“A Tale of Two Cities”: the Parisian and the Venetian

We can now get a taste of Europe here in the Far East, thanks to the luxury sister-hotels in Macao owned and operated by the Sands group of companies. The recently opened and more modern Parisian Hotel exudes the French’s ‘joie de vivre’ or joy of living, whereas, the Venetian Hotel has a more medieval and old-world charm of the Italian town Venezia.

Parisian

The hotel’s beautiful façade showcases the iconic Eiffel Tower, which is half the size of the original, and a mini-version of the Arc De Triomphe. Inside the main lobby, a dramatic rotunda exhibits a reproduction of the Place de la Concorde’s, Fontaine des Mers (fountain).

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Faux-ris in Macau
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The Arc De Triomphe wannabe with a scene-stealing giant LCD

In keeping with the theme, there is a giant dome with elaborate paintings reminiscent of a cathedral ceiling. The tiers of balconies surrounding the main rotunda are similar to those in a French Opera House. Thus, it is not surprising that guests are treated to short performances along the hallways from time-to-time. They even provide French macarons to welcome billeted guests.

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The domed ceiling
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The piece de resistance: the fountain

We were able to witness a man dressed in fancy brocade, with feathers on his cap, singing a French Opera piece. In addition, we were also able to see a jazz performance with women in sparkling royal blue flapper style dresses and the males in clean-cut black and white ensembles. There are also many picture perfect opportunities with the staff clad in Parisienne outfits.

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A Parisian woman on stilts

In spite of the casinos, this is still a family and kid-friendly place. They offer family rooms with bunk beds. Children also have a wide array of activities to choose from: a medieval play place with its own mini-carousel, the pool area, and the pirate ship inspired water park.

The Parisian is accessible from the Venetian thru the Canal Shoppes, passing more Shoppes (not a typo) at the far-end of the Four Seasons, and then thru an enclosed connecting bridge with wall-to-ceiling windows for the view.

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The bridge
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Faux-ris at night is truly a marvelous replica
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The main hotel area of the Parisian

Venetian

Much has been said about this older hotel (about 10years) which is inspired by the canals of Venice. The entrance leading to the grand establishment has the popular bell tower found in Piazza San Marco. It also showcases an eye catching  gargantuan bridge, a replica of the Rialto. Smaller scale bridges are frequently found in the real Venetian canals.

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The Venetian
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Channeling Piazza San Marco with the Rialto Bridge and Campanile di San Marco
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Architecture on point

The main lobby’s golden ribbon globe sculpture is not as huge or as majestic as Parisian’s fountain. However, the long hallway, with its ceiling inspired by the Italian masters’ creations, make up for it.

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The domed ceiling
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The globe and the cavernous hallway

Their hues are golden, with chandeliers and wide open walkways decked with paintings and sculptures ala David. The Roman columnar walls also have gold embellishments. The flooring is a glossy mix of black, brown, and white marble and has a special pattern resembling stairs. The Spanish Steps in Rome immediately come to mind.

The Venetian has the bigger suites, with a living room separated by a balcony and two small steps. The area is complete with a sofa, coffee table, armch chairs, and a small dining nook. The two queen beds or one king bed are framed with draping canopies. The sofa converts into another pull-out bed. There are two TVs in the room, encased in wooden armoirs. The bathroom was similarly lavish and golden in design, with a shower, tub, double sinks, and separate toilet. There’s also a vanity area with a large mirror. The suite can easily fit a large family.

One of this hotel’s come-ons is a gondola ride that takes guests around the canal shop. No murky water nor fishy smells emanating here like in the real Venice! The gondoliers are friendly as they seranade guests through out the ride. Their uniform is black and white stripes, accented by a red neckerchief and a hat. En route to Parisian, we saw an Italian inspired man in uniform on the bridge playing a portable harpsichord as he serenaded the passing crowd with Italian ballads.

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One of the many bridges, with a gondola passing underneath

Overall, visiting these places make for a good weekend getaway. If you’re not into gambling, there are still a lot of things to do like eat, watch shows, and visit historical places that this former Portugese colony is famous for. Enjoy life…Au revoir! Arrivederci!

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