For many people the casino is the absolute epitome of style and sophistication, and that’s hardly surprising. After all, the world’s most luxurious casinos are often built in the most glamorous locations and designed to look like the true pleasure palaces that they are.
They also act like honeypots attracting celebrities and high rollers keen to be seen enjoying exclusive entertainment in an equally exclusive environment.
Luckily, for them, and for you, there are many such establishments to be found across the world. So many, in fact, that it can be almost impossible to pick out where to head for first. That’s why we’ve come up with these five suggestions.
The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, Macau
Arrive at The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel and you’ll immediately be knocked over by the sheer scale and glitz of it all. Owned by the Las Vegas Sands Company, it was designed in a collaboration between architects Aedas and HDK Inc., who have been responsible for many of Macau’s most impressive casinos. Founded by Sheldon Adelson, who is also the Chairman and CEO, it originally opened in 2007 having been closely modelled on the Las Vegas original and covers a total of 10.6 million sq ft – 55,000 sq ft of which is dedicated to gaming with 3,400 slot machines and 800 gaming tables, so it’s no surprise that it’s the biggest casino in the world.
The gaming area is divided into four sections, Golden Fish, Imperial House, Red Dragon and Phoenix. As you’d expect, the décor is sumptuous with gold and glittering lights as far as the eye can see. The architects’ grand vision even included creating fantastic reproductions of Venice’s canals where you can enjoy gondola rides and there’s also the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena which regularly hosts all kinds of entertainment my international stars like Bruno Mars, Katy Perry and Bon Jovi.
The service and facilities add even more value – with four outdoor poors, a golf course and an 800 sq-metre kids’ club. And then there’s the shopping mall, restaurants, bars and restaurants, and over 3,000 rooms – each of which promises an aura of haute luxury.
Wynn Las Vegas
As a final destination on our whistlestop tour of the world’s most luxurious casinos, we couldn’t neglect to mention the Wynn Las Vegas.
Commissioned by owner Steve Wynn and opened in 2005, Marnell Corrao Associates created a whimsical, larger than life experience, from commissioning a Jeff Koons Tulips sculpture to mark the entrance to in front of the Wynn Theater to creating the lush, tropical gardens that surround the resort. Even the gaming floor includes witty touches like palm trees, fountains and glittering flower petals on the walls and the highlight feature is the waterfall that flows into the three-acre Lake of Dreams.
The curvaceous strip hotel is complete with marble walkways and floral mosaics, jewel-toned carpeting and big windows basking in natural light. There more than 2,700 rooms available across 45 storeys, including one Prince Harry famously stayed in, with each of them offering soothing earth tones and floor-to-ceiling windows – for ultimate luxury.
The casino is well known for attracting lots of the world’s best poker players to compete in its 26-table poker room, as well as having all the other games that you’d expect in its playing area of almost 190,000 square feet.
It’s also very well known for the offers it makes to players to keep them coming for more. However, some of the competitions offered here are exclusively available to high profile players; luckily, 888casino have produced a fantastic guide that will ensure you look right at home at the most prestigious casino comps. In fact, you’ll find that these tips are incredibly useful in all of the most luxurious casinos in the world, they will make your casino tour even more worthwhile and better value.
Casino de Monte-Carlo, Monaco
There’s a very different atmosphere that awaits you at the Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco.
This is the pinnacle of European gaming sophistication and players have been striving to break the bank there ever since it first opened its doors in the 1850s. In fact, one person did manage this – not once, but ten times allegedly.
Before moving to its current location in the grand building designed by the Parisian architect Gobinesau de la Bretonnerie, the principality’s casino had occupied various locations and was originally established to raise much needed funds for the ruling Grimaldi family following independence from France.
The gaming rooms have ornate Belle Epoque frescoed ceilings and crystal chandeliers with fine art all around. As you’d expect, there’s a fairly rigid dress code with jacket always required but there’s also an open gaming terrace with stunning vistas of the Mediterranean below if you do need some fresh air.
The casino is perhaps most famous for its roulette tables and perhaps the most famous incident that ever occurred at them was in 1913 when the ball fell in the black no less than 26 times in a row. It’s also featured in many James Bond films including Goldeneye and Never Say Never Again.
Casino Baden-Baden, Germany
Germany might not be the first country you think of when it comes to luxury casinos but ever since the 1830s the town of Baden Baden was an exclusive destination for the aristocracy of Europe attracted by its health-giving spas and gambling which, at the time, was illegal in France.
Described by film legend Marlene Dietrich as the most beautiful in the world, the casino was designed by Friedrich Weinbrenner and is equally luxurious today.
The casino is sited in a building called the Kurhaus built in the neo-classical style and, when you’re not gaming, there are even guided tours of the property itself to show off the exclusive artworks that adorn it.
One of the most famous and historic casinos in Europe, the interior is beautifully decorated with eye-catching fixtures and fittings, grand halls and tall ceilings. Another point of difference is the atmosphere, which is slightly more relaxed and reserved than its Las Vegas equivalents.
It’s also somewhere that has many stories attached to it. For example, when celebrating its centenary in 1955 the casino issued chips in gold and silver – a practice they soon stopped when it was discovered that many players weren’t cashing them in but them home with them instead.
If you visit yourself, hopefully you’ll enjoy better fortune than the Russian author of War and Peace and frequent visitor to Baden Baden, Leo Tolstoy, who first borrowed money from fellow novelist Ivan Turgenev and then proceeded to lose it all at the roulette table. At around the same time, a visit by Dostoevsky is said to have inspired his novel The Gambler.
Marina Bay Sands Casino, Singapore
Looking on to Singapore’s Marina Bay, this resort and casino first opened to loud fanfares in 2010 and, at a cost of $8 billion, it was said to be the most expensive stand-alone casino in the world. Its architect was the renowned Moshe Safde, working in collaboration with Aedas, and the stunning design consists of three towers connected by a platform, which even incorporates a 150-metre infinity pool.
One of the biggest draws here is the SkyPark, which stands on a platform that extends across the three towers. It’s the collective hub of the hotel’s bustling entertainment and nightlife, and thousands of visitors flock here for the world-class restaurants, shopping malls and the ArtScience Museum, which houses 21 galleries that cover everything from history exhibits to art shows and architectural showcases. There are 2,500 rooms in total, and many of them offer a view of the SkyPark’s incredible exterior.
Owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corp – headed up by Sheldon Adelson – the casino itself is spread over four floors and 15,000 sq metres and incorporates the largest atrium casino in the world. In total, there are more than 1,500 slots and 600 table games including blackjack, roulette, craps and poker as well as the ancient Chinese dice game of Sic Bo.
As you might expect, the interior is the very definition of grand and even boasts one of the world’s largest Swarovski glass chandeliers weighing no less than 7.1 tonnes. It’s also a fantastic place for celebrity spotting with everyone from David Beckham to Elton John and from Lewis Hamilton to Tiger Woods having stayed there in the past.
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