Monday, Oct. 22, 2012 | 6:28 p.m.
Winter will be celebrated in an even larger way this second year at the Venetian and the Palazzo. The one-of-a kind Winter in Venice festivities will expand to 50 days of Italian-inspired holiday cheer and run this season from Nov. 18 through Jan. 6.
The ice-skating rink above the Venetian’s outdoor Grand Canal is returning; new this year is a nightly parade of characters and lights, an exclusive six-week run of “Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Las Vegas” concerts, a fantasy scene in the Palazzo’s waterfall gardens with 20-foot trees and crystal “ice ponds,” plus, stunning 3D light-projection shows on both hotel facades.
Additionally, I will be one of the judges for the new Golden Spoon contest with chefs from the 30 restaurants at the two properties competing against one another for one winner to claim the Golden Spoon Award. Expect appearances by chefs and VIPs Emeril Lagasse, Mario Batali, Joe Bastianich and Sammy DeMarco.
WEDDING BELLS: Congratulations to chef Rick Moonen of RM Seafood at Mandalay Bay on his surprise marriage to food-stylist photographer Roni Fields. Also, to producer Adam Steck (Human Nature, Thunder From Down Under) on his weekend marriage to longtime girlfriend Bri Ulivarri in Turks and Caicos. After a stay at Robert Earl’s Parrot Cay resort, they head for honeymoon stops in London, Paris and the French Riviera.
BULLS RIDE HERE THROUGH 2015: Just before the Professional Bull Riders World Finals get underway here Wednesday, our Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority confirmed that the bulls and the brave riders will remain here through 2015, continuing their nearly 20-year run. We’ll have a preview and rundown Tuesday; this year, NBC is providing four days of coverage in the battle for $2 million and the coveted world champion buckle.
ELTON’S WATCH WINDUP: Sir Elton John has agreed to cut the ribbon to open the new watch boutique Chopard at the Wynn on Sunday. Then he’s taking the watchmakers back to Caesars Palace for cocktails and his show “The Million Dollar Piano” at the Colosseum.
DOWNTOWN PROGRESS: Zappos head honcho Tony Hsieh was the subject of a flattering profile in the New York Times Sunday Magazine yesterday praising his vision for the downtown area he’s rebuilding. In his first year of redevelopment, he reports to have purchased more than 15 buildings, broken ground on 16 construction projects and set up 30 real estate companies and expects 100,000 professionals to move there in the next five years.
ROCK FANTASY: Only one week after debuting its permanent Las Vegas home, the next Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp will “rock the blues” Nov. 7-11 with legendary blues giants: 2012 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Awards recipient Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers), Jack Bruce (Cream) and John Popper (Blues Traveler). Jack also will celebrate the 45th anniversary of Cream’s “Disraeli Gears,” an album that many believe had a tremendous impact in the evolution of rock ’n’ roll.
Rodney Carrington delivers blue-collar comedy at MGM Grand through Sunday night.
Comedienne Rita Rudner performs her standup at the Venetian for one night only.
Party princess and bucket list brigadier Tiffany Masters celebrates her birthday at STK in the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas with DJ Cheapshot on the decks.
Mayor Carolyn Goodman collaborates with Councilman Bob Coffin and developer Brett Sperry in a unique opening ceremony by saturating a blank canvas with multicolored paint shot from squirt guns to open Brett’s third Arts District project in three years.
A very sexy photo preview of the new topless burlesque “Shades of Temptation” at New York-New York, plus, the behind-the-scenes nightmares at the new reality TV show “Vegas High Rollers” and the PBR rundown.
Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.
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With top accommodations, first-rate entertainment, high-end shopping and a slew of acclaimed chefs, the Palazzo has positioned itself as one of the most luxurious resorts on the Strip.
More than 3,000 all-suite rooms start at 740 square feet and are decorated in a modern, yet classic, Italian style. Each room features a sleeping area, with a king or two queens, and a sunken living room area with floor to ceiling windows.
A cathedral ceiling tops the Palazzo casino, while a second 80-foot dome brings natural light to the property's lobby. The 105,000 square foot casino features more than 2,000 slots and 80 table games but lacks the stale smell of cigarettes, as the property is LEED certified with smoking off limits in most of the Palazzo — including 50 percent of the casino floor.
Dining at the Palazzo is among the best of the Strip, starting with Wolfgang Puck's CUT. Chef Simon To serves up authentic Chinese cuisine at Zine, while Sushisamba combines Brazilian and Peruvian flavors with Japanese techniques. At LAVO, club-goers can dine on Mediterranean dishes before heading upstairs to the bath house-inspired nightclub.
In the spirit of Venice, The Venetian is a little piece of romantic Italy right here in Las Vegas. The Venetian is an "all-suite" hotel, with rooms accented with plush linens and Italian marble. The 4,027 suites are divided into two towers: The 36-story Venetian Tower that offers guests a taste of luxurious Las Vegas and the Venezia suites, which guarantee 12 floors of high-end elegance. The top five floors are the hotel's highest level of luxury with its private access, concierge lounge, upgraded features and even a dedicated staff.
The flagship of Venetian nightlife is TAO, an ultra-hip nightclub located inside of TAO Asian Bistro. V Bar is The Venetian's super smooth ultra lounge, made by the owners of New York City's club Lotus and Los Angeles' super swank Sunset Room.
The Venetian features 19 restaurants including Thomas Keller's award-winning French restaurant Bouchon, Mario Batali's B&B Ristorante, Aquaknox for fresh seafood and the 42,000 square foot TAO Asian Bistro. There's also the food court inside the Canal Shoppes for those looking for a quick bite.
Guests can float along The Grand Canal Shops in an authentic Italian gondola ride and pass stores like Burberry and Kenneth Cole along the way. And if you haven't caught a real celeb, on the street in Vegas, you can head over to Madame Tussauds to check out a wax version.