The Westin Casuarina caters to business travelers who also want a dash of excitement the way some men want a dash of Aqua Velva. It's a quiet hotel and casino that is also pretty and modern with an airy feel and dark woods. Not our idea of an exciting Las Vegas getaway destination, for sure. Maybe everyone is staying away because they aren't sure what a Casuarina is.
Room Quality: Westin makes a big stink (just not literally, like the big stink we make) about their "Heavenly Bed" and "heavenly this and that." Well, the bed's nice, the sheets are nice enough that we sleep on the floor rather than muss 'em up. The rooms are packed with upscale furnishings, including a flat-screen TV, mini-bar, in-room coffee maker, a nice desk, a couple of chairs, high-speed Internet for an additional fee and a hairdryer. The bathrooms are a bit disappointing in size, but they have fancy showerheads. Heck, the rooms are sort of small, too. Let's face it, this is an old Vegas hotel reskinned and renamed a Westin. If they were starting from scratch they'd have chosen a better infrastructure. This hotel is completely non-smoking. So steer clear if you like to puff away in your room. You can still smoke in the casino, but not in any restaurants, lobbies or rooms.
Service Quality: Very good. Westins are upscale business hotels, so it's got that old Desert Inn feel, where you can ask for things and they'll be taken care of. For a price. The swank lobby is a great place for a nap.
What You Get Bottles of in the Bathroom: Jackpot! Hydrating cream (don't drink it!), shampoo and separate conditioner, the grand prize of amenities the sewing kit, plus a swanky "vanity kit" full of cotton balls and Q-tips. You should have seen us fighting over that. There is a shoe shine mitt and very nice towels, although I think you're supposed to leave those. At least, that's what the letter they sent said.
Clientele: What clientele there is is generally midle-aged, quiet and dressed in business clothes. They certainly dress nicer than we do.
How's the Pool? Small with a hot tub, out on the second floor roof. There are very nice furnishings, though.
Resort Fee: (What is this?)
$11.50 per night. You get self parking, access to the steamroom and sauna, pool access, fitness center access, printing boarding passes, incoming faxes, public notary, local calls and two bottles of water.
Table Games: The usual suspects are lined up in this tiny, largely unused casino: blackjack, standard craps with lousy 2x odds, pricey roulette, Pai Gow and Three Card Poker. Playing here is frequently a very solitary experience and is only possible from evening to bedtime. Don't look for a game after breakfast.
Bet Minimums: Most tables are $5 during slow times (which appears to be always), craps can be $3. We're not sure how long this will last, but last we played, the casino offered a weekday gambling "happy hour," (Mon-Thu 5-8 p.m.) during which you can play $3 craps and 25-cent roulette.
Machines: They have a small selection of slots and a lousy choice in short pay video poker. The place does not appear to be giving away the store in jackpots.
Cocktails? Good cocktail service, let's give them credit for that. Bad news, though, is the place is too swanky to inspire you to become a drunken, slobbering lout.
Who Gets Comps? They do have a slot club and it's not all that generous. We'd know more but we can't stand the thought of actually playing in this snoozer casino long enough to find out.
Suede: One of the fanciest, dressiest coffee shops in town. It's probably perfect for the businessman who doesn't have the time to walk down the street to the cheaper and just as good Victoria Room at Bill's. Or for the person who wants a $30 coffee shop steak.
They also have a Starbucks here. What a coup! We heard those things were hard to get.
Showroom: The showroom plays host to a range of very low-rent shows, such as an occasional afternoon Red Skelton tribute, which most likely doesn't appeal much to the party pool crowd, and a make-believe concert featuring Barbra Streisand and Frank Sinatra impersonators.
Number of TVs: Four TVs. Well, that's what our scout reports, but our scouts are usually pretty blotto, so maybe just two and he had double-vision.
Number of Seats: There are no seats so we recommend you sit on the floor. This is not only more comfortable than standing, it serves as a silent protest against anti-seating movement.
How Many Betting Windows? Two plus a self-serve kioks. As unfriendly loners, we enjoy those and have had many spirited arguments with them. There are eight screens displaying the odds.
Free Drinks? There are free cocktails, but our scout was unable to get any details from the staff there as to when you get them. When he looked at us, he just clammed up.
Snack Bar? There's a Starbucks on the other side of the casino, and from our experience, a Starbucks across a casino is usually farther than the nearest one outside.
Minimum Wager: Five bucks is the minimum wager. If you want to bet less, just stand around and ask people who walk up if they want to take the other side of your $2 or $3 wager on the Lions.
Other Notes: This is yet another lonely Leroy's outpost intended not for enjoying sports but simply for betting on them before you get the heck out of your boring hotel to go someplace more interesting.