City of Dreams Mediterranean officially opened for business this week after five years of planning, building, and outfitting guests for the high-end adventure of a lifetime in Europe’s largest and only integrated casino resort.
The sheer mass and design elements of the building seem to indicate it would be visible from several miles away with a shape reminiscent of a Mayan temple or a well-known tourist landmark in the Middle East, Sheraton Doha. On might even recall A Cancun casino resort.
Despite the similarities in aesthetics from a distance, City of Dreams is much different – inside and out.
Casino Gaming in a Luxury Environment
While a Mayan temple at Chichen Itza may or may not hold grand treasures, the only way most people will leave this property with a small fortune is to enter it with a large one – lady luck notwithstanding.
The hotel has 500 rooms in a range of luxuries and price points but each room is fresh and the accouterments are unique to the property. The development in toto is the first in Cyprus to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating for its sustainability strategy beginning at the design stage.
Architecturally, the development was recently honored by the European Property Awards 2023 for achievements in three categories: Best Hotel Architecture Europe: Best Sustainable Commercial Development Europe, and finally, Best New Hotel Construction & Design Cyprus.
Once you get beyond the strategically placed palm trees and massive pool complex, expect high walls of marble to greet you indoors.
Options include a visit to a diamond boutique, relaxing in a cozy chair and trying on high-end wristwatches, or sorting through designer clothing in one of the retail outlets.
While the description may sound like a world away, the design elements are all tied together with local geo design elements like cobbled floors and paths outdoors, plenty of greenery on the pathways to the largest pool complex in the Mediterranean along with cool blues and other hues that tie it all together and meld it with the local environment.
If you are itching to simply know about the gambling experience, that element needs to be put in its proper context as this is an integrated resort as much as it is a casino surrounded by “distractions”. However, expect to find a modest number of slots – 750, and a modest number of gaming tables – 75. How and where the machines and tables are placed is unique with a mixture of banks of machines and scatters of machines throughout some table gaming areas.
Table game options include the following:
- American Roulette
- 3 Card Poker
- Mini Punto Banco
- Casino Stud Poker
- Russian Poker
- Texas Hold’em
- Ultimate Texas Hold’em
City of Dreams Mediterranean offers gaming in a luxury resort setting rather than obligatory distractions surrounding a money pit to capture revenues. It seems to be designed holistically.
Full days could be spent exploring everything from zip lines to obstacle courses, climbing walls, and trampolines.
Several eateries and other amenities opened on Monday following a soft opening earlier. Expect a few more food, drink, and entertainment venues to open strategically over the coming days, weeks, and months to help keep the property front and center in the minds of visitors and potential visitors.
Not All Is Paradisical Below the Surface
Union organizers and members are upset about policies that seem to be working against employees exercising collective bargaining to get their fair share of the profits that will be left n the machines and on the tables by visitors from all over Europe and the larger world at the Cyprus resort casino.
One union decided to cancel a planned protest at the request of the Labor Minister who had asked organized workers to “refrain from confrontation”. However, another union decided to go ahead with plans to hold a small protest at the property on opening day.
According to local media reports, the problem is systemic and major rather than specific terms of employment, compensation, or benefits for employees at this point. Cyprus Mail reports that Peo Union (Syxpa-Peo branch Neophytos Timinis) would not “back down” until assurances were given that representatives of the union would be given access to the property.
Both Peo and Deok assert that management in the form of Melco, forbids access to union activities in the workplace and will not allow efforts to unionize workers.
Predictably, perhaps, Melco called the protests “unfounded and poorly timed” an obvious reference to opening day. The opening and ongoing success of the casino is important to Cyprus meeting its goals of becoming a well-known tourist destination so it’s no wonder Labour Minister Yiannis Panayiotou has involved himself directly in the dispute.
On that issue, a Deok union representative said that the labor minister’s intervention would be a turning point towards “fully implementing Cypriot laws and the constitution, that set in stone union liberties.”. With that, Deck union canceled its planned protest.
“The operator of the resort casino needs to realize that its business activities are conducted on the territory of the Republic of Cyprus and it should stop behaving like a state within a state, disrespecting the legal order of its host state,” Deok noted.
Peo union indicated talks were ongoing out of public earshot, but it would hold the course until City of Dreams Mediterranean allows the union access to the resort to work on unionizing employees.
“The how and where can be agreed later, with the minister’s help,” a Peo union rep purportedly told the Cyprus Mail.
Source: The City of Dreams Mediterranean casino resort officially opens on Monday, Cyprus-Mail, July 9, 2023
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