Even as many of us tighten our belts, there is still a hunger out there for holidays focused on gambling. Whether you’re gorging on the glitz and gaudiness of the casino, partial to a punt or simply enjoy the spectacle of such places, there is somewhere out there ready to satisfy those urges. Fortunately, what happens in Vegas (disclaimer: other cities exist) rarely actually stays there, and we’ve got the inside scoop on the best places to roll the dice. These are those; our top 5 IDEAL travel destinations for casinos.
We couldn’t start anywhere else could we? There’s little doubt that Vegas is the world’s most Marmite destination. For some, it’s a hedonistic thrill ride, full of frolics and frivolity, of loose morals there and tight lips and purses thereafter. Others find the opulence offensive, the gaudiness galling. But Viva Las Vegas, as the old song celebrates. And approached with the gung ho, anything goes attitude which Elvis extolled, the City of Sin can provide thrills like other. It’s up to you to decide if those thrills are your thing. If they are, the casino options are endless, from high end (Caesar’s Palace, MGM Grand…you know the drill) to off-the-strip, stripped back and basic. And should you be looking for online casino games to help you get ready for the highs of Vegas, then Best Slots have a range of slot games for you to choose from.
Vegas’ younger sibling, a seven hour drive north to the opposite side of Nevada state, doesn’t live in the shadow of the City of Sin’s towering skyscrapers. Oh no, Reno has very much carved out its own niche. Indeed, the Biggest Little City in the World has a pretty impressive ace up its sleeve; the spectacular Lake Tahoe, a huge freshwater lake surrounded by mountains, with the opportunity for swimming, skiing, hiking and so much more. Anyway, back to the city. Downtown Reno is built on the gambling industry, boasting 20 casinos, with the Grand Sierra Resort and the Silver Legacy Resort being the most popular. In recent years, the city centre has undergone something of a renaissance, with extensive shopping options added and a more firm focus on ‘family’ fun.
It shouldn’t come as any surprise that the world’s most expensive city, home to people willing to splash the cash with abandon, is also home to some pretty imposing casinos. Boasting one of the world’s largest Swarovski crystal chandeliers, a peep in the Marina Bay Sands’ casino is perhaps the definitive way to experience the Lion City’s famed opulent flourishes. Even though the casino is the world’s second most expensive to construct (the MGM Grand taking the crown), you don’t actually have to gamble to appreciate the spectacle. There’s gondola rides, an infinity pool and underground labyrinth to keep you occupied. If you’re intent on a round of roulette or blackjack, ask for a list of minimum bets. And on the sides of the shop floor, you can get free water, tea, coffee and soda. Result.
Though there are four casinos in Monte Carlo, everybody is here for the big one; Monte Carlo Casino, a huge gambling and entertainment complex which is so much more than just a place for bets. It’s so iconic, in fact, that the Royale-Les-Eaux Casino in famous Bond flick ‘Casino Royale’ is based on Monte Carlo’s grandest structure. Unlike many casinos desperate to lure you in with offers of freebies and entertainment, MCC retains a more exclusive air; there’s an entry fee and further charges to gain access to private rooms. There’s also a vague, open-to-interpretation dress code of ‘proper attire’; don’t expect open arms if yours are exposed, or you’re in shorts or flip flops. Jackets are expected in the evening. Iconic? Yes. Inclusive? Perhaps not.
A destination declared ‘The Las Vegas of the East’ certainly has a lot to live up to. Just a 55 minute ferry ride from Hong Kong, this once calm city is in danger of outgrowing its older sibling, with the glitz, glamour and good times turned up to 11 and a sense of fanfare at the forefront of everything the area has to offer. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t culture and curiosity to be found away from the casinos, making it a great vacation for those who want a little more from their trip than blowing bucks. Indeed, the old town is still full of charm and grace and the food culture is incredible. Check out our IDEAL tips on things to do in Macau over here.