LuxeGetaways Magazine – Fall/Winter 2017 | Heading east toward Biloxi on U.S. Route 90, one of the first landmarks appearing above the horizon is Beau Rivage Resort & Casino. The shimmering white façade and grandiose castle-like structure is the tallest building in Mississippi, and undoubtedly the most eye-catching. Sitting on the glistening waters of the Gulf of Mexico, it tantalizes anyone within eyeshot.
The allure escalates upon arrival at 875 Beach Boulevard. More than two-dozen Southern live oak trees line the path up to the stately Porte cochêre, which is surrounded by a spouting waterfall, lush azaleas and evergreens. Five steps into the atrium lobby, guests are greeted by the fresh scent of begonias, daisies and hydrangea – all bountifully arranged under an indoor arboretum with a high glass ceiling.
Yes, before even catching your breath and heading for check-in, “The Beau” — as it is referred to by the locals — has already captured you. You have arrived to gamble, spa, enjoy the sunshine, dine and dance. And the grand entrance is a sure signal that you are in for an all-around first-class experience.
The Magnolia State is home to 31 casinos, including 12 in the Coastal Region that features 62 miles of white sand beaches along the Gulf Coast. Beau Rivage — which means “beautiful shore” in French — is the most lavish of the bunch. Designed by casino magnate Steve Wynn, and operated by MGM Resorts International, it is no surprise that this 32-story (3.2 million square-feet) destination brings a delectable taste of Las Vegas to the Deep South.
Beau Rivage originally opened in March 1999 at the cost of $800 million, and was the largest resort-casino in the United States outside Nevada (at the time). But after the devastating Hurricane Katrina ripped through the surrounding area in 2005, a $550 million renovation was required before a grand re-opening in August 2006.
Since that time, the entire Biloxi/Gulfport area has rebounded quite nicely. Beau Rivage has become the greatest private sector employer in Biloxi with 3,000 workers, and the biggest resort in the Southeast to receive the AAA Four Diamond award.
Stroll past that captivating scene in the lobby and sojourn through this prolific resort, and the reasons for such acclaim are quite obvious. Here are just five reasons why The Beau should be included in your future getaway plans.
Beau Rivage’s 1,740 guest rooms and suites are both appealing and elegant. Featuring contemporary décor, original artwork and bathrooms with Spanish and Grecian marble highlights, rooms are supplied with free WiFi, double pillow-top mattresses, triple sheeting and multiple telephone lines. Most rooms provide views of the Mississippi Gulf Coast, the Back Bay or the recently-opened MGM Park, home diamond for the Biloxi Shuckers, the Double A minor league affiliate team for the Milwaukee Brewers.
A personal favorite is the 400 square-foot Panoramic King Room – these are located on the corners of the resort, which allows for multiple vistas. With space for four people, these oversized rooms offer a 48-inch wall-mounted flat-screen television, media hub, iHome docking station, coffee maker and refrigerator.
Insider Tip: Not in the mood for a sit-down breakfast at Terrace Café or the sumptuous servings at The Buffett? The best option for a grab-and-go morning meal is The Roasted Bean. In addition to select coffee drinks crafted with beans that are roasted and grounded on premises every day, the charming venue, located in the shopping promenade, has breakfast and lunch sandwiches, pizzas, salads and desserts. Hold on to your coffee receipt and receive free same-day refills until 11 pm.
The casino floor is massive at 85,000 square feet, complete with 80 table games, 1,900 slot machines, and video poker machines at Breeze Bar, which sits smack dab in the center of the action. High rollers have access to a private salon that offers eight table games and more than 100 high-limit slot machines, as well a private buffet, bar, restrooms and 24-hour concierge service. The newly designed, 16-table, multi-level poker room has an ultra-hip feel to it with high ceilings, open floor plan and brick walls with graffiti art, to go along with a schedule of weekly and monthly tournaments.
Insider Tip: Attention non-smokers: Don’t miss the new smoke-free “casino within a casino” that is tucked toward the back of the gaming floor where nearly 300 slots await.
Pool and Spa
Step away from the Las Vegas-style gaming action and revel in a luxury not found in Sin City: An expansive pool scene with dramatic ocean views. Located on the second-floor, the pool deck overlooks the Gulf, and, in addition to luxurious beach reclining chairs, cabanas are available with private concierge service.
Just behind the pool is the 20,000 square-foot Spa and Salon, complete with 14 massage rooms, four facial rooms, two private pedicure rooms, five manicure stations, five stylist locations, and separate lounge areas for men and women that feature steam, sauna and whirlpools. There is also a tranquil relaxation room providing light cuisine, a juice bar and fresh fruit. A solarium that accentuates the ocean sceneries highlights the Spa’s “living room” setting.
Insider Tip: If you are looking to catch some shade during your sun-soaked pool visit, there is no need to cover up and head inside. The inviting Pool Bar & Café has al fresco seating; a cozy bar; and a friendly wait staff serving tropical cocktails, frozen drinks, fruit-infused teas, smoothies, sandwiches and appetizers.
Talk about perks. A stay at Beau Rivage allows for exclusive access to Fallen Oak, perennially ranked the No. 1 course in Mississippi, and the No. 2 casino course in the country, right behind the MGM-sister course, Shadow Creek in Las Vegas.
Located on 510 blissful acres in Saucier, about 20 minutes north from the resort, Fallen Oak is the host course each spring for the PGA Champions Tour’s Mississippi Gulf Resort Classic. The pros, caddies and media members who have made the annual trek have been effusive in their praise.
Green fees for the exquisite Tom Fazio design start at $200, but this is truly a “bucket list” type of golf course, weaving around the DeSoto National Forest and through oak and pine ridges, pecan groves, lakes, streams and wetlands. Caddies and locker room services are available to make the experience that much more extravagant and memorable.
Arrive early for your tee time in order to take full advantage of the sprawling practice facility with a grass-tee driving range, two short-game areas and a putting surface that will get you ready for those speedy, but plush, greens that are fair and consistent thanks the Sub air drainage system underneath.
Insider Tip: Before and/or after your round, do not miss the legendary Fallen Oak Bloody Mary, featuring vodka that has been infused with garlic, tomatoes, herbs and spices for exactly four days, and served at a sunken down bar overlooking the 18th fairway. Be sure to ask your server to point out the actual “fallen Oak tree” on the right-hand side of the fairway.
Coast Seafood & Brew
A trip to the Gulf Coast is not complete without diving-in and enjoying the wide array of seafood delicacies found at nearly every turn. You will do no better than the newly introduced Coast Seafood & Brew – a spacious and casual dining experience just off the casino floor that resembles a classic fish house, along with a modern twist having 16 HD televisions for those interested in catching the game.
Hungry guests are in good hands with Executive Chef Kristian Wade, who grew up on the banks of the Mississippi Gulf Coast’s Pascagoula River. The daily menu includes dishes with fresh caught fish, crab and shrimp; along with the popular local favorites such as pressed po-boys and gumbo.
Step up to the raw bar and sample fresh oysters from as close as Louisiana and Alabama to as far as Washington State and British Columbia.
Insider Tip: For a more upscale dining experience, The Beau’s signature steakhouse, BR Prime, is located just down the hall from Coast. But no matter which of The Beau’s multiple dining options you choose, the perfect spot for a pre-or-post-dinner cocktail is the always-happening EIGHT75. Named after the resort’s street address, this ultra-chic bar has leather booths and plenty of seats at the bar and – with no cover charge – and often features some of the best cover bands in the region.
Beau Rivage Resort & Casino: http://luxegetaways.info/beau-rivage