The Venetian Macau Casino Resort brings to the table luxury and luck. Prabalika M. Borah on this gambler’s delight

As the bus pulled into the driveway of the hotel from the ferry port, everyone gushed about clean streets, spacious and uncluttered sidewalks and the electronic billboards. In the midst of admiring the streets, we almost missed the entrance of the massive building we were stepping into — the Venetian Macau Casino Resort. Spread over 10,500,000 sq. ft., it is almost the size of 20 football stadiums put together. After disembarking from the bus, we step inside the Venetian to titled floors with a 3D effect. A fountain right in the centre is every visitor’s muse for a quick photograph.

Once inside the Venetian, visitors behave like kids inside in a candy store. Depending on what interests them, discussions appreciating the beauty vary. Some talk about the structure, some admire the artefacts and paintings on the ceiling and some can’t stop admiring the high-end standalone stores at the main entrance.

Sixth largest

Owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, the Venetian Macao casino resort is a 40-storey, $ 2.4 billion anchor for the seven hotels on the Cotai Strip in Macau. Modelled on its sister — The Venetian in Las Vegas — The Venetian Macao is the largest single structure hotel building in Asia. It is also the sixth largest building in the world by area and the largest casino in the world.

And if you can’t make it to Venice, don’t be disheartened, this casino resort is also home to the largest replica of Venice in the world with the largest number of Filipino gondoleers. The first, being the city of Venice, Italy and the third —The Venetian in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Built and completed in 2007, the resort was officially opened on August, 28 2007 with 3,000 suites, 1,200,000 sq. ft. of convention space, 1,600,000 sq. ft. of retail, 5,50,000 sq. ft. of casino space — with 3400 slot machines and 800 gambling tables and a 15,000 seat arena for entertainment/sports events. Equipped with a four-theme gaming area namely Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix, the casino is the place which doesn’t go to sleep at all. First day at the Venetian will be like a walk in a maze. It isn’t easy to find your way unless you target specific landmarks. For the convenience of visitors and guests, the Venetian has touch screen maps to help you navigate and locate your destination. The never-ending escalators that lead you to various levels almost look like the stairway to heaven.

Canal ride

And through these escalators one can reach Macau’s first integrated resort featuring stunning replicas of the famous canals and architectural icons of Venice. The sky lights up at night with tiny LED light scattered over the false sky. Small bridges join the two sides of the canal and this is the haven for shopaholics. This floor houses all things branded — shoes, clothes, accessories et al.

If shopping isn’t the first thing on your to-do list, then opt for window shopping or go for a Gondola ride. The friendly Gondoleers take you through canal on their Gondolas as they sing on their way. With the false sky above your head as the roof, it almost feels like one is right under the sky.

Zaia show

Another attraction at Venetian is the Zaia show. Run by the Canadian entertainment company Cirque du Soleil, the show is performed regularly in a custom-built theatre at the Venetian Macao. It is a 90-minute production with a cast of 75 circus artists and the show’s theme being — a young girl’s perception of the stars and planets, space and infinity which is populated by otherworldly creatures. What makes Zaia special is the live music that goes with the spectacular choreography. Each entry of the acrobatic performers is a surprise in the 1,800-seater theatre. Truly a celestial trip!