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Renovating the Venetian

May 28, 2007 By: Colin Miner Travel Agent

With the Palazzo set to open at the end of the year, the Venetian is upping its game

With the Sands Corporation set to open the $2 billion Palazzo in Las Vegas by the end of the year, and hoping it will quickly become the hottest property on the strip, it is taking steps to assure that its already-open The Venetian Resort-Hotel-Casino doesn't get overshadowed.  The Venetian offers plenty of entertainment options

"Las Vegas
is probably the only place in the world where a property just eight years old
runs the risk of being seen as out of date," Robert Goldstein, president
and chief operating officer of the Venetian said while discussing the $100
million renovation his property is undergoing. "We're working very hard to
make sure that does not happen."

From Tao Beach on the roof to a
new restaurant by the acclaimed Mario Batali and new flat-screen televisions in
the bathrooms of the property's suites, the Venetian has been getting a

"We keep adding to the equation," Goldstein says.
"It's a never-ending quest to figure out how we can best meet the needs of
as wide a range of people as possible. If we do something for one demographic,
we try to then do something for another. I like old people, young people, rich
and not so rich. If they're out there and they're looking for a place to stay,
I'd like them to stay here."

The centerpiece of the renovation is the Venetian's 3,014
suites—all units not part of the Venezia Towers, the Venetian's
"hotel within a hotel."

The suites are getting top-to-bottom makeovers, which
feature new carpets, new furniture and new fixtures.

"The Venetian is one of the most luxurious properties
in Las Vegas,"
says Goldstein. "This renovation places us ahead of the curve. These
suites set the standard for luxury hotel accommodations."

The in-suite changes range from the technological (three
plasma TVs, including one in the bathroom, DVD player, remote control Roman
shades and wireless Internet connections) to the bed (Sealy pillow-top mattress
with five comfort levels, Egyptian cotton bed linens made by Anichini and a
soft angora wool throw from Maxwell Rodgers) to the bathroom (bath sheets by
Sobella and fresh cut flowers).

Outside the suites, everything from dining to entertaining
and shopping have been undergoing renovations and upgrades as the hotel has
been working with all of its partners to enhance every experience for the

Mario Batali and his culinary partner Joe Bastianich have
opened two restaurants: B & B Ristorante and Enoteca San Marco. B & B,
which is just off the casino floor, is the more upscale of the two and is more
reminiscent of their acclaimed Del Posto and Babbo restaurants in Manhattan, with a wine list representing every region of Italy and a
selection of exquisite Italian food. Upstairs at St Mark's Square is Enoteca, presenting
more casual fare such as its selection of homemade salamis.

The Gordie Brown production at The Venetian

And if your client is not looking for Italian, but rather
something more American with a special twist, New York's
legendary David Burke has opened his first restaurant west of Chicago at the Venetian.

"We want to give people a special dining
experience," Burke told Travel Agent on the night of the
restaurant's opening. "Whether they're looking for salad or seafood, we
promise they will not be disappointed." Phantom—The Las Vegas Spectacular at the Venetian

And to make sure of that, Burke has made a menu that he says
is filled with what he calls his "greatest hits," including his
famous cheesecake lollipop tree and angry lobster cocktail.

One of the most striking features of the restaurant is its
use of pink Himalayan rock salt, which he uses for the walls of the
restaurant's main entrance and as part of the bar. "It's a place to rest
the fish, as well as very beautiful," Burke says of the bricks.

The Venetian now has seven James Beard award-winning chefs
cooking under their roof, with Batali being the latest.

After dinner, visitors can check out entertainer Gordie
Brown at the newly built Venetian Showroom. It is here that Brown, who has
entertained around the world, decided to settle in with his five-piece band.
Every night he puts on a fast-moving show mixing music and comedy.

Even more spectacular is the Venetian's newest theater
extravaganza, Phantom—The Las Vegas
. Trimmed down to 90 minutes, this production—directed by
Broadway's acclaimed Harold Prince—is in a custom-built, $40 million theater,
which is complete with a collapsing chandelier.

Atop of the Venetian is a perfect example of the hotel
working with one of its partners to provide something better for the visitor:
the famous Tao Nightclub and Lounge is expanding to open a full European-style
beach club complete with cabanas with plasma TVs and DVD players, as well as
waiter service to cater to your almost every need.

"It's all about creating the feeling of a night at
Tao," says a spokesman for the club, "except that this will be during
the day. It will still have the same feeling of wonderfulness that people
experience at night."

Recognizing that they will be catering to a nighttime crowd
during the day, the 18,000-square-foot Beach Club's cabanas will be well
stocked with things such as Orangina and a variety of hangover remedies.

When your client has had all the gambling, eating, drinking,
entertaining and shopping one person can take, there is always the Canyon Ranch
Spa, which is being doubled in size.

Overall, Goldstein says, even with the Palazzo opening up,
the Venetian not only has not lost any of its luster, it's become better.

"When we started the Palazzo, we realized we needed to
update the Venetian, and that's where the $100 million renovation came
from," says Goldstein. "The irony is that by updating the Venetian,
we then had to go back to the drawing board on the Palazzo and make that even

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