50th Birthday Celebration at Pala Casino Spa and Resort

50th Birthday Celebration at Pala Casino Spa and Resort

My 50th birthday celebrations kicked off in early October with a girls weekend at Pala Casino Spa and Resort. I first experienced this beautiful, fun and luxurious property last summer when Bill and I attended an influencer event at Pala.

The lovely people at Pala Casino Spa and Resort invited me back to celebrate my 50th birthday by seeing Olivia Newton-John in concert – they know I’m a big fan!

I invited longtime friends since high school, Chrissy, who also turned 50 this year, her mother, Chadda, and our friend Lillian. All of us are from Las Vegas.

I flew down Friday morning and met Chadda and Chrissy at the San Diego airport. Lillian lives in Southern California so she picked us up at the airport and took the short drive to Pala.

Pala Resort Rooms

We arrived mid-morning and were greeted by the friendly staff. After checking in at reception, we went to our rooms. We had two adjoining rooms, which made our stay even more fun!

I never tire of the gorgeous views of the pool and the mountains in the background from the guest rooms on that side of the hotel. Our rooms were comfortable, peaceful and spacious. We had plenty of room for all our clothes, shoes and beauty products.

We were delighted to discover that the kind and generous staff at Pala Casino Spa and Resort left us a refreshing fruit plate in each room.

Pala Pool and Poolside Cafe

Just across the lawn from the resort and casino is the pool area, spa and Poolside Cafe. We were thrilled to spend the afternoon relaxing in our own cabana, which also included access to the Pala Spa’s amenities.

We got settled in our cabana, which had a couch, two chairs, a table, a tv and refrigerator filled with cold water, then ordered some cocktails and lunch.

Our server from the Poolside Cafe made sure all our needs were met. So we took our time and enjoyed a leisurely and tasty lunch in our private paradise.

Pala Spa

After lunch, Chrissy and I headed to the spa for our scheduled massages. Last summer, Bill and I had a couples massage and it was truly the best I have ever had – Bill too!

Our massages lived up to our high expectations. Chrissy and I were so relaxed and felt refreshed and rejuvenated after our pampering.

Birthday Dinner at The CAVE

After our pool time and massages, we returned to our rooms to get ready for dinner. We celebrated my and Chrissy’s 50th birthdays at The CAVE, an elegant and chic Mediterranean inspired restaurant.

We shared a delicious meatball appetizer and some flatbread then we each ordered and entree. I had a tasty eggplant parmesan, Chrissy had halibut, Lillian a steak and Chadda lobster.

We finished off the meal with giant slices of layered chocolate cake, made in house. So moist and chocolatey. What a fun and delectable meal!

Pala Nature Trail

After dinner, we did some gambling in the casino and I won $78 with the $25 in playing money Pala gave each of us. Later we went up to our rooms to hang out and talk before heading off to dreamland. We all slept great in our comfy beds and the next morning, decided to check out the Pala Nature Trail for a bit of exercise.

We checked in at the front desk as you need a key to access the trail. It’s 1.5 miles long and begins with an option to walk the rock maze, which we did. It’s a meditative walk designed to help you live in the moment, slow down and feel calm.

After we completed the maze, we walked the trail which weaves through a picturesque desert. We passed pretty desert flowers and shrubs, cactus and trees. The Palomar Mountains provided a scenic backdrop.

Choices, The Buffet

We built up an appetite on our nature trail walk so after a quick change of clothes, we headed down to the casino floor to Pala’s Choices, The Buffet. This over-the-top buffet is a food extravaganza! And it’s huge, accommodating up to 625 guests.

The buffet features exhibition cooking so you can watch the chefs prepare the food at various stations. There are over 200 different food options with cuisine from Mexico, Asia, Italy, and American favorites too. I loved the Mongolian style stir fry, the King Crab legs and the wide variety of delectable sweets. We did not leave Choices hungry, that is for sure!

Sushi Sake

A few hours later and it was time to eat again! We decided to fit in an early dinner before the concert. We dined at Sushi Sake, adjacent to the casino. Sushi Sake is a sushi-bar style restaurant that offers a tempting menu of fresh sushi choices. They also have a collection of hot and cold sake and Japanese beers. The sushi chef accommodated all our food requests with a cheerful smile and even posed for a few photos!

Underground Wine Cave

Just next to the CAVE, where we had our birthday dinner, and down a flight of stairs is the Underground Wine Cave. With over 480 wine labels from California, France and Italy as well as top shelf spirits and craft beer, there is something for every palate. We stopped by the Underground Wine Cave before the concert began for a drink and to listen to some live entertainment.

Olivia Newton-John Concert at the Starlight Theatre

After enjoying a glass of wine in the Underground Wine Cave, we found our fantastic seats. Pala treated us to 7th row seats, we were so close to the stage. What a thrill!

I have been an Olivia Newton-John fan since I was in middle school. I used to play her records in our living room over and over again and memorized every word to my many favorites. What a bucket list experience it was to see her perform live!

Some highlights from the show were when she called up several cast members who were in Grease. They sang quite a few songs with Olivia from the movie’s soundtrack.

Olivia sang many of the songs that so many of us know and love like “Magic”, “Suddenly”, “I Honestly Love You” and many more, along with some of her newer songs.

It was a fantastic evening, one I will never forget!

Pala Room Service

To make our departure as easy as our arrival, the thoughtful folks at Pala treated us to room service before we checked out. I was the first to leave and since I always get a little nervous when I fly, I chose a nice light fresh fruit plate. Chadda, Chrissy and Lillian lingered a bit longer as they had more time to enjoy a full breakfast before they headed home.

What a wonderful girls getaway weekend! Thank you, Pala Casino Spa and Resort for making my and Chrissy’s 50th birthdays so memorable and special.

I highly recommend staying at Pala Casino Spa & Resort. It’s a great getaway for a couple or a group of friends. It’s chock full of great dining options, big name entertainers, a fantastic spa and I am pretty sure the new pool and Poolside Café are going to be amazing once they’re completed next spring.

Pala is an ideal destination whether you enjoy gambling or just like to relax by the pool and treat yourself to great food and drinks – or all of the above!

Disclosure: Our rooms, food, $25 gaming cards and concert tickets were all complimentary from Pala Casino Spa and Resort. We paid for all transportation, alcohol, spa treatments, gratuity and other incidentals. All opinions expressed here are my own.

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7 Comments

  1. KSL
    December 15, 2017 / 5:43 am

    Looks like a really fun time.

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      December 16, 2017 / 6:17 am

      It was – we made great memories!

  2. Jessica B.
    December 15, 2017 / 5:56 am

    This looks so lovely, thanks for sharing. How fun that you still got to enjoy your 50th and have a great celebration despite the cancellation of your Paris trip.
    Thinking of you and your firefighter husband right now and sending all the positive vibes and fire extinguishing thoughts that I can!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      December 16, 2017 / 6:22 am

      Hi Jessica,
      It was all the more special given what happened when I returned home that night.
      Thank you for your kind words and positive vibes. It’s the start of day 11 of Bill being on the fires down south with no end in sight. Winds have picked up and the humidity is so low throughout California (listening to it outside my window now). It will be an anxious weekend for so many.
      Thank you for stopping by!
      Kindly, Adrienne

  3. Linda Salazar
    December 17, 2017 / 8:31 am

    Looks like a great birthday celebration! Pala is only about an hour or so drive from here. Although I am not a big casino person, this looks like a great place to stay and there are plenty of other things to do. When I was in my early 20’s I went to Lake Tahoe with some college friends. One night we attended a dinner show to see The Carpenters. One of my friends tipped (bribed) one of the workers and we got front row seats.
    Chrissy’s mom looks so young she could pass for her sister!

    • Adrienne Shubin
      Author
      December 18, 2017 / 11:41 am

      Having grown up in Las Vegas, I am comfortable in casinos but I don’t gamble much so I like that there are so many other things to do at Pala. I can’t wait to see the new pool area!
      I would have loved to see The Carpenters! I have always loved them too.
      Chrissy’s mom is turing 70 this week. Can you believe it? She is quite the head-turner! xo

  4. December 20, 2017 / 3:38 pm

    Hi Adrienne,
    I hope your husband, Bill, is home?
    Huge thanks to him and all firefighters.
    We had fog here in Southern California today. At last.
    You’ve written so well about Sonoma that I will be staying there, with hubs and dog, just after Christmas.
    Thank you for the updates on the fire impact in your lovely area.

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