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VIPs live large in Louisiana’s luxurious casinos
Cocktails and fresh fruit by the pool and later an in-room massage give way to martinis in the VIP lounge and an elegant and intimate dinner for two. Now, suited up in a finely tailored ensemble, you glide across the gaming floor and slip into the poker room for a few rounds of Texas Hold ‘Em before your knock-out companion joins you at the roulette tables. James Bond has nothing on you tonight. Dropped in the middle of this scene – whether you drive, take a helicopter or arrive by a private yacht – it seems to be taking place in Monte Carlo or Las Vegas, but Louisiana’s gambling enthusiasts know they don’t have to go to far to hit luxurious casinos and resorts with VIP perks to dazzle even the most seasoned high roller.
L’Auberge Casino & Hotel Baton Rouge
The Edge Bar at L'Auberge Casino Baton Rouge
Complimentary water and rich chocolate truffles await as you enter the spacious Azalea suite at the lodge-like L’Auberge Casino & Hotel in Baton Rouge. As a member of the top tier Owner’s Club, you likely arrived in your Mercedes Benz, since a lease is included in your membership, along with Caribbean cruises and trips to Atlantis and Vegas. The suite’s spa-like bathroom features a garden tub and an LED television inside the bathroom mirror.
Did you forget something? No matter, your butler (available upon request) can handle it. At the rooftop pool overlooking the Mississippi River, a private cabana is stocked with cool, fresh fruit and the bartender mixes complimentary island drinks in the blender. With icy bottled water in the cabana’s mini-fridge and comfortable sofas laden with throw pillows, it’s tempting to forgo a dip in favor of lounging in the shade, but the sun and water beckon as palm trees sway in the breeze.
“Our VIP guests have a few favorites on the property, including our rooftop pool cabanas, front-row seats for concerts, luxurious suites and personal mixed drinks customized for each VIP guest,” says Mickey Parenton, senior vice president and general manager at L’Auberge. “We also offer exclusive experiences such as in-room spa services, golf at a nearby club and suite tickets at local sporting events.”
Drinks in the exclusive VIP lounge, Club 38, precede dinner at 18 Steak. Chef Jared Tees has prepared a delectable lobster and pork belly spring rolls, delicate pan-seared sea scallops in a butternut squash risotto and a juicy, perfectly cooked steak. The impeccable service and the view of the river complement the intimate, masculine décor, inspired by whiskey barrels. Drinks on the deck before an evening in the casino extend the evening, which ends with turndown service including chocolates on your pillow and slippers and a robe inviting you to turn in.
Left: A Luxury King guest room at L'Auberge, Right: Casino floor in L'Auberge
Golden Nugget Lake Charles
Cadillac Beach Bar & Grille at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles
“When you walk through our front doors, under the grand and colorful chandeliers, the open casino is the focal point,” says Katelyn Roche with the Golden Nugget Lake Charles. “We have two helipads available for our guests who travel by air and a private marina for guests who prefer water travel.”
Once you’ve arrived by land, air or waterway, relax in style in one of the six Presidential Suites on the Chairman floor of the hotel. At once sleek, modern and lavish, the two-story accommodations feature a player piano fully-stocked with songs (if you don’t play) and offers private entrances, butler service and either pool or lake-view private patios with a Jacuzzi. The 24 Karat Select Club includes benefits and rewards for casino play, private VIP events, such as boutique-style shopping for luxury brand goods and sports vehicle giveaways, private parties in the Owner’s Suite, special meet-and-greet opportunities with concert headliners, tournaments and, for qualified guests, private helicopter transportation to and from the hotel and casino.
The H20 Pool + Bar has a lazy river, water slide, fire pits, hot tubs and 34 private cabanas and the nearby Cadillac Beach Bar & Grille is the perfect place for handcrafted cocktails by a fire pit on the beach.
A suite at the Golden Nugget Lake Charles
Harrah's New Orleans
Besh Steakhouse at Harrah's
A visit to New Orleans isn’t complete without a meal by Chef John Besh, which is why Harrah’s New Orleans makes sure you don’t even have to leave the property to get the best dining in the city.
“Besh Steak is by far the most popular amenity for our VIP guests,” says Chris Volle, vice president, casino marketing at Harrah’s New Orleans. “When your limo arrives in our private valet, you will be greeted by the warmest doorman in the South, who will quickly whisk your luggage to your lavish private suite.”
For top-tier Diamond and Seven Starts Total Rewards members, Volle says trips to other Caesars Entertainment destinations, cruises, dinners and parties, gifts and other invaluable experiences round out the perks.
“One of our VIPs came in with his wife to spend Christmas in New Orleans,” says Kristin Westberg, vice president of marketing. “Before the trip, his wife started lamenting the fact that they would be spending Christmas in a hotel. He reached out to our Harrah’s hotel team to ask if we could make the stay extra special for them, since they would be away from the comforts of home during the holidays. They arrived to find their suite adorned with a fully decorated 15-foot tree, stockings, garlands and all the fixings.”
Westberg recalls a temporary bidet installed for Middle Eastern royalty and a health-conscious VIP whose restrictive diet necessitated daily fresh squeezed organic vegetable and fruit juices. She says, “His butler spent hours squeezing carrots and watermelon to make the perfect concoction for our special guest.”
Mannings Bar at Harrah's
Paragon Casino, Marksville
Front entrance of Paragon Casino
“The first thing that strikes everyone who walks in to Paragon Casino Resort is the bayou-themed atrium,” says Chris Barbry, acting general manager at Paragon Casino. “There are live alligators and aquatic wildlife in a habitat just beyond the hotel registration area, and the French Quarter-inspired Atrium Tower rooms feature private balconies that overlook the wonderful sights and sounds of the hotel Atrium below.”
The indoor tropical pool with swim-up bar, outdoor pool and three cinemas, as well as Tamakha Trails Golf Club, a PGA-quality course, Spa La Vie and seven dining options insure the guests will never be at a loss for activities. Included in that is a robust entertainment bill.
“Some of the country’s most famous entertainers have graced the stage of the Mari Showroom,” says interim marketing vice president Mark Jeffers. “Faith Hill, Diana Ross, Patti Labelle, Willie Nelson, Boyz II Men, Sara Evans, The Wayan Brothers, Clay Walker, Rodney Carrington, Loretta Lynn, Ray Charles, B.B. King, Michael Bolton, Little Richard, George Jones, Jeff Dunham, Vince Gill and Charley Pride are just a few of many celebrities who have performed at Paragon.”
Members of the elite Emerald and Pearl tiers of the Paragon Preferred Player’s Club get tickets to all of the shows, as well as priority seating for special events, VIP tables, access to the High Limit lounge, free movie tickets, priority tee times and free access to the day spa. The Chairman Suite is the perfect place to unwind pre- or post-gaming with a cocktail from the in-room bar, perhaps enjoyed in the Jacuzzi tub, which has a special jetted water feature that shoots water from the ceiling.
Quz Quiz Indoor Pool at Paragon Casino
Coushatta Casino Resort, Kinder
Interior of the Coushatta Casino bottom
Hobnobbing with celebrities, such as Jay Leno, complimentary luxury suites and comp rounds of golf at Koasati Pines Golf Course, one of Golf Digest Magazine’s four and a half-star rated courses, are just a few of the perks VIP Select Advantage Club members cite as their favorites at Coushatta Casino in Kinder. Your personal host guarantees that you are wined, dined, pampered and entertained during your stay at this sprawling resort owned by the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana.
“Our VIP Select guests are particularly fond of our limousine transportation and the meet and greets with the concert artists like Willie Nelson,” says spokesperson Joy Wallace. “Coushatta Casino Resort rolls out the red carpet for our VIPs.”
It’s fitting that Coushatta’s celebrity spokesperson is Louisiana-native Terry Bradshaw given that the casino has a gaming floor bigger than two football fields. Club members also get 10 percent cash back on rated play and extravagant gifts at Christmas and New Year to thank them for their patronage on and off the gaming floor. The private VIP cocktail lounge during concerts and invitations to big jackpot tournaments also sweeten the pot.
Left: Golf Course, Right Coushatta's Dream Pool