Risk-taking can be exhilarating, and nowhere is it more thrilling than at the gaming tables of a glitzy casino, where the cards are dealt expertly, the cocktails are delivered non-stop and the fever of winning runs high. These days, with folks spending more on gambling than they do on movie-going, casinos have to be able to compete with the latest facilities, the hottest dining venues, the best entertainment, the most luxurious spas and exclusive high-end fashion outlets. High rollers will be delighted to discover that these, our top ten picks for the best casino hotels in the world, fulfill those requirements beautifully.
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
Opened in 2003 as the first new hotel in a dozen years in Atlantic City, the Borgata is 2,000 rooms and suites of pure Italian style. Here you’ll find A-list entertainers like Gwen Stefani and Aerosmith, top-notch restaurateurs like Bobby Flay and Wolfgang Puck, and the 54,000-square-foot Spa Toccare. But the action centers around the 161,000-square-foot casino, where you’ll be wowed by the 4,000 slots and 200 table games of poker, blackjack, roulette, Baccarat, Pai Gow and more.
Bellagio Hotel & Casino
|You’ll want for nothing at this grand-scale destination hotel, where elegance sets the hospitality stage starting with its lovely fountains. Cirque du Soleil’s “O” enthralls those seeking live entertainment, while fine dining includes Le Cirque and Michael Mina (among others). For the latest in haute couture, stroll the hotel’s Via Bellagio to see what Giorgio, Coco, Christian and Yves have in store for you. Golfing privileges await at the nearby Tom Fazio-designed Shadow Creek—and lest we forget, there are plenty of table games, slots, a poker room, and Sportsbook and Racebook wagering. |
The Reef Hotel Casino
In the contemporary city of Cairns, the gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, resides this modern casino hotel with tropical touches. Suites are airy and bright with windows for walls that provide amazing ocean views. The huge, loft-style casino is contained within a beautiful stained-glass rotunda. The added specialty here is guests’ opportunity to explore the wider Tropical North Queensland regions, the World Heritage Daintree rainforest, the famed reef and the outback.
|This larger-than-life island resort, with a design theme inspired by the mythical lost city of Atlantis, has it all—six different lodging complexes, a seven-acre lagoon and fine dining venues highlighted by Nobu and Mesa Grill. The resort’s new Aquaventure tropical waterscape—the world’s largest—features a mile-long river ride with high intensity rapids and wave surges. At the state-of-the-art Dolphin Cay marine habitat, guests can interact with the gentle sea creatures. And whenever you want, playtime goes on 24/7 at the Caribbean’s biggest casino. |
The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan Hotel, Spa & Casino
Guests can court Lady Luck in style at The Ritz-Carlton, San Juan—the first casino in The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. In the elegant gaming parlor, which has a palpable old-world feel, you’ll find more than 300 slot machines and traditional table games for enjoying blackjack, roulette and Caribbean stud poker. Traditionally-styled rooms and suites feature Bulgari bath amenities and Frette linens, and during the day you can revive with a soothing spa session or beach massage.
Gambling has been big business in the Chinese colony of Macau since 1937—but Western gaming has become big only as of 2002, when the government’s monopoly ended. Today, the Asian Las Vegas is home to the lavish Wynn Macau. Opened in 2006, the resort boasts a luxury hotel, an array of restaurants and designer shops, plus a “performance” lake. In the 100,000-square-foot casino, you can lose yourself in more ways than one among the 200-plus table games and 375 slot machines.
Evian Royal Resort
With two hotels, three spas, one championship golf course (site of the prestigious annual Evian Royal Open women’s tournament), this encompassing resort at the foot of the Alps is one of Europe’s best. The casino’s wildly exotic, African interiors provide a seductive backdrop to French and English roulette, blackjack and Punto Banco (similar to Baccarat), while nearly 300 of the latest slot machines—slant top, video poker, and progressives—will keep you riding high and raring to hit that jackpot.
Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort
A little bit of cool settled over provincial Monte Carlo when the Monte Carlo Bay Hotel & Resort opened in 2005. This innovative property, set on four garden acres at the sea’s edge, has a sand-bottom lagoon with a solarium, an elegant indoor swimming pool and acclaimed fine dining. The casino’s ultra-contemporary design and feel will get you in the mood to go head-to-head with the one-armed bandits—whose “ticket-in/ticket-out” technology is unique in Southern Europe.
Mövenpick Hotel & Casino Malabata
Evoking images of dark, smoke-filled dens of intrigue populated by a fascinating demimonde, Tangier lies at the crossroads of Europe and Africa. Here, overlooking the Strait of Gibraltar, this beachside hotel in the Malabata area boasts one of the largest casinos on the continent. After a night of gaming at your choice of 200 slot machines, on the executive floor or at 30 gaming tables, awaken to explore the city’s narrow stone streets, souks, famed gardens and the vibrant Grand Socco market square.
Hotel Algarve Casino
Portugal’s first casino hotel, this discriminating coastal resort is set on one of the area’s most resplendent beaches. Guests here will enjoy a taste of Vegas, including nightly stage extravaganzas at the Aladino supper club, in a Mediterranean atmosphere. The gaming is diverse with 336 slot machines and table games of blackjack, American and French roulette, Portuguese dice and poker. And for those who like to come out and play during the day, nearly two dozen championship golf courses are waiting.
(Updated: 03/27/13 CT)