Archive for the ‘ Reviews ’ Category

Asia Baby!!

Think grandeur, think architectural genius, think OTT . . . think the Wynn Macau Casino, China! That’s where I was off to next.

Dubbed as Steve Wynn’s, “best work from an architectural point of view” and the first Las Vegas style resort to hit Asia, I just had to go and check it all out for myself.

On arrival, I was stunned by what lay before me. Welcomed by the infamous “Performance Lake”, where lofty plumes of water dance through the air to classical and popular music and fire spits, I was left in awe.

A warm host of staff awaited my arrival, showing me to my deluxe suite on the top floor, where I would rest before exploring the resort further the next day.

After a stunning continental breakfast the following morning, I did my best to lure myself away from the shopping promenade (where you will find all the big names), and keep my sole focus on the casino!

Spanning 100,000 square foot of gaming floor, it boasts 212 table games and 375 slot machines. I was in for a treat.

The gaming experience was excellent, with an atmosphere to rival the best I’d ever encountered. It combined the best of Las Vegas style (modeled on the original Wynn Casino), with the envied luxury of Macau.

After my usual winning streak, and showing the locals how it was done Casino Guy style, I decided to dine in the breath taking, “99 Noodles” restaurant. 99 Noodles, is just one of the many fine dining experiences you can enjoy within the resort, specializing in Chinese regional hand-pulled and cut noodle dishes, in a fanciful Chinoisene – inspired environment.

Washing dinner down with a few drinks from Bar Cristal (crowned with a 19th Century antique chandelier), lead to an evening in front of the Moon Jellyfish Aquarium. This enchanting display of underwater magic is home to 1,000 Moon Jellyfish, playfully swimming in one of the largest display tanks of its kind. It’s a must see for anyone who ever visits the resort.

Even though it was only a short trip, my time at the Wynn Macau, China was a truly enjoyable one. Steve Wynn has created luxury that knows no bounds. Asia is the perfect backdrop for this timeless casino resort, and one that I will certainly be making a return journey to.

Casino Guy Tour Review

Being a universal man of mystery and adventure doesn’t come without its costs – women in every city, millions in the bank, air miles to rival Sir Richard Branson’s, and above all a wealth of knowledge on the world’s casino hotspots.

My travels have seen me scour the globe in search of the ultimate gambling experience. I’ve gone from the gaming capital of the world, Las Vegas to some of the best-kept secrets in the casino industry – London, Budapest and back.

It is now time to recap and review just what the world has to offer the Casino Guy fans!

My first port-of-call was the MGM Grand, Las Vegas – the land of the high rollers. This casino truly lived up to its “grand” name and set the stakes high for the rest of its casino competitors I had yet to explore. Situated in the heart of the Las Vegas strip, it showcased 170,000 square foot of gaming floor, hosting 2,500 gaming machines and over 130 table poker games.

The MGM Grand is every gambling man’s dream and more, with over 5,000 rooms and 25 restaurants and bars all keenly priced, I often found myself struggling to decide if I’d rather lay up in my sky loft room or venture down to one of the gourmet bistros.

An exemplary casino venture and easily one of my favourites.

 

My next stop was Montenegro for some chill out time beyond the glare of the neon lights. The casino of choice was in the breathtaking Casino Royale Resort – every inch a James Bond destination, or so I thought. It wasn’t long until I was informed of the disappointing reality – that the majority of the casino scenes from the Casino Royal movie were actually shot in Budapest (I had to get there!). So tail between my legs and my momentum down I opted for a few spins of the roulette wheel before retiring to my pent house suite.

 

It wasn’t long until my mojo returned, landing on French soil. Monte Carlo I was coming for you!

Staying in the Hotel De Paris, placed me perfectly within walking distance and in sight of the Casino de Monte Carlo. This casino embodied everything that for me makes a casino special – sophistication, elegance and glamour. The venue is a must see for all visitors as its often highly regarded as the most notable building in the area.

For a casino connoisseur such as myself, the casino de Monte Carlo presents Europe’s most unique and diverse selection of table games and is  the prestigious venue for the annual European Poker Tour Grand Final.

For me Casino De Monte Carlo was right up there with Las Vegas’ MGM Grand, only with a little more style. Everything about it, from its exterior to its diverse gaming options was chic, classy and definitely shaken not stirred, casino royalty at its best.

Next on my to do list was Malta – the Casino di Venezia to be precise. Indeed intrigued and drawn to this destination by my fascination with the city’s recent million dollar speed boat heist, once I got there I was automatically spell bound.

Acting as the host venue for the world’s most renowned poker tournaments, the casino itself is modelled around a traditional Italian palace, reflecting Malta’s diverse culture.

With a strict dress code in place, you will only be welcomed in by the billowing stone columns and exquisite crystal chandeliers if you are sporting the essential dress code requirements.

Split into two levels, the ground floor is dedicated to poker and you will find a range of tables to suit your needs, while the first floor has the more traditional games such as, Trente et Quarante, Blackjack and Punto y Banco to name but a few.

Malta was an excellent stop on my casino tour, with an array of exciting things to see and do.

Moving on I found myself in the thrusts of Las Vegas again or was it Italy? The Venetian Casino is a slice of Italy embedded in the Las Vegas Strip. It was an excellent casino with a diverse range of games and other attractive features.

 

After Las Vegas take two, it was time for a must needed break. I decided to head home, and see what London had to offer. It has often anguished me to reflect that although one of the most affluent cities in the world, London’s casino culture is largely underestimated.

The Casino at the Empire brings a bit of Las Vegas glitz to Leicester Square. Newly opened in 2007, the Empire boasts an impressive 55,000 square foot of gaming space, across two dramatic floors. The casino’s private poker room is the first in London to facilitate 24-hour cash games for up to 100 players and it hosts tournaments of World Scenes Poker,

London’s casinos, particularly the Empire, try hard to facilitate for all players of varying experience and skills – showing dedication to the gamers to provide them with the best gaming experience possible.

After long days of traipsing the 55,000 square foot floor I loved nothing more than to unwind over a bottle of Crystal in the very intimate Icon Bar.

I believe that the London casino scene is one of the world’s best-kept casino secrets and one that deserves recognition on the gambler’s radar.

My final destination proved to be another such secret – Casino Lido in Budapest! A perfect boutique casino without the blinding lights and flashing machines  – I felt at home. The European casino vibe is far more suited to my taste than that of Las Vegas. Glitz and glamour is good but there’s a fine line between sophisticated-chic and walking into an indoor display of the Blackpool illuminations. Budapest strikes this balance in fine style, with the beautiful city offering up equally beautiful casinos.

Casino Lido provides for the most luxurious gaming experience. Its historical setting combined with an exciting selection of games, makes for a delightful and fascinating visit.

They say you should leave the best for last, and in this case I did just that! Casino Lido is a gem amongst casinos and one that definitely deserves a visit.

 

So there you have it folks, I hope you’ve enjoyed my brief recap of my casino ventures. Thanks for joining me on my travels and stay tuned for more of my adventures as I rate and slate the best and worst in the business.

 

It doesn’t matter where; I’ll be there! J.

Europe’s Treasure – Budapest – Casino Lido

Since we last spoke, I have been touring the historic cities of Europe in search of the world’s very best casinos. To be honest I became bored of the big glitzy venues that everyone knows and talks about so much– and generally only because their favorite celebrity has made an appearance there and was pictured in Hello Magazine.

I decided that it was time to find the little unknown treasures of the European casino world. I knew there had to be some beautiful, little boutique gaming places that had not yet been discovered; and it was my time to explore.

My first stop was Budapest – A beautiful city, full of charming pleasures, green parks and historic monumental buildings. Of course, more recently recognized as the home of the 97 year old, Hungarian Nazi, currently on war trial… But we won’t divert our attention to that.

I flew in to the Budapest international airport, ideally located just 15 minutes from the most central locations and 20 from my hotel. My travels had brought me to Budapest following a recommendation from an old pal that I used to go to school with. I had stumbled across him at a recent past pupils dinner at the Eton College. He had recommended that I look in the direction of the Casino Lido – Thought it would be exactly what I was looking for.

Housed in a beautiful art nouveau style palace, the Casino Lido offers the very best of Budapest’s luxury gaming experience. The historical setting combined with an exciting selection of games makes for a delightful and fascinating visit.

On the ground floor as you enter you will be presented with the ‘game hall’ which is filled to the neck with a contemporary mix of gaming machines. If you’re a bit like myself and prefer to roll high, then you’ll much prefer the poker room on the basement level.

One of the greatest attributes of this little casino palace is the magnificent restaurant on the second floor – truly the crown of the resort. Offering a wonderful selection of traditional foods, wines and an atmosphere that is beyond compare.

If you are truly looking for something different on your gaming travels then Budapest is a must. Book yourself into a little boutique hotel on the water and spend some time exploring the Casino Lido. You won’t be disappointed.

Italy in the Heart of Vegas

As I gaze out my window, high up on the 21st floor of the Venetian Hotel, Las Vegas. I find myself engulfed in an outright adult Disneyland experience!Just over three miles from the Mc Carren Airport, It wasn’t long until my chauffeur had me delivered to my latest casino venue. The Venetian resort opened on May 3, 1999 with a flutter of white doves, sounding trumpets and singing gondoliers. It is now among the world’s most renowned casino resorts.

First impressions – possibly one of the most elaborate hotel spectacles in town. I knew it was the right place! Located in the heart of the casino capital of the world, the Venetian had a lot to live up to, especially in the presence of Casino Guy!

Depending on how many Martinis you may have consumed, one would have to be forgiven for believing that they have some how wound up in the streets of Venice. The Venetian recreates most of the cities top landmarks including a portion of St Mark’s Square and the odd canal or two. With impressive attention to detail and security guards dressed in Venetian police uniforms – all that is missing is the distinctive smell that you only find when visiting the long canals of Venice…

The Casino itself is somewhat confusing at first, with poor signage to describe the layout. However, the 112,000 square-foot poker room with lavishly detailed marble floors and hand painted ceilings is certainly something to be admired. From classic games to video poker, the casino has been filled with the very best and industry conosairs will not be disappointed.

After a long but obviously successful day on the casino floor, one was happy to retire to his penthouse suit on the 21st floor. But before I did I was subconsciously drawn to the Venetians Canyon Ranch spa club; the finest hotel spa in town. Here I enjoyed advice from nutritionists and physical therapist while relaxing on one of the many vibrating massage chairs. Night time can be spent at one of the Venetians 18 resturaunts. I recommend Bouchon – Run by America’s top chef Thomas Keller.

Come to The Venetian for a little bit of Italian style in the heart of Vegas!!

Casino di Venezia – Malta

I write this from my hotel room in the very centre of the Mediterranean. Only 93 Kilometers south of Sicily, and not much further from Tunisia. But for those of you who have not yet discovered this tiny archipelago in the very southern waters of Europe; I sip cocktails and admire the stunning view in a place known only as Malta. A haven for the rich as well as being rich in culture and history, Malta expresses the very best of its many cultural influences; with wonderful Italian cuisine and affluent British lifestyle combined.

Curiosity is what really brought me here – following the one million dollar speedboat heist that took place just back at the beginning of February. I couldn’t help my fascination with this Hollywood style episode that has truly bewildered the authorities.

Casino di Venezia was the scene of this intriguing crime and is the home of some of the world’s most renowned poker tournaments; including the European Masters in 2009. My first visit to the region, I was enchanted by the beautiful reconstructed historical palace that the casino is now located within. To describe in more familiar detail, the building is of similar style to what you might see along the Grand Canal in Venice.

Inside, you are greeted with magnificent crystal chandeliers, vintage tapestries and imposing stone columns that line the way to the gaming floors. Dress code is emphasized and a jacket is essential. However, you can understand why as you enter the elegant gaming rooms. The entire ground floor level is dedicated to poker and you will find a range of tables to suit your tastes.  On the first floor there are traditional games located within the great hall; Trente et Quarente, Blackjack and Punto y Banco, to name but a few. The rest of the first floor is divided into four sizeable rooms that house a total of one hundred slot machine games. (They also have one dedicated to non smokers)

The casino itself has no accommodation but does boast a magnificent Panoramic Restaurant located on the second floor and with a terrace overlooking the breath taking Grand Harbor. Here you will be served with excellent cuisine and fantastic service. The restaurant is capable of holding up to 150 patrons and would be an ideal location for a romantic evening for two.

The Casino di Venezia offer some superb offers and partner with a number of five star hotels. For high deposit guests they will provide accommodation, transfers and dinner in their restraint.

Only twenty-five minutes from the international airport and with an array of exciting things to see and do; Malta is certainly one place you should definitely visit soon. When your pockets are filled, check out the Megalithic Temples – some of the oldest freestanding structures in the world. J

Casino de Monte Carlo – What a Wonderful World

My travels this week brought me to the very beautiful French Riviera, a place that fills me with absolute delight every time I visit. Monte Carlo in fact! A place of beauty, glamour and serenity; all wrapped up in one.

My jet landed in Nice’s international airport just shortly after lunchtime on Monday. Thankfully, travel time to Monte Carlo is only 35 minutes by car – and in my case only seven by chopper… But, don’t fret if you haven’t already booked your connection to your hotel, as there will be a swarm of eager taxi men awaiting you at the arrival area.

I had reserved my favorite room at the Hotel De Paris, overlooking the fabulous Mediterranean coastline and only a few steps away from the Casino de Monte Carlo; The home of my very first roulette win and the birthplace of my love for the game. In similar style to Bond, I much prefer the sophistication of this European casino as apposed to the bright lights of the Vegas strip. And of course, no other casino in the world quite serves a Martini like these fine French do…

The Casino de Monte Carlo is highly regarded as the most notable building in the area and includes the Grande Theatre where you will be able to view the most wonderful opera and ballet performances. The Casino itself plays host to the prestigious annual European Poker Tour Grand Final, and is a must see for any enthusiastic punter.  Presenting Europe’s most unique and diverse selection of table games this fine place really does have royal status for a reason. My favorite of the table games has to be the Punto Banco and the Ultimate Texas Hold’em. If you prefer to play on machines, then you will not be disappointed by the array of 1000 games that represents the largest collection in Europe. You have everything from branded to Multiplicateur and fantastic progressive jackpots also.
When visiting the 150-year-old Casino de Monte Carlo, Hotel de Paris really is the perfect destination. The casino itself does not have any accommodation and so this hotel offers you the closest you will find to a full resort experience. Within the hotel itself there are 82 rooms, 74 suites and junior suites, and one presidential suite. You can guess which one I choose… There are also three fantastic restaurants within the hotel, my favorite beingLe Louis XV – Alain Ducasse – A fabulously extravagant restaurant, with the finest French food and wine that you will ever find. However, do be prepared to pay at least €200 per head.

Once you have collected your winnings you may wish to relax in the American Bar, where you will be greeted by a wonderful musical ambience. For the ladies, there are numerous boutiques, salons and amenities available to keep you entertained all day long. And of course the most beautiful spa in the world, Les Thermes Marins de Monte-Carlo is attached directly to the hotel and offers a wonderful range of wellness treatments and fitness programs.

If your pockets are deep, come to Monte Carlo during the Grand Prix weekend and soak up the unforgettable atmosphere; you’ll be sure to play against some real high rollers during that weekend.

A wonderful week in a wonderful place… I so look forward to my next visit here soon…  J

James Bond’s Casino Royale, Montenegro

Having endured a long three months of globe trotting between some of the world’s most frantic business havens, I decided it was time to retreat to the black mountains just east of Croatia (commonly known as Montenegro) for some chill out – me time.

Awaiting to board my flight in Miami and surrounded by a swarm of wailing children, hassled mothers and livid fathers – I decided to return to my latest read and the one that had, unintentionally, directed me to my next vacation destination. Just before the call came for all passengers to board, I was captivated by the passages describing how James himself departed for Montenegro from exactly the same airport as I was seated in at that very moment; A mere coincidence or a mission to earn my license to kill? My mind become entranced by visions of a beautiful Vesper Lynd awaiting my arrival in Budva… “Excuse me sir, your plane is about to leave”. Luckily the kind airline lady rattled my daydream and ensured that I did not miss my flight.

I landed in Tivat Airport after a difficult twelve hours of restless sleep and continued turbulence. Thankfully, my transfer to the hotel was a short one and I was able to head straight for my bed to catch up on some greatly needed ‘dream time’.

The Splendid Casino Royale Resort is located on the edge of the Adriatic Sea in Becici. It boasts a sophisticated charm, complimented by elegant furnishings and a luxurious décor throughout. This truly is an extravagant resort where you will feel like nothing less than King. However, if like me, you had visions of a glorious casino with high-flyer poker rooms and elegantly dressed Russian ladies betting millions at a time, you may be disappointed. It turns out that you actually should have gone to Budapest… Strange, I know! But, apparently the majority of casino scenes from the Casino Royale movie were shot in Budapest…

A casino does exist at this resort but it really is nothing to write home about. I certainly wasn’t going to be earning my double ‘0’ status at this casino resort. A selection of gaming machines and tables are available to play from 5am onwards, but I honestly was quite disappointed by the fact that my fantasies of conquering Le Chiffre across the poker tables, did not come true.  Ill have to wait until Budapest…

Despite my disappointment at the lack of casino facilities, I did enjoy my stay at the Splendid Casino Royale Resort. After all… it’s probably best that I try not to gamble while on vacation. J

(Source: montenegrostars.com)