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NEW ENGLAND CASINOS PROPERTY FACT – EXPANSION
As the dust begins to settle in New England’s State legislatures, one thing is sure – there will be winners and losers as the plot plays out. In my opinion, Massachusetts is a big winner with MGM Springfield & Encore Boston Harbor anchoring the Bay State with two giant representatives of the casino/resort industry. Rhode Island casinos are winners with the addition of sports betting. Unfortunately, the revenue from sports betting hasn’t lived up to expectations, but it is improving.
The expansion has produced one major group of winners – New England’s resident gamblers. Competition between the three southern New England states has given New England residents new gambling options & conditions to choose from. Links to reward clubs such as MLife, Wynn Red Card, and the change of Penn National to Choice Rewards gives a national connection coast to coast. Promotions and entertainment offerings have also seen a greater competition, which only translates as a positive for consumers.
I was alerted two weeks ago about a terrific deal at TravelZoo. Mohegan Sun’s new hotel within a hotel, Aspire, was having a sale. Prices can start for non-suite rooms around $600 depending on the day and events on property. For a little over $200, we had to take advantage of this deal. I can honestly say staying at Aspire at Mohegan Sun was a fabulous experience and NETG will be looking for a deal like this again in the future.
Hotel Within A Hotel
The idea of having a hotel within a hotel began more than a decade ago at MGM Resorts International’s Mandalay Bay. In 1999, Four Seasons managed the top five floors as a 424-room luxury hotel at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Other examples include Nobu at Caesars Palace, Las Vegas, Nobu Hotel at Eden Roc Miami Beach, Miami, and NoMad Las Vegas’ with 293 rooms and suites on the top four floors of Park MGM, Las Vegas. But now the concept has traveled to the northeast, in Uncasville, CT. It’s a multi-million-dollar project that’s been years in the making. It allows Mohegan to compete globally for that special gaming client or high-end customer.
Aspire at Mohegan Sun
A luxurious experience for hotel guests, Aspire at Mohegan Sun is located in the 1,200-room Sky Tower, on floors thirty-one through thirty-six. In total, Aspire accounts for 93 rooms on the top floors of Sky Tower. Guests are allowed to take advantage of exclusive access to a fully remodeled VIP luxury food & drink experience entitled, Thirty Three, on the 33rd floor, overlooking the Thames River.
Kevin Hogan from WFSB in Hartford quoted President & General Manager of Mohegan Sun, Ray Pineault, saying “Aspire & Thirty Three will become two of the most opulent experiences Mohegan Sun offers our hotel guests. From the moment Aspire guests arrive to the moment they check-out, they receive VIP treatment, exclusive access and a truly personalized visit. We absolutely enjoyed our stay immensely.
Our secure elevator.
Our first opportunity to experience Aspire was at the Valet Parking dedicated for Aspire guests only. Upon arrival, from the valet to the checking to the concierge, everyone lets you know your experience will be a special one. The concierge stored our bags since our room wasn’t ready. Upon arrival, the hotel registration clerk offered us champagne and told us we would receive a text when our room was ready. We decided to access Thirty-Three, the Aspire & VIP lounge, for lunch. We walked around first and then headed up for lunch. An exclusive “Aspire” elevator brings you up to Aspire and floor Thirty-Three. I felt so special – my own elevator.
Aspire at Mohegan Sun – Luxury at Thirty-Three
Thirty Three is a showcase of modern designs & interior with a sky-high view of the beautiful New England countryside. Aspire guests have access to the new space, where delicious food options, wide screen TVs, private table games and a complimentary bar are at your service. The private gaming area had two blackjack tables and one roulette table. Premium players can reserve these games, which, I believe, can be changed to suit the player(s) needs.
The buffet setting in Thirty-Three.
Our lunch included lobster salad, with huge chunk of lobster, a panini station, the meatiest and most delicious peeled shrimp I’ve ever tasted. Small gourmet sandwiches, fruit, assorted salads and desserts rounded out the lunch menu. The food was spectacular, with constant refreshing of the buffet offerings. After eating, we relaxed with a drink and enjoyed the scenery from high above in the Sky Tower. It wasn’t long before the staff sent us a text to tell us our room was ready, and it was only 12:30!
Aspire at Mohegan Sun – The Room
Welcome from the butler staff, our room key and our Dream Catcher.
The room is the same size as the deluxe rooms throughout the hotel, extremely clean and spacious. No noise in the hallways. But, in addition to the same size, Aspire includes other particular amenities. According to General Manager Jeff Hamilton, “We’ve made the rooms nicer, the toiletries are different, the bedding is different, and the mattresses are going to be the softest mattresses you ever slept on,” Our experience was exactly that.
The room – calming and comfortable.
We enjoyed the Verbena scented L’Occitane toiletries and the bed that you literally had to climb UP included a perfect mattress with soft, comforting bedding.
For your many devices, there are plugs and USB ports on the bed nightstands and at the large desk area. But I couldn’t find the remote for the TV. That’s because it all run by the complimentary mini iPad by the bed. Not only does it control your access to the TV, and it’s over 80 channels, it offers you over 20 magazines and newspapers from all over the country – including the Washington Post, Miami Herald, and the NY Times.
The mini iPad – so much at your fingertips.
But wait, there’s more!
In addition, each room includes:
The most comfortable and inviting twin sofa sleeper I ever sat on.
2 bottles of water
Refrigerator in all rooms
And – wait for it – 24-hour butler service. The staff delivered a cake to our room for my pending retirement from teaching. Thank you, Mohegan Sun.
Dinner & Breakfast at Thirty-Three
The hallway to Thirty-Three VIP Lounge
All meals at Thirty Three are served buffet style at the following times: hot breakfast with omelet station (7-11:30 a.m.), lunch (11:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.), dinner (4 p.m.-close).
Dinner was similar to lunch, complete with that scrumptious lobster salad. The chef offered grilled center-cut lamb chop on mashed potatoes, cold stone crab legs, a pasta dish made to order and a chicken dish as the main entrees. Same great hospitality and service throughout – they even remembered our drinks from lunch.
Breakfast entree was an omelette station, blueberry crusted french toast, salmon, bacon & homefries to accompany the beautiful array of breads, bagels, and fruit.
Aspire at Mohegan Sun – Service and Hospitality
Every associate we met and spoke to was gracious and helpful; going out their way to make sure we were enjoying our stay. The staff greeted us with smiles and the kind of service you’d expect from a 5 Star Hotel.
As I said, we would stay there again with a deal like this. Add to that the fact it was Status Mayhem Promotion Day just made it even better. And we even took in the comedy show at Comix.
The time has come for all you crazy (or serious) New England Casino visitors to vote for this year’s favorites. You don’t need to live in New England to vote – New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New Jersey – let your voice be heard!
This is the 4th year for NETimeGambling’s annual Awards celebrating the best in our expanding gaming landscape. This year, we will have one additional casino, four new hotels, and more restaurants than ever before. Time to compare the reward clubs as well – MLife, Choice rewards (formerly Marquee Rewards), Twin River, Oxford, Momentum and Foxwoods Rewards.