Itching for a holiday? You are not alone. Most of us have spent the year staring at four walls, baking banana bread, getting fat, decorating the spare room, and bingeing on Netflix. As for the summer holiday? Postponed. Until the wider world welcomes back the weary traveller.
So, why not make plans for the ultimate 2021 getaway? If you like to combine a little time at the casino with the ultimate in five-star luxury, here’s our handy guide to the world’s most decadent destinations.
These are the global hotspots where the casino comes with a side order of Cohibas, caviar, and Champagne. Put your seatbelts on and get ready for a first-class flight to the land of fancy.
Let’s start at the beginning. Google the ‘world’s most expensive hotel’ and the top result is the Empathy Suite, at the Palms Casino Resort, in Las Vegas. If you have more than $1 million in credit at the casino, you can stay in the suite for free. For the rest of us, it’s a two-night minimum stay, costing a cool $200,000.
Designed by maverick artist Damien Hirst, the two-storey, 9,000 sq ft room is described as ‘a work of art’. Inside are some of Hirst’s most famous pieces, including two sharks preserved in formaldehyde and his iconic pill cabinets.
As well as 24-hour butler service, a $10,000 casino credit, access to the hotel’s recording studio, A-list access to the Palm’s nightclubs, and a chauffeured car service, there is also a cantilevered Jacuzzi suspended 34 floors above the Vegas strip.
When you tire of your gym, salt relaxation room, and personal massage parlour, you can head downstairs to the Palms Casino and enjoy more than 1,500 slots and scores of table games, including Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, and Pai Gow. Start saving.
Venetian Macau Resort Hotel
So good, they did it twice. In 1999, Las Vegas property magnate Sheldon Adelson opened the $1.5 billion Venetian Hotel is Las Vegas. Now more than 20 years old, the bricks and mortar love letter to Venice remains a Las Vegas institution and a bucket list essential.
Ten years later, Sheldon decided to re-recreate the magic of Venice with the Venetian Macao. This time the bill was a hefty $2.4 billion. For that, you get the largest hotel in Asia, the second largest casino in the world, and an enormous casino, complete with 3,400 slots and 800 gaming tables.
There are 3,000 suites in the 39-storey hotel, with a starting price of more than $1,500 a night. Visitors to the resort describe the experience as ‘overwhelming, amazing, and diverting’. Expect to be swamped by 1,000s of day trippers, slack-jawed, and armed with selfie sticks.
Another sequel. Another property entrepreneur. South African accountant Sol Kerzner made his fortune with the development of Sun City in the 1970s. In 1994, Kerzner bought the Paradise Island Hotel in the Bahamas and created the Atlantis hotel franchise.
The Atlantis Paradise Island Bahamas is the ultimate Caribbean casino and hotel. Billions of dollars have been poured into creating a complex of six hotels, 3,805 rooms, six swimming areas, a $15 million marina, and the world’s largest open-air marine environment. Not forgetting, of course, the biggest casino in the Caribbean, with 700 slots and 85 Roulette, Craps, and Blackjack tables.
Once upon a time, the Atlantis boasted the most expensive hotel rooms in the world. It’s Royal Bridge Suite books out at a hefty $25,000 a night. For that, you get a 22-karat gold chandelier, a grand piano, and ten rooms to explore. Expensive, if you just want to lie on the beach.
The May Fair London
No list of luxury casinos would be complete with giving London a name check. There are several grand old casinos tucked away in Kensington and Knightsbridge. Most don’t offer accommodation but the Mayfair, in the heart of west London, does.
First opened by King George V, in 1929, the hotel has converted an old art deco ballroom into an upscale casino called the Palm Beach. It’s one of the largest gaming rooms in London and you can enjoy a game of American Roulette, Blackjack, Punto Banco and Three Card Poker, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Dress code is smart casual. There is also a VIP casino area and a private entrance, separate from the hotel and casino. Watch out for James Bond on the next table.
Marina Bay Sands
There are several contenders for the final spot in our top five: The Crown in Melbourne, The Park Hyatt Mendoza in Argentina, the Borgata in Atlantic City. However, with its iconic architecture and incredible 150-metre-long pool, on the 57th floor, the last word has to go the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore.
The futuristic hotel sits in a huge complex which includes a shopping mall, theatre, and the world’s largest atrium casino. Inside are 500 table games and more than 1,600 slots. Visitors can enjoy Sic Bo, Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker, Craps, Pontoon, and more in the expansive 15,000 square metre space.
So, there you have it. If you like a butler with your Blackjack, or a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce with your Roulette, this is where you can find it. Good luck and enjoy your stay!