What's the word for when you go into something with one set of expectations and come out of it with a wholly new, completely energized perspective of it? This might seem an odd way to start off a feature singing the praises of Las Vegas's Venetian & Palazzo properties, but it truly does embody my spirit and new found love for these luxury Italian inspired properties.
Prior to heading to Las Vegas this passed spring with Aisle Society for WPPI, I had had the opportunity to stroll through the cavernous halls of high end boutiques that make up The Shops at the Palazzo on prior trips. To say it is a unique creature all its own would be quite the understatement. Featuring an incredibly well done atmospheric design, the enclosed world is designed to mimic the wondering streets of Venice, complete with the most incredible lighting that grows & softens along with the time of day of the outside world. In addition to the wandering world of restaurants, boutiques and performance artists that bring old world Italy to Vegas, a canal weaves it's way through the grounds complete with Gondolas driven by bellowing oarsmen. I dare say my understanding and appreciation of the property ended there. What I learned this passed spring however, is how very little I knew and more over, how incredibly cool the property truly was. To have only gone to the shops and think you know what it is all about, is but the tiniest of a fraction and more to the point, one that robs you of how truly intriguing and dynamic it really is.
The next 3 days found us immersed into the Venetian world, with detours into all the special nooks & crannies that bring it to life, with all the truly gorgeous opportunities that it has to offer. Our journey began back in the Shops at the Palazzo, but this time we had the benefit of truly exploring, learning along the way, and how in Oz like fashion, there is simply so much more going on then you know. Take the grand canal that flows through its veins. Sure, a fun tourist thing to do no doubt. However, it is quite the hot bed of romance as it well should be. The staff at the Palazzo will work with you to do whatever it takes to craft the most romantic proposal, message in the sky and all. Love the idea of Venice but not the price tag? How about a uniquely cool intimate wedding for up to 20 guests set along the canal on the wedding bridge nestled up to their version of St. Mark's Square. Even cooler, arrive or get away in their gorgeous signature white wedding gondola reserved only for couple's getting married.
For those who favor a different style of wedding, the beauty to such a sprawling property is the generous choices that run throughout. My head began to fill with visions of beauty in settings like their elegantly designed Venetian Wedding Chapel & Terrace, their Venezia Courtyard and statement piece to the Shops at the Palazzo itself, the Palazzo Waterfall. Each area is meticulously designed and constantly evolved to inject a fresh look and new beauty. This is when I came to learn of one of my favorite pieces to the property as a whole, an entire floral department, right on property. You might think this an obvious thing, but you'd be surprised to learn that most properties outsource this type of thing, however not a stately mammoth like the Venetian! In a page almost out of Willy Wonka's playbook, we received a peek behind the curtain, and well let's just say I floral drooled a little. Armed with a team of expert florists and a vast walk-in cooler constantly filled to the brim with fresh cut blooms in rotation, you can literally have anything you like, almost in a matter of hours. If you know anything about getting flowers, this is essentially unheard of. What this means is one less vendor to have to have to worry about. What this means, is when realize you need flowers in a place not previously thought, they've got you. What this means is, if you want fresh flowers in your room to surprise your love or completely turn up a bridal shower or bachelorette party… they have you… in a matter of hours. It truly is mind blowing and not something to be taken lightly!
Which brings me to my next point…. have event, will travel? Venetian is a dreamy one stop shop for that. From Vegas elopements, to bridal showers, bachlor/bachelorette parties to rehearsal dinners, and of course honeymoons, there is almost nothing that can not be done here. As I mentioned just above, the cracker jack floral team can whip up your room to become anything you like. With uniquely cool packages at the ready, they are able to transform your suite into party central or a dreamy getaway, taking one less to-do off your list, and who wouldn't love that! They say the only way to truly experience a culture is through its food and with so much different opportunity at the Venetian Palazzo, there really is a Venetian culture all its own to enjoy! To me, where smaller Vegas properties suffer is in their inability to delivery variety and quality in quantity. Somehow the Venetian has dialed this in in spades. Restaurants & bakeries as far as the eye can see in a variety of styles & cuisine types to make ever leaving the property at all, literally pointless. Each of these amazing locales happily doubles as the perfect place for honeymoon dinners, bridal showers, even receptions for those that favor that sort of wedding spirit.
Enjoyment is but an easy task on property as well. It might sound very high level, but with so many options, there truly is no other way to say it. Sure it has the Vegas standards: Restaurants, Gaming, Shopping, it is however the intangibles that place it well over the top. From multiple pools spread throughout the property to hidden garden oasis, its easy to find that perfect spot for two where its all about relaxation. If relaxation is what the doctor ordered, you could not possibly be in a better place. Featuring one of the largest spas in the world, The Venetian hosts the Canyon Ranch Spa. Featuring over 150 services in 90+ treatment rooms, Canyon Ranch hits a serious high note. While a novel like list of treatments is special enough, it is the endless relaxation rooms and indoor pools that are so incredibly inviting you could easily spend your entire trip there without reservation! It was however a ‘simple' feature that stole my heart, a shower like none I have ever seen. With the ability to select between different experiences from Tropical Thunderstorms to Gentle Spring showers, a chorus of light, sound & water pressure is mixed to emulate euphoric experiences that literally left my jaw on the floor. Consider this a new addition onto my wanderlust list! A great thing about the spa, it is the perfect place to get ready for your wedding! Featuring their own bridal suite, you can enjoy countless treatments as well as have your hair, makeup and nails all done on the spot, making you wedding ready at will! Yet another amazing feature in this land of wedding opportunity.
The beauty to having any function at the Venetian is how incredibly well all the various moving parts work in harmony. I had never really thought it possible anywhere before, but there is something so incredibly delicious in their ability to deliver a stunning life event, all under one house. This is something that the Venetian excels at. With a dedicated planner to guide you through the process, the entire hotel and all its secret nooks & crannies are at your finger tips. Each day on our tour throughout I began to ask myself why on earth I worked so hard elsewhere, when something like this was right here, all in one place! I had a very different view point of hotel weddings heading into this trip and I will say, while they still are not my personal thing, the Venetian is now wholeheartedly my exception to that rule. Literally from A to Z, you can have it, do it, see it, enjoy, and most importantly make it special just for you. More over, the place is literally dreamy as all get out, gorgeously done with all the right touches from an interior design standpoint, with pools & courtyards sprinkled throughout so you can find the perfect one just for you. The last piece to the Venetian puzzle of greatness is their rooms, with even the most basic level room being a sprawling step up suite. With prices that easily compare to anywhere else on the strip, why on earth would you bother with anywhere else? Beauty, generous accommodations, endless possibilities for every adventure & life event…. I get it now, I really truly do. To the point that when my own sister, who is planning a trip to Vegas later this year and recently asked my suggestions on where to stay, was told without reservation, head to the Venetian, full stop.