Les Ambassadeurs Club

Les Ambassadeurs Club
Flickr.com, Hereward L, CC BY 2.0
5 Hamilton Place, London, W1J 7ED
020 7495 5555

If you were playing a game of word association and heard ‘Mayfair’ then there is a very good chance that you’re going to think of the word ‘exclusive’ in response. That is true not only of the area of London but also of Les Ambassadeurs Club, known as ‘Les A’ to many. A private club and casino that you can find at 5 Hamilton Place, it was established by John Mills in 1941 and remained in his care until he sold it in 1981. The entire place isn’t a casino, with that being limited to Le Cercle, which was opened in 1961, the same year that many bookmakers began to open up and down the country after the Betting & Gaming Act became law.

A Storied Venue

The actual building of 5 Hamilton Square was built between 1807 and 1810, with Thomas Leverton responsible before W. R. Rogers of William Cubitt remodelled it in the Venetian Renaissance style for Leopold de Rothschild. The interior of the building is known for its fine workmanship, such as the oak staircase that boasts an excessive balustrade. A Grade II Listed building, Edmund Thomas Parris painted a fresco on the ceiling in the Marble Room during the 1830s. That offers some sense of the history of the location of Les Ambassadeurs Club, which was opened in 1941 by a Polish-born businessman named John Mills.

Les A was actually located on Hanover Square, moving to 5 Hamilton Place in 1950. The club has long been frequented by the rich and famous, such as actor Christopher Lee keeping a bottle of gin with his name on it there. Once Le Cercle opened, it was often the case that well-known names would gamble there, with the 18th Earl of Derby reportedly losing £165,000 there in the 1960s. In 1981, Mills sold the casino to London Clubs International, who in turn sold it for £115 million to Indonesian businessman, Putera Sampoerna, in 2006. There have been numerous owners since then, but the casino and the club have been no less exclusive.

Members Only

The key thing to know about Les Ambassadeurs is that it is a members only club, aimed at the premium player. That might well help to explain why Ken Adams had to build a replica of the club at Pinewood Studios for Dr. No, with Sean Connery as James Bond introducing himself for the first time in the film franchise whilst playing chemin de fer. The club looks to blend British heritage with state of the art facilities in order to ensure that members and their guests are delighted with what’s on offer at any time of the day or night. If you want to place bets in the most exclusive location in London, Les A is the place for you.

Plenty of Places to Play

When it comes to gaming at Les Ambassadeurs, there are numerous locations for you to indulge yourself and each of them offers something different. The Marble Room has five gaming tables, for example, whilst the Leopold Room promises a private gaming area in opulent surroundings. The Penthouse Rooms were restored to their original glory using photographs for reference, with a terrace area also available for use. Similarly, there is a terrace area off the Palace Rooms, promises a large gaming area that can be divided into two if needs be. The main games on offer in the casino are all of your classic table games, including roulette, baccarat and three-card poker.

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