Every November around my birthday, I plan a getaway staycation with my best girlfriends. We only have a few days to whoop it up – so stay fairly local to minimize travel time, which leaves us few options. In 2014, we micro-traveled to Temecula, last year resorted to Carlsbad, and this birthday we’ll weekend at Pechanga Resort & Casino. After much back and forth attempting to plan a staycation for six picky women with varying interests, I made our reservation, did my research and realized this year was probably going to be epic.
Here’s why I decided Pechanga is a great staycation destination:
1. Pechanga is a one-stop vacation stop.
What do you like to do? Get a massage? Lounge by the pool? Golf? Dance? Enjoy live music? Savor a steak? Heckle a comedian? Pechanga’s got it, baby – and all in one location.
Pechanga’s upscale property houses a spa, pool (with cabanas), comedy club, rooftop nightclub, 18-hole golf course, popular concert venue (think Tracy Morgan, Tears for Fears, and Martina McBride), fine dining, and a huge casino.
If you can’t find something you like to do at Pechanga, you might not be a human person.
2. The casino is enormous.
Did I say that already? It bears repeating. Here’s why: if you’re a gambler, you will absolutely appreciate the fact that Pechanga’s 200,000-square-foot casino boasts a larger floor than any Las Vegas resort, and is one of the largest resort casinos in the United States. Pechanga’s casino features 3,400 slot machines, 130 table games, a 700-seat Bingo hall, 43-table poker room, more. There’s even designated non-smoking areas if you just can’t deal.
3. There’s a championship golf course.
I mentioned golf earlier, but here’s the nuts and bolts: Journey at Pechanga is consistently rated among the top public courses in California. Located adjacent to Pechanga Resort & Casino, Journey’s par-72, 18-hole golf course meanders over 7,219 yards flush with canyons, ravines, drops, and open fairways. The course also hosts some of our state’s most popular tournaments.
4. There’s dining for every taste.
Pechanga features three fine dining restaurants with private dining rooms and chef dinners (make advance reservations for that option), as well as casual, to-go fare and of course – a buffet.
Foodies can enjoy the Great Oak Steakhouse with its wine list recognized by Wine Spectator and Wine Enthusiast magazine editors, or the Umi Sushi & Oyster Bar, Paisano’s Italian, Journey at the golf course, and for more casual fare, hightail it to the food court, buffet, Blazing Noodles Thai restaurant or several bars.
(Cool fact: “Great Oak” pays homage to the largest naturally grown indigenous coast live oak in the western U.S., which is located near the property. The Great Oak is over 1,000 years old, making it one of the oldest living oak trees in the region),
5. You don’t need to Uber offsite for a proper night out on the town.
This perk circles back to the something-for-everyone point. Pechanga features at least three bars – including Eagle’s Nest on the top floor of the resort – with live music, DJs, dancing, and even karaoke. World-class dining is also offered at Pechanga (see point 4 above), or you can check the concert schedule for national music or comedy acts that might be on tap. There’s also a dedicated comedy club with Friday and Saturday shows. If you’re with a big group, Pechanga even offers private bingo and poker sessions. All of this and more is right there on the property so you don’t need to mess with transportation or starting at one place for dinner and driving to another for dancing.
6. If you want to go off-site, Temecula wine tasting is less than 20 minutes away.
If you’re a wine-tasting aficionado, take that Uber and make the rounds in the Temecula wine country. There’s more than 30 wineries within 20 minutes of Pechanga right there waiting for you. This year, my group plans to visit some off-the-beaten path wineries including Avensole, Palumbo and Vindemia, but all the oft-visited wineries are options too – like Thorton, Hart, and Miramonte. Old Town Temecula is just about 10 minutes from Pechanga, so if you’d like to sample some of the hot spots “in town,” you don’t have far to go.
7. We’re not paying crazy rates for a suite.
There are six of us staying at Pechanga in a few weeks. Finding a big enough suite with enough sleep space for us all can be challenging. Luckily, Pechanga has a two-room suite option that’s more affordable than some resorts’ standard room rates. Of course, there’s every room type available – from double-bed-only rooms to expansive suites.
8. You’re not nickel-and-dimed.
Pechanga offers complimentary concierge service, free valet and self parking, no resort fee, and free use of the fitness center and as well as free use of the on-site golf course driving range for hotel guests. Another plus – there’s free Wi-Fi at the hotel and throughout the resort. Considering that many resorts charge an additional $25 a day for resort fees, and up to $20 a day for parking or Wi-Fi access, Pechanga’s no-fee policy offers a nice savings.
9. Pechanga is an award-winning luxury resort.
Pechanga Resort & Casino boasts the AAA Four Diamond award – becoming the first Indian gaming facility in California to receive the distinction. The resort has won many rewards since its opening in 2002 such as Best Overall Gaming Resort, Best Golf Course and Best Craps by Casino Player Magazine. Other awards include “Best U.S. Casino,” as named by none other than USA Today.
10. There are luxury amenities.
This may be a girl thing, but I’m excited about the high-end soaps and shampoos included in the rooms. (Right. So that’s totally a girl thing.)
If You Go…Here are Some Bonus Tips
- A Pechanga Comedy Club ticket also gets guests into the Eagle’s Nest nightclub free of charge.
- New members to the Club at Pechanga (which is the casino’s rewards club) receive 2 for 1 tickets to the Comedy Club and instantly receive $3 off at the Pechanga Buffet.
- Address: 45000 Pechanga Parkway, Temecula, CA 92592
- Website: pechanga.com
What do you want to do? Spa? Golf? Gamble? Fine dine? Dance? Concert-go?
It can all be yours at the wonderland that is Pechanga. Meanwhile, tell us about your favorite staycation destination!