It was late Sunday afternoon and I was returning from a road trip slot machine game to Vegas with my sister and brother-in-law when we decided to stop in Biloxi overnight at the Beau Rivage Resort amp; Casino. We hadn’t been there since it was remodeled after Katrina and wanted to see what kind of changes they’d made. Entering the parking garage, which was almost filled to capacity, we drove around from level to level for what seemed like forever until we found someone backing out of a parking space.
Bags in hand, we made our way through the front entrance passing an assortment of shops and beautiful floral arrangements. With so many people there, I expected to see a long line when we checked in but that wasn’t the case at all. Apparently, the locals frequent the Beau Rivage, especially on weekends. Therefore even though the hotel was packed with people, there seemed to be plenty of rooms available. Once we got checked in, my brother-in-law got into the line at the buffet, which stretched the length of the restaurant, while my sister and I took the bags to the room.
We had to walk a good ways- all the way down the hall and around the corner. The room was very nice and the view of the front entrance to the hotel was beautiful. However, the beds weren’t much bigger than twin beds. I knew right away that my brother-in-law was NOT going to like that. Hurrying back to the buffet, I was surprised at how far the line had moved. We apologized to people as we cut through to where my brother-in-law was holding our place and before long, we were being led to a table by a hostess.
She took our drink orders and we set out to fill our plates. I have never seen a buffet that could compare to the one in the Beau Rivage, but as I perused the many islands of different foods, I could see that it was different than it was before Katrina. For one thing, they didn’t have the egg custard that I was so fond of and their cornbread wasn’t the same. I guess they lost a lot of their staff and had to hire others. Nevertheless, it was still very good.
The service is another story though. We had spent a good while filling our plates but when we got back to our table, our drinks still hadn’t arrived. Rather than bore you with all of the details, suffice it to say, the service was lousy. When we finally entered the casino, it was absolutely packed. The slot machines covered most of the casino with craps in the middle and poker tables at the far end. I’d never seen a casino so full! As we meandered around the slots, I watched the people shoving money into the machines and the looks on their faces told me they were losing big time.
One woman that we passed was so frustrated, she was slapping at the max button as if she was furious at the machine. Another woman came off the stool cursing the machine she was playing. It looked to me like most of those people were locals and a lot of them probably lost one or two paychecks a month in that casino. Of course, that’s just an assumption on my part. As it turned out, I didn’t hit anything, but only lost thirty-five dollars because I took it slow.
My sister didn’t hit anything either and she lost nearly two hundred. But my brother-in-law, who usually plays craps or the tables, hit for a hundred and fifty dollars on a slot machine (three spins). Biloxi offers a number of hotel amp; casinos like the Grand, Treasure Bay, Isle of Capri and the Hard Rock. Before Katrina, Treasure Bay’s hotel was separate from the casino which was the main reason we never stayed there. I didn’t like leaving the hotel and crossing the street to get to the casino.
It may be different now though. The Grand was where we stayed when we first visited Biloxi and personally, I prefer the Grand over the others. Their rates are lower and the atmosphere is a little more casual. One of the things I liked was the drink stations scattered around the casino. When you want a drink you can help yourself. But my brother-in-law is the kind who settles for nothing less than the best, and he considers the Beau Rivage the best.
In conclusion, I have to say that the Beau Rivage is a beautiful hotel with one of the finest buffets I have every seen.