When you spend a bit of time in London, and especially in the West End and Knightsbridge, you start to realise that there is some serious money in the capital. London is home to the highest concentration of billionaires on the planet. And where there are billionaires, there are exclusive casinos. Les Ambassadeurs Club & Casino, or Les A as it is also known, in Hamilton Place is one of them and is frequented by the same kind of people you might see at Casino Baden Baden – although it’s far more exclusive. Once a Rothschild family home, the interiors are decked out in ornate Louis XV style. This casino was featured in the James Bond film Dr No and the Beatles´ “A Hard Day´s Night”.
The Club is owned by Indonesian tobacco billionaire Putera Sampoerna and is a haunt for the super-rich.
Les Ambassadeurs was the scene of a famous gambling spree by Topshop owner Sir Philip Green, who got lucky at their roulette tables in late 2004 – he won £2m in a single night and forced the casino’s previous owner, London Clubs International, into a profit warning. They used to have an online casino which was hosted at LesACasino.com but that has been discontinued…shame. Try Luxury Casino below if you want to play online.
It´s a beautiful club- there´s no doubt (although it will cost you a thousand pounds to step through the door). Our problem with it is that they only have American Roulette tables here (just like the Park Lane Club just down the road), and if you know your roulette, you´ll know that the odds you get on American roulette are far worse than the odds you´ll get on European Roulette. So we don´t care how lavish the club is, they need some European and French tables, preferably ones that play La Partage!
Les Ambassadeurs bills itself as Mayfair´s most exclusive casino, and that´s not an easy feat with the likes of the Ritz Club on their doorstep.
This isn´t the kind of casino that you just walk into off the street, however. It is set up like the Ritz Club- you have to apply for membership although they have lowered the bar somewhat with a 7 day “Introductory” offer. Members of Les Ambassadeurs are a special breed- it´s very much seen as a status symbol, and you may well be mixing with some rich and powerful people in here.
You´ll need to stump up £1000 – for a week´s membership. And if you want a more full time membership, you´ll need £25000 a year for your membership card. You can see why this casino attracts the high rollers!
Les Ambassadeurs Club is not just about the gaming though. There´s an exclusive library, one of the most striking rooms in the Club. Leopold de Rothschild bought the house from the Conyngham family in 1879, and this room was at one point the centre of the London social scene. Florentine master wood carver, Chevalier Rinaldo Barbetti created a work of art in here – the walls are adorned with beautiful carvings of naval history, cherubs, angels and witticisms in Greek and Latin. The library leads on to an incredible sweeping staircase carved from solid oak.
Video Walk Through
Have a look through Les Ambassadeurs Club on this video.
Playing at Les Ambassadeurs.
This is the kind of casino that treats its guest like royalty- well they need to, as they have their fair share of royal visitors. It´s known for allowing smoking in certain gaming areas (in their garden), so you can spin the roulette wheel while smoking a Montecristo.
Les Ambassadeurs first opened its doors during World War 2. Over the years, it has welcomed aristocrats, kings, millionaires and politicians- it´s one of the most exclusive casinos in the world.
Les Ambassadeurs has plenty of roulette in its gaming floor and in its private rooms, as well as Black Jack, Punto Banco, Slots and Craps. They also have quite a few Video Roulette machines, would you believe. Those who enjoy a cigar while they bet can head to the Smoking Gaming area in a beautiful garden. There are 7 roulette tables in the Smoking areas where you can bet from £5 to £1000.
On the main Gaming Floor, all the roulette games are American Roulette (disappointingly). It spills out into the bar and their garden smoking area- unioque in London, where you can enjoy a smoke while making your bets. So if you want to play here, you´ll need to play on a table with 2 zero pockets on it. And that increases the house edge up to 5.2%, up from 2.6% on European Wheels, and 1.3% on French wheels that play La Partage.
There are also several pirvate rooms for the high rollers including the Marble Room, the Gold Room (again with American Roulette), the Leopard Room (the most intimate room for small parties) and the Penthouse Rooms. These have outdoor smaoking areas.
If you are hungry, you won´t be for long – the restaurant is open from 12:30 pm to 2:30am during weekdays, while on weekends it is open from 7:30pm to 2:30am. Lunch can be busy as it is open to the public in the middle of the day, but you have to be a member to eat dinner there. There´s also a fine bar, of course, with an excellent range of fine wines, malt whiskies and cocktails.
The Red Room morphs in to a sports bar for big games of football or rugby. Boxing matched are also popular in here.
You´ll need to be suited and booted- smart casual just won´t cut it. Gentlemen are expected to wear a jacket and tie.
An exclusive venue that caters more to baccarat and blackjack players, than serious roulette players. They need some European tables.