“Rare” is the best word to describe the romantic getaways I get to take with just my husband. Even on the occasion when my parents are available to stay with our kids, finding a destination we both like remains a challenge. The Foxwoods Resort in Mashantucket, Connecticut — a property owned and operated by the Native American Pequot tribe — is a great couples romantic getaway with plenty to offer. It ticked all the boxes for both of us. Our three-day stay included gaming, spas, shopping, cuisine, and deluxe accommodations. All the right ingredients for a weekend romantic vacation in the Northeast!
An added bonus: most of the Foxwoods facilities are open 24 hours a day, and nearly everything is connected indoors, making it all accessible regardless of time or weather. These are important considerations for a long winter weekend away in Connecticut.
The Foxwoods Resort
There are four hotels at the Foxwoods Resort, ranging in style and price points, from the Two Trees Inn at the budget-friendly end, to the upscale MGM Grand Resort. With 30 floors, you’re nearly guaranteed a great view from your room at the MGM Grand. Our wall of windows overlooked a horizon of woodland. The modern décor was grounded by dark wood furniture with nickel finishes, and blue accents in pillows and art. The amenities included a flat panel TV, refrigerator, mini bar, free wi-fi, and a clock with iPod docking station. Granite and tile in neutral brown tones carried through the bathroom, including the shower with a built in granite bench. I was surprised there was no bathtub, however. If you want one, you need to request a handicap-accessible room, or a jacuzzi suite.
The Foxwoods Resort Gaming
Foxwoods isn’t one large casino, but actually a string of smaller casinos connected by the hotels, shopping and entertainment corridors. The Rainmaker Casino was the first, and is still the largest casino, but there are also casinos connected to the lobbies of the Grand Pequot and MGM Grand hotels. While slot machines get the most real estate, you can find all the table games, from roulette to black jack, as well as a separate bingo hall. Minimum bids depend on the time of the day, and are lowest during slow morning hours. My husband spent most of his time gambling in the World Poker Tour hall, with hundreds of tables in a non-smoking venue. He had the option of playing Omaha, Texas Hold ‘Em, Stud, and other games, with varying levels of risk. During busy times, you have to sign in and wait for a spot at a table.
The Foxwoods Resort Dining
I was pleased with the wide variety of eating options throughout the resort, in a range of cuisines and price points. We were able to pick up casual snacks – my favorite being the Asian buns at the Fay Da Bakery – but we also got to dress up for a fine-dining experience at Shrine, a chic Asian restaurant known for its sushi. Had we more luck at the tables, we would have treated ourselves to aged steaks at Tom Colicchio’s Craftsteak or the AAA Four Diamond Paragon.
The Foxwoods Resort Spas
At Foxwoods, there’s enough demand for not just one, but two full-service spas. Each has a distinctly different vibe. At the G Spa, designed by Gretta Monahan with a sleek, modern vibe, I enjoyed treatments inspired by Native American culture – including a maize and mountain laurel body scrub. I also enjoyed a “Chocolate Overload Spa Pedicure” at the Norwich Spa at Foxwoods, which is associated with the Spa at the historic Norwich Inn. It is more traditional in its approach, treatments, and décor, which includes marble columns and an indoor pool under a ninth floor solarium.
The Foxwoods Resort Entertainment
Foxwoods brings in top-tier entertainers to perform in the MGM Theater and at COMIX comedy club. Aretha Franklin, Kelly Clarkson, and Jay Mohr were all scheduled to appear in the weeks following our visit. It’s worthwhile to check the calendar online and plan your visit around a concert, if you can. There is also a Hard Rock Café and several bars offering live music.We spent a morning at the Pequot Museum, the world’s largest Native American Museum. It’s not connected to the main resort, but you can take a complimentary shuttle. We were both impressed by this expansive, modern facility, which tells the history of not only the Pequot tribe, but also the larger story of pan-American tribes from the 16th century to present time.
The Foxwoods Resort Region
Foxwoods is part of the Mystic Country region of Connecticut, and is just 15 minutes from the north shore of Long Island Sound. If you have time to extend your visit, head down to Mystic for shopping along the main street, or visit the Mystic Seaport and Mystic Aquarium.
All photos but guest room courtesy Foxwoods Resort. Thank you, Foxwoods, for offering us a media rate during our stay, as well as complimentary spa treatments.
“GoBIG Gal” Traci L. Suppa drags her small-town family to see a quirky array of the “world’s largest” attractions, and blogs about it at Go BIG or Go Home.