Lynne Stevens – Casino Manager
Bringing the Oscars glamour to Glasgow…
Never mind the romance of Valentine’s Day, this February it’s all about the glamour, the grandeur and the glory that comes with the 91st Academy Awards ceremony! I absolutely adore Oscars season - watching the Hollywood stars stroll down the red carpet, adorned in some of the world’s most opulent gowns; admiring the splendour of the ceremony itself, dripping in lavish brilliance from head to foot; and of course, celebrating the success of those behind the year’s most inspirational and exhilarating films.
Like the movies that it chooses to recognise, the Oscars evoke a sense of escapism, an opportunity to leave behind the mundane and enjoy a night of golden glamour in the heart of Los Angeles. The only issue, what with it being an annual occurrence of course, is that opportunities to enjoy the glitz and glamour of an A-list lifestyle are few and far between for us mere mortals here in Glasgow – or at least, so you might think…
Escape the ordinary
I’ve worked in the gaming industry for over 30 years now, and after a long career spent travelling the globe, exploring some of the world’s most alluring casinos in far off and exotic destinations like Morocco, Russia and Turkey, I’ve chosen to call Alea Glasgow home. Call it my own Dolby Theatre if you wish, but for me this wonderful riverside relic offers more than just gaming - it offers guests an opportunity to step into another world, a world evocative of that Oscars glamour that I adore.
Gone are the days of seedy, smoke-filled casinos; instead in their place, we’re lucky enough to enjoy grand and glamorous venues that boast fine dining, live entertainment, fabulous bars and of course, world-class gaming. And Alea is certainly no exception. From the moment you step foot in this gorgeous glass clad building, you’re encompassed by the splendour, setting your sights on lavish décor, two beautiful bars, a stunning waterside restaurant, premium gaming floor and Scotland’s largest Poker Lounge, complete with floor to ceiling windows and glorious views across the River Clyde.
A touch of Vegas
Whilst we might have films like Ocean’s Eleven or The Hangover to thank for this reinvention of casino stereotypes, there’s no denying their popularity as prime entertainment destinations. And with the increasing desirability of Vegas, not to mention the recent advent of direct flights from Glasgow Airport, casinos are now more sought out than ever before, with guests searching for a taste of that famous Vegas charm. And of course, that’s exactly what Alea offers…
Whether it’s a big night out, a chilled one with friends or a chance to catch up with off-duty work mates, Alea offers a gaming experience to rival that of the movies! Take a seat at one of our professional gaming tables, relax into the comfortable leather seats, and allow our experienced dealers to entertain you as you play your choice of Blackjack, American Roulette, Three Card Poker or Punto Banco. If you prefer to play electronically, take your pick of 50 machines with Slots, Electronic Roulette and progressive jackpots of up to £20,000 on offer! A space for grown ups to play, Alea also boasts the country’s largest Poker Lounge, complete with screens showing all the latest sporting action, on-hand table service as well as incredible river views. So no matter what you choose to play, you’re guaranteed a premium gaming experience in the heart of Glasgow with all the buzz and brilliance of Vegas!
A reimagined and altered perception of casinos is not all we have films like The Hangover to thank for – their contribution to elevating the humble stag do to an extravagant and lavish affair has seen the likes of Alea become a go-to destination for groups of soon-to-be-grooms. And no wonder! Offering stags the opportunity to enjoy the perfect mix of decadent dining, luxury bars, top entertainment and of course, incredible gaming all under one roof, Alea is the ideal spot to let loose before wedding fever kicks in!
Perhaps most popular with the city’s stag parties are the casino’s learn-to-play packages; a chance to pick up top tips when playing Blackjack or Roulette, groups can enjoy an exclusive 40 minute session with one of our experienced dealers at their very own table. Complete with a drink for each party-goer, a delicious three-course dinner in our stunning riverside restaurant as well as a free bet to use on our gaming floor, this makes for the perfect pre-wedding celebration.
But of course, it’s not just the stags that are in search of a vivacious venue to celebrate with their closest comrades… female flocks also make the most of Alea’s fantastic facilities, throwing glam hen dos to rival those on the Vegas strip. With fabulous packages on offer, ladies can opt to let their hair down in our Long Bar’s exclusive golden pods with space for up to 40 friends, enjoy an all-singing all-dancing evening in our VIP Lounge complete with karaoke kit, or sip on sumptuous cocktails, learning a thing or two along the way, with our fantastic cocktail masterclasses.
The big day
Beyond the bright lights and opulent gaming vicinities Vegas is famed for, little white weddings are equally synonymous with this magical city. A glorious and glamorous occasion, I love the excitement that comes with celebrating any nuptials; the anticipation as guests await the beautiful bride, the romance of the moment as the couple say their ‘I do’s, and the ensuing party that sees the newlyweds’ nearest and dearest come together under such joyous circumstances. Luckily for me, I’m a fly on the wall at many a wedding thanks to Alea’s fabulous function space that has recently started catering for decadent wedding breakfasts and evening receptions.
With enough glamour to make even the Oscars envious, I adore welcoming the wedding guests, admiring their beautiful gowns and watching their expressions change as we reveal the gorgeous room awaiting the special celebration. Decorated with lavish drapes, magical twinkling lights and glitzy glitter walls, this generous space can hold a party of up to 200 guests, complete with an exclusive-use bar, sparkling LED dance floor and state-of-the-art multimedia facilities. As guests arrive, they’re welcomed with a chilled glass of bubbles before being shown to their table, set with crisp white linen, fine polished silverware and beautiful centre pieces. Then as dinner is served, the wedding party enjoy a bespoke menu created by Alea’s award-winning Head Chef, before finishing up and getting ready to dance the night away under the glitter ball!
From sunset to sunrise
Of course, as far as the Oscars are concerned, it’s not all about the main event… the after party is just as eagerly awaited! A chance to see the stars dazzle in another glamorous ensemble as they prepare for Hollywood’s biggest evening, gold statues in tow, the party exudes decadence to match its preceding ceremony. Whilst Alea might not be able to offer guests golden figurines as they walk through the door, it certainly offers a glamorous venue for your very own after party.
Whether you’ve visited the City Centre for an indulgent dinner, sampled the cocktails of many a Bath Street bar, or have enjoyed a few drinks in one of Glasgow’s bustling nightclubs, Alea provides a safe haven in which the enjoyment can carry on into the small hours. Open 24 hours with fabulous live music at the weekend and delicious food and drinks served until 5am, it’s the ideal place to carry on the party. Whether you choose to get cosy in one of our Long Bar’s leather booths, take a seat at the exquisite pink-lit table or soak up the atmosphere at the fabulous 10ft mosaic bar, you’ll be well placed to carry on your night in style!
When the time comes to journey home, Alea’s friendly team are on-hand to ensure you get there safe and sound, offering you a warm and comfortable seat whilst a taxi is called. A venue that promises glitz, glamour and a safe route home – now that’s got to be worth even Oscar’s approval!