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“Good if you have adults with you who don't gamble (and good for those that do gamble too)!” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Pala Casino Resort and Spa

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Pala Casino Resort and Spa
11154 Hwy 76, Pala, CA 92059   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pala
GreenLeadersBronze level
California
Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
31 hotel reviews
Reviews in 31 cities Reviews in 31 cities
49 helpful votes 49 helpful votes
“Good if you have adults with you who don't gamble (and good for those that do gamble too)!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

I hate casinos and I hate gambling....anywhere! That being said, because I love people who love to gamble, I tried to make the best of it, but I wanted to make certain that the casino had a nice hotel and great restaurants. Pala does!!!! Conveniently located just under an hour away from downtown San Diego, this is ideal for a quick get away.

TIP: SIGN UP FOR THE FREE, PRIVILEGES CARD EVEN IF YOU DON'T GAMBLE. THERE ARE DISCOUNTS FOR RESTAURANTS AVAILABLE THROUGH USE OF THE CARD.

The rooms are spacious and modern, clean and full of goodies like a full mini-bar, room service and pay--per-views movies with first run movies.

The sushi bar has an amazing variety of incredibly fresh and top shelf sushi and a wonderful selection of sake. The service was fabulous.

The Oak Room is a serene and luxurious oasis in the midst of a noisy casino. Great selection of steaks and fish, we enjoyed a wonderful meal. Service also excellent.

The lower end restaurants are just that. The service at the Pala Cafe was terrible, and the food was average. The coffee at the coffee shop was mediocre at best and bitter.

My gambling relatives enjoyed the casino but as non-smokers, they found the condition only "tolerable". They wished there were more non-smoking sections. That being said, they thought the conditions were better than Vegas and not so bad that they needed to cut their time at the tables short!

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Location
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (61)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
San Diego
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
3 helpful votes 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

My husband and I dislike casinos very much so when we won a night at Pala Casino R&S we were not too excited. We decided to make the best of it, and at least enjoy the night off and dinner at Mama Cucina's which was included in the package. When we pulled up, it was a huge high rise, which is not something we generally go for, but it was out in the country with mountain views which were pretty. When we got into our room, it was awesome! Because it was my birthday, they had a little happy birthday sign on the wall. Huge everything, huge desk, tv, bathroom, lots of space. Everything seemed new and clean. Even the soap dish was marble. Dinner was delicious at Mama Cucina's Italian restaurant and the waiter was excellent. We were given a birthday dessert which was yummy! I was bound and determined to gamble at least for 5 minutes, just for fun. Ok, nothing surprising here, the casino was a little stuffy and it appeared that there was no smoking section (although not sure), as we smelled smoke as we walked through the gambling area. There was also a slight sweet smell, like vanilla, that was kind of mixing with the slight smoke smell. So I gambled for about 10 minutes on the slots, and ended up losing a dollar, but I really don't know much about how to do it. The next morning we ordered coffees at the coffee bar , which were delicious, and had poolside breakfast outside. Because it was chilly, we had a heater. The food also very good. So all in all, we were pleasantly surprised, and had a great time at Pala, other than the casino part. We would go there again! (we never thought we'd say that!)

Room Tip: We asked for quiet, and they gave us a quiet room on top (10th) floor.
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
san diego
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

My Wife and I stayed at this property for our anniversary on January 1st. We usually stay at Harrahs and have our rooms comped there but due to it being close to the holiday there were no rooms availiable ( I am sure that there were they were just blocked out). Anyway we reserved a regualr , king, non-smoking room. We arrived early and of course had to wait, which wasnt a problem ( we anticipated that), the front desk associates were very nice and professional and even mentioned that we had been upgraded to a petite suite. The associate at the front desk stated that they would page us when the room was ready. Nice touch.
I have read a few reviews of this property and we have stayed there before and quite a bit in the past. Some of the negatives that we have read especially about it not being children friendly...well...it is a casino resort, I think that says it all, a place for adults. Plus the casino has laws that it has to follow regarding minors in the casino ( which may or may not just include the gaming area). Also, there were issues in the past with people just showing up for the day and dropping their kids with family menbers at the pool, coolers and all. I know that they have stopped this activity. I agree that people with families enjoy this type of resort and gaming etc. But honestly if you are looking for somthing like that here you better stick with Vegas, regardless fo how much money you are willing to spend, there is really nothing for children to do here except stay in the room or the pool, thats it. So...decide if this is a choice for you and your family.
We enjoyed the service at the bar and felt that the drinks were resonably priced and that service was prompt. again, not vegas and the drinks are not complimentary. If this is somthing htat is an issue for you and detracts from you having a good time, maybe Vegas is the best choice for you.
We had lunch at Noodles and it was very good but they were really busy but I think handled it well. The curry noodles are great. If you want to sit down adn eat there make sure that you scope out a table first or let them know that you will be in the courtyard area out front. The prices are resonable for what you get, the spices or saltyness of some dishes might be a suprise for some but just request what you want or ask questions before you order.
We got paged fro our room and waited in line and then recieved our keys in a timely manner. the room was on the tenth floor and the last one in the hallway. I shoud have asked for a closer room but forgot adn I know from experence that they like to fill those rooms first when they can ( any hotel does). So... request preferences before you get the key, non-adjoining, close to the elevator, close to ice or vending etc... the room was nice and appeared very clean. the bed was comfortable and it came with a jacizzi tub ( bathsalts etc included), nice eucalyptus bath ammenities, wet bar area, kurig coffee maker with complimentary teas and coffees, although only packet of creamer and sugar. It also had a nice sitting area, big flat screen TV, large window overlooking the pool area and mountains adn a smaller window overlooking the sitting area. Overall We were pleased.
They had a variety of slots and table games and also a non-smoking area, that wasnt as smokey as the other areas of the casino. Again..its a casino..if you dont like the smoke dont go, or stay as far away from it as possible. In the past they had a non-smoking area that was sealed off form the rest fo the casino by glass and glass doors, no longer the case. I think that area just became too small. Anyway we had a good time enjoying the games that they offered, didnt become millionares but didnt expect to either. Take the winning and losing with a grain of salt, its a casino afterall.
weahd dinner at the italian restaurant, one of our favorites.Oue meal was great, a nice bottle of wine some appetisers, fresh bread and a shared meal of filet and lobster tails. it wasn not busy at the time that we went adn the service was promt and professional. they gave us plenty of time to enjoy our wine and aps adn then brought out the dinner. The prices vary from inexpensive to market price and the dress is casual. A nice intimate place to get away from the casino etc, we will deffinately be back. It hasnt changed since we were there in past.
By the evening time the casino area got reall busy, busy to the point that it was over crowded and very, very loud. The amount of smoke in the air increased accordingly, but I htink they did a fine job of filtering out wht they could.It was also so busy that you could not pick and choose what if anythig you mught want to play. That senario to us is no fun, shuffling around the casino floor with a mass of other people looking for a table game or a slot machine that is open. Good for their bottom line though. maybe a bunch of busses came in, not sure. anyway just know that it can get like that and since we have not been in a while, we cant say what the other weekends/weekdays might be like. In that respect for some casinos it is just like vegas.
So we had a nice stay and at the end I contacted the casino host to see if our room could be comped, it was only 119.00 and she stated that she could take half off. I know that they cannot give the house away but I am sure our rated play at least equaled a comped room. I was disspointed in that and they should think about the small things that they could do to make sure a customer comes back. We enjoy spending what we do and have fun doing it and that is what they want from us as customers. A comped room goes a long way toward that, we didnt ask for free drinks, meal credits or any other specail treatment. I am sure that if the host truely reviewed our gaming history, it wouldnt have been a problem. Maybe next time.
Overall a good place to get away from it all and blow off some steam and relax. We have utilized the spa in the past and its ammenities are great even if you do not get a treatment. We did not go to the steak house sonce it was closed that night, but if it is anything like the other restaraunts I wouldnt hesitate to try it next time.
We had breakfast at the cafe in the morning before we left and it was great, basic, cafe food. The service was prompt and friendly eventhough they were extremly busy.
Just like vegas in some ways and not like it in others. Decide for yourselves if the differences make giving Pala a shot for your getaway.

Room Tip: Just ask for preferences ahead of time.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

We stayed in Escondio recently and had a nice time visiting this Indian Casino. We dined one night in their Mexican restaurant and the other in the cafe. Food, service and value were good. I would have given it a 5 rating except for their policy on cocktails while gaming at the slots.. A cocktail waitress came by like they do in Vegas, we thought the drinks were complimentary. They were not and that kind of suprised me, we had no way of knowing. Having said that everything else was wonderfull and we enjoyed going there.

Room Tip: Good happy hour prices in the Mexican restaurant. Make sure you get a free players card to get a di...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Massachusetts
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2012

We've stayed at this hotel at least five times with our kids and this time will be our last. Other family members joining us brought their kids. Aside from the pool area, Pala is a very limited experience for children. Although there is more than one jacuzzi, kids are not allowed.

We do not expect a casino of this caliber to cater to children, and we do value the chance for any adults (including ourselves) to enjoy a peaceful retreat without the disturbance of poorly behaving children. However, during our stay we were constantly treated in a condescending manner even though the children were well behaved. Staff members are everywhere to scold them if they appear to be in certain areas, even areas not marked as adults only. I do not expect children to be allowed in the casino itself, however in the process of going to the food court you must walk through the casino. We were asked to "leave" the casino with our kids when merely walking through to get food. Our kids were asked not to play on the large grassy lawn between the hotel and pool. There is no landscaping there, just grass and pathways, and the kids were not disturbing anyone or crossing the pathways. I arrived at the spa one morning a few minutes before it opened to book an appointment for my wife. My 5-year old daughter was standing next to me quietly holding my hand. A staff member unlocked the door, not to assist me, but to tell me I had to leave because kids are not allowed on the premises! She then informed me I would have to come back a few minutes later when the spa opened (I didn't mind waiting there). I could not understand being treated this way as an adult, in control of my child, ready to spend serious money for spa treatments (which I did not).

Lastly, the restaurants are very good, but after several meals bringing the kids to dine in, we just wanted to order take out and feed them outside on the patio. My wife called the Italian restaurant to inquire about ordering pizza. She was told we could order them to go. Twenty minutes later she walked down to read the menu and place our order but then was informed they would not serve us to go--that we had to dine in because they were too busy. This is the kind of thing that bothered us the whole time: an inconsistent and unwelcome stay for our our kids.

Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Trabuco Canyon, California
Contributor
13 reviews 13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
12 helpful votes 12 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2012

We decided to getaway at the spur of the moment to somewhere close by. A nice adult weekend (kids had other plans). I was a little leary of going to Pala after reading a few of the reviews but I'm glad we went. Such a great time! Nice casino and restaurants. I highly recommend The Oak Room. I had the Chilean Sea Bass. Delicious! Melts in your mouth. Our waiter, George, was very attentive, ask for him you won't be disappointed. We didn't go with intentions of winning alot of money. ! I'm assuming that's why some of the reviews were bad...sore losers. John, one of the pit bosses, was very informative about a few of the card games we had never played...Thanks! We will go back! If you go to the spa for a treatment ask for Crystal . I had a facial with her and it was one of the best ones I've ever had. I would not recommend this place for kids. This is a casino for pete sake...smoke, alcohol and all.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bonsall, California, United States
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2012 via mobile

My family and friends thoroughly enjoyed ourselves here as we got a cabana out by the pool, ordered lots of food, relaxed and watched some football. Had a birthday cake for my oldest son....great time had by all!!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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Additional Information about Pala Casino Resort and Spa

Address: 11154 Hwy 76, Pala, CA 92059
Location: United States > California > Pala
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 hotels in Pala
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
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Also Known As:
Pala Hotel Pala
Pala Resort
Pala Casino Resort Spa

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