Review: Venetian Resort, Las Vegas

Our trek to the Venetian Resort from the Luxor should have been a cab ride. Should have been. If it was it would have cost a bit of money and we would have got there straight away. Instead we tried to save a little money by walking to the monorail station at the MGM Grand and taking it to the Flamingo station and walking from there, the closer station (Harrah’s) being closed.

But even though the map says it was only a 1km to the station from the Luxor and 1km from the station to the Venetian, it seemed a lot longer.

When we finally arrived, we checked in and headed up to our room. We’d splurged on our final night in Vegas by getting the Luxury Suite, but thankfully no attempt was made to upgrade us. Again, the lifts were back through the gambling area, filled with smokers and slow walkers staring at the bright lights and promises of easy money.

The Luxury Suite certainly delivered. It was split on two levels, the upper level consisting of entrance way, bathroom and bed, while a lovely lounge area completed the lower level.

The bathroom had a small bath tucked between the shower and the his and hers vanity, and the toiletries were White Tea and Rose by Bath House.

Ange raved about the amenity kit, a cute little box packed with all sorts of goodies, including to Ange’s surprise and delight, a little sewing kit.

The lounge had everything you might need for relaxing: a formal table and three chairs, a couch and a couple of arm chairs. All settled in front of a big screen TV. Tucked in the corner was an impressive desk.

The king-size bed was super comfortable, and the bedside switches controlled the blinds and curtains. the view wasn’t anything special, looking out over the roofs to another building, but there was a slight gap where you could just see The Strip. After checking out the amenities in the room it was time to check out the pool situation.

The Venetian and the neighbouring Palazzo were two towers owned by the same company and so they’d built a walkway between them on the pool level. A third pool area called the Venezia was supposed to be on the third floor.

The first thing we noticed in approaching the pool area from the lifts was a hilarious sign telling us what the maximum occupancy was. The number seemed a little high, but as we circulated through the area, I started to see how that many guests could visit.

The pools themselves were a combination of large pools surrounded by pool loungers for the masses, private pools with cabanas and plants providing privacy, bars nestled between the pools and jacuzzis.

Both bars we came across seemed to be doing an OK trade, I think we were there almost on closing time, so most of the day drinkers were heading back to their rooms to prepare for the evening’s debauchery.

The larger pools has lifeguards sitting looking incredibly bored, as though the sun had made the temperature soar, shadows of the hotels had provided some respite, and a wind was blustering through making the temperature more comfortable to walk around in, but a little less than what the cold water of most of the pools required.

There were a few people in the larger pools, and I braved the cold water and tried out one of the more secluded spots. Ange made it halfway in before deciding that maybe the jacuzzi was a better option and I wasted no time joining her.

It was maybe 5:40pm when the lifeguards started coming around saying that they were closing in ten minutes, a bit of a buffer I guess for the slow to behave as it was supposed to be open until 6pm.

We went looking for the Venezia Pool, but it was off limits due to a private party. The pool was on a deck which had been set up like a Roman garden with marble floors and large planters with plants providing screens. We could see elegantly dressed people entering and starting the soiree. I must admit we probably looked like invading heathen hordes in our wet bathing suits looking for the pool.

I was perplexed by a sign in the lift stating that damage as a result of jumping would be punished with a fine. I was surprised that the design of the lift would allow it to be damaged by jumping – and at the luxurious hotel for having a low brow sign saying “you break it, you pay for it”.

The decor throughout was what you would expect from such a high end hotel: sumptuous settees, tasteful decorations and a colour scheme I would describe as beige and gold. There was the odd bold colour statement.

We headed out for our last night in Vegas, pausing on the way back in to take a few shots of the exterior, featuring their take on Palazzo Ducale and the Rialto Bridge. The real Rialto Bridge doesn’t have a travelator inside it taking you to the hotel’s retail area.

In the morning we decided to treat ourselves and headed to Bouchon for breakfast. Bouchon is a restaurant by Thomas Keller who has a particularly good resume, having won pretty much everything cooking related with Michelin stars out the wazoo and being described by Anthony Bourdain as having “the best restaurant, ever.”

When we arrive, they’ve just opened the outdoor area, which just happens to overlook the Venezia Pool which we couldn’t get into the previous evening. Ange took great pleasure in demonstrating the correct way to lay out one’s napkin. With a flourish!

I got the Petit Déjeuner Américain (American Breakfast) and Ange got the Hachis de Merguez (sausage hash). Mine came with the pastry of my choice and Ange’s came with eggs anyway. I elected to keep my pastry til the end because I didn’t want to spoil my appetite, and I’m glad I did because while I finished everything, it was a bit of a struggle!

I was surprised by the service – I expected it to be a lot more snooty than it was, very down to earth and appreciated. Would definitely go back!

And then it was time to go. But before we did, we decided to check out the canals. A little while before our stay the hotel had sent an email asking if we’d like a ride on a gondola, after all, what could be more Venice than a ride on the canals?

They were offering $29+tax per person for a shared gondola which fits 4 people or $116+tax private gondola for two. In the ride we’d had in Venice, we could look at the other traffic on the canals, see people’s lives on or from the water and generally soak up quintessential Venice.

At the Venetian you could look into shops (high end shops admittedly). On the second floor of a retail mall. Under a painted sky, floating on chlorinated water. We declined.

So we ended our stay at the Venetian, heading out to the taxi area via St Mark’s Square, dropping our key card into the drop box and completing the check out formalities from the airport because the wifi at the hotel lobby was so slow.

Would I Go Back?

I think staying at the Venetian is like seeing an attraction which isn’t worth returning to – one and done. It’s insanely expensive, yet at the same time the pseudo-Venice facade feels tacky and cheap. The location is great and the room fantastic, but at that price you would certainly hope so!