Say what you will about Vegas, but the city does not take the easy way out when it comes to design. It’s like Walt Disney World: absolutely contrived and profit-driven but incredibly detailed. That’s something that I couldn’t help but fall in love with. I love the details. I love that these hotels will display huge fountains and mounds of flowers just because they can. Who in the world decides, “Why don’t we cover our ceiling with 2,000 hand-blown glass flowers? Let’s not make anything easy.”

Sure, their motivations aren’t for aesthetics alone. But I am a frequent complainer (much to the annoyance of my husband) about sky-scrapers. I hate imposing glass walls with nothing to them. I only want the precision of details no one else cares about. This absence was actually a huge adjustment for me when moving back to the US last summer after four years in Italy.

But the level of design in Vegas helped me like the city more than I would have otherwise. Without so many beautiful and intricately-designed things to look at, I think the consumerism would have killed my spirit.

First, Dale Chihuly’s Fiori di Como in the Bellagio lobby. I love this. The glass flowers burst from the ceiling like some kind of beautiful disease (is that too gruesome?).

Just past the lobby is Bellagio’s botanical garden and conservatory, dressed up for fall.

A beautiful glass leave hanging from the conservatory roof. I didn’t even take photos of the beautiful flower displays set up throughout the hotel and behind the check-in desks in the lobby.

My other favorite hotel was Wynn Las Vegas. This hotel is gorgeous and, of course, expensive. I’d recommend anyone on the strip walk around, even if it’s further down the road than the others and is lacking in loud tourist attractions. The light is took dark (in every hotel/casino) to do the photos justice. The Wynn has the most beautiful and unique design–a mix of contemporary cute and classic sophistication. I was dying over the carpet and wallpaper, both of which I neglected to photograph but very badly want for my home office.

This is the Wynn Buffet, where Joseph and I had dinner with my friend Sarah. The meal was delicious, and do I even need to mention this room? It’s straight out of Alice in Wonderland.


  1. wow, I love those glass flowers
    all the pics are really beautiful

    • Alyssa Reply

      We spent most of our time just wandering around and looking at the hotels. They are really incredible!

  2. I LOVED Vegas when I went! I was only 19, but we Stayed at the Paris hotel, and most of them are just so fantastic looking. I want to go back very badly. And I’m also dying to see the inside of the rooms at the Wynn!

  3. Hi! I just found your blog and read about almost all of it! I found it by searching for Lake Barcis—my husband and I are stationed at Aviano (well, he is; I’m just along for the ride!). We just arrived a couple months ago and live in Maniago! I hope you enjoyed your time out here; if you have any tips on great places to see and tasty places to eat at, I’m all ears!

    • Alyssa Reply

      I hope you enjoy your time in Aviano and take advantage of all the nearby countries! I got tired of traveling within Italy after a while, but being up north is so nice because you have Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Croatia, Slovenia, etc. at the tip of your finger. I really miss being so close to such places. My favorite places I visited were Egypt, Rome, Venice, Milan, Paris, Austria, Slovenia, and Hungary.

      I’ve been out of Italy over a year now and am really missing the food. Tagliatelle alla funghi (why can’t I get such great mushroom pastas here?), gelato, macchiato, Chinese food, clementines, grappa & wine, prosciutto….

      If you are a UMUC student, make sure you take some classes with Dr. Toni Sepeda. Even if you aren’t an english or art student–she is so inspiring and interesting. Most of what I got out of living there came after meeting her. Her field study in Venice is incredible!

  4. I love Chihuly! He had an exhibit at the Meijer Gardens in Grand Rapids for awhile, and they still have one of his huge chandeliers in the ballroom. So gorgeous! :) Hope it was a lovely trip :)

  5. Incredible!! Dale’s work never ceases to amaze me! I saw an exhibit of his in Nashville and have been pining to attend another.

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