When’s the last time you traveled to Reno, Nevada and stayed there for several days? I had the luxury of visiting Grand Sierra Resort and Casino for three days in the winter and it was so much fun! Whether you like to gamble, take in a show, eat like a king, enjoy a spa day or simply hang out by the pool, this is the place to stay and play at Grand Sierra Resort and Casino.
The Vegas strip may get the lion’s share of attention when it comes to gaming and how to be a VIP in Las Vegas, but Reno, the biggest little city in the world, has plenty of skin in the game. It was delightfully easy to fly to Reno, Nevada from the San Francisco Bay Area for a weekend getaway. There’s a complimentary shuttle that will whisk you from the Reno-Tahoe International Airport to the resort and if you want to be treated like a VIP there’s even a private check in for guests of the hotel.
I stayed in room #634, the Directors Suite, one of the recently remodeled rooms in the 2,105 room resort. While hotel rates range from $39 – $2,500, depending on the season, my room rented for $319 that particular night. The room was located in The A at Grand Sierra, a range of deluxe hotel rooms designed for the luxury traveler. The spacious Director Suite would be ideal for a family-friendly vacation, girlfriend getaway, or a working business trip if you need to entertain during your stay.
I loved the spa-inspired bathroom amenities from Moulton Brown and the ultra comfortable bedding in my hotel room. The dining and lounge area looked out to Mount Rose with a dusting of fresh snow on the mountains. The suite included a wet bar with refrigerator and sink. Two bottled waters daily, coffee and tea maker, iron and ironing board and hair dryer. The flat screen TV offered premium channels, but, truthfully, there’s so much entertainment offered at Grand Sierra that you won’t even turn the TV on.
Liz Andree of Reno, Nevada was at Grand Sierra Resort with some girlfriends for a Spa Day birthday celebration. “I had a knee injury and the massage therapist was so attentive and knowledgeable. It was the best massage that I’ve ever had.”
Grand Sierra Resort entertainment
During my stay I was able to catch a comedy show in the 2,100 seat Grand Theatre inside the GSR hotel. At one entire acre, I’ll bet you didn’t know that this stage is one of the world’s largest and includes a Boeing 737 airplane backstage! They also have a hallway backstage where many of the entertainers have signed the walls along the white corridor. The GSR Theatre is home to Hello Hollywood Hello show and has hosted countless musicians. Check the website for upcoming performers.
For the millennials and hipsters, check out Lex nightclub. At 25,000 square feet, Lex rocks the dance floor and has a $1 million lighting system to ignite the nightclub scene.
The resort is also family-friendly. With a year round resort pool and infinity pool, seasonal ice rink, Grand Adventure with giant swing and go carts, the kids will be kept entertained. I asked some moms what they thought of the hotel and they said they loved the outdoor fire pits and the fact that the kids were never bored.
When we come back in the summertime, I think my husband will want to visit the Grand Bay Driving Range and indoor Golf Bunker. There’s also the FunQuest Arcade and movie theater.
Grand Sierra Resort dining
With 10 plus restaurants under one roof, you will not go hungry at this Reno resort. In fact, I need to eat healthy snacks after this vacation because I dined very well in Reno! From the huge salads at the Grand Cafe and Grand Buffet to the 88 self-serve wine options at Reserve Wine Bar, I never ran out of food and wine options. Make a reservation at Charlie Palmer Steak where even vegetarians will be happy (really, I promise!) I had a disappointing meal at the Cantina, but my heart-healthy halibut with fresh asparagus at California Pizza Kitchen more than made up for the lack-luster fajitas.
If you are a sweets lover, head downstairs to Sweet Treats for local Tahoe-made toffee and chocolate truffles or go upstairs and order the peanut butter macaroon at 2nd Street Cafe. It is fabulous with a glass of ice cold milk. My highlight of the trip was Eddy’s Famous Jumbo Sticky Bun on the room service menu, but you can order the house made granola with yogurt and seasonal berries if you are watching your waistline.
Grand Sierra Resort Spa
Speaking of your waistline, if you are into self-care or spa travel, book a morning massage, followed by a spa lunch. I enjoyed a 50 minute deep tissue massage from therapist Scott Szpila and then ordered the California cheese board with dried fruit, roasted nuts, local honey and Carrs crackers.
I met Reno resident Liz Andree at the spa, celebrating her birthday with friends. “I had a knee injury and the massage therapist was so attentive and knowledgeable. It was the best massage that I’ve ever had.”
Did I mention that all treatments come with one complimentary glass of bubbly and you can stay ALL DAY at the spa and enjoy the sauna, steam room and private or co-ed whirlpool spas? The spa opened in 2013 and also offers a full-service hair and nail salon. There’s also a cardio room and fitness center on property.
“It was the best massage that I’ve ever had.” Liz Andree, Reno resident
Need to know:
Room rates vary. The resort offers AAA, military and Friends and Family discounts. There is a $26.50 resort fee, in addition to local tax and tourism surcharge. $1 is added to your rate for daily house keeping. House keeping, and the entire staff at GSR, work very hard in the customer service department. If you don’t tip house keeping daily, or at the end of your stay, you may want to re-think that attitude.
Complimentary wifi is included and there is no charge for parking. Pets are not allowed at the resort, however, they are permitted at the on-site RV Park.
Originally, I was deeply concerned that this huge resort did not have a recycling program in place. Most all of the restaurants, except Charlie Palmer Steak, provided food items in non-recyclable to-go containers. I was hesitant to order anything from the 2nd Street Cafe due to their use of plastic containers. When I asked at the cafe about all the plastic, a young employee from another country said he shared my concerns. I have since learned that the resort does recycle their cooking oil and they also recycle cardboard. One of the goals for this year is to implement a full property recycling program.
Check in: 3:00 p.m.
Check out: 11:00 a.m.
Insider Tips: For high rollers, the Diplomat Suite includes a pool table in room and private cooking demonstration station. The Ambassador Suite looks over the Sierra mountains. The Sky Boxes are available in the Grand Theatre with private view and lounge seating. For additional insider tips follow luxury travel writer @Nancydbrown on Twitter or Instagram @Nancydbrown and Grand Sierra Resort on Instagram.
If You Go:
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino (800) 648-5080
2500 E. Second Street
Reno, Nevada 89595
Grand Sierra Resort and Casino review, YouTube video and all photography by travel writer Nancy D. Brown. As is typical in the industry, I received a complimentary media stay, however, all opinions are my own.