Crown Casino, Melbourne
2 reviews from the community
Review of "Crown Casino, Melbourne"
I’ve complained before to all the good people on Ciao about not being much of a fan of Melbourne. It’s just one of those cities that doesn’t grab me. There is a local tension between Sydney people and Melbourne people, each side saying their city is the best and it’s true that Melbourne was once voted the most liveable city in the world. Although it’s got many things going for it, it’s just not for me.It was with some reluctance then that I spent a few days there last week for work. On Thursday night I had a colleague with me so when we’d finished the daily drudge of meetings we thought we’d have a night on the town.
Crown Casino is the jewel in Melbourne’s crown (excuse the pun) of night life. Standing resplendent on the south bank of the Yarra River in the heart of the city, the casino, built in 1996 is a must see. The 39 storey, six star hotel and casino complex has something to offer every visitor, young or old and almost every pocket from fast food and a movie to gourmet cuisine and a night at the gaming tables.Last week was my second visit to Crown. The first was on the weekend of the Grand Prix back in March. On that occasion I was really taken aback with the inside of the building more than anything else, it’s all very Las Vegas with lots of marble and glass. You get the sense that the place is never ending, it’s absolutely huge and we spent a couple of hours just looking around. In the foyer they had a display of vintage Ferraris, very nicely done and perfect for the GP weekend. We found ourselves at the many shops at Crown, there are the designers, Versace, Prada, Burbury and Mr Vuitton et al. There is also the more reasonable high street end of the market Guess, FCUK and Whichery to name but a few. I never got the feeling I was in a shopping mall, it is very tastefully done. Although the place was busy, (it was a Saturday afternoon) the shops were not packed and it was pleasant to wonder round without the pushing and shoving you get at the local shops. Although the price tag may be one explanation for the lack of people.
We wondered through the gaming hall and that was pretty much that for that visit. I’ve been to heaps of casino’s from Macau to the Caribbean, not to mention good old Liverpool, and the gambling thing doesn’t excite me although the free drinks you can often get of you hang around long enough quite appeal.This last visit to Crown was a different proposition altogether to the last. The first thing I noticed this time out was how magnificent the place looked all lit up in the dark. The neon flashed and sparkled and there are turrets of flame around the building, blazing against the night sky. We’d had a pretty full on day and we were looking to blow off some steam in the form of drinking and behaving badly as one does on an out of town work trip on expenses! We got to Crown about 8.30pm and asked one of the security people (they are big and burly and everywhere!) where we could find a bar. He looked at us a bit funny and replied that there were about 30 of them. Even having been before I had no idea there were 30 watering holes dotted around, one ‘The Sports Bar’, is even open 24 hours, seven days a week. On investigation we found that quite a number of the bars were on the gamming floor which is great I suppose if you’re playing but it wasn’t what we were looking for, so we wandered about for a bit.
The first place we came to was the ‘Pub at Crown’. This is a pretty standard bar away from the gaming floor, they had a bar menu and nightly promotions, cocktails, shots and the like. The atmosphere was a bit dead though so we had one drink and went in search of something else.There are a few night clubs, LIVE, Club Odeon, Panamas and the Palms at the Crown, we didn’t go but from what I could gather these offer everything from Vegas style cabaret (Suzi Quatro and the Village People have played at Palms) to duff duff dance music. It was a bit too early for clubbing , not that I’m a great clubber these days anyway, so we continued with the search. We asked the advice of another security man and he suggested Steakout, a restaurant come club with nightly live music and best of all it was about 10 meters away. I liked this one immediately and we drank frozen cocktails and bopped to the live band. They even played some Kiss for me, maybe they knew I was coming! We had found exactly what we were looking for it was great.
I shouldn’t really do a casino review without mentioning the games, I noticed the roulette wheels and the blackjack tables you find in every casino not to mention the thousands of fruit machines or ‘Pokies’ as we call them here. I consulted the website to see what else was on offer for the discerning gambler and apparently you can also find Baccarat, Casino War, Poker, Rapid Sic Bo and quite a few others that I’ve never heard of. The one other game I’d heard of, not a table game, was Two up. This is a game where you bet on the flip on a coin and it’s illegal to play it in public in New South Wales, where I live except on ANZAC day, our remembrance public holiday in April. The pubs and clubs are always full of crowds playing Two up for just that one day. I don’t know why it’s banned but people do seem to go a bit mad for it.The people at Crown were seemingly a mixture of tourists, business people like us having dinner or a drink, local teenagers hanging about somewhere ‘cool’. And everyday couples and familys having a evening out. There is a multi screen cinema and a bowling alley and over 40, yes 40 restaurants to choose from. The website, crowncasino.com.au classifies them as premium dining, casual dining and food court with the food court hosting KFC and McDonald’s as well as some independent fast food establishments. The only Premium restaurant that caught my eye was Rockpool, we didn’t go but there is one in Sydney (I think there are only the two, it’s not a chain) which is out of this world, though expensive isn’t the word!
I won’t say too much about the hotel, I know all 482 rooms are oversized and have views if the city or of the bay of Port Phillip and the Spa is meant to be fantastic. It’s won tourism awards here in Australia and rooms start from… wait for it…$460 AUD or about £170, or if you’re feeling more extravagant $615 AUD for a suite. The hotel also has extensive conference facilities.Opening Hours:
Crown Casino is open 7 days a week 24 hours a day with bars and restaurants and shps each having their own opening hours. On Christmas Day, Good Friday and Anzac Day the Casino shuts it’s door from 4am to 12pm then it’s business as usual.Verdict:
I must say we had a fantastic evening, it was fun just exploring the place and people watching on the gaming floor. The drinks were expensive but not extortionate and although it pains me to say it Crown beats Sydney’s casino, Star City hands down when it comes to an all round entertainment complex.After a long day and several too many drinks we stayed till about one before staggering back to the hotel via the 7/11 for a meat pie (I know… all class).
If you’re in Melbourne for whatever reason you must visit Crown at least once, in fact you could probably come here every night for a good few months and not do the same thing twice.Thanks for reading!
Product Information : Crown Casino, Melbourne
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Listed on Ciao since: 10/08/2005