For the past 20 years, billions of pounds have been invested into the integrated resorts model, with the casino industry reinventing itself around entertainment for every taste.
Integration, broad appeal, and sheer scale are what define luxury integrated resorts and casinos (IRC), which differentiate them from past developments. With that in mind, here are five of the most breath-taking luxury IRCs to visit in 2018.
Marina Bay Sands, Singapore
What better place to start with than Marina Bay Sands – raising the bar in terms of IRCs.
Reportedly the most expensive stand-alone integrated resort property ever built, the Marina Bay Sands transformed Singapore’s skyline when it opened its three 55-storey towers in 2010.
Collectively, they house 2,561 suites, over 300 retail stores, and more than 80 restaurants. The towers are crowned by the Sands SkyPark – home to the world’s highest and longest infinity pool. This stunning feature, along with the seemingly endless range of establishments, made the Marina Bay Sands the most Instagrammed hotel in 2017, ahead of powerhouses like Dubai’s Atlantis The Palm and Las Vegas’s Caesar’s Palace.
As for the casino, the Marina Bay Sands’ gaming area measures over 15,000 square meters over four levels, and is home to 600 tables and 1,500 slot machines.
The 13, Macau
Macau’s Cotai strip has earned itself a global reputation for being the center of VIP gaming, with casinos like The Venetian Macao, Galaxy Macau, and the Wynn Palace. A new development set to open in 2018 is starting to turn heads with exceedingly luxurious plans, even in Macau’s extravagant standards.
The 13 – a $1.6 billion development just off the Cotai strip, promises a “gateway to the refined and remarkable” for the ultra rich and famous. The South China Morning Post reports that the plans include 200 multilevel suites, each with private elevator access, and the world’s largest fleet of custom Rolls-Royce Phantoms for guest transfers.
The casino is smaller and more exclusive, designed for 60 tables and with minimum bets projected at HK $10,000. With regards to the building’s aesthetics, New York Architect Peter Marino has envisioned the IRC to feature a blend of 17th-century French Renaissance and Baroque décor.
The Cosmopolitan, Las Vegas
Although the term IRC was coined for the expansive resort hotels of Singapore, the concept dates back to the glitzy landmark developments in Las Vegas. They served as the initial prototypes for the latest IRCs. One major IRC in the Las Vegas strip is the recently refurbished Cosmopolitan.
The Cosmopolitan sets itself apart from the casino hotel archetype embodied by its neighbors. It has bold décor and contemporary, thoughtful design evident in its combination of digital new media art and vintage chandeliers. Guests can enjoy any of the 3,027 spacious hotel rooms, many of which feature a private terrace for stunning views of Las Vegas and beyond. Aside from its casino, 3,200-seat theater, and hundreds of restaurants and stores, PartyPoker states that The Cosmopolitan houses the Marquee nightclub, which is one of the best nightlife venue on the Strip.
City of Dreams, Manila
Located on the Entertainment City gaming strip, the City of Dreams is the third Asian IRC in this list and just one of the many properties that make up Manila’s up-and-coming luxury resort scene. Forbes explains that Manila is poised to compete with Macau and Singapore in the near future, and this would further strengthen Asia’s reputation as the global hub of IRCs.
At more than 15 acres in size, the City of Dreams Manila brings together a diverse collection of entertainment across the globe, including three award-winning hotels, two nightclubs, and world-class performances. It even houses a theme park called DreamPlay, which was built in collaboration with DreamWorks Animation. As for its gaming facilities, the complex is home to 365 tables and 1,680 gaming machines
Monte Carlo Casino
A setting for one of Ian Fleming’s Bond stories and housed in the most iconic building of Monaco, the Monte Carlo Casino is a must-see for any gaming enthusiast. Even at over 150 years old, the grand building, with its imposing facade and lavishly decorated interiors, is a breath-taking work of art largely thanks to its golden Beaux Arts architectural style.
The casino offers a range of European and American games, along with an assortment of slot machines in its public and private rooms. In addition to the gaming facilities, the complex is also home to a theatre, various upscale restaurants, luxurious gardens, and a waterfall. As one of Europe’s very few resort complexes of its scale, the Monte Carlo Casino is truly a unique entertainment complex with the charm of French design and grace.