While Pennsylvania awaits a verdict on the state's proposed second casino, a recently-added feature at the ever-popular Valley Forge Casino (about 30 minutes northwest of Philadelphia) is making poker chip-wielding travelers around the country take note. Announced early last month, a new "Points for Miles" program offers gamers the chance to redeem casino player points for -- get this -- airline miles with US Airways.
Not such a terrible idea, is it? Though we usually expect our casino winnings in the form of cold, hard cash, this new twist is a practical alternative, and especially useful to those who fly US Airways (or their newly-merged partner, American Airlines) with any sort of frequency. Participating casino guests will benefit from playing a few extra hands at the poker table -- rack up enough casino points, and you could wind up with a discounted (or free) airline ticket.
Let's take a look at what other casinos are doing to stand out from the pack:
In southeastern Connecticut, the Mohegan Sun opened in 1996 and remains one of the world's largest gaming complexes. New updates are being made all the time to the rooms and guest facilities, but here's one of our favorite tidbits about this sprawling resor: inside the "Casino of the Sky" is the world's largest planetarium dome. The impressive ceiling features morphing fiber optics that make the entire (well, almost) cosmos accessible to an indoors-only crowd. Meanwhile, the resort just debuted a set of Premium Suites that were previously only available to celebrities and VIP high-rollers; the $8,000-per-night suites feature marble bathrooms, Bose-equipped living rooms, and 24-hour butler service.
Back in October, we spent some time marveling at the new health- and wellness-themed offerings at MGM Grand in Las Vegas, and we still can't get the HEPA-standard air purified rooms out of our head. Totaling 171 rooms throughout the 14th floor of the hotel's main tower, "Stay Well" guests are treated to vitamin C-infused shower water, jetlag-relieving light therapy systems, all-natural, toxin-free mattresses, and cedar headboards -- all virtually unheard of in a city of cheap thrills and even cheaper hotel bills.
Palm Springs' only casino, Spa Resort Casino is a magnet for west coast vacationers with extra money to burn -- show up at any time of night, and you'll find a wide array of folks pulling at slot levers and congregating around blackjack tables. But the resort's most unique feature isn't to be found in the casino itself; rather, next door, at the spa, guests can enjoy a treatment known as Mineral Immersion. Inspired by the region's native hot springs, the four-step treatment includes steam, sauna, eucalyptus inhalation, and, last but not least, a private soak in the resort's private mineral springs. Day passes for non-guests available from $40.
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