Visiting a London casino does not necessarily mean you want to have a flutter. In some areas of London it's difficult to get a drink late at night. Many hotel bars close before midnight and let's face it you are probably on holiday and don't want the day to finish or join the beautiful people in a club.
We found (and visited) 2 hotels which have casinos in the basement which are open very late at night. In fact one does not close at all.
The Ritz Club Casino [image: the Ritz Club]
The Ritz on Piccadilly has a hidden casino in the basement. It's a grand affair having once been a spectacular ballroom and still retains the magnificent ornate ceiling. Now it's the Ritz Club casino. Any guest staying at the Ritz has access. It's very posh and James Bond would feel very much at home here, in fact we saw several versions of him.
On our visit, our host, an East End trader, was taking us for a meal there also. We arrived in grand style, in his brand new Rolls Royce which was instantly whisked away by a member of staff. He was such a regular, that the meal we had in the hotel was complimentary. He played two roulette tables at once and would make frequent visits back to his patient and uninterested wife who held the kitty in her handbag. My scant bets on the cheapest table actually yielded me a final positive balance of 200 pounds, I was ecstatic. Thank you 17 black !
More down to earth is the Grosvenor Casino underneath the Millennium Gloucester in South Kensington. Easy to find, just exit the hotel entrance and walk 30m to the Harrington Gardens side.
Grosvenor casino in Kensington [courtesy Grosvenor casinos]
You will see a small entrance and a set of stairs going down into the casino. Present your passport at the desk, deposit your coat and turn left into a cacophony of gaming machines.
The bar is at the far end past the gaming tables and to the right of the cashiers office. Here you can eat and drink cheap and yes there are gaming machines in the bar; no escape! You may actually think you have been transported to the casinos of Macau, there are so many Chinese playing the tables with total seriousness.
If its your first visit to a Grosvenor Casino you may also get some freeby gaming tokens for the machines.
Anyone can use the Grosvenor Casino so long as you have ID. Most hotels in Kensington are within a 10 minute walk but there are always taxis around even in the small hours. They do a mean gin and tonic!
Apart from the Millennium Gloucester hotel, other accommodations within a ten minute stroll include Baileys Hotel, the Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, Crown Plaze Kensington, Montana Hotel and The Rydges Hotel. It's just a 3 or 4 minute walk from Gloucester Road Tube Station.
If you are on a big night out then you may want to eat first next door at the upmarket Bombay Brasserie. You can find it between the Millennium Gloucester and the Millennium Baileys hotels. It's slick serviced Indian food with a contemporary twist and the decor takes you back to the colonial days of the British Empire. At the weekends it's best to book in advance.