Monte Carlo. The very thought of the city along the French Riviera brings to mind luxury and high rollers.
Planning a trip to Monte Carlo to gamble in its casino? Then, you will need to dress differently than you would in Las Vegas. In Vegas, no one cares what you wear. The casinos are full of people wearing dresses and tuxedos, as well as people wearing shorts and flip-flops. The whole attitude in Monte Carlo is different.
Not sure how to prepare for your trip to the luxurious area? We have some tips for you.
Why Monte Carlo?
Monte Carlo is the capital of the small sovereign city-state of Monaco. The .85-square-mile principality sits between France and Italy. The Grimaldi family owns the majority of the land in Monte Carlo. The Grimaldis have been the rulers of Monaco since the 13th century. Beginning in the 19th century, however, the family’s wealth was nearly gone, and they were facing bankruptcy. Prince Florestan I decided to open up a huge, luxurious casino to save the principality and the family’s fortune. Health spas also opened. They took advantage of the sea air and saltwater. The land on which the casino now sits was once an undeveloped area of Monaco. It was home to many citrus trees.
While earlier casinos in Europe were grand, none of them could compare to the casino in Monte Carlo. Charles Garnier, the man who designed the Paris Opera House, also designed the casino. Garnier built it on a truly grand scale. Designed in the Belle Epoque style, the casino is lavish with no expense spared on the furnishings. There are touches of gold gilt and plush settees all over the casino.
The Casino Itself
The casino is the area’s jewel. There are different kinds of roulette games, as well as different forms of poker. Blackjack is also popular. The Monte Carlo Casino also has slot machines and craps. While all the different forms of gaming are well-attended, by far, the most popular game is baccarat. In several Bond movies filmed at the casino, baccarat is the game of choice for superspy James Bond. The casino was also the location of numerous robberies staged for film, including 2004’s “Oceans 12.” Other television shows have featured the casino as well.
Visiting the Casino
Because the Monte Carlo Casino is in a climate that is warm and pleasant year-round, there is no downtime. However, there are times during the year when it’s more difficult to visit. Like most casinos worldwide, this casino is first come, first served. During the summer, it’s much harder to get in. There are also times during the spring when the principality is bustling. April is a particularly difficult month to travel to Monaco. There are several events occurring at the same time as the Grand Prix in May, including a ball. If you want to attend events at this time, you will need to make reservations far in advance. If you are looking for less crowded conditions, fewer people visit the casino in the late fall and winter months.
The Dress Code
Clearly, the Monte Carlo Casino is not your average Vegas casino. While Vegas casinos don’t really have a dress code, that is not the case at this casino. However, how much you have to dress up depends on events around the casino and the time of day.
First, unlike the Las Vegas casinos, people cannot go to the Monte Carlo Casino 24/7. There is no such thing as a breakfast buffet before early morning slots. Instead, the casino opens at 2 p.m. every day and stays open until 4 a.m. This includes Christmas and New Year’s.
Specific Attire that the Casino Bans
The Monte Carlo Casino has regulations regarding attire. However, some of the rules are a little vague. The casino bans shorts, tennis shoes, and flip-flops. Bathing suits are also a no-no. For example, at many casinos in Vegas, women will wear a bikini top with a sarong skirt. The Monte Carlo Casino does not allow that. Jeans are frowned upon as well. Although if you are lucky, you might be able to get away with wearing them on a slow day. However, if you really want to gamble, you might not want to chance it.
While there is an outright ban on some clothing, the rest of the dress code is a little vaguer. The casino specifies people wear “proper attire.” It expects you to be the judge of what you can wear. For example, khakis and dresses are always acceptable. Skirts and pants are also acceptable. T-shirts are not.
The casino also differentiates between attire that you can wear in the afternoon and in the evening. If you’re going to the casino at night, you need to know that your dress should be more evening appropriate. This means the casino expects men to wear jackets in the evening. It expects women to ramp up to something more elegant as well. Dresses or suits for women are acceptable.
Going Too Far
The movies that have taken place at the Monte Carlo Casino have men in tuxes and women in evening gowns. However, on an average night, most people gambling look like they’re dressed for an evening out. There’ll always be one person who will walk around in white tie and tails with a hat and a cane. Or, there will be a woman walking around in a couture gown with gloves and diamonds. While dressing up for the casino is fun, making a jerk out of yourself is not.
So, What Should I Wear?
Before you plan a trip to the Monte Carlo Casino, think about the time of year you will be visiting. If it is in the winter, plan accordingly. You will need to dress for warm days and cool evenings. It also rains more in the winter than at other times of the year. There also won’t be a huge influx of people trying to get into the casino. Therefore, the dress code may be a bit laxer.
However, that changes if you are going during the spring, and, especially, during the high social season in the summer. The Grand Prix and the Prince’s Red Cross Ball take place in the late spring and summer months. During those high tourist times, you will need to step up your dress code game.
There’ll be lots of people trying to get in, so you’ll need to stand out. Just don’t stand out in a bad way. During times of the year when there is competition with other tourists is the time to dress up. For men, you need to think about a nice suit. If you hate ties, you can consider leaving that out — unless it’s after 8 p.m. Women may want to think about dressing for a five-star restaurant with a dress code. Perhaps a nice evening suit or dress would be appropriate after 8 p.m. If you are going to be in the casino before 8 p.m., think about Sunday church attire, such as a dress. If you wear an evening gown before 8 p.m., you are overdoing it. Cocktail dresses are also appropriate after dinner.
Whenever you go, make sure you take lots of pictures. That way, you can be sure to show everyone how much glamorous fun you are having.
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