Words by John Duffy
A stay at a luxury casino hotel resort is something that’s on many a bucket list – the question is, which one to choose? High-end casinos come in many flavours; from classic historic buildings to sophisticated ultra-modern glamour, there’s a destination to suit every taste.
When it comes to location, you’re also spoilt for choice. So, whether you’re looking for a city break, a hedonistic Vegas experience or a tranquil country retreat, we’ve compiled a guide to the best luxury casino stays that money can buy.
1. Bright Lights, Big City – Palms Casino Resort, Las Vegas
If Vegas isn’t your bag, then skip ahead, but every casino list has to start with Sin City. Hey, I don’t make the rules. Choosing the best is an impossible task, but the Palms Casino Resort certainly stands out from the crowd. After undergoing a rumoured $620 million renovation in 2016, the new and improved resort was unveiled as a stylish and contemporary addition to the Vegas scene.
Not only does it boast the most expensive hotel suite in the world, but the site contains original works from some of the most famous artists alive today. If you want an Instagram-worthy shot of yourself next to a Damien Hirst shark, then Palms is the place for you.
At the upgraded resort you will also find numerous restaurants helmed by celebrity chefs, a nightclub and a theatre, a 20,000 square foot spa, and so many pools and cocktail bars that you probably won’t need to leave the premises for your whole stay. And that’s before you even hit the casino. Alanis Morissette is one of the musical legends to have a residency here, and there are stunning views of the city from almost every room.
Honourable mention: The Bellagio
If old school glamour is what you’re looking for, try the Bellagio – never mind that it was constructed just over twenty years ago. The iconic fountains may be its most recognisable feature, but the interiors are just as spectacular. It was also the filming location for one of the most famous casino heist movies ever, Ocean’s Eleven.
2. We Love London – The May Fair Hotel
Situated, as the name suggests, in the exclusive London neighbourhood of Mayfair, this five-star hotel offers modern amenities in a beautiful historic building. The surrounding area is a luxury shopping haven, with stores such as Fortnum and Mason just a stone’s throw away.
The old art deco ballroom has been converted into an upscale casino, the Palm Beach, with numerous gaming tables and an exclusive private room for high rollers. It’s a great spot for an evening out, whether or not you are staying in the hotel. The food is excellent as well.
Honourable mention: Park Lane Club
We couldn’t include this as our main entry, as it doesn’t include a hotel. However, if we’re talking exclusive then Park Lane can’t be missed. It’s a members-only club, and the joining fee will set you back a grand. But once you’re in, you can enjoy some of the incredible architecture, play to your heart’s content in one of the many gaming rooms, and have an exquisite meal overlooking the rooftops of London. A little bubble of luxury away from the crowds.
3. Party Island – Ibiza Gran Hotel Casino
Casinos may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the legendary Balearic island of Ibiza, but it happens to be home to one of Europe’s grandest casino resorts. When you’ve had enough of the beaches and clubbing, throw on some more elegant clothes and head to the Old Town. Here you’ll find an oasis of sophistication, away from the frenetic energy of the island’s famous party scene.
As well as the many slot machines and gaming tables in the on-site casino, the resort is famed for its poker tournaments. A few hands of poker, a drink at the bar and a dip in the pool – it’s the perfect antidote to a party overdose.
Honourable mention: Dragonara Palace – Malta
Housed in a 19th century traditional palazzo, and situated on a rocky peninsula surrounded by the clear blue Mediterranean Sea, the Dragonara has one of the most beautiful settings of any casino in the world. Stay at the nearby Westin Dragonara Resort, and you’ll be in a little oasis of peace. It’s hard to believe that Malta’s busiest party district, Paceville, is scarcely five minutes walk away.
4. Picturesque Beauty – L’Impérial Palace, Annecy, France
The view alone is worth the trip to this splendid, shining white Edwardian hotel, nestled on the shores of an enormous lake in the French Alps. It’s the perfect place to relax and recharge your batteries, and there’s even a spa if the mountain air isn’t quite enough. If you’re feeling that calm, it’s the perfect time to hit the hotel casino – you’ll make smarter decisions with such a clear head.
Honourable mention: Kurhaus of Baden-Baden, Germany
In a charmingly scenic spa town on the edge of the Black Forest, this 200-year-old building is situated within exquisite grounds. The interior is opulence incarnate, reminiscent of a royal palace. Its casino heritage goes back more than a century, making it one of the oldest gaming establishments in the world.
5. Staycation – Casino at Home
Sometimes there’s no place like home, and the biggest luxury is relaxing in the comfort of your own space – no membership fee required. You don’t need to miss out on the casino games either, with so many great online options both from big names and online-only exclusive sites.
Playing at home offers many advantages over visiting a physical casino. Of course there’s the comfort factor, you can play sitting on the couch or even snuggled up in bed. But online you can find plenty of casino offers that are not available in a brick and mortar establishment.
The biggest of these are casino bonuses, which pretty much every online casino offers to new and existing customers. Imagine getting double the number of chips that you paid for; that’s often what you’ll receive at a casino site when you sign up. If you want to find the best bonus offers available on the market, you can find out more here.
Online casinos can afford to be more generous with their offers as their overheads are relatively low. This also means that potential payouts can also be much higher. So, if you haven’t quite saved up for that trip to a casino resort, settle in for a casino staycation. If you get lucky, maybe Vegas is on the cards for next year.
Image credit at the very top of the article: lucky-photographer/Bigstock.com
Please gamble responsibly (18+ UK) – check age restrictions before participating