Posted by James K.
Nov 12, 2015

INTRODUCTION

Without a doubt, Macau's most successful hotel/casino is the massive Las Vegas Sands flagship Venetian Macao resort. According to Wikipedia, it's the largest single structure hotel building in Asia, the sixth-largest building in the world by area and the largest casino in the world. Basically identical to the original one in Vegas, the Venetian was the first hotel in Macau to really focus on the entertainment side of the resort experience, featuring a Cirque de Soleil performance six nights a week and a packed slate of concerts at the Cotai Arena. The Grand Canal Shoppes is another can't miss attraction, full of gondolas and gondoliers, rich storefronts and roaming performers, it's like going from Macau to Venice in 30 seconds or less. Already a Macau landmark, The Venetian Macao (they spell Macau with an "o") will turn five on August 28, 2012.

Image gallery

LOCATION

In the middle of all the action on the Cotai Strip, right between the Galaxy and the City of Dreams. A new Las Vegas Sands property, the Sands Cotai, is going up right across the road as well.

 

CASINO

When dealing with the largest casino in Macau, it's probably a lot easier to write the games they don't have as opposed to the ones they do. I think the only ones missing are Pai Gow, Yee Hah HiM, and EZ Baccarat. That's it. Every other table game, electronic table game, or Live Gaming machine known to Macau is available at the Venetian, along with over 2,000 slots. Minimums on the 300 tables roll between $200 or $300 all the way up to $2,000 in the high limit Ruby Room, while slots start at 0.02 and end at $100. As for the various game machines and Live Baccarat (which also includes Live Roulette and Live Sic Bo), their lows don't exceed $50.

 

All of the games are located in one huge square room behind the lobby, no doubt Macau's largest casino floor. Bar Florian is located right in the middle of all the action under the Great Hall and escalators that take you up to the Grand Canal Shoppes. Much like the lobby, the casino is very elegantly decorated, full of paintings, pillars, art and chandeliers. While the design is certainly top notch, its effect gets kind of dampened by the sheer size of the room and all the tables, lights, signs and slots. With so much to look at, I'm not sure how many people really notice the fish on the pillars or the five different kinds of chandeliers. Still though, you have to be appreciate Las Vegas Sands effort.

Drink service at the Venetian could probably use an upgrade and more staff. Getting a waitress is sometimes difficult, and there isn't much drink selection. Non smokers are taken care of though, with a large non smoking section by the entrance to Hotel Suites South. Lots of restaurants are accessible via the casino floor, in addition to one lounge that just welcomed Playboy Bunnies into the fold. These lovely ladies pretty much become the casino's main entertainment by default, since there is no performance stage per se, although ballroom dancing shows do sometimes happen outside Bar Florian.

 

GAMES

 

The Venetian is not only Macau's largest casino in terms of tables, but also in table games. Dragon Phoenix is Macau's newest game, opening in the summer of 2011, and can only be found at the Venetian.

Banking Three Card Baccarat — Although some tables have Three Card Poker written on them, it's not really Three Card Poker, it's Banking Three Card Baccarat. You'll know which tables they are fairly quickly because won't have Ante or Pairplus pay tables written on them as all Three Card Poker tables do in Macau. The same error is repeated at the Sands and in the Venetian's free guide book introducing the rules of different games.

To bank players need at least $5000, while minimum bets are $200.

Sands Stud Poker — Normal Caribbean Stud Poker with an important side bet variation. Instead of the side bet only being $25, players can bet $25, $50, $75, $100 or $125 each time. Flush, full house and four of a kind cash bonuses are then paid out in proportion to the side bet wager. Here's the Sands Stud side bet pay table.

Here is the full pay table.

  • Flush: 40 for 1
  • Full house: 60 for 1
  • Four of a kind: 200 for 1
  • Straight flush: 10% of jackpot
  • Royal flush: 100% of jackpot

The Wizard says that because the player is not rewarded for betting more on a straight flush or royal flush, he should not be more than $25 on the side bet. He adds that at a $25 bet the jackpot turns positive at a meter of $6,727,631.58.

 

In an interesting twist, players can bet the side bet on the Dealer's hand as well, with all of the same rules still applying.

 

Finally, once every 15 hands or so, a lucky player on the floor will be selected and win 5 free side bet credits ($125), assuming he's been betting the side bet. And every 80 hands or so, a lucky dealer will be selected, and all the players who have been doing the side bet at that table will receive 5 credits.

I hope you're betting the Progressive when you do get your Royal Flush otherwise it's only a 50-1 win at the Venetian. (And a nothing win if the Dealer doesn't qualify. Wouldn't that just frost your cookies? You could have won 10 million yet it's only $300? Window. Open. Ledge. Jump. Repeat if necessary.) However, the Wizard disagrees with me, adding that unless the meter gets over 6.7 million, which it seldom will, it is a sucker bet and recommends you avoid it.

Craps — 3-4-5 odds.

Money Wheel — Game also available in popular machine format.

Slot Machines — Probably well over 2,000 slot machines. Minimums are from 2 cents to $100. As usual in Macau, most machines are under $1.

Texas Hold Em — 10 poker tables, blinds $10/$25, $25/$50 etc up to $200/$400. If all the players at the table agree to bet more, the $200/$400 limit can be exceeded.

Video Poker — I noticed Jacks or Better, Bonus Poker, Double Bonus Poker, Double Double Bonus Poker, Joker Poker and Deuces Wild.

Other games: Baccarat, EZ Baccarat, Three Card Baccarat, Blackjack, Fan tan, roulette, sic bo, Three Card Poker, Dragon Phoenix.

 

MY OWN GAMBLING

 

Last summer I played quite a bit of baccarat at the Venetian and most of the time did pretty well. I can confidently say I probably won more than I lost the 8 or 9 times I went. As for Craps and Blackjack, however, that's a whole other story.

Drawing on all my experience then, I can say that away from the craps table not many dealers speak English, which surprised me a little. The Venetian draws a pretty large international crowd, but English service is not a priority. As for their personalities, some of the dealers are big time brick walls, while others are quite engaging. I remember this one 40 year guy who seemed legitimately upset he was pulling over so many Player 8 and 9's and taking my money every hand. At one point he just shook his head and motioned with his hand as if to tell me, leave the table man, leave the table, which I thought was nice. So generally speaking, you can't make any generalizations. Some dealers are into it, while others are bored out of their mind.

Baccarat is clearly the big show in Macau, obviously the big Asian game, and I don't recall ever playing with another foreigner at the table. It was just me and the Chinese, which could get interesting at times. Now even though I understand quite a bit of Chinese and can say a lot too, I never let on that I do when I play. I prefer to lay low and listen to what's said, especially if it concerns me. Invariably my style of play would get them talking, since I don't think they've ever seen anyone bet the Banker everytime as I do. Yes I am proud to say I've never made a Player bet in my life and never will. To me, it's a no brainer. It's like having White in chess or last at bats in baseball. Betting the Banker has the clear advantage. Anyway, because of that I heard a lot of stuff like, "The foreigner doesn't look at the TV screen", or "Boy he plays strange", or my all time favorite, this one 50 year old guy who asked everyone around him, asked the players, asked the Dealer, "Does the foreigner know he can bet the Player too?" I mean he seemed really concerned about it. I thought that was pretty funny.

Sometimes of course my baccarat strategy backfired and I would be on the wrong end of a big run. The first thing I noticed playing Baccarat is that big runs happen a lot more often than in Blackjack. 8 wins in a row, 8 losses, it's nothing to bat an eye at playing baccarat. The biggest run I ever had was 17 straight Banker wins, which was amazing. By the time that run was over I had made a convert or two and for the rest of the day they bet as I did, on the Banker every time!

It's the Player runs that hurt the most though, especially when you're the only one going against everyone else, the only one who's got anything riding on the Banker at all. I remember this one time the Player had won seven hands in a row, and when something like that happens in Macau, word spreads. Before you know it there are 20 people at the table when there were only six before, and all you see are arms and more arms pushing through the mass to lay their bets. From box number 1 all the way to 9, the Player area just gets stacked and packed with rows of chips. And then of course there's me, the dumb foreigner, the only going against the grain, dutifully laying the table minimum on the Banker everytime.

One time on such run the losing got kind of personal. I had lost seven hands in a row, so I was frustrated, tired of losing, and only wanted to win. I wanted nothing more than to flip a 9 and collect my chips, and make the whole table lose, because hey, they deserved it. I had taken offense to some of them chanting "face, face, face" every time I turned a card. It's one thing if it's the dealer who's flipping the cards, as they have no stake in the outcome, and if you want to chant then, then chant. But when it's another player, I think that's kind of rude. It's like getting into the face of the craps shooter and chanting 7, 7, 7 as they're shooting when you're playing the dark side. You can see how that might get a little bit annoying, especially if you roll a 7. To make matters worse, I began to see my Banker bet as more than just a simple bet. I began to see it as something much larger, something idealogical, like it was my understanding of the game versus theirs. I think I play correctly and they don't, and I wanted to prove it to the whole table. It's stupid I know, but that's how I felt.

So you can imagine my frustration losing an 8th time, a 9th, a 10th, and each time having to hear the big cheer that went up after I tossed another pair of faces back to the Dealer. After each loss I felt smaller and smaller, worse and worse, like I was two feet tall. I think after the 11th hand, it all finally and mercifully ended. There was no loud cheer, the crowd dispersed and things went back to normal. And I have to admit that I felt a huge sense of relief. While being on the wrong end of that run was both an uncomfortable and intimidating experience, most of it was brought on by my own competitiveness, hatred of losing, and need to prove something. It's not like the other people did that much wrong, they were just happy they were winning.

The last thing I'd like mention about my baccarat experience is that it taught me an important truth about the casino. I never really knew how much of an advantage it is for them to offer mindless games. Prior to this year, the only game I ever played was blackjack. And even though I just play basic strategy, after about 3 to 4 hours I start to get tired. I begin to have to think for a second, do I hit this 14 against a 6 or just stand? And when it reaches that point, I figure it's time to go home. But baccarat, on the other hand, man, I can play baccarat all day (and I have.) 12 hours, 14 hours, 16 hours, bring it on. Most casino games fall into baccarat's category too, since they also don't require any thinking at all on the part of the player. And when that happens they don't get tired and they can bet all day and all night to the casino's benefit. Pretty smart people, these casino operators.

 

PROMOTIONS

 

Promotions are pretty standard across all three Las Vegas Sands properties, the Sands, Venetian and Plaza. The identical player card is good in all 3 casinos, while member benefits are the same as well. Gamers start off with the free Gold Card, before moving up to Ruby after amassing 888 points and then finish off at the Diamond Card, which requires 8,888 points.

Las Vegas Sands keeps a tight lid on the rate of point accumulation for tables or slots, always saying it's calculated by computer, but I can tell you from personal experience that an hour spent at $100 tables nets about 1 point, and then it increases proportionately. An hour spent at $300 tables nets 3 points, $500 tables five points etc.

Member benefits are a little disappointing with the introductory Gold card basically only good for 10% discounts at Las Vegas Sands restaurants and bars. At the Ruby card level, it doesn't get much better, with members only seeing priority service check in and a bump up to 20% off at Las Vegas Sands F&B. All the best perks like complimentary hotel night, limousine service, free entertainment tickets and access to exclusive dining in VIP lounges are all contingent on the amount of rated play. Only at Diamond club do the perks become significant. Room upgrades, birthday gifts, and lounge access are all freely given to those members in addition to a 25% discount at Las Vegas Sands bars and restaurants.

When redeeming points, the Las Vegas Sands prize book is a top notch assortment of premium electronics, alcohol, jewellery and lifestyle accessories.

Technology

 

  • Panasonic DMC-GF2C Digital Camera — 6,179 points
  • IPad 2 with WiFi (32 gb) — 5,988 points
  • Nokia X7-00 Mobile Phone — 3,835 points
  • Samsung Q10 High Definition Camcorder — 2,879 points

Lifestyle

 

 

  • Rimowa Topas Suitcase — 7,107 points
  • BMW Men's Motorsport Jacket — 1,359 points
  • Siglo Retro Brown Lighter — 709 points
  • Dunhill Tubed Corona — 499 points

Luxury Products

 

 

  • Seacraft Watch — 29,500 points
  • Mayback Character II Sunglasses — 22,880 points
  • Lacquared Gold Lighter — 15,000 points
  • Crocodile Wallet — 2,350 points

Food and Beverage

 

 

  • Louis XIII Cognac — 18,829 points
  • Hennessy Paradis — 16,809 points
  • Chivas Regal 25 years — 2,459 points
  • Johnnie Walker Black Label — 289 points

Points can also be redeemed straight up for non-negotiable chips or match play vouchers with 1 point equalling 1 Hong Kong dollar.

 

VIP program

The Venetian dead chip program is the same as at the Sands and the Plaza.

 

Venetian Dead Chip Program
Buy in Cash back Comp allowance
$200000 0.70% 0.10%
$500000 0.70% 0.15%
$1000000 0.75% 0.15%
$3000000 0.80% 0.15%
$5000000 0.90% 0.10%
$8000000 1.00% 0.10%

Members play in the premium Paiza Club which houses all of the Venetian's VIP clubs. I checked out four of the private junkets, which return the following rates:

 

  • Profit Luck — 1.05% cash back
  • Sun City VIP — 1.05% cash back + 0.05% comp allowance
  • Royal Fortune — 1.1% cash back
  • Bo Yin VIP — 1.2% cash back

Current Promotions

 

Las Vegas Sands promotions lag a little behind what's found at Galaxy, Melco Crown and MGM properties.

Cash Pyramid Game Show — For two months, a daily draw is held where the winner may choose to quit immediately and pocket $8000, or proceed to play the game. The game has 5 levels in total and if the contestent can pass through all of them, they'll win $168,000. 1 draw ticket is available for every 3 points earned.

Treasure Hunt — Every hour random slot players will be chosen to receive $1000 slot bonuses.

24 Hour Points Promotion — Within 24 hours gamers who have accumulated enough points may redeem the following prizes:

  • $50 dining coupon — 8 points
  • Gold plated pack of playing cards — 18 points
  • $150 dining coupon — 28 points
  • $200 promotional chips — 38 points
  • $300 HKD reward dollars — 68 points
  • $600 HKD promotional chips — 98 points

Ferry offer — Members who bought a $128 HK-Macau ferry ticket can redeem a free Macau-HK ferry ticket if they accumulate 6 points within a 24 hour period.

 

For Ruby and Diamond members, they score a free ticket anytime after accumulating 28 points.

 

HOTEL

I was expecting a much larger lobby, but don't color me disappointed. I haven't seen anything like the Colonnade since I actually was in Italy. With all the time and detail that must have went into painting the roof and finishing all the sculpture and trim, the Venetian lobby looks like it belongs to another century.

 

By far Macau's largest hotel, the Venetian offers 3000 suites, at rates much lower than I expected. For $1757 midweek, that's about what you pay for rooms on Macau island at much inferior hotels like Grand Emperor or Starworld.

These low rates get even lower if you book in advance. Reservations made 30 days prior results in 20% off, while 14 days before saves 10%. A number of different packages are listed online all year long too, so be sure to check those out before you book, especially if you're a fan of shopping or spas.

With adult endeavours pretty much limited to gaming and drinking in the two bars, the Venetian is probably Macau's most family friendly resort. Pamphlets around the property always remind parents to watch their kids and there's also a child care service available if they need to get away for a few hours.

Suite prices are listed in HKD, not including 15% for tax and service fees.

 

Venetian Hotel Room Rates
Room Type Sundays-Thursdays Fridays Saturdays
Royale $1,528.20 $1,888.20 $2,428.20
Bella $1,753.20 $2,113.20 $2,653.20
CotaiView Royale $1,753.20 $2,113.20 $2,653.20
CotaiView Bella $1,978.20 $2,338.20 $2,878.20
Rialto $2,293.20 $2,653.20 $3,193.20
Verona $2,293.20 $2,653.20 $3,193.20

 

There are also two types of Paiza club suites available, both coming with free limo service and exclusive check in at the Paiza club reception. Reservations can only be made via email or telephone so I don't know how much those suites are, or if non Paiza club members are allowed to book them.

 

POOL

 

They're hard to get to, these pools. First you have to find the South Suites then take the elevator to the 5th floor. From there follow the signs which take you past the Qube down an impossibly long hallway. Once you reach the end your reward is yet another elevator that brings you down to the first floor.

At least the long trip is worth it. The Venetian has four pools, most of good size, along with a few heated Jacuzzis. One pool is for children only, another for adults while the other two take all comers. Poolside cabanas are available for rent and come with a fruit platter, 42 inch plasma TV, and telephone. What surprised me most is that they're also air conditioned! Not too expensive, the cabanas cost $300 for 4 hours of use or $600 for 8.

The swimming pools are open daily from 7 am to 7 pm.

 

RESTAURANTS

With all the restaurants at the Venetian I think it would take a month to try them all, especially if you include the ones in Festiva food court. For this review, I've only included the main eateries, dividing the list between International and Chinese fare.

 

International And Western

3 Monkeys — It's hard to find a menu more varied than this.

  • Appetizers: $30-$95
  • Steak: $280-$350
  • Salad: $45-$105
  • Asian: $105-$150
  • Sandwiches: $85-$105
  • Pasta: $120-$180
  • Burgers: $105-$195
  • Pizza: $105-$150
  • Mexican: $95-$300
  • Desserts: $60-$80

3 Monkeys is located in St Mark's Square in the Grand Canal Mall and is open from 11 am to 11 pm daily.

 

Blue Frog Bar & Grill — Combination restaurant/lounge, Blue Frog Bar & Grill is open from 7 am to 2 am daily.

 

  • Pasta: $88-$128
  • Main course meat dishes: $148-$198
  • Rice/Noodles: $68-$138
  • Desserts: $58
  • Steak: $268-$348
  • Set lunch meals: $88

Blue Frog is located directly opposite the Cotai Arena beside Cafe Deco. Shop number is 1037.

 

Cafe Deco Macao — Open 24 hours, Cafe Deco also has a buffet. Current drink special is 2 for 1 between 5:30 and 8:30 pm.

 

  • Breakfast buffet: $193
  • Curry: $78-$148
  • Asian: $65-$228
  • Other international: $62-$258
  • Hamburgers: $118-$138
  • Beers: $50
  • Pizza: $138-$158
  • Cocktails: $60

Cafe Deco is shop 1036, and is located across from the Cotai Arena.

 

Fogo Samba — Brazilian eats at Fogo Samba.

 

  • Appetizers: $48-$68
  • Pasta: $92-$98
  • Soups/Salad: $42-$89
  • BBQ Skewers: $165-$198
  • Burgers: $98-$108
  • Buffet: $368/$388

Fogo Samba is located in St Mark's Square in the Grand Canal Shoppes. Hours daily are from 7 am to 11am (breakfast), 12 pm to 4pm (lunch), and 6 pm to 11:30 (dinner).

 

McSorley's Ale House — Pub type place is half bar and half restaurant. A couple of specials include: $128 for a bacon cheeseburger with coke, $148 for a bacon cheeseburger with a Carlsberg, and $148 for steak and a beer.

 

  • Soup and salad: $78-$98
  • Beers: $50-$62
  • Pub fare: $98-$135
  • Hard stuff: $50-$80
  • Hamburgers: $98-$115
  • Wine: $55-$60, bottles $280-$620.

They also have quite a few TV's tuned into international sports events. McSorley's Ale House is Shop 1038 and can be found around the corner from the Cotai Arena.

 

Madeira Portuguese Restaurant — More expensive eats at Madiera.

 

  • Main course: $128-$438
  • Rice: $118-$298
  • Salad: $88-$188
  • Meat dishes: $148-$176
  • Soup: $50-$78
  • Everything else: $100-$138

Located in the Grand Canal Shoppes at St. Mark's Square, Madiera is open from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm on Sundays to Thursdays, and closes an hour later on Fridays and Saturdays.

 

Morton's of Chicago — American steakhouse will have you reaching for your American dollars when it's time to pay the bill.

 

  • Appetizers: $145-$210
  • Steaks: $558-$1336
  • Salads: $110-$120
  • Side dishes: $75-$105
  • Prime Ocean Platters: $1305/$1335

Also has an extensive drink menu at above average prices.

 

Morton's is open from 5:30 pm to 11 pm Mondays to Saturdays, and from 5 pm to 10 pm on Sundays.

Portofino — Portofino has tables outside overlooking the pool. Prices are much lower than you'd expect for an Italian joint.

 

  • Appetizers: $100-$140
  • Pasta: $140-$220
  • Salad: $90-$120
  • Grill: $200-$300
  • Soup: $75/$130
  • Pizza: $120-$170

Lunch hours are from 11 am to 2:30 pm Monday to Sunday, while dinner goes from 6 pm to 11 pm Sunday to Thursday and from 6 pm to 12 am Friday and Saturday. Portofino is shop 1040 and can be found next to the ZAIA Theatre.

 

Asian

Bambu — All day buffet dining at Bambu. They mostly do Chinese and Southeastern Asian cuisine.

 

  • Breakfast Buffet (7am - 10am): $168/$84 (3-12 yr old children)
  • Lunch Buffet (11am - 3pm): $198/$94 (3-12 yr old children)
  • Dinner Buffet (6pm - 10pm): $258/$119 (3-12 yr old children)

Bambu is shop 1033, located in the hallway between the West lobby and the casino.

 

Canton — Mostly serves Cantonese food (surprise!), but other mainland styles are also available.

 

  • Appetizers: $48-$138
  • Seafood: $128-$220
  • Birds Nest, Shark's Fin,
  • Abalone: $188-$800
  • Meat: $80-$320
  • Rice/Noodles: $68-$180
  • Vegetables: $70-$120
  • Sichuan: $70-$280
  • Dumplings: $70-120
  • Beijing: $50-$480

Hours are from 11 am to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 11 pm daily. On Saturday nights they stay open until 12 am. Shop 1018 on the hotel map, it's located close to the casino floor and Morton's Steakhouse.

 

Edo Japanese Restaurant — Popular Japanese chain has identical prices at every branch resturant.

 

  • Sashami and sushi: $35-$300
  • Hot pot: $420
  • Salad: $80-$150
  • Ramen: $98-$138
  • Grilled fare: $90-$160
  • Teppanayaki: $190-$430
  • Rice with soup: $230-$480
  • Teppanayaki set meal: $780/$880

Shop 2311, Edo Japanese Restaurant is located in the 3rd floor Grand Canals shopping mall. Hours are from 11:30 am to 11:30 pm Sundays to Thursdays. On Fridays they close an hour later at 12:30 am.

 

Imperial House Dim Sum - The nice people at Imperial Dim Sum gave me a menu to take away. Cantonese all the way, they stay open 24 hours Saturday to Monday. From Tuesday to Friday hours are from 10 am to 2 am.

 

  • Dim Sum: $28-$38
  • Coffee/Tea: $25
  • Main Dishes: $45-$108
  • Soft Drinks: $30
  • Barbecue: $70/$90
  • Juice: $35
  • Congee, Noodles, Rice: $45-$62
  • Beer: $45
  • Desserts: $38/$438
  • Chinese Wine: $195-$1680/bottle.

Imperial House Dim Sum is located in the casino.

 

Lei Garden — Cantonese restaurant with typically priced a la carte selections. The set meals for 10, however, are out of this world, going for $5988, $6988 or $9988.

 

  • Appetizers: $28-$48
  • Soup: $118
  • Shark's fin: $218-$818
  • Sauteed Delicacies: $98-$168
  • Bird's Nest: $278-$528
  • Barbecue: $88-$138
  • Abalone: $298-$2988
  • Vegetarian: $78-$98
  • Chef's Recommendations: $108-$198
  • Dessert: $28

Lei Garden is Shop 2130 in the Grand Canal Shoppes. Hours are from 11:30 am to 3 pm in the afternoon and from 6 pm to 11:00 pm in the evening.

 

North — Excellent Northeastern Chinese cuisine at the recently opened North restaurant.

 

  • Cold dishes: $38-$68
  • Dumplings: $36
  • Soup: $38-$58
  • Noodles: $62
  • Hot Pot: $38-$138
  • Pan fried buns/bread: $38-$98

North is accessible via the casino.

 

Old Neptune Restaurant — Mainly serves Cantonese noodles and porridge.

 

  • Shark's fin tossed noodle: $498
  • Other noodles: $62-$108
  • Abalone tossed noodle: $648
  • Set meals: $368-$1298
  • Braised egg noodle: $368
  • Congee: $60-$138

Old Neptune is shop 1032, located in the hallway between the West lobby and the casino.

 

Red Dragon Noodles — Soup, porridge, and noodles at Red Dragon.

 

  • Noodles in broth: $55/$63
  • Congee and rice: $38-$70
  • Signature soup noodles: $55/$58
  • Desserts: $38

Located on the casino floor, Red Dragon only closes on Mondays between 2 am and 10 am.

 

 

HEALTH CLUB/SPA

 

These facilities aren't as good as I expected them to be, but maybe that's because I expected the best from the Venetian on all fronts. While the gym is nothing to complain about, you won't go crazy over its size or equipment either. I definitely pictured something larger and more modern, but it's still good enough.

Located on the 8th floor, V Gym is open from 6 am to 11 pm daily.

Spa facilites on the other hand are an outright fail. They are without question the Venetian's biggest black mark. Guests get no free access to a sauna, steam room, ice shower or anything. Instead they must pay money at the Malo Clinic and Spa to enjoy any of that action.

The Malo spa's treatment list is extensive with rates in line with other spas at premium 5 star hotels. Wellness Journeys are the most expensive services, running $1500 to $3888, while massage ($488 to $980), facials ($800 to $980), body wraps ($600 to $800) and beauty essentials ($350 to $480) all mostly stay under $1000.

The spa also doubles as a medical clinic offering a wide range of medical checkups for $2000 to $12000. They'll take a look at everything, from blood to kidney function, cardio evaluation to cancer screening.

Malo Clinic and Spa is located on level 5. The clinic is open everyday from 9 am to 7 pm (except Sunday) while the spa keeps hours daily from 10 am to midnight.

 

ENTERTAINMENT

 

Maybe Macau doesn't have that much entertainment because it's all at the Venetian?

Compared to the City of Dreams, my mailbox gets inundated 5 to 1 with Venetian promos and advertisements, especially for Cotai arena musical acts.

Zaia — 90 minute Cirque de Soleil stage performance is the Venetian's headline act. It tells the story of a young girl who journeys into space and learns the beauty of humanity. I haven't seen it yet but should probably check it out next time. When I do, I'll give a full report. Tickets range from $388 to $788 for adults and $194 to $394 for children. If you prefer the VIP option, it's a straight $1,288 for all. Zaia usually runs 6 nights a week, off only on Mondays, with start time at 8 pm. They also take week long breaks at times so check the schedule online.

Ice World — Every winter in Harbin they have the famous Ice Exhibition, where crowds of tourists brave -20 degree Celsius weather to hem and haw at the amazing array of colossol ice structures. Venetian used that same idea for their indoor Ice World which features famous Macau sites like the ruins of St Paul and the Guia Lighthouse, along with the Wonders of the World (ie the Colosseum, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal.) 40 artisans used chainsaws, knives and shovels to cut the 9,000 blocks of ice used to make the sculptures. Temperatures inside are a positively frigid -15 degrees Celsius so hooded coats are provided for guests. Tickets cost $100.

The Manchester United Experience — As a North American I'm culturally obligated to marginalize soccer and soccer players. You've heard it before, I'll say it again, the reason why there are so many soccer riots is because fans are so bored out of their skull that they decide go bash a few just for something to do. Chinese certainly like soccer a lot more though, so they probably have more interest than I in entering the dressing room, lifting the Treble trophy, or training with the team.

Located in the Grand Canal Shoppes, hours are from 10 am to 11 pm (Sunday to Thursday) and from 10 am to 12 am (Friday and Saturday).

Grado 18 Holes Mini Golf — The golf course is very disappointing. First off, there's no obstacle course, windmills or any traps at all to befuddle the players. Instead it's all flat green. The course is also very confusing making it difficult to navigate. I guess that's why it's so cheap, only $50 for 1 hour.

Located on the 7th floor the golf course is open from 10 am to 6 pm.

Qube — Designed for children aged 1 to 17, this 9000 square foot playground offers rainbow slides, over under barriers, zig zag net climbers, Chuck E Cheese pool ball areas, as well as PCs and video units. Themed birthday parties are also available.

Qube costs $90 for the first 2 hours, then $50 for every hour after that. On the weekends the first two hours cost $100.

Located on Level 5, Qube hours are from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm daily.

Gondola Rides — 51 serenading gondoliers will take you for a ride through the Grand Canal Shoppes or around the hotel on the outdoor lagoon. Tickets cost $108 per ride for adults and $58 for children.

Cotai Arena — The Cotai Arena is home to a who's who of Asian star power. In the past year, Jenny Love, Rain, George Lam, Alan Tam and GEM all brought their unique talents to the Venetian stage. There was also a US Pro Ball Asian tour last October starring 1990 All NBA greats like Pippen, Penny, Rodman and the Glove Gary Payton. I hope they provided two trainers for each player because I could hear the hammies tearing from here.

 

BARS

 

There are two bars at the Venetian whose main business is beverages and not food.

Bar Florian — Situated smack dab in the middle of the casino floor, Bar Florian is home to drinks and dancers. I saw quite an impressive ballroom dancing display put on by six professionals that really turned some heads. At most other casinos in Macau a show like that would be the highlight of their entertainment. At the Venetian though, it hardly registers.

Beers at Bar Florian go for $47, wine $55 to $148, and most hard stuff is $50 to $175. Mocktails come in at $50 while other non-alcoholic beverages are $30 to $40. As for food, the only thing they have to eat is $38 cake.

Bar Florian is open 24 hours.

Bellini Lounge — The Playboy Club at the Sands lasted a year, if that, but the Bunnies have landed softly at Bellini Lounge. Every night from around 10 pm, 7 or 8 of them emerge decked out in their Bunny Dress, to serve drinks, take photos with guests, and drink with them too if that's what they want. About one tenth the size of the defunct Playboy Club, Bellini Lounge seems too small of a venue to waste such premier talent in. With live music at night and a little dance floor, we'll see how long this incarnation lasts.

Prices at Bellini remain as they were before. Beers are $47, glasses of wine $60 to $148 and harder shots $45 to $60. For those with more refined taste martinis run $55 while glasses of cognac are $60 to $1800. Wow, that had better be some top notch cognac for $1800 a glass. I currently drop $1800 for a bottle and think I'm someone. Non alcoholic beverages, finally, are $36 to $40.

Located on the casino floor, Bellini Lounge keeps hours from 4 pm to 4 am Mondays to Fridays and from 2 pm to 4 am on Saturdays and Sundays.

 

SHOPPING

 

It's something else altogether being up on the Venetian's third floor in the Grand Canal Shoppes. The pictures tell a better story than me, so enjoy. In addition to all the boats and bold storefronts, the concourse is home to jugglers, mimes, stilt walkers and living statues. I think the Wizard has a job there too whenever he wants, after his mad juggling skills caught the eye of a passing suit in 2009.

With over 300 stores, the Grand Canal Shoppes will have what you're looking for, especially if you're in the market for clothes, jewellery, or beauty accessories. Luggage, medicine and electronic outlets are all readily available as well.

The Grand Canal Shoppes are open from 10 am to 11 pm Sunday to Thursday and from 10 am to midnight Fridays and Saturdays.

 

SUMMARY

 

An exercise in excess, the Venetian Macao has the most restaurants, entertainment, tables, table games, suites, shops and probably visitors too. It's safe to say that the resort has become a tourist attraction in itself. You got to stop by, if only just to check it out.

Should you have designs on staying longer, that's not a bad idea either. With suites the same prices as rooms in other premium Macau hotels, you really can't go wrong, especially when you consider everything the Venetian has to offer.

 

QUICK FACTS

  • Venetian Macao
  • Estrada da Baia de N. Senhora da Esperanca, s/n,
  • Taipa, Macao SAR, P.R. China
  • Tel: +853 2882 8888
  • Email: inquiries "at" venetian.com.mo
  • Numbers of Suites — 3000
  • Number of Tables — 601 (including VIP)
  • Number of Slots — 2000

Hotel Reservations — Toll Free Numbers

 

 

  • China (Applicable for both fixed line and mobile phone): 4001 20 8822
  • Hong Kong: 001 80000 800 222
  • India: 000800 100 7952
  • Japan Landline: 010 80000 800 222
  • Japan mobile phone or payphone: 001 010 80000 800 222
  • Singapore: 001 80000 800 222
  • Tel: +853 2882 8877
  • Fax: +853 2882 8823
  • Email: room.reservations "at" venetian.com.mo

Entertainment and Ticketing

 

 

  • Tel — +853 2882 8818
  • Website — www.cotaiticketing.com
  • Email — enquiries "at" cotaiticketing.com

Here are lots more photos of the Venetian sent to me by others.

Page 1 from pre-opening party.
Page 2 from pre-opening party.
Page 3 from pre-opening party.
Page 4 after the opening.

Link to the official Venetian Macao web site.

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Table Games at Venetian

GameDecksMinMaxSoft 17DADASRSASurrTablesCSMParty Pit6/5 BJVideoH. Edge
Blackjack2 50 5000 H YesYes No No 3NoNoNoNo0.45688
Blackjack6 10 2500 H YesYes Yes Yes 35NoNoYesNo1.84232
Blackjack6 50 5000 H YesYes Yes Yes 2NoNoNoNo0.48263
Blackjack6 100 5000 S YesYes Yes Yes 4NoNoNoNo0.28507
Blackjack8 5 500 S YesYes No Yes 3-NoNoYes0.37104
GameDecksMinMaxSoft 17DADASRSASurrTablesCSMParty Pit6/5 BJVideoH. Edge
Spanish 21 6 10 1000 H -- - - 2NoNoNoNo0.76000
BJ Switch 8 10 2500 H -- - - 2NoNoNoNo0.58000
Free Bet 8 10 2500 H -- - - 4NoNoNoNo1.04000
Game# of TablesMin BetMax Bet
Casino War 1 10 1000
Big Wheel 1 1 100
Game# of TablesMin BetMax Bet
Crazy 4 Poker 1 10 500
Pai Gow Poker 5 25 20000
Three Card Poker 3 10 500
Caribbean Stud 2 15 500
Let It Ride 1 10 500
Ultimate Texas Hold'em 2 10 500
Game# of TablesMin BetMax Bet
Baccarat 13 50 20000