When we were planning our overnight stop in Las Vegas on our road trip, all of our usual considerations for choosing a hotel had to go out of the window – this is not the place to look for small, interesting places to stay, after all. Instead, we were looking for somewhere that felt quintessentially Vegas – big, a little bit brash, high camp and absolutely over the top. With criteria like that, we were definitely spoiled for choice – and as a result, it was probably the hardest accommodation choice to make of our entire holiday.
Eventually, we settled on The Venetian – and it was everything we had been looking for. Sure, there’s cheaper places to stay in town, but The Venetian was remarkable value, still – we paid just £86 for our night there, staying in the cheapest room, which was still a massive suite, with a large, separate living area set at a slightly lower level than the bedroom (which had an amazingly comfortable, large bed), and a huge bathroom.
But you don’t stay at The Venetian for the rooms, not really. Like everywhere in Vegas, it’s much more about the overall experience – indeed, you could spend your entire stay in Vegas in the resort and never really need to step foot outside. I’ve never stayed anywhere as huge as this – making our way from the car park to the lobby was rather mind-boggling in itself, as the grand scale of the hotel began to reveal itself to us; we wandered past canals, wove through gambling desks and machines, and finally emerged at the rather grand check-in area.
What The Venetian really excels at is going all out in creating a sense of Venice. The biggest part of this are the canals – most of which are actually inside, under a fake sky that looks remarkably realistic and creates an eerily accurate daylight that can almost fool you into thinking that you’re actually outside. Add in gondolas (that you can actually take trips up the canals on), Italianate buildings (housing actual shops), and a piazza that looks like something that’s been transported straight from Italy, and it’s hard not to be utterly impressed. Outside, Venice continues, with the Rialto Bridge (which you can walk – or take the escalator – over) and St Mark’s Bell Tower, rising quite dramatically over The Strip. We were there over Thanksgiving, and the hotel was transformed into “Winter in Venice”, complete with a massive white Christmas tree and ice rink out front.
In addition to the casino, the hotels (The Venetian and its sister hotel, The Palazzo, sit side by side) and the canals, the complex is stuffed full with shops – most of which are high end – and restaurants, bars, clubs and a theatre. It’s not too posh though – we had a very enjoyable Thanksgiving meal at FIRST Food and Bar, which had quite a relaxed bar-restaurant feel, and great views over The Strip.
There are lots of theme hotels in Vegas, but after wandering through most of them we noticed that none of them really pulled off their theme with quite as much aplomb (or attention to detail) as The Venetian. The resort makes a fabulous honeymoon choice, allowing you to experience good old-fashioned all-out Las Vegas luxury, with an ample serving of the kitsch and camp that the city is known for.
In a nutshell:
We loved: The fake canals; the huge rooms; the over-the-top, only-in-Vegas feel of it all.
We weren’t so keen on: Vegas itself wasn’t our cup of tea, but we knew that before we arrived there.
Ideal if you want: All-out luxury in a fabulous location, and the ultimate theme hotel.
Need to know:
The Venetian, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Rates: Start at £94, but discounts are usually available on the hotel website and through accommodation booking sites.
Nearest airport: Las Vegas
Go packaged: A number of tour operators will be able to put together a competitive flight and accommodation package for you, including Virgin Holidays.
You can find out more information about our USA road trip here.
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