The New City of Light?

   In recent years, the premier Las Vegas resorts have engaged in a comradely competition to see which can put on the most impressivePenthouse at the Venetian - Las Vegas holiday display. This year the Venetian and the Palazzo have thrown down the gauntlet with their 49-day Winter in Venice Holiday Celebration.

   From November 21 to January 8, guests will be skating on an ice rink suspended above gondoliers plying their craft on the Venetian’s Grand Canal. Stilt walkers, jugglers and magicians will strut their stuff. In the Palazzo’s soaring three-floor-high atrium, a waterfall will flow under a ceiling hung with giant snowflakes.

 Canyon Ranch SpaClub - Las Vegas  From the welcoming hot apple cider to the Venetian’s nightly sound and light show at the Doge’s Palace, the holiday spirit informs each resort’s traditional offerings. World-class restaurants, Bouchon and Postrio among them, create holiday-inspired menus. How about a Winter Solstice full-body wrap and a Holiday Radiance Facial in the Canyon Ranch SpaClub? Later, you can relax with a Negroni Festivo cocktail or a Rialto Eggnog. Too young for that? Have an eggnog cupcake!

   For a once-in-a-lifetime experience (one hopes), a White Gondola Wedding unites couples along the beautiful Grand Canal.

   At the nearby Palazzo, in addition to the festive lobby, the winter gardens will be dressed for the holidays. But I like the sound of the Palazzo’s exclusive Prestige floor, where luxury is low-key and privacy rules. There, guests can enjoy personal concierge service, private champagne check in, afternoon cocktail receptions and bath butlers for the adults. For the kids, there are ice-skating sessions, milk and cookie deliveries and, my favorite, an Elf tuck-in at bedtime.

Palazzo - Las Vegas holiday celebration

   Finally, the Venetian and Palazzo are offering in-suite Christmas Eve and Hanukah packages, with Christmas trees and poinsettias or menorahs and kosher gift baskets. Personal shoppers help with gifts and gift wrapping.

   If these goings on seem incongruous in the heart of the desert, just remember where the celebrations had their origins. (,


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