For holidaymakers looking for an all-in-one experience, it can be hard to compete with a casino resort. Much like cruises (though without as many of the pandemic period adjustments plaguing cruise lines, like lower capacity and pre-sail testing), casino resorts boast spas, pools, bars, and live entertainment. Accordingly, it’s not a stretch to say that these resorts can offer vacations about as relaxing or riveting –– or just flat-out indulgent –– as any customer or traveler desires.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some helpful tips for how to get the most out of your to one of these larger-than-life properties (wherever it may be in the world).
1. Time your visit
Casino hotels have always been famous for hosting big shows, which is why it’s a good idea to check schedules and time your visit (or vacation). And fear not: While the Rat Pack are no longer with us, the entertainment offerings at casinos have only ramped up. Beyond the renowned residencies of Las Vegas, wherein artists such as Celine Dion, Katy Perry, and Lady Gaga will play for a block of weeks at a time, touring musical acts and comedians will also take advantage of casino theaters and book tour events around the world. On the other end of the U.S. from Las Vegas, Atlantic City is playing host to acts as diverse as Nelly, Sting, and Randy Rainbow this spring. And across major casinos in Europe and Southeast Asia, there tend to be wonderful in-house shows involving everything from local comedy acts to national symphonies. In these cases you don’t need to set up a trip for a particular time of year, but you’ll want to check on the precise schedule in advance.
2. Bring your appetite
After the actual casino games themselves, these resorts and their surrounding areas are now arguably most famous as dining destinations, with celebrity chefs flocking to establish restaurants in venues from Vegas to Macau. Gordon Ramsay has an outpost of his TV sensation Hell’s Kitchen restaurants at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, and the iconic Bellagio offers seafood from Michael Mina, steaks from Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and Californian cuisine in front of the famous fountains at Wolfgang Puck’s Spago (where the elegant interior design and sensational menu match the view). Meanwhile, at Singapore’s Resorts World Sentosa, guests at the Ocean Restaurant enjoy fish dishes in a dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to manta rays and Indo-pacific bottlenose dolphins, making for Southeast Asia’s first underwater aquarium culinary experience.
These examples barely scratch the surface, but you get the idea: Casino resorts around the world have prioritized incredible dining experiences. It’s best to visit hungry and ready to enjoy one!
3. Hit the poker room
For some it’s the main draw of a casino resort vacation and for others it’s a pleasant way to while away a few of a holiday’s evenings. Whatever the case may be for you though, the fact remains that checking out a real poker room in a major casino can still be one of the best parts of your visit.
With that said, it’s also important to remember that poker in a real casino involves some specific considerations. First and foremost, it’s important not to be overawed. It may seem like a big step up from a friendly game at home or on your favorite app –– particularly if you’re in the belly of a towering resort like the Venetian Macau or the Aria in Vegas –– but the game remains the same! It’s also important to take your time. Live poker is much slower than its online version; there’s no ticking clock to make a move (which should actually help you to stay calm and adjust to the live setting). Finally, remember also to make sure you’re clear on the rules before sitting down. Different tables offer different varieties of poker, specific buy-ins and betting limits, and even card distinctions (like whether Aces are high or low). Provided you keep all of this in mind though, poker at a real casino resort is a thrill to experience.
4. Seek out unique attractions
While the poker rooms and other gaming offerings are still without a doubt among casinos resorts’ main attractions, it’s also important to note that these venues now strive to offer additional types of entertainment. In many cases, in fact, they have become hotbeds for experiences and attractions many guests won’t have enjoyed elsewhere before.
Take South Africa’s famed Sun City Resort, for example: Just seven kilometers from the main property, you can take a guided tour or self-drive through the bush to see elephants, giraffes and lions in their natural habitat. Or consider Monaco’s celebrated Fairmont Casino Monte Carlo, where you can enjoy excursions into Cannes and Nice, as well as full-day journeys over the border to the Italian Riviera. And then there are experiences like the Max Action Arena at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno (a less glamorous alternative to Las Vegas in Nevada). This far more contained experience still offers something wonderful and original –– specifically, the chance to enjoy free-roaming virtual reality games, exploring whole new worlds without ever leaving Nevada.
5. Make time for me time
Last but not least, remember to reserve some “me time,” not just in the form of a lengthy poker session or a late-night cocktail at a high-end restaurant, but through a bit of good old-fashioned pampering. Alongside the lights, noise, and constant action, major casino resorts also tend to offer world-class spas and relaxing treatments, and it’s a shame not to take advantage.
In Singapore, hands are healing at Resorts World Sentosa, where ESPA boasts the country’s first Turkish hammam, set in 10,000 square feet of landscaped tropical gardens and pools. The Las Vegas Venetian, meanwhile, offers hydro spa, steam, and experiential rain rooms to help revitalize visitors from the dusty desert heat. And gamers at the Wynn Macau have the choice of 10 massage therapies and a unique bio-rhythms treatment program. Once again these are only a few examples, but they speak to the incredible opportunities you have, at these resorts, to step away from the poker tables and celebrity chef haunts and into some of the most relaxing experiences of your life.
All around the world, casino resorts offer some of the most dynamic and enjoyable experiences you can find. Whether you’re in it for a few games of poker and a memorable meal, a great concert before a tour of a nearby attraction, or just an opportunity to pamper yourself, you’re unlikely to be disappointed by venues like these.