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Foxwoods 8/3

Discussion in 'Non-Vegas Trip Reports' started by Alhanalasa, Aug 4, 2013.

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  1. Alhanalasa

    Alhanalasa Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5

    My Trip Report

    Hi all,

    Since I'm not going to Vegas for another couple of months, wanted to post my impressions of my first visit to Foxwoods in Mashantucket, CT.

    My husband, M, saw that Jerry Seinfeld was going to be playing at the MGM Grand Theater there. We've seen him in Boston, and it sounded like a good weekend trip. So, we snagged a couple of tickets and booked a room.

    We left Manchester, NH at about 9:30 am on Saturday, and drove down. Despite hitting a big construction delay on 495 in Mass (making a bunch of Mass drivers go from 3 lanes to 1 is never going to be a smooth process), we arrived at the MGM Casino at Foxwoods in about 2 hrs 15 minutes. We parked in the self-park garage, and headed into the casino for lunch.

    I'm not sure why, but I was steeling myself for a casino that was sort of sad and possibly dingy, like the Riv or Circus Circus. Probably that is just based on the people I know from work that go. I was very pleasantly surprised with the reality. The casino was very clean and felt almost new, with a lovely vanilla scent, not unlike the Aria. Throughout the property, they do a great job of keeping the cigarette smoke from being very noticable, unless you're seated next to someone who's actually smoking.

    We headed for Juniors for lunch. M has ordered cheesecakes for us and his family and friends multiple times, so it was a easy pick. There is both a grab and go counter, and a sit-down casual restaurant. The restaurant is very light and airy, with Brooklyn-themed decor. Our server, Brian, earned extra points by not opening the bottle of M's Guiness until he got it to the table. They also start everyone out with pickles, cole slaw and pickled beets. Diners do have the option to decline, but I love pickles and pickled beets, so we accepted. I had iced tea and a rueben. M had the swiss melt, which comes with fries and onion rings (enough to share with me, since the Rueben didn't come with any). Everything was very tasty, and the portions are enormous. It was a 10 oz patty of ground beef for M's Swiss Melt, and there must have been at least that much Corned Beef on my Rueben. I appreciated that the 1000 Island dressing was served on the side, which allowed me to put as much as I wanted and prevented the sandwich from being soggy. For dessert, M had a slice of plain cheesecake. I went with the rugelach (6 pieces, 3 chocolate nut, 3 plain nut). The cheesecake is divine. The rugelach had just been pulled out of the fridge, so not as tasty as when I had one of the leftover pieces later. Total bill was $54.18 before tip.

    After lunch we drove through the property to Two Trees Inn, where we had reserved a Junior King Suite. The official check-in time is 4pm, but we had no problem checking in then, which was about 1:30. The room was clean, with a fairly comfortable bed (not the best we've ever had in a hotel room, but definitely not the worst, either). The rate was pretty outrageous for the room, about $350 plus a $5.95/night + tax resort fee, but we really wanted to be on the property, and the other hotels were at least double that rate. Saturday night, in August, with a big show, so whatever. We splurged. (Also I think I'm spoiled by Vegas hotel rates. I didn't realize until this trip how much the rooms we typically get in Vegas for $200 or less would be in the "real world".) There is a shuttle that runs between Two Tress and the casinos, about every 15 mins. It's supposedly a 10 minute walk, but I didn't really see a good path, and I had cute shows on, so that wasn't ever going to be an option for me. Drivers were friendly and I always felt safe (no crazy speeds or sudden braking, drivers were paying attention, etc.).

    After settling into the room, we took the shuttle over to the Rainmaker Casino to check out the gambling offerings. I love that there was a smoke free casino, and several sections within the other casinos that don't permit smoking, but the slots I'm actually interested in were not in these sections. My favorite is the Lord of the Rings slots (because I am a geek), and I also wanted to check out the NASCAR slots. Everytime we went by, these were always busy. They had the Pawn Stars, Judge Judy, Hangover, Wizard of Oz, and others, and all of the were always busy. I settled for a "50 Dolphins" slot, put in $60 and pulled out just over $120 after 20 or so spins.

    We took the shuttle back to the room to get ready for dinner and the show.

    Dinner was at 5:30 at David Burke Prime. Beautiful restaurant, though I thought the acoustics were a little strange. The restaurant wasn't too full when we arrived, but it there was a full restaurant's worth of people talking at once. Made conversation a bit difficult. M had a Guiness, of course, and I had a "Summer Breeze" - gin, St Germain, peach something and club soda. Tasty and strong. :) I switched to a glass of Malbec with the entree. M started with the lobster bisque, which he enjoyed. I started with the Burrata and Proscuitto salad, which was very good. Lovely heirloom tomatoes. We both had the petite filet. M got blue cheese, and I got Diane sauce. The blue cheese didn't actually come on the steak, but separately in a small cast iron griddle pan. We also got the lobster mashed potatoes, which was really good. Nice and buttery, and the lobster was tender, not overcooked. For desert, M had the creme brulee. I opted for the Drunken Ricotta Donuts. We had seen them being served to a couple other tables. The servers shake the freshly made donut holes in a bag of powered sugar and cinnamon, and then roll them out onto the plate. They are served with Chocolate Kahlua, Strawberry Rum and Cinnamon Creme sauces. The chocolate was my favorite. Overall, we were both very impressed, and would definitely come back. Total was $221.74 before tip.

    We hustled to the theater (about a 10 or 15 min walk from the restaurant) and saw Jerry. He was a great show, and the opener, Tom Papa (who we've also seen before) was great as well.

    After that, we did a bit of gambling. Did ok on a 50 play JOB VP, but then gave it all back plus at a Gone with the Wind slot trying to wait for the LotR slot to open up. For the whole overnight trip, I ended up down about $120 out of a bankroll of $160.

    In the morning, we drove back over to the MGM self park garage for breakfast at Junior's. Coffee was pretty tasty, M was satisfied with his usual 2 eggs scrambled/home fries/whole wheat toast, and I enjoyed my smoked salmon eggs benedict. We also got a 6" plain cheesecake to bring home. Total was $49.88 before tip.

    We were on the road at around 10am, and home by 12:30. No construction (being Sunday), but there was a weird delay on 495 because of some paper strewn on the highway. Seriously. I can't blame the Mass drivers for this one since most of the licence plates were from away.

    To sum up, M and I agree we would not hesitate to come back for a nice weekend getaway. I don't think there's enough to do for, say, a weeklong vacation. At least, not at the level of my typical bankroll. We'd probably choose to stay in one of the hotels in the casino complex itself rather than Two Trees, since it really is quite a large property. I'll be paying closer attention to the schedule of shows from here on out. Since I had such a hard time narrowing down the choice for dinner (waffled between Craftsteak and David Burke Prime for a while before finally deciding on Prime), I'm sure we'd have no problem finding another great dinner. The quick/casual options are plentiful as well.

    It felt much more like a mini-preview of Vegas than I expected. Only the card slappers were missing. :)
     
  2. craps1

    craps1 Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2012
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
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    Nice trip. Did you get a player's card? If so, you will probably get a reduced rate in the future? MGM rooms are really nice, but most tend to prefer Pequet rooms more since MGM is a good long walk away from the rest of Foxwoods. Friday and Saturday's are always busy. Tough to get on the good machines. Same holds true for Mohegan sun. Thursday's are generally very quiet in comparison if you ever decide to take a long weekend and go down on a Thursday. I agree Prime is a great steakhouse. Shrine is excellent as well if you are into sushi or Asian dishes. Not a huge fan of craftsteak. Menu is grossly overpriced.
     
  3. Alhanalasa

    Alhanalasa Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 12, 2013
    Messages:
    114
    Location:
    New Hampshire, USA
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    I didn't get a player's card, just didn't make the time to wait at the desk. Shame on me. I'm thinking unless there's another show we want to catch soon, we can aim for a mid-week stay in early February, a bit after my birthday. If not, the Thursday suggestion is great. :thumbsup:
     
  4. Tammy58

    Tammy58 Frugal Slot Jockey

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2004
    Messages:
    2,223
    Location:
    Mass
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    16
    Really too bad you didn't pick up your Dream Rewards card. Foxwoods has gotten much looser with free rooms this year. I have stayed at all 4 props...Two Trees is definitely the lowest of all of them. Glad to hear you enjoyed it. We loved Juniors the one time we went there. They don't start serving lunch until noon which is too late for us. Most of the people I know who go all the time (myself included) never even bother with the MGM part, too far of a walk. Juniors would be the only reason I would go over there. If they had mlife instead of the Foxwoods program...it would be a different story :) Glad you enjoyed it, avoid the weekends and you can get a much better rate at the Great Cedar or Pequot hotels.
     
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