Continuing on from my MGM Grand Las Vegas review, I wanted to take a moment to write out my thoughts on what is likely the most famous hotel on the Las Vegas Strip- The Venetian.
With a whopping 7,100 rooms spread across its sister properties, and world famous replicas of numerous Venetian landmarks, this hotel is a must-see destination- even for those who are not staying on site as guests.
The exterior of the resort property is heavily based on the Doge’s Palace and a replica of Rialto’s Bridge crosses a functioning “Grand Canal” where visitors can pay for a gondola ride around the interior and exterior of the resort.
The Venetian replicas only continue on the interior of the hotel with the upscale shopping plaza hosting more that 160 stores known as the Grand Canal Shoppes that center around a replica of St. Mark’s Square. The enormous scale of the recreation and its painted-sky ceiling is super trippy to walk around in- the sky even changes to reflect the time of day!
Aside from the exact replicas, the complex’s decor is heavily inspired by 1500’s Venice with stunning painted ceilings, beautiful tiling, and lovely details to tie the whole thing together. How is the Casino floor, you ask? I couldn’t tell you- I’ve only ever passed them by to get to more interesting areas of the resort. Apparently, the casino floor stands at 120,000 square feet and has one of the largest poker rooms on the Strip- impressive given the size of these hotels.
Now for the hotel stay itself.
I had been very curious about staying in this hotel since I’d always had such a great time exploring the publicly accessible parts of the resort. When I spotted a good deal for an overnight stay, I swooped that up right away.
Check in was swift, and luxuriously decorated. Wearing sweaty travel clothes and carrying a backpack, I felt a bit under-dressed. Still, I didn’t feel judged by any of the hotel staff, so I imagine that they get all types.
I had booked a room at The Venetian proper, as opposed to The Palazzo, the sister resort. My understanding is that the two towers are functionally the same, though The Palazzo is both higher and a bit newer. Still, if pushed, I’d recommend just picking the cheaper option. Las Vegas doesn’t have too much of a view, so the higher floors don’t make a difference to me.
Since my original room wasn’t available when I was checking in, I accepted a room in the Venezia Tower- a smaller tower built just a few years after the main Venetian high rise.
There was a specific elevator I had to take to this area, and it opened up into a stunning and bizarrely empty hallway. Apparently the check in for this tower used to be in this area, but these days it just served to confuse new visitors. Every elevator ride to this floor I was on included at least one new guest being reassured that they were in the correct area by the rest of the elevator passengers. I, myself, had to ask for directions the first time I entered the area.
Once I figured out which way I needed to go, I started walking. And walking. And walking? I swear I’ve never walked so far for a hotel room in my entire life! The downsides of such an enormous complex for sure. To be fair, I think my room was genuinely as far from the elevator as it was possible to get, but a ten minute walk between my elevator and my room even after I knew where I was going seems a little unacceptable to me. I also had to check in with my key card three separate times on my walk over every time I wanted to go to my room. I appreciate the security, but it was a pain to juggle the card and whatever else I was holding every time. I expect that the other towers would be a bit closer to the action, but had I known that this would have been an issue, I would have simply waited for a room in the main tower to become available.
Similarly, it was incredibly easy to get lost in the hallways. I went back and forth between the tower pools several times and never quite got the trick of navigating around the seemingly identical hallways and intersections. I wish that they’d had a few hotel worker on duty to help guide the way. If I was having this much trouble and I was both sober and fairly good with directions, I can’t imagine how lost people get coming back from the bar!
Even when I wanted to leave the building, I’d have to allow myself nearly twenty minutes to even walk to an exit, so make sure to plan your Ubers accordingly!
On the bright side, my room itself was huge- one of the reasons I was so curious about this resort is that it seems to be the only hotel on the Strip that has a suite as its entry category room. I was staying in a Luxury King Suite, which had a huge king bed and a separate living room area with a couch and a view of the desert out of a massive window. Even the bathroom was huge, with gold accents and a surprising amount of mirrors. There was no angle I could look in the shower where I couldn’t see myself.
I did notice that because the room was so huge the bed was a little dark since it was so far away from the window. From what I’ve seen from other rooms, it seems like this issue was fixed in the newer rooms with more lighting fixtures.
I truly enjoyed the pool areas of The Venetian- particularly the Venezia Tower’s pool. I’d been on a mission to find a pool with any type of shade in Las Vegas. With the intense heat Las Vegas is known for, it’s truly bizarre to me that pool umbrellas are not more common. I understand that hotels want to sell passes to their pool cabanas, but direct desert sun and drinking just seems like a recipe for disaster to me.
The Venezia Tower’s Pool surprised me by being almost entirely shaded for most of the day. The shade is provided by a neighboring hotel towering into the area, so I’m sure it wasn’t intentional, but it was an incredibly welcome relief for me and I spent a significant portion of the day lounging in the area. It also helps that the pool was much quieter than others that I’d been to and had a lovely green garden theme.
I also checked out The Venetian Pool Deck and while I liked the view and the atmosphere, I found myself having to duck back into the air conditioning before too long- one of the two pools was closed and the other was so crowded!
While I liked my stay at The Venetian, I’m not sure I’d stay in it again. Even with my discounted stay, it was much more expensive than other hotels in the area, and I felt that I didn’t get much out of the hotel that I wasn’t able to get as a regular visitor. The novelty is fun for a night or two, but it can wear off fast. Overall, I say save your money and explore the public areas of the hotel for free!