You could book an ordinary hotel for your trip to Las Vegas or you could book The Venetian. This five-star, Italian-themed casino and resort is so vast, you could spend your entire vacation without ever walking out the front door.
The inside of it is masterfully designed to feel like you're outdoors. Underneath the blue sky-painted ceiling is the scene of an actual Italian piazza complete with bridges stretching over a gondola-clad canal.
Plain and simple: The Venetian is dreamy. You'll never run out of things to do at this playground for adults.
Be prepared to spend a lot of time slinging martinis and the like at The Venetian’s stylish cocktail bar. The Dorsey has that undeniable Vegas vibe. You might find yourself drinking cocktails out of a fishbowl, a flamingo, or a tiki glass, but don’t worry—this classy lounge isn’t your average college dive bar. A rotating roster of DJs presides over the space each night. So whether you simply want to sip and savor the night from a sofa or hit the dance floor, you’re taken care of.
The Venetian is full of culinary delights, but Chica is among the best of them. Chef Lorena Garcia doesn't just cook any old Latin cuisine; rather, her exploration of flavors reads like the passport of a well-traveled explorer, grabbing inspiration from Mexico, Argentina, Peru, and pretty much every corner of Central and South America. Expect empanadas, ceviche, arepas, and, yes, even a few tacos on the menu here.
The Minus5 Ice Experience in the Grand Canal Shoppes is about as close to winter as Vegas will ever get. Put on a parka, order a vodka cocktail in an ice glass, and forget all about the sweltering heat outside. The setting is chilly: a 1,500-square-foot room made out of 100-plus tons of ice from Canada. Minus5 also has locations at Mandalay Bay and The LINQ. Admission ranges from $17 to $75.
An established member of the famed Thomas Keller restaurant family, Bouchon is where you brunch. Think savory crepes alongside beignets du jour, oozing sugar and Nutella. The pain perdu is a French toast with blueberry compote that delicately balances sweet and savory. It might not be the French Laundry in Yountville, but the mechanics of Bouchon's cooking and customer service most definitely meets the standard.
Stroll through the Venetian and its sister property, The Palazzo, and you'll find an impressive display of art and architecture. St. Mark’s Square—the centerpiece of The Venetian, modeled after the real thing in Italy—is vibrant with the energy of surrounding restaurants and singing gondoliers. In the resort lobby, you'll find a recreation of the Armillary Sphere.
In the lobby of The Palazzo, Samuel G. Bocchicchio’s “Acqua di Cristallo” is a stunning representation of translucent women in a sea of water. Head to the Atrium and you’ll be greeted by Laura Klimpton’s "LOVE," a 13-foot high piece that is part of her Monumental Word series. Also in the Atrium, Anne Patterson’s "Another Sky" falls from the ceiling in a dramatic and colorful array of ribbons. This piece consists of over 3,500 colorful ribbons strategically placed to reflect light and sway with the mood of the room.
TAO is a must-visit for every Vegas-goer, Venetian guest or not. Start your experience with a drink at the Tao Lounge, a rich room draped in velvet and silk and studded with water features, then move into TAO Bistro for a pre-nightclub meal inspired by Japanese, Thai, and Chinese cuisine. After dinner, the 10,000-square-foot nightclub beckons. Find a private corner or dance in either of the main rooms. There is a terrace overlooking The Strip, VIP skyboxes, and action until 5 a.m. Dress code is upscale-casual: button-down, collared shirts, and dress shoes. Leave your baseball hats and sneakers at home.
Does Las Vegas really need another beer garden? Well, if it includes the styling of Emeril Lagasse and a tour of Bavaria, the answer is yes. Lagasse’s Stadium at The Palazzo is a mecca for sports and good food. Situated on the patio with a view of the Las Vegas Strip, The Biergarten not only has all the qualities of a proper beer garden, but also ties in some Vegas flair to the concept of beer and pretzels. Here, you'll dine on potato pancakes with applesauce and sour cream, giant Bavarian pretzels with beer cheese dipping sauce, flame-grilled bratwurst with sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, and thinly-pounded crispy pork or chicken schnitzel, all to be washed down with a quality brew.