The IP is certainly one of the more impressive casino resorts on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast. It is the second tallest building in the State of Mississippi, boasting 32 floors, and second in height only to the nearby Beau Rivage, which is also 32 stories but a few feet taller.
The IP Casino, Resort, and Spa started out as the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino, built by businessman Ralph Engelstad of Minnesota. Engelstad had already owned a casino in Las Vegas of the same name, having bought the old Flamingo Capri motel in 1971 and converting it to a casino which later became known as the Imperial Palace, which eventually got sold to Caesar’s and is now known as the Linq Hotel and Casino.
The Imperial Palace Biloxi opened in 1997, and successfully ran until Hurricane Katrina devastated it in 2005, as it did to other Mississippi Gulf Coast casinos. The Imperial Palace wasn’t destroyed though, and one of the benefits of taller casino hotel buildings is that they withstand such events better, but it did suffer quite a bit of damage and had to be rebuilt.
Ralph Engelstad had recently passed away, and the family’s trust which owned the Imperial Palace was looking to sell, and they found a willing buyer in Harrah’s, now Caesar’s Entertainment, who at this time already had picked up the casino’s sister property in Las Vegas.
It didn’t take long to complete the repairs, and in December 2005 it became the first Mississippi Gulf Coast casino to reopen its doors after Katrina. At this time the decision was made to change the name to simply IP, to distinguish it from the Imperial Palace property in Las Vegas, which it was known by at the time.
The theme here is an Asian one, although not overly so, and the structure itself resembles a modern looking casino skyscraper. It became expanded in 2008, providing not only renovations but a new Asian restaurant called Tien’s. The resort has won AAA four diamond awards and stands among the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s finest hotel casino resort properties.
The IP was bought in October 2011 by Boyd Gaming, which operates many other casinos around the country.
The Amenities of the IP Casino, Resort, and Spa
There are 1,008 rooms and suites at the IP, and therefore this is one of the bigger hotels in the area. Being 32 stories high does offer many of its rooms some great views as well. There are only 3 room choices here, starting with either a Deluxe Room or, for a little more, a Deluxe Room With a View. Both are 400 square feet in size and come very well stocked with amenities, including an iron and ironing board and a refrigerator.
Guests can move up to a Penthouse Room which offers not only better views, but more luxury, space, and amenities as well.
For those desiring or requiring even more room, there are four different choices among suites here. Their Luxury Suite’s additional features include an enormous jet tub, two flat screen TVs, two telephones, a refrigerator, and a coffee maker.
The Spa Suite comes with an even nicer bathroom, and guests can also enjoy the ultimate in accommodations here by booking either a Junior Penthouse Suite with 1,336 square feet of room, or a Penthouse Suite with 1,456. These do cost plenty more than a regular room of course but are simply beautiful and have magnificent views through their 12 foot floor to ceiling windows.
The IP has won awards for the best in dining and nightlife in the area. There are two upscale dining options here, both award winning, the Asian themed Tien’s with its selection of food from Vietnam, Korea, China, and Japan, and the Thirty-Two, which is famous for its steaks and seafood as well as the finest wine collection in Southern Mississippi.
Casual diners have four good options. Lovers of Italian food will delight in checking out the Costa Cucina. Casino goers always love a good buffet and the IP will feed you with good food until you can eat no more at the Back Bay Buffet, all for a reasonable price.
The High Tide Café features an extensive menu, offering lunch, dinner, and evening snacks until 10 PM. For even later dining, as well as drinks and sporting action, the Highlights Sports Lounge has you covered up until 1 AM.
Quench serves up salads and sandwiches, while the Infusion Coffee Bar offers coffee, pastries, and sandwiches around the clock.
The Thirty Two also has a lounge, and you can also take advantage of two other lounges and bars on site, the chic Chill Ultra Lounge or Whiskey Rose’s country dance hall. They also have the Gulf Coast’s premier showroom, Studio A, offering live entertainment and acts, including performances by many famous names.
Senses Spa and Salon provides first class spa and salon treatments. There is also two different shops on site to check out, Essentials and IP Trends. They also feature 65,000 square feet of meeting space if you are coming as a group. Those who enjoy golf will find special packages here at partnered golf clubs in the area.
The Casino at IP Casino, Resort, and Spa
In spite of everything they have to offer here, casino comes first in their name, and it comes first in more than name only. The casino at IP has won several awards for its gaming, and players have voted it the top casino on the Gulf Coast.
They offer Boyd Gaming’s reward program B Connected, which is good across all of Boyd Gaming’s properties. It has multiple tiers and will assure that your play at the casino here gets well recognized and rewarded.
The IP boasts over 1,700 spot machines with all of the latest and greatest slot games. What they are most proud of is their high level of customer service, and this extends even to the smallest bankrolled slot player, everyone is taken care of well here.
The IP features Boyd Gaming’s Penny Lane concept, with a wide assortment of penny slot machines. They have pretty much any slot or video poker machine you want to play here, including ones with jackpot payouts.
Their table games feature the friendliest dealers around, and offer players the opportunity to play several popular casino games, including Blackjack, Craps, Dragon Bonus Baccarat, Four Card Poker, Let it Ride, Midi Baccarat, Pai Gow, Texas Holdem, Roulette, and Three Card Poker,
For those who enjoy playing poker against other players, there’s a nice 13 table poker room here as well, where you can play your favorite poker games, including Texas Holdem and Omaha.
The IP also has a high limit gaming area, with 75 slot and video poker machines, with higher stakes available, as well as 8 higher limit table games, including three double deck ones. High limit players can also relax and enjoy appetizers and drinks in the exclusive Emerald Lounge.
The IP Casino Resort and Spa is certainly one of the best casino resorts on the Gulf Coast, if not the very best.