Venetian (The)

133 ratings (129 Epinions reviews)
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Staffing & Cleaning Issues Ruined This Trip--and the Management Doesn't Care

Jan 31, 2003 (Updated May 20, 2003)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Bell Staff -- REVIEW UPDATED 05/20/03 SEE THE DETAILS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE REVIEW

Cons:Dirty rooms & casino; rude and uncaring staff; no response to problems; high-pressure vacation sales-

The Bottom Line: Early reviews were great—perhaps lower staffing and a 4-year old hotel are taking their toll—it was not a great experience


DATES: 1/27-1/30, 2003

WHY THE VENETIAN
My husband and I love to try new hotels. We’ve been to Vegas many times but rarely stay at the same place twice. Also, he likes new hotels because they’re cleaner and less run down.

RESERVATION
I shopped all over the net for the best price—the Venetian’s own site offered the best rates for the days we would be visiting. Add to that the great feature of calling them live (you type your telephone number into the “call” page and your phone rings instantly) or through the computer (speakers & microphone required); it was a natural that I would order through their site. It was simple to reserve and there were several ways to do it—something for every comfort level.

When I checked back a few days later I saw they were offering a better rate. I used the “call” function and inquired about the special offer. Our current rate was $206 (including taxes per night) and the new rate was $119 (not including taxes). There were so many restrictions on the special rate we chose not to go with it—this was a pre-20th wedding anniversary trip and my husband wanted to pay the extra $30 per night for the view—with the special rate you got whatever room was available.

CHECK-IN
The hotel lobby is stunningly beautiful. Sadly, the person behind the desk was evidently too busy to take care of us. Although we asked for nothing, just quietly checked in, he seemed abrupt. During the process he said, “You’ve got an envelope”. With that he turned, left the desk and disappeared, leaving us there to worry about what might have happened at home, this being the first time the kids were left home alone. He returned, seemingly angry that he had been made to walk all the way to the back room to retrieve the envelope. Upon opening it, it was a handwritten card from the reservation clerk wishing us a Happy 20th Anniversary.

He did offer us an upgrade—we were already paying $206 a night and the upgrade would have been $200 on top of that. We politely declined.

BELL STAFF
By far, the only good thing about this hotel was the Bell Staff. The fellow who brought our bags to the room was friendly, informative, kind and filled us in on all the things the front desk hadn’t. He was surprised to find out we’d been given no information on the suite amenities. Long after he had received his tip he continued to discuss the view and what the plans were for the hotel in the future.

The Staff that helped us leave the hotel was wonderful as well—if only these people were working inside—their friendliness and caring demeanor could certainly be put to good use at the front desk, change booth, and players club.

A ROOM WITH A VIEW? WHAT YOU GET FOR $30 A NIGHT
Did I mention my husband loves heights? He just loves a good view so when they offered a strip-view suite I knew we’d have to have it. For $30 EXTRA a night you get a view of some of the seediest hotels on the strip. We did get a view of the pirate fights at Treasure Island, but I didn’t know I’d need binoculars. What you do see is the beautiful pool area (which appears to get sun for about ˝ hour a day) and the tops of all the buildings below.

The view should be more accurately described as a partial-view-of-the-crappy-end-of-the-strip-which-is-nothing-to-look-at. When speaking with the bell hop we found out that all of the run-down properties below had been bought by the owner of this hotel to add a new tower. Add to that the tower already under construction and there were going to be a whole lot of rooms added. He also mentioned that we did have the best view from the hotel as it’s situated on the property in a way that benefits the building of the additional rooms, not for the benefit of the view.

CLEANLINESS???
I’m not a clean freak, but I do like a hotel room to look as though they did clean after the last tenant. Unfortunately, the first thing I noticed when I flicked on the light switch to the room was brown goo on the bathroom door which is about 4” from the light switch at eye-level. Blood? Feces? Didn’t matter, it was gross. Walking further into the suite the opposite door contained the same. The bathroom floor was dirty and had someone’s dry-cleaning tag in the corner. The bathroom mirror had toothpaste and dust encrusted in the ornate carving. There were candy bar wrappers between the bed and the night table. There was what appeared to be cigarette ash completely covering one of the remote controls (this was a non-smoking room). Every painted surface (doors and molding) was dirty. The wallpaper had scuff marks under the vanity. The upholstery on the couch and bench at the end of the bed had stains—like someone sat on them undressed….double yuck!

The floor lamp was not working—this is a VERY DARK room so every light is needed. They did replace the bulb quickly, however, the faulty switch on the lamp above the bed and the burned electrical socket on the wall were never addressed. My husband, the fireman, noted that faulty switches are an easy way for a fire to start. We kept that light off the entire trip and avoided the burned socket as well. We did check out the fire exits, as we always do, but this time we made double sure we knew every detail as we did not feel safe in the room.

I must admit, I have NEVER called housekeeping at any other hotel to complain. We’re not Las Vegas virgins—we’ve stayed at: MGM, Monte Carlo, Bellagio, Mirage, the Excalibur, and a few others I can’t remember. You see, we’ve stayed in all the price ranges and none have compared with the lack of care the Venetian displayed.

TRYING TO GET THE ROOM CLEANED
Day 1: 1st call—pushed the housekeeping button. Explained the details of the problem. Was told it would be taken care of. They offered to move us to another suite but couldn’t guarantee a view. I asked that they simply CLEAN the room. Also, since we’d been to the casino and the restrooms there, I didn’t think another room would be any cleaner.

We returned very late that night—nothing had changed.

Day 2: 2nd call—pushed the housekeeping button again. Apologies for it not being completed although we had received a voice mail saying our “request had been delivered”—promised to rectify the situation immediately.

We returned very late that night—nothing had changed, again.

Day 3 3rd & final try—pushed the housekeeping button again. Explained that this was the 3rd day in a row and she immediately put me on hold. A gentleman came on the line and asked me all the details. I asked him why he couldn’t get the information off the room account information. He said there were no notes. Weird, since I’d called twice and gotten the voice mail that it was completed. He asked me who I talked to—man or woman? I knew then I was in trouble. You see, when I call I ASSUME all will be taken care of. I don’t take names, I just trust. Stupid me. He told me he’d have a room supervisor come right up.

She arrived and I started pointing out the trouble. I’d taken care of some of it and my loving husband had cleaned the poo off the door. There was still plenty for them to do. They never did get the stains off the upholstery—didn’t even try. They were dry when we returned. So between the cleaning we did (without gloves or antibacterial cleaning solutions) and the cleaning they did, it was better. They still didn’t do all of it.

ROOM SECURITY—WHAT A JOKE
You are required to show a room key to enter the area where the guest elevators are—nice idea in theory, but there are several problems. One, you’re not required to turn in your room key—anyone can enter by flashing one. I wonder how often they change the design? Two, the ‘guards’ rarely even looked up as we entered—the first few times we stood there waiting to be acknowledged, card out, flashing it to prove we were worthy of entering. Each time they gave us a look which said, “Alright already, go!” We gave up caring and many times didn’t even dig the card out.

SUITE AMENITIES
They rave about the fact you have a fax machine in your room—big deal, it only means you can print your bill and never see the hotel staff again. While I like this (you check-out on the TV screen), it just means lower cost in staff for them.

There are two large TVs, but the reception is terrible. I guess that helps push the $10.95 movie rentals—or the XXX marathon (from noon to noon) for $21.95. There are 3 phones—one bedside, one near the window, and one next to the toilet (yuck). There’s a table to eat breakfast at (but don’t order room service unless you’re willing to pay $8.50 on top of the cost of the food for the place setting—each place setting). We ALWAYS order room service, but not this time!

There is a beverage bar, but we were warned that the machine will charge you if you pick up a product—we didn’t go near it. The in-room safe was nice—you put in your own code. There was an iron with an automatic shut-off (this is the only hotel I’ve ever stayed in that didn’t put away the ironing board each day), a hair-dryer, and lighted make-up mirror. Robes to use during the stay were also provided. Average toiletries—nothing special.

WHO’S CLEANING THIS PLACE?
I mentioned earlier we turned down a new room. We did this because EVERY bathroom we used in the Casino was FILTHY! Feces on so many toilets I was disgusted. Wal-Mart I expect a less-than-clean bathroom, but in Vegas I want and expect more. Ironically, I did see cleaning staff in the Casino. On one day two staff members cleaned one garbage can/ash tray for over 30 minutes—sprawled on the floor, laughing and carrying on—very bad “show” in my opinion.

This was the only Casino we visited where people were eating in the change booths—perhaps they don’t give them enough time to eat on their lunch hour. We had several fully non-speaking transactions because he/she had a mouthful and thank goodness didn’t talk with all that in there.

RESTAURANTS
We did eat at the Noodles restaurant and several of the Venetian’s Food Courts—they have 2. We later found out that those on the Casino floor are owned by the Venetian and the ones on the Grand Canal are not. Of course, we found out the hard way—see the note about the Club later. After seeing the dirty bathrooms and room we were staying in I was a bit worried about eating there. If they don’t care about the public areas of the hotel, what goes on in the backrooms where no one sees it?

The waitress at Noodles was rude and careless. Our food arrived 10 minutes apart—my husband was long finished before mine even arrived. We waited 15 minutes for our bill and only got their attention when we stood up—apparently they thought we were skipping out on our bill. Had she moved from the counter she was leaning against for the past 20 minutes she would have know we had finished and needed our table cleared. We didn’t eat there again.

PLAYER’S CLUB
We always join the Player’s Club in whatever hotel we stay in. We signed up and didn’t get a bit of information on what the rewards were. We tried asking several times but the surly staff couldn’t be bothered. They did have a special promotion after you earned 25 points, but we weren’t informed. They do offer cash back and a coupon for the food court after enough points have been earned. After 2 days of gambling (we skipped out the other two) we each earned $10 for the food court and I got $13 cash back, my husband $12.

The one bit of information we got from the Player’s Club hosts was about the Food Court coupons. Sylvia made sure I understood that these coupons were ONLY good at the Food Court UPSTAIRS. Ok, she was a bit rude about it, but it’s good to finally get some direction. We headed upstairs to the Canal Shops (which is very nice) to the Food Court (which is NOT). A typical suburban mall cafeteria-style Food Court, dirty tables everywhere, and counter ordering. Hey, it was free! We went to the Italian place (think vats of pre-made sauce & noodles), had our meal slopped onto plates and handed to us, and headed for the cash register. Yep, you guessed it—a large sign said, “CASH ONLY”. I asked about the vouchers. NOPE, can’t use them here.

She asked me, “Who sent you here?” Now, here was that same phrase I’d gotten from housekeeping. Guess in a large hotel the thing is to pin blame, not to take care of the guest who was given the wrong information. I pulled out the voucher and showed her that SYLVIA had issued it. My husband, trying to smooth things out said that I probably misunderstood Sylvia. The counterperson replied, “Oh no, they do this to us all the time.” She wrote down the information, but I never heard anything else about it. We paid for the food, cleaned a table, and sat to eat.

We had to use the vouchers before midnight so I had carrot cake at one of the Venetian’s shops later. Sadly it was pre-sliced with nothing keeping the sides from drying out so it was mostly uneatable. A slice of cake, a can of soda, and a bottle of water—I owed them in the end, the $10 voucher didn’t cover it.

WHAT DID GO RIGHT
We left the hotel and had a great time. We visited the Bellagio—and decided we’d stick to this chain of hotels from now on. We’ve been working our way down the strip but the service at Bellagio is outstanding. The Casino staff was great, the food fabulous, and the Player’s Club accommodating. We’d gotten a Buffet voucher for the Mirage but decided we’d like to eat at Bellagio instead. They very kindly changed it to the Bellagio and gave us 2 drinks in addition—the value was $69. We were treated as guests, and not “little people” as they’d done at the Venetian. We played for over 8 hours here and won a few jackpots—all handled beautifully by the staff.

We visited the Paris, Mirage, and Treasure Island as well and had a wonderful time.

CASINO
Dirty. Nothing else I can say. Rude change personnel, slow-to-non-existent cocktail waitresses, bathrooms in terrible order, and so much more I’m overwhelmed. The casino was not busy during our stay, so the inattention to detail and lack of concern for the players is inexcusable.

SHOPPING
We did enjoy window shopping in the Canal Shops. We loved listening to the Gondoliers, but we chose not to make the trip. Too expensive ($25 for 2, $50 for a private boat), and we enjoyed the live entertainment (singers, living statues, accordion player, etc.). This area is better maintained, I had no complaints about the bathrooms here and the stores themselves were high-end and clean.

Before leaving the hotel on our last day, we decided to get a few inexpensive items from the main gift shop called Ricordo. My husband was picking out some glass candy pieces to take home. Unfortunately he dropped one to the floor, breaking it. We apologized profusely, asked that we be charged for it, and handed it to DOROTHY, an elderly woman behind the counter. She was EXTREMELY rude to us. Her tone of voice was one you’d use with a child, not a 43-year old man who had already admitted to his mistake and asked to pay for it (a $4.50 item). Her rude behavior continued during our entire shopping trip. She was irritated that we made two purchases instead of one transaction and was never polite or friendly. When a co-worker returned from lunch she smiled and laughed, so I know it’s possible for her to smile and be pleasant, just not for us. Weird, since we were extremely kind and polite—perhaps she felt we should “look and not touch” as her demeanor was one you’d use with a child. I left with an unpleasant feeling, but I needed gifts for my office mates.

WOULD I STAY AT THE VENETIAN AGAIN?
NO! I might have considered a return trip IF the room had been cleaned the first time. If they had apologized for the 3 days worth of disgust and inconvenience, and if the cleanliness of the hotel in general had improved, and if the MAJORITY of the staff had been kind—when I only had 3 employees who were positive (all from the Bell Staff), something is wrong.

Oh, I started to write a comment card—in fact, I was writing it when the head housekeeper came to the door. I was right in the middle of a sentence and left to let her in. I forgot about it until later that night. She’d taken in with her. I wonder if it ever got turned in as the sentence I was writing was about how disgusting the room was. Oh well, I’ll send them the link to this site so they’ll know the rest of the story.

NEXT TIME
We go 1-2 times a year and have for 20 years to Las Vegas. I’ll NEVER stay at the Venetian again and would highly not recommend it if you like a kind and caring staff, clean rooms, a bathroom you don’t feel you’re going to get sick from, and the kind of attention you’d expect when paying $200 a night.

I hate that this sounds like I’m one big complainer—I’m not. Every other hotel we visited was great; this just wasn’t the spot for us.

UPDATED 2/1/03
I almost forgot, the Venetian has a vacation resort component—I’m not sure exactly what the affiliation is, but when you venture in the front upper lobby doors or visit the Canal Shops you’re inundated by uniformed poachers—“How long are you in town?” “Wanna go to a free show?” Yep, you guessed it—they want you to take a tour of their vacation property.

I first was approached in the Canal area when I came upon a booth with a drawing—thinking that since they were wearing Venetian name tags it was a legitimate drawing, I started to sign up. A gentleman behind the counter started to flip through a book of shows asking me if I wanted to see a free show that night. I asked him what I had to do for it. He replied, “Take a tour…” I didn’t let him finish. I looked down at the half-filled out form, saw Vacation Resort and immediately crumpled it up—I don’t need more junk mail offers and high-pressure sales. I replied politely, “No thank you.” He said, “Come on, it’ll just take an hour or so.” I said, “I have no desire to go on a vacation rental tour.” He became upset and said, “Have you ever been on one?” in a VERY rude tone of voice. With that I left.

They were relentless in their pursuit. I hate pretending people don’t exist, but that’s how I made it through 4 days of passing through these people. Perhaps they should pass out buttons for people to wear that say, “I’VE ALREADY SAID NO!” I found it very irritating to be pestered every time I entered the hotel I was staying in.

UPDATED 2/15
I've sent two e-mails through their website to ask for the e-mail address of the person I need to address my concerns to...so far, no one has answered. It's been nearly two weeks and they promise an answer in 48 hours. Very poor communication.

UPDATED 2/27
Still NO CONTACT from the hotel about my complaints--not even the courtesy of a "we got your note" letter. I've resent it again. We'll see.

UPDATED 2/28
I got the following letter today:
Dear Ms. XXX:

I am writing to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail and the attached posting to Epinions. I will be getting back to you in more detail within a few days.

Sincerely,

Peter Walterspiel
Vice President of Hotel Operations
The Venetian Resort, Hotel, Casino
(702) 414-4484

I'm thankful to the Reservation's people who passed my message on. It only takes one person to take on the task of hearing a customer--this one did. Her name is Robbin - Suite Reservations

UPDATE 3/6/03
I recevied the following letter on 35:

"Walterspiel, Peter" WaltersP@venetian.com wrote:

Dear Ms. xxx:

Many of us have been studying your report on Epinions.com with great interest and concern. It really seams as if almost anything that could have gone wrong during your stay did in fact go wrong. Please accept my apologies for your poor experience at The Venetian.

We pride ourselves on being able to learn from our mistakes and hope that we might have the opportunity to prove to you that our reputation as one of the finest resorts in Las Vegas was justly earned.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if I can ever be of any assistance to you in the future.
Sincerely,

Peter Walterspiel
Vice President of Hotel Operations
The Venetian Resort, Hotel, Casino
(702) 414-4484

HERE'S MY REPLY:

Dear Mr. Watlerspiel,

While your apology is nice, I would prefer a monetary apology. I feel the service was so beyond poor that I should be reimbursed the difference between the special rate of $119 and the rate I paid at $206. It may seem silly to you, however, I feel justified in expecting a refund.

I find your statement, "...and hope that we might have the opportunity to prove to you that our reputation as one of the finest resorts in Las Vegas was justly earned." interesting. I'm to assume you'd like me to pay another $206 a night to find out if you've improved your staffing and cleaning issues? Unbelievable and not something I'm going to do.

If you've read my other 64 Epinion reviews you'll see that I'm a fair rater--your hotel is the only one I've had issues with. I feel that your statement, "It really seams as if almost anything that could have gone wrong during your stay did in fact go wrong." belittles my experience. There were thousands of other people there at the same time that experienced the same poor service. This wasn't a fluke.

I'm sorely disappointed in your reply and hope you'll consider my request for a refund.

Sincerely,

Connie xxx

UPDATE 3/29
I sent the following e-mail today (after sending the previous one again 2 weeks ago):

"Hello,

I've sent several e-mails requesting a refund and have not had either of the mails returned, nor an answer. Would you kindly acknowledge their receipt?"

I'm appalled at the lack of customer service.

UPDATED 3/31/03
Finally got an e-mail--here it is:
"Dear Ms. XXX,

I have received your message requesting a refund of your stay, but respectfully inform you that we will not be refunding any monies to you.

I would like to offer you again my personal assistance on your next visit to The Venetian.

Sincerely,

Peter Walterspiel
Vice President of Hotel Operations
The Venetian Resort, Hotel, Casino
(702) 414-4484 "

Needless to say I'm more disappointed than ever. It took 3 e-mails to get him to finally answer me only to tell me they weren't going to offer me any compensation for the terrible experience. Why anyone would stay there after reading this is beyond me. I've asked for his supervisors address.


UPDATE 4/5
He's not bothered to e-mail me so today I filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. The first time I've ever done that. Their rating isn't available online right now--it'll be interesting to see what it really is. I've been doing some research and I'm finding terrible reports all over the web.

Update 4/19/03
My request was reasonable. All in all they would have had to refund me less than $200. Instead, he's still dragging this out. I've heard from the BBB and he is still only offering "his personal services" if I ever visit again. I don't understand his motivation. If nothing else, there will be a mark against them with the BBB. It'll be interesting to see what the next step with the BBB is. I've sent them this review and his e-mails.

The terrible service started with check-in and is still going on months later. I see now that the bad service starts at the top and is allowed and even encouraged by the management. Sad.


Recommend this product? No

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