Surf and turf gambling in the Bahamas
For the grand finale, hop a five-minute water taxi across the bay to Paradise Island, home to the Atlantis Resort, a massive hotel, casino, restaurant and entertainment complex that looks like a cross between Disney World and Ancient Rome. Inside the resort's signature-pink 23-storey Royal Towers, the vast casino on the ground floor is the beating heart of the entire Atlantis operation. All 80 game tables and 850 slot machines form a kind of orbit around a multi-story glass sun by American artist Dale Chihuly, around which swarm scantily-clad resort guests, crisply-attired croupiers and more than a few celebrities (rumoured recent sightings include Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber). Repair to the Baccarat Lounge for a round (or 20), or, if poker is more your flavour, choose between the Let It Ride and Caribbean Stud tables. Giant international tournaments are held here, so keep your eyes peeled for your favourite poker geniuses. This being the Bahamas, you can go as casual or as glam as you like – James Bond style tuxes and Hawaiian shirts mingle at the blackjack tables 24 hours a day.
At Atlantis, there is just as much action outside the casino as in. When dinnertime rolls around, head to one of the resort’s ultra-styled celebrity chef restaurants. For southwestern on speed, try Bobby Flay’s Mesa Grill, complete with cow hide chairs and a stadium-sized open kitchen dishing up spice-rubbed pork or ancho chilli-glazed salmon. Or hit up Nobu, one of the many outposts of the famed sushi dynasty, where Russian models and Armani-clad businessmen dine on slabs of rich fatty tuna sashimi at a long stone bar. Afterward, the resort’s much-hyped Aura nightclub is the place to see, be seen and drink expensive vodka. On high season weekends it can be almost impossible to get in – look out for special promotional deals on slightly less busy weekdays.
Oh, and when you have hit the jackpot, book yourself into Atlantis’s $25,000 a night Bridge Suite, in the sky-high archway connecting the two towers. May luck be a lady for you!