A good place to spend the night, interesting choices for meals, absorbing or entertaining things to do—these are the three basics we all seek when we travel. Here are some itineraries where the “threes” are wild.
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I challenge you to find a major resort that takes the natural world into account as much as Mohegan Sun does. Stroll through the lobby of the hotel in Uncasville, and, if you take the time to look, you will find symbols of nature everywhere. Two waterfalls come together under a walkway, symbolizing the crossing of the Hudson River that Mohegan Indians undertook long ago. The ancient stories depicted on the carpet rise and fall as they snake around the casino floor, echoing the ebb and flow of life itself. A giant birch tree is symbolized in the hotel lobby, all the way up to a ceiling lined with birch bark.
As uncommon as it is to find a resort that tries to maintain a meaningful connection with various forms of nature, it is even more unlikely for that same hotel to house a world-class array of entertainment options such as concerts, gaming, bars and restaurants.
The Sun offers three casinos, and a newly designed blackjack room that features $5 tables whose minimum bet does not change with the time of day. For the Johnny Chans out there, this option may be appealing. But for those who would rather spend money than risk it, over 80 shops, restaurants and bars await. The 10,000-seat arena offered “Dancing with the Stars” the night we arrived, but we opted for the luxurious Elemis Spa instead—and a treatment that quickly cured the ills of a long work week.
Feeling refreshed and relaxed, we next found a secluded nook in Leffingwells, a three-story lounge located on and within an artificial mountain in the middle of the casino floor, for a predinner drink. Looking up, we saw stars displayed on the world’s largest planetarium dome. Like all the other design details at Mohegan Sun, the night sky has a symbolic meaning—each star’s position is exactly as it was the night the federal government officially recognized the Mohegan tribe.
With more than 20 dining possibilities ranging from casual buffets to elegant restaurants, Mohegan Sun is not short on cuisines. Although Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville tempted my inner Parrothead, we chose to share a perfectly cooked steak and king crab legs at Michael Jordan’s Steak House. The fine-dining restaurant provided a dimly lit, comfortable atmosphere for an intimate meal. If you’re not counting calories, I highly recommend starting off with the garlic bread served with a bleu cheese fondue. M.J. himself, known for being a perfectionist, must be proud of his Uncasville digs.
After dinner, as we strolled the walkway above the gaming floor and shops, we noticed a sudden surge of customers sweep into the bars and tables. “Dancing with the Stars” had just ended, and for many it meant that the tango and salsa were turning into blackjack and cocktails. Much like the ebb and flow depicted on the carpets around the casino, the energy and excitement level of the Sun rises and falls every night. As thousands of people eagerly found their way to poker tables and bar stools, we were swept up, too, and rejoined the throng. We watched and played the roulette wheel a few times and tried out all the nightclubs, from Michael Jordan’s 23.sportcafé to Lucky’s Lounge (an old-school Vegas lounge) to very, very modern-day Ultra 88, a dance club.
Mohegan Sun houses some 1,200 luxurious guest rooms in a tower that offers views in all directions. As my head hit the pillow (it was very late, or possibly early, depending upon your perspective), I could not help but think of all that was still going on down below: the music, the laughter, the eating and drinking, the shouts of triumph and groans of disappointment with each turn of the cards and roll of the dice. A good room to stay in, a variety of dining spots, lots of things to do—Mohegan Sun comes up sevens. And all under one roof, too.
For more information on Mohegan Sun, call (888) 226-7711 or visit mohegansun.com.