The Venetian’s tagline is ‘An AAA five diamond resort’. It’s also an InterContinental hotel. Expectations were and should be high.
I have an InterContinental Platinum Ambassador Card so can use the priority check in and should be offered other perks such as; upgraded room, 4pm late checkout, daily newspaper, fruit and water in room daily and free in-room movie.
Check in (Friday 5pm): This was pretty quick as I used the priority desk. I was upgraded to a suite with view room. This is the standard room but with a good view. The rooms are good-sized, well-appointed suites and so I didn’t chase a bigger suite upgrade. I had two bookings; one made via InterContinental (Fri/Sat) and the other direct with the Venetian (Sun/Mon). The desk clerk could see both bookings but wasn’t able to link them – instead suggested I come back on Sunday and checkout and in again, strange.
Arrival in my room: No water or fruit had been left. The minibar water was pretty expensive. There were also no bathrobes in the room and I was concerned that if I didn’t report this then I’d be charged for them when I left. I called down and asked for water/fruit and robe to be delivered. I came back a few hours later to find a robe but still no water or fruit.
In-suite wi-fi worked well. There is a $20 a day resort fee added to the bill that covers wi-fi and the pool. It seems that most Vegas hotels have a resort fee which everyone, except the hotels themselves, considers a rip off.
I didn’t receive a newspaper the next day, or any day, but probably didn’t mind as Las Vegas isn’t about reading newspapers.
Saturday: I put some laundry in the laundry bag, completed the form and left the bag on the bed. I called again about the water and fruit. I returned around 2pm. No water or fruit. My room wasn’t serviced and laundry was still on the bed. I returned later and my room had been made up, still no water/fruit and the laundry bag was still on the now newly-made bed. I called guest services and they explained that I had to call for laundry pick up – although I’m pretty sure the laundry form doesn’t mention this. That meant my laundry wouldn’t be back until Sunday evening – they offered a fast service for an extra $15 but luckily I didn’t need that.
In the evening I had 9pm tickets to see Tim Allen. I called about the fruit and water – I explained that it wasn’t so much about the items but the principle that they were just ignoring me. I said that if I returned from the show and nothing had happened, then I’d go to the front desk and ask for the manager. When I returned the water and fruit had arrived. I also had a chocolate on my pillow from what I assumed to be the turn-down service.
For the remaining days of my stay there was no evidence of a turn-down service (or chocolates :()
Sunday: I was out most of the day. Excellent Champagne buffet at the Mirage (Venetian doesn’t have a buffet) then gaming in the Venetian.
Monday: I returned from breakfast to find my room made up (weird how the times differ so much) and more water and fruit. Not sure why this arrived on Monday and not Sunday, but at least I didn’t have to ask several times for it.
Tuesday: I checked out via the TV and took the excellent 2pm Venetian shuttle ($7) direct to the airport. I’d recommend this to everyone as it’s more comfortable than a taxi ($35). It doesn’t seem well advertised as I was the only passenger. I haven’t received a copy of my room bill via email or post yet, but judging by the credit card charges it seems close enough.
I only used the Grand Luxe Cafe for breakfast which was $16 for a good buffet and included coffee and orange juice. This seemed a fair price considering the level of the hotel.
Roulette: The roulette tables here are much tougher than in Europe. The $10 (if you can find one) and $15 minimum tables have a zero and double zero (increased house edge), don’t pay half back when zero/double zero lands when you are betting even stake outside bets and worst of all have a $15 outside and inside minimum. That means that if you bet $50 on red you can’t put $3 on 0/00 for insurance, as even though you have $50 out on the table you have to bet a minimum $15 inside as well. All of this gives the house a much better edge. The tables are also much slower than in Europe, with croupiers spending ages trying to work out the payouts, consulting with colleagues, checking with the pit boss etc.
BlackJack: I’m not a blackjack player but I’m told that ‘dealer must hit a soft (not hard) 18’ is the equivalent of a 00 in roulette (more house edge).
Slots: You can see how much slots make compared to table games as 80% of the floor space is devoted to slots. One casino host told me that if I wanted a silver or gold grazie card then I’d need to play more slots.
You need to sign up for a Grazie players card as soon as you arrive. Then put it in each slot machine you use or give it to the croupier/dealer when you play table games. I visited the casino host desk on my departure day and showed 10 hours of roulette at an average $50 a spin – that doesn’t mean I lost, just played that amount. I was comped one nights room, but not any associated charges. I got nothing for my slots play which was maybe $200. It seems you need to be a really high roller to get your whole stay and charges comped.