Archive for April, 2015

Golden Nugget, Lake Charles Review

| April 19, 2015 10:01 am

This past weekend we visited the Golden Nugget hotel in Lake Charles Louisiana.   It has been almost a decade since we visited Louisiana.   Our last visit was ironically when the L’Auberge du Lac resort opened in 2005.   I recall that when we arrived, we were disappointed that the pool has yet to be finished and was not open at L’Auberge du Lac.

And that seemed to be the parallel case with the Golden Nugget 10 years later although this hotel had opened in November, there was a few issues with some of the hotel amenities.   For starters, the jacuzzi in the men’s spa was not functioning and under repair.   The spa attendants however advised we could use the “couples” spa so we (my wife and I) went over to the couples spa and the jets were not working in the pool.   It was interesting to see repair men hauling tubes and pipes through the side door of the pool while we were there.    The men’s spa had a Keurig coffee maker that lacked water and the nearby milk for coffee smelled rancid.   Both problems remedied by talking to the attendants but I went there to relax not point out problems to be fixed.

Overall we had a good time however we had a bit different expectations than what we received.   For one, the restaurants around the hotel are all chains including Vic & Anthony’s, Grottos, Cadillac Bar, Landry’s,  Saltgrass and the Buffet.    We had hoped for authentic cajun creole food and none was to be found in the entire place!   Not even French flavored cuisine was offered!

We ate dinner one night at Saltgrass and I asked for medium rare Prime Rib and 45 minutes later I got a cold slab of meat.  When I complained, they took the steak back and did heat it up but unfortunately it became a well done dry steak and I couldn’t finish it.   To give credit to Saltgrass management, the did comp me the steak and apologized for the mess up but they clearly have some things to sort to run the place more efficiently.    We did eat at a Sushi place called Lillies (ironic since Japanese don’t have an “L” in their language) and the food there was decent and problem free.

There were several bars and lounges in the complex yet those too didn’t offer any zydeco or cajun music.   The live bands played top 40 from the 80’s and 90’s so while entertaining it was a bit disappointing that all local culture was ignored.    The hotel didn’t leverage any of the local culture for food, music, entertainment or even shopping as most of the shops featured “mall” chain items.   I would have been happy to buy a CD of local music from local bands since that is one of the few items that doesn’t come with a  “made in China” stamp underneath it.

The hotel was nice with fairly large room and very nice bathrooms with separate tub and shower and the pools and spa was very nice but that’s what you’d expect to find at almost any hotel resort these days so nothing unique and as stated before, no local ambiance was leveraged into the theme of the hotel (i.e. jazz, zydeco, cajun, etc).

I did win about $300 at the poker table playing texas holdem against other gamblers and lost $100 at blackjack.   Overall a good weekend but would have preferred more local culture otherwise I may as well just go visit any major city which has basically the same “chain” entertainment.

Will we go back?  Probably not unless local culture is added to the complex.  Our next trip to Louisiana will likely be New Orleans for more authentic food, music, and culture but Golden Nugget is worth a one-time visit if you’re in the area.