Smoking Aces and Cool Drinks at Agua Caliente Casino

We Set the Scene for the Perfect Casino Night

Written By: Barbara Beran Smoking Aces and Cool Drinks at Agua Caliente Casino
Photographed By: Noble Andrews
Styled By: Mimu Motamedi
Hair By: Gwendolyn Sneed
Makeup By: Brian Bond
Models: Nicole Pedra of Brand Model & Talent Agency, Liz Mittra and Preston Riggs of Wilhelmina Models

The Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa has been a part of Coachella Valley culture for decades, bringing the perfect mix of entertainment and relaxation to both locals and visitors of all ages. The original Downtown Palm Springs location is currently undergoing a complete revamp, creating serious anticipation in the community. In the meantime, the second location in Rancho Mirage—one of the tallest buildings in the desert—continues the Agua legacy, undeniably bringing a luxe, exciting energy to the sandy surroundings.

The resort hosts 340 spacious, modern rooms featuring flat-screen TVs, sunken tubs and floor-to-ceiling tranquil views of the gorgeous Coachella Valley and San Jacinto Mountains. The four-diamond rated property has amenities that will make you lose track of time: There’s the Sunstone, an award-winning spa that provides seasonal massages and skin treatments, a full service salon, eucalyptus steam room and dry sauna. Make it a classic Palm Springs retreat by soaking up the sun next to one of Agua’s two private outdoor swimming pools with cabana options or experience The Show, a premier concert theatre with VIP boxes and suites. Previous concert headliners include the Goo Goo Dolls, Willie Nelson and ZZ Top.

Ready for your date with Lady Luck? She’s waiting in the 71, 000-square-foot casino player’s paradise with the desert’s best slots, video poker, table games, a penny slot room and the only private poker room in the Coachella Valley. Blackjack is a favorite among regulars who may choose between six-deck, single-deck, double-deck or Spanish 21 styles of play. Although there are no written rules on table etiquette, treating it as any other social event is recommended. Agua Caliente Table Games Operations Manager Jerry Park deals his best advice on the game: “Know your limit and what you are willing to lose. The key when playing is to have fun. The player is playing for the social experience and entertainment with the added chance of winning some money.”  

Agua Caliente Casino Resort Spa also offers numerous dining options, from casual to fine dining, overseen by Executive Chef Mike Milligan. Chef Milligan believes that “flavors of a casino should showcase not only local cuisine, but those of a diverse culture.” Waters Café offers American classics and light California cuisine with dishes like housemade potato chips with a chipotle ranch dip, ahi poke wonton tacos with wasabi aioli, Baja fish tacos and a prime cut burger with fries. “When I lived in Hawaii, the fish was so fresh and alive with flavor. This is something I wanted to bring to the desert with our ahi, ” says Chef Milligan. The Waters Café bar also hosts The After Party following weekend events at The Show. Beat the heat with a frozen drink like The Great Blake, a luscious strawberry daiquiri floating on orange liqueur or a craft style cocktail like the Agua Dulce Martini served in a stemless martini glass.  

If you’re in the mood for fine dining and outstanding service, the resort’s signature restaurant, The Steakhouse, features the finest prime steaks, seafood and delectable desserts. Chef Milligan recommends ordering the prime bone-in ribeye explaining, “You don’t need to change a great piece of meat, just season it well and cook it right.” The marbled bone-in ribeye is USDA prime beef, grill-marked with a deep-flavored signature rub. Also recommended are sautéed scallops with papaya and ginger slaw. The dish consists of a larger dry sea scallop with firm texture and a sweet taste, served with a citrus-y saki cream sauce garnished with papaya and ginger. Favorite drinks include the dirty martini, cognac, whiskey on the rocks and fine vintages from the restaurant’s extensive wine list. Notably, The Steakhouse has won the “Wine Spectator Award of Excellence” eight years in a row.

When it comes to attire, keep it chic yet comfortable. Channel vintage glamour and accompany it with your own twist of modern influence. After all, Palm Springs is known as Hollywood’s desert playground, once the home of the Rat Pack, Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball, and recently adding Leonardo DiCaprio to its list of resident homeowners. Try a classic little black dress, perfect for any occasion, or make a statement with a trendy cut-out or bold color like red or electric blue. A tailored suit is also a proper choice for either gender, paired with accessories like a plunging necklace for ladies or a pocket square or bow tie for gentlemen.

In the Zone: Agua Caliente Casino Resorts is the official casino sponsor of the Los Angeles Clippers.

Agua Caliente Casino Resort and Spa
32-250 Bob Hope Dr
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270
All or Nothing: The Chips Fly at Agua Caliente Casino, Resort and Spa.

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A Palm Springs native, Barbara Beran now calls San Diego home. Receiving her B.A. from SDSU, she has worked in most areas of the media industry including Public Relations, Marketing, Social Media and creative writing. Her passions include travel, fashion, music, food, photography, giving back and being outside in nature.


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