Not everyone thinks of casinos and gambling around Valentine's Day, but I do. That's because I'm a degenerate and a committed casino gambler. If you and your sweetheart feel the same way, then you might be interested in my list of the 7 most romantic casinos in the world.
Of course, Las Vegas isn't the only romantic destination for casino gamblers. Sure, you can get married by Elvis there, but some of the casino in Lake Tahoe and Niagara Falls are arguably just as romantic.
This is a CityCenter location, and it's probably not the first property that pops into most people's minds when they're thinking of romance in a gambling setting.
But it should be.
The spa at ARIA Resort and Casino is world class. The balconies are also a great spot to drink champagne and whisper sweet nothings into each others ears. The Sage, which is the property's gourmet is restaurant, is also a great place for sweethearts to dine.
Of course, the city of Paris in France is nothing if not romantic. But the Paris Casino in Las Vegas is a gambler's delight as well as a place to take your lover for this most sensual of holidays. It's a surprisingly affordable hotel and casino at which to stay, too.
Paris Las Vegas is located right on the Strip, which is possibly the best neighborhood in which to stay when you're there. The Eiffel Tower Experience there is not to be missed, and lovers of food will enjoy visiting Gordon Ramsay's steak house there. Several other French-themed restaurants are also there on site.
One of my fondest memories as a young man was the scene in Superman II where Clark Kent and Lois Lane were pretending to be newlyweds on their honeymoon in Niagara Falls. Of course, Niagara Falls isn't as popular a destination as it was in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, but if you're looking for old-school romance, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better place to stay than Casino Niagara.
Casino Niagara is located on Horseshoe Falls, and it overlooks Horseshoe Falls. They have free live music on Friday and Saturday nights, but let's face it - if you're going there for romance, it's all about the room, the falls, and the gambling.
If Paris, France is the most romantic destination in the world, Venice, Italy is probably the 2nd most romantic destination. As you might expect, Las Vegas has its own "Venice in miniature" for you to visit on Valentine's Day. And like Paris Las Vegas, it's located right on the Strip in the center of all the action.
The canal area is one of those can't-miss attractions in Las Vegas. The food and the service at all the restaurants on site are also worth the visit.
The Tahoe Biltmore is included on this list for 2 reasons:
Most of the other casinos listed here are expensive, and I wanted to make sure we included something here for the budget traveler. The Tahoe Biltmore isn't a fancy, luxury property, but it's clean, comfortable, and affordably priced.
More importantly, it's located in Lake Tahoe, which is one of the most beautiful and romantic destinations in the United States. If you've got a little extra money to spend, upgrade from a standard room there to a suite.
Since Valentine's Day is in February—the middle of winter, natch—you might want to head someplace tropical to celebrate your romance. Aruba's the perfect destination, and The Renaissance Aruba is our #1 pick for a romantic casino to take your sweetie to.
One of the things I love about this property is the access you have to a private island and private beaches, which are just a 5 or 10 minute trip via water taxi. And the Crystal Casino on site features over 400 new slot machines, almost a dozen blackjack tables, roulette, Caribbean poker, and craps. They also raffle off a luxury car on a regular basis.
Not only is this one of the more luxurious casinos on the list, but Borgata Hotel, Casino, & Spa is also the only casino in Atlantic City to make this list. That's not because I think Atlantic City lacks romance, though—it's because there are just so many cool casinos to choose from throughout the world.
The restaurants (Bobby Flay owns one of the restaurants) and rooms at Borgata are top notch, but they're also one of the best spots for gambling in the city. If you're a poker player, this is a must-stop-at destination, too. Just don't make the mistake of neglecting your honey because you're too involved in a Texas Hold'em game.
Gambling and romance aren't exclusive to each other—you can enjoy one while enjoying the other. You don't even have to make that much effort to keep your true goals hidden from your significant other, either. (I'm reminded of the scene in the movie The Best of Times where Kurt Russell and Robin Williams are having a romantic dinner with their estranged wives, while at the same time, trying to surreptitiously watch a football game on the television.)
It doesn't matter whether you have a large budget or a small one, either. The level of romance available at the various casinos in the world isn't necessarily a function of price, although some women will find luxury accommodations far more romantic than something in the budget range. Either way, this list of the 7 most romantic casinos should have given you some ideas of where you will want to go.