The Maven Meter: Venetian Macao Casino & Hotel
(Last updated: May 21, 2020)
VENETIAN MACAO INTRODUCTION
For the most successful hotel/casino in Macau, look no further than the Las Vegas Sands mammoth flagship Venetian Macao resort.
Debuting in 2007, it was the first property in town to provide the type of resort experience that’s become prevalent nowadays, particularly on the Cotai Strip. Headlined by tremendous shopping and entertainment, it’s notable for the 15,000 seat Cotai Arena and its packed slate of concerts and events, along with the Grand Canal Shoppes, a totally over the top take on Venice complete with canals, gondolas and singing gondoliers, not to mention around 300 stores and boutiques.
An exercise in excess, the Venetian has to be seen to be believed, and you absolutely must stop by, even if just to check it out.
Venetian Macao Photo Gallery
VENETIAN MACAO CASINO
Instead of talking about the games that the Venetian offers, I think it’s a lot more easier to discuss what they don’t have. Fan Tan, Dragon Phoenix, Money Wheel, and Banking 3 Card Baccarat are no longer available, while I don’t think they ever had Pai Gow.
Apart from that, every other table game, electronic table game, or Live Gaming machine known to Macau is at the Venetian, in addition to over 2000 slots.
Most of the minimums on the 300 tables start from $300, while slots range between 0.02 and $10. Live Gaming Baccarat is only $10, while Live Roulette and Sic Bo check in at $40 and $50, respectively.
Electronic games are all fairly low as well, with most of them starting at $10, while Big Wheel is $25 and Blackjack $50.
Drink service is often quite slow because there never seems to be enough staff, so getting a waitress is sometimes difficult. There isn’t much drink selection either, and I don’t believe free booze is served, even if you’re gambling.
VENETIAN MACAO GAMES
Baccarat – Insane minimum bet of $3000. Only available in the high limit room.
Commission Free Baccarat – Players win 50% on won 6 Banker bet. Minimum bet is only $300.
Blackjack – Minimum bet is $300. Also has an Over/Under 13 side bet.
Sands Stud Poker – Normal Caribbean Stud Poker with an important side bet variation. Instead of the side bet only being $25, it starts from $50 and players can increase it further to $100, $150, $200 or $250 if they choose. Flush, full house and four of a kind cash bonuses are then paid out in proportion to the original side bet wager. Here’s the Sands Stud side bet pay table.
If you hit a straight flush or royal, however, you’ll have to be content with just taking the normal 10% or 100% win.
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.
To the Sands credit, they now pay 100-1 on the Royal Flush, the way it should be.
Minimum bet is $300.
Craps – Stingy 3-4-5 odds. City wide standard $200 minimum pass line bet.
Roulette – Outside/Inside minimums of only $50 and $200.
Sic Bo – 11 different bets. $100 Big/Small minimum bets.
Slot Machines – Probably well over 2000 slot machines. Minimums are from 2 cents to $10. As per usual in Macau, most machines are under $1.
Also has Live Gaming Baccarat with $50 to $300 minimums and $50 Live Gaming Sic Bo.
Electronic Gaming consists of Baccarat ($10), Blackjack ($50), Big Wheel ($25), Craps ($10), Roulette ($10) and Sic Bo ($10).
Texas Hold Em – 10 poker tables, with blinds of $50/$100, $100/$200, $300/$600, $1000/$2000 and $2000/$4000.
The rake is 5% up to a maximum of $500, which is $300 more than the Wynn.
To sit down, the required buy-ins are $5000 to $30,000 ($50/$100), $20,000 ($100/$200), $60,000 ($300/$600), $200,000 ($1,000/$2,000) and $400,000 ($2,000/$4,000.
Three Card Baccarat – Minimum bet is $500.
Three Card Poker – Minimum bet is $300.
War – Minimum bet is $300.
VENETIAN MACAO VIP PROGRAM
The Venetian dead chip program is the same as at all Sands properties.
For every $400,000 rolled, members get a free night in the hotel, for a maximum of three times a month.
VENETIAN MACAO HOTEL
I used to think the Venetian lobby belonged to another century, but that’s before I found out it was all just wallpaper.
That’s par for the course on the Cotai Strip, where originality is treated with vicious contempt.
Now every time I’m in the Venetian lobby, it just makes me appreciate the one in the Lisboa that much more.
Now Macau’s third largest hotel by number of rooms, the Venetian offers 3000 suites, at prices much lower than you’d expect. Midweek suites are currently on for only $1419, thanks to a 30 day advanced booking promotion that slashes rates by 20%.
Suite prices are listed in Macau Mops, and include all tax and service fees.
As always, be sure to check sites like Trip.com or Agoda before booking to make sure you’re getting the lowest rates.
Venetian Macao Hotel Room
I stayed in the Royale Deluxe Suite way back in October 2013, which ran $1177 at the time.
The room definitely looked 10 years old, and some maintenance is definitely required after being abused by mainland visitors for the better part of a decade.
The furniture was rather nice though, and the living room section particularly cozy, furnished with cute couches and chairs. I also really liked the Chinese style wooden decoration on the wall.
For those traveling as a family or with many people, the size of the Venetian rooms might just be what the doctor ordered.
Bathrooms are similarly large too, and come equipped with both a stand up shower and bathtub.
***UPDATE*** I believe a large scale renovation of all Venetian rooms occurred around 2017.
The Venetian has four pools, as well as a few heated Jacuzzis.
Poolside cabanas are now free of charge and come equipped with a 42 inch plasma TV and telephone. Quite surprisingly, they’re also air conditioned!
The swimming pools are open daily from 7:00 am to 7:00 pm. Non guests can also pay to get in, with the magic number $200 for adults and $100 for children.
VENETIAN MACAO RESTAURANTS
The Venetian has a lot of restaurants and I don’t get paid by the word anymore. In fact, I don’t get paid at all. So for this review, I’ve only included the main eateries, dividing the list between International and Chinese fare.
Western and International
Cafe Deco Macao – Open 24 hours, Cafe Deco runs a buffet three times daily.
A la carte prices are as follows:
Soup: $60 to $98 Burgers/Sandwiches: $128 to $158
Noodles: $78 Indian: $118 to $348
Salads: $105 to $138 Curry: $88 to $178
Bar Snacks: $88 to $120 Macanese: $118 to $198
Pizza: $158 to $178 Grilled: $238 to $368
Cafe Deco is shop 1036, and is located across from the Cotai Arena.
Golden Peacock – Owners of a Michelin star for 7 years running now, Golden Peacock is the best Indian restaurant in Macau, and it isn’t particularly close.
Appetizers: $95 to $193
Soup: $108 to $138
Vegetarian: $108 to $143
Meat: $143 to $428
Rice: $72 to $288
Dessert: $68 to $108
At lunch there’s no a la carte, just a fantastic buffet that costs $208 for adults and $105 for children.
In the evening, Golden Peacock offerw a 5 course Black Pearl Degustation Menu for $688, simply tremendous value given that they own a Michelin star. To read more about my birthday dinner there, please follow the link: Golden Peacock
Golden Peacock is located beside McSorley’s Ale House and is open daily from 11 am to 3 pm, and 6 pm to 11 pm.
McSorley’s Ale House – Classic British pub venue is half bar and half restaurant. Let’s start with the food.
All Day Breakfast: $145 to $248
Appetizers: $85 to $230
Soup and Salad: $60 to $160
Burgers, Sandwiches: $142 to $188
Pub favorites: $145 to $245
Drink prices are all fairly reasonable as well.
Beers: $52 to $85
Wine: $75 to $160 | Bottles: $290 to $750
Cocktails: $68 to $90
Whisky: $65 to $110
Hard stuff: $60 to $120
McSorley’s Ale House is Shop 1038 and can be found around the corner from the Cotai Arena. Hours are from 12 pm to 1 am daily.
Morton’s of Chicago – American steakhouse will have you reaching for your American dollars when it’s time to pay the bill.
Appetizers: $185 to $398
Soups and Salads: $135 to $180
Prime Ocean Platters: $510 to $1620
Steaks: $548 to $1398
Signature dishes: $375 to $950
From 5:00 pm to 7:00 daily, they offer a special bar menu selling upscale pub fare like Tuna Tacos ($185), Prime Cheeseburgers ($130), Short Rib Steak Tacos ($140), Chicken Goujonettes ($100) and Four Petit Filet Mignon Sandwiches ($125).
Drinks are also dirt cheap in that two hour window (and again from 9:00 pm till closing), with beer $25, cocktails $50 and glasses of wine just $70.
Morton’s is daily open from 5:00 pm to 11 pm. The bar opens a couple hours earlier at 3 pm.
Portofino – Portofino has tables outside overlooking the Venetian pools. Prices are much lower than you’d expect for a premium Italian joint.
Appetizers: $95 to $250 Pasta: $175 to $430
Salad: $88 to $140 Grill: $180 to $880
Soup: $110 to $130 Vegan: $95 to $180
Entrees: $200 to $300 Cold Cut Platters: $380 to $1080
Unfortunately their great all you can eat lunch special for $158 has been discontinued. If you still want to see that review, please click here: Portofino
It’s been replaced with a semi-buffet that costs $148, where additional Italian dishes can be purchased for only $48.
Every Saturday there’s a Brunch Extravaganza from 11:30 pm to 3:30 pm that runs $538 for adults and $270 for children. If you want to go swimming afterwards in the Venetian pools that are right beside the restaurant, tickets are $100.
There’s also a very cool and secluded private bar section named Spirito Bar that is criminally unknown. It’s open from 6:00 pm to 1:00 am daily, with Happy Hour from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm on weekdays. At that time selected glasses of wine are 30% off.
Portofino is located near the West Lobby entrance in shop 1040. Lunch hours are from 11 am to 3 pm Friday to Sunday, while dinner goes from 6 pm to 11 pm Tuesday to Thursday and on Sunday. On Friday and Saturday, dinner hours are from 6:00 pm to 12:00 am.
Bambu – Bambu offers buffet dining twice a day at lunch and dinner.
They mostly do Chinese and Southeastern Asian cuisine, with prices as follows.
Bambu is shop 1033, located in the hallway between the West lobby and the casino.
Canton – Canton mostly serves Cantonese food (surprise!), but other mainland styles are also available.
Appetizers: $88 to $318 Chef’s Recommendations: $168 to $468
Soup: $68 to $888 Meat: $138 to $388
Bird’s Nest: $468 Barbecue: $98 to $500
Abalone: $388 to $2628 Vegetables: $90 to $120
Seafood: $208 to $628 Rice/Noodles: $128 to $198
There are also two 9 course set meals at night that run $1080 and $1680 respectively.
Two excellent value options also exist, the first a Create Your Set Lunch, which only costs $178 for 4 appetizers, 1 soup, 1 entree and 1 main. At night the Create Your Set Dinner price gets jacked up to $438, but the selections increase as well, with 3 appetizers, 1 soup, 2 entrees, 1 main and 1 dessert all on offer.
Hours are from 11 am to 3 pm and from 6 pm to 10 pm daily. On Saturday nights they stay open until 11 pm. Shop 1018 on the hotel map, it’s located close to the casino floor and Morton’s Steakhouse.
North – Excellent Northeastern Chinese cuisine on the menu at North.
Chef’s Selections: $190 to $475 Mains: $60 to $305
Soup: $48 to $68 Noodles: $87
Cold Dishes: $59 to $86 Dumplings: $58 to $78
Hot Dishes: $79 to $298 Vegan: $65 to $108
North is accessible via the casino. Hours are from 11 am to 11 pm Monday to Thursday and from 11 am to 1 am on Fridays and Saturdays.
The Venetian gym gets the job done – barely. I definitely pictured something larger and more modern, but it will certainly do if you just need to get a basic workout in.
Located on the 8th floor, hours are from 6 am to 11 pm daily.
Spa facilities on the other hand are an outright fail. 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 for any of that action at one of the two Venetian spas.
V Retreat – V Retreat is owned by the Venetian itself, meaning that all services will stay clean and legit.
They do the dirty job though of charging two different prices, one for weekdays and one for weekends. I’ll just stick with the weekend rates for this review.
Most 90 minute massages are $1180, while 120 minute varieties are $1500. 60 and 70 minute facials fluctuate in price from $1100 to $1490, longer 2 to 3 hour spa packages are $1990 to $2500.
There are also manicure and pedicure services for $550 or $645.
Located on Level 5 in the South Wing, hours are from 12:00 pm to 2:00 am daily.
Cheersum Spa – When I first visited the Cheersum Spa in 2017, it was still in the process of opening, which is why I thought the menu was so limited. Fast forward 2 years later and it’s still as threadbare as ever.
I don’t know what some of these services are precisely, but it wouldn’t surprise me if some of there were rather… illicit.
20 minute Chinese manicure and pedicure run $398, while 30 minute “Northern Chinese Rubbing” (whatever that is) is $398. Ear cleaning costs $698 for 45 minutes, which makes zero sense to me. How dirty can anyone’s ears be without being grossly infected?
45 minute foot massage is $698 while a 4o minute “Salt and Milk Bath” is the same price, and conjures up all kinds of dirty images.
60 and 90 minute body massages are appropriately priced and should be pretty legit, running $898 and $1398 respectively, while a 60 minute “Exclusive Massage” is $1,998. I’d be very surprised if that last one doesn’t cross some lines, one way or another.
The door pass is $698 for 12 hours, which gives access to a shower, bathing pool, dry steam and wet steam facilities.
Cheersum Spa is located on the Upper 3rd floor, very close to the escalators that go up and down from the main casino floor.
VENETIAN MACAO ENTERTAINMENT
Entertainment at the Venetian is centred around the Cotai Arena, which is Macau’s premium venue for world class entertainment acts and sporting events. They’ve had Pacquiao fights, Bon Jovi concerts, and a ton of Asian star power drop in over the years, so be sure to keep tabs on the Venetian website to see who’s coming next.
The Venetian also hosts a lot of temporary exhibitions, many of which used to be reviewed on this site, such as Ice World, Human Bodies, Dinosaurs Live!, Titanic and The Masters of Ink Painting. Most of them were quite good and very inexpensive, if not free altogether, so be sure to drop in and see one should the chance arise.
In terms of day to day entertainment, the Venetian offers the children’s playground Qube and Gondola Rides.
Qube – Qube is designed for children and teenagers aged 1 to 17, and features 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.
Prices are as follows, with the 2 Hours Pass good for 1 Adult and 1 Child.
For every extra hour afterwards, children are charged $70 and adults $60.
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 $145 per ride for adults and $115 for children on weekdays, with rates increasing to $158 and $120 on the weekend.
VENETIAN MACAO SHOPPING
The Grand Canal Shoppes have well over 300 stores, most of them selling clothes, electronics and beauty accessories.
There’s also a lot of street performers roaming around, like stilt walkers, mimes, jugglers and living statues.
The Shoppes, much like the Venetian, have become a destination in themselves, and get crazy busy during peak Chinese holidays like the Spring Festival and Mid-Autumn Days.
THE LAST WORD
The Venetian Macao is a very good living option featuring large affordable suites, great shopping and tremendous entertainment.
The anchor of the Cotai Strip, it’s packed daily with a litany of tour groups and visitors, rightfully cementing its place as the most successful hotel/casino in Macau.