Bed and Blackjack

Holidays come in all shapes and sizes. From activity holidays, for the fitness fanatic, to family holidays with theme parks included. Maybe your dream vacation is a safari in the Serengeti. Perhaps, it’s a Caribbean island getaway where all you can do is chill.

We’re dipping our toe in the warm waters, to seek out and find the world’s most luxurious resorts, where the chips are both on the menu and stacked high in the casino. If you like a little blackjack with your sunburn, and enjoy nothing more than relaxing at the roulette table, check out our top ten guide to the most delectable destinations that come with a dealer.

In no particular order:

#1. Bellagio – Las Vegas

Of course, we are going to have at least one Las Vegas hotel in our top ten list. We’ve plumped for the Bellagio because – even at 33 years old (it opened in 1988) – it’s still the Grande Dame of the Strip, and the one to beat when it comes to utter opulence. Featured in many movies, including The Hangover and Ocean’s 11, and renowned for its 40-table poker room, the Bellagio, with its 7,000 sq ft casino, is still the one to beat. Fashions change but class never gets old.

#2. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana – Dominican Republic

If fun and sun are the two critical components for your dream holiday, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana delivers. The casino is one of the biggest in the Caribbean, with more than 28 table games, a poker room, and 500 slot machines. Blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat are all in play at this hip hotel with nine restaurants, 13 swimming pools, 23 bars, and the option to have a Fender guitar delivered to your door. Rock on.

#3. The Venetian – Macao

So good – they built it twice. The Venetian Macao opened in 2007, eight years after its sister resort in Las Vegas. It’s the second largest casino in the world, with 550,000 sq ft of gaming space. Only the WinStar World Casino and Resort, in Oklahoma is bigger, with an extra 50,000 sq ft. The Venetian has more than 6,000 slot machines and 800 gaming tables; all housed in an extraordinary replica of Venice, complete with canals, shops, stone bridges, and gondolas.

#4. Marina Bay Sands – Singapore

It may look like Godzilla’s ironing board but the Marina Bays Sands is now Singapore’s main attraction. On top of the hotel is a 650 ft high, 150 metre long, infinity swimming pool – the highest in the world. In the basement is a huge subterranean casino, with 15,000 sq m of gaming space, boasting 1500 slots and more than 600 table games. If you want to swim in the pool, you need to book a room. If you want to play at the casino, it’s open to all comers. Enjoy.

#5. Sun City – South Africa

Sun City was the creation of entrepreneur Sol Kerzner, responsible for some of the world’s most luxurious resorts and hotels, including the Atlantic Resort in both the Bahamas and Dubai. Sun City enjoyed its heyday in the 1970s but it remains a bucket-list destination for any casino fan. The four-hotel resort has 125,000 sq ft of casino floor space, packed with 852 gaming machines, 33 table games, and seven restaurants. Safari not included.

#6. Atlantis Paradise Island Resort and Casino – Bahamas

It certainly isn’t the biggest casino in our top ten list but it’s arguably the best. If you like playing blackjack, craps, and roulette, outside, in a beautiful casino spanning a 7-acre lagoon, it’s time to pack the sunscreen and head for the Bahamas and Atlantis Paradise. Why not really lux it up and stay at the Bridge Suite; $25,000 a night, complete with seven staff, a 22-carat gold chandelier, and a grand piano.

#7. The Canouan Estate – Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

If the Bahamas-based Atlantis is just a little too crass for your tastes, perhaps the Canouan Estate will tick your refined luxury boxes. There’s a Jim Fazio designed golf course, jaw-dropping views of the Caribbean, and the small but perfectly formed Villa Monte Carlo Casino. Canouan Island is crescent-shaped slice of paradise, just 3.5 miles x 1.25 miles, with coral and world class diving. Get there before the rush.

#8. Monte Carlo Casino – Monaco

No surprises to find this hotel here. For the ultimate James Bond casino experience, Monaco and the notorious Monte Carlo Casino hit the spot like a dry martini – shaken not stirred. The Casino de Monte-Carlo, and the Hotel de Paris Monte Carlo, are both icons. Perfectly nestled together on the French Riviera, it’s a must for anyone who collects casinos. The stuff of legend. One to see.

#9. Ibiza Gran Hotel – Ibiza

Five stars, Balearic beats, club culture, and the coolest casino in the Mediterranean. The Ibiza Gran Hotel is home to the Casino de Ibiza where ‘gambling, art, and exclusivity’ are combined (apparently). It promises an innovative gastronomic proposal, as well as roulette, slots, blackjack and more. Popular, usually booked, and the after-party hangout for Ibiza’s old money, watch out for a superstar DJ at the baccarat table.

#10. Palms Casino Resort – Las Vegas

We started in Las Vegas. It seems only fitting to finish there. In 2016, the Palms Casino Resort enjoyed a $260 million revamp. It’s stylish, contemporary, cool, and home to the world’s most expensive hotel suite. Damien Hirst has his design stamp all over it, A-listers are two a penny, and the casino is one of the best in Sin City. Save up and go.

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