A Tale of Two Penthouses: The BigHosss Review

Escalade enthusiast, nog connoisseur, and fellow Vegas Snob BigHosss was kind enough to submit a unique side-by-side perspective on some posh penthouses at MGM’s flagship properties. We at Vegas Snob are grateful that readers submit reviews with no arm-twisting, stipulations, or demands whatsoever…

Let me get this out of the way. The writing and subsequent publication of this report was predicated on the demand that I mention Mike’s JetSuiteX referral code E9VX9K at least three times. So I hope that you enjoy it as I feel kind of injured having to shill Mike’s JetSuiteX referral code E9VX9K on multiple occasions and I hope that mentioning Mike’s JetSuiteX referral code E9VX9K does not diminish the quality of this report.

My wife and I always visit Vegas for the week of golf’s Open Championship. We like betting on it and getting up early Sunday to watch the conclusion. We are usually accompanied by friends from home who also enjoy the golf, early morning Champagne and the subsequent afternoon of revelry. In recent years, we’ve taken to getting a suite somewhere to host a viewing party.

Last summer, we straight-up paid for three nights in a two-bedroom Aria Sky Suite Penthouse which I thought would be hard to top. This year, we were upgraded for five nights to a Bellagio Penthouse. Hello, beautiful.

Both suites have generous living rooms with plenty of seating, a half-bath for guests in the foyer, and bars with refrigerators and ice makers. If you know me, ice makers are kind of a big deal as I like to keep any number of liquids cool and refreshing.

The main difference in the two suites is in the dining rooms. The Sky Suite Penthouse has separate dining and living rooms while the Bellagio one is a large open room very similar to the Bellagio Tower Suite and corresponding suites at the Mirage. I’m not surprised the floorplans were basically repeated because those rooms are super spacious and comfortable.

At 1,465 square feet, the Sky Suite Penthouse definitely feels smaller than the 1,536 square foot one at Bellagio. Like I mentioned, we were in a two-bedroom Sky Suite, but I’m using the one-bedroom square footage for an apples to apples comparison.

Another notable difference is that the Aria bar is not as enclosed as the Bellagio one. It also has a TV which has the effect of making the Aria bar a little more comfortable for sports viewing and drinking situations.

While both bedrooms were extremely comfortable, I’d have to give the edge to the lighter Aria design. The Bellagio materials and color palette definitely have a heavier and stern feel, kind of like you’re sleeping in your parents’ bedroom. The little Bellagio fainting couch is fun to pretend like you’re fainting on if you’re bugging your wife while she’s trying to get ready. I had pretty much the exact same bedroom in my Bellagio Tower Suite in June, which is a very similar footprint but on a lower floor and with lower ceilings.

More departures can be found in the bathrooms. In this case, the Bellagio suite has two separate rooms—a “his” with a steam shower and a “hers” with a bathtub. The “hers” also has a bidet. I guess the whole gender equality thing will catch up with high-end suite bathrooms at some point. Either way, I let my wife shower in my bathroom.

B Hallway

Bathroom hallway. “His” on left, “hers” on right.

One feature I love is that they shoved a small bench and mirror in a little unused space in my bathroom. I really meant to sit here for a little quiet time, but I never got around to it.

B Bath Seat

Bellagio contemplation bench

The Aria bathroom combines the steam shower and tub into one room with two sinks and a large vanity. The tub is right in the middle of the room so you’re always having to walk around it for something.

A Bath

Aria master bathroom

The one feature that edges this bathroom back into the game is the presence of a Toto Washlet commode. I’m an ever-amused fan and the Toto folks liked one of my tweets recently so that counts for something.

Aria’s Penthouse is accessed exclusively via private Sky Suites elevators with an arrival experience separate from the rest of the hotel. There is a pretty decent, but sometimes crowded lounge there. Bellagio’s main tower Penthouse has the convenience of both VIP and general elevators. Airport transportation is generally included with both rooms. 

Since we upgraded to the Bellagio suite from a Fountainview Tower King, the super nice front desk clerk at invited guest check-in sent us to the secret elevator but didn’t give us full access to the VIP check-in and lounge. This was no big loss since we’d rather spend time in the room or at Petrossian.

B Elevator

Bellagio VIP elevator

Speaking of Petrossian, it’s one of my favorite places to hang out and watch my wife and friends check their phones. 

Phones

As of this writing, they’re getting ready to renovate as soon as the Baccarat Bar update is done. I think we all hope it retains its comfortable charm after the dust settles.

Anyway, there isn’t really a winner here since this isn’t really a contest. I just recommend that you enjoy the value of any of these suites. I’m built for comfort and these places have it in spades.

Mike Denise Bri

One comment

  1. motoman2wh3 · August 28

    Nice side-by-side — like you say, both winners. Somehow without our meaning to, that Aria suite became our home for our final few years. (We’ve been on a break….)

    While you used the one-bedroom Sky Suite square footage for the sake of comparison, it’s notable that the One Bedroom Penthouse has a stark, much colder color scheme: its bare white floors & walls, lime and charcoal accents make the Two Bedroom’s earthy greens & grays with tan floors & walls feel much more warm and inviting (even if they’d seem bland on their own, say next to a Roger Thomas or Todd-Avery Lenahan room).

    And in either case, the included airport transportation and refreshments are worthwhile perks. (Nothing like not being long hauled to get your trip off to a good start. The private Sky Suites entrance & check-in is pretty killer, too. Makes “invited guest/Platinum” line at Main Desk seem… what’s Mike’s word… Ghetto!😀)

    Like

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