The Maven Meter: Venetian Macao Casino & Hotel
(Last updated: August 23, 2023)
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, War and Three 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 $500, while slots range between 0.05 and $10. Live Gaming is limited to just Baccarat ($100/$200), while electronic games have some fairly notable lows, most particularly Craps, Roulette and Sic Bo ($10). They also have electronic Blackjack for $50, one of the few casinos in Macau that still retains it.
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
The Venetian lost War sometime during Covid, leaving the Grand Lisboa as the only casino that still has it.
Baccarat – Insane minimum bet of $5000. Only available in the high limit room.
Commission Free Baccarat – Players win 50% on won 6 Banker bet. Minimum bet is $500.
Banking Three Card Baccarat – I’d only ever seen this game at the Sands Macao before. 15 years later it’s finally made it’s way to Cotai. Minimum bet is $500.
Blackjack – Minimum bet is $500. Also has an Over/Under 13 side bet.
Compared to most Blackjack in Macau, the rules at the Venetian are inferior, because Doubles made with totals of 11 lose both bets vs a Dealer Blackjack, instead of just the original wager. This results in a house edge of 0.24% compared to the standard number of 0.16% city wide.
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 an outrageous $500.
Craps – Stingy 3-4-5 odds. Rude $500 minimum pass line bet, while Place 6 and 8 lows are $600.
Roulette – Horrible Inside/Outside minimums of $100 and $500.
Omaha Poker – Only has 2 blinds and the game might be played only once or twice a month. Blinds are $100/$200 (minimum buy in of $15,000) and $200/$500 (minimum buy in of $30,000).
Sic Bo – 11 different bets. Rough $500 Big/Small lows.
Slot Machines – Probably well over 2000 slot machines. Minimums are from 5 cents to $10. As per usual in Macau, most machines are 5 or 10 cents.
Also has Live Gaming Baccarat with lows of just $100 and $200.
Electronic Gaming consists of Blackjack ($50), Big Wheel ($25), Craps ($10), Roulette ($10) and Sic Bo ($10).
$10 Craps might be something that I can actually afford, as sad as that sounds.
Texas Hold Em – 10 poker tables, with 7 different blinds starting from $50/$100 up to $2000/$4000.
The rake is a standard 5%, or up to the rake caps listed above.
Three Card Poker – Minimum bet is $500.
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.
Sands has another VIP program for foreign guests who are not from the mainland, Hong Kong, or Taiwan.
If you’re not getting 1.25% in Macau, you’re not getting enough. Hit the Maven up if you want me to negotiate on your behalf.
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 pretty much par for the course on the Cotai Strip, where creativity 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. Current rates are just $1750 mid-week, which is about what you pay for mere rooms on the Macau Peninsula in places like L’Arc or Starworld, while MGM Macau and Wynn Macau cost $1000 more. In other words, it’s tremendous value.
Rates below 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.
Summer Shopping Extravaganza – I’m pretty sure this deal is available no matter the season, but all I know are the summer figures. If you drop $300,000 in the Sands Shoppes Macao, they’ll give you a free night’s stay in a Royale or Bella Suite. If the spending amount reaches $1,000,000, they’ll up it to a Rialto Deluxe Suite.
If any of you reading this actually drops a cool million on clothes and cosmetics, you’re buying me dinner later on at Huaiyang Garden. Come on, show the Maven a good time! We’ve got reviews to write and Tasting Menus to enjoy!
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 travelling 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, so my pics are all super dated.
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 Asian fare.
Covid really did a number on many of them, in particular the Western and International restaurants, with Golden Peacock the most prominent casualty. The good news is that the restaurant is still there with a sign saying “Temporarily Closed”, so it still could return in the future.
Western and International
McSorley Ale House – The only Western restaurant still standing, McSorley’s Ale House is actually a bar. However their food menu is quite extensive, featuring an all day breakfast ($145 to $248), appetizers and snacks ($85 to $230), soups and salads ($60 to $160), pub favorites ($148 to $245) and burgers and sandwiches ($142 to $188).
They offer a different special every weekday, with some examples Mexican Thursdays, Guiness Sausages and Mash (Wednesdays) and Fish Friday Feast.
Drinks are all reasonably priced, with beers $52 to $85, cocktails $68 to $90, whisky $65 to $110, and most hard stuff $60 to $120. Glasses of wine go for $75 to $160, while full bottles are $290 to $750.
McSorley’s Ale House is Shop 1038 and can be found around the corner from the Cotai Arena. Hours are from 12 pm to 10 pm daily.
Portofino – Portofino has tables outside overlooking the Venetian pools. Prices are much lower than you’d expect for a premium Italian joint. Currently closed for renovations, all I have are the 2019 prices. I believe the restaurant should be open again by September.
Appetizers used to run $95 to $250, while salads were $88 to $140 and soup $110 to $130. Entrees cost $200 to $300, while grilled favorites were $180 t0 $880 and pasta $175 to $430. The menu was rounded out by vegan favorites $95 to $180 and 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 was 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.
Jiang Nan by Jereme Leung – With a name like that, you know Jiang Nan is gunning hard for some Michelin stars. The prices reflect it too with appetizers $98 to $548, signature dishes $255 to $1098, soup $108 to $1088, and rice and noodles $108 to $515. Seafood breaks the bank going for $208 to $3288, while pork and beef are $145 to $548, and vegetables $88 to $218.
At lunch, their dim sum isn’t cheap either, with most selections $75 to $145.
The set menus look like a lot better value, with 4 courses $318 and a 5 course Degustation menu $538.
Closed on Tuesdays, hours daily are from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm, and 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm
Pin Xue Yuan – Another restaurant looking longingly up at the Michelin stars, we will see if Pin Xue Yuan can breakthrough in 2024. Serving classic Cantonese, appetizers cost $95 to $328, while vegetables are $95 to $205, and rice and noodles $108 to $315. Dried Seafood ($328 to $5808) and seafood ($95 to $1188) are no one’s bargain, while other pricier fare includes soup ($95 to $2078), specialties ($150 to $350) and meat ($140 to $978).
At lunch, most dim sum runs $65 to $140, while a signature 5 course set costs $505. In the evening, an 8 course set runs $1888, while one for 10 is $2388.
Closed every Wednesday, hours otherwise are from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm daily.
Hiro by Hiroshi Kagata – Just by the name itself, I figured Hiro was another restaurant I couldn’t afford, but the prices aren’t totally outrageous for a Japanese joint. Featuring a wide array of classic Japan dishes, appetizers and salads cost $55 to $568, while soup is $50 to $105, and rice and noodles $55 to $310. Sashimi ranges in price from $128 to $1645, while sushi is $35 to $228 per piece, and robatayaki $210 to $258. The menu is rounded out with hot dishes ($95 to $285), tempura ($60 to $425), and teppanyaki ($60 to $1150).
Regarding sets, they offer three of them: a Signature Set Menu ($548 to $1438), a Teppanyaki Set Menu ($800 to $2868), and a 7 course Omakase Set ($1488).
Closed on Mondays, Hiro is open the rest of the week from 6:00 pm to 10:30 pm.
Hiro Ramen – If you’re itching for some Japanese food at lunch, hit up Hiro Ramen for some… you guessed it, ramen! It runs $108 to $265, while extra toppings are $5 to $78, and dessert $60.
A set lunch composed of ramen, dessert and soda costs just $198.
Hours are from 12:00 pm to 3:00 pm daily, except for Mondays, when it’s closed.
North – Excellent Northeastern Chinese cuisine on the menu at North. Rice ($95 to $108), noodles ($108 to $118), and dumplings $85 to $95 are all appropriately priced, as are cold ($75 to $140) and hot dishes ($98 to $438). Chef’s selections are a pricey $325 to $588, while soup is just $65 to $98, and vegetables $85 to $105.
Accessible via the casino, hours daily are from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm, and 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
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, V Gym hours are from 6:00 am to 11:00 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 all of that action at the V spa.
V Spa – V Spa 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.
Featuring a pared down menu compared to pre-Covid, 60 minute massage runs $898, while 90 minute varieties are $1558 and 120 minute treatments $1988. The only other thing on the menu is a 30 minute Chinese Herbal Scrub for $458 and a 30 minute head massage for the same price.
If you just want to use the facilities without getting a treatment, it costs an ungodly $698 for only 30 minutes. That’s a worse deal than most games in a casino!!
Located on Level 5 in the South Wing, hours are from 12:00 pm to 2:00 am daily.
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.
The current one now is Team Labs Super Nature which costs $288 f0r adults and $208 for children. Billed as a “complex, 3D interactive space” visitors walk among and around 8 meter tall moving works of art that look like projections or holograms. There are meadows, balloons, vibrating psychedelic shapes and lights reminiscent of acid trips, massive walls of flowers, wacky trampolines and weird slides, along with other dumbness usually only found in modern art museums.
I’d go if it’s free but I’m not shelling out $300 for a bad concept that only got worse in reality.
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 $130 on weekdays, and $150 on weekends, both of which allow 2 hour access.
Located on Level 5, Qube hours are from 9:30 am to 9:30 pm daily.
Gondola Rides – What is Venice without a gondola ride? 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. You can also book a private boat for $560 (weekday) and $598 (weekend), which comes with a 4 seat limit.
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.