The City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort officially opens on Monday
Five years in the making, the integrated casino resort is opening its doors to the public, offering a sneak peek to a team of journalists, days before the grand opening.
The imposing building of Europe’s largest integrated casino resort looms in the skyline for a long stretch of the road. Visible from the Lady’s Mile coastline and the main routes leading up to the City of Dreams Mediterranean, the resort offers elegance in its exterior – and delivers adventure and relaxation in its interior.
The luxury resort has staff everywhere opening doors, offering golf carts for luggage and aiding customers waiting for check in with cool towels and refreshments.
Ahead of the official opening to the public on July 10, a team of journalists were invited for an overnight stay at the resort to sample its restaurants, accommodation, facilities and adventure offerings.
With high walls coated in shining marble which seem to stretch into an endless ceiling, the bright lights on the casino flash into action, while cosy armchairs allow visitors to settle in. Boutique stores selling diamonds, watches and brand clothes offer sparkle and sophistication, yet when one steps outside to walk towards the pool, it is a different vibe altogether.
Seeking to capture Mediterranean colours and aesthetics, the palm trees, the blues and the cobbled flooring, along with plenty of greenery pave the path to the pool, which boasts Cyprus’ largest resort pool complex with a bar strategically placed that allow visitors to order their drinks without having to leave the cool waters.
One of the main goals the resort sets out to achieve is to offer an experience that goes beyond the gambling available at the casino and the serenity associated with luxury resorts.
While all those facilities are there, including spa treatments, fancy restaurants and an obvious focus on comfort evident in the rooms and across the premises, City of Dreams Mediterranean has also sought to include a sense of adventure in the mix too.
For those adrenaline junkies, the Adventure Park makes a fun escape for kids and adults alike, offering a climbing wall, a zipline coaster, high ropes obstacle courses and a trampoline.
The zipline, eight metres above the ground reaches speeds of up to 80 km/h while the high ropes obstacle courses will leave you sore the next day but offer a fun day of activities and pushing your limits.
People may have screamed while whizzing through the zipline as they experienced the thrill of swinging blindly into the air held on by rope, but the staff at the Adventure Park deserve major accolades for their fun spirit, encouraging people to overcome their fears and make the plunge from the safety of the ground, into the air.
After an exhausting few hours balancing on ropes and holding on for dear life, the serenity of the rooms was a welcome relief.
Journalists were accommodated in the Premier Rooms, where standard phones to call hotel services were replaced with iPhones, and a drawer full of sweet treats along with a Nespresso machine. The platter of fruit served after checking in, went well with the view of the pool, forest area and sea in the distance, which could be enjoyed on the accommodating balcony.
Interestingly, the room offers a bathtub next to the bed with only a glass partition, allowing someone to gaze off into the view while enjoying a soak – but blinds are also available.
As the evening approached, we made our way to Amber Dragon, a Pan-Asian restaurant offering an open view cooking and dining area, and includes a specialty wood-fired Peking duck oven, along with a sushi bar.
With seating for 166 people, the staff took their time to explain every dish that was presented to us. Even the ice cream that was part of our dessert is actually made at the facilities – with thoughts of perhaps selling it to specialty stores in the future.
After filling up, we made our way to the casino itself where security was no joke and cameras are ever-present in the premises, though people seemed to be enjoying their smokes and drinks as they saw their money come and go.
The casino section itself has 75 gaming tables and 750 slot machines, with a special Platinum Club targeting VIP visitors with higher digit gambling. Though during our visit the resort was operating under a ‘soft opening’ that was not open to the broader public (limited only to residents at the hotel and special invitees), the premises were busier than we expected, with throngs of people gambling and small crowds at the restaurants.
Our visit coincided with the resort’s first wedding reception in the grand ballroom with the capacity to accommodate over 1,000 guests.
Finally, the breakfast at the Aura Restaurant offered an open buffet with endless options. The hall is separated with one side serving savoury portions including Cypriot familiar tastes and another side offering sweets, ranging from a host of pastries, to pancakes and fruit.
With a flurry of activities lined up in the months to come, City of Dreams will continue playing its cards, with announcements expected soon on more eateries, along with music events that will continue to take place with artists both local and from abroad.