On April 21, 2017, my husband and I stayed at the Golden Nugget Casino and Hotel from April 21st to April 24. Here are a few of my thoughts and observances of this resort. Here is what it looks like when you first arrive, this is actually where you would go for valet parking (free) but the line was long so we found our own parking place in the parking deck which once you figure out the funky layout of the parking deck you are good to go.
The first thing I noticed walking into the Casino was the feeling that I was walking into a giant ashtray. The smell of cigarette smoke permeates everything in the Casino. Even though we did stay in a non-smoking room (#1048) there was still the lingering odor from bygone years when smoking was allowed in all parts of the casino. When you enter into the common areas of the hotel (the Casino and restaurants) the scent is overwhelming because smoking is allowed throughout the Casino. We booked through Orbitz so the check in was not a big deal, just understaffed so the check-in took a while. The queue was a tad on the long side, but no biggie. Where we parked had none of the suitcase trolleys, or at least I did not see them if they did, and in order to check into your room you have to lug your luggage through the middle of the casino, which is kind of a pain, trying to navigate and dodge all of the drunk people wandering around while dragging luggage behind you. In some places, the walking areas were kind of narrow. Actually, if we could have, we would have canceled our stay at the Nugget and rebooked at the Palace Casino Resort which is the only smoke-free casino in Biloxi, but we had booked through Orbitz and it would have been a nightmare trying to change resorts that late in the game, so we took our allergy meds and stayed where we were.
Once we were checked in we ventured downstairs to see what all they had. They do have video poker at all of the bars, here is the bar where we spent most of our time:
If you like frozen drinks Michael Patrick’s Bar & Grill is the only bar in the Casino that has a blender, I’m a Strawberry Margarita gal so this is where we hung out most of the time. However, it is not fun when you are playing and drinking and someone sits down next to you and fires up a smoke. My husband and I both had an unpleasant allergic reaction to the smoke, luckily I was armed to the teeth with a cadre of allergy meds so we were covered. If you can sit at the last 2 seats on the left or to the right at the bar it is not quite so bad since there is limited room for you to be surrounded by people lighting up. As stated, this is a Sports Bar and as such offerers menu of traditional pub food. The only time we ate at the Golden Nugget was our first night there and we ordered the Cadillac Nachos, which are wonderful, I loved the seasoning on the beef and it is by no means a small order. It is enough for 2 people to split. As long as you are playing games you will drink free. Even Fireball Whisky shots are comped and menu price for these things is $7. So to get the most bang for your buck I recommend doing whatever shot you prefer with water in between (stay hydrated, avoid hangover) and also ordering a drink so you can have something to sip on while you are playing games. We tipped $5 about every 4-5 drinks. I lost count of how many fireball shots we had since they were comped so long as you sat at the bar and gambled. As for the wait staff on the floor, the servers are few and far between so if you intend to sit anywhere besides the bar be prepared to wait quite a while for your drinks. Not the servers fault, just not enough people to go around in such a large area.
The Goldern Nugget has a buffet that is $30 a person and just looking into it, it looks like a smallish buffet so on that I give it thumbs down. They are charging $30 per person for what would have been a $12 buffet elsewhere. They seem to have Las Vegas prices without the Las Vegas quality. We ate mostly at Margaritaville next door, but I will get to that in a minute. There is a steak restaurant, Morton’s The Steakhouse in the Nugget but it was outrageously high and I do not think the food would have been any better than it was at Doe’s Eat Place in Margaritaville.
We had a very good room on the 10th floor, good and away from the smokiness of the lower floors and for the most part, was quiet. We were woke up one morning by a kid trying to find his parents rooms and apparently did not know what the Do Not Disturb sign meant, but other than that no problems with disturbances. Here is a shot of what our room looked like. It is a stock photo but it is an accurate depiction of our room.
The bed was actually very comfortable and we slept well the 3 nights we were there. However, the bathroom has no way to vent the shower steam so the floors are rather slippery when you get out of the shower and their water pressure is not the best in the world but It’ll do. Here are a few pictures I took with my camera phone of our view out of our window. There are really no rooms with a true view of the Gulf but if you stay on the end that is closest to the Gulf you would probably have a better view than we did.
What you see next door is the Margaritaville Family Resort. Take note that this is not a casino, it is strictly a family resort. So if you are thinking of going there and you want a nice and quite place to stay this is not the place for you. However, they do have one of the most awesome game rooms that I have seen in quite a while, I have included a picture of the game room, it takes up the entire bottom floor of the resort. I am in my 50’s and had a blast playing a game called Aliens Armageddon, it was the most fun I’d had in a game room for many years. They have all your typical game room style games and I loved playing the skee ball as well. So if you are a great big kid go here and let your inner child run loose. They even have a rock climbing wall and some type of zip line (didn’t look too closely at this since this is not something I would do). I didn’t have my phone with me to take pictures so I looked around online trying to find more pictures of the game room but alas no luck, this was the only one I could find. They also have a water park on top of the resort that looks like it would be a lot of fun for all family members and there is a Margaritaville bar and restaurant up there with the water park with a small outdoor bar.
While we were at the arcade we ate lunch at the Fins Up Cafe located in the game room. I had the pulled pork slaw sandwich and the homemade potato chips and I loved every bite and it was reasonably priced for a Margaritaville Restaurant.
The following night we went back to Margaritaville and had dinner at Doe’s Eat Place. If you are in Biloxi you really owe it to yourself to go eat at this restaurant, I think it is located on the 2nd floor of Margaritaville. My husband and I ordered the Cowboy Ribeye (2 lbs of meat here people) and split it, it was plenty enough for 2 people. They have hand cut, home style french fries that are delicious. The ambiance of the restaurant is of the laid back variety. At the time we were there it was at 4:30 so no crowds yet, so I cannot speak to what the atmosphere is like when the dinner rush hits. But this was probably the best steak I have had in I do not know how long. My only complaint was with the bread, it is hard bread. When I ordered it I thought it would be a small loaf of soft garlic bread but, not……. however, if you dip the bread into the steak au jus it is delicious. Even though some would consider this to be high priced, in my opinion, it was way better than what the buffet at Golden Nugget would have had and after all was said and done was actually probably cheaper than the buffet considering the high quality of the food.
Basically, we lodged at the Golden Nugget but would walk next door to Margaritaville to eat and get a break from the smoky atmosphere of the casino at the Golden Nugget. I can say that if the Margaritaville had had a casino we probably would have spent the majority of our time there gambling because of the no smoking atmosphere.
In short, we had a good 3.5 day stay. From where we live it was a 5 hour drive but as long as you skirt Tuscaloosa and Montgomery the traffic is relatively easy to deal with. Keep in mind that Biloxi does not have the same layout as the strip in Vegas, in other words, it is not so easy to walk from one place to the next you mostly have to drive to other casinos. We took one day and drove around the city and stopped at a McDonalds to eat breakfast. Also, take a cooler if you want drinks in your room. We stopped at a Walgreens and purchased a 24 pack of bottled water to keep in our room. We carried about half of them up to our room so we could have water whenever we wanted without paying an astronomical fee for bottled water at the casino. There is a coffee maker in the room but it is one of the teeny tiny kind that will only do one cup at a time (no it’s not a Keurig) and you only get 4 packets of coffee types 2 regular coffee and 2 decaf, but I did learn that you can get two cups of coffee per prefilled coffee packet. Also, take your own sweetener, the one that comes in the room is sad. Two sugars, one creamer, one sweet-n-low and a coffee stirrer. If I had known in advance I would have taken my trusty bottle of Stevia with me.
All in all, it was a good 4 day get away. We had never been to Biloxi and thought we’d give it a try. Well, we tried but we probably won’t be back for a second visit. Once was enough for us but I know there are people who love it and will go as often as they can, we, however, are not those people.
It is my hope that you have found this review somewhat helpful. Until next time….