Pala Casino Resort & Spa Review

The Pala Casino Resort and Spa is one of several large casinos in the San Diego, California area, and the intense competition among these Native American casinos is certainly of benefit to players and guests, as they constantly look to outdo one another to attract our business.

It is located in Pala, California, a small town mostly comprised of natives on this reservation, just outside of Carlsbad, which is part of Greater San Diego. So the large population there doesn’t have far to go in order to enjoy the benefits of this top rated resort, as it is just a short drive away.

The Pala does have a good sized hotel though with 500 rooms including 82 suites, so they do get a lot of overnight guests who are looking to come out to the countryside and get away from the city, in addition to enjoying the accommodations and amenities here, as well as the casino gambling.

Construction on the Pala Casino Resort and Spa began in 2000, and by 2003 the project was completed, which also includes a 10,000 square foot spa, a swimming pool, a conference center, an events center, a fitness center, a theater, 10 restaurants, a bar, and wedding facilities.

Their casino is one of the largest in California, as well the United States. While Las Vegas is famous for its glitzy casino hotels, California is actually the king of gambling, with over 150 different gambling facilities and many that are larger than anything they have in Nevada. Most are run by Indian tribes, including the Pala Resort,, which is owned by the Pala Band of Mission Indians and is located on their reservation.

The Pala Casino Resort isn’t that well known across the country, as is the case with all of the big Indian casinos in California, but the locals sure are familiar with them, and the Pala does get just about all of its business from Southern California, although this place is well worthy of a visit.

The Facilities at the Pala Casino Resort and Spa

The 500 room hotel here is an impressive looking structure, and from the outside there’s no doubt at all that you are at a resort. This is a lot of rooms for a California Indian casino, as they mostly tend to rely on day travelers, but the Pala has no trouble keeping this hotel full and you often have to book well in advance to get a room here.

Prices start at $129 a night, with higher rates on the weekends, up to three times the standard amount. A lot of people from San Diego come here for a weekend getaway so the higher demand does drive up prices, but more budget conscious guests can just come during the week and get more value.

You can choose between king rooms with a mountain view, or for $10 more a night, a pool view. Petite suites start at $159 a night with 3 different views and pricing. More spacious Luxury Suites will run you $220 a night and up, and the ultimate here, a Grand Suite, starts at $290 per night.

Dining options include Choices, the Buffet, which they bill as the ultimate buffet experience, world class steaks at the Oak Room, Japanese at Sushi Sake, California cuisine at the Pala Café, and Noodles, offering Asian cuisine.

There’s also overstuffed sandwiches at the Promenade Deli, an authentic Italian coffee shop called Coffee Amore, the Poolside Café and Bar, Grinding Stone Pizza, and Luis Rey’s, a Mexican inspired restaurant and lounge.

It’s not just about the excitement of casino gambling here, although they do have plenty of that, it’s also about relaxation and rejuvenation, and their large spa will take care of all your needs here. It features both indoor and outdoor treatments, as well as a fitness facility to keep you in shape.

The Pala offers the most live entertainment of any casino in California. The acts that perform here may not be famous, you don’t see big names from the past so much here, but they have a lot of performances and quite a bit of variety as well.

There’s an outdoor pool on site, as well as a 10 acre RV park, which they call an RV Resort. There are 2 gift shops on hand, and the resort also has a partnership with several area golf clubs for those who are looking to mix in a little golf with their stay here.

There’s also 40,000 square feet of meeting space and they work hard to ensure your event itself will be a success, in addition to all the things to do when your meetings are over.

The Casino at the Pala Casino Resort and Spa

The casino here is a large one, with 2,000 gaming machines, 87 table games, a bingo hall, and a 13 table poker room. Players here can enroll in their frequent player program, called Pala Privileges, to earn benefits based upon their play and their stay here.

Their compact with the State of California limits them to a maximum of 2,000 slot and other gaming machines, but that’s quite a lot, and you will find the latest in video slots and video poker machines, enough to satisfy even the hardest core slot players. No one goes away disappointed with the selection.

Their 87 table games are limited to just card games, as is the case with all California casinos, but Pala does a good job bringing casino games that are not traditionally played with cards to their players. They have both Pala Craps and Pala Roulette, both played with cards, but they still have all the fun and excitement of the wheel and dice versions.

They also have Blackjack, Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker, Crazy 4 Poker, Mississippi Stud, and Ultimate Texas Holdem to enjoy.

Their poker room offers both cash and tournament play, with events running every day. Pala also has a bingo hall with special promotions for those 60 and over, including deals on meals for playing their bingo.

The Pala Casino Resort and Spa is a very good quality casino resort and does compete well with the other area resort casinos. The fact that this resort casino is so popular does speak for it, and a lot of people come here to both stay and play.

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