The Full Vegas Experience without Setting Foot on The Strip

In 2011, the AAA (American Automobile Association) added 15 more top-flight properties to its list of 5 Diamond Hotels, bringing the number to 124. These proprieties, all meet the highest standards for hospitality, service, and accommodations. Planning a getaway in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, or Mexico couldn’t be easier. Just choose a Five-Diamond Hotel award winner and you can guarantee a successful trip, right? I wanted to put one of the hotels to the test so I chose the largest 5 Diamond resort in the world – The Venetian & The Palazzo in Las Vegas, Nevada. With spectacular suites, top shows, exquisite dining, and an abundance of amenities, The Venetian Resort offers it all; it is a center piece, a piece de resistance, for Vegas. During our four night stay, we were able to experience all that Vegas is known for and has to offer by visiting just one resort.

The Venetian is one of the “all-suite” Las Vegas hotels and the world’s largest five diamond resort and casino. Each suite is luxurious and with 680 sq. ft of luxury, 130 sq. ft bathroom, a king sized bed with Egyptian cotton sheets, 3 LCD HDTVs, and a sunken living room with plush furniture, I’d like to think it is well worth the money.

We decided to take it to the next level with Prestige and a new world of all-inclusive services and special treatments began the moment we arrived. From the private check-in desk, to unrivaled amenities and personal touches, they designed a space to make our stay absolutely sublime. As a guest of Prestige, we enjoyed complimentary amenities such a deluxe continental breakfast from 7am to 10am. Fruit. Desserts. Breads and bagels. Crepes. Pastries. Juices. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! I could have relaxed in the Prestige Lounge for hours enjoying the spread before me. Not even my own mother, who I desperately hope is not reading this, could have prepared such a masterpiece in dining and it was just breakfast. Afternoon teas and coffees were served from 10am to 4pm and hot and cold hors d’oeuvres from 5pm to 7pm. The hors d’oeuvres were a full feast themselves. With soups, pastas, salads, and desserts, I felt like Charlie in the Chocolate Factory. Other Prestige services included a complimentary cocktail reception from 5pm to 8pm, personal Concierge assistance, daily newspaper delivery, a DVD library, free local and 1-800 calls, and packing and unpacking service. Once you experience the food in the Prestige Lounge, you will understand my lapse in memory for any other complimentary services. Although they were all notable, the food was the ultimate experience.

Amenities like pools, gondola rides, and the Canyon Ranch SpaClub leave the Five-Diamond award unquestioned. My Canadian blood has thinned and I thought it was a little too chilly to take a dip in one of the luxurious pools, but that didn’t stop me from enjoying the Canyon Ranch SpaClub and a gondola ride. The world-famous Canyon Ranch SpaClub, renowned as the ideal place to relax, renew, and re-energize is located on the 3rd floor of The Palazzo. Fitness classes, personal trainers, massages, facials, and even a 40-foot-rock-climbing wall may make you think there is nothing else they could have left out. And then there is Aquavana, an oasis of water therapies including state-of-the-art hot and cold experiences. Synonymous with the best in health, fitness, and nutritional food, spending some time at Canyon Ranch was a necessity. They offered winter services such as Winter Solstice Massage, which comes with a Silent Night bath and nourishing oils, a deep-moisturizing Winter Solstice Cocoon full-body wrap to heal dry, cracked skin, and a Holiday Radiance Facial, which is sure to brighten the skin. I escaped to a place where stress melted away and nobody was in a hurry with a Holiday Radiance Facial. The treatment included cleansing, enzyme exfoliation, steam, toning, and a facial masque as well as golden mineral powder to subtly reveal my inner glow. Using the best of the Fleurs, June Jacobs, and Environ skin care lines, this facial invited my skin to the holiday season and brought a dewy radiance back to my face.  

No trip to Venice, or The Venetian, would be complete without a graceful and romantic glide down the Grand Canal in an authentic Venetian gondola. Floating beneath bridges, beside cafes, under balconies, and through the vibrant Venetian streetscape, our authentic, Italian, singing gondolier swept us down the Grand Canal for a ride like no other. Amenities like the ones available at The Venetian & The Palazzo make me question why I would ever go anywhere else.

Phantom and The Blue Man Group have made a home at The Venetian giving it top entertainment and spectacular shows. Combine comedy, music, and multimedia theatrics, add a spot of blue, and you’ve got the makings of a totally unique form of entertainment. Although it is almost impossible to describe, the Blue Man Group was an intensely exciting and wildly outrageous experience. The Phantom’s world and its signature songs, lyrics, costumes, and characters was breathtaking and thrilled the entire audience, both men and woman.

I return to cuisine with my visit to the city’s most authentic Asian noodle dishes and remarkable dim sum on the Casino Level of The Palazzo: Zine.  With acclaimed chef Simon To, recipient of the prestigious blue ribbon by the Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Zine draws from Cantonese, Taiwanese, Vietnamese, Szechuan, and other Asian cooking styles. From the Pan-Fried Chicken Pot Stickers, the Spring Rolls, and the Seafood and Spinach Soup, to the Fu Chow Fried Rice, the Chicken Clay Pot, the Pepper-Crusted Beef Tenderloin, and the Mango Pudding , every dish is a delectable transport to the most acclaimed kitchens of Asia.

AAA has awarded Five Diamond status to 179 hotels and restaurants in the USA, Canada, Caribbean and Mexico – which is just 0.3% of the 59,000 that its inspectors personally visit and rate each year. With countless restaurants, spectacular entertainment, and a 5 Diamond rating, there’s no reason to leave the hotel. I had the full Vegas experience without setting foot on The Strip.

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76 thoughts on “The Full Vegas Experience without Setting Foot on The Strip

  1. Lesley– The text and images are very well matched — true photojournalism here. Thanks for visiting my blog. Good to see someone grabbing life with both hands. Gusto! All the best on baby and Bucket List v. 2012!

    –ADW

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    • Thank you! I had a great long weekend and I can’t wait to return. It may not be the typical gambling, drinking, insane Vegas that some people know it as, but it was everything, and more, than I ever imagined.

      🙂

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    • I’ve been to Vegas a few times now and my favorite parts were the shows, the entertainment, the food, and the environment (Not the drunken, stumbling environment, but the in-awe, excited environment). I went on a gondola ride, saw two shows, experienced top-notch food, and was immersed in the environment outside and inside the hotel. Families filled the shops and the Winter in Venice area with smiles, happiness, and fulfillment. The only thing I missed out on was people flicking tickets in my face, drunks falling down and banging into me, smokers blowing their smoke in my face, and half naked women in the streets, although that last one might appeal to some people 😉

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      • I see your point. But it’s also interesting to see the other side of the coin in places like that.
        Well, maybe not places like Vegas, but other towns, it’s nice to get off the tourist track and see how the day-to-day residents live…

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        • Most of my travels are off the beaten track and lead to some of the most rewarding, beautiful experiences of my life. I like to have a balance in experiencing new cultures and places. Sometimes I hit the top tourist destinations while other times I find the most remote places and learn new ways to interact.

          It’s all an amazing journey 🙂

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    • I’ve never had expensive taste. I only buy second-hand clothing, I don’t wear make-up or buy make-up products, and I even cut my own hair. When it comes to food, I’m happy with a cheese burger from McDonalds and I drive a Saturn Ion, which is a great, but inexpensive car. My main focus has always been travel and new experiences. You’d be surprised with how little you can live with on a daily basis when your eyes are set on something else. 🙂

      Travel has shaped me as much as family and friends and I make it a priority.

      Good luck with your adventures and I hope the world is at your doorstep.

      Lesley

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  2. These pictures are beautiful! I keep hearing how nice the Venetian is. I’ve never been to Vegas…yet. This gave me a lil nudge towards booking a flight. Also, thank you for visiting my page:)

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    • It’s certainly a unique experience like an adult Disney 🙂

      I’d suggest checking out the entire Strip for your first time and maybe even a Cirque du Soleil show. If i hadn’t of been to two already, it would have been a must on my list!

      I hope all of your travel dreams come true in 2012.

      Happy Holidays,

      Lesley

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  3. is it just me, I know I’ve never been but the whole concept of Vegas just scares me rigid, I’ll happily walk through the african bush without a care in the world but so many people consuming so blatantly and I can think of nothing worse, maybe I just need to experience it for myself

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  4. Loved the blog post and everything sounds so opulent, spent honeymoon weekend like that in NYC and while it was amazing with an extra zing, I get antsy when I don’t experience enough nature. So 3-4 days sounds about right to me, though I would probably still need to wander out to the Hoover Dam or something outside. PS: Thanks for liking my blog, so happy it gave me the initiative to visit yours.

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  5. OH.MY.WORD. seriously, The Venetian had me at the lobby… soooo fancy! ANd I don’t think I’d want to ever leave that room. Was this trip just out of curiosity or were you marketing for the AAA?

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  6. i enjoyed this especially because evan is refusing to ever go to vegas because he doesn’t like to gamble or drink… this will be a good way to show him that there is more to vegas than what everyone expects!

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  7. Lovely, though i think it’s not popular with vampires because of all the reflective surfaces.

    The last time I was in Vegas, I brought a once-a-century flood with me. Now they pay me to stay away.

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      • That s awesome, I wish all the best to you & your baby girl 🙂 My bestie is pregnant too (5 month), at the end of December she gets to know if it s a girl or a boy 🙂

        Have a great day 🙂

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  8. We recently stayed in Caeser’s Palace and it was pretty tired and most of ithe hotel smelt of smoke. At least our rooms were smoke free so they weren’t too bad but I definitely wouldn’t choose to stay there again.
    We also did the helicopter trip that you did and found it amazing.

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  9. I think Vegas calls out different things in different people. My folks went to Vegas a couple of years ago and came back with a time share! Glad to know that you had a good trip. Thanks for keeping up on my blog as well.

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  10. Your time is Las Vegas sounds absolutely perfect! The City of Sin is on my top 5 places I must visit and although the 5 diamond experience is surely out of my price range, I can only hope the food, sights, and entertainment will be as incredible as yours 🙂

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  11. That’s a unique way of spending time in Vegas. I may have to think about doing that the next time my family plans a trip there. The Venetian is definitely one of my favorites; I’m just really sad that their Guggenheim museum closed (I’m probably the only nerd who goes to museums in Vegas).

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  12. I really wanted to visit Vegas until the bedbugs issue hit and I’ve been too scared to go because I don’t want to get stuck somewhere seedy or dirty. This looks like the complete opposite!! It looks amazing and you described it so well. Thanks for liking my recent posts too!

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  13. I loved the idea of this post. Vegas without actually doing the Strip. Some of these places sound awesome and I’m definitely going to have to check them out next time I’m there. Also, I’m sure you’ve been doing this for a while now and have mastered this, but I’m impressed you didn’t get yourself accidentally in any of the hotel pictures with all of those reflections. Props.

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    • At 6 months pregnant, The Strip was not my ideal vacation getaway, but The Venetian gave me comfort, relaxation, and luxury, without the smoke, drinking, and excessive noise of typical Vegas.

      It’s actually my husband who is the skilled photographer. He always captures get shots for my posts.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

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  14. Hi Lesley, you & your husband might enjoy Valley of Fire State Park if you haven’t already been there. It’s only about an hour north of Vegas if I remember correctly. It’s beautiful… Especially the road by the visitors center & Mouse’s Tank.
    There are 2 entrances to the park but I recommend the north entrance. 🙂

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  15. First of all many thanks for taking time out to read my blog, glad you liked it. And as for Las Vegas the whole place is surreal, the Palazzo, Venetian, Ceasars Palace, Bellagio, all amazing hotel but unfortunately not stayed in any of them, ours was a more modest Imperial Palace LOL. Lion’s in the MGM, circus acts, where else, Circus Circus, roller coaster at the New York New York, and a most unforgettable afternoon at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville street party and amazing experience.

    Its a long way from the UK and we have been 4 times but I would do it all again if I could, Vegas is that kind of place, addictive, and outrageous, but the shows alone are really something. We saw Celine Dion, twice, and to say my wife and I were memorised is an understatement, not fans to begin with, just curious, but certainly fans by the end of her show. Great blog by the way, still got a lot to read through 🙂

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  16. Pingback: Gondola Ride – Venetian Resort, Vegas | Indulge – Travel, Adventure, & New Experiences

  17. Wow! 🙂 Vegas remains top destination for me in US! We lived in a small town called Bakersfield in California and Vegas was our most frequented weekend destination 🙂 we moved from US almost 3 years ago.. we had promised ourselves that before moving that we would do a final trip to Vegas (just like a pilgrimage:)!) but it could never happen 😦 reading your post reminded me of that… next long vacation, has to be there 🙂

    Thanks for liking my Christmas cake recipe! I made a no-alcohol version because my sister is pregnant and she was coming over for dinner 🙂

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