Nice place to stay, Not a place to play A review of Pechanga Resort and Casino
My boyfriend and I stayed overnight at Pechanga on June 12, 2004. The casino is very clean and looks new still. We stayed in a deluxe room with one king bed. The bathroom, spacious and tastefully decorated, had two sinks and a sliding wooden door separating the toilet from the main bathroom area. The pool, located on the third floor, was fairly small considering the size of the casino and went from 3 ft to 4 ft. There were shaded cabanas around the perimeter of the pool as well as an ample number of recliners. Live musical entertainment was provided up to 6:00 that evening at the pool area and I did enjoy the music while I soaked up some sun.
We had dinner at Pechanga's Italian restaurant, Paesano's. The food was surprisingly good. My boyfriend had delicious homemade ravioli with spinach, cheese and pine nuts. I opted for the chicken cacciatore which tasted good as well.
The only negative part (which was important to both of us) of the casino was the gambling. For recreational gambling, Las Vegas would be a better bet. The lowest Pai-Gow Poker table was $25 and they (3 tables) were all full. There was only one $5 Blackjack table (full) while the rest were $15+. Roulette was computerized. The night that we were there, I would guess that 85% of the slot machines were occupied. There were people standing behind these occupied slots waiting for them to be vacated, it reminded me of a line at a grocery store. We ended up drinking at the bar and listening to lounge music the rest of the night.
We had brunch at the buffet the next morning. I have to say for a buffet, I was impressed with the food. The mexican dishes (chile verde, chile relleno, fajitas) were very flavorful and the breakfast selection (french toast, belgian waffles, eggs benedict, made-to-order omelettes, bacon, breakfast steaks, corn beef hash) was better than average. Pastries and fruits were fresh. The price of brunch was ~$13.00.
The service also exceeded my expectations. The first room we were given had an inoperable safe. A call to the front desk and <5 minutes later, we had a hotel employee at our door with a new set of card keys for a new room. Employees were friendly and helpful.
If you are looking for a nice place to stay and are not too interested in gambling, then Pechanga is the place for you. If you want the whole package, I suggest Vegas, which is a bet that I would gladly place.