Don’t let that 1995 crime film fool you. Casinos are a fine place to enjoy a bit of downtime. Moreover, it’s becoming more convenient than ever for DMV residents access them as nearby casinos have been expanding and improving their enhancements over the last decade. Maryland casinos began humbly as slot machine operations in annexed buildings to existing retail or entertainment facilities. Local casinos expanded gambling operations in November 2012, when a state referendum was passed for existing casinos to include table games. Since 2012, additional offerings continue to keep local casinos an ideal staycation venue for many area residents.
Live! Casino & Hotel, known formerly as Maryland Live! Casino, is one such destination to enjoy a staycation. The complex itself is located in Hanover, Maryland, 27 miles from the White House, and shares a parking lot with Arundel Mills Mall. Side note, Arundel Mills Mall is the largest mall in the state of Maryland and includes a Dave & Buster’s, a Medieval Times dinner theater, a 24-screen movie theater, 17 anchor stores, as well as other stores and restaurants.
Let the Games Begin
The casino in Live! Casino & Hotel is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There are electronic games and slot machines, as well as tables for Blackjack, Roulette, Craps, and a 52-table Poker room. Live! Casino & Hotel has been named the Best Casino in Maryland by Strictly Slots Magazine for the sixth year in a row, and with great reason! There are a great variety of slots machines and video poker games, a clean and non-smoking environment (with exception to the Orchid Gaming & Smoking Patio), free self-service soda stations throughout the casino area, and attentive service.
The 310-room Live! Hotel and conference center opened in July 2018, is located next to the casino building, and includes 52 suites. Luxury amenities in every hotel room include high-speed internet, Ultra HD 55” TV, a plush pillow-top mattress, a reading chaise, plush robes and linens, a walk-in shower, and marble finishes in the spacious bathroom.
There are extended stay options available to those interested in a longer visit at Live! Lofts. The 11-story building has recently been updated. The $3 (0h 10m) million renovation transformed each of the 250 hotel rooms, suites, and meeting facilities.
Walking through the lobby is an experience close to visiting an art gallery, complete with the Cordish Art Collection as curated by Suzi Cordish. There are 41 contemporary works from known artists like Mel Bochner and local artists like Chul Hyun Ahn. Though not a themed collection, each piece invites a long gaze for thought. Most impressive is the 10-foot-high by 17-foot-wide digital art installation by Jennifer Steinkamp called “Botanic 3”. It’s impossible to miss since the installation is hung behind the reception desk, displaying a video loop of “floating” bright flowers.
— Live! Casino & Hotel (@LiveCasinoHotel) August 29, 2018
A Plate For Every Palate
The Live! Hotel houses 10 restaurants to satiate most palates. A quick view on Instagram for #DineatLive will show all the delectable options!
For the most local experience, head over to Phillip’s Seafood Express. This location is open 24 hours a day, which is perfect for anyone who wants to sample what made this local restaurant chain famous. If burgers are what you crave, Bobby’s Burger Palace is the restaurant to visit. There’s also Morty’s Delicatessen, which is a call to the traditional New York deli menu. Anyone with a taste of the East can look at either sushi selections from 8 at Luk Fu or a more comprehensive Asian menu at Luk Fu.
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Keeping up with my soup kick, who doesn’t love a good SECRET MENU ITEM? This shareable bowl of Pho at Luk Fu (inside of @livecasinohotel) has three pounds of seafood including fresh lobster, scallops, shrimp, fish balls and clams. Swipe for more pho fun! #DineAtLive ⋆ ⋆ ⋆ #baltimore #baltimorefoodie #bmorelocal #yelpbaltimore #instafood #foodstagram #eeeeeats #charmcitytable #foodielife #visitbaltimore #ediblebaltimore #foodpic #dmvfood #dmvfoodie #marylandeats #bmore #foodiegram #mybmore #comfortfood #pho #marylandlive #hanover #seafood #seafoodlover #casinofood
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Anyone interested in some sabor, or Latin flavor, should walk directly to En Vivo!
Looking for some coffee and dessert? The perfect spot is at Luckies! Undecided guests can turn to The Cheesecake Factory, with its 200+ menu selections, there’s gotta be something that piques interest.
Those looking for breakfast at any time of the day will feel right at home at David’s. This 24-hour restaurant has an eclectic global menu offering that also has a Sunday brunch service with bottomless mimosas or bloody Marys. What about those looking for that liquid diet called happy hour? No problem! Step right on to the Lobby Bar at David’s for hand-crafted cocktails, wine, or beer. Best parts about this bar are the happy hour specials and the live entertainment.
Saving the best for last is the most prominent of these 10 restaurants: The Prime Rib. Choosing The Prime Rib is choosing a fine-dining seafood and steakhouse experience. The Prime Rib has locations in Washington, DC, Baltimore, MD, and Philadelphia, PA. However, this locale is no exception to the superior quality of service and cuisine that the brand continues to provide its patrons.
A Little Rest & Relaxation
No staycation is complete without considering the added relaxation from a spa treatment. The Live! Spa and Salon is a tranquil oasis that offers massages, body polishes, and body wraps. within its five treatment rooms. Other options include advanced skincare and anti-aging treatments. The beauty salon offers nails and hair services for individuals and groups alike.
Couples can unwind together in the duo treatment suite, which includes massage tables and a tub for two.
There’s plenty of entertainment options for those craving a more active experience. Live performances are among the options available any day of the week. For instance, comedy shows and concerts are lined up to perform every week. There’s also salsa dancing and DJ nights. Another option is the fully-equipped fitness center located across the Live! Spa & Salon. Directly outside of the Live! Casino & Hotel complex is Arundel Mills Mall for shopping, Medieval Times dinner theater as an alternate live performance while dining option, Dave & Buster’s for a video arcade games, and Cinemark Egyptian 24 and XD for watching movies.
Entertainment complexes are now the common trend for certain local attractions. What was once a focused activity center has become a destination for groups looking to both enjoy each other’s company and/or have some quality self-care time. For Live! Casino & Hotel, that means attracting guests who enjoy an overnight stay with restaurants, live performances, adult entertainment, shopping, and spa treatments. Unsurprisingly, they’ve won the jackpot by including all the attractions in one place while providing excellent service.
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Gigi Smith is a wanderlusting wife, mother, and businesswoman. She also happens to be the chief editor of DC Life Magazine, a publication specializing in cultural diversity for social change in the nation's capital. Like most residents in the DMV area, Gigi was once a transplant and decided to grow roots in the metropolitan DC area. She realized early on in high school that resources for cultural diversity will become necessary. Gigi's seen her fair share of neighborhood gentrification changes along with the rise and fall of real estate market prices. She's seen firsthand how DC area fashion bloggers have risen up into the primary market economy as the West Wing fashion era faded away. Gigi still craves to experience all the glory of her ancestral cuisine at Bad Saint, the crowning glory of Washington, DC as deemed by Bon Apetit magazine. And thanks to the arrival of Amazon, Gigi still believes that DC is the Silicon Valley of the East Coast.