You need a staycation. Your girlfriend does too. You want something different from the usual, popular destinations. Maybe a girls’ getaway at Casino Rama Resort?
Not a gambler, you say? Neither am I. That’s okay though because there’s more to do than play blackjack or place bets on a roulette wheel. Think entertainment shows, fine dining and the relaxing vibes of a spa – all things my friend Michelle and I enjoyed during our two-night stay.
Casino Rama Resort at a Glance
Located 1.5 hours north of Toronto in Ontario’s Lake Country, Casino Rama Resort is a casino and entertainment complex, complete with a 289-room hotel for those nights when you don’t want to worry about how you’ll drive home after throwing back a few drinks. Or maybe you just want the overnight stay for more time to experience its other offerings and have a bit more fun.
It also offers a cultural experience, the kind we should see more of in Canada. Although operated by Gateway Casinos & Entertainment, Casino Rama Resort is owned by the Chippewas of Rama First Nation, a community of 1,500 members whose territory, known as “the gathering place”, was a resting stop for travellers. It’s worth taking in their art displayed throughout the property – something I particularly appreciated.
If you’re not a gambler, it’s still worth checking out the casino. A 24/7 operation, this gaming centre includes over 2,500 slot machines (!) and 110 gaming tables.
Surrounded by shade-wearing gamblers who mean business, we were a little overwhelmed and intimidated at first so we people-watched before trying our hand at the slot machines. I lost $5 within minutes and called it a day (I’m risk-averse).
Casino Rama Resort is home to a 5,000-seat entertainment centre. Both current and old-school musical acts are hosted here, but so too are other events. Last month, Criss Angel wowed an audience with his magic and illusion act, and we were initially brought to the resort by Shaolin Martial Realm, an incredible performance by kung-fu-practising, Zen Buddhist monks from China. As always, they put on a stunning spectacle!
Be sure to check out the entertainment listings before your visit or do what we did: plan an overnight stay around a performance for which you’ve already reserved tickets.
It was great to simply hop into an elevator and retreat to our hotel room after a day of fun. All of the modern-rustic Deluxe Suites are spaciously appointed with a full living area and marble bathroom (equipped with a bathtub and separate shower).
Michelle and I had some catching up to do so on our first night, we kicked up our feet in front of the gas fireplace and filled each other in over a bottle of wine and some snacks that we brought with us.
Dining at Casino Rama Resort
Turns out we didn’t need to bring many nibbles though – we ate a lot at the resort. With eight restaurants on site, the options are abundant. You just can’t go hungry.
We dined first in the warm, casual setting of Cedar Restaurant, taking advantage of the Prime Rib Night that’s offered Friday and Saturday nights.
Later, we returned for crème brulee on the recommendation from another guest. She was right: it was fantastic.
In the morning, we made our way to The Weirs next to the hotel lobby for a hearty breakfast of eggs benedict that kept us fuelled right up to the late afternoon.
The culinary showstopper is St. Germain’s Steakhouse, Casino Rama Resort’s fine dining restaurant. If you have time for only one meal, it should be here. The service is impeccable, the cuisine outstanding.
St. Germain’s also offers their award-winning wine list in a unique way – a tablet at each table that allows guests to scroll then, once a wine is selected, read a pop-up description.
Why doesn’t every fine dining establishment offer this?
Balance in Life Spa
We couldn’t finish our girls’ getaway without some R&R at the full-service spa.
With just a few other guests, the indoor saltwater pool was surprisingly tranquil.
Later in the hot tub, we made friends with a trio of women from northern Ontario who have been making Casino Rama an annual trip for nine years!
The Balance in Life Spa also offers a eucalyptus steam room and sauna to open up those pores and release those toxins, a welcome break for dwellers of the big city like me.
To finish off our spa visit, our last day was spent getting a splash of nail colour, an experience that felt like a get-together with girlfriends who happen to be aestheticians (all we were missing was the wine).
If you have time for only a short getaway, Casino Rama Resort can certainly fit the bill, especially if you plan on seeing a show or if you’re a poker pro.
They even offer a girls’ getaway package Sunday-Thursday (non-event days only) that includes accommodations, complimentary valet parking and a $100 resort credit for use at the restaurants or spa. (Players Passport Club members also receive a $10 free slot play per person.)
Things You Should Know
- Factor in the traffic when calculating travel time to and from Casino Rama Resort, especially if you leave Toronto on a weekday/weeknight. It will take even longer during the summer as residents depart for and return from cottage country.
- A resort fee of $15/day applies to hotel stays (Diamond and Platinum Plus guests are exempt).
- This resort caters to both non-smoking and smoking guests. Although no one was smoking on our floor or in the public areas of the resort, we noticed a lingering smell throughout the property – something to keep in mind if you have serious sensitivities or allergies.
- Photography (including selfies!) and video recording are forbidden in the casino.
- Most entertainment shows allow photography and video during the performances (this is dictated by the performers). Be respectful and disable your flash.
- Reservations for restaurants and the spa are highly recommended. Also, be sure to check the Casino Rama Resort website for the hours of operation for each restaurant as not all of them are open every day.
Have you been to Casino Rama Resort? If not, is this somewhere you would visit?
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Thank you to Ontario’s Lake Country for hosting my stay. As always, opinions expressed in this post are my own.