What Are They Thinking?
After two visits to the new VIP Lounge at Mohegan Sun, I am disappointed. At one time, three lounges were available for players with Momentum levels of Leap.
The first was the Sachem Club in the Sky Casino which served breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There were two lounges in the Earth Casino; one across from Sunrise serves more Asian cuisine and the small but enjoyable lounge behind the high roller area. All three offered free drinks, food, and a chance to take a break from it all. All three are now closed, with the Sachem Lounge said to be getting renovations to reopen.
Part of that Momentum Rewards program is a great lounge experience. Mohegan Sun has been working on changes to the tune of a $15 million renovation and opened a new 6,500-square-foot VIP Lounge & Bar in Casino of the Earth, taking the place of all three closed VIP clubs.
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Renovations With Luxury Travelers in Mind
“…we’re looking at how we can create an emotional, immersive experience in our VIP experience.”Jeff Hamilton, president and general manager Of Mohegan Sun
When you enter the lounge, located where the buffet used to be, I guess you could call it immersive. It certainly seems far away from the sounds and distractions of the casino. In his interview with Forbes Travel Guide Editor Jennifer Kester, Hamilton says, “We had two lounges that were fairly old from our 1990 opening that had been remodeled but didn’t meet that immersive experience. This new lounge is… Rockwell designed — it’s a design where when you go in, you say, “Wow.”
This Loyal Local’s Opinion and Report Card
I have enjoyed my lounge access to all three previous clubs. They each had a different vibe. I agree they were “starting” to show age, but I hope their plans for these spaces are ready to “wow” us.
I have visited the new “luxurious lounge.” Twice. Here is my humble review.
The new VIP Lounge will have a fire theme and nods to the tribe’s heritage. Credit: Mohegan Sun
Let me say; for those of you who suffer from migraine headaches, this is perfect for you. Not as loud as Sachem and dark – really dark! Good for breakfast with a hangover as well.
On a serious note, it is a beautiful, warm area. In the center is a cool fire pit emphasizing the connection to Mohegan’s tribal heritage. There are different types of seating – some typical tables and chairs for meals and other areas for those cozy social get-togethers with soft chairs and little tables for your drinks.
This lounge is double the size of the Sachem Lounge. While Sachem seated 90 members, this new area seats 180 – 200. It also has a bar with 13 seats. The dark walnut-colored theme adds to the dimly lit aura intended.
The design is typical of Mohegan Sun’s desired direction – luxurious, posh, and up-scaled. But I’m afraid this dark tone is taken too far. The many large TVs scattered about do liven up the place. This could be swayed to this darker feel due to the Scahem renovations (yes, there will eventually be two large lounges), which will hopefully be brighter.
Available libations continue to be a strong point, as did the service on our visits. CT’s own Athletic Brewing N/A beer and their usual quality of Beer and Spirits are featured. IMHO, more staff will be needed on higher volume nights.
Luxurious, grand, opulent, swanky – however you describe this renovation to the VIP Lounge – shouldn’t it be a step up from the previous lounge in some way? Well, it isn’t. Here is where our disappointment lies and the many we talked to.
- The buffet area is maybe half the size of Sachem.
- The number and diversity of hot items are lacking.
- The flat top area was not being used at all. This was larger in Sachem and always had eggs and omelets for breakfast and different meats cut and individually served – far and away a huge letdown.
- The lack of space to be in line is small. Six people can be in line until the line backs into the lounge.
- While the quality of the desserts was very good, the number of available desserts was an anti-climactic finish.
- Bread? – Only two types compared to the array of four previously.
- Salad & sandwich meat are so small only one person can be in front of both simultaneously. Variety is also lacking.
As a matter of fact, the extravagance of the lounge area is a broad contrast to the close quarters of mediocrity in the diminutive buffet.
Finally, did I mention that it costs choice credits to enter? Yes, it’s not totally free. You earn choice credits each month with your Momentum Rewards. Your status determines how many credits you have to spend on certain things, one of which is lounge entry. 20 choice credits per guest from Friday to Sunday / 15 from Sunday night to Friday Afternoon.
I’ll give them a little consideration for the recent opening. But Mohegan Sun, who touts Tao and novello as dynamic new venues, missed the boat on the buffet set-up.
|Drinks / Service||B+|
The final grade is a solid “B.”
What was your take on the new lounge? Write to us – agree or disagree! Meanwhile, it looks like NETimeGambling.com is back in a limited fashion.
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