Recently, Bill and I traveled south to San Diego County to attend the Special Influencer Event at Pala Casino Resort and Spa. Today I am sharing details and favorite highlights from our stay and the influencer event.
Pala is located in San Diego County not far from Temecula, Temecula Wine Country and Fallbrook. We took a winding road though some beautiful canyons and groves of avocado trees to the Pala reservation.
This Four Diamond resort is a getaway destination for many throughout California and the Southwestern states. Pala offers a variety of options for guests from Las Vegas-style gaming, full-service spa, 11 restaurants, venues for live music, meeting space, shopping, and more.
Bill and I checked in the day before the event. Pala’s Social Media and PR Specialist, Erika, greeted us in front of the resort and showed us around the property. Our check in at the front desk went quickly and smoothly. Soon we were headed to our guest room.
Pala’s 507 guest rooms are over 500 square feet and offer mountain or pool views. We were on the 8th floor and had breathtaking views of the pool area and the Palomar Mountains. Each morning, the fog would hang over the mountain tops before the sun would slowly burn it off, making for another sunshine-filled day.
Our room was comfortable, spacious and had all the amenities I would expect from a Four Diamond Award Winning resort.
We were surprised with a big gift basket waiting for us in our room along with a dozen white long-stemmed roses.
After we checked in and unpacked, we were ready for lunch. We decided to have a quick meal and a tropical cocktail at the pool. It was a lovely day, not a cloud in sight.
The pool area currently has 12 cabanas guests may rent. However, the pool will be closing this fall in order to make major changes and improvements. Next spring, the new pool area will be even more luxurious. I can’t wait to see the finished project.
The 10,000 square-foot Pala Spa is located just across the lawn from the hotel and adjacent to the pool area.
It has a retail boutique, fitness center, spacious locker rooms – one for men and one women – with showers, steam rooms, dry sauna and indoor whirlpools. The spa has 14 treatment rooms and two Signature Spa Suites, which is where Bill and I were treated to a couples massage.
Our massage therapists gave us the option of an indoor massage experience or having our massages outdoors on the secluded patio. We opted for the patio. I loved the tranquil and somewhat tropical setting. We had Swedish massages and I have to say, my massage was the very best I have ever had. It was just the right pressure, the right amount of time and in such a perfect atmosphere.
After our 50-minute massages, we were told we had an hour to ourselves in the spa suite! The suite had a whirlpool bath for two, which was already filled and ready for us, along with a chilled bottle of local sparkling wine and heart-shaped chocolates. It was heavenly and so relaxing! The Pala Spa really knows how to pamper and spoil their guests.
After our amazing massages we went up to our guest room to change for dinner. The friendly and helpful staff at Pala told us that Luis Rey’s, a casual outdoor/indoor lounge and bar that serves a variety of Mexican and California-style appetizers, serves $1 street tacos during happy hour. We’ve rarely met a street taco we didn’t want to devour and had to try one. It did not disappoint! If we didn’t already have dinner plans, I would have ordered another one…or three!
Soon Tamera Beardsley and her husband, Jeff who were also attending the influencer event, arrived. They checked in that afternoon and we arranged to meet for cocktails and dinner at Pala, just the four of us. I love spending time with Tamera. She is much more than a fellow blogger, she has become a dear and wonderful friend. I was so happy to have some time to catch up with her!
After drinks at Luis Rey’s we went to The CAVE for dinner. The CAVE has a restaurant and lounge, which is where we had dinner, as well as an underground wine cave that we would visit during the next day’s influencer event.
The CAVE restaurant has an impressive wine list that includes over 480 different wines and a Mediterranean style dinner menu that features a variety of tasty dishes from pastas, pizzas and flat breads to steaks and seafood. They also have a delicious selection of appetizers. We had a wonderful dinner and the service was impeccable and friendly.
What a fun evening we had with Tamera and Jeff!
SPECIAL INFLUENCER EVENT!
The next morning the influencer event got off the ground. We would have a full day of experiences at Pala ahead, which would conclude with an outdoor concert performance by UB40!
First, we went to The CAVE lounge for a meet and greet. Our event had a darling pineapple theme. We were treated to a selection of Hawaiian cuisine and tropical drinks – both with and without alcohol. The prawns served in tiny pineapple halves were my favorite. And I loved the cute little paper straws with pineapple print.
Fellow influencers, along with their guests, trickled in and soon we had amassed quite a crowd of people! I always enjoy meeting new people so it was fun to chat with some of the other bloggers and influencers.
After spending some time taking photos with Tamera in front of the striped Pala backdrop and having one more prawn in a pineapple, we got ready to take our group to the casino floor. We would competing in a slot tournament!
We were divided into groups of about 10 then each assigned to a slot machine. For three minutes we did our best to rack up points by pressing button and tapping the screen. It was a fast-paced and fun contest and most of us had tired hands by the time three minutes was up. Neither Bill nor I won any prizes but we still had a blast!
I got a chance to meet and chat with Dawn Lucy of Fashion Should Be Fun who also attended the event. She was with her friend Rachel. They were both such a kick and I am so glad I got to hang out with them.
After our slot tournament concluded, it was time to eat again! Our large group of about 30 people was divided into two. Our group would go to The CAVE’s Underground Cave first for wine tasting and appetizers.
I was so impressed with the wines in the wine cave. Some of Napa Valley’s finest wines were featured including Far Niente and Joseph Phelps, as well as numerous Italian and French wines.
We enjoyed some local wines from Temecula wine country along with lots of nibbles that were passed around throughout our visit to the wine cave.
Pala Underground Cave also offers live entertainment on select nights as well as top shelf spirits and craft beer.
Next we made our way to The Oak Room for a fine dining experience. This elegant restaurant is a world-class steak and seafood house with an extensive wine list, knowledgeable waitstaff and beautiful ambiance.
We were introduced to Oak Room’s sommelier, who led us through a food and wine pairing. The food and the wine were phenomenal, definitely meeting the high standards we have here in Sonoma and Napa. Chef Yee Thomas Feng also came to our table to tell us about the food we enjoyed. What a treat the Oak Room was for this wine and food lover – from start to finish!
As part of the influencer event, we were each given $50 in casino play, which I turned into $160! I have always been partial to the poker machines and was thrilled to hit a four of a kind.
Having spent my childhood in Las Vegas, I know a thing or two about casinos. Pala Casino is very much a Las Vegas-style casino. They have 2,000 state-of-the-art slot and video machines, 80 table games, and a poker room. They also had live music going on every time we walked through the casino area.
Later that night we attended the outdoor UB40 concert. It was the perfect clear night for a concert and the music sounded great. What fun! Pala has a packed calendar of well-known bands and performers. One of my favorite singers, Olivia Newton-John, will be performing there in October.
The next morning, we packed up our things then met our influencer group for breakfast in one Pala’s meeting spaces. We enjoyed a tasty breakfast buffet, then said our farewells.
I definitely recommend Pala Casino Resort & Spa as a destination getaway to have fun, enjoy fantastic food, wine and cocktails as well as live music. Treat yourself to a phenomenal massage and try your hand at the slots and tables, if you like. There is a wide variety of activities and amenities to experience at Pala – something for everyone!
Disclosure: Our stay at Pala Casino Resort and Spa was complimentary as part of our participation in the Influencer Event. All opinions expressed here are, as always, my own.