Those fortuitous enough to have stayed at a casino resort before will know just how fantastic a holiday destination they are. For those who haven’t had the privilege, know that casino resorts are not just arenas for gambling; they are also places of sheer opulence and offer VIP services that no other holiday resort can lay claim to.
Listed below are the five best casino travel destinations in Europe.
Monte Carlo Casino (Monaco)
The most iconic casino in Europe and arguably the world, Monte Carlo is synonymous with glamour. Originally completed in 1863, the building underwent a complete overhaul in in 1878; the updated façade still takes center stage now, while the gardens in front of the lobby really epitomize beauty. The casino itself has been used in various Hollywood films, such as Ocean’s Twelve and In Time and has served as the inspiration for the fictional “Royale-Les-Eaux” resort used in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale.
Adjacent to the casino you will find the Hôtel de Paris, which can easily stand alone from the casino. For those who love haute casino gourmet, the Le Louis XV restaurant located within the complex is a huge pull. The three-Michelin-starred restaurant, the highest rating any restaurant can achieve, is run by the gastronomic expert that is Alain Ducasse. With 21 Michelin accolades to his name, Ducasse is second only to Joël Robuchon in the list of culinary heavyweights. For a culinary experience like none other, the Monte Carlo Casino is the place for you.
With Monaco being the playground of the rich and famous, there are plenty of things to check out in the principality, most notably the marina, which houses yachts the size of tower blocks.
The Monte Carlo Casino, and Monaco as a whole, really offers a unique experience that you will find impossible not to enjoy.
Lopesan Costa Meloneras (Spain)
Of all thecasino destinations Europe has to offer, Lopesan Costa Meloneras came out as number one in the latest World Travel Awards. Located in the Spanish island of Gran Canaria, the resort caters to those who enjoy the warmer climes; the short walk from the idyllic sandy beaches is a huge incentive.
Besides the casino, which should saturate even the most ardent of gamblers’ tastes, the resort is located right near two golf courses, Lopesan Meloneras and Maspalomas, both of which are rated in the upper echelon of courses worldwide.
The clear blue pools are just as enticing as the Atlantic Ocean, which laps at the shore just in front of you. The resort also offer a cinema, nightclub, gym, library and a nudist solarium and terrace, meaning that all bases are covered.
For a sunshine break, the average temperature in the summer months is a toasty 26.1° C. The Lopesan Costa Meloneras is your mecca, a gambling oasis in Spanish paradise.
Casino Baden-Baden (Germany)
Baden-Baden first came to the attention of the British public after the England national football team based themselves there for the 2006 World Cup. However, to the landed gentry of Europe, Baden-Baden had been their best-kept secret, with many venturing to the Southern German town for nearly two centuries.
With a history dating back to the earliest parts of the 19th century, Casino Baden-Baden is actually older than the Monte Carlo Casino, and like its Monegasque counterpart it is a place of exquisite beauty.
The casino really takes you back in time. With walls filled with extravagant artwork, sublime cornices everywhere you turn, and tables and chairs carved from the finest wood, there is a real sense of vivacity and lavishness here. The casino has aged splendidly with time and gives you a feeling of being in a time warp, as if you were gambling 150 years ago.
The compound in Baden-Baden is very much a casino but alongside it you also have the world-renowned spa facilities, which are just as old as the casino itself and just as much of a draw. Indeed, the mineral baths are something to behold!
A place of old-school casino elegance mixed with antiquity, Baden-Baden really is a place like none other.
Casino St. Moritz (Switzerland)
Located in the Engadin Valley in the Swiss Alps, Casino St. Moritz has some of the most picturesque panoramic views available – imagine the Sound of Music x10. It is the home of a vibrant and splendid casino that is always busy with both tourists and natives.
Most casino resorts are at their best in the height of summer, but St. Moritz is at its finest in winter. Due to its location, Casino St. Moritz is the perfect place for those who love nothing more than to ski. With 200km of cross-country trails and endless manicured slopes it is a paradise for any skier. Snowkiting on Lake Silvaplana and hang-gliding over the Engadin plateau are also mesmerising experiences. When the snow melts in the summer it becomes the perfect spot for hikers and mountain bikers.
It is this eclectic mix of sport and glamour that makes St. Moritz an incomparable casino resort destination. After a hard day on the slopes there is nothing better than a night of partying at the casino. A day of skiing clears up any lingering hangover.
Westin Dragonara (Malta)
Many would not name Malta when thinking about vacation destinations with casinos but the Westin Dragonara surely puts the tiny island nation on the map.
The casino is nothing short of magnificent. Situated in the 19th-century seaboard palace of Marquis Scicluna, the casino boasts unspoiled views out onto the Mediterranean Sea. The casino originally opened in 1964 but underwent a complete revamp in 2010, bringing it up to spec with the modernised casinos we see today. As a bonus, they offer free snacks and refreshments to all gamers.
The hotel itself really does give you that five-star service. Some of the pricier rooms even come with a butler! With private beaches and terraces overlooking the majestic Med, it is a place that leaves many awestruck and it is this proximity to the sea that is the overall redeeming characteristic of this resort. The sea itself is perfect for those wanting to dive, experienced or novice.
For a relaxing, private casino experience, Malta is your calling, giving you ample time and energy to enjoy fun and games both inside and outside of the casino complex.
So that's the rundown of some of Europe's best land-based casinos. If, however, you're looking for top-notch European opulence and splendor without leaving the comfort of your home, just visit Europaplay and you'll instantly feel 10x more luxurious!