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We like to keep it fun but informative here at HotelChatter so our series, What is This?, is devoted to odd-looking items in hotels that upon first glance look as if they serve only a decorative purpose. But everything happens for a reason, right? And we're here to tell you what these things really do.
But we had to stop and do a double take while wandering around the lobby at Trump Taj Mahal the other day. At the bottom of the escalators, right next to the Baccarat Pit, we spotted what appeared to be a giant children's playpen—then we remembered where we were, and dismissed that thought. Bright, shiny beach balls scattered around a life-size tic-tac-toe board.
But who was playing? Were we allowed to jump in? What the heck was this thing anyway?
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Now, it's The Borgata's turn to crank up the volume, as the casino hotel's big 10th anniversary is fast approaching, and you can bet (heh) they're going out of their way to let you know about it.
As if Trump Panama didn't already have enough going on (the one-year-old hotel has quickly become a top destination in Panama City, and there are reports its success has inspired other Trump properties throughout Latin America), it's been revealed that the 364-room hotel is finally set to add a long-awaited 75,000 sq ft casino to the mezzanine level.
A private gaming room will also be built on the 66th floor, with 65th floor suites reserved for high-rollers.
Technically, we've known about the casino as long as we've known about the hotel itself, but back in 2011, it was made pretty clear that the latter would open first. Now, a year later, things are moving right along, and a press release is offering a mid-2014 opening date for the casino. Which ought to give you plenty of time to save those slote machine pennies and nickels.
That is, unless the Mayan apocalypse wipes us out first.
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It's still not clear whether the mega-resort, uh, Resorts World Miami will get its casino or not. Developers, the Malaysian firm Genting Malaysia Berhad, certainly hope so. Florida lawmakers, not so much.
But that doesn't mean Genting is sitting around wringing its hands over the ultimate decision. The company is moving right along--just across the water to Bimini Bay in the Bahamas.
That's right; if you can't get a casino opened in Miami, just open one in Miami's backyard. Genting has partnered with RAV Bahamas, developers of Bimini Bay Resort and Marina and the soon-to-come Rockwell Island Beach Estates to launch a casino called... surprise, Resorts World Bimini Bay.
The fancy new gaming facility is scheduled to open in mid-December, joining Bimini Bay Resort's existing marina, expansive grounds and two large pool decks. We can expect table games, slots and of course all the splashy entertainment and dining that is synonymous with a casino.
In about two years, it’ll be time to hit the slots at a new $500 million casino and resort project planned for Lake Charles in Louisiana. Construction begins by July 20th for the new 700-room Ameristar Casino Resort Spa Lake Charles, which will have 1,600 slot machines and 60 gaming tables. Paging VegasChatter!
Other planned amenities include tennis, golf, a spa, pools, a pleasure boat dock, croquet and falconry. Yes, we said croquet and falconry. Pretty snazzy, huh? With all of those amenities, we’re glad to know that there will be plenty of parking spaces. Yep. There will be 3,000 spaces, with a thousand of them in covered parking on the 242 acres.
Just a few years ago, the sprawling Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia was on the brink of closing. While it looked like Marriott would come in and take over the resort, in the end, West Virginia's multi-millionaire Jim Justice swooped in and bought the property for just $20 million. And it looks like he found a way to make the property exciting again while at the same time, bring in some crazy revenue--he built a casino.
The Casino Club opened on Friday with loads of celebs in attendance. The Washington Post spied the following at the grand opening: Jennifer Garner, Ben Affleck, Jessica Simpson, Brooke Shields, Lionel Richie, Charles Barkley, Shaquille O'Neal, Jane Seymour, Debbie Reynolds, Raquel Welch, Tom Watson and Jack Nicklaus. J-Simp even got a special 30th birthday cake presented to her by Justice.
The Casino Club will definitely bring some glamour back into the resort which used to rely on its underground congressional bunker to draw in guests. The casino, also located underground, spans 102,000-sq.ft. with table games from blackjack to Texas Hold 'Em, slots, baccarat, roulette with an Asian restaurant and a bar on site along with a retail "avenue" with high-end shops like Brioni, Badgley Mishka and jeweler Roberto Coin.
So right now, you're probably thinking you'll wanna pop in for a quick round of poker on your next trip to West Virginai. Hold up, not so fast.
The Ritz Club inside The Ritz London in Piccadilly Circus is a members-only club that features a swank old-school bar, an award-winning restaurant and get this, a casino that's open daily from 2pm to 6am. 6am!
There's an annual membership fee but if you're a guest of the hotel and you're over the age of 18, you can pop into the Ritz Club to hang out, completely gratis.You can even bring along up to six guests, which is an excellent perk for business travelers. (We're not so sure six of your rowdy 18-year-old friends would be very welcome.)
The dress code is simply "smartly dressed", no topcoat and tails needed but gentlemen guests are asked to wear jackets while dining.
Yet there is nothing casual about the Ritz Club. It is a lavish, gilded space that evokes the grand Edwardian casinos of Europe. Think chandeliers, heavy drapes, elaborate rug patterns, uniformed staffers, more chandeliers and more heavy drapes.