THERE ARE FEW PLACES in the world as eclectic as Kentucky. Known as the horse and bourbon capital of the world, the state is the birthplace of approximately 30 percent of the nation’s horses each year and home to nearly 5 million barrels of aging bourbon. The entire state’s population is only 4.3 million, if that tells you anything.
While many horse farms and bourbon distilleries are scattered throughout the commonwealth, the city of Lexington, located in the heart of the Bluegrass State, has an array of both. In addition, the city is home to Keeneland, one of the most historic racetracks in the country and the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house, where approximately half of the 11 Triple Crown winners have been sold.
Overall Score: 100%
Property Overview: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City, Iowa is a casino destinations worth going to. The 54-room boutique style hotel is located in the historic Battery Building that was once a drop off stations for trains. The casino has an open and expansive layout and the entertainment line-up is always fantastic. Stroll around the property and check out the array of authentic rock and roll memorabilia displayed while you’re there!
Overall Score: 100%
Property Overview: Wind Creek Wetumpka is a luxury resort style property located about thirty minutes northeast of Montgomery, Alabama. Featuring almost 300 rooms and suites, an awards winning pool and outdoor bar area, fine dining and of course, a casino, this is a great getaway for central Alabama. The casino features over 2,500 electronic games in a contemporary and comfortable setting.
The life of a high roller can be compared to that of a Hollywood star. While they may not have paparazzi or sign autographs, they will have plenty of attention from the moment they arrive at valet to the end of the trip, and no request is too big. In addition to fancy dinners, rounds of golf, all-expense paid trips to major sporting events, backstage concert passes and more, among the most popular perks offered to high rollers are luxurious suites featuring private amenities to make their stay a memorable experience.
French Lick Resort is the Midwest’s premier resort destination. Located in the southern portion of Indiana, the resort offers two luxurious hotels, three championship-style golf courses, a casino and fourteen dining venues all surrounded by a quaint town in the middle of Indiana, you’ll find a great retreat for adults, or a family affair.
The property has a history like no other dating back to the late 1800’s, this property has changed hands several times. Created originally by a Dr. William Bowles, a physician from Paoli, Indiana, he used his knowledge to explore the healing powers of the mineral springs located around the property. Later, in the early 1900’s, Tom Taggart and company bought the property and really modernized the hotel and commercialized the mineral waters as healing ailments. At the time, Taggart served as the chairman of the Democratic National Committee and Franklin Roosevelt rounded up his support to be the party’s presidential nomination at the property in 1931. At one point, the both the Democratic National Convention was at French Lick while the West Baden Hotel hosted the Republican National Convention making the resort the hottest places in the country. Over the next 60 years, the properties changed hands and in 2005, it was acquired by the COOK Group who invested hundreds of millions of dollars to make the resort the crown jewel that it is today and earning it’s spot on one of the premier resorts in the country. It is a place where the rich Sulphur springs flow, bootleggers and gamblers once played and the rich and elite relaxed and were pampered with every need.
The West Baden Springs Hotel was once called the Eighth Wonder of the World with an atrium that stretches 200 feet across and interior facing rooms with balconies overlooking. There are several seating areas, a full-service bar, and Sinclair’s Restaurant for an elegant meal. Dozens of pictures from the past and restoration of the facility line the walls around the facility. Just off the main lobby of the hotel, you will find a ‘library’ and if your timing is right, there is a three-piece band playing the tunes of some old classics. The hotel houses 243 interior and exterior facing rooms and that includes 34 suites, and 3 specialty suites, a full-service spa as well as indoor and outdoor pools. Rumor has it that Al Capone used to rent the entire sixth floor for so that he could look down into the atrium to see who was there.
The French Lick Hotel is also a jewel boasting times of the past. Established in 1845, the hotel has been restored to its glory with a gold lined accented lobby with elaborate greek mythology painting lining the lobby ceiling. Be sure to ask for Tom, the concierge with the top hat, to tell you the meanings of the paintings! The hotel features 443 rooms as well as a full-service spa, indoor and outdoor pool and several dining venues.
Whether you are with your family, or a couples getaway, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy at French Lick. There are areas around the resort to relax and walk around, trails to hike, horseback riding, an indoor tennis center that also features pickle ball, basketball and other activities. Plus, with three golf courses, you can’t go wrong. If you are an avid golfer, be sure to check out the Pete Dye course. It will cost you upwards of $300 to play it, but it is regularly regarded as one of the top courses in the country and hosts an annual Senior PGA event. You owe it to yourself to play this track!
In addition to on-property activities, there are also plenty of things to check out around the town. There are complimentary French Lick Shuttles that will take you around town, and you can just call them when you are
ready to get picked up to go somewhere else. Just across the street you’ll find several dining outlets and shops including 33 Brick, a restaurant dedicated to Larry Bird and his career accomplishments.
For more information or to make reservations, visit FrenchLick.com or call 1-888-936-9360.
Overall Score: 98.6
Property Overview: Rising Star Casino Resort is located in Southern Indiana near Cincinnati, OH. Featuring a hotel with close to 300 rooms, a pool, award-winning links-style golf course and a fantastic steakhouse (Wellington’s), this is truly a great casino getaway. The property is also located right next to the small town of Rising Sun where you will find quaint shops and diners to fill your relaxing afternoons.
- What was your overall experience: 100
- Was check-in smooth? 100
- Was the staff friendly and helpful? 99
- Was the price right? 98
- Was it clean? 95
- Was it what you expected based on property web-site? 100
Review by Linda A. from Kingston, OH: It’s always a great visit. Easy check-in, friendly staff. The staff at the buffet is also excellent and the cashiers are very attentive. We’ve visited several times and will visit several more. We also take advantage of the work-out area and pool just to relax. Rising Star is very generous with comps. The free entertainment is also a plus. We can just sit and listen to the band or gamble. The Christmas decor is outstanding and it’s nice to see families bring their children to enjoy the scenery and pool, etc. We did prefer the noon check-out time but that isn’t a huge inconvenience. On a nice day, one can walk up town and enjoy some of the local establishments or just walk along the river. It’s a nice little getaway for us because of our busy schedules. I have referred friends to Rising Star and no one has been disappointed with the property or it’s amenities. The addition of the Lodge was a good managerial decision. Naturally, most guests prefer to be in the main hotel, but it does give another option.
Review by Robin from Beech Grove, IN: I love this casino because it’s always clean, has a friendly staff and I love the inside of the casino. There is such a variety of slot machines and I love the food in the buffet and the little Steakhouse. It was beautifully decorated at Christmas time and the gift shop is so cute and quaint and prices are very reasonable too. The little town it’s in is also great and sits right by the Ohio River. It’s the best casino for me because it’s not a huge casino but I always seem to have good luck there and the slots are good. I’ll continue to keep going back since Rising Star is my favorite casino of all time. I even love the drive and it’s about an hour and half from my house. They always comps my room so I have more money to gamble with. They also have a non-smoking floor which I love because I’m not a smoker. The staff is very friendly and I’ve never had a problem with anything. Sunday through Thursday seem to be less crowded and I really like gambling between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00 in the morning since it seems to be less crowded and the slots are loose…or maybe I just have better luck at that time! I enjoy it the and will be going back soon!
Property Contact info:
Rising Star Casino Resort
777 Rising Star Drive
Rising Sun, IN 47040
Standard Hotel Room Rates: $89-$159
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