Biloxi, Mississippi – Vegas of the South?
I was a little skeptical when a good friend of mine called and suggested we head down to Biloxi, Mississippi, for some gambling and the New Orleans Jazz Festival. Well, even though I was skeptical, I have never had a bad time in the “Big Easy,” and I had never been to Biloxi so, why not….? I packed my bags and headed out the door – short notice, but I am always ready to hit the road!
I was uncertain what shape the Gulf Coast would be in, as the last time I was in this part of the country I was on a Katrina clean-up volunteer trip and the gulf coast was still a mess. I was pleasantly surprised when arriving in Biloxi that the coast is coming back in a big way! The eight casino resorts are back in operation, and I was staying at the Beau Rivage Resort & Casino, which reopened its doors one year to the date of Katrina’s hitting the Mississippi coast. The hotel resembles the Bellagio in Vegas, which is my favorite place to stay when I am in Sin City, so I had high hopes for this hotel. Their website states “Your pleasure and comfort are our only priorities – experience the commitment for yourself.” And they did not disappoint – the service was fantastic from the Bell, Casino, Catering and Front Desk staff; the employees I came into contact with LOVE their jobs and the hotel’s commitment to them.
I had dinner in both of the resort’s fine dining restaurants – BR Prime and Jia. BR Prime has an old supper club, RAT PACK with a step-back-in-time feel, and is the sister restaurant to Prime in Vegas which is an all-time favorite of mine. But BR Prime is NO STEP-SISTER – the seafood and steak and service were to die for! Jia has a totally different feel; this Zen-inspired Pan-Asian restaurant has a wonderful atmosphere and a great sushi bar. I was able to introduce the bartender and my fellow travelers to the “Ginger Assassin” cocktail Rachel and I learned to make at the Wine Riot in Boston a few weeks ago – it was a huge hit. As much as I loved the vibe of the restaurants and their nightclub Coast – the rooms fell short on basic amenities for me.
- NO Wi-Fi in the hotel, which made it difficult for me to work at the pool
- NO coffeemaker in the room, which made it difficult for me to work in the room without ordering room service
- NO minibar in the room, so I HAD to order room service for either a cable, coffee or a Coke – bummer …
I did like the colors selected for the room since I was in it a lot, and they did have LCD televisions, panoramic floor-to-ceiling windows and a lighted closet with a full-length mirror, which was a plus.
So after spending a day at the pool and a night at the tables and closing Coast, we got up and headed to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. I was really excited about going to the festival, and after I had done a little research and found out a few quick facts, I couldn’t wait to hang out and spend a day with thousands of other people who love music as much as I do.