Bucket List Casinos Around the World
Casinos have never been known for their restraint. Showplaces of over-the top excess, casinos are all about the wow-factor, from dancing fountains and eye-catching light displays, to priceless artwork collections and lavish décor. Here are some (not all of them in Las Vegas) of the most noteworthy casinos around the globe, places worth exploring even if gambling is not on your to-do list.
Mohegan Sun features three unique casinos in one location. Yes, three. Highlights include a state-of-the-art poker room, more than 300 table games, and a staggering 5,000 slot machines. The property also includes a 34-story, 1,200-room luxury hotel, two spas, a golf course, and three entertainment venues. There's also a new VIP hotel experience, Aspire, which includes an exclusive restaurant, butler service and more.
Don't miss the casino's towering glass sculpture by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly titled "River Blue." A 10,000-pound masterpiece, the sculpture is made up of thousands of richly colored glass components (2,500 in all) that were hand-blown by a team of artisans. The distinctive cobalt blue, silver, and clear glass sculpture, measuring 14 feet wide, soars 25 feet above visitors.
It should go without saying that a casino created to give guests a taste of what life was like during the Roman Empire is going to be over the top. Caesars is a sprawling complex of Roman-themed buildings filled with marble reproductions of classical statuary. There's also a massive spa that includes Roman baths, a pool area surrounded by mosaics and classical architecture, and a 4,500-square-foot, 24-hour poker room.
The Fall of Atlantis show inside the Forum Shops at Caesars is an animatronic display of fire, water and nine-foot-tall talking statues. The free show includes heat and sound waves and takes place every hour on the hour. There's also a 50,000-gallon aquarium nearby featuring more than 300 saltwater fish.
Located in Southern California's wine country, Pechanga has the largest casino floor on the West Coast with 200,000 square feet of space featuring more than 4,500 slot machines, 154 table games, a non-smoking poker room, and an off-track betting parlor. There's also a 700-seat bingo hall. The resort property also includes 1,090 guest rooms and suites, a two-level spa with a fitness center, and 20 restaurants and bars.
One of the standout features of Pechanga is The Cove pool complex, which includes four main pools, three hot tubs, two twisty water slides, a splash pad, and 27 cabanas. The main pool covers 7,500 square feet and features 18 underwater chairs at the swim-up bar.
With 50,000 square meters of gaming space, The Venetian Macao claims to be the largest casino in the world. It offers more than 500 table games, over 2,000 slot machines and electronic gaming tables, and unique games not found anywhere else. There's also more than 325 stores onsite, in case you need a little retail therapy.
Like nearly any Venetian property, one of the main highlights here is likely a gondola ride down the canals of the Shoppes of the Venetian. A gondolier will serenade you during the ride and at the end, there's a souvenir photo to take home. Can't make it to China? The Venetian in Las Vegas offers the same experience.
Known for its glitz, Sun City Casino is considered among gamblers to be one of the top casinos in the world. Recently refurbished, the casino features hundreds of slot machines and more than 40 table games. There are also nightclubs and two 18-hole golf courses designed by Gary Player.
The Maze of the Lost City is the largest permanent maze in the Southern Hemisphere. Made of artificial stone and wood, it was designed to create the illusion of an ancient archaeological discovery. The maze is reached via a 100-meter long suspension bridge. When evening hits, flaming torches light the maze's paths.
Billed as the largest resort casino in North America, Foxwoods is far more than a mere casino (though there are seven of them onsite). It also encompasses hotels, restaurants, spas, an award-winning golf course, state-of-the-art theaters, and shopping.
Foxwoods recently added new attractions for adventure seekers. During spring and summer, visitors can "freefall" from ten stories up on their Thrill Tower or glide along the HighFlyer Zipline at 350 feet in the air, reaching speeds up to 60-mile per hour. The HighFlyer Zipline launches guests from the top of the 33 story Fox Tower hotel and connects them to the Mashantucket Pequot & Research Center nearly one mile away.
Famous for the Fountains of Bellagio water show in front of the hotel, the Bellagio is one of Sin City's legendary casino properties. The resort is known for the Bellagio Conservatory and Botanical Garden, a 14,000-square-foot space decorated by horticulturalists and designers each season. The casino is equally noteworthy, with plenty of table games, slots, and private gaming rooms.
The Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art is easily one of the property's must-see stops. The space features work from the world's top artists in partnership with various museums and foundations. Past exhibits have included "Picasso: Creatures and Creativity," "Fabergé Revealed," and "Warhol Out West."
Casino Baden-Baden is known for its elegance and lavish arcades and ceremonial halls. Located in a region of the Black Forest that was once the center of Europe's high-society bathing and spa culture, the casino is reminiscent of a French royal palace and attracts visitors who come just to see its design. The casino includes slot machines, poker, roulette, blackjack, and more amid a historic setting.
The guided tours of the building itself are really the must-see here. The experience includes taking in the art of the Austrian salon, the oriental styled winter garden, and the red room, which is based on the Fontainebleau at Versailles.
The casino at the Wynn is just one of the reasons to visit this Las Vegas attraction. Yes, there are plenty of slots here and poker for high-rollers, but it's the amenities and décor at the Wynn that have defined this sprawling casino resort. There are two Forbes Travel Guide Five-Star spas onsite, luxury shopping, and multiple stunning pools.
With a 40-foot waterfall, a pine-topped mountain, and nightly shows involving more than 4,000 lights and puppetry, the Lake of Dreams is easily one of the top sights at Wynn Las Vegas. The show can be taken in from the Parasol Down bar or the show terrace, where there's a water's edge view. It's also visible from two of the casino's restaurants — Lakeside and also SW Steakhouse.
Located on a lush tropical island with a two-mile white sand beach, Atlantis is a casino that's become known for far more than the gaming. The casino spans a seven-acre lagoon and features 85 gaming tables including baccarat, craps, blackjack, and high-roller gaming. There are also more than 700 slot machines. Beyond the casino is a sprawling resort with thousands of rooms, a 140-acre waterscape, a nightclub, restaurants, and a spa.
The marine habitats at Atlantis are among the top attractions. The collection of habitats and marine exhibits, including lagoons, caves, coral formations, and underwater ruins showcase exotic marine life ranging from sharks to rays, barracuda, piranha, eels, and even endangered alligator gar.
The Venetian wows visitors with hand-painted frescoes, all-suite accommodations, an indoor canal, and luxury shopping. For the gamblers, there are more than 225 games on the casino floor and a high-limit salon. The resort also offers award-winning restaurants and Canyon Ranch Spa, arguably one of Las Vegas' best spas.
While there are many jaw-dropping sights in The Venetian, don't miss taking in the Grand Colonnade Lobby. The centerpiece of the space is the Armillary Sphere, designed to be a reminder of the Renaissance spirit. Be sure to look up and take in the frescoed ceiling as well.
A sprawling gaming and entertainment complex, the Resorts World Casino offers one of the world's newest gaming halls filled with 2,400 gaming machines and 500 table options. The casino itself is 94,000-square-feet. There are also numerous hotels onsite, more than two dozen restaurants, and endless entertainment options.
The entertainment options beyond the casino are the show stoppers at this resort. The Resorts World Sentosa complex includes Universal Studios Singapore, Marine Life Park, and The Maritime Experiential Museum. Don't miss Adventure Cove Waterpark with its high-speed waterslides, lazy river, and coral reef with more than 20,000 tropical fish.
James Bond creator Ian Fleming was thinking about Le Casino de Monte-Carlo when he wrote his first book about the legendary spy, and scenes from some of the subsequent Bond movies were filmed on-site. This casino on the French Riviera is all about lavish décor and over-the-top luxury. Dating back to the 1850s, the casino is housed in what's described as one of the most iconic Belle Epoque buildings in Monaco.
Sculptures, frescoes, mirrors, and ornate fixtures decorate the lavish rooms of this casino, making wandering around and taking it all in the must-do here. Be sure to visit the terrace gaming area overlooking the sea to enjoy the view, the people watching and the atmosphere.
While it's not exactly one of the largest casinos in the world, Trilenium is one of the largest in South America. There are more than 1,800 slot machines here and 74 gaming tables. The casino also includes a variety of gastronomic experiences and live shows.
While not a visually stunning feature, the restaurants at Trilenium stand out for regularly receive notable reviews for being the best culinary offerings in Tigre province. Among the options are Buffet Trilenium, Tamiz Bar, Tamiz Resto Bar and also Optimus Salon.
Everyone from The Rolling Stones to Bon Jovi and Paul McCartney have performed at the recently renovated Hard Rock Hotel & Casino. The 60,000 square feet of casino space offer high-limit gambling and Asian gaming. There's also a 4.8-acre tropical pool paradise that was voted the best hotel pool by USA Today in 2015.
Perhaps the most unique feature of Hard Rock is its unparalleled memorabilia collection. There are items on display from Lady Gaga, Tupac Shakur, Imagine Dragons, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, among countless others. The memorabilia is located throughout the casino floor.
Fresh-off a just completed seven-year renovation and expansion, Viejas has secured its place as one of California's top resort casinos with a new 1900-square foot center bar and a 15,415-square-foot high limit gaming area. Viejas Casino also has the adults-only Willows Hotel & Spa. Long before any of the renovations, the Forbes Travel Guide four-star property already offered thousands of slot machines, table games, a bingo room and an off-track betting facility.
Viejas' new 360-degree center bar includes 50 seats with gaming machines at each seat and more than one dozen 65-inch televisions wrapping around the entire space plus a 24-hour food menu. The geometric shapes and bright colors of the space are designed to make the bar the centerpiece of Viejas.
Named one of the top off-strip casinos by CNN, Red Rock is the first billion-dollar resort in the region. The property offers a spa, pool, bars, a bowling alley, a bingo hall, and a movie theater. The state-of-the art casino floor features more than 2,700 slot machines and video poker machines, too.
Red Rock's Sandbar Pool is one of its most visually stunning spaces. Spread over more than three acres, the pool area includes 19 private cabanas, a poolside café, and even poolside gaming tables including blackjack.
Mandalay Bay has been featured in the movie "Ocean's Thirteen" and television series "CSI." The luxe property, best known for its golden exterior, features a casino offering more than 1,200 slot and video poker machines, including high-limit slots and progressive slots. The Shark Reef Aquarium, home to more than 2,000 animals, is another one of Mandalay Bay's over-the-top features.
Named by Trip Advisor as one of the best pools in the country, the famed beach at Mandalay Bay includes 2,700 tons of real sand and a 1.6 million-gallon wave pool, 100 cabanas, day beds, bungalows, and personalized villas.
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