“Mom, I wish you hadn’t forgotten your swimsuit. This pool is so AWESOME! I want to stay here forever”. From the mouth of our 7 year old, a glowing endorsement of our all-too-short staycation at Richmond’s River Rock Casino Resort.
The River Rock Casino Resort is a stone’s throw from the Vancouver International Airport. In fact the resort is directly under the flight path. While we never noticed the noise of the planes, we sure enjoyed watching them approach the runway from our hotel suite. And let me tell you about that suite, a 2-bedroom suite! This is the only way I want to travel from now on: a room for the kids, a room for the parents, and a shared living room. The experience was shockingly delightful. My husband and I didn’t have to sit – silent as church mice – in a darkened hotel room from 7:30pm onwards. We actually had a bit of a date-night while on a staycation with the kids! But back to the room: the luxury Euro-top cashmere King beds with 300 thread count sheets were cloud-like in their comfort, everyone delighted in the 42” TV in the living room and 32” TVs in the bedrooms. Without a doubt the kids were able to make an early morning visit to the pool due to the in-room Nespresso coffee machine (without that Nespresso parents would not have moved out of the comfy bed). Other perks available in the suites: free high-speed WiFi, complimentary local telephone calls, complimentary morning newspaper (available upon request), and complimentary self-parking.
Given their choice our kids would have spent our entire staycation at the River Rock Casino Resort’s pool. The salt-water pool, with a 70ft slide, offered hours of entertainment to our boys. The resort supplies slippers & robes in your room to wear to the pool, and there are towels poolside for your use. While my family swam I escaped to the onsite spa, Absolute Spa, for a pedicure. And in my ongoing theme of forgetting to pack necessary items, I was incredibly grateful of the disposable flip-flops the spa provided post-pedicure.
I love food and I openly admit to planning many of our holidays around specific dining opportunities. Our River Rock Casino Resort staycation absolutely satiated my need for delicious bites. We started our staycation with an unforgettable dim sum meal at Sea Harbour Restaurant. The meal was so good I’ve already made a reservation to return in a week’s time. I can’t stop thinking about the dumplings, so many yummy dumplings. And I tried chicken feet! I must be honest and say I don’t fully understand the appeal – while the flavouring coating the chicken was delicious – eating chicken feet is a lot of work for very little reward. It isn’t as though chicken feet have a lot of meat on them, and there are a ton of bones. But I’ve ticked off that item from my foodie bucket list. When visiting Sea Harbour Restaurant, I highly recommend ordering: crystal shrimp dumplings, xiao long bao (a doughy-dumpling stuffed with a sweet BBQ pork), siu mai (yellow-wrapped dumpling stuffed with pork), wu gok (an insanely delicious dumpling made from taro and stuffed with a scallop), and the golden custard dumpling (Sea Harbour is especially well known for this dumpling, but a word of caution, bite into this dumpling carefully as the custard likes to burst out).
If dim sum doesn’t pique your interest, never fear, there are a plethora of other dining options available. The Resort has a massive buffet that will tempt even the pickiest of eaters. We checked out the dinner buffet and ate our weight in sushi, prawns, shellfish and more. The chef goes out of his way to provide exceptional seafood for the diners at the resort. For breakfast, we skipped the buffet and enjoyed in-suite dining. Such a treat for the kids! And they are still talking about their chocolate waffles. We certainly put a dent in our “strict-parent” reputation – chocolate for breakfast, TVs in their rooms, hours spent at the pool, and a ridiculously late bedtime – but our mid-February staycation at the River Rock Casino Resort was exactly the pick-me-up we needed after endless weeks of rain and grey skies.
River Rock Casino Resort is comprised of 2 properties. The Resort, on the West side of River Road, is home to the casino, the pool, Absolute Spa, the River Rock Theatre, Starbucks, the buffet, and the resort suites. The Hotel, on the East side of River Road, is home to the Sea Harbour Restaurant, and more traditional – albeit contemporary – hotel rooms. Take time to bookmark the “Promotions” page on the River Rock Casino Resort. Throughout the year there are deals gears towards families, BC residents, couples, and more. You can also go the easy route and have emails highlighting upcoming promotions delivered straight to your inbox by signing up here.