The Pechanga Re­sort and Casino

Golf Vacations - - Contents - by Terry Ross

The Pechanga Re­sort and Casino, which has been a sta­ple of the In­land Em­pire re­gion of SoCal in Te­mec­ula since it was built in 2002 – and added the ac­claimed Jour­ney at Pechanga Golf Course in 2008 – has now dou­bled in size with a re­cent­ly­completed $300 mil­lion ex­pan­sion to 1,090 rooms and suites, added a 4.5-acre pool com­plex, two ad­di­tional restau­rants, a twolevel lux­ury spa with a fit­ness and yoga stu­dio and ad­di­tional meet­ing/con­ven­tion space that brings the to­tal to 100,000 square foot in­door and an­other 174,500 out­door.

It is cer­tainly no se­cret that South­ern Cal­i­for­nia is home to many out­stand­ing golf cour­ses and re­sorts – and it could be ar­gued that one could fill an en­tire sea­son vis­it­ing top des­ti­na­tions in this re­gion of the coun­try – and there would still be more to see. But one of the lesser-known gems in this area won’t stay that way for long as it has taken it­self to an en­tirely new level. The Pechanga Re­sort and Casino, which has been a sta­ple of the In­land Em­pire re­gion of SoCal in Te­mec­ula since it was built in 2002 – and added the ac­claimed Jour­ney at Pechanga Golf Course in 2008 – has now dou­bled in size with a re­cently-com­pleted $300 mil­lion ex­pan­sion to 1,090 rooms and suites, added a 4.5-acre pool com­plex, two ad­di­tional restau­rants, a two-level lux­ury spa with a fit­ness and yoga stu­dio and ad­di­tional meet­ing/con­ven­tion space that brings the to­tal to 100,000 square foot in­door and an­other 174,500 out­door. Owned and op­er­ated by the Pechanga Band of Luiseño In­di­ans, this re­sort is now the largest re­sort/casino on the West Coast, and larger than some of the well-known Las Ve­gas prop­er­ties like the MGM Grand. The Te­mec­ula area – long known for its many award­win­ning winer­ies, tem­per­ate weather and abun­dant golf op­por­tu­ni­ties – is less than a two-hour drive from the Los An­ge­les basin and about an hour from the ma­jor air­ports in San Diego and On­tario. The Pechanga Re­sort Casino, on an ex­pan­sive 550 acres of tribal land, has just about ev­ery pos­si­ble amenity you can think for a mul­ti­day or even a week-long stay. You never run out of things to en­joy – and we haven’ even got­ten to the golf yet! There are a full 20 restau­rants and bars in the com­plex, high­lighted Ar­ca­dia Bluffs by the The new Lodge Lobby Bar & Grill for ca­sual, easy din­ing and some of the best cui­sine avail­able un­der the di­rec­tion of Jose Men­doza, the head chef who uses lo­callysourced foods for the bistro-style eatery that is eas­ily ac­ces­si­ble near the ho­tel en­trance. The re­sort’s new­est full-ser­vice restau­rant – the Cove­side Grill – is a per­fect com­ple­ment to a day or af­ter­noon at the new Cove pool that ri­vals any­thing you can find at a casino re­sort. The new Cove is al­most the size of four foot­ball fields with three main pools and five spas. The main pool is 8,500 square feet and in­cludes 18 in-pool bar stools, swim-up bar, zero edge pool, pri­vate ca­banas, fam­ily beach pool with two wa­ter­slides and a pri­vate VIP pool and ca­bana area. A Spa Day is al­ways some­thing to con­sider, and one at the new 25,000 square feet Spa Pechanga is an ex­pe­ri­ence. With a mul­ti­tude of mas­sage and fa­cial treat­ments, body wraps, hair and nail sa­lon, ex­fo­li­a­tion, cou­ples mas­sage and more, the Spa also of­fers some time to take a steam sauna, hy­drother­apy pool or or­der some­thing for lunch at the lounge over­look­ing the golf course and lo­cal moun­tains. Then there is Jour­ney, the Award-win­ning golf course at Pechanga that is an out­stand­ing track that can chal­lenge

the best play­ers at 7,219 yards, but most will find an ad­e­quate test from the White tees at 6,276 yards. This links-style course de­signed by Arthur Hill and Steve For­rest has many el­e­va­tion changes that make a round of golf here a scenic de­light, but play­ers are ad­vised to bring their A-game since this can be a de­mand­ing course that war­rants your full at­ten­tion. Jour­ney is built into the na­tive canyons and ravines of the south end of the Te­mec­ula Val­ley and fea­tures abun­dant lakes, wa­ter­falls, streams and even the oc­ca­sional wildlife Two of the more in­trigu­ing holes can be the two par-5’s on the front nine – es­pe­cially the 527-yard (from the White tees) ninth hole that de­mands pre­cise ball place­ment on all three shots to have a chance at par. The sig­na­ture Par 4 sixth hole has play­ers tee­ing off to a fair­way be­low that is a 175-foot drop down the moun­tain. The 366-yard Par 4 18th-hole has a spec­tac­u­lar 250-foot drop from the tee­ing area to the fair­way and is a hole you will want to bring your cam­era out for. Jour­ney, with its breath-tak­ing scenery, is never bor­ing and a fun course that you will en­joy­ing play­ing more as you get to know its many nui­sances. The course is noted for its fine con­di­tion­ing – and of more than 60 golf cour­ses through­out the In­land South­ern Cal­i­for­nia re­gion, Jour­ney at Pechanga took the award for “Best Play­ing Con­di­tions” for the year end­ing 2017 by greenskeeper.org. Jour­ney also sits among the top 30 Best Cour­ses You Can Play in Cal­i­for­nia ac­cord­ing to GolfWeek mag­a­zine. The course’s di­rec­tor of in­struc­tion, Randy Chang is rated one of the top 30 in­struc­tors in the coun­try by Golf Tips mag­a­zine. Fea­tur­ing an ex­cel­lent staff un­der the di­rec­tion of Scott Mallory, the di­rec­tor of golf, you feel like you are at one of the finest pri­vate clubs around. Jour­ney’s End, the 62,000-square foot club­house, has ex­cel­lent fare with great views and an at­mos­phere to re­lax af­ter a round – in­side or out on the pa­tio. It has con­sis­tently been voted “Best Brunch” in the re­gion by In­land Em­pire mag­a­zine. The men’s and ladies’ locker rooms are also avail­able for play­ers and are first rate. Later in the af­ter­noon or evening, the Casino at Pechanga has a lot of choices for added entertainment. In the more than 200,000 square foot Casino floor there are 130 ta­ble games in­clud­ing Pai Gow, Black­jack and many more; a 43-ta­ble state-of-the art 24-hour poker room with a 90-seat OTB lounge. The 700-seat seat ul­tra-mod­ern Pechanga Bingo room is also a fun way to spend some time as well. Prob­a­bly the premier din­ing ex­pe­ri­ence at the re­sort is the Great Oak Steak­house that is fa­mous for its AAA Four Di­a­mond Award and Wine Spec­ta­tor’s Award of Ex­cel­lence. The prime-grade An­gus steaks here are fa­mous and the at­mos­phere and ser­vice are top-notch and will be re­mem­bered for a long time. The Pechanga Re­sort also has a full lineup of entertainment op­tions for its vis­i­tors, in­clud­ing the Pechanga Theater that hosts A-list per­form­ers ev­ery week in its 1,200-seat venue. The Pechanga Sum­mit fea­tures con­certs and live-ac­tion sports, while the Com­edy Club of­fers stand-up co­me­di­ans on the week­end. The Ea­gle’s Next has danc­ing on Fri­day and Satur­day nights while the Casino Cabaret has live mu­sic and danc­ing. The ac­com­mo­da­tions at the Pechanga Re­sort have all been re­mod­eled – and those in the newly-con­structed tow­ers fea­ture spa­cious spa stu­dio rooms and one and two-bed­room suites with floor to ceil­ing win­dows that have breath­tak­ing views of the moun­tains and golf course. The high def­i­ni­tion 55” and 65” flat screen TV’s, cou­pled with the many other lux­ury room ap­point­ments, are the per­fect touch for the re­sort. But per­haps the over­rid­ing fea­ture at the Pechanga Re­sort is the con­stant at­ten­tion to ser­vice from ev­ery­one you en­counter – from the valet’s, the concierge, in the restau­rants and bars and at the golf course. The re­sort has made cus­tomer ser­vice the high­est pri­or­ity and it shows in the ways guests are treated through­out the en­tire fa­cil­ity – and mak­ing a visit here a mem­o­rable one in so many ways. To learn more about the Pechanga Re­sort or to look at va­ca­tion op­tions, visit: www.pechanga.com

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.