Harrah's Gulf Coast Hotel & Casino In Biloxi
While the Mississippi Gaming Commission has rescinded all of the coronavirus restrictions in place since March 4, including the requirement that employees and visitors must wear masks. The four Caesars Rewards casinos in Mississippi – Harrah’s Gulf Coast Hotel & Casino in Biloxi, Trop Casino Greenville, Isle of Capri Lula and Horseshoe Tunica Hotel & Casino – still require masks and social distancing.
Harrah's Gulf Coast Hotel & Casino In Biloxi
(click any image to enlarge)
If you're approaching the casino on Beach Boulevard from the Interstate, watch carefully when you see the casino and there's a traffic light. While it looks like you should turn there, resist the urge and drive a little bit further where you'll come to a second light. The parking garage entrance is on your left. This will take you both to hotel self-parking and valet.
NOTE: All shows, events and deadlines are subject to postponement or cancellation due to temporary casino closings and/or safety and health measures implemented by the state.
■ There is a $5.99 per transaction fee to use the ATMs.
■ Be sure to try the fried oysters with mixed greens salad and blue cheese dressing at Magnolia House. They're not always on the menu, but just ask your server. Another "stand-out" is the crab and brie soup.
■ If you opt out of housekeeping services during your stay (minimum two-night stay), Harrah's will give you a $10 per stay food and beverage credit. You still can request additional towels or other amenities, but your bathroom will not be cleaned, bed made, etc. If you didn’t get a pre-arrival email asking you to opt-in, just let the front desk know when you check-in.
There is no special VIP check-in, but look for specially designated Seven Stars lines at the front desk.You'll be asked for a $100 hold on your credit card – no cash accepted.. Security guards, bartenders, servers and other personnel go out of their way to greet you and be friendly. Self-parking in an adjacent garage is complimentary for all guests, but complimentary valet parking is available for Seven Stars cardholders and guests staying in the hotel.
Hotel guestroomsAll of the hotel's nearly 500 guest rooms have been completely renovated with upgraded bathrooms, new plumbing and lighting fixtures, custom bedding and furniture, and 49” wall-mounted high-definition televisions, among other enhancements. The elevators, hallways and lobby also were upgraded. Taking a cue from the predominant color in Harrah’s logo, purple is the primary accent color in the redesign.
All rooms have refrigerators and coffee-makers, and many of the larger suites have Keurig coffee-makers with complimentary coffee pods. [Hear that, Caesars Palace? There is a charge for the pods there.]
Though the hotel faces the Gulf, it is not on the beach.
Part of a $14 million renovation, the hotel upgrades complement the rebranding that includes new restaurants and a revitalized pool deck.
■ Harrah's participates in the Pet Stay program. Click here for details.
■ Since Seven Stars cardholders each get two complimentary buffets everyday, if you don't use this benefit, consider Harrah's "Buffet-To-Go" option. Fill up a box or two and take the food to your room for an afternoon or late-night snack. All of the rooms have a refrigerator, so, as long as you don't keep it too long, everything should stay fresh.
In case there is any doubt about what the resort fee includes, inside your room key case is a concise listing of benefits, left, and, on the reverse, center, some detailed options for checking out at the conclusion of your stay. Inside the room, right, is a nice, smartly written list of things to do around the resort. Once again a little extra touch that shows Harrah’s cares about its guests and wants to be sure they have a good time.
The William Hill Sportsbook, located directly off the resort’s east casino entrance, features more than 22 high-definition televisions, five betting counters, and 18 deluxe lounge chairs and six couches. Cocktail service is available, as well as quick access to a full-service bar. The sportsbook accepts Vegas-level limits up to $20,000 for professional football and up to $10,000 for college football. Caesars Rewards cardholders earn one Reward Credit and one tier credit for each $10 in bets, however, there can be up to a 24-hour delay before the credits are posted.
Harrah's pool is open daily at 8 a.m., but after 8 p.m., it's adults (21 and older) only. The pool closes at midnight, except on Fridays and Saturdays when it's open until 2 a.m. (Hours always are subject to change.)
Casino overviewHarrah's, probably one of Caesars smallest and least distinctive casinos, offers all the standard table games (and a separate Asian gaming area) and the usual slots. Complimentary drink service is relatively frequent; and dealers, slot attendants and servers all are extremely friendly and helpful.
Machine capping has been temporarily suspended.
Cashout vouchers in Mississippi expire in 30 days.
■ Tuesdays: DJ Karaoke, 7 to 11 p.m., 406 Club ■ Fridays: Live musical performances, 8 p.m. to midnight, 406 Club
■ Gulf Coast sold its Grand Bear golf course, but it still has an arrangement to honor the golf benefit for Seven Stars, but the course no longer accepts Reward Credits.
Complementing the sportsbook, above, Harrah’s has expanded its sports betting and entertainment experiences with the addition of the 406 Club, a “non-traditional venue with high-tech amenities” whose name offers a subtle nod to the original 406 Club that was a known bookie joint in downtown Biloxi.
Donate your cashout vouchers to a good cause. This box is located just past the automatic doors leading from the lobby toward the casino (next to Destinations gift shop).
■ Check out this article, 10 Things to do in Biloxi, Mississippi For First Time Visitors.
■ Magnolia House by Kelly English offers $2 Tito’s martinis to all Caesars Rewards cardholders during Happy Hour.
The 406 Club features three exclusive fan caves, left, available by reservation, and each is fully equipped with Xbox consoles. In addition, the 406 Club has modern, interactive LCD screens, food and beverage specials for game day, music, and bar games, including beer pong, shuffleboard and foosball. The facility, centrally-located on the casino floor, and featuring sports betting kiosks, also is the first in Mississippi to feature bar top gaming. Described as an “elegant PlayStation®,” bar top gaming offers an interactive entertainment experience for both traditional and non-traditional casino games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, and popular video poker themes.
Magnolia House by Kelly English
Lb's Steakhouse has been replaced with Magnolia House by Kelly English. In addition to
the Flavors Buffet , Mix & Mingle and Starbucks in the lobby are two other options for food. Harrah's also boasts a 24-hour Steak 'n Shake. Note, though, that while Reward Credits are accepted at Steak 'n Shake, it's 2:1, i.e., $5 = 1,000 Reward Credits. All other outlets (except The Blind Tiger, below) accept RCs 1:1. The buffet is open for dinner daily, and serves lunch only on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Consequently, your options for breakfast are Mix & Mingle, Starbucks (left), Steak 'n Shake (above) and room service which serves breakfast daily from 7 to 10:30 a.m.
Special Seven Stars benefits*
Once each month, Bellissimo Spa & Salon offers Seven Stars cardholders up to $120 credit. Additional charges may be paid with comp dollars or cash. Three terrific massage therapists I've had are Clint†, Paula† and Michael†. Guys, try the full-body sugar exfoliation.
Bellissimo Spa has reopened for salon services (hair and nails) only – no spa service (massage, facial, waxing, etc.) services or wet areas at this time. The $120 credit for Bellissimo has been temporarily suspended pending the reopening of the spa.
Alternatively, each month you and a guest can play a free round of golf at the Jack Nicklaus Grand Bear Golf Course.
There are four dedicated Seven Stars parking spaces (one handicapped) on the third floor in the self-park garage across from the entrance to the hotel and casino. (There also are 10 spaces reserved for Diamond cardholders.)
The Blind Tiger on The Great Lawn is the newest addition to Harrah's dining options. The open-air bar and restaurant is patterned after its Bay St. Louis, Miss., location. A favorite among locals since its opening in 2013, The Blind Tiger offers "quality food and simple, yet unique, cocktails in a casual, waterfront setting," according to Harrah's. Reward Credits are accepted, but at 2:1, i.e., $5 = 1,000 Reward Credits.
Visiting Seven Stars guests may find a small gift, like this tote bag, in their guestroom, along with a welcoming notice acknowledging their tier status.
In addition to two free buffets daily, Flavors Buffet offers Seven Stars cardholders and a guest, a complimentary grilled-to-order 8 oz. steak (a $9.99 value) at lunch and dinner. You may not be told about this, so ask if you're not offered the steak(s). The beautifully seasoned and trimmed boneless rib-eye is cooked to perfection, and delivered shortly after you sit down. Seven Stars cardholders get cloth napkins at the buffet – a nice touch I wish all Caesars buffets (and even "regular" restaurants) offered. Unlike some Caesars buffets, there is no special designated Seven Stars seating area, and servers tend to be overwhelmed with too many tables. When the buffet is busy, don't expect a coffee or drink refill without extra effort to signal your server.
Two rounds of golf at Grand Bear per month – with hotel stay. Advance reservations required and tee time must be booked golf tee through a casino host.
Cardholder and guest have use of the wet area in Bellissimo Spa, as well as the fitness center.Benefit temporarily suspended.
Every Friday from 4 to 5 p.m. (Central) Seven Stars cardholders and their guest can enjoy complimentary beverages at Magnolia House by Kelly English. On occasion Chef Josh or Chef Kelly will provide a special treat.
One complimentary movie per day in the hotel.
Complimentary local calls.
Priority service line at all outlets.
Priority service for all special events.
1 p.m. late checkout upon request.
Up to two-hour machine capping on all machines except progressives.
Credit card fees reimbursed with free slot play.
Complimentary check cashing.
25 percent discount on cash/credit card purchases at Destinations Gift Shop.
The Laurel Lounge is temporarily closed. In lieu of Laurel Lounge privileges, Seven Stars cardholders may present their players cards at the casino bar for complimentary beverages at any time.
Seven Stars Lounge There is no Seven Stars Lounge, but the small comfortable Laurel Lounge is open only until 8 each evening. (Opening hours vary, but, during the week it's usually 4 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. and Sundays, noon – an hour earlier for Seven Stars cardholders.) Premium liquors comprise the impressive bar selection. Food service is very limited. (Last time I was there – a Wednesday night – the menu consisted of potato salad, pulled pork sandwiches and apple crisp. Two days later there were large chilled shrimp with cocktail sauce, spinach dip with warm pita crisps, and cream puffs. The bar always has a snack mix with peanuts and pretzels.) Look for long-time bartender Kim, but, sadly, there no longer are seats at the bar.
Should you choose this for your Annual Retreat?
Two or more days here could get awfully boring. Other than the buffet, there is really only one decent restaurant (Magnolia House), and it just serves dinner.
When you check-in, be sure to verify that your $500 comp account has been set-up. Alcohol charged to the room counts toward your $500 in expenses, but sometimes requires a host to tweak your account in order for it to be counted. Gratuities for meals and spa services may be paid in cash, or charged to your room and settled at check-out with your credit card on file. Any taxes on food, liquor and spa services are waived, and not counted toward your $500 in allowable expenses. Best advice is to keep all your receipts until you settle your final bill.
If you don't drive there in your own vehicle, consider renting a car – even if you fly directly into the Gulfport-Biloxi International Airport, and especially if you fly into New Orleans' Louis Armstrong Airport. It's nearly a two-hour drive from New Orleans (not the one-hour that's on the casino's Web site or the announcements you listen to when you're on hold), but it's mostly all Interstate. While your Seven Stars package includes round-trip airport transportation, Caesars will not credit you the cost of round-trip limo service – even though, in many cases, a rental car would be less expensive. If you don't have a car, and want to visit area shopping and some of the other casinos, there is a Casino Hopper bus that runs Monday through Saturday every 15 minutes and costs $1.50 per trip (75¢ if you're 60 or older, or free if you're 91 or older) Exact change is required and a Medicare card or a Coast Transit Authority ID card is required for discounted fares.
*subject to change, revision or cancellation
†employee may no longer work at subject property or be unavailable due to his/her specific work schedule
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