Take a trip back to the world of the 16th Century Venice – Las Vegas Style
The Venetian draws its theme from the plazas, architecture, and canals of Venice, Italy, bringing the icons of world travel to Las Vegas. Even if you do not stay at The Venetian, a visit is a must. While it is Venice Las Vegas Style one must admire the ingenuity of it all. Visiting The Venetian is like taking a trip back to the artistic, architectural, and commercial enter of the world in the 16th century. You cross a 585,000-gallon canal on the steep-pitched Rialto Bridge, shadowed by the Campanile Bell Tower to enter the Doge’s Palace.
Inside, reproductions of famous frescoes, framed by 24-karat-gold molding, adorn the 65-foot domed ceiling at the casino entrance. The geometric design of the flat-marble lobby floor provides an M.C. Escher-like optical illusion that gives the sensation of climbing stairs – a unique touch. Characters in period costumes from the 12th to 17th centuries roam the public areas, singing opera, performing mine, and jesting.
The Venetian has a 116,000 square feet casino styled to resemble a Venetian palace with architecture and décor representative of the city’s Renaissance era. Period frescoes on recessed ceilings over the table games depict Italian villas and palaces. The casino offers 139 table games and 1,700 slot and video-poker machines. The perimeter of the casino houses a fast-food court, along with French, Italian, and southwestern restaurants, and one of the fanciest coffee shops in town.
Plenty of shopping and a Grand Canal
Upstairs are the Grand Canal Shoppes, with 64 stores, mostly small boutiques. The Grand Canal Shoppes are arranged beneath a vaulted ceiling painted and lighted to simulate the sky. The Venetian adjoins its sister property, The Palazzo, via a shopping mall that connects the Grand Canal Shoppes to The Shoppes at The Palazzo, which offer an additional 49 stores and six restaurants.
The centerpiece of the mall is the quarter-mile Grand Canal itself, enclosed by brick walls and wrought-iron fencing and cobbled with small change. Gondolas ply the waterway, steered and powered by gondoliers who serenade their passengers. Passing beneath arched bridges, the canal ends at a colossal reproduction of St. Marks Square.
Luxury suites, fine dining and an ultra-upscale Canyon Ranch Spa
An all-suite hotel, The Venetian offers guest accommodations averaging 700 square feet and dived into sleeping and adjoining sunken living areas. The living-room areas provide adequate space for meeting or entertaining. Every suite has been recently upgraded. The property is LED Gold certified. The Venetian’s 18 restaurants, most designed by well-known chefs, provide a wide range of dining environments and culinary choice.
The five-acre swimming complex and spa area are situated on the roof-top over the shopping venue and are well insulated fro the bustle of the Strip. You’ll find two standard pools, one lounge pool, and a hot tub. The ultra-upscale bilevel Canyon Ranch Spa offers fitness equipment and classes, therapies, and sauna and steam rooms, as well as a 40-foot indoor rock-climbing wall, medical center, beauty salon, and café.
The Venetian certainly welcomes tourists and gamblers, who come mostly on the weekend, but the other five days are largely monopolized by the trade-show crowds.
Find more information on The Venetian and in-depth description of all it has to offer in The Unofficial Guide to Las Vegas by Bob Sehlinger. For a fun read check out Bob’s article for USA Today on some of Las Vegas’ craziest laws.
Pictures courtesy of Heidi Hoover, NYC