We are now at the one year mark since the transformation to the Golden Nugget was completed. In this comprehensive review, I will touch on all aspects of the property that I experienced on my last visit.
The hotel check-in is located either up an escalator from the front entrance or up the nearby elevator if you have multiple pieces of luggage. The main parking garage is located right at the casino floor so if you park there you will have to walk through the casino to get to the hotel check-in. They do have complimentary valet but it is much faster to park and walk then wait for valet, which can be very slow. All front desk staff I have interacted with have been pleasant and friendly. They have always made sure my important special request was taken care of before I even arrived.
The rooms are clean and modern looking. The beds are comfortable and there is a fair amount of workspace in the room. Depending on the room you are in, you may or may not have enough outlets for your electronic gadgets. Some have plenty while others only a few. Many of the on lamp outlets don't work so you need to plug into a wall outlet. The free wifi works depending on where on the floor you are located. It works great on either end of the long hallway or near the elevators. In rooms in between it is hit or miss.
Some regular rooms have balconies and can be great if you get one that is overlooking the gulf. If you book on the phone they will likely offer you an upgrade to a "suite" that has a hot tub but in my view the room is not worth the additional 50 per a night as the only difference between the regular room and this is the tub. Even though they charge a small resort fee, there is no complimentary bottled water in the rooms.
The Spa is nicely done and reasonably good for its size. Staff is friendly and good at what they do. Massages are nice and the treatment rooms are clean. There is also a fitness center and salon.
Starbucks - There is a Starbucks located on the walkway right before the escalators to the hotel and on the casino floor. They have always made my various beverage requests correctly and are polite and friendly.
Lillie's - This is a great Asian restaurant and has some typical American favorites as well as other more authentic dishes. I have eaten here several times and never had a bad experience. Regardless of what I ordered, the food was always fresh and the service quick.
Morton's - Morton's fits into the high end steakhouse category but you get what you pay for. The steaks are some of the best in Biloxi and the service is top notch.
The Buffet - I recommend only visiting it for breakfast or if you have a free buffet pass. I would not pay for it. You can get a larger selection and better quality food for the same or less at any other casino in Biloxi. The biggest disappointment is the seafood which appears to be frozen and farm raised.
Slots - There is a small no smoking section located near the hotel front desk and across from the buffet(all of which are in a no smoking zone). The main slot area has a wide variety of slots dominated by themed penny machines. They include all your favorites like Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly and dozens of others. You can also find other denominations ranging from quarters to dollars and 5 dollars. If you play high limits, there is a very small selection of machines that are 10 dollars and above.
Tables - They have all your favorite games. Blackjack with several variations and bonus bets, roulette, craps, crapless craps, three card poker, baccarat(including player handled cards), Mississippi Stud, Pai Gow Poker and Texas Hold'em. There is also a few head to head poker tables. Table minimums are almost always 10 dollars and higher. During off peak hours you may see a few 5 dollar minimum games. I've seen dead games at 10 but they would not lower them to 5 and rather them stay empty.
Dealers that I have encountered have all been friendly and pleasant. Sometimes they do not have enough games open forcing you to either wait around or go play somewhere else in Biloxi since they send the dealers home very quickly at the beginning of shifts if it is not busy at that time and cannot open additional games when it gets busy later. This stems from an issue with casino management and not managing the casino floor properly.
This is one area where there is big room for improvement. This is the only major brand that does not have their players club linked between all their properties in every state. They also nickel and dime several aspects of the players club. I call them penny-wise, dollar foolish moves. They may be saving pennies but they are letting plenty of dollars walk out the door in doing so. If you want to spend your earned points/comp dollars for a late night drink or snack at the gift shop, you must spend at least 5 dollars otherwise they won't let you use them. No other casino in Biloxi has this policy.
They have also recently cut benefits on the higher tiers of the club. Chairman level players used to get a 100 dollar credit a month a the Spa and now only get 50 is just one of several changes. If you are a table game player and get 50 dollars in promo chips offer, they will only give you the largest chip they have to ensure you make as few free bets as possible. All other properties in Biloxi do not do this and give you the chips in whatever denomination you desire.
Casino marketing micromanages your monthly offers too much with little explanation. Comp rooms can be either really easy or really difficult to obtain depending on what level player you are. Sometimes they will offer you rooms, but comp rooms allocated for your playing level are sold out. You also cannot book your offers online. You must call to book your hotel room. They are the only major brand that does not give the player the capability to book their rooms online. Sometimes the wait to book on the phone can be over 10 minutes.
This property has great potential and there are many great aspects of the Golden Nugget. Good Hotel rooms, nice sit-down restaurants and friendly dealers. However, many back end issues that they have had a year to fix prevent this property from being at or near the top of it's class in Biloxi. They continue to promise changes are coming, but once they finally implement improvements, will players still be coming?