I grew up in NW Indiana, but moved away in the late 80's. My family still lives in the area, so I am up there frequently. My 80-year-old grandmother schooled me on which casinos to frequent, and she introduced me to Ameristar only recently. The rooms are NICE. I travel for a living, so I've stayed at some pretty decent places, but honestly, I was SHOCKED when I opened the door to our room. I was completely taken aback by the gleaming marble floor and the warm, golden glow reflecting off all of the reflective surfaces. This place is pretty swank for a casino hotel in East Chicago, Indiana. But I'll tell you what, once I saw how nice it was and the PRICE compared to other hotels in the NW Indiana area, I am a regular now!
Let me talk about the beds. COMFORTABLE. I usually have a hard time sleeping, but the bed was oh so cozy. The bath is luxurious! Oversized tub, oversized glass shower, separate commode room, gold fixtures. Housekeeping does a pretty good job at cleaning, too. The views aren't great. NW Indiana is known for steel mills, and the casinos built right next door to the mills, so the area is very industrial and blue collar. But this casino has done it right!
Service. They greet you at the front wanting to valet your car. They want to take your bags. They want to get you extra towels. The service is pretty doggone good here.
The food. The food is located in the court between the hotel and casino. They have a really good buffet, a Sbarros, an Amerisports, a steak and pasta place, and a hot dog place. My favorite is the buffet. Some of the best fried chicken I've had anywhere. The ice cream is good, too.
The casino is fun, too. People actually win here. Good mix of games. Four story casino boat. TOO MUCH SMOKE, though! They REALLY need to address the smoke, but otherwise, I have few complaints. The more you play in the casino, the better deal you can get for a hotel room. But don't think it's easy to get a room because it's not. The weekends are EXPENSIVE and they are usually sold out or near sold out. I just tried to book a room for next weekend, and they are already sold out.
Despite how beautiful the rooms are, they are completely GUTTING the rooms, and renovating them. I just talked to someone who has seen them, and she said they are breathtakingly spectacular. I can't wait to see the new rooms because the old ones were pretty cool to me.
The area: East Chicago, IN is a blue-collar town. Steel Mills were the dominant industry in the area for DECADES. Many of them are closed now, but some are still active. This casino is directly adjacent to a steel mill, and it isn't pretty. The area is somewhat blighted, BUT...it *is* on Lake Michigan. The northern side of the hotel overlooks the steel mill, a marina and Lake Michigan. You can even see the Chicago skyline in the distance. Not beautiful, but still cool. The southern view is of the Harbor, a nice body of water. East Chicago is in Indiana, but it is only minutes to the I-90 Skyway to Chicago, and about a 30-minute drive to downtown Chicago (via the Skyway) in moderate traffic.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Ameristar Casino Hotel East Chicago is a full-service luxury hotel that boasts a variety of amenities. Complimentary wireless internet In guest rooms and a 24-hour fitness center are available for guests to use throughout their stay. The 56,000-square-foot casino includes four spacious playing levels, with one of the largest selections of games in northwest Indiana. Ameristar East Chicago includes diverse selection of restaurants ranging from deli sandwiches to steaks and seafood. ... more less
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