Tuesday, December 13, 2016
The Latest from Foxwoods!
It seems to get bigger every year, and I don't always get to visit; but this year my husband and I opted for a little getaway to visit Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, CT on the Mashentucket Pequot Indian Reservation. Connecticut is ground zero when it comes to what we all call Indian Casinos. Foxwoods was the first. It was the groundbreaker. And it is one of the biggest casino complexes in the world. Being one of my local casinos along with the Mohegan Sun Casino Complex, I visit once in a great while just to see what's changed.
Let me explain Foxwoods. This is one of those places that you do not visit looking for good deals. You do not visit in order to win at gambling. You don't go for the cheap seafood buffets. This is one of those places where you go to spend money and enjoy time with friends and loved ones. There are tons of stores, restaurants, shows, bars, and casinos. It's like a mini Vegas in there. You will walk a lot, you will enjoy the view most of the time. Being someone who has been there a few times before, I tried out a new restaurant by Guy Fieri. I liked the decor. The staff was friendly. The food was only average and in some cases below average. It was also pretty expensive for what you got. The staff, while friendly, did not get my order right, and in a way that seemed impossible to do. I ordered a salad. It was interesting, but in the future, I will probably go to the buffet or the Hard Rock Cafe or the Noodle Bar. It really wasn't worth it, and I should have known better, because I've been bitten by the celebrity chef thing before.
We did see some interesting things, however. They have a machine that you can buy a cupcake from. Never seen that. Didn't try it because I'm dieting and well, it seemed a little odd. If you want cake there is a cake company at Foxwoods where you can just buy a beautiful cake. Saw a great wine cellar coming up from the steak house on the lower level. It provides a great show for a bottle of wine. We also saw many other things, like the new Tanger Outlet Mall. There are a lot of great shops in there and it makes a great walk through from the Fox Tower Hotel to the casino complex. We liked that we could walk inside out of the cold instead of having to take the shuttle around. It gave me the option to leave my coat in my hotel room which is a great option.
This is an ever growing complex that becomes quite confusing. Be very careful to follow the signs, or you will get lost. But, that being said, it's a great place to spend time in the winter, because it's inside. You never have to go outside. In Connecticut it gets bloody cold and this is a great way to get away in the winter. The holidays are great too. The complex is festive and the deals at the mall are good. There are holiday shows and holidays decorations. You can even go ice skating between 9 am and 10 pm. We stayed at the new Fox Tower, because they were having a great midweek deal. We lived like royalty or a high roller for little money. It was great.
Let's talk about Fox Tower for just a moment. They are relatively new on the Foxwoods hotel scene. We got a good deal which is the only time I tend to go out gambling at Foxwoods. When we got there, we found an extremely luxurious, fabulously convenient hotel. They asked me if I would like a view, and when I told them yes, I got a room on the 24th floor. The view was magnificent. The beds were luxurious and comfortable and the bathroom made me feel like a star with it's modern shower and it's phone in the toilet. It was all very reasonable and comfortable and the staff was great. We went to the casino complex and got sick of it fairly early, so we came back to gamble at our hotel's casino. We had a much better time than in the main complex, and closed the bar there that night. We had a great time, and we agreed that if we go back again, we will spend a significant amount of our time in our hotel again. It was a really good time. One more point I would like to make about this hotel is that they have many restaurants as well, so you don't have to get lost over at the main complex if you don't want to. And my final praise for this hotel; I could figure out how to use the television remote. That doesn't happen to me at hotels often.
Now, I have to say that with all the new stuff that is always being built at Foxwoods, make sure you don't miss the old stuff. Don't forget to visit the older part of the complex. They have interesting stores over there and man made waterfalls to look at. They have the theater district and some great clubs, like the Scorpion Bar. Check the website before you go bar hopping at Foxwoods too. Some bars have happy hours and some don't. You can find some great deals if you plan ahead. Some bars have multiple happy hours during the night. Also, check for the shows. They have them in several spots on several days. There are some good deals if you aren't looking to see only the biggest shows. You have to stop and check out the Crystal Indian. This is an artistic display that was a very big deal when it was first erected. This amazing sculpture changes color and has a thunder and lightening display with it. It's overshadowed these days, but it's still beautiful.
Things to look out for have to come with things not to miss. Vue 24 and the Stargazer Casino. Very expensive restaurant and players casino. If you aren't in that league then don't waste your time on that elevator. Make sure that you know when the Mashentucket Pequot Museum is open. They do close for the season in the winter, so plan accordingly. Penny slots are not necessarily penny slots. Many of them require a minimum bet of 30 cents. Make sure that if you are ordering free drinks that they are really free. You may be surprised that if you order something complicated it will come with a bill. Check the schedule and prices on restaurants. It's not only the buffet that changes pricing with the time of day. Be careful about that. Know where the elevators are if you walk through the outlet mall. When an escalator broke down, they blocked it off and we all had to look for the out of the way elevator to get back to our hotel. Make sure you do your shopping during the day. While you can walk through the entire complex all the time, the stores all close by 9 pm. This is not Vegas. Many restaurants close relatively early too. Another thing to look out for is supplies. I always like to keep water and stuff in my room. There is nothing around Foxwoods, so locate the convenience stores within the complex so you can get snacks and drinks for your room. Take advantage of whatever deals they are giving out with the Foxwoods Rewards Card that you will be using to gamble. They give out coupons and vouchers when they issue them. There are some really good deals. You will only get the offers when you apply for the card, so take advantage of it.
Foxwoods is an amazing complex with a lot to see and do. It's just a hop skip on the ferry from Long Island and only a few miles from Mystic. There are lots of ways to visit the casino. You can stay on the grounds. You can take a bus trip from several locations all over the state and as far away as Boston and New York. You can stay in Mystic and take a shuttle to either of the Indian Casinos. Or, you can drive down for the day. There's a lot to do. If you choose to visit in the summer, they also have the Schimitzun, the world's biggest pow wow. They have rodeos, and native demonstrations. They have native art and gourmet burgers. There's no end to the ways that you can be entertained at Foxwoods. Just make sure you do your homework and plan your stay. If you do that, you will have a great time. It's just one more way to enjoy the holidays. You can even do your Christmas shopping at the mall. Enjoy!