Large outdoor pool and sun deck with cabanas and a small bar
Family-friendly amenities include a 24-lane bowling alley and arcade
Variety of on-site dining options such as a Starbucks and ice cream parlor
Well-equipped fitness center with modern cardio machines and floor-to-ceiling windows
Isolated location; not within walking distance of anything
On-site entertainment and crowds can make for noisy nights
Smoking rooms on certain floors (a pro for some)
No on-site spa
Daily resort fee
Billing itself as a complete destination resort, Fantasy Springs Resort Casino offers plenty of on-site entertainment. Between the pool, casino, golf course, bowling alley, outdoor music stage, and numerous bars and restaurants, it's not wanting for amenities. But for all that, the property has no spa and is clearly more geared towards the high stakes crowd. Fantasy Springs also features an event center that caters to trade shows, sporting events, and concerts. The 240-room hotel sits on an enormous property near the freeway, isolated from downtown Indio but near the Cabazon Native American reservation, whose tribe owns the resort. The rooms are large, but have no balconies to enjoy the mountain views. Weekday rates often pack a considerable value, and you may want to avoid staying over the weekend if you prefer to miss the crowds.
Sprawling garden grounds between a golf course and an RV park
The hotel's main grounds are enormous with paved walkways covered by pergolas and shaded by palm trees. Outdoor sitting areas are accompanied by fountains and flowerbeds, all bordered by the golf course on one side and, less appealingly, a large RV park on the other. Inside the hotel, a baby grand piano is the centerpiece of the circular lobby, sitting on a polished marble floor. Natural stone floors and walls add character throughout the property, somewhat making up for the gaudy, smoke-filled atmosphere of the casino.
In the Coachella Valley, located right off the freeway in Indio -- known for its upscale golf courses, numerous food festivals, and celebrations of local Native American culture -- the hotel is on the edge of town adjacent to the Cabazon Indian reservation. There isn't anything within walking distance of the resort, but its proximity to the freeway provides easy access by car to the region's attractions. It's 30 minutes to the shopping, galleries, and nightlife of Palm Springs, or 25 minutes to El Paseo's popular shopping district, including its outdoor mall, the Gardens on El Paseo. Other nearby destinations include Joshua Tree National park (25 minutes to the south entrance) and Coachella (10 minutes). Expect more than a two-hour drive to Los Angeles.
The bright rooms are balanced by neutral-colored carpets, contrasting accents, and dark wood furnishings. The heavy furniture is attractive, but many pieces are showing wear and tear. Modern bathrooms have slate floors, granite countertops, and tiled shower/tub combos. A coffeemaker, laptop safe, and free Wi-Fi are standard, though not all rooms have a mini-fridge. (They are available upon request.) Units have either mountain or pool views, but none have balconies, and some of those pool views come with sights of the RV park. Also keep in mind that some floors have smoking rooms and smell accordingly smokey.
Numerous features including a large casino, several restaurants, an 18-hole golf course, and a live music stage
The star of the Fantasy Springs show is the casino with its 2,000 slot machines, 40 table games, and jackpot bingo. There's also a casino bar and, of course, smoking is allowed. A 100,000 square-foot events center hosts trade shows and conferences as well as live shows, with a concert hall capacity of 3,700. For smaller live acts, the seasonal Rock Yard outdoor stage has weekly bands for free admission. The bowling alley has a whopping 24 lanes, and also includes a video arcade, snack bar, sports lounge, and late night laser games. The pool is well-designed, surrounded by smaller fountain pools and hot tubs with a gently sloped, beach entry on one end. Cabanas and plush lounge chairs adorn the sun deck, which has a bar that's ringed with cooling mist.
Among the wide ranging dining options is the upscale eatery The Bistro, an ice cream parlor, a Starbucks, and a rooftop wine bar. Adjacent to the property is the hotel's public 18-hole golf course, Eagle Falls, with diverse elevations and features that include a waterfall. There is no on-site spa, but there is a well-equipped fitness center. All of these perks are great, but the hotel tacks on a daily resort fee.
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