Among the things you can say about the Aquarius Casino Resort in Laughlin, NV, is that if you're lucky you can get a decent room in a nice casino hotel very cheaply - as low as $29.99 for two adults and two queen beds. The Aquarius, which overlooks the scenic Colorado River 100 miles south of Las Vegas in the Mojave Desert, was not always quite so good a deal. After opening in 2000 with 1,900 guestrooms located in two 18-story towers, and passing through the hands of several corporate owners, the hotel became so run-down that one guest complained of "dirty carpeting/furniture, peeling wallpaper, and ill-fitting sheets.''
That all appears to have changed with the hotel's much ballyhooed $46 million renovation - $26 million on the casino and $20 million on the rooms. With 60,000 square feet of gaming tables for Blackjack, Craps, Mini-Baccarat and assorted poker games; a race and sports book with more than 90 screens; and 1,300 slot machines (from Wheel of Fortune Super Spin, Li'l Lucy and Fort Knox to All-Star Poker and Wizard of Oz) the resort ought to provide enough entertainment for the most discerning gambler. One might even get as lucky as Manuel Herrera did in 2002, when he won $8.4 million at the Aquarius playing quarter Wheel of Fortune.
And if 60,000 square feet isn't enough to keep a visitor busy, the hotel can send you off on a river cruise where you can get a drink and learn something about Laughlin's storied history.
Restaurants abound at the Aquarius. Its finest dining venue is Vineyard Ristorante, open from 5:00 P.M. Thursday-Monday, but closed Tuesday and Wednesday, which serves the cuisine of Northern Italy against a river backdrop. For the casual diner there are Windows on the River Buffet, and the Caf‚ Aquarius. Burger King, Outback Steakhouse, and Panda Express are also available, as well as four different bars, including the Splash Cabaret, which features live music, and a pool bar.
For entertainment one can catch a show in a 300-seat showroom, a 1,200 seat ballroom, or a 3,000 seat amphitheater. The resort sits across the street from the Preferred Outlet Mall. It's not far away from three lakes - Mohave, Havasu, and Mead - and within a thirty-minute drive of five different golf courses. In Laughlin one might catch the Laughlin River Run - one of the biggest motorcycle rallies in America - a rodeo, or an off-road race. Though a guest might not know what to make of the "Complimentary Starbucks Package,'' where one can drink two Grande coffees and eat two danishes at a cost of $34.99 a day - the hotel does offer such weekend packages for boaters as a launch pass, a two-night stay, one box lunch, and guaranteed boat parking, all for $184.14.
All in all, one can agree with the German tourist who best summed up the Aquarius Casino and Resort:
"Sure, it's not the Bellagio ... but for the price we paid [it was] a great value....''
Read about other Laughlin tourist attractions:
- The Golden Nugget - Laughlin, Nevada - A Smaller Casino Hotel With a Tropical Theme
- Edgewater Casino - Laughlin, Nevada - Hotel Resort on the Colorado River
- River Palms Resort Casino - Laughlin, Nevada - Casino Hotel With a Pirate Theme
- Colorado Belle - Laughlin, Nevada - Casino Hotel With a Mississippi Riverboat Theme
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