Does Tipping $20 Upon Check-In Work at Bellagio?

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In Las Vegas, it’s not uncommon to try to tip a $20 when checking in at one of the hotels in order to score a complimentary upgrade. We decided to put the $20 front desk trick to work during a recent visit to Bellagio Hotel and Casino.

The room booked was a Resort Queen room, which is their lowest category room with two queen beds. Upon check-in, we waited in the MLife Gold and Platinum line, thanks to matched status from MGM’s partnership with Hyatt.

While waiting in line, I got out my credit card and driver license, and folded a $20 inside between the two cards ready to hand over to the agent who would be checking in.

As I approached the front desk agent, she asked for my last name and then for my credit card and ID which I was eager to hand out with the $20. When she say the $20 she immediately took it out and put on the front desk and said “she would see what she could do”. I was then offered a bottled water which I didn’t see anyone who was being checked in offer.

As it was earlier in the day around noon, the agent said she’d try to find a room available and confirmed that I needed two queen beds which I did. After some typing she said she had a nice resort room on the 28th floor with a pool view. She explained that the fountain view rooms weren’t available. She then asked if she could provide a complimentary 12:30pm late check-out (vs. the standard 11am one).

After check-in, she gave me the keys and thanked me and I was on my way up to the room.

Resort View room (in West Wing) views of Cosmopolitan and Aria hotels.

View from the room of the pool, looking down from the 28th floor.

Bottom Line:

Having never tried the “$20 trick” before when checking into a Las Vegas hotel, I was eager to see how it would go down. As a recap, I received the following:

  • A high floor Resort Queen room with a Pool View in the West Wing
  • Early check-in at noon
  • 12:30pm late check-out

It would be hard to say which of these I would have received without tipping the front desk agent, but I doubt I’d get all of these normally.

It’s clear that the agent knew what I was doing and has been tipped several times before. I’d assume it’s their hotel policy to place the tip on the counter, rather than initially pocketing it.

Had I not received anything, would it be acceptable to take back the tip? I was planning to give it to her either way. As I did arrive early there weren’t many rooms ready, however it sounded like a fountain view room would have been a possibility if one was available, though I was pleased with the view from the room.

Has anyone else tried the $20 trick at Bellagio before? Feel free to share your successes in the comments below. 

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  1. Ive done the $20 sometimes and $50 if its a longer stay or a holiday weekend. Usually get a better view. One time got a corner suite at Aria. A lot depends on how busy the hotel is in determining what you get

  2. I got one of those $50/night fountain view rooms for next spring. Not sure how much better I’d get with a $20. But what about a $50?

  3. Ive always got those “upgrades” for free by simply asking for them but not all at once.

  4. One of your problems was the need for 2 queens. Most of the upgrades (suites, etc.) are king rooms.

  5. none of those were upgrades and they would have given you the checkin and checkout for free. basically you got ripped off.

  6. Me: any upgrades available? *slips $20 on the sly*
    Desk agent: It doesn’t appear so, we’re rather full this evening.
    Me: Ok, thanks for checking.
    Desk Agent: Anything else I can assist you with?
    Me: I just need change for that $20

  7. I don’t know what the nightly rate is at the Bellagio for a nice room….BUT….. the Signature one bedroom balcony suite…950 sq feet…..with full kitchen lounge….2 bathrooms…. big spa tub….$120 a night does me just fine…..

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