The VENETIAN Resort and Casino - Bigger is NOT Better

I just returned from a night at the Venetian in Las Vegas. I had an offer for 3 nights, only booked two nights, because of scheduling problems, and ended up coming home after one night.
Needless to say, not good.

First off, the Venetian is the largest hotel in the world. Secondly, they boast, at 700square feet, the largest average room size in the world. While the rooms were nice, it is quite obvious the resort was designed (I use the term loosely, there is no real "design" evident) with an eye towards setting a size record, and NOT to providing any decent guest experience.

You would think someone in charge would realize when you have to have a couple hundred extra "security guards", one at every hallway intersection, whose main job clearly is to give directions to wandering guests, that there is a problem. I am not exaggerating - these guys were NOT patrolling hallways looking for security issues. They were firmly planted at each turn on every floor, asking people what room they were looking for.

In order to get from my room in the Venezia Tower, to my car in the parking garage, took not one, not two, but THREE elevator rides. Yep...down a hall way eight rooms to the 4th floor elevator foyer, down the elevator to the Venezia Lobby....not to be confused with the Venetian or Palazzo Lobbies (yes, three different lobbies, but only one where you can check into a room, more on that later), about a 1/4 mile walk down two hallways to the elevator to the parking garage (not to be confused with the elevator that goes to the front desk and casino, but which doesn't stop at the food court/shopping mall floor...that requires crossing the sky bridge just past the elevators to the parking garage)which only stops at the bottom floor of the garage, then out of that elevator and into the elevator right next door (literally 10 feet away), to go up to the parking garage floor you are parked on. And, just to be clear, yes this was an "accessible" room, designed for people with physical challenges...what a hoot that is...while I can push my brothers wheelchair any distance, my poor mother, who is nominally able-bodied, completely gave up on leaving the room, as at 76 she just isn't much in the mood to walk a mile to play a slot machine, and was afraid she would get lost.

So, back to the beginning...Check in. As I noted earlier, the largest hotel in the world, which has three towers, and a "lobby" in each tower, has decided that EVERYONE should check in at on front desk. While it is a very large front desk, with probably 15 clerks, it does require everyone NOT in the main tower to walk an extra 1/4 to 1/2 mile and one extra elevator ride. My first thought, upon getting in the twisty turny rope line was that it better be a good ride, because the line was longer than anything at Disneyland, or any airport I have ever been in. I will give them credit, they were fairly efficient and the line moved at a good pace. Morover, the clerk, when we finally got there, was pleasant, friendly and quick. In fact, the one area where this hotel stands out was the staff. From doormen to housekeeping to the food service folks, everyone was uniformly friendly and helpful, with everyone wishing the guests a "good day" as they passed in the halls, etc.

And, the rooms are excellent, with floor to ceiling windows, lots of marble in a huge bathroom, two big screen TV's, nice couches and chairs, etc. It's just that they might as well be on the moon. My room overlooked the pool deck, which, while small by current Vegas standards, still sports two pools, a large jacuzzi, a nice fountain, and some nice landscaping. As far as I could tell the bedding was good, but I spent a total of about 4 hours in bed, the rest of my time being taken up by walking and getting on and off elevators.

The entire hotel was beautifully decorated, with lot's of fountains, marble floors, columns and frescoes on the ceilings, etc. The casino was also nicely laid out, and fairly easy to navigate, although the stakes are a little rich for my blood. Fifteen dollar minimum blackjack and $2 roulette are just silly, to me. I get no particular thrill playing for big stakes, and I feel certain most of my fellow guests felt the same way, as there were seats available at every single table and slot carousel, even on a Friday night with the checkin line still snaking almost to the door. I could not find a video poker machine for less than $1, and there were lots of seats available at those. Contrast this with the $.25 poker machines I played Friday night at the MGM, where every time one of us got up to stretch our legs, someone tried to grab the machine out from under us.

Anyway, all in all, not an experience I care to repeat, but if you are trying to lose weight, or get in shape, perhaps a weekend at the Venetian is just the ticket.