Photo © Little Creek Casino
by Dana E. Neuts
Editor’s Note: Welcome to Northwest Travel Magazine’s second biannual Casino Resorts story in which we share the best amenities of these multi-faceted destination resorts. In our November/December 2012 issue, we brought you a great line-up of tribal resorts, and at the end of this story, in “Our Top Picks from 2012,” we point out some of the best features of those resorts.
Whether you are looking for an escape packed with action and excitement, a romantic getaway or a weekend of camping or golf, you’ll be a winner at any of these casino resorts. Each provides its own mix of indulgent fun, including everything from spas and live entertainment to fine dining and luxurious lodging.
Little Creek Casino, Shelton, Washington
A popular, out-of-the-way resort is Little Creek Casino, owned by the Squaxin Island Tribe. Located between Olympia and Shelton, it includes a luxury hotel with more than 200 rooms and suites, RV park with full hook-ups, meeting and event space, restaurants, top-notch live entertainment and more.
While any of the resort’s features make Little Creek Casino worth a visit, the standout attraction is the acclaimed Salish Cliffs Golf Club, the world’s first certified salmon-safe golf course. This 320-acre course is a golf-lover’s dream, featuring mountain views, wetlands and 600 feet of elevation changes. Golfers feel like they are the only foursome playing as they navigate the course in their state-of-the-art golf cart with GPS technology.
The Seven Inlets Spa is a lovely addition to the resort with a steam room, sauna, meditation area, treatment rooms and a full array of services. Once inside the spa, guests are cocooned in comfort and treated like royalty.
Love seafood? Don’t check out of the resort without indulging in fresh, local seafood, prepared while you watch at the Squaxin Island Seafood Bar, one of the most acclaimed seafood dining experiences in the Northwest.
The Mill Casino Hotel, North Bend, Oregon
With panoramic views of Coos Bay in southern Oregon, The Mill Casino Hotel offers a diversion from the drive along scenic Highway 101. Owned by the Coquille Tribe, the hotel features more than 200 spacious bay-view rooms and suites, along with a fitness center, arcade, indoor pool and two outdoor spas with scenic views of the bay.
Campers are welcome to stay at one of The Mill RV Park’s 102 camp sites with full hook-ups and access to hotel amenities. If you’re looking for some faster-paced fun, check out Warehouse 101, The Mill’s hotspot, equal parts sports bar and nightclub, complete with live music and comedy. Foodies can sample savory treats at The Mill’s in-house bakery or enjoy waterfront dining at the Plank House.
Spirit Mountain Casino, Grand Ronde, Oregon
Just 60 miles southwest of Portland, guests at Spirit Mountain Casino can escape city life and relax in the 254-room lodge. For romantic getaways, the lodge offers contemporary deluxe suites with large living areas, jetted tubs and wet bars. Junior suites, deluxe and standard rooms are also available.
One of the resort’s most notable features is PlayWorld, perfect for families traveling with children. PlayWorld is what a fun resort is all about for kids, with an indoor playground, interactive games, a movie room, snack bar and the Spirit Mountain Arcade. The PlayWorld staff will supervise children while parents try their luck at the 90,000-square-foot casino, enjoy a romantic dinner at one of the resort’s restaurants, relax at the Mountain View Sports Bar or take in the live entertainment at Spirit Mountain’s event center.
Another highlight of this resort is the world-class entertainment, featuring performers such as Bill Engvall, Bret Michaels and Michael McDonald. Spirit Mountain Casino also hosts rodeos, MMA fights and other events. For more information, visit spiritmountain.com.
Silver Reef Casino, Ferndale, Washington
Looking for a getaway in northwest Washington? Silver Reef Casino in Ferndale fits the bill with more than 100 executive suites and deluxe rooms, a 50,000-square-foot gaming area, 10 dining options, full-service spa and spectacular views of Mt. Baker.
Want to relax and truly get away from it all? Experience some wonderful pampering at The Spa at Silver Reef with a number of treatments and packages. For example, with the Rejuvenation at the Reef Package you’ll be wrapped in a Native Botanical Cocoon and spoiled with a signature facial and Pedicure, all together more than a three-hour treatment. If you are staying at Silver Reef with your sweetheart, try the Couples Retreat package with a couples’ massage and a mani-pedi for two in your own private treatment room—blissful!
In addition to extensive gaming options, Silver Reef entertains its guests with special events, including car shows, fantasy football and concerts featuring groups such as the Beach Boys. For a more low-key evening, light up at the newly-opened, fully-enclosed Cigar Lounge with a large selection of cigars, more than 700 wines and appetizers from the Steak House. If you’d prefer an elegant meal, make a reservation at The Steak House and Wine Room, one of the best fine-dining steak restaurants in the Northwest. For more information, visit silverreefcasino.com. To learn more about other nearby attractions, go to bellingham.org.
Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, Suquamish, Washington
For a secluded escape on the water, travelers love the spectacular Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, along the shores of Agate Passage near Poulsbo and Bainbridge Island. Whether staying in one of the hotel’s luxurious rooms or suites, relaxing at the zero-entry pool and outdoor hot tub, or hosting a dream wedding at Kiana Lodge, guests flock to this property for the peace and serenity.
Enhanced by the Suquamish Tribe’s rich history throughout, the resort is home to the Native Art Gallery featuring museum-quality pieces, a beautifully manicured event lawn, magnificent waterfront views and the Angeline Spa, allowing guests to shut out their busy lives and truly relax. For a sumptuous meal and exceptional service, savvy diners choose the Cedar Steakhouse, which serves prime rib, fresh seafood and other gourmet delights in a quiet setting.
In addition to these impressive features, the resort offers a free hotel shuttle to the highly rated, 456-acre White Horse Golf Club.
For more information or reservations, visit clearwatercasino.com.
Our Top Picks from 2012
Tulalip Resort Casino in Tulalip, Washington, is a AAA Four-Diamond Award recipient with luxury amenities, including the nature-inspired T Spa and the elegant Tulalip Bay restaurant. tulalipresortcasino.com
Quinault Beach Resort & Casino, located on the Pacific in Ocean Shores, Washington, offers sweeping water views and is near beach activities that put Ocean Shores on the map. quinaultbeachresort.com
Northern Quest Resort & Casino, located in Spokane, Washington, is a AAA Four-Diamond Award resort that is home to the acclaimed Masselow’s restaurant and the top-shelf cigar and spirits lounge Legends of Fire. northernquest.com
Swinomish Casino & Lodge, located near Anacortes, Washington, offers rooms and suites with bay views and dining at the outstanding restaurant 13moons, known for using local farm ingredients and seafood from the tribal fishery. swinomishcasinoandlodge.com
Wildhorse Resort & Casino in Pendleton, Oregon, welcomes guests with family-freindly activities, including a multiplex theater and a Child Entertainment Center. wildhorseresort.com
Chinook Winds Casino Resort, on the beach in Lincoln City, Oregon, is one of the north Oregon coast’s key destinations with top-name entertainment for parents and Play Palace & Games Galore for the kids. chinookwindscasino.com
Coeur d’Alene Casino Resort in Worley, Idaho, is home to the luxurious Spa Ssakwa’q’n and the acclaimed Circling Raven Golf Club. cdacasino.com