New Orleans is the most popular travel destination in Louisiana, and while it is a beautiful city, her reputation overshadows the rest of the state. There are so many places off the beaten path in Louisiana. I do love taking short road trips with my family, but I sometimes go away by myself to drive the river roads or along the path less traveled. One of my favorite places to visit near home is Paragon Casino Resort in Marksville, Louisiana.
I’ve visited a few times with the kids for a family trip in Louisiana, and we always have a good time playing games as a family in the arcade, swimming year ’round in the heated, indoor lagoon-style pool, or just watching the alligators in the main hotel lobby. Well, this time, I hopped into RedBugg all by my lonesome and set off along the back roads of Louisiana to meet some gal pals and other Louisiana travel writers for a spa visit and gaming lessons. The timing was perfect – I needed some gaming lessons before my upcoming visit to BlogWorldExpo in Las Vegas.
The Property: Paragon Casino Resort is located in Marksville, Louisiana in the central part of the state. It’s owned and operated by the Tunica-Biloxi Tribe and provides income for the reservation. This resort has a casino, hotel, RV park, golf course, indoor and outdoor pools, onsite movie theater, restaurants, bars, workout center, supervised arcade, KidQuest, and a very fabulous spa.
The Rooms: There are many choices for lodging, including the newest rooms in the Atrium Tower, older rooms (yet undergoing renovation) in the South Tower, an RV resort and cabins at the RV area. I stayed in the Atrium in a King Room. It was spacious and clean with an indoor windoow overlooking the lobby/atrium area. The bathrooms are nice with standard tub/shower combo. Bath amenities are basic, but the alligator soap is a fun, local touch. I appreciated the FREE snack amenities available in every room.
The Food: I shouldn’t admit this, but I enjoy the diner style food inside the casino so much that I’ve even made stops here while passing through, just to get one of those delicious shakes and an order of sliders at Roxy’s. Legends is a popular, fine dining restaurant that I’ve yet to try out. I did get to sample almost all of the appetizer items on the menu at Big Daddy E’s Oyster Bar and Grill. I have to admit, the fried alligator is probably the best I’ve ever tasted, as it was tender and had a good flavor. There is also an onsite buffet and room service is offered in the hotel. Roxy’s has a great kid’s menu, but since it is in the casino area, there is a bit of smoke in the air.
Amenities: The golf course is part of the Audubon Golf Trail and had healthy, rolling greens. The pool and workout facility is available for lodging guests through room key access. Of course, I’ve already mentioned the pools, kid areas, and possibly the best spa resort in Louisiana. There are a few shops in the atrium area, but I really enjoyed the Tribal museum area showcasing baskets and history. There is also a large conference area.
Pros: This is a one stop getaway conveniently located in the middle of Louisiana, making this a good choice for a family reunion, girlfriend getaway, or conference. It’s also great for a romantic weekend.
Cons: Well, it is a casino, which means there’s smoking, drinking, and gambling going on. No surprises here.
My Mama Moment: I was really surprised at Spa la Vie, the onsite spa at Paragon Casino Resort. It was much larger than expected and can handle groups of friends or busy weekends. Fortunately, my visit was during the week and not too busy. I enjoyed my treatment, but I really enjoyed chatting with other writers in the relaxation room.