Reno, often referred to as “The Biggest Little City in the World” is home to one of the biggest casino hotels and it’s quite grand. The Grand Sierra Resort is also home to one of the biggest theater stages in the world and boasts 80,000 square feet of casino gaming. When you’re thinking about a trip to Reno, don’t underestimate the Grand Sierra Resort.
I found myself in Reno for three wonderful winter days. Not being a gambler, I was wondering if I might be bored during the long weekend; the answer to that question was absolutely not. In fact, I could have stayed longer and am already planning a summer return trip.
The recently remodeled Beach Pool is open year round, as is the infinity pool, but the summer time is when this area really gets hopping. The 39 year old resort recently renovated the pool area, enlarging the pool to 76,163 square feet. The resort added an infinity pool, child-free area, daybeds and cabanas, in addition to new hot tubs, outdoor fire pits and bocce ball court.
I can tell you from first-hand experience that the fire pits are warm and cozy in the wintertime. Insider tip, you don’t have to reserve fire pits, but you can if you are hosting a birthday party or private event. No matter what the occasion, be sure to purchase the S’mores plate as Grand Sierra Resort (GSR) makes house made marshmallows and they are fabulous.
Grand Sierra Resort restaurant
Continuing with my food tour of GSR, I confess that I ate at almost all of the 10 plus restaurants on property. Make a reservation at Charlie Palmer Steak if this is a “treat yourself” or special occasion vacation. For the wine connoisseur’s in the group, stop at Reserve Wine Bar, featuring 88 wines by the glass and small plates. Speaking from experience, don’t eat too much if you drop in to Reserve before Charlie Palmer. I regret that I did that and need a re-match this summer.
If you like to eat healthy, but you are traveling with kids or teens, California Pizza Kitchen is the restaurant for you. I ordered the grilled halibut and was blown away with the quality of the seafood in a pizza joint! The plates at The Grand Cafe were, indeed, grand, as were the variety of choices at the Grand Buffet. The Cantina is the place for Mexican food and Rim has excellent Pan-Asian selections, including an unlimited sushi bar. Order the 49er roll with salmon and lemon or get the pot stickers.
I realize you didn’t land here looking for restaurant reviews, but hey, I had three days at the resort. What about room service? I’m glad you asked. Breakfast in bed is always a treat on vacation so go big, or go home. At the rate I was eating, I was going home big, but that didn’t stop me from ordering Eddy’s jumbo sticky bun (see above photo.)
With 1,989 rooms and 116 suites, there are plenty of room choices at Grand Sierra. Rates start as low as $39 and may go as high as $2,500, depending on time of year and how grand you want your room to be. I was fortunate to land in the Director Suite with a view of Mount Rose and the Sierra Nevada mountain range. My room could have accommodated a family with two children sleeping in the living room area. The rooms in the A tower are luxury accommodations and have recently been renovated. The rooms offer bright decor with modern touches. All I care about is a comfortable bed with quality linen and a quiet location away from the elevator. My needs were met in room 634.
All hotel rooms include Moulton Brown bath products, flat screen tv’s, coffee makers, hair dryers, complimentary internet and free parking. Take note that the hotel is not pet-friendly, but the RV Park is.
The resort guarantees the best rate on prices if you book directly through them. Grand Sierra offers military rates, AAA rates and special packages.
The Spa at Grand Sierra Resort is not huge, but the personal attention to detail and quality of the therapists makes up for its size. I booked a deep tissue massage, followed by a cheese plate ordered off the spa menu. Each spa treatment includes a glass of wine, champagne or non-alcoholic beverage of your choice. Additionally, guests have all day access to the spa facilities, including sauna, hot tubs and steam room, on the day of their treatment. Inside tip: Reno residents receive 25% off all spa services and retail Monday to Thursday!
In addition to the pool and Grand Theatre, GSR features Lux Nightclub, also recently renovated. I wasn’t traveling with children on this trip, but there is plenty of entertainment to keep everyone in the family happy. From the over-water driving range, to bowling alley, movie theater, FunQuest Arcade and winter outdoor ice skating rink, your kids, and kids at heart, will be busy. Don’t forget the casino with slots, video poker, table games and poker room.
The grand hotel does charge a resort fee, in addition to the hotel tax and tourism surcharge. On the bright side, it offers a complimentary shuttle to and from Reno Tahoe International Airport. On the dark side, the resort and casino does not currently have a full property recycling program in place…I’m told they are working to rectify this.
Whether you are visiting Reno for business or pleasure, you are sure to find something grand at Grand Sierra Resort.
Hotel review and all photos by San Francisco Bay Area travel writer Nancy D. Brown. Her stay was hosted by Grand Sierra Resort, but as always, her thoughts and opinions are her own.