The Venetian half of this megamall is a re-created Italian village, complete with a painted, cloud-studded blue sky overhead and a canal right down the center on which gondoliers float and sing. Pay them ($19 to $76), and you can take a lazy float down and back, serenaded by your faux-Italian boatman. The stroll (or float) ends at a miniature version of St. Mark’s Square, the central landmark of Venice. Here, you’ll find opera singers, strolling musicians, glass blowers, and other bustling marketplace activity. It’s all most ambitious and beats the heck out of animatronic statues.
The stores on this side feature more selections that at least approach affordability, including Cache, Davidoff, Kenneth Cole, Ann Taylor, BCBG, bebe, Banana Republic, Victoria’s Secret, and Sephora.
The newer half of the Shoppes at sister resort Palazzo don’t have a canal or the hyper-reality Venetian theme, but up the ante with the kind of high-end retail experiences that this town is famous for. Look for marquee names like Barney’s New York, Cartier, Jimmy Choo, Burberry, and Ralph Lauren, to name a few.
And if all that shopping gets you hungry, a veritable piazza’s worth of celebrity-chef restaurants can be found in and around the retail offerings, including ones from Mario Batali, Emeril Lagasse, Wolfgang Puck, and Cake Boss Buddy Valastro. The shops are open Sunday through Thursday from 10am to 11pm and Friday and Saturday from 10am to midnight.
- Rick Garman