio’s Chinese New Year motif has one of the quickest turnarounds of all the seasonal displays as it’s right on the heels of Christmas.

Because of the fast turnaround time, many of the items in the Chinese New Year display are more statue than plant, but it’s still impressive and one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

In China, red symbolizes fortune and joy. Fun fact: Fortune and Joy are two of the most popular stripper names in Las Vegas.

Bellagio’s horticulture staff of 120 people go to great lengths to research every inch of the Conservatory’s 140,000-square-foot display to ensure the accuracy of a lot of things we have no clue about.

For example, part of the Conservatory features a representation of the grounds at the Temple of the Six Banyan Trees, a Buddhist temple in Guangzhou, China.

Bellagio Conservatory

Warning: Saying “Guangzhou” out loud is likely to hemorrhage your larynx. And not in a good way.

There’s also flower pagoda guarded by two Chinese Fu dogs (“Foo” in English) that appear to have left in their hair curlers too long.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Not even remotely a dog, bro.

Chinese Fu dogs are a giant scam because they’re not dogs, they’re lions. They’re also very good luck, so we’ll give them a pass.

How meticulously do the wizards at Bellagio research their displays? Well, if you screw up the position of the Fu dogs, you’re out of luck.

According to feng shui, when looking at the lions, the one with a ball (male) is on the right and the one with a cub (female) is on the left. Bellagio nails it.

Bellagio Chinese display 2019

You’re going to need more storage space on your smartphone.

The entryway to the Conservatory features a giant jade decoration.

Jade is said to represent the six virtues in Asian culture: Benevolence, righteousness, wisdom, bravery, Grumpy and Sneezy.

Bellagio Conservatory

What an awesome entrance to the Bellagio buffet this would make.

On the north side of the Conservatory stands a replica of a bronze sculpture, “Lotus Flower in Full Bloom.”

The original stands in Golden Lutus Square in Macau, China.

Bellagio Conservatory

It’s important to note this statue in no way resembles an attachment for the Magic Wand massager.

Given it’s the Year of the Pig, the star of the show is a massive pig, or more accurately, an “Earth pig.”

The pig is 22 feet long and 12 feet tall and is far more adorable than a 22 foot long slab of bacon. We trust you are feeling an appropriate amount of shame and regret right now.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Sorry. Didn’t mean for you to hear that buffet comment.

As always, the Bellagio Conservatory is a feast for the eyes and remains a Las Vegas must-see.

We’re honestly astonished the Conservatory is still around. Other free attractions have either gone away (like “Sirens of TI” at Treasure Island and Rio’s “Masquerade Show in the Sky”) or cut back on their hours (like the volcano show at Mirage), but the Conservatory at Bellagio keeps delivering the goods.

Conservatory Chinese New Year 2019

Just as Fu dogs are lions, so too are these, although people sometimes mistake them for dragons. Bonus: Eyelashes are on fleek.

The hard fact is such free attractions don’t really provide much value to a casino. Back in the day such attractions would draw crowds, and many in those crowds would stay and gamble.

Today, not so much.

The vast majority of people who visit the Conservatory are just there to look. It’s a loss-leader for Bellagio (and its parent, MGM Resorts) that’s becoming increasingly difficult to justify as MGM Resorts and other casino companies become more and more focused on the bottom line.

The takeway: Get your feng and your shui in gear and enjoy the Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Garden while you can.

Chinese New Year Vegas

We never got why Asian travelers would want to see things they could see back home until we ate at a Burger King in Paris.

The Chinese New Year display runs through March 9, 2019. Next up is the spring display, Mar. 16 to June 1, 2019.

If you’re a fan of the Bellagio Conservatory, as we are, avail yourself of our massive collection of Conservatory photos covering the last six years of eye-popping displays.

Bellagio Conservatory Chinese New Year 2019

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Vital Vegas Podcast, Ep. 90: Stuff Your Face With Vegas

It’s time for a new installment of the Las Vegas podcast that’s nearly as annoying as being issued a W2-G form.

We kick off the show with an irredeemable holiday poem, “A Very Pappy Christmas.”

There’s also an interview with chef James Trees, owner of Esther’s Kitchen. The downtown restaurant has gotten great buzz, and listening to the chef it’s fairly clear why.

Esther's Kitchen

The flatware at Esther’s Kitchen is from the Dunes. ‘Nuff said.

You won’t want to miss our “12 Days of Las Vegas Christmas,” or our perfunctory round-up of Las Vegas news.

Bond at Cosmo will be Barbershop Cuts & Cocktails in 2019, “Totally Twisted Brunch” is coming to SLS, investors are working to bring Major League Baseball to Las Vegas, Salt and Pepa are on hiatus at Paris, Palms is making moves in nightlife, target dates for Resorts World and The Drew are pushed back, same for Criss Angel’s new show at Planet Hollywood, “Fuerza Bruta” comes to Excalibur, Sadelle’s opens at Bellagio in December, 322 Pizza Bar opens on Fremont and Rob Lowe brings “Stories I Only Tell My Friends” to Planet Hollywood in April.

We pop into Bellagio’s Conservatory, too, because podcasts are the perfect vehicle to share something so visually stunning.

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas 2018

It’s not Christmas until the Bellagio Conservatory says it is.

Just for good measure, we also review Holsteins at Cosmopolitan, as well as the cookies in the casino’s completely awesome high limit lounge.

It’s all the Vegas you can stomach, so let out your belt a notch and take a listen.

Bellagio Conservatory’s Fall Display Raises the Bar, Again

It’s not officially fall unless the Bellagio has unveiled its fall display, and that it has.

The fall 2018 display is called “Falling Asleep,” although, we can’t imagine why.

Bellagio Conservatory

Always stunning, rarely cheesy, the Bellagio Conservatory is one of our favorite places to get our fill of whimsy.

Bellagio has pulled out all the stops for its latest free feast for the eyes.

The exhibit was inspired by “the mythology of the goddess of harvest.”

The slumbering goddess is 38 feet tall and 28 feet long. She is fashioned from natural materials like hydrangeas and oak leaves.

In Greek mythology, the goddess of the harvest is Demeter. It’s also an answer to the question, “What’s a fundamental unit of length in the metric system?”

Oh, like you’re even reading this blog post at this point. You’re just here for the photos.

Bellagio Conservatory

Harvest goddess’ eye make-up is on fleek.

The fall, sorry “harvest,” display at Bellagio runs through Nov. 24, 2018, then it’s on to the Conservatory’s popular holiday extravaganza, Dec. 1 to Jan. 6, 2018.

Bellagio maintains an impressive 120 people on its horticulture staff and they were all kept busy with the fall display.

Bellagio Conservatory

Grammable AF.

The fall exhibit boasts foxes frolicking with acorns. It’s a fun game trying to decide which is a genetic mutation, the foxes or the acorns.

Bellagio Conservatory

Frolic while you can, foxes, for soon you will be replaced with polar bears wearing Coca-Cola branded winter wear.

Here’s one of their mutant fox friends.

Bellagio Conservatory

Somebody clearly got the memo about keeping to the “Falling Asleep” theme.

The exhibit also features two 10-foot-tall tigers, each covered with more than 290 pounds of seeds.

Bellagio always has its eye on Asian guests (who are often very enthusiastic gamblers), so it’s likely the inclusion of foxes and tigers in the fall display isn’t a coincidence.

There’s a famous Chinese idiom, “a fox exploits a tiger’s might,” which tells the tale of a fox about to be devoured by a tiger. The fox convinces the tiger to follow him around to show what a bigshot he is, and everyone runs away. The tiger is duly impressed and lets the fox live, never realizing people were fleeing from him, not the fox. The fox had just assumed the tiger’s majesty.

We’re fairly sure the horticulturalists at Bellagio would say, “Bro, you’re reading way too much into this.”

Bellagio Conservatory

Least favorite Conservatory exhibit of Siegfried and Roy, ever.

Bellagio’s latest effort brings back a crowd favorite, the enchanted talking tree.

Yes, it’s actually fairly creepy, but we’re going with “crowd favorite” just in case Bellagio sees our story and wants to share it.

Bellagio Conservatory

The Bellagio Conservatory literally has every wavelength of light in the visible spectrum.

The eyes of the enchanted tree move, and you’d swear they have somebody behind the scenes making the eyes follow you.

Bellagio Conservatory

The enchanted tree has the ability to peer into your soul. Actual results may vary.

There are photo ops everywhere at the Bellagio Conservatory, including larger-than-life peacocks, dragon flies and autumnal leaves.

Bellagio Conservatory

Random dragonflies? Nope, in China they’re a good luck charm associated with prosperity.

It’s interesting to note photos of the fall exhibit on Bellagio’s Web site don’t actually reflect what’s in the exhibit. The photos show two massive peacocks where the sleeping goddess is.

We suspect the peacocks asked for more money, and poof, mulch.

Bellagio Conservatory

Bellagio Conservatory nerds will note they’ve cleverly repurposed last year’s peacock tails in this year’s display.

Bellagio has truly outdone itself this time, and the Conservatory remains one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas other than watching women in short skirts on a windy day.

Oh, crap, this is so not getting shared by Bellagio.

Bellagio Conservatory

Everywhere you look there are things you’ve never seen before. Take that, every other free attraction in the world.

Just one more look at this beautiful fall odyssey.

Bellagio Conservatory

Just see it for yourself, already.

The Bellagio Conservatory is a must-do every time you’re here, because it’s the most Las Vegas thing you can do that doesn’t involve dice or sequins.

Bellagio Conservatory Goes Doggy Style for Chinese New Year

It’s the Year of the Dog, and the Bellagio Conservatory has not only unveiled another wonderful seasonal display, but it’s also provided an opportunity for this blog to make a gratuitous sexual joke in our headline, so what’s not to love?

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Behold, the Moon Gate. The slooping roof symbolizes the half moon of Chinese summers. Which would make an excellent porn name, all due respect.

Each year, Bellagio pulls out all the stops for Chinese New Year, mainly as a way to kiss up to
all the Asian gamblers who frequent the resort.

For the rest of us, Bellagio’s Chinese New Year display provides a sample the work of some of the most prolific and talented horticulturists in the world.

Bellagio Chinese New Years

People born during the Year of the Dog are said to be honest, friendly, smart and likely to chew your favorite shoes.

As mentioned, this year’s display features 18 dogs, one of our favorite forms of life on Earth.

The star of the show is an 18-foot-tall Husky.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

We aren’t entirely sure whether this is a Siberian or Alaskan Husky. We are a blog, not a dog whisperer.

Huskies are beautiful dogs, but are bred to run, so can’t be trusted off a leash and don’t particularly make good pets. They also like to chase small animals. They also aren’t obedient.
They also shed a lot. But, again, they sure are beautiful!

The Chinese New Year display at Bellagio has lots of other enchanting features, including 13
Chinese lanterns.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

There are three main types of Chinese lanterns: Hanging, flying and floating. Which, coincidentally, are the three ways mobsters would be disposed of in the early days of Vegas.

It’s interesting to note that while 13 is considered in Western cultures, it’s actually good luck to the Chinese.

Also good luck in Chinese culture are Koi fish. They symbolize perseverance and abundance. And possibly sushi to some people. Let’s not dwell upon it.

Bellagio Chinese New Year

Koi fish are also known as “swimming flowers.” These horticulturalists are smart AF.

The display has ding pots, too. We don’t know what they are, but we sort of like saying “ding pot.”

Bellagio Conservatory  ding pot

Ding pot. Ding pot. Ding pot.

The Chinese New Year display at Bellagio Conservatory will be open until Mar. 3, 2018. Next up is the spring exhibit, Mar. 10 to Jun. 2, 2018.

Bellagio Conservatory

This is what happens when you have one more photo than photo captions.

The Bellagio Conservatory & Botanical Gardens remains one of the best free things to do in Las Vegas, so make sure to stop by and rub some bellies. Which is probably frowned upon, and
you’re likely to be wrestled to the ground and tossed out by security, but the stories you’ll tell when you get back home will make it all worthwhile.

Bellagio Chinese New Year 2018

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Bellagio’s Holiday Display Never Fails to Impress

As annual traditions go in Las Vegas, we hope Bellagio’s unveiling of its holiday display never will. Go. In case that wasn’t clear.

Bellagio Conservatory

Paging Dr. Freud.

The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio are one of the few remaining free spectacles in Las Vegas and should not be missed.

Bellagio pulls out all the stops for its Christmas display. Vegas regulars will recognize some familiar elements (such as the polar bears), but there are always new things to see.

Bellagio Conservatory

Bellagio’s up to the challenge of giving your inner Grinch a beat-down.

The focal point of the holiday display is the big-ass Christmas tree, of course.

The White Fur tree, brought in from Mt. Shasta, stands 42-feet tall and has about 2,500 ornaments. Yes, we counted.

Bellagio Christmas

Bellagio’s Christmas tree is 18 feet in diameter, not unlike this blog after a buffet.

Naturally, the Conservatory is replete with flowers, including the seasonally-appropriate poinsettias (28,000 or so), famous for not being pronounced like they’re spelled.

Bellagio Christmas

The botanical name for the poinsettia is “euphorbia pulcherrima,” which sounds like what you’d call a poinsettia if you were bullying it in a locker room.

The Ice Princess is a new addition to Bellagio’s Christmas display, with a dress of white hydrangea and Phalaenopsis orchids. Yes, we copied and pasted those flower names. We are a busy person and don’t have time to “take notes” or “exert effort.”

Bellagio Conservatory

When your mom sees your browser history.

Bellagio’s horticulture staff of about 120 people have this whole Conservatory thing down pat.

The larger-than-life display draws throngs to the Strip casino, although the vast majority don’t stick around to eat or drink or gamble.

In recent years, casinos have cut back on free offerings to strengthen their bottom lines. Bellagio’s Conservatory has weathered those cost-cutting measures, and hasn’t yet suffered the fate of attractions like “Sirens of TI” at Treasure Island or “Masquerade Show in the Sky” at Rio.

Trust us, there have been meetings.

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas

Props on the elf diversity, Bellagio.

Here’s an insider tip for your Conservatory visit: Watch for the GoPro camera on the train at the base of the Christmas tree.

Bellagio Christmas

It’s only creepy if you get one for your ex.

Video from the camera is streamed live on a nearby video monitor.

Bellagio Christmas

Please keep it classy. There are lots of kids around.

Bellagio regulars will find it notable the horse statue in the hotel’s lobby has been swapped out. Not for a holiday-inspired horse and rider, but a samurai-themed one.

There’s currently a samurai exhibit in the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. Here’s more.

Bellagio lobby horse rider

Bellagio’s disco ball horse has been replaced with a samurai’s. The Japanese warriors were fairly kick-ass archers on horseback.

While we enjoy visiting the Bellagio Conservatory during the day to see all the details of the flowers and props, some prefer the glow of the lights at night.

The Conservatory & Botanical Gardens at Bellagio are open 24 hours a day, so check out during the day and after dark.

Oh, and don’t forget to use the hashtag below to help homeless youth.

Bellagio Conservatory

At least that hashtag doesn’t have any unfortunate double meanings.

The Christmas display, called “Holiday Glamour” (because naming things is hard) runs through Jan. 1, 2018. Next up, Chinese New Year, from Jan. 8 through Mar. 3, 2018.

Enjoy more poorly-composed photos in the gallery, below. And if you’d like to see past Bellagio displays, we’ve grouped them all together on our site, so dive right in.

Bellagio Conservatory Christmas 2017

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Bellagio Conservatory Embraces Italian Roots With First-Time Capri-Inspired Display

Bellagio, the Las Vegas resort inspired by a town in Italy, has tapped into its Italian roots again with a new Conservatory & Botanical Gardens display transporting guests to the island of Capri.

Bellagio Conservatory Italy

The new Italian display at Bellagio Conservatory is like a vacation from your vacation.

Bellagio’s Conservatory rarely disappoints, but it’s great to see an all-new display.

As always, Bellagio’s Conservatory is a free attraction and remains one of the best free things to do in all of Las Vegas.

Bellagio Conservatory 2017

Bellagio’s horticulture teams has pulled out all the stops for this first-time display. Bellissima, as the kids say.

Bellagio’s new Italian display, which runs through Sep. 9, 2017, covers a lot of ground, with water features, colorful villas and a metric ass-ton of flowers, of course.
IMG

Guests enter the vibrant new exhibit through a 26-foot archway. Inside, there’s an eight-foot fountain.

Bellagio Conservatory Italian display

This is a wonderful place to freshen up, as well as to meet some helpful Bellagio security guards.

Nearby is a 22-foot moss-covered fountain that pays tribute to the Fontana dell’Ovato located in Villa d’Este, a 16th century residence in Tivoli.

In case there was any doubt, we knew all that off the top of our head and definitely did not copy and paste it from a news release.

Bellagio Conservatory

Villa d’Este is a 16th-century villa near Rome and Fontana dell’Ovato means “oval fountains.” Look at you, inadvertently learning things from a Las Vegas blog.

The eight-foot plate, showing an Italian village, is made of lentils, something we never would have known was a thing except for our enduring love of a 1980’s British sitcom, “The Young Ones.” You bet it’s random.

Bellagio Capri display

In Greece or Turkey, this would be broken by now.

In the north section of the Conservatory, there’s water streaming from lion and monkey sculptures, as well as four lemon topiaries, whatever those might be.

Bellagio Capri display

Bellagio’s horticulture department employs nearly 160 people, all of them with a greener thumb than we’ll ever have.

The lemon topiaries are made of about 1,400 flowers.

Bellagio topiary

“Topiary” comes from the Latin word for an ornamental landscape gardener, “topiarius,” a creator of topia. No, really.

The centerpiece of this seasonal display is a miniature village with 50 villas, each with a terrace.

Bellagio Capri display

You can’t spell “Bellagio” without “bella.”

There’s a bell tower, unbrellas, boats and other flourishes like a 50-foot lemon tree and “Lover’s Rock.”

Bellagio umbrellas

Umbrellas were once called “bumbershoots.” Yeah, we’re spending way too much time on Wikipedia.

Overhead, there’s a sun and moon, each 16 feet tall.

Bellagio Italian sun moon

Every guy in every bar in Las Vegas with sports on. Dude, priorities.

The entire Italian display uses an incredible 57,000 flowers and 560 shrubs. Shrubs never get any of the glory at Bellagio’s Conservatory. While they play a supporting role, without shrubs, the Conservatory would be like “Goodfellas” without Joe Pesci or “Jaws” with Robert Shaw.

Shrubs should really look into getting a better P.R. agency.

Bellagio boxing gloves

You can find this piece in the back of the Conservatory. We’d say this was a clever promotion for the Mayweather-McGregor fight, but it was in the works long before the fight was announced.

Bellagio’s Conservatory & Botanical Gardens are a must-do in Las Vegas, and the first-time Italian display makes it a must-do all over again.

Bellagio Conservatory Taste of Italy 2017

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