WHEN ONLY THE BEST WILL DO
Top rated casino resorts from east to west
By Karrie Zukowski
In our zeal to get to all of the casino action, we often forget that for many casinos, the hotel is just as big a part of the attraction.
Great rooms and suites that welcome us, spas that pamper us, restaurants that delight us and clubs that distract us. And that’s just scratching the surface. Some casino resorts are almost cities unto themselves, complete with acres of shopping, fast food, comedy lounges, sports bars, and entertainment venues big and small. Some even go that extra mile to provide guests with supportive entertainment like retro arcades and bowling alleys, while others offer more unique options like local excursions, wedding services, banquet halls and even cooking classes.
HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
The new kid on the block, having opened a little over a year, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is a stunning property set on 17 acres, with the legendary Atlantic City Boardwalk as its backdrop. In short order it has become Atlantic City’s go-to entertainment destination, boasting 2,200 slots, 120 table games, more than 20 first-class restaurants and lounges, and world-class entertainment, including Hard Rock Live at Etess Arena, the beachside Sound Waves and Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club.
The hotel and casino also features the iconic Hard Rock Cafe, overlooking the Atlantic City Boardwalk, showcasing a brand new elevated menu and state-of-the-art stage. Along with an endless array of upscale amenities, including world-class shopping and the brand’s signature full-service Rock Spa and Salon, featuring 31 treatment rooms, the music-inspired property offers lavish guest rooms and suites, with stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean.
From family vacations and business trips to weekend getaways and weddings, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City offers an unparalleled experience. Each of the hotel’s guest rooms and suites radiates a contemporary style, including Hard Rock’s signature The Sound of Your Stay music amenity program, which allows guests to set the mood with complimentary vinyl records or jam out on a Fender guitar in the privacy of their own room. Hotel guests can enjoy high speed, property-wide Wi-Fi, 24-Hour In-Room Dining, towel and chair service at Hard Rock Beach or at the indoor pool, and access to Body Rock Fitness Center.
Finally, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City is now offering a chart-topping “Winter Escape Package” starting at $79, which includes an overnight stay (Monday through Thursday), a $60 dining credit to be used at Fresh Harvest Buffet and two tickets to Howie Mandel’s Comedy Club. For more information and to book your stay, visit www.hardrockhotelatlanticcity.com.
ANGEL OF THE WINDS
Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort recently celebrated its Xpansion Grand Opening in October. The event officially marked the completion of the casino resort’s $60 million-plus Xpansion project, the third Xpansion since its opening in 2004, and launched the next era of Xcitement for the property and its guests. This milestone came at an extra special time, as 2019 was also the property’s 15th anniversary.
It’s the first major Xpansion since the property opened its five- story hotel in 2015. From its luxurious 125 non-smoking rooms to first- class accommodations like online check-in, complimentary valet service, in-room Wi-Fi, room service, and digital guest information guides, the hotel has been enhancing the guest Xperience for years with its focus on quality and convenience.
The lineup of these new features comprises of a parking garage, a completely remodeled casino floor that includes an Xpanded gaming area with new amenity locations, Strikerz Bowling, All Things Sports, Rivers Run Event Center, Whiskey Prime Steakhouse, Jade Fusion Asian Cuisine, and Riverside Buffet.
“After more than a year of construction, and especially these last couple of months with the remodeling of the casino floor, it is great to see the final product,” General Manager, Travis O’Neil said. “It is a new level of excitement as Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort has added many new amenities to our property.”
With the parking garage, guests have the convenience of parking with direct access to the Xpanded gaming floor. Xperience Players Club has transitioned to the new area and also provides cashier-related services. The renovation also includes a new Gift Shop location on the Xpanded gaming floor and upgrades to the High Limit room.
Guests can Xperience a new level of entertainment with Strikerz Bowling. The newest alley in the area in 30 years, the 16-lane bowling complex features all-ages bowling for families and four private lanes that can be reserved for corporate and private events. Guests can play traditional games or HyperBowling games, which allow guests to raise the bumpers and play unique challenges the whole family can enjoy. The HyperBowling component is truly Xclusive, as Strikerz Bowling is one of only a handful of facilities in the world that currently has it.
For guests who want to practice their athletic skills or enjoy a friendly competition, All Things Sports has them covered with virtual sports simulators that utilize the same industry-leading technology used by the world’s best players and feature both golf and multi-sport packages.
One other amenity that has moved to the Xpanded gaming floor is the new Keno Lounge, which exudes a radiant, modernized appearance and has around double the seating capacity compared to the previous location.
Rounding out the list of new entertainment facilities is Rivers Run Event Center. The event center’s 8,800-square-foot space can be divided into three sections and boasts state-of-the-art technology, making it the perfect venue for headline shows, gatherings, employee functions, conferences, and more. In the first few months since its opening, Rivers Run Event Center has already hosted sold-out performances featuring John Michael Montgomery, Bret Michaels, and Foghat.
Blending a relaxing environment with deluxe dining is the essence of Whiskey Prime Steakhouse. Highlighted by a menu that consists of an array of steaks, chops, seafood, and local barrel-aged whiskey, the restaurant provides guests unparalleled service in a casual atmosphere.
Jade Fusion Asian Cuisine offers guests a menu full of wide-ranging selections from across Southeast Asia. With options including sushi, wonton soup, chow mein, beef and broccoli, and more, Jade Fusion is truly an Xceptional culinary destination that features the best of popular cuisine from China and other cultures hailing from the world’s largest continent.
As a dedicated buffet that features fresh and rotating nightly themes, Riverside Buffet offers guests a modern and di- verse dining Xperience in a calm and quiet atmosphere. With themes like Italian Feast, All-You-Can-Eat Seafood, and Prime Rib and Lobster Tail, Riverside Buffet is sure to have something for everyone.
In addition to opening new amenities, the property also brought baccarat to the gaming floor. Not only can guests play two styles of this sought-after commission-free game, but they may add to the Xcitement by squeezing the cards and enjoying a selection of items from Jade Fusion with tableside dining!
“We are very excited to open these new outlets, as our decisions were based on guest feedback,” General Manager, Travis O’Neil said. “As we welcome our returning guests and also guests that may have not visited us before, they will find that people experience the excitement more at Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort.”
LIVE! CASINO HOTEL
Live! Casino Hotel in Hanover is the epitome of fun and excitement! With approximately 4,000 slots, 200 live action table games, one of the largest poker rooms nationwide and giant jackpots, what more could you ask for?
Boasting 310 luxurious rooms and 52 suites, incredible restaurants, an Event Center and spa, Live! Casino Hotel is easily Maryland’s top tourist destination. As one of the largest commercial casinos on the east coast, Live! Casino Hotel distinguishes itself as a preeminent all-inclusive gaming destination, with world-class amenities and a reputation for spontaneity and fun.
Connected to Live! Casino, the 17-story, 350,000-square-foot hotel, features luxurious accommodations for the business and gaming traveler, equipped with the latest in technology, lighting and amenities. The property includes 132 Deluxe King rooms, featuring a spacious bathroom with an oversized walk-in shower and water closet, a plush robe and a 55” HDTV.A comfortable chaise is included. Some rooms connect to a double queen room. There are also 33 Signature Suites complete with a 55” HDTV, a seating area, a spacious bathroom with an oversized walk-in shower (some with a deep soaking tub), a separate water closet and vanity table and chair.
Taking things up a notch, consider booking a Luxury Suite, which offers a separate living room, a 65” Ultra HDTV, a wet bar, powder room and some with a dining area. The spacious master bath has dual sinks, an oversized walk-in shower, a separate water closet and a vanity table and chair. The connecting room provides luxury linens and another 65” HDTV.
If you really want to make an impression, stay in one of the gorgeous Presidential Suites, which offer a spacious living room and a 75” Ultra HDTV, bar area, mini-fridge, a powder room and a master bathroom with the same features as the luxury suite. Some rooms include a dining table as well.
Finally, for the ultimate in luxury, one of the two Penthouses is where you want to be. The grand West Wing Penthouse offers a private terrace and expansive suite with a powder room, built in wet-bar, dining and living room, two 86” ultra HDTVs and a game room. The Southview Penthouse features an in-suite movie theater room with an 80” curved screen. Additionally, the expansive living room has a 55’ Ultra HDTV, a dining table that seats eight, powder room and wet bar. Both pent- houses offer two luxurious king bedrooms, each with an en suite bath and a wide screen HDTV.
And whether you want to stay for a day or move in for a month, Live! Lofts has it covered. From the minute you arrive to your last good- byes, you’ll enjoy Live! signature service that treats everyone like a VIP. Each of Live! Lofts’ 250 hotel rooms, suites, and meeting facilities have been fully renovated, combining style and sophistication, comfort and convenience, accessibility and affordability. Dozens of amenities including indoor pool, business center, free wi-fi and hard-wired internet for secure communications, free parking on-site and the Live! Grill Restaurant. Complementary shuttle service whisks guests to nearby BWI Airport and Amtrak station, the gaming action at Live! Casino & Hotel, Arundel Mills outlet mall and other destinations.
SO MUCH MORE
The hotel also features a host of amenities including:
- The Live! Spa, with a full menu of services including massage therapies, body polishes and wraps, private in-room treatment areas for couples or friends, nail and hair services, and an outdoor patio area ideal for groups of girlfriends, bridal and private parties.
- David’s, offering 24-hour service and an eclectic menu of culinary creations inspired by the world travels of David Cordish.
- The Lobby Bar At David’s, with more than 50 seats and live entertainment.
- Luckies, offering expertly crafted espresso, Starbucks coffee drinks, fresh-baked pastries and a wide variety of Italian specialty gelato.
- Expanded shopping.
- Fully-equipped gym offering full-body strength and cardio training, with window views of the dramatic surrounding landscape.
Experience the hottest venue in the region, Live! Event Center! The 4,000-seat concert venue, showcases the best in music, comedy, sports and variety entertainment. Upcoming acts include Kristen & The Noise with Lost In Paris & Shelby Blondell Trio (December 26), Charm City Devils & Rosabella (December 29) and It’s A Sweet New Year 2020 (December 31). To see all that Live! Casino Hotel has to offer, book a room or reserve tickets, call (443) 445-2929 or visit www.LiveCasinoHotel.com
TURNING STONE RESORT CASINO
A renowned, award-winning destination resort in Upstate New York, the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort Casino features world-class amenities including four hotels, two luxurious spas, five golf courses, more than 20 dining options, a 125,000 square foot Las Vegas-style gaming floor, a cabaret style Showroom, a 5,000-seat arena, and several nightlife venues.
The advantage of a four-season, destination resort is that it never hibernates—even during the frigid Upstate New York winters. Regardless of hitting a jackpot, guests will feel like a million bucks after they experience everything Turning Stone Resort Casino has to offer. With world- class amenities, it’s always a safe bet guests will have an unforgettable experience.
The Lodge at Turning Stone Resort Casino is an elegant all-suite hotel that’s perfected the art of pampering. This beautiful hideaway offers treasured privacy that superbly complements the Resort’s recreational pleasures. Your sumptuous suite is just mere steps from fun and excitement, yet still a serene world away.
Upon arriving at The Lodge, a professional staff is ready to greet and assist you with complimentary valet parking and then present you with ‘’Welcome” chocolates and a seasonal beverage at Reception. Your exquisite suite will be prepared for you with a number of amenities including an in-room safe, minibar, robes, Keurig coffee maker, Saratoga water and complimentary Wi-Fi.
As a guest at The Lodge, you will be provided with access to The Lodge pool, hot tub and exercise facility. Each morning the newspaper will be delivered to you and you’re invited to relax in the Great Room for complimentary coffee and tea services.
The Tower is the tallest building between Albany and Syracuse, offering a stunning panoramic view of the countryside. The AAA Four Diamond award-winning hotel features well-appointed guest rooms, junior suites, spacious elegant suites and the exclusive, TS Steakhouse on the top floor.
The Hotel at Turning Stone Resort Casino is located at the heart of the Resort with convenient access to gaming, dining and pool and spa activities. Each of its recently renovated guest rooms and specialty suites features a spacious layout and comfortable, modern conveniences.
The Hotel has 268 rooms, including 28 suites. Specialty room choices include Hot Tub Rooms, Patio Suites, Hot Tub Suites and Luxury Suites. All rooms in The Hotel come equipped with free Wi-Fi, in-room movies, hairdryers, coffeemakers and an in-room safe.
The Inn is convenient to all Central New York attractions, and offers an affordably priced alternative for your stay. Entirely smoke-free, The Inn’s 59 standard rooms feature comfortable king or double beds, cable TV, wireless internet, and designated rooms are available with handicapped accessible doors, walkways and bathrooms.
Included in the room rate is a deluxe breakfast bar with hot oatmeal and fluffy Belgian waffles, in addition to cold cereal, yogurt, donuts and a selection of bread items. The Inn is located about two miles from the Resort, with free shuttle service to the casino.
Turning Stone’s first-class amenities and exemplary guest service make it a perfect destination for both a relaxing escape and exciting adventure. Experience the resort’s state-of-the-art Poker Room, offering real-time tournament updates, tableside food and beverage service, tableside massages, and more. With over 2,000 to choose from, guests can try their luck on any of the slot machines or venture to the gaming floor with a recently renovated Keno Lounge and international gaming area, the Golden Dragon.
With more than 20 restaurants and dining options, ranging from casual to fine-dining with a variety of cuisines including American Contemporary, Italian, Asian and good ‘ol American barbecue, guests will find something to satisfy any craving. Plus, the resort offers more than 10 cocktail lounges and bars with live entertainment every weekend.
Guests looking to wind down will find the resort offers plenty of relaxing activities such as the Golf Dome and SkÁ:nÁ:, a Forbes Four-Star rated spa. Putting and chipping practice has never been easier with the relatively new short game golf instruction area, featuring three greens, fairway areas, short rough, long rough, multiple putting surfaces, fringe and two bunker options. Located in the tranquil setting of The Lodge hotel, SkÁ:nÁ: will melt away the tension with its luxurious amenities that make the spa an integral part of the Forbes Four Star and AAA Four Diamond ratings. For more information, visit www.turningstone.com.
ISLAND RESORT & CASINO
Island Resort & Casino, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, is a luxury hotel and casino where you can experience the very best in casino gaming, concerts, shows, golf, fine dining and so much more.
Set the scene for a relaxing stay with a visit to the full-service Drift Spa before heading to one of the 300 elegant and comfortable guest rooms or suites. Every guest room at Island Resort & Casino offers a perfect blend of comfort and style. And the standard guest rooms are anything but ordinary. Each space offers style and sophistication with clean, crisp linens, contemporary fixtures and inviting seating areas.
Perfect for relaxing alone or entertaining others, the Queen Suite provides 500 square feet, of stylish elegance and comfort. Room amenities include a Whirlpool tub, separate seating area, armchair with ottoman, 40-inch television, alarm clock, iron, ironing board, coffee maker, make-up vanity and hair dryer. With spacious floor plans and an unmatched array of amenities, it’s sure to be a visit you’ll remember.
For the slot player, the Vegas style gaming floor at the Island Resort & Casino is like no other in the Midwest. With over 1,200 games from leading manufactures such as Aristocrat, IGT, Bally and Speilo, the floor not only features the newest games but the newest gaming technology. Popular games include Lightning Link, Dragon Link, Hot Roll Poker, Jackpot Party and The Flintstones, to name just a few. The floor changes often, so make sure you get in and play your favorites!
Island even features Drinks on Tap, an easy way to order drinks without leaving your game. Order a drink from your seat and have it delivered straight to you. You’ll never miss that lucky spin again.
And don’t forget to use your Island Club card when playing. The more you play, the more points you earn for rewards, dining coupons, hotel discounts and more. Join the premiere reward program that gives you the ability to earn benefits for practically every dollar you spend. That means you’ll earn rewards for enjoying hotel, dining and entertainment experiences along with slot, bingo and table play. Simply sign up for an Island Club card and start earning rewards.
Experience poker at its finest in the award- winning Island Poker Room. Featuring poker action five days a week, the Island Poker Room brings the excitement and action of Vegas-style poker to the Midwest. The recently updated poker room offers the latest in poker tables, seating and ambience. Visitors will enjoy a wide range of amenities, including non-smoking play, table-side food and cocktail service. The Island Poker Room offers live-action poker play in multiple formats, including cash games, weekly tournaments and special tournaments.
Island Resort & Casino provides six delicious dining options ranging from fine dining to quick bites. For signature appetizers, premium beef steaks and seafood, reserve a seat at 5 Bridges Steak & Seafood House. If sports are your thing, stop by T. McC’s Sports Bar. T. McC’s features the area’s only video wall and personalized viewing and audio areas, plus offers classic sports bar fare and 20 beers on tap. The Firekeeper’s Restaurant specializes in casual dining by offering a menu highlighted by classic Midwest cuisine. Menu selections include pasta dishes, steaks, hot sandwiches and local seafood.
And during your visit, take a break and enjoy world-class entertainment in the state-of-the-art Island Showroom. Featuring headline acts about twice a month, this 1,200 plus seat theatre-style showroom, has hosted some of the biggest names in entertainment.
For a different type of game, play a round of golf. Island has two championship courses on property, Sweetgrass and the newest, Sage Run. Sweetgrass features beautiful green, park-like areas with their signature island-green on the 15th hole. Sage Run features a large drumlin, which is a long, sloping ridge. It runs throughout the course in different directions, challenging players to interact and move along the course with it. Each hole has a unique character and feel.
Island Resort & Casino is the total resort destination. For more information about Island, visit www.islandresortandcasino.com.