Colossal in size, The Venetian is an Old World-style creation in modern day Vegas. The granddaddy of luxury brand themed resorts, it's got everything from gondolas to some of the hippest places to shop, dine and party.
Over-the-top Italian elegance, abounding amore, luxury and service reign supreme
What we love
Ah Venice! In The Venetian you'll spot replicas of the Doge's Palace, Campanile Tower and Rialto Bridge. Arched bridges, piazzas and cobblestone pathways are also peppered throughout the property. And when you check in, be sure to look up. The ceilings of the porte cochere, lobby and Great Hall could give the Sistine Chapel an inferiority complex (OK, so that's an overstatement but these ceilings are extraordinary).
At The Venetian, the world is at your belly. You can eat like a paesano at restaurants operated by Buddy Valastro and Wolfgang Puck -- and drink like one too because wine is plentiful. Or savor other cuisines including French favorites by Thomas Keller, enjoy seafood by Tom Moloney, steaks by Emeril Lagasse and South American fare with Lorena Garcia.
All of the rooms in The Venetian are suites. The smallest one measures 650 square feet. That's nearly twice as big as a typical hotel room. All of them recently underwent a complete renovation getting fresh paint, new wall coverings, new carpeting...the whole shebang. Our fave things about The Venetian's suites: the foyers (we just love saying that word), sunken living rooms and marble bathrooms with large Roman tubs (the true thrones of emperors).
Good to know
So remember those sunken living rooms? Warning: Be careful with the steps. Although there are only two of them and they're lit at night, you still might have a hard time navigating them when you stumble into your suite.
If you're driving into Vegas and have enough luggage to outfit an entire football team, you're definitely going to want to use the resort's valet parking service (cause who wants to deal with all of that mess?). Here's the 4-1-1 though, valet at the Venetian isn't just at the front of the hotel. Pull into the parking garage and make your way to the third floor and you'll get the same great valet service at that same great fo' free price tag. Oh, and because not too many people know about this, chances are you'll probably get your situation taken care of a little quicker.
Although the plaza in front of The Venetian is beautiful, reminiscent of St. Mark's Square and the Doge's Palace, pay attention to vehicles coming in and out of the resort via the Strip. The Venetian's outside is just as gorgeous as its interior, so naturally your gnat-like attention span is going to be focused on all of the great art and decor that surround the resort's exterior and not the busy boulevard that lies mere steps away. Keep your heads up people, that's all we're sayin'.
If you like pools (it's 100+ degrees here, so we're going to make that assumption), you're going to love The Venetian and The Palazzo. There are 10 pools between the two properties, so there's plenty of opportunity for you to get down on some "Marco Polo." Just be sure to keep your flip-flops on deck (see what we did there?), because remember that weather we mentioned earlier? If you're not prepared, that heat will burn your little footsies and put a damper on your pool hoppin' plans STAT.
Speaking of The Venetian's "spread out-ness," if you want to bypass the casino to get to the Grand Canal Shoppes, you can enter right off Las Vegas Boulevard. There's access through a hallway that passes by the Rockhouse bar, Buddy V's and Carlo's Bakery, where you should stop and get a pastry. (Suggestion: In order to avoid the perpetual line that forms outside Carlo's Bakery, go right when it opens.)
At the central hub of the Grand Canal Shoppes, look for a small stage surrounded by park-like benches. Here you'll see living statues, a troupe of wandering musicians and other whimsical entertainment -- and it's all free. One of our favorite things to do is order a scoop from the Cocolini gelato stand to eat by the stage or beside the canal where you can watch gondolas cruise by.
Now there are more outstanding restaurants in The Venetian than fingers on our hands, but we're singling out Bouchon because you might not see it while wandering around the casino floor. It's located in the resort's exclusive Venezia Tower. You'll have to take the elevator near the front desk to the 10th floor. When you get off, you'll see an opulent lobby in one direction and Bouchon's little known entrance in the other. Ask to be seated on the patio (our choice because of the garden setting) and savor the classic French bistro dishes.