Review: Fine Hotels & Resorts – Bellagio Las Vegas (Las Vegas, NV)
Editor’s Note: The following review is of American Express’s Fine Hotels & Resorts [as utilized at the Bellagio Las Vegas]. This post is not a complete review of the Bellagio Las Vegas.
After one awesome experience at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino and one disappointing experience at the Aria Resort and Casino using Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection (LHRC), it was time try American Express’s Fine Hotels & Resorts (FHR) program at the Bellagio Las Vegas.
Indeed, both the LHRC and FHR programs are valuable travel-hacks for staying in Las Vegas, but what was my experience with American Express’s FHR at Bellagio Las Vegas?
About The Fine Hotels & Resorts Program:
How To Use It
To use the FHR program, you’ll need a premium American Express Platinum credit card that grants you access. Both the American Express Platinum card and the American Express Business Platinum card will work.
The Benefits Of The Fine Hotels & Resorts Program
For many Platinum users, American Express’s FHR program is an under-utilized benefit – but it can provide tremendous value when used at the right hotels. The perks of the program include the following 6 benefits:
The Benefits Vary By Property – But Bellagio’s Benefits Are Among FHR’s Best:
Bellagio’s “unique amenity” is a $100 Food and Beverage Credit. Additionally, the “daily breakfast for two” benefit is $30 per person per day (valid at several restaurants serving breakfast items). So for two people, this benefit is worth $160 at minimum!
Review: Fine Hotels & Resorts – Bellagio Las Vegas
As with Mandalay Bay, I have partied and dined at Bellagio many times in the past, for some reason I’ve never stayed there. As such, I was excited to see what kind of overall experience the FHR program would provide.
The Check-in: The Invited Guest Line
Upon arrival at the front desk, the “regular line” was pretty long with about 20 people checking-in. Although it didn’t state it in my paperwork, I asked the attendant if people using the FHR program could use the “invited guest” check-in benefit, he said “yes, of course”.
The invited guest line is located on the far left of the front desk. This line was empty and I was helped right away.
The front desk staff noticed immediately that I booked through the FHR program, and remarked to me about what a “great program” FHR was. Unprompted, she asked for my M Life and Hyatt membership numbers so I could receive full credit.
Rating: 10 out of 10 points for Bellagio’s treatment of “invited guests” and for knowing about the FHR Program.
The Check-in: The $160 In Food Credits
This lucrative benefit of $160 in credits was the single biggest reason for me booking through the FHR program. I received the the following letter from the woman at the front desk:
The woman then notified me that “to receive full credits on all charges you must bill the items to your room”.
Rating: 10 out of 10 points for Bellagio’s informed and attentive explanation of how and where to use the programs credits.
The Check-in: The Room Upgrade
My room was initially booked as a Resort King Room. The benefit stated: “room upgrade upon availability”. The front desk attendant notified me that all “strip view” rooms were in fact reserved, but that I would still be upgraded to a room on the highest floor.
Rating: 10 out of 10 points for the automatic upgrade to a the highest floor.
The Resort King Room:
Using the $100 Food and Beverage Credit
We were really hoping to try the Yellowtail Japanese Restaurant and Lounge, but per the FHR letter, this was one of the few restaurants that wasn’t eligible for the credit.
We ended up trying the upscale Fix Restaurant and Bar. Fix is known for its sharable “tapas-style” small dishes, as well as its steak and seafood.
The restaurant was mostly empty, save for the bar. As such, we grabbed a prime spot with the Casino view. We went with the hot rocks [amazing], lobster tacos [delicious], and shrimp cocktail [huge], but the star of the show was the chilled ultimate shell fix [immaculate]. And what would a feast like this be without the mandatory wine?
When all was said and done, this meal came to about $140 (taxes and tip included). When the credit was factored in, this meal “fit for a king” cost only $40!
Rating: 10 out of 10 points for the delicious seafood and overall dining experience at Fix Restaurant and Bar.
Using the $30 Per Person Breakfast Credit
For breakfast, we strolled into the Bellagio Buffet. This was the standard casino resort buffet dining experience, although the Bellagio had a particularly large breakfast spread.
We were unable to spend the entire $60 breakfast credit at the Bellagio Buffet, so we headed to to the Petrossian Bar after breakfast to grab some espresso drinks to go.
Rating: 10 out of 10 points for breakfast at the Bellagio Cafe and coffee at the Petrossian Bar.
The Check-out: Guaranteed 4:00 pm Check-out
Utilizing the “invited guest” line I was able to expedite the late check-out just before 1:00 pm.
Rating: 10 out of 10 for the no-hassle and relaxing Late Check-out benefit.
The Check-out: The Final Folio Invoice
After quickly reviewing the bill, I was pleasantly surprised to find the bill was 100% correct (the first time) and that my stay would be billed through my American Express Platinum card on file (which meant 5x Membership Points).
When all was said and done, the final bill was $226.95 (which included the resort fee of $39, taxes, and tips). With the $160 in FHR credits, the net cost for the entire stay was: $226.95 – $160 = $66.95. Amazing!
Rating: 10 out of 10 for the exquisite Bellagio service and accurate billing.
The Bottom Line Review: Fine Hotels & Resorts – Bellagio Las Vegas
Overall, I found the American Express Fine Hotels and & Resorts (FHR) program to be effortlessly implemented at Bellagio – making for a wonderfully relaxing and luxurious stay.
And did I mention we had tons of fun? Up $250 from the penny slots!
Like the similar Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection, Fine Hotels and & Resorts was everything I was hoping for as it truly enhanced the experience and value of the stay.
My final rating of the Fine Hotels and & Resorts experience at Bellagio was a definitive 10 out of 10 due to Bellagio’s fluent and royal execution of the FHR program.
Which Is Better? Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection or American Express’s Fine Hotels and & Resorts program?
Having tried both Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection and American Express’s Fine Hotels & Resorts programs at different Las Vegas Hotels, I can say that these programs are very similar to each other. There are minor differences between the two (like check-out time and stated usage of the “invited guest” line), but in practice it seems the hotels largely treat these programs the same.
I suggest always comparing hotel prices on each program’s website, as prices for the same room on the same dates can vary widely. For the super-savvy – you can maximize the value of both the LHRC and FHR programs by booking an optimized single-night stay with one program, and another consecutive single-night stay with the other program – thus ensuring you get maximized credits for each night and each breakfast (think $160 + $160).
Either way, whichever program you choose, you win.