BET ON A GOOD TIME
with a Game-Changing Casino Resort Getaway
By Janis Turk
Let the good times roll and make your next vacation getaway a luxury casino resort stay.
Most folks love to play quarter slot machines or try their luck at Texas Hold’Em tables, while others say casinos simply aren’t their thing. Still, some may be surprised to find that today’s spectacular casino resorts are fun, even for those who don’t gamble. It’s a safe bet almost anyone would enjoy lounging by a lazy river, seeing a favorite touring band in concert, enjoying a spa treatment or a private cabana, dining in a fine restaurant, playing a round of golf, and shopping in unique boutiques. Hope to hit a lucky streak? Gamble on a good time.
Kickapoo Lucky Eagle Casino ▪ Hotel
Located closest to San Antonio in Eagle Pass, only 157 miles away, Texans can hit it big on more than 3,300 of the casino’s popular slot and table games. With a full-service hotel steps from the casino, brimming with bright nightlife, this property is home to eight restaurants and three bars, from high-end eateries to casual meal spots like IHop and Freddie’s Steakburgers. You’re sure to get a kick out of a weekend at Kickapoo. It’s not posh, but it is casual, relatively close to San Antonio, and offers music, entertainment, gaming, and a great little getaway.
L’Auberge Casino Resort, Lake Charles
Even those who usually don’t like casinos love L’Auberge. About 35 miles from the Texas-Louisiana border, L’Auberge’s lobby looks like an upscale Wyoming lodge or Aspen ski resort. Towering timbers frame high ceilings, and roaring fireplaces flank the lobby lounge of its 1,000-room resort casino hotel overlooking a large lake. Stroll the carpeted corridors of this sleek western-style property and pop into boutiques, cafes, and coffee shops which stand outside the casino floor. The spacious pool area features a long Lazy River, hot tubs, and cabanas. Guests can also relax at the hotel’s Spa du Lac, with an array of full-service spa treatments and a fully-equipped cardio fitness center and salon. Enjoy golf at the 18-hole championship course at Contraband Bayou Golf Club. Then dine at one of L’Auberge’s many restaurants, including my favorite, the Ember Grille and Wine Bar, styled in the handsome manner of a Jackson Hole steakhouse that Texans are sure to love. Enjoy fresh Asian-fusion cuisine at Asia, dine at Drago’s Seafood Restaurant, Favorites Southern Kitchen, or the gourmet market and food counter Modern Pantry. Hear live music at the L Bar or at Food & Brews before retiring to your comfortable room or suite. Catch a famous touring band in L’Auberge’s 1,400-seat Event Center, or dance the night away at a pool party on a summer night. Set beneath a glass-domed, vaulted ceiling, the casino features more than 80 table games and 1,600 slots. Though many prefer the Golden Nugget, which is newer than L’Auberge, this is one of my favorite casino destinations for a luxury stay in Southwest Louisiana. There’s also is a second L’Auberge in Baton Rouge near Louisiana State University, featuring an entirely different layout and ambiance. While there, dine in style at 18Steak restaurant.
Golden Nugget, Lake Charles
Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino is one of the best and brightest casinos in Southwest Louisiana. This AAA Four-Diamond 1,100 guest room and suite resort offers shimmering lake views, an 18-hole championship golf course, numerous boutique shopping options, a two-acre H2O Pool + Bar complex with a lazy river, a private beachfront and marina, a full-service spa and salon, and several of Landry’s, Inc. world-class restaurants. Golden Nugget’s casino floor features more than 1,600 of the newest slots, 90 table games, and seven live-action poker tables. The decor is modern, sleek, and stylish, with all the glamour of a top-notch Vegas resort. The enormous pool area is my favorite, with its private cabanas, lazy river, fire pits, and lots of modern outdoor lounge seating. If you like fun in the sun by day and glittery gaming by night, you’ll love Golden Nugget.
Harrah’s Hotel and Casino, New Orleans
Just steps from the alluring French Quarter on Canal Street, with rooms overlooking the Mississippi River, Harrah’s is large and impressive and showcases the best of the Big Easy. What I like best is that the Hotel stands in a 26-story tower apart from the casino yet is linked to it by an underground passageway. Adorned with understated New Orleans-themed decor, this AAA Four Diamond award-winning hotel property features 450 rooms and suites. The 115,000-square-foot casino offers nearly 2,100 slot machines, more than 100 table games, and the Harrah’s New Orleans World Series of Poker Room with 20 tables, plus smoke- and vape-free indoor casino spaces, three Smoking Courtyards featuring over 125 slots and gaming tables. Restaurant and entertainment options include a variety of buffets, cafes, and fine dining. You’ll find music and more in Harrah’s adjacent red-brick pedestrian promenade, Fulton Street, where live music and fun events fill the calendar.
Delta Downs Racetrack, Casino and Hotel, Vinton, is the closest casino to the Texas-Louisiana border and offers an American thoroughbred and quarter horse racetrack, casino, hotel, and concert venue. Inlovely Lake Charles,the Isle of Capri Casino Hotel was damaged by hurricane Laura and is currently closed with plans to reopen. The sprawling Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, Louisiana, is also popular with Texas travelers.
Get your game on and go! Odds are you’ll have a winning vacation.