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“It just couldn't be better...”

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Pala Casino Resort and Spa
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Pala
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
12 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“It just couldn't be better...”
Reviewed April 8, 2007

My girlfriend, a friend of hers, and I spent this past Saturday night at Pala. The experience was nothing less than spectacular.

We reserved a luxury suite, and after a decent AAA discount, paid $238.00 for the night. One thing I should mention for the readers here that I haven't seen mentioned before is that the hotel does not charge any taxes for their accommodations. No sales tax, no room taxes...nothing. Basically, the rate you are quoted is the exact amount you will pay for your stay. The room was very spacious and very well kept. There was a mini-kitchen with a sink, marble counter tops, a mini fridge, a coffee maker, and some complimentary bottled water. Right by the sink was a dining room table with seating for four. Adjacent to the kitchen/dining area was a sitting area with a full sofa and a single sofa chair. The room had a king-sized bed and a furniture cabinet with a 36" TV inside. The TV rolled out and swiveled, making it viewable from the bed or the sitting area. The bathroom was *huge*. It included dual sinks, a separate room with the toilet, a shower that would probably fit 3-4 adults, and a large jacuzzi tub. The water pressure in the tub and shower was phenomenal. It was actually a little much in the shower...but better too much than too little!

The room service menu is somewhat limited, and *can* be expensive, depending on what you order, however, the prices are not out of line with somewhat upscale restaurants. We had dinner in the room, and the food was great. The portions were huge, and the service was prompt. The housekeeping staff was very helpful and prompt with our requests.

Everyone at the hotel was extremely helpful. The service reminded me of the service we've been provided with at upscale Vegas hotels. I was very impressed. Everyone at the reservation desk and the concierge desk were nothing less than wonderful. The bellboys and valets were very courteous and friendly as well.

My only complaint about this hotel is the lack of vending machines. That, coupled with the hotel's remoteness, and unwillingness to allow outside food/beverages in means that you are forced to purchase food/drinks at the overpriced gift shop, or consume the overpriced items in the minibar.

The casino was great as well. Aside from it being VERY VERY crowded in the evening, it was on par with every Vegas casino I've visited. The slots are not too tight, but aren't too loose either. There's a wide selection of machines to choose from...everything from penny slots to $1 slots, to higher amounts.

The buffet, though pricey (We had the Sunday brunch buffet at $24.95 each), was great. There's a large selection of breakfast items, dinner items, steaks, seafood, and salad. The buffet also included a large fruit bar, and a massive dessert area.

All in all, I HIGHLY recommend this hotel/casino to anyone looking for a quick Southern California weekend getaway. I'm sure I'll be back to visit often.

  • Liked — The fantastic rooms, and the great views
  • Disliked — The overpriced snacks and lack of vending machines
  • Stayed April 2007, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank frawgster
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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363 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (117)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
Temecula
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed February 25, 2007

We went to the hotel for the day. We live close and wanted to check it out...we like to take weekend getaways close to home but wanted to check out the layout before booking. When we walked in we were hit by the SMELL, it had to be the strongest smell of cigarettes of any casino I have ever walked into. We could not ecape the smell no matter where we went. We ate lunch at the cafe in the Promenade. After ordering it took approx 45 minutes to get our sandwhiches, the service was absolutely horrible. The food sent me running to the restroom within 10 minutes and my husband was nausious the rest of the day. I have to say this was the worst local casino we have been to. If you want a nice hotel in this area we highly recommend the Harrahs Rincon, we would never go back to this hotel again. I do not have one nice thing to say about this place, we did not encounter one wmployee that we even could say was half way impressive. I hope other people have better luck than we did.

  • Liked — We were not the least bit impressed with this hotel/Casino
  • Disliked — The smell, the food, the employees
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank mblaschak
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
LA
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed February 4, 2007

We had a wonderful stay at Pala. We're not big gamblers, so we were not sure we'd enjoy this hotel stay - but the hotel was beautiful, the room was comfortable, and our stay was beter than we expected on every level. We visited in November, so we did not have an opportunity to use the lovely pool. We also were lazy, and did not use the fitness facitlity - but that looked great too!

The staff were exceptionally friendly, we saw some great live entertainment in the casino - all free, and it was a weeknight! - and had a wonderful meal at the in house Italian Restaurant. All in all, I would absolutly visit again - hopefully next tiem when the weather is a little warmer.

  • Liked — Luxiourous hotel room.
  • Disliked — Expensive drinks at the bar!
  • Stayed November 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank janfrompa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oceanside, CA
Level Contributor
11 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed January 14, 2007

A friend and I went to Pala for a weekend get-a-way. Here is a list of our experiences:

Reservations: By far, getting a person on the line to handle reservations (for both a room and a spa treatment) was the biggest problem we had at Pala. You wait a long time to get to a live person to discuss your reservation requests. This has happened to us every time we have called and it seems unfortunate that such a nice place can't get a few more people to handle the phone requests.

Check in: Ryan, who checked us in, could not have been better. He was professional, polite and the check in was speedy.

Room: The rooms are beautiful. We had a very nice view of the pool and the mountains on the 4th floor. Lovely bathroom and everything was clean and new looking. No complaints at all. Just the opposite.

Day Spa: The spa was excellent. We both had massages and were very, very happy with the therapists. Very nice locker room area with jacuzzi, steam, sauna. There was a nice patio area where you could be out in the fresh air and there was a great Rain shower out there to enjoy. When we checked into the spa, the lady was bombarded with phone calles coming in. Again, please get some more hourly workers to answer the phones. This is really annoying. The spa at Pala is definetly a high point and the other casinos in the area (Pechanga) can't even begin to compete with Pala's wonderful day spa. Only suggestion would be that the spa sets up a little spa cuisine area to get some good, spa-like, healthful food

Terrace Buffet: We found the buffet to be exceptionally good. The service there was very good and the food was much better than an average casino buffet. We were very pleased.

Casino: We're not big players, so we didn't spend too much time here. It seemed like your typical Indian casino with plenty of slot machines and table games. A little smokey which unfortunately goes along with casinos. They did, I should mention, have a small non smoking area in the casino for those of us who don't appreciate cigarette smoke.

Check out and Valet: Check-out went smoothly without any problems. The car was waiting for us as we had called ahead and given our valet ticket number over the phone.

Summary: All in all, a very good experience, For people (like us) who live in Orange County, San Diego County or nearby, it is nice to have Pala so close by and not have to drive all the way to Palm Springs or Las Vegas for a nice four star casino experience.

Helpful?
8 Thank jaime4692
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
California
Level Contributor
9 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2007

My wifw is an early raiser. She was up at 5:00 A.M. and when she went to take a shower there was no hot water. She tried letting the water run for awhile bur still no hot water. She took a hand-towel bath using the hot water from the basin. I woke up at 7:00 A.M. and my hell day commenced. I called the front desk and maintenance came up in about 45 minutes. They checked the unit and informed me the whole shower handle was defective and needed to be replaced. As I was waiting for the unit to be fixed I sat and read the paper and couln't help to notice how much dust and grime there was on the base boards. I actually ran a finger over one area and really came up with a handful of dust, lint and heaven knows what. I did tell the front desk about the dirty room when we chacked out

The shower was finally fixed, I showered and we left.

Now I'm the one who likes Pala and chose it over the two other major casino's down the road. On the three hour trip home I repeatly heard what a lousy choice Pala had been. How she wasn't able to wash the smoke out of her hair. How she could hardly wait to get home to take a real shower and on and on

Would I stay at Pala again? Life is too short especially when there are two other choices down the road. We been to both of them and have always been pleased with the accomadations.

The whole universe knows " when moma is happy, everybody is happy". Pala needs to find a way to make all Mama's happy!

  • Liked — Alma at front desk. She is a true professional
  • Disliked — No hot water ishower and dirty base boards.
  • Tips/Secrets — Keep driving south to either one of the two major Casino's down the road.
  • Stayed December 2006, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
8 Thank Retiredtravler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
18 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 114 helpful votes
Reviewed August 28, 2006

POOL SIDE RESTAURANT
I had excellent Crab Benedict here with quick, friendly service even though I was a party of one.

CASINO COCKTAIL SERVICE
Left a little to be desired. Sucks when you are winning and cannot locate anyone to order a drink.

ITALIAN RESTAURANT
Excellent. The Cabonara was superb! Service efficient and nice.

ROOMS
Nice rooms, clean. Everyone loves the bathrooms here.

POOL AREA
Not bad. No towel Nazi around. Whirlpools great temperatures.

COFFEE AREA IN CASINO
Slow. Just plain and simple. One person doing all the "Starbucks" stuff.

IN ROOM COFFEE
Yuk!

  • Liked — The bathtubs and showers.
  • Disliked — Minibar.
  • Tips/Secrets — BYOB.
  • Stayed July 2006, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank contactjody
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles
Level Contributor
13 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
Reviewed July 17, 2006

I like Pala because it is an not cut from the same cloth as most flashy hotel/casinos. The architecture is Frank Lloyd Wright lite, with earth colors predominating inside and out. Previous reviews point out the understated design. I would compare the look of the rooms to a Courtyard by Marriott. The color scheme combines brown and rose tones, which might not have been my first choice. A few luxury touches would have been nice. The bathroom, however, was lovely and would have fit right in at a Ritz Carlton or Fairmont Hotel. If you're paying under $150 a night, you're getting your money's worth. The pool is nice, but small for a hotel that size. It looked lke all the lounge chairs were either occupied or saved early in the day. The staff is friendly, and it seems we never had to wait for anything.

  • Stayed July 2006
    • Value
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank mikeLA
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

Property: Pala Casino Resort and Spa
Address: 11154 Highway 76, Pala, CA 92059-2904
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): $$
Hotel Class:3 star — Pala Casino Resort and Spa 3*
Number of rooms: 507
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Pala, Ca nestled in the splendor of the Palomar Mountains in Northern San Diego County, Pala Casino Spa & Resort is Southern California’s most complete gaming resort that offers So Many Ways to Win.™ Pala is a AAA Four-Diamond award winner for six consecutive years and its gaming and entertainment includes 2,000 slot machines, 87 table games, 10 restaurants, four concert and show venues, 507 deluxe guest rooms, including 82 luxury suites, and an award-winning, 10,000-square-foot day spa and salon. Accommodations, Meeting Space Pala’s 507 deluxe rooms, including the 82 luxury suites, all include mini bars, high-speed internet, two phones with two lines, large flat-screen televisions, dual sinks and Jacuzzis (in the suites). Pala’s professional meeting planners can accommodate every event need. In addition to 40,000 square feet of meeting space, Pala offers an Executive Board Room and 15 fully-equipped meeting rooms, eight of which have patios overlooking the garden and pool. The Pala Events Center seats 2,000 comfortably in 20,000 square feet of meeting space. Spa Pala’s award-winning spa offers unique experiences. The Pala Spa is a 10,000-square-foot oasis designed to revive, refresh and rejuvenate. Each of its 14 treatment rooms offers the option of outdoor treatments on an adjoining patio. Pala Spa features two Couples Suites, a complete salon, a retail boutique and separate men and women’s locker rooms with personal lockers, private shower and dressing facilities, outdoor showers, Swiss showers, eucalyptus steam rooms, sauna and whirlpools. Details such as bamboo floors, mosaic tile, wood accents and creative water fountains create a serene sanctuary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pala Hotel Pala
Pala Resort
Pala Casino Resort Spa

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