Three weeks ago, I had the opportunity to stay at Live! Casino Hotel in Arundel Mills, MD and would like to share my experience here…
My husband and I arrived at the hotel in the mid-afternoon for check-in, which was seamless. The line moved fast and before we knew it, we were whisked away to our room on one of the upper floors of the hotel (bonus -- we had a really cool view of the town!).
After dropping off our bags, we headed downstairs to the casino. First stop -- the brand new Stax Super 4 Progressive Blackjack tables...with the new blackjack jackpots, there are multiple jackpots, with a top one starting at $50k, that could hit with a $5 side bet. Since it was early, we had a whole table to ourselves, which was good. Our dealer Gucci (how's that for the coolest name ever?!) explained to us how it worked. I'm not a huge gambler but when I'm at a casino, I like to grab a few games here and there. We played for about an hour and we even hit blackjack once!
Afterwards, we visited Luk Fu for dinner. Our table was overlooking the casino floor so it was people-watching heaven, which is one of my favorite things to do. The menu had so much variety and all of it sounded delicious so we asked the sushi chef, Calvin, what he recommended. We ended up getting several vegetable dishes, a tofu dish, and a platter of sashimi, caviar, and some rolls. Calvin taught us a new (for us) way to eat sushi, which was to use Himalayan sea salt instead of soy sauce. He said that often people douse their sushi with soy sauce and it overpowers the flavors. He was right. Our meal was absolutely delicious, the service was prompt, attentive, and friendly. This wasn't my first time eating at Luk Fu, by the way. I've eaten there several times before and it remains one of my favorite places to dine. Highly recommended. One thing to note is that they have really long hours so it's the perfect place to eat if you're in the casino until the wee hours of the morning.
After dinner, we checked out Luckies for dessert. Luckies is located at the entrance of the hotel and casino. They have an array of baked goods, pastries, coffee, boba tea, gelato, and cakes. I chose a chocolate raspberry tart, and a pistachio gelato. The tart was very rich and chocolatey and the gelato was just what I was looking for after eating such a savory meal. Instagram tip: the dessert shop is beautifully decorated, with floral wallpaper, black and white tiled floors and pastel colored scooters. Perfect for taking cute selfies and food pics!
I was getting a little tired so I headed to the Spa on the 2nd floor where I was scheduled for a signature massage. The spa is tucked away from all the noise on the lower casino floors and once you enter, it's almost as if you've been transported to a different world. The staff showed me to the locker rooms, where I changed into a robe. The locker rooms are big, bright, and very clean. Sadly, the steam room wasn't working the day I was there, which was a slight disappointment. After I was changed, I headed to the relaxation room, where I was offered refreshments and drinks. I only had to wait about 5 minutes before my masseuse, Dillon, came to get me. I ended up getting the signature massage with the optional hot stones (an additional $25 fee). This was probably my favorite part of my entire staycation. After 60 minutes, I left feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and my skin was GLOWING. All the tension in my shoulders and neck was gone. Trust me, if you book a night here, do yourself a favor and schedule some time at the spa.
After my massage, I headed back up to the hotel room for a little bit. I wanted to freshen my hair and makeup and change outfits for the evening. It was still early so we went back down to the casino.
One thing that sets this casino apart from the others: there is live music EVERYWHERE! Everywhere you turn there is a band performing. The place certainly lives up to its name. My favorite venue inside was Live! Center Stage. It's like a little nightclub smack in the middle of the casino. The band was playing all of the hits and the lead singer could SING. Her rendition of "Valerie" by Amy Winehouse had the crowd up on its feet and everyone was moving. They also covered hits by Bruno Mars and Pharrell. It was a little early when we got there but by the time we left, it was pretty crowded.
Another place worth checking out inside the casino is the new Orchid Gaming and Smoking Patio. There is a band playing out there too and lot of patio heaters all over the place to keep it nice and comfy for everyone. It's also much larger than expected. The crowd in here was much younger and louder than on the main casino floor.
We made it back to our room pretty late and the next morning we had brunch at David's in the hotel lobby before checking out and heading home.
I love that Baltimore has this hotel and venue because if you're a busy parent and you want to get away for a night and have fun, Atlantic City and Vegas aren't always feasible options. It's great that Live! Casino & Hotel can provide all the fun, relaxation, food, and entertainment, and it's right here in our own backyard. I can see this being the perfect weekend getaway for couples, girls nights out, bachelorette parties, etc. The only thing missing is a pool!
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