A cooler blend of culture

Around The World In Five Deluxe Casinos

The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel: photograph by Dennis Wong

The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel: photograph by Dennis Wong

Here’s an idea guaranteed to satisfy anyone’s appetite for adventure. Five classic casinos in five different countries that also give you the chance to finance a luxury trip around the world with your winnings.

We’ve picked these five because they represent the ultimate in style, luxury and sophistication as well as making every stopover an unforgettable experience. Sure, you may need to have a pretty big bankroll to embark on a global adventure like this, or you may just want to start off with one destination and see how you go.

Either way, a good way to get the ball rolling could be to check in to an online casino to sharpen up your skills and try to win some of that trip money up-front. It’s an incredibly competitive market and with many casinos even offering a no deposit welcome bonus on their slots, it might not even cost you a cent.

First stop: The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel, Macau

Turn up at The Venetian Macao Resort Hotel and you’ll know that you’ve really arrived. It’s modelled on the Las Vegas original and covers an incredible 10.6 million sq ft of Macau’s glittering Cotai Strip.Of this, 55,000 sq ft is dedicated to gaming with 3,400 slot machines and 800 gaming tables, so it it’s no surprise that it’s the biggest casino in the world. While you’re there, don’t forget to try your luck at Dragon Phoenix, a game played at The Venetian since 2011 where players bet on the toss of two dragon-headed coins.

As for the décor, sumptuous and luxurious doesn’t begin to cover it with gold and glittering lights as far as the eye can see. They’ve even gone as far as creating fantastic reproductions of Venice’s canals where you can enjoy a ride with a gondolier to celebrate your successes in the casino and there’s also the 15,000-seat Cotai Arena which regularly hosts all kinds of entertainment and sporting events.

Macau itself has plenty to occupy you even if you don’t want to spend time in the casino with its Portuguese colonial past creating a fascinating contrast to the city’s Chinese influences.

Second stop: Casino de Monte-Carlo, Monaco

Casino’s Reflection: photograph by Biernackip

Casino’s Reflection: photograph by Biernackip

There’s a very different vibe waiting for you at the world-famous Casino de Monte Carlo in Monaco. Players have been trying to break the bank there ever since it first opened its doors in the 1850s, and one person actually did not once, but ten times, allegedly. This was unfortunate for the ruling family, the Grimaldis, who had opened the casino to save themselves from bankruptcy since they’d declared independence from France.

Gaming still takes place underneath ornate 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 and if things get too hot for you round the table, there’s always the open gaming terrace with amazing views of the Mediterranean below.

One thing you won’t find there, though, are locals (real title Monagasques) because they’re forbidden from entering the casino. Monaco itself is perfectly placed for trips both over the border into France and Italy so, when you’ve had enough of rubbing shoulders with the super-rich who both live in and visit the Principality, you’ll find there are more than enough other options to occupy you.

Third stop: Casino Baden-Baden, Germany

Germany might not be the first country that springs to mind when it comes to high-end casinos but ever since the mid 19th century the town of Baden Baden was a magnet for the aristocracy of Europe attracted by its health-giving spas. Described by film legend Marlene Dietrich as the most beautiful in the world, the casino still oozes luxury and class with a predominantly crimson décor. There are even guided tours of the property itself to show off the exclusive artworks that adorn it. There is a story that, to celebrate its centenary in 1955, the casino issued chips in gold and silver, a practice they had to bring to a sudden end when they found that many players weren’t cashing them in but sneaking them out after playing

Once you’re there you may like to try your luck at the roulette table and 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.

If you ever feel like a relaxing break from the gaming you might also want to retire to one of the town’s many spas that are still open to this day.

Fourth stop: The Ritz Club, London

The Ritz Hotel, London, at night: photograph by Ben Sutherland

The Ritz Hotel, London, at night: photograph by Ben Sutherland

The name says it all. The Ritz Club is a high stakes casino open only to members and their guests – so you’ll have to be well-connected to get into this one. But when you do you’ll be ushered down to the luxury hotel’s former ballroom which is richly adorned with wood panelling and exquisite tapestries under the domed ceiling with a number of private rooms for those who prefer to carry on their gaming a little more discreetly.

The close relative of baccarat, Punto Banco, is a casino favourite in which players bet on one of two hands, the “Player” or the “Bank” and the winner is the person with the hand closest to nine.

Of course, part of the experience of playing in the casino would also be staying at the exclusive hotel itself. In the heart of London’s Piccadilly with the West End at your feet, there’s an award-winning restaurant serving dishes from around the world prepared by an army of chefs and there’s also the chance of spotting an international celeb or two making a stopover in the city.

Final stop: Wynn Las Vegas

As a final stopover before heading home, enjoy an experience that’s in total contrast to the reserved sophistication of The Ritz. They’ve worked hard at the Wynn to create 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 to surround the resort. Even the gaming floor includes witty touches like palm trees, fountains and glittering flower petals on the walls.

The casino’s well known for attracting lots of the world’s best players to compete in its 26 table poker room so if you think you’re a bit of a Cool Hand Luke this could be the one for you. If the cards do go your way, treat yourself to Japanese meal courtesy of world-renowned chef Devin Hashimoto’s at the Mizuni restaurant’s signature private pagoda table.

Then, at the end of this whistlestop tour of five of the greatest casinos in the world, hopefully, you’ll be richer, wiser, more widely travelled – and ready to do it all again as soon as you possibly can.

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