We ended up staying that the casino because we drove into the Everglades at night and had no idea where else to go. On our drive into the blackness of the Everglades I was beginning to picture horror movie scenarios and the run down store in the middle of nowhere that we stopped at for directions did not help the situation. We had already driven past the casino but it was faster to go back than to continue on to Everglade city.
Back at the hotel and casino we were greeted with suspicious looks by the front desk staff - admittedly we did not look our best after a day of snorkeling and the drive from Key West but we weren't exactly carrying bindles over our shoulders either.
He told us the price of our potential room - $140 - like he was citing the price of the queens jewels and seemed far too shocked when I accepted. Technically that was far more than I wanted to spend there but we really had no choice unless we wanted to end up skin suits to some everglade dwelling family of alligator wrestlers.
On entering our room it was clean and spacious if not a little dated. And the closer you looked he more you noticed small elements of disrepair. Things I wouldn't even normally notice but became all the more apparent due to Front Desk Guy's attitude of booking us a room at Plaza.
Anyhoo, the bed was epic and the shower was delightful.
Have I mentioned that the hotel was freezing? it was like staying in a meat locker. The room was not quite as bad but the main areas - casino and restaurant were almost unbearable and it wasn't even that hot outside that night. I did not bring enough warm clothes on this trip to be comfortable and I'm from Canada dammit!
The restaurant we went to, The Hammock Cafe, was hilarious. It's essentially a raised platform surrounded by a sea of slot machines. It also pretends to be fancy, with the piano player and dress uniforms of the servers but just seems too ridiculous. Amused, we went for the "world famous $9.99 surf and turf" in which you get exactly what you pay for. We left before dessert came.
We did get an excellent hot dog from a little food stand though.
After our meal we wandered the casino for awhile, sucking in he second hand smoke and wondering why it provided nothing but slot machines, a bingo room and poker room. Not exactly James Bond material. I don't think 007 ever sat down and machine of Lucky Sevens.
Finally, after a night of pomp and circumstance we retired to our suite. The bed was the best part and really isn't that the most important part?
In the morning we gave the breakfast buffet a try. It had a substantial and diverse spread of breakfast food, including the essential breakfast marshmallows, but almost everything was cold. But the fruit was nice as it's supposed to be served that way.
All in all it was definitely the most amusing place we stayed and I can't even say that I was disappointed as I had no expectations to start with.
I think next time though I would take my chances with the murderous 'Glades folk and risk the drive to Everglades City.
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