Get Away from it All at Pala Casino Spa & Resort!
In addition to the fantastic reggae concert with UB40 at Pala Casino Spa and Resort last month, I was thrilled to do an overnight stay with Horsing Around in LA where I got to discover just how special and unique Pala’s resort truly is for everyone looking to have a little escape.
Having been to Las Vegas, I must admit: I had yet to find a casino that has really impressed me. I hear ‘casino’, and, immediately have visions of trying to avoid cigarette smoke, not waste my money in the slots and well, just people watch and move on. At Pala, they put a tremendous amount of emphasis on ‘resort’ and it truly pays off.
When we arrived at Pala, I was struck with their ample, air-y lobby and that their hotel parking lot is conveniently located within steps of the hotel. No parking miles away, or having to find the Valet (although Pala does offer that should you need it!). After you check-in, if you are ready to hit the slots or play a round of Black Jack, I was so happy to discover that Pala Casino offers a designated non-smoking area of the casino floor. I finally felt inclined to test my luck on the slots.
When we headed up to our room, it was absolutely gorgeous. Cozy, gorgeous and posh, you could not beat our 9th floor view of the pool and spa. To stay in and chill-lax, or hit the floor and pool? It was a tough decision, but, we had more to explore and places to be!
Pala Casino Spa and Resort boasts several fine-dining as well as casual restaurants.. I got to experience one of their marvelous restaurants, The Oak Room, which feels a world away from the hustle and bustle of the casino. Famous for the steaks and seafood, as well as a fantastic extensive wine list and a knowledgeable staff, The Oak Room is immediately welcoming with their low lights, cozy settings with their rounded booths and a fireplace. Being treated to a mouth-watering 3 course lunch, we began our foodie journey with shrimp cocktail and Baltimore style crab cakes. Assuming I would miss out on the crab cakes, you can imagine my excitement when I was informed they are gluten-free!
As someone who doesn’t usually run for the tartar sauce, I was shocked how good The Oak Room’s was. Paired with lemon and fresh dill on the crab cakes, I loved every bite, as well as their shrimp cocktail.
Next up, we experienced their rib eye paired with asparagus and baby corn. As you know (yes, here I go again), I have become a reluctant carnivore and have to say, eating meat after 17 years has been welcoming. I still prefer to be Vegetarian and would continue in the perfect world, but, feel that my energy has improved with some meat as well as expanding my options for travels like this one.
Juicy, tender and perfectly paired with a Sacramento County Cabernet, the small plate was hearty and filled me up before we continued on for more wine-y fun at The Cave!
Literally down the stairs adjacent to their concert stage, The Cave is a funky, clever cave (literally) and just happens to be the oldest winery in San Diego County. Is Pala ahead of the times or what?!
While I was stuffed and thought we were just going to experience their wine, how could I say no when our hospitable bartender heard I was gluten-free and had the kitchen whip me up pasta and homemade tomato sauce? Usually, gluten-free pasta with some marinara…that’s about it. Nothing to write home about. At The Wine Cave’s? It was spiced with herbs that made it pop.
While Pala seems like it can not get any better, they are actually expanding and in the middle of a renovation that will add a new 349 room tower, a brand new multi-pool and entertainment complex along with an expanded gaming and casino bar space. I cannot wait come 2018 to check back in at how more incredible Pala has become. The ideal getaway for a romantic weekend, stay-cation or girls weekend, Pala Casino Spa and Resort should be your new go-to when you need to get away from it all and enjoy all those over 21 activities (plus, the pool, spa and their concerts.)
Oh, and as for my enjoying the slots in their non-smoking section, I scored 85 bucks thanks to my old reliable, the Wheel of Fortune machine! I resisted from screaming “Helllooo!” as I scored my wins. If you are a Twin Peaks fan, you will understand why 😉
(*Disclosure: I was a guest of Pala Casino Spa and Resort. All opinions are my own.)