A Casino Resortist Savors It All
Dollars are on the line. It’s a huge night out. It’s the start of a one-night pass to fun, food and wine. People are paying attention. Everyone’s engaged. I’ve got 24 hours to spend before I move on to my next stop – Semiahmoo Resort – and I want to make the most of it. And while the Silver Reef Hotel Casino and Spa in Ferndale, Washington has reserved an elegant suite for me inside what I consider one of the most attractive casinos on the West Coast, sleep is the last thing on my mind.
I check in to smiling faces and welcoming demeanors. The staff seems glad I am here. Good beginning. Parking was free and convenient. The fact that Silver Reef is located four minutes west of I-5 Exit 260 means no hassle finding it, no worries finding my way back. I am given my key, a swift ride up to the suite-level floor, and boom! I am in my suite.
It’s a welcoming site to a weary traveler. Amenities galore, including a ginormous bathroom, fluffy bed, separate living room area, and a nicely equipped bar complete with stools and glasses. And woohoo, the Internet connection worked! It all seems so easy, so smooth, so relaxing. And yes, this would be the theme for my 24-hour stay. I love this place.
It’s my philosophy that despite spending a short time at a place that deserves more days and hours of my time, if I do it right, I can enjoy a little bit of everything – or a lot of whatever I love the most. For me that would be wine time, spa time, shopping time, and restaurant time. The cool thing about this place is that it also provides gaming time. I like it.
The interior design of a casino has some very specific goals — keep the patrons happy and make them feel that they’re having a unique experience, minimize awareness of the passing of time and provide an air of expensive taste, excitement and mystery.
Silver Reef scores on all points. I am all dressed up for the casino experience and take a spin around the main floor. I find myself observing the gaming tables and enjoying the give-and-take of the art of negotiating. I see they offer over 40 varieties of the most popular video slots. It’s easy to get in on the action at one of their Las Vegas-style table games, including blackjack, craps, Spanish 21, fortune pai gow, roulette, three-card poker, Texas hold ’em, and four-card poker. With player-friendly rules and table limits, Silver Reef Casino appears to be the place to play. So I do.
As I continue my stroll through the casino, I love being part of the laughter, yelling, and spontaneous celebratory dances at the slot machines. I find my own special spot at a slot machine that “calls my name.” It has a moon and diamonds on it and I am hooked for the next hour or so. Soon I feel hungry.
If food, wine, and cocktails are your passion as they are mine, Silver Reef has culinary pleasures for every appetite. I was able to meet up with food and beverage manager Rian Greer and take a tour of the various places to dine. Some were causal, some were fancy in the extreme, but all were lovingly looked after.
It’s not a problem to satisfy your appetite at Red River Café – a diverse menu along with daily specialty buffets; Panasia – Contemporary cuisine from the Far East; Pizzanini- delicious sandwiches, handmade calzones and wood stone pizzas made from scratch; The Barista – specialty coffees, breakfast pastries and desserts 24 hours a day; Portage Bay – enjoy the best margaritas in the Northwest. Weekly live entertainment; Terrace Bar – cocktails, hot appetizers, soups, salads and sandwiches; and my personal favorite The Steak House. I am off to the Steak House.
The Steak House is a resortist’s paradise. A resortist is someone who wants to savor it all. So apparently I came to the right place. I found everything I love: exceptional service, table-side preparation on many dishes, an intriguing wine list, leather seats, old-fashioned charm, naturally aged prime steaks showcasing maximum tenderness and flavor. They’re broiled at 1,800 degrees and basted with steak butter before serving. The steaks are a true sensation. And one final thing I appreciated…get ready for it…peace and quiet at my booth. The person who designed the acoustics gets a double award of excellence from me.
The wine, the food, the service all melded together into a symphony of goodness. “Many of our guests are locals or have been here many times before,” Rian said. “We want to get to know them so we know exactly what they want for the perfect experience. Everything we possibly can make from scratch, we do. No detail is left to chance.” Stepping into this steak house is like stepping back in a time where quality food, premium wines and exceptional service mattered. The prices reflect the quality of food, wine and service, but I gladly surrendered my credit card for the experience and enjoy the opportunity to wear some of my best blingy casino wear.
Silver Reef Hotel Casino and Spa brings a high quality and exciting gaming experience to the Northwest. I am glad I had the opportunity to play in its more than 80,000 square feet of exhilarating gaming, incomparable dining and amusing entertainment all in a bright and spacious setting. I am happy to note that next time I show up the Phase VI Expansion will be completed. It will include expansion of the gaming floor and 225 additional slot machines, a new event center, theater, cantina, and 300 new parking spaces. See ya there.