Viva Las Vegas – Venetian Style!

Viva Las Vegas – Venetian Style!

I find that every time Las Vegas is mentioned, people feel one of two things:

  1. Hatred and disgust for a fake, materialist, drunken, gambling city.
  2. Excitement and wonder, fun, parties and an exhilarating getaway.

Two very different opinions.

I guess if any city deserves that kind of a reputation, it’s Vegas. So where do I fall under these options? Surprisingly, the second.

I really like Vegas.

I met up with a girlfriend for a Vegas getaway over the long weekend. We decided to stay at the Venetian after days of pondering the endless options found on the main strip of Vegas. Having adjusted search results to display the cheapest options, there was the Travelodge (uh . . .) Circus, Circus (what?) and several other extremely unexciting options. It was my first time to Vegas, and I honestly think that the hotels themselves are attractions on their own, and we therefore needed to seriously up the glam factor on this stay. So, we chose The Venetian – fancy, elegant, luxurious, and mature.

Venetian Lobby

Venetian Lobby

Venetian Ceilings

Venetian Ceilings

As soon as we checked in at the hotel lobby, we were lost. We had to whip out a map in order to figure out how to get from the lobby up to our room. After several needless detours through the casino and the theatre, we arrived at our room. The hotels are just so massive and elaborate. I have never experienced such a thing before, mainly because all my travels are usually adventure and budget based rather than luxury.

Our room

Our room

I find the sheer amount of things to do on the main strip alone both impressive and overwhelming. After we semi unpacked, it was immediate itinerary checklist mode. “Okay, so first we’ll walk here, go in there, then eat here, then walk across the street and go into there,” etc, etc, etc. We walked up and down the strip, going into to pretty much every other hotel and checking them out along the way.

I am inspired by the sometimes nearly flawless replicas of iconic landmarks and architectural styles from around the world, all a few blocks from each other. They make me want to visit the original locations, and nostalgic if I have already been. I was in awe of the artificial skies seen within the Venetian and Planet Hollywood.

Inside the Venetian

Inside the Venetian

Fake skies - so pretty!

Fake skies – so pretty!

Inside Planet Hollywood - Fake skies again!

Inside Planet Hollywood – Fake skies again!

Inside New York New York

Inside New York New York

Inside every hotel are countless restaurants, bars, casinos, and lounges. Amongst these all, my very favourite was the Chandelier Room inside the Cosmopolitan Hotel. It is a fancy lounge inside a giant, sparkly chandelier.

Outside Chandalier Room

Outside Chandalier Room

IMG_9317 IMG_9322

Inside of Chandelier Room

Inside of Chandelier Room

IMG_1218

I wasn’t expecting to see so many children with their families on this type of trip. I saw countless children working the slots with their parents. “C’mon, Billy! See how much more of your trust fund you can lose!” “Let me teach you allllll about gambling and how addictive it becomes once you start winning and losing.” “I don’t think you inhaled enough of that man’s cigarette smoke.” (Extremely sarcastic of me, I know) But maybe Vegas is trying to turn the Vegas Vacation into something more kid friendly, aside from the movie Vegas Vacation. I personally don’t see the appeal to ever bring the kids to Vegas, at least not when they’re 8. But boredom is beyond impossible when you’re spending a few days in Vegas.

IMG_9253

Outside the Venetian

Outside the Venetian

Walking the main strip

Walking the main strip

Bellagio fountains

Bellagio fountains

IMG_9286

When it comes down to it, Vegas is a fantasy, an escape. It’s a place to play pretend and act like we’re all wealthy socialites. (A stark contrast to daily life at home, standing in the chilly aisle of the grocery store forever in sweaty gym clothes trying to decide what is a better value for the price). I also work from home now, so the excitement in my life on a daily basis has dwindled (but spices up when I succeed in a challenging hip opening yoga pose).

Vegas is a place that allows you to live a few days and nights of the luxurious, glamorous life, before going back to work, e-mails and sweatpants.

IMG_1015

 

Author

My passion for capturing memories through the lens of my camera, my love for food and the joy I find in reflecting on my travel memories using a pen and paper results in a series of blog entries filled with warmth, pure happiness and inspiration. I hope to share a little bit of myself and my adventure of life with you.

46 comments

  • You know, I’ve never really had any interest in going to Vegas before…Justin has been to Vegas before we met, but we’ve never talked really about going there. After reading your post, I actually wouldn’t mind traveling there maybe even just for a weekend getaway just to see what all the fuss is about!

    Reply
  • I have enjoyed both my two previous visits to Vegas, even though one of them was for a work conference. We stayed at Mandalay Bay for that one and the other time we actually stayed off the strip at LVH which I believe has now be renamed again but was a cheap option. The Venetian is one of those that we considered for the grandeur approach and your pictures really confirm our beliefs that this was a more boutique type establishment that would warrant a stay at least once in your lifetime! I love the intricate details that these casinos go to in order to capture your imagination.

    Reply
  • I haven’t been back since I went at 22, but everything more or less looks the same. The Venetian fake skies, glitz and fountains. While it’s not necessarily my preferred vacation, I agree that it serves a purpose in allowing people to blow off steam and escape from the everyday. Plus, the pools there are pretty fantastic!

    Reply
    • I agree, Vegas is obviously a stark contrast to my usual adventure and “roughin’ it” travel style. But for the long weekend to enjoy with a girlfriend . . . perfection!

      Reply
  • Vegas is certainly a city that polarises opinions! I’m firmly in the former camp as you know, but I will admit the one thing Vegas does really well is the glitz, glamour and luxury and for that it serves a purpose for many people! The Venetian did look fancy as hell though, your room was HUGE! You really managed to capture the glamour of it with those pics (and you look great in them too!) Great post.

    Reply
  • “Hatred and disgust for a fake, materialist, drunken, gambling city.” I don’t care about the gambling and the drunken – free choice in a free world would be my motto. But having seen the real Venice, I don’t think I would ever fall for this one…

    Reply
  • I haven’t been to Vegas (yet) But I totally want to stay at the Venetian and your photos just strengthened my wish. As magical and crazy as it looks it is just a big escape and I think I could only handle it for a couple of days. BTW I LOVE that chandelier room- so cool.

    Reply
  • Even though we are mostly into nature and the outdoors, we really enjoyed Las Vegas a lot. We didn’t party so much (were happy to sleep in a normal bed again after two weeks of camping in CO and UT) however we did gamble a bit and walked back and forth over the Strip. Would love to go back one day for sure!

    Reply
    • Same here – I had just returned from an intense camping and hiking trip before Vegas. I was actually so happy to dive into such a plush and comfy bed! (Instead of rocks and tree roots digging in my back!)

      Reply
  • We’re heading to Vegas next week! Can’t wait!! We’re not huge into the indoor casinos etc, but I imagine the interior of the hotels on the strip is reason enough to check it all out!! The Venetian looks amazing!

    Reply
  • I used to think about Vegas as the city where good people turn bad, where you never see the sunlight because you are glued to some slot machine and surrounded by the smell of old cigarettes and beer — yep that’s what my brain comes up with when I think of the sin city. But maybe, just maybe, after this post I’m willing to visit :)

    Reply
    • Well, I’m sure for many that is definitely the case . . . but that is all the prerogative of the individual! Instead you could spend all days outdoors if you wanted, by the pool, going shopping, people watching, viewing outdoor shows, etc.

      Reply
  • Hmm, I think I am firmly in group #1! Although, I would be curious to see some of the hotels for sure but generally have very little interest for fake skies etc. The glory of everything would be attractive but I think that unless I get a paid trip to Vegas, it’s not going to be on my list anytime soon. But everyone is different, you look like you enjoyed your trip and that is awesome :)

    Reply
  • Nice post! Very interesting to know about luxurious Las Vegas. For me it’s just crazy how they did a replica of Venice. I heard that in Macau it was also built such thing, but making a copy not from the original Venice, but actually from The Venetian. :)

    Reply
  • I went to Vegas once and I really think it’s worth going to. Call it fake, call it a fantasy, but it’s just so over the top that it’s a must-see once in a lifetime at least! I loved the Bellagio fountains, but what I mainly loved were the huge buffets that the hotels offered for a small price to lure you into the casino. Champaign and lobster for lunch: great!!! :-) Oh and your hotel room looks bigger than my apartment :-)

    Reply
  • I love love love Vegas, before we moved to Europe I lived most of my life in Colorado which is a 1 hour flight to vegas and our FAVE weekend trip. As for kids we take our kids all the time they LOVE Vegas. I am not so sure about that gambling thing – I thought you had to be 18 to enter the casinos and gamble ~ but our kids love it there. There are so many shows, for kids like blue man group, and all the magic, & animal shows, The awesome aquarium at Mandalay Bay `Shark Reef, and pirate show in front of Treasure Island. My kids loved walking around, there are free shows everywhere – they also love the shows at Ceasars Palace where the gods come to life under the rain storm! We also love all the food and the amazing pools, like Wet and Wild – so much fun for both the kids and adults – and when they are tired from a day of amazement you can relax and a cocktail. Best place ever!

    Reply
    • Good to hear you had a great time with your kids! I had no idea it could be so catered to children. Although I heard that the Pirate Show is now extremely sexual, so that must be a recent change!

      Reply
  • You are so right, it’s really a love it or leave it kind of destination! Las Vegas personally isn’t for me but maybe it could be after seeing these photos from where you stayed! The replicas of iconic landmarks truly look flawless, maybe I haven’t seen enough of the strip to really know how I feel about the city of sin ;)

    Reply
    • That’s the thing about Vegas – there are just so many options of where to stay and what to do and where to go and what to see! I feel like two visits could be polar opposites from each other. Even just staying at opposite ends of the strip could provide a whole new experience!

      Reply
  • Very fancy indeed. I can imagine that it’d be overwhelming for me as well, as I’m also a budget traveller and constant “breast chicken value” observer haha
    I’d love to experience Vegas once, have heard many good things about there and now one more reading your post :D

    Reply
  • Looks like you had a great time! We just visited Vegas a few weeks ago, and while I didn’t love it, I didn’t completely hate it either. We did a lot of activities off the strip and had a great time though! We really liked some of the bars in the Downtown Vegas area, and the Chandelier Bar was fun too!

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>