This is my vote for hotel with overall most beautiful decor. This place is worth a stop inside, but not a long dinner or an overnight stay.
When you enter the shops through the front door, the size and detail in the ceiling paintings is absolutely breathtaking (see photo). The front carport of the hotel has an equally grand ceiling. All the decor mimics things that are actually in Venice; my sister, who has been to the real Venice, immediately recognized the things in my Las Vegas Venetian photos. I also love the flooring here; it is a bunch of intersecting cubes that I think is better than the ugly, large floral motifs on most casino floors. Domes with oculars (circular skylights), chandeliers, and forced-perspective murals are scattered throughout the Venetian.
The way the Grand Canal Shoppes are built around both sides of the canal, with occasional bridges crossing over and restaurants with decks, does make you feel like you are walking through old Italian streets. The strolling street performers and living statues also add to the atmosphere.
The singing gondola rides do seem romantic and add to the overall atmosphere, but the indoor ones are $13 per person and outside in the canal, in front of the hotel, they are $12.50 each. I was disappointed in the short length of the canals, so I decided that the price wasn't worth it.
The air in the Venetian was very stuffy and unbearable for my slightly asthmatic boyfriend, so we will never spend the night here. The lighting in the Grand Canal Shoppes is also a very odd color that doesn't look like normal indoor or outdoor light; it enhances the fakeness of the store facades that are maybe lacking in the realistic detail that Caesar's and Paris have. The blue color of the canals is also extremely bright and fake-looking. I really felt like the combo of stuffy air, odd lighting, and fake facades and water prevented me from temporarily suspending the reality that I was indoors in Las Vegas.