Quaint vs. Luxury
Chris and I have visited many casinos in our 8 years of marriage but we met our favorite this past December as we enjoyed 3 glorious days at The Golden Nugget Casino and Resort in Lake Charles, LA. We had been to Lake Charles' other Casino and Resort, L'auberge back in March 2013 and were blown away by it at the time; however, The Golden Nugget seems to have passed L'auberge in nearly ever category.
L'auberge du lac Casino and Resort- Lake Charles (March 2013)
The Golden Nugget- Lake Charles (December 2014)
There really is no comparison between the two. While the L’auberge is nice, The Golden Nugget is extravagant to say the least! The Golden Nugget offers a modern, luxurious room with a nice sectional living room set, a small breakfast table and chairs and an upscale bathroom featuring an extended garden tub, and a shower built for two. The L’auberge gives little more than the standard hotel room fair which can be found at any Days Inn or La Quinta. The Golden Nugget is the CLEAR winner in this category.
This is only the beginning of the luxurious room that The Golden Nugget offered.
This is L'aubrege's standard room... Oddly enough, because we used "comps" the time we went, we had double beds too! Haha!
SWIMMING POOL and BEACH
This category is difficult to judge since the pool area for The Golden Nugget was not finished when we stayed there. The Golden Nugget’s pool looks like it will be amazing in both style and leisure. It is large, multi-tiered and accompanied by a large hot tub. It is said to be heated and should have a lazy river. The L’auberge had a decently large pool area complete with a large family pool, several hot tubs, a lazy river with inner tubes and bridge crossings, a fenced-in adults only heated pool and a swim-up bar. It delivers, as promised, and is a huge benefit of the resort. Both casinos had beaches and marinas, neither seemed to be advantageous over the other. The L’auberge is the winner here, thus far!
A view of the L'auberge Lazy River from my inner-tube!
A complete view of L'auberge's Pool/Beach/Lazy River scene! It is EPIC!
A view of The Golden Nugget's Pool area, expected to be complete in March 2015!
Inside, The L’auberge resembles a great lodge, complete with walls resembling a log cabin and giant fire places welcoming guests. The ceilings are nondescript and are of moderate height. The casino itself is dark for a casino, symmetrical with the glow bar in the middle of the casino floor. The Golden Nugget has a much more Vegas style look and feel to it. With High Ceilings, exotic decorations, bright lights, and opulence, it is the clear winner in this category. The marble floors and plush carpet compliment the fine attention to detail found throughout the design of the décor. Keeping in mind that we visited The Golden Nugget just 12 days after it’s “Soft” Grand Opening, it still was the hands down winner in this category!
One of the main hallways inside The Golden Nugget.
The hotel Main Lobby desk inside The Golden Nugget.
The L'auberge nicely decorated for Christmas (December 2014)!
They participated in Christmas decorations whereas The Golden Nugget did NOT!
A dark main hallway inside L'auberge du lac Casino and Resort.
The feel was much more cramped and log-cabin feel!
RESTAURANTS AND SHOPPING
Both casinos had similar shopping scenes with clothing and candy stores. Neither were anything to write home about, especially for the middle class such as us! The Golden Nugget, being owned by Landry’s, had a mix of familiar and upscale restaurants. We did not eat at Landry’s seafood, Grotto, or Saltgrass steakhouse as we have easy access to them at home. We did eat at Lillies (Asian cuisine) and The Buffet. Unfortunately, we did not find time to eat at Vic and Anthony’s, Cadillac Bar and Cantina Mexican Grill or the Claim Jumper. L’auberge has several restaurant options and we enjoyed Jack Daniel’s Bar and Grill the last time we were there but it was NOTHING in comparison to the many high-class cuisine options that were offered at The Golden Nugget. The Golden Nugget wins this category easily!
The "Gourmet" burger from Jack Daniel's Bar and Grill at L'auberge.
"The Nugget" sushi from Lillie's Asian Cuisine Restaurant at The Golden Nugget.
Both casinos offered a great playing area full of both slot machines and table games but once again The Golden Nugget had more of a Vegas feel to it while L’auberge felt more like a Shreveport River Boat of some sorts. The center of the casino floor at L’auberge was really neat with the “High Rollers” room smack-dab in the middle while The Golden Nugget had more of a Party Pit style in the middle of their floor with several table games, a large two-sided bar and even an area for a live- band! Both casinos had excellent casino floors so this will be labeled as a tie.
The "Bar 46" area inside The Golden Nugget casino floor.
It had a much more open concept to it! It felt less-cramped!
L'auberge's casino floor with wall to wall slots!
The feel seems compact compared to The Golden Nugget.
While playing at each casino you can aquire drinks as “comps” from the casino itself but The Golden Nugget had real bars within the casino floor which feature video poker games. This allowed the guest to play poker while sitting at the bar and watching football. For a couple of people who were far in the RED it allowed for a more enjoyable time than that of just walking around resort. The “comping” aspect of the experience has to go The Golden Nugget for the immediate effect; however, we have continuously received offers from L’auberge for complimentary hotel stays because of our previous play at their casino and resort. We have yet to be offered any of these comps from The Golden Nugget but that could (doubtfully though) change. At this time I would call the comps category a tie.
Chris's winnings from L'auberge in March 2013!
Unfortunately, we won more at L'auberge! BUT there is always next time!
Both casinos and resorts are a great vacation for anyone who needs a 2-3 day getaway and has a few bucks to spare or burn. They each are much nicer than any Shreveport casino and easily better than the “Western Most” I-10 casino such as Delta Downs. They each are true resorts and live up to their name and expectations of being a resort. However, I think The Golden Nugget can and will attract more people, even those of the non-gambling mentality, strictly because of it’s amazing décor, shopping and restaurants within it’s facilities! Chris and I had an AMAZING trip in December 2014 and we look forward to planning another trip in the very near future!
Chris and I at L'auberge celebrating our 7th anniversary in March 2013!
Chris and I at The Golden Nugget in December 2014
God is good.. ALL the time!