10 Resorts, Spas and Conference Centers With It All: 2016 Hot List

Alysa Landry

A room of one’s own is important for an aspiring writer, or for your next convention, golf weekend or romantic anniversary getaway. If you can’t find a room you like on these properties, you’re doing something wrong.

Rooms Fit For Gods

Relax in style at Buffalo Thunder Resort & Casino. Each of this property’s 393 rooms and suites is designed in Native décor and the colors of the desert Southwest lurk just outside the window. Located in the Pueblo of Pojoaque just north of Santa Fe, New Mexico, and nestled in the shadows of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Buffalo Thunder offers 70,000-square-feet of gaming, including 1,200 slot machines, poker room, race book, high-limit slots and the largest table games pit in northern New Mexico. But this luxurious resort also offers all the amenities of a resort, including a pool and cabana, three golf courses, a world-class spa, shopping, wine tasting and fine dining.

No Gathering Too Small or Too Large

Whether you’re looking to book a venue for a wedding or a trade show, an intimate family gathering or a huge corporate convention, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino has events covered. With 60,000 feet of meeting space, this hotel and casino boasts one of the biggest venues in Milwaukee and has become one of the premier meeting destinations in the Midwest. Its staff caters to groups of 10 to 3,000 people in ballrooms, meeting rooms and banquet halls located in this luxurious events center in the heart of Milwaukee.

Rock Out With a Few Friends

Known as south Florida’s premier entertainment destination, Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino hosts big names in its 5,500-seat Hard Rock Live concert arena, which promises authentic and intimate experiences with performers. From classic rockers to side-splitting comedians, Hard Rock Live in Hollywood, Florida offers year-round entertainment options. It also boasts more than 100 table games, 2,000 of the most popular slot machines and a stand-alone poker room in its 140,000-square foot casino.

Relaxation At Its Finest

Turn back time at The Spa at Talking Stick, a full-service luxury spa at Talking Stick Resort Casino. This 13,000-square-foot, open-air spa is located on the resort’s 14th floor and boasts world-class rejuvenation treatments, including private rooms that offer guests unparalleled views of the valley below and floor-to-ceiling windows that can be opened during treatments. Owned by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community in Scottsdale, Arizona, the spa features treatments inspired by culturally significant ingredients. Available treatments include facials, body therapies and polishing, tanning, manicures and pedicures, massage, cranial sacral therapy, reflexology and Reiki. The Spa also includes a relaxation and serenity lounge, a spacious steam room and fully equipped fitness center.

Gaming Done Right

For one of the best overall gaming and resort experiences anywhere, try Agua Caliente Casino, a sophisticated casino located nine miles from Palm Springs, California. Owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, this casino boasts a 45,000-square-foot gambling floor, as well as a 16-story hotel tower. Called a slot player’s dream, Agua Caliente offers 1,300 slot machines, including 750 penny slots. It also offers 36 table games, a poker room and a high-limit room. The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians also owns the nearby concert theater called The Show, which features big names in entertainment. When you’re not trying your luck on the gaming floor, check out the world-famous Indian Canyons and Tahquitz Canyon hiking trails, or the Indian Canyons Golf Resort.

In a League Of Its Own

For visitors looking for a luxurious casino experience, Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula, California offers more than 200,000 square feet of gaming, including 3,400 slots, 130 table games, a 700-seat bingo room, a 43-table poker room and lavish high-limit amenities. California’s biggest casino, Pechanga was built to reflect the history of the Pechanga and Luiseño people of California, who once played a game with sticks and bones called Téeponish. “At night many visitors notice the horizontal, glimmering lights at both ends of the hotel and casino buildings,” said Andrew Rodrigues, principal at Delawie Architecture. “These hearken back to the game.”

Pechanga has earned accolades from guests, who recognized it as having the best table game tournaments, best video poker and best casino resort in the Casino Player Magazine’s annual “Best of Gaming” poll.

The Adventure Is Outside

There’s always something to do at Inn of the Mountain Gods, a 273-room luxury hotel, casino and resort owned by the Mescalero Apache Tribe. A 38,000-square-foot casino draws gamers to this premier mountain resort, but most of the available activities are outdoors. High in the mountains of Mescalero, New Mexico, this resort boasts clean air, stunning panoramic views and some of the best outdoor sports around, including golf, mountain biking, horseback riding, fishing, hunting, skiing and snowboarding.


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