I have been a guest of the Tulalip Resort for the last day or so as they have been hosting a group of media from the Vancouver area. Believe it or not, it’s my first trip to Tulalip and the Premium Outlets next door which are about a 2.5 hour drive from Vancouver, BC.
The big draw here is most definitely the casino. Open 24/7 it has all you would expect from a casino including a nightclub, buffet, fine dining, and cocktail lounge. The casino moved to this location in 2003 and the resort hotel (including the T Spa, shops, and pool) opened in early 2008.
The resort and casino are run by the Tulalip Tribes and abide by the rules of the Tulalip Reservation, which is a sovereign entity (like Washington, DC). As such, they have their own self-supported government, schools, and medical centres. The only downfall for some visitors is that they have their own laws which allows for smoking in the casino (and only the casino, not the restaurants or the hotel). However, I’m sure that’s actually a draw for many people.
The room is fabulously decorated and complete with modern touches such as a 42 inch TV, iPod dock, 3-nozzle shower, full room power off switch, doorbell, and privacy button.
Bottled water, coffee, wifi, and parking are all complimentary. “Our cords don’t compete with yours,” said Director of Sales, Troy Longwith. Their cables for lamps and telephones are all hidden while outlets for guests’ chargers and electronics are all above table level.
During the room tour we visited a few of the high-end suites including the Tech Suite (complete with an iMac for guests to use) the Player Suite (with darts, video games, bar, and pool table) and the majestic Tulalip Room (3,000 feet of luxury).
Facing West you have a view that almost stretches to the shore of Tulalip Bay. The Eastern view reaches out over the parking lot, I5, and toward Mount Baker.
Our dining experience last night at one of the resort’s restaurants was a real treat. We had regional wine pairings with dinner around a large circular table under a sparkling, twisty Chihuly chandelier. I will have a seperate post tomorrow featuring the dining options at Tulalip (we’re headed to the other restaurant tonight).
The T Spa was 14,000 square feet of serenity. There I enjoyed a facial (which was the perfect combination of treatment + relaxation) and a manicure. It was probably the most chatty I’ve ever been during a spa treatment but I think it’s because the staff made me so comfortable.
I’ve heard a few slogans used to describe the hotel recently including, “Luxury & Fun” as well as “A story around every corner”. The atmosphere all around is welcoming, friendly and I’m overwhelmed with the number of art pieces in the halls, rooms, on the carpets, outside, on the room keys, and more. I’m used to the Coast Salish style of art but there is a very local spin on the colourful contemporary pieces.
Throughout the resort there are personal touches. Pieces on each of the floors replicate the hair combs of the artist’s grandmother while water, plantlife, stone, and fire elements are worked into the decor in every room and common space.
Honestly, the thought of a day trip or weekend getaway to a casino in Washington State never really occurred to me. However the experience at Tulalip just might have won me over in terms of considering this as a venue for future short-term escapes.
You will have to hop in the car to get to the bay, beach, or a more natural setting — and I’ll have a post up tomorrow about a maritime adventure we enjoyed today. Otherwise, as a destination for spa, dining, gambling, concerts or shopping, it’s all you need. It’s definitely more suited for girls getaways, couples weekends, and even business retreats. There’s not much for the kiddies to do – it’s more of a 21+ playground.
The standard of hospitality, friendliness, and cleanliness is far higher than that of many casino hotels I’ve stayed with in Vegas. You can check it out for yourself or browse more reviews on TripAdvisor, where it currently has a ranting of 89%.
Disclosure: I am on a familiarization tour with other media and our stay is complimentary. Room rates start at about $150 depending on the date.