The thing about grandparents is – if they’re the good kind – they will babysit for free. Over multiple days. My parents are the good kind. Matt and I never got a chance to celebrate our 15th anniversary in October, so last week, while my Mom and Dad were visiting from Florida, we escaped for a few days.
Little did Dad know he would also be called into duty as The Boy’s social studies project assistant. I came home to find a soundly-constructed, two-story cardboard Egyptian villa. (Phew.)
Where we went, and who was coerced into going:
Matt and I went to the Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, CT for three days. With the promise of spa treatments for me, and hours at the poker table for Matt, we knew this would be a destination we could both enjoy.
WHY did you go there, exactly?
Two words: Kid-free getaway. The last time the two of us were alone on a “Go BIG” assignment was over a year ago, when we dined at the world’s largest Spanish restaurant.
Besides that, Foxwoods also appealed to us because it’s the largest casino in North America, and one of the largest in the world, as measured by actual square footage dedicated to gaming. (The world’s largest casino is the Venetian Macao in China.) Foxwoods has 340,000 square feet of gaming space, which houses 6,393 slot machines, 360 tables for 15 different types of table games, and 100 poker tables. Plus, the bingo hall, one of the world’s largest, has a capacity of 3,600 people!
There are four hotels on property, 38 dining venues, and the 1,400-seat Fox Theatre, as well. We also spent an enjoyable morning at the neighboring Pequot Museum, the world’s largest Native American museum, which we’ll describe in a future post.
Okay, what was so cool about it?
I owe a debt of gratitude to Matt’s lucky underwear. On the day he wore them, I won at the Goldfish slots, the Money Wheel, and roulette. They didn’t actually work for him, though. He didn’t really lose a lot, and he only invested a minor amount for hours of entertainment. Poker at Foxwoods is played in the WPT World Poker Room, the largest poker room on the East Coast.
There are plenty of opportunities to win or lose here, because Foxwoods really isn’t just one casino; it’s a string of six casinos connected across the mile-long complex. It took a full 10 minutes to walk from the MGM Grand hotel where we stayed, all the way to the Rainmaker Casino (the original casino, now celebrating its 20th anniversary). Luckily, you can find many smoke-free places to play.
In reality, I’m not much of a “play-ah,” so I sought refuge in the spas. There’s not one, but two spas here: the G Spa at the MGM Grand, and The Norwich Spa at Foxwoods, which is part of the Grand Pequot Tower hotel. There aren’t many things I would rather do than spend a few hours in a top-tier spa.
At the G Spa, I spent three hours at the mercy of my esthetician Lisa, enjoying the “East Meets West” package with hydrotherapy, a maize and Mountain Laurel body scrub, a green tea facial, and flexology. I was steamed, scrubbed, and massaged into a limp, sleepy puddle. At The Norwich Spa, I received the “Chocolate Overload” spa pedicure while sipping Bailey’s in a cup of hot chocolate. They also provide you with a chocolate bar, ostensibly to discourage you from licking the heaven-scented scrub off your own feet.
When we weren’t gambling or spa-ing, we were walking and people-watching, shopping for guilt-alleviating souvenirs for the kids, or eating. There are a lot of dining options at Foxwoods, from the typical buffets to high-priced steak houses. We had great meals at the Hard Rock Café and Shrine, an upscale Asian restaurant.
Matt was just happy to find a Dunkin’ Donuts to keep him fueled. One of my favorite finds was the Fay Da Bakery, a casual Asian counter-service place serving sweet and savory buns of all shapes and sizes. I’m a sucker for roast pork buns, and these were warm, cheap, and perfect for late-night noshing.
How it rated on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 = snoozefest, 10 = add to your bucket list):
As an adult destination which offers much more than gaming, we rate Foxwoods as a 9 on our scale. As a family destination, we would rate it a 2. Surprisingly, plenty of people do bring their kids. Only adults can enter the gaming floors, but I did see an arcade, indoor pools, and some crafts tables. Not enough to convince me it would be worthwhile to introduce my kids to this kind of environment.
Hey YOU! Go BIG:
350 Trolley Line Boulevard, Mashantucket, CT 06338-3777
Disclaimer: We paid a media rate at the MGM Grand. The spas offered me complimentary treatments.