Thank you to Pechanga Casino & Resort in the Temecula Wine Country for inviting me, along with a group of foodies, bloggers & fun people, to experience their resort and all its renovated glory.
Upfront disclosure – All experiences were comped. Except the booze. Which is probably a wise thing when it comes to me. #ILikeMyWine
But of COURSE, all the opinionated opinions expressed are my very own.
How to get there:
Google Maps told me it’s a quick-ish drive from the San Diego Airport – door to door. It’s a SUPER easy commute and a beautiful drive. Depending on what you set up, Pechanga will pick you up and get you there easily.
When you first approach Pechanga, it definitely seems like a large sprawling place but don’t let the exterior fool you. There are so many lovely spots to explore without it feeling overwhelmingly gargantuan. The views facing the mountains are absolutely stunning. The property has been seriously overhauled and they weren’t kidding. $285 million expansion. That’s a big number. It looks like the money was well spent.
The newly and majorly expanded Pechanga Resort Casino offers all the amenities and then some of a Las Vegas casino, without the traffic or overload of sensory input. In March, the resort wrapped up a $300 million expansion. Visitors will find a casino larger than any of its Nevada neighbors; a stand-alone two level day spa that incorporates Native American healing and botanicals into all of its treatments, serves spa breakfast & lunch, also provides free yoga and boot camp classes & a full hair and nail salon; a 4.5-acre pool complex with 4 pools, 3 hot tubs, a family pool with waterslides, dozens of stocked cabanas; 1,090 luxury rooms & suites; 20 restaurants and bars; A-list entertainment (Cirque, Donny & Marie, Terry Fator and more); and a championship 18-hole golf course.
When you’re at Pechanga, you don’t really need to leave, and you don’t need a car if you want to check out the winery scene of the Temecula Valley. Yup, that sums it up
My Truth Moments:
The Casino was one of the things that interested me the least but is one of their biggest draws. I can see why! However, full disclosure, I only went into the casino to tinkle. Not in the casino, in the bathroom. 😉 It’s not my thing but what I truly appreciate is that you can stay at Pechanga and get your Vegas fix, if needed, without feeling like you are at a Casino.
To be honest, the room I was in had the least impressive view which made me get my arse out of the room and down to the hidden gem that few actually explore or find. If you take the elevator to the 4th level, you’ll find this amazing xeriscape garden with quiet spots that overlook the pool area. It’s a fun way to access the pool area if you want to be stealthy. Back to the room though, the bed is super comfy. And the bathroom though…great job on the design! A separate WC (aka: toilet room) and a huuuuge shower with a great rain showerhead. Well played, Pechanga.
We had a chance to tour the spot where people frequently get hitched. It’s quite the lovely spot, right next to the meeting area, and easily accessible from the hotel. The Bride & Groom suites were so adorbs – cute little suites where the wedding parties can chill with their respective gangs of bridesmaids & groomsmen. Located right across from each other, it seems like an easy way to have a wedding with out too much fuss, the whole “getting in the car & wrinkling the dress thing” or even the possibility that someone can easily make an escape (Just kidding, thinking of Sex & The City where Big backs out and “Runaway Bride” where she bolts on the horse – none of that here – just quick jaunt out to the aisle). But seriously, for realsies, the lovely garden area is secluded enough that you don’t feel on display but close enough to grab a drink quickly after the ceremony.
They are state of the art – NO doubt. When we were there, they were hosting a Beer Tasting event and you could tell things were running smoothly and everything looked top notch.
So. Much. Good. Food. We had a chance to sample many of the different restaurant offerings all in one spot on the first night – Pechanga is not kidding around when it comes to top notch chef & food offerings. Trust me, usually I pass up a lot when I’m visiting a place where I need to get into a bathing suit. But, this time, … nope nope, I was all in. Pechanga has a ton of different spots to throw down on some seriously good food. Best meal I had there was at the Lobby Bar & Grill. Which sounds like an oxymoron until you have the Green Deviled Eggs & Ham and the Short Ribs. Kudos to Chef Jose Mendoza . The Lobby Bar specializes in serving fresh, locally sourced ingredients from Temecula-area and regional farms. Music to my ears.
We were also treated to a Dessert pairing reception that showcased the Pastry & Dessert chef team talents. Since I’m still keto-ish, I only did little taste tests but.. I can tell ya… they have some serious sweets skills.
Spa & Fitness:
The spa area has it’s own private pool which is idyllic and dreamy. It’s not expansive but actually feels exclusive, especially if you need a break from the larger pool areas
Sad face – I missed the complimentary Yoga classes that are offered every Saturday and Sunday at 9AM for all Hotel guests or guests who have purchased a Spa service. The first day was because I hauled ass at 5am for the Hot Air Balloon tour. The second day was filed under: ICantEvenToday. Still regretting it…
I really really liked the Spa area overall! You could wind through the hallways & feel like you could get away from it all.
Here’s the website description which I’m going to say is 100% accurate:
Total tranquility is a winning feeling. Spa Pechanga offers an intimate escape for both mind and body, with 17 therapy rooms, steam/sauna, a state of the art fitness center, and a full service nail, barber and hair salon. An escape within an escape, Spa Pechanga is the resort’s ultimate place to unwind and let go of life’s stresses.
Yup, nailed it.
I arrived at Pechanga on a Friday afternoon and it was very quiet which was super dreamy. I love that there are several pools that feel spaced out enough so that everyone isn’t crammed in.
As a building inspector, I’m the picky one. Everywhere. Everytime. But this passed muster with spades – excellent design. The only time I saw it get really crowded was, surprisingly enough…. Sunday afternoon. I guess everyone loves Sunday Funday.
Bucket List in Heaven: Balloon Ride over Wine Country
We were treated to an early am hot air balloon ride of the lovely countryside of Temecula with Grape Escape Balloon Adventure. What a fun team of people that truly love what they do. NOW, let’s talk about scenery and the magic of the Temecula Valley. We met early at Europa Village Winery- thank gawd for the Pechanga shuttle. All you have to do is show up in the lobby at 5am (summer hours) and get on the bus, Gus. Ooo, bonus, the drive is not that far.
Check out my video of the experience:
Big shout of thanks to the staff – everyone is top notch & very well-organized.
Overall, Pechanga Casino & Resort has a lot to offer. I just need to include exploration of the surrounding areas next time I visit!