Think of some of the most glamorous locations in the world and you’ll find that many of the top hotels there have one thing in common – a casino. This has long been a feature that has been designed to attract the discerning and wealthy who want to combine the thrill of games like roulette, poker and blackjack with the most opulent of backdrops.
It all started back in the 19th century when European casinos became essential destinations for high society, while the 20th and 21st centuries have seen countless other casinos open across the world from Las Vegas to Macau, as our listing will go on to show.
The Bellagio, Las Vegas
Opened in 1998 and built on the site of the legendary Dunes casino, the Bellagio is perhaps the ultimate in Las Vegas excess. It’s as famous for its spectacular fountain display as it is for its gaming and big-name shows.
The hotel itself has almost 4,000 rooms and private villas costing from a few hundred dollars a night right up to $3,000 a night for the ultimate in luxury, The Presidential Suite.
The casino features all the table games that you’d expect but it’s especially popular with anyone looking for the very best poker in Vegas. It’s a regular hangout for many of the world’s pros including Daniel Negreanu and Jennifer Harman which, for many of them, has earned the casino’s poker room the nickname of “The Office”.
The Crown, Melbourne
Take a cruise down the Yarra River as it makes its way through Melbourne and you can’t help but notice the massive Crown Hotel and Casino complex on its South Bank. Covering the equivalent of two city blocks, it’s the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere.
There are no less than three different award-winning hotels at the Crown – the Towers, the Promenade and The Metropol with the most exclusive rooms being the Urban Luxe with stunning views over the river and the city’s central business district.
It’s also a major poker venue for Asia and the Pacific and has hosted the Aussie Millions tournament – the richest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and part of The World Series of Poker – every year since 2013.
Park Hyatt Mendoza
Argentina may be most famous for the tango and mouth-watering steaks, but it also boasts South America’s finest casino and hotel in the form of the Park Hyatt Mendoza. Behind the original 19th century Spanish façade stands a small and intimate hotel with only around 150 rooms.
As well as stunning views of the Andes mountains in the distance, the hotel looks out over the stately Independencia Square and is especially highly regarded for its restaurants serving French and Argentinian cuisine.
The casino is small and intimate at only 3,000 square feet and offers 19 table games and 650 slots. In keeping with the exclusive nature of the casino there is also a salon privé where private parties for invited guest only can be arranged.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
Even in a city with some of the world’s most amazing architecture, the Marina Bay Sands is impossible to overlook. Its triple towers stand proud against the the skyline and contain more than 2,400 rooms and suites with the most expensive being around $1,000 a night. Within the development there is also the world’s biggest atrium casino where you will find1,600 slots and 500 gaming tables.
The sheer luxury of the Marina Bay Sands is surely encapsulated by the swimming pool which is a dizzying 630 feet up from ground level offering truly panoramic views across the whole of Singapore as you glide through the water. Then, to top it all, there is even the Cut restaurant overseen by Wolfgang Puck and the holder of a prestigious Michelin star.
The Kurhaus, Baden Baden
There is only one casino in the world that can claim to have not only impressed Marlene Dietrich but also inspired Fyodor Dostoyevsky to write his novel, The Gambler. First opened in 1830 in the German Spa town of Baden Baden, The Kurhaus is as grand today as it was over 150 years ago.
The hotel itself is all about discreet and first class service while the casino is as far as it is possible to be from the brashness and bright lights of Las Vegas. The gaming rooms are decorated very much in the style of the Belle Epoque with gold and rich, red velvet drapes very much in abundance. While roulette and blackjack dominate, there are also daily poker tournaments including Ultimate Poker which is ideal for those wanting a low-stakes game that starts at just €2.
Hotel de Paris, Monte Carlo
Finally, another classic European casino whose origins lay in the Belle Epoque. The Hotel de Paris is a short stroll from possibly the world’s most prestigious casino. The hotel competed an extensive refurbishment in 2019 to create a truly 5-star experience for its illustrious guests. For the ultimate in luxury, it offers the Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace suites as well as a rooftop pool, though rather lower than the one at the Marina Bay Sands.
The casino is perhaps best-known for roulette although slots, poker and baccarat are also played. And, for those who just want to admire its architecture, daily tours are also available.
So next time you feel like a luxurious escape, put these six on your list of possible destinations. Whichever you choose, you won’t be disappointed.