Where Romance and Childhood Dreams Come Alive – Winter in Venice, Las Vegas

The Venetian and The Palazzo, the world’s largest Five Diamond resorts, magically transformed into the most majestic winter surroundings Las Vegas has ever seen, creating Winter in Venice. An outdoor wonderland complete with a skating rink, charming string lights, brilliantly lit trees, holiday music, holiday treats, and displays set the scene. We were greeted by colorful characters wandering the property, spreading good cheer; we were dazzled by a spectacular light show performance; we were blessed with Santa’s presence during the Santa Story Readings; we indulged in chocolate chips cookies and milk; we relaxed at the Canyon Ranch SpaClub; and we gazed into our future together while being serenaded by a gondolier. Winter in Venice made romance and our wildest imagination collide during our four night stay at the Palazzo in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Located in the front of the resort, Doge’s Palace offered plenty to see and experience. Surrounded by 30 larger-than-life snowflakes, ranging from 48 to 72 inches in diameter, more than 2,000 festooned lights hung over the majestic skating rink, and a 65-foot LED holiday tree, the area included entertainment like stilt walkers, puppets, jugglers, and real-life-human statues. Carolers and gondoliers singing holiday classics also set the tone and filled the air with joy.  We happily held hands as we strolled by awestruck children, smiling families, and enchanted couples.

Once the sun set, the Nightly Holiday Spectacular & Tree Lighting Ceremony began. Our attention was drawn to the Rialto Bridge as three tenors and a hip hop violin duo performed holiday hits and classics. When the music lulled, a stunning angel gracefully appeared from the Rialt0 Bridge and lit the 65-foot holiday tree across the way. It was as if Norman Rockwell created the scene as his holiday masterpiece.

An outdoor skating rink added even more holiday spirit to our vacation. Located above the hotel’s outdoor Grand Canal, we, along with skaters of all ages, glided around the rink and enjoyed views of the canals as well as holiday displays. Watching my husband, who played ice-hockey fall to his butt, encouraged my childish laughter and playful nature. Although a toe-pick is a new concept to most male skaters, it was still uplifting to watch as he was the first skater to hit the rink, literally. With all the ambience of winter surrounding us, it was impossible not to feel like a child again.

Our gondola ride heightened the romance and magical wonder. 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.

In addition to the festivities outside of the resort, The Waterfall, Atrium, & Gardens also featured hand-designed snowflakes suspended mid-air in the three-floor-high atrium. Ice branches and 20-foot frosted birch, pine, and glittering trees complemented the picturesque waterfall and crystal ice ponds as majestic hand-crafted white and pearl peacock statues overlooked guests. The winter gardens also featured red beaded ornaments, pinecones, and fresh poinsettias.

The holiday themed surroundings and activities extended into the Canyon Ranch SpaClub. 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. Pregnancy glow has nothing on the Holiday Radiance Facial.

We were invited to enjoy Santa story readings, classic holiday movie screenings, a selection of holiday candies and desserts, and cookies and milk all offered in the 12,000-square-foot Prestige Lounge, exclusively during Winter in Venice. My child spirit couldn’t ask for anything more. We even returned to our room for a specialized, butler drawn, holiday bath along with Elf delivered milk and cookies; after all, there’s nothing wrong with wanting specially delivered cookies for my pregnancy cravings.

We spent our last evening slowly sipping our hot chocolate from Cafe Presse while watching other grateful guests enjoying their cheerful, holiday experience outside the hotel. The holiday music, ample guests, skaters, and performers filled the surroundings and left us with feelings of joy and peace. There are not many things that bring out happiness in people more than holiday spirit, and that spirit was alive and well at The Palazzo and The Venetian.

The Palazzo and The Venetian offer 49 days of holiday festivities throughout both resorts. From November 21st, 2011 to January 8th, 2012, Winter in Venice is the ultimate destination for a holiday experience filled with joy and happiness for both children and the child inside of you.

47 thoughts on “Where Romance and Childhood Dreams Come Alive – Winter in Venice, Las Vegas

  1. Lesley, Winter in Venice sounds like it was a blast, and your photographs are stunning. It made me feel very ‘Christmasey’ reading it so thank you for sharing the Holiday spirit with us. Lottie 🙂


    • I had an overwhelming desire to decorate as soon as I got home, and my husband and I truly enjoyed our romantic, winter getaway. It was the perfect weekend. I can’t wait to show my daughter when she’s old enough.

      Happy Holidays,



  2. Love this post and feel Felt like I was there with you while reading. I love Vegas, it is always magical! Thanks for posting and so glad you had a great time.


    • Winter in Venice will be there until January 8th, 2012. If you return to Vegas, you should check it out. It was magical!

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



  3. I love Vegas. It will always have a special place in my heart. I’ve never been to Vegas during Christmas time. Boy, it looks so magical. I can’t believe there is an actual skating rink! I remember that space being a boxing ring.

    Maybe next year, I’ll go during Christmas. Summer/Fall is fun and all, but it’s boring. LOL


  4. Just wanted to say that the pictures were beautiful and made me feel like I was there. You really captured the Holiday spirit and glad you both had a chance to get away. I also decorated this weekend and although it may be early, really in the spirit. Next Christmas you will have a little one tottering around which will be magical.


  5. I love this post, Winter in Venice looks truly amazing! I’d never heard of it before reading your blog and I just want to thank you, I’m hoping to be able to book a trip to Vegas next year to experience the magical festivities 🙂


  6. Hi Lesley,
    Thanks for stopping by and liking my blog. I’ve been looking through all your posts and what amazing adventures you have had! I’ll definitely be back for more 🙂


  7. All these Christmas photos are making me miss home! Candy canes, snowflakes, winter wonderland and that brownie! Okay, so the brownie isn’t Christmas related, but I still miss it! You would think being in Peru would make up for it, but Christmas just isn’t the same down here. And neither are their interpretations of brownies. Do you know how strange it is to keep seeing a fir tree in South America? 🙂 Keep the pics and holiday spirit coming!


    • It was the longing for “real” Christmas activities that led me to The Venetian in the first place. If I couldn’t make it across the continent to my home in eastern Canada, I was at least going to go skating and see the lighting of a tree. It was well worth a few hours of driving. I feel refreshed!

      Thanks for reading and I hope your holidays are filled with happiness and laughter.



  8. It sounds like your holiday was very festive with Thanksgiving and all the Christmas decorations. Las Vegas is always over the top and I’m sure your visit was as well.


  9. These pictures sure put me in the Christmas mood.
    This past weekend we toured the mansion at Bok Gardens in Lake Wales (near Orlando); it was decked out with Christmas decorations and looked gorgeous. The grounds of the estate were impressive as well. I’ll be posting about this experience on my blog next.
    Thanks for sharing!


  10. Lovely! We’re thinking of revisiting The Gaylord Palms in Orlando and seeing their Ice exhibit. We hate crowds, though, so we only go when no one’s there, and we have the entire convention center all to ourselves. Pulling the fire alarm helps with that.


  11. Looks great. As i’m coming to the end of a long holiday your blog has been giving me plenty of ideas for our next. I look forward to reading your adventures when back i get back home so I can start planning it!


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