A Staycation At Foxwoods Resort Casino
Last week Allegra and I were invited to spend the night at Foxwoods Resort Casino and take a little break from our hectic lives. With my busy work schedule, going away can sometimes seem like more of a hassle than a relaxing time, and being a new mom, Allegra is cautious of spending too much time away from her son. Just over an hour from Hartford, Foxwoods Resort Casino turned out to be the perfect distance; we felt a world away but were able to jump back into our lives afterwards without skipping a beat.
4pm: Check In
Foxwoods Resort Casino offers four different hotel properties to stay in, ranging from an off-site inn if you enjoy the quieter side of things, to villas if you're feeling luxurious. We stayed in the Grand Pequot Tower because of it's proximity to our main attraction: the restaurants. They're located just an elevator ride downstairs and the quick commute made it easy to be on time to our reservations.
The room was modern and had a beautiful view of the surrounding hills- and the new HighFlyer Zipline. We got to watch multiple riders fly by, which had us, um, a little terrified of our own impending zipline experience. (Have I mentioned that I'm terrified of heights?)
These days I judge hotel rooms based on if there is enough space to store my multitude of bags (notorious over packer plus camera bags and tripods and other unnecessary things), stage an impromptu food photoshoot if need be, and still feel like there is plenty of room for activities. And there was, which makes me assume that any normal human who doesn't have all those things would find the room extremely spacious. Bonus? The bathtub was one of those good deep tubs, one of those knees-won't-be-getting-goosebumps-above-the-water tubs. And as someone whose current apartment does not have a bathtub, I was eternally grateful.
4:30pm: Treat Yourself
Our first stop on our eating tour was to CAKE by Franck. Franck is a French (and French trained) pastry chef, who heads pastry program at Foxwoods. In 2016 he opened his own storefront in the casino and now serves his pastry creations to all Foxwoods guests. This stop was important because we were able to pick up some pastries for breakfast the next morning: a flaky, buttery croissant, a maple bacon French donut, and a hazelnut Nutella French donut, while grabbing some things to tide us over until dinner: an assortment of meticulously molded bon bons and some caramel corn, and some elaborately decorated chocolate covered pretzels for a late night snack.
5:30pm: Conquer Your Fears
At this point we made the short walk over to Fox Tower, past the many casino rooms, and the Tanger Outlets, to the HighFlyer Zipline. I spent the walk slightly queasy- as tall heights make me actually, phyiscally, shake with fear- and telling Allegra over and over again how scared I was. The zipline starts 33 (!) stories up on the top of Fox Tower and extends 3/4 mile to the Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Center. And apparently, no biggie, you can reach speeds of up to 60mph. But unfortunately we were greeted with news that because a lightning rod sits on top of the building, and because there was the potential for lighting later, we would be unable to zipline. I think the fact that my mood immediately went from terrified to deeply disappointed shows that I'm ready to conquer this fear, and therefore I will be planning a trip back before the end of the summer to actually experience it. I also promise to make sure that there is video footage, because there is no way that I will be calm or casual about it.
7pm: Feast Up
After munching on some caramel corn and getting all dolled up, we ventured downstairs to Caputo Trattoria for dinner. While the Italian restaurant draws inspiration from many of Italy's diverse regions, the interior gives off strong Amalfi Coast vibes with a bright, light color palette including sky blues and yellow and white stripes that leave you daydreaming of Italian beaches.
We started off with an assortment of appetizers that were delicious and fun to share, like the marinated olives with orange zest, thyme and chili; and the burrata with heirloom tomatoes, arugula, chianti braised onions, lemon dressing and balsamic. We paired the appetizers with a limoncello spritz, made with house made limoncello, and then moved onto red wine and their house made pastas.
The tableside cacio e pepe was the star of the show. Grappa was poured into a wheel of Pecorino Romano and then lit on fire, allowing the alcohol to burn off and the cheese to melt. Next, al dente spaghetti was poured in, along with Parmigiano Reggiano and many cranks of black pepper. The meal was finished with gratuitous tiramisu cotton candy and limoncello shots. (Have you ever seen someone so delighted to eat cotton candy? I think not.)
9:30pm: Explore The Casino
After dinner we went to test our luck on the casino floor. And spoiler alert: we both fared poorly. (Also, if someone would like to teach me how to play any of the table games, literally any of them, so that I can do more than the slot machines, it would be much appreciated.) While there are many nightlife options, so many in fact that you don't have to sleep if you don't want to, we opted for margaritas at Scorpion Bar before turning in for the night.
PS There is a two story Stony Creek Brewery opening at Foxwoods Resort Casino, which is very exciting for all the obvious reasons.
8am: Revive Yourself
Chances are, if you indulged in a few cocktails the night before- like we did- that your body could use a little... nourishment. And this, folks, is precisely why planning ahead and buying those donuts and croissants pays off. Then you should promptly go right back to sleep (like we also did). Just be sure to set an alarm for brunch.
11am: Brunch Time
The final stop on our Foxwood's trip was an overindulgent brunch at Sugar Factory. Here, we had one of their enormous goblet mocktails (also available as cocktails, but alas, we had real life to get back to shortly), which is poured over dry ice tableside, putting on quite a show. Then we munched on their battered mac and cheese pops, "the big cheesy"- their bbq bacon mac and cheese burger, and nutella pizza with strawberries and bananas. And to end the meal we had their "make a wish" milkshake made with vanilla soft serve blended with cake bites, sprinkles, cupcake syrup and topped with whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles and a birthday candle. To be clear, it was no ones birthday, we were just extremely here for the rainbow sprinkles.
1pm: Check Out
We said goodbye to our beautiful room (and bathtub) and headed home. Our twenty four hour staycation at Foxwoods Resort Casino made me feel like I got to disconnect from real life without the hassle of booking flights or driving a long distance. It was also a nice way to explore a part of the state that I don't make it to as often as I'd like. I'll definitely be back, and perhaps next time I'll get to go ziplining, relax at the pool and indulge in a spa treatment.
Thank you to Foxwoods for partnering on this post. As always, all opinions are my own.