Venetian / Palazzo Las Vegas
Venetian Las Vegas
Venetian Las Vegas opened in 1999 on the site of the Sands Hotel, which was imploded in 1996. The Las Vegas Strip was somewhat sparsely populated up until the late 1980s, when a flurry of new construction that lasted throughout the 1990s spawned about one-third of what is now the Las Vegas Strip... the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Excalibur, New York New York, Monte Carlo, Paris, Mirage, Treasure Island, Bellagio, Venetian, and Stratosphere tower. The structure that is now Planet Hollywood began construction in 1998 after the original Aladdin was imploded; and reopened in August 2000, still under the Aladdin name.
Bellagio (a Steve Wynn project) opened in late 1998, just 6 or 7 months before Venetian (a Sheldon Adelson project). The two of them went at it again recently when Wynn put up Wynn which Adelson answered with Palazzo, which Wynn thumbed his nose at with Encore. I don't know if these guys actually have a rivalry going on or not, it just looks that way; considering that Bellagio was the first property to challenge Caesars Palace as the most luxurious resort on Las Vegas Blvd.; then Bellagio was challenged by Venetian; etc. These guys weren't and aren't building moderately priced hotels as was the norm from 1988 to 1998; they seemed to be playing a game of "who can build THE MOST luxurious and opulent property on the strip?"
Venetian Las Vegas lobby
Photo above: part of the Venetian's lobby. This is what I mean by opulent (or you could say sumptuous or ultra luxurious.) I recall watching a documentary on the Travel Channel or History Channel about the construction of Venetian. Adelson paid meticulous attention to details in reproducing various aspects of Venice, Italy in his Venetian resort. As an example, I recall the narrator stating that the water in the Venetian canals exactly matches the color of the water in the canals in Venice, Italy. As if anyone would even notice such a thing! Anyway, as the photo above demonstrates, this place is something else.
Cocktail server at the Venetian
I was a guest at the Venetian twice.. back in the days before gambling revenue declined to the point of forcing hotel room rates way up. I recall paying $99 per night in December 2001 and then I went back in August 2002 at $109 per night. Rates are closer to $200+ now, pretty consistently.
Venetian Las Vegas Suite 15321
The Venetian's location is very good, in between the ultra luxurious Palazzo, Wynn, and Encore to the north and the more casual Casino Royale, Imperial Palace and Harrah's to the south. Across the street you've got Treasure Island and Mirage. Every room in the Venetian is a suite, and there are even fancier suites available at higher prices than the "cheapie" suites like the one in the photo above. Which is a pretty old photo, I'm sure the rooms have been remodeled since then. I highly recommend Venetian to anyone who can afford it, especially as a romantic getaway or honeymoon hotel.