Reno, Nevada | Weekender at Circus Circus Hotel and Casino

Saturday, January 20, 2018


A trip to Reno usually means two things to my family -- casino and snow. While my family is Team Casino, I am the lone member of Team Snow. My family will eventually make it to the snow before heading home but their main thing is to hit the tables and slot machines at the casinos in Reno. 

I would not say that maybe I have been adopted. (Thank God because I am so thankful that I have been born to my wonderful family.) I just do not love gambling like they do. In all reality, gambling is up there on the few things that I hate in life. I hate that the casinos smell like a giant ashtray and I start smelling like eau de eew just an hour inside the casinos. I also cringe whenever I see hard earned money being thrown around like they grow on trees. 

Just to make it clear, my family are not hardcore gamblers. They visit the casinos about twice a year. One of the visits is during winter because Reno, Nevada is most beautiful in the wintertime. (And what else do you do after the holidays?) They find gambling in Reno entertaining while the scenic drive that loops around the majestic snow capped mountains and cascading  rivers are what keep my heart pounding with excitement.

Reno, whose nickname is "The Biggest Little  City,"  is one of the winter playgrounds for us living in the San Francisco Bay Area. It is about  4 hours away from San Francisco just a little bit beyond the Nevada/California state line. It is a popular weekend staycation most especially when it snows not just for the casinos but for winter sports as well.

My siblings and their kids, along with my parents drove up on Friday afternoon to Reno while Mr Sweetie and I followed them early on Saturday morning. All along I was praying for snow. (On my next post we will find out if Team Snow won.)

It only took us 3 hours to get to Reno. (No traffic and yes, he can be a crazed driver sometimes.) The entire family is staying at Circus Circus in Reno. The last time I stayed at Circus was when I was a kid. Back then, all I cared for was to play at the arcade and win as many stuffed animals as I could. (I also sneaked into the slots before I turned legal and won $80! This is before I developed a hatred for gambling because I had not experienced yet the backbreaking work of earning the almighty dollar.)  

When my family told us that we are all staying at Circus Circus because of my tween nephews and niece, and baby nephew, Mr Sweetie and I groaned. All of a sudden I had flashbacks of cigarette-stinky rooms with dated furniture. As an adult who can now afford a little bit of luxury, I would rather spend more money on more comfortable accommodations. 

Circus Circus' lobby is typical -- opulent enough, made with marble, clean, generic hotel decor. I was bracing for a Motel 6 accommodation as we were walking  into our room. Surprise, surprise! It was very nice! The furniture were updated to minimal contemporary. The room did not smell at all. (I requested a non-smoking.)  There was a big flat screen TV, free wi-fi, and a modern couch. The mural of Reno behind the bed was striking and cute. 

The bathroom was totally redone and had all the creature comforts -- plenty of towels, a hair dryer, clean tub and shower with strong water pressure.

For being a part of a big hotel chain, our room looked more like a boutique hotel and had a little bit of character. I also love the retro circus themed  murals on every floor.

Another thing that I liked about Circus Circus is that it is one of the three hotels (El Dorado and Silver Legacy) that are connected to one another by tram. This is very important when it is below 0 degree outside. You do not need to venture out to get to another hotel and freeze your behind. It also means access to all the restaurants and entertainment that each hotel offers. 

Walking around Circus Circus, watch out for wild animals. They might be stuffed but you can still be whacked on the head by a giant panda being carried by a 10 year old. This is the reason why my family always stays here. The kids go loco at the arcade. (Just look at the bear that my 11 year old niece won. She proudly brought it to our room then forgot about it to pursue her next venture.) 

I took these pictures early on Sunday morning before the arcades open.
There are also fun shows -- circus acts, what else, but Mr Sweetie and I missed those this time. We took advantage of the Happy Hour at El Jefe Cantina located at Circus Circus. We had one too many delicious margaritas and slept through the night like babies while my family continued on playing until the wee hours. We just met up with my mom, dad and rest of the family for brunch the next morning. Thankfully, Lady Luck smiled at them and they all won (except for my poor sister-in-law who was all grumpy because of that.) 

Overall, we had a good experience during our stay at Circus Circus. It appealed to the kid in me and it was oodles of fun to stay at this hotel.  We had an awesome view that my nephews and niece were jealous of. (Their room is facing a wall but a little light show is turned on at night as a consolation prize.) They asked me how I scored a room with a view. It is simple -- just smile and ask. It works every single time!

Thank you for reading.  There will be more posts on my Reno adventure! (This is not a sponsored post. This was written purely out of my love for blogging and reminiscing.)

I find  that I can get a better rate every time by calling the hotel directly than going through online brokers. Our room was $130 per night while the cheapest internet rate I found was $150 for the same room.

Travel Tip: Call the hotel directly for a cheaper rate than going through online brokers.

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