Review of Spa Bellagio

••• Watching the Fountains of Bellagio is a good way to relax before or after your spa treatment. The Bellagio

The Bellagio is one of the most beloved hotels in Las Vegas, managing to be both fabulously over-the-top and tasteful–a rarity in this town. The nearly 4,000-room hotel was inspired by an Italianate palazzo, and even has its own 8.5 acre lake. The Fountains of Bellagio put on an incredible show every fifteen minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight, where the water seems to dance to light and music. It's definitely the best free show in Vegas.

Inside, you'll be dazzled by the the glass Conservatory & Botanical Gardens (with amazing seasonal displays), the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, and Cirque de Soleil's "O," a fantastical aquatic show. The stage is sometimes deep water, sometimes dry land, and head-spinningly magical.

This 55,000 square-foot Spa Bellagio was built in 2004, when The Bellagio's Spa Tower was built, and it's easy to find–right across from the Conservatory in the front lobby. It was the first super-star spa on the Strip, innovative in its size, scale and gender-neutral beauty. The Salon on the first floor is glamorous, with as much as gold as Louis XIVth's court, but the spa itself was designed with men in mind.

The First Man-Friendly Spa

You take an elevator that opens onto the spa shop, where you check in. Then you step onto a balcony that lets you overlook the Conservatory below. Someone will be showing you the locker room, so now is not the time to stop, but at some point you may want to look down at the spectacle.

Once you're inside, everything is more restrained in its design, and starts to quiet you down.

The designers realized that a gender-neutral look could make spa-going more appealing to men, so everything here is minimalist, while still being beautiful. The rectangular pieces of jade set into the floor and lit from below are especially beautiful.

 They have a "shy guy" treatment room where they don't have to wait for a therapist in public, and a private Barber Room provides straight razor shaves using steamed towels and Art of Shaving products.

Spa Bellagio has a full menu of spa treatments, including basics like a fifty-minute custom massage and facials and peels. You can also get a shiatsu, Thai massage, and Watsu, a massage that takes place in water and requires a special pool and therapist training. Spa Bellagio has 56 treatment rooms, including 12 skin care rooms with private showers, four Ashiatsu and two Thai massage rooms, two Vichy rooms, two hydrotherapy rooms, a Watsu room and four couple’s rooms. 

The locker rooms have a nice steam room, sauna, and a room with hot and cold plunges. There's a nice surprise when you shower–the lights keep changing color, which relaxes your mind and gets you in the mood for a massage. The robes are especially plush, too. Walk down a long, sunlit hallway, where flowers hang on the wall, to the co-ed waiting area. If you're used to waiting with women only, all the men in robes might be a shock. 

A Master Therapist

Diana Campos, who has been with Spa Bellagio since it opened, gives an unbelievable hot stone massage, called Bellagio Signature Stone.

 She uses hot towels, both dry and damp, to warm up your body and muscles, which feels absolutely wonderful. Then she uses her hands to get into all your "trouble areas" and work the kinks out. After finishing each section, she runs hot stones over your body, where the muscles have been worked. It feels like heaven. 

Diana even used a technique called positional release: instead of stretching the muscle tissue, she compresses it while pressing on the tight area, which helps it release. This was amazing work, and the sign of a master therapist. The treatment also calls for an aromatherapy oil, which was nice, and a cool eye treatment when you're laying on your back, which is nice.

After the treatment, you got to The Meditation Room, a dark room lit with candles, with water flowing down the walls.

This is where you can rest after your treatments, but the water has a chemical smell. Better to go back down to the locker room, change, and on your way out, spend a little time on the balcony overlooking the Conservatory and just watch the world go by.

Other amenities I didn't have time to experience were the 6,000 square-foot Fitness Center overlooking the serene pool area, and the Bamboo Studio, where they give classes including Pilates, yoga, boxing, and Jukari Fit to Flex, created by Cirque de Soleil and Reebok. The 50-minute class is set to custom-mixed Cirque de Soleil music and provides a total body workout using Jukari flex bands. It costs $40. Next time!

The Spa Bellagio is open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. Appointments are available from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Book in advance for desired time slots. Non-resort guests can book treatments any day except Saturday, when Spa Bellagio is only open to hotel guests. For appointments, call Spa Bellagio at 702-693-7472.