Macau’s Venetian Hotel is Venice on steroids
Macau’s Venetian Hotel isn’t your quiet little neighborhood Bed and Breakfast.
With its 40 stories, 3000 suites and 980 000 square meters, it’s the fourth largest building in the world by area.
According to the Venetian website, the hotel is large enough to hold ninety Boeing 747 jumbo jets.
And after having visited the Venetian myself, I think that’s probably not even exaggerated.
This hotel is mind-blowing
Macau’s Venetian Hotel is gigantic. It totally floored me. After a few hours in this huge hotel, casino and shopping complex, I was gasping for air.
Even though I was in many ways fascinated by this artificial, alluring, air conditioned environment, I just wanted to get out and get back in touch with the real world.
At Macau’s Venetian Hotel, everything is on a super-human scale. The hotel corridors are as wide as highways. Walking down these long corridors, I felt dwarfed by the dimensions.
The hotel is so confusingly complex that there are signs everywhere pointing visitors the way. Otherwise the guests would just get lost.
The hotel has to supply visitors with hotel maps to help them find their way in this super-structure.
As you wander these hallways and look at all the gold plated ornaments and crystal chandeliers, you get an impression of how much money the casinos must generate.
Because, after all, it’s the casino money that pays for all this nouveau riche splendor.
According to Germany’s stern magazine, the Venetian cost more than two billion US dollars to build. That’s a lot. But it may not take the Venetian long to pay off that huge investment.
Another Macau hotel, The Sands, cost some one billion Euros ($ 1.35 billion). And it took The Sands only eleven months to get out of the red, writes Germany’s renowned Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Big casinos mean big money
Macau has surpassed Las Vegas with regard to revenues from the casinos.
Macau’sVenetian boasts the largest casino in the world, with 3400 slot machines and more than 800 gambling tables. And the casino is never empty – it’s one of the busiest places in the whole hotel complex.
Unfortunately, photography isn’t allowed in the casinos, so I couldn’t take any pictures in that part of the hotel.
Shopping in an air-conditioned version of Venice
Unlike the casinos, the shopping mall on the third floor of the Venetian doesn’t seem to generate a lot of revenue.
When I was there, it was virtually deserted. Only a few people strolled around luxurious fashion and jewellery stores.
But it seemed to me that everyone just looked, and no one bought anything. I hardly saw anybody with shopping bags.
The main attractions of the shopping mall at the Venetian are the canals and the gondolas. It’s an indoor Venice with eternal blue skies and air-conditioning.
Some of the gondoliers are really imported from Europe or America, but many are Chinese.
And just like the real Italian gondoliers in Venice, these Chinese copies serenade the tourists with schmaltzy belcanto opera arias.
It’s really pretty absurd if you think about it: Chinese men, costumed as Italian gondoliers, pretending to stoke a motorized gondola through fake canals on the third floor of a hotel complex in Asia.
Does life get any more bizarre?