Pechanga Resort and Casino Review

Pechanga Resort and Casino is on the Pechanga Indian Reservation in Temecula, California. It is the largest casino in California with 188,000 square feet of game space and 3,400 slot machines. The casino can be found at 45000 Pechanga Parkway. It was opened in 2002 by Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. The hotel has 517 rooms. When it was first constructed the Pechanga tribe spent $262 million on the complex highlighting the tribe’s culture throughout the entire hotel and casino.

Pechanga Resort and Casino helps stimulate the local economy by employing 4,100 people. It is also the second largest private employer in the country only losing out to Stater Brothers, a grocery store.

The casino is made up of 85,000 square feet, a 1,200 seat showroom, 515,000 square feet 14 story hotel and 38,000 square feet convention center with 200 cabaret seat lounge. The Eagle’s Nest lounge and seven restaurants provide a place to eat and relax for guests. In 2004 just two years after the casino resort opened a renovation to add 100,000 square feet to the gaming space was completed. In this space high limit gaming, foot court, Kelsey’s Sport Restaurant, and 54 poker tables were added. To gamble in the state of California guests must be 21, since the age limit changed in 2003 from 18.

Atmosphere and Specifications

The casino has 188,000 square feet of floor space with 12,700 square feet as non smoking. About 300 slot machines are in the non smoking area of the 3,400 in the casino. There are 130 tables and 54 poker tables in the non smoking area. The high limit salon has a private dining lounge for maximum comfort.

The hotel has 64 suites out of the 517 rooms. As part of the hotel there is a swimming pool and spa. There is a poolside bar with food service, three retail shops and a health club. The atmosphere in the hotel is elegance coupled with maximum relaxation for sophisticated players and guests looking to take advantage of gambling, spa treatments, and the golf course.

Journey at Pechanga

Journey at Pechanga is the name of the golf course and club opened in 2008. The course was designed by Arthur Hills to be an 18-hole championship location with a par 72 and 7,219 yards on the longest tees. The course is open to the public. There is roughly seven miles of cart paths to help guests move around the challenging course. The carts all have GPS and tips narrated by Ryder Cup Captain Corey Pavin. Pavin is the tour pro for the course.

As part of the golfing experience there is a 62,000 square foot clubhouse, 2,8000 square foot pro shop and 150 lockers in the rooms. Dining is possible at Journey at Journey’s End or the Journey a la Cart. The restaurant is open for breakfast and lunch only. The cart is a snack part close to the starter shack.

Other Hotel Amenities

Pechanga Resort and Casino features an RV park and more than 445 acres of park, parking lots, and facilities. The RV park has 168 shaded lots with electric, water, cable, and sewer. There are 25 pull through sites. There is a heated pool and two hot tubs with two clubhouses, pet area, and Pechanga gas station as part of the park too. Spa Pechanga is newer than the resort having opened in 2008 just a few months after the golf course. The facility has ten therapy rooms, a steam sauna, and hair and nail salon. Players and guests can book couple’s massages.

The convention space can be used for large events, private events, charities, and many other special needs. The Grand Ballroom is 53,000 square feet with flexible meeting rooms. There are a total of 13 breakout rooms. The outdoor space is 22,000 square feet. There is also a 125 seat lecture center with teleconferencing options.


If you include the restaurant at the golf club there are eight plus the food court at Pechanga Resort and Casino. Each is led by a superior chef with plenty of training in the food industry.

The Great Oak Steakhouse is known for its 900 wines. Paisano’s Italian Ristorante, Blazing Noodles, Seafood Grotto, Kelsey’s, Pechanga Café, Pechanga Buffet, and Temptations Food Walk are the restaurants. The food walk is the food court with Pronto, Agave, American Classics, Little Wok, Parkway Deli, and Cafee Cocoa.

Pronto is Italian in cuisine, while Agave is Mexican. Cafee Cocoa is known for its coffee and desserts. Pechanga has a room service menu too. Hours of operation vary from restaurant to restaurant. Some of these locations require reservations or accept them. For example the Great Oak is open daily at 5pm and will take reservations for the American cuisine restaurant.

Paisanos is open Friday through Tuesday from 5pm. It is not open on Wednesday or Thursday. As the name implies it is an Italian restaurant offering a variety of dishes by Chef Shawn Thaden. The Grotto is a seafood location using local seafood and other fish from around the world. The restaurant is open at 5pm on Wednesday through Sunday.

Kelsey’s is a buffet style restaurant with a variety of cuisines, dessert bar, beverages and much more. The buffet is available for lunch and dinner Monday through Friday at 11am. It is open for three daily meals Saturday and Sunday at 9pm. Lunch is $9.95, dinner $12.95 on weekdays and $16.95 on weekends.

Blazing Noodles is a lunch and dinner location opening at 11am daily. On Saturday and Sunday they serve Dim Sum. As the name implies they serve Chinese and Vietnamese cuisine. The Buffet is another option with soup, salad bar, grill, carving station, and dessert. It is open for brunch on Sundays. It is also open daily for lunch and dinner.

Journey’s End is the golf club restaurant. They offer catering, wedding menus, and special event menus, as well as breakfast and lunch on most days. Pechanga Café serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They have a 24 hour menu for snacks, full meals, and beverages. The food court has plenty of tables much like many Las Vegas casinos. The restaurants are open daily for lunch and dinner.

Games Offered at Pechanga


Pechanga Resort and Casino has over 3,000 slot machines based on reels, video, video poker, and keno. Some of the latest slot machines include American Idol, The Amazing Race, Sex in the City, Cash Wizard, and Monopoly.

Table Games

There are 132 tables with Three Card Poker, Blackjack, Let it Ride, Mini-Baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, EZ Baccarat, Buster Blackjack, Mystery Card Roulette, Pechanga Craps, and Fortunate Pai Gow Poker. These are just some of the table games provided. There is also Pai Gow Tiles for those who want to play the traditional ancient Chinese version of the game.

Let it Ride is a poker variation using five card hands. The hands are formed with three dealt to the players and two from the community cards. Basic rules of the game require the two community cards to be dealt face down until the first round of bets is completed. The second card is only revealed after another round of betting. In this way players can decide if they will wager or not. Those who want to remain in the game are supposed to say “let it ride.” The payout on this type of game can range from 1:1 to 1000:1 with the best hand being royal flush.

Poker Room

In the poker room No Limit Hold’em, Omaha High Low, and tournament plays are hosted. The room is on the second floor of the casino near the Round Bar. Poker games are as follows for rates:

No Limit Hold’em $1/$2, $2/$5, $5/$10 and $10/$20

Hold’em $2/$4, $3/$6, $6/$12, $8/$16, $20/$40

Omaha $3/$6, $4/$8

Guests can share in the Mega Jackpot depending on the hands they earn. The jackpot can range from less than $90,000 to more than $130,000. It is important to get 4-10s or better for less than $90,000. $130 and up can be won with any quads. The current Mega Share is $64,757 but it is a progressive pot so this can change. Mini pot is $11,361 and Omaha is $7,617.

Promotions as part of the poker room include Graveyard Easy Money, Mystery Cash Hot Seats on Monday, High Hand Cash Giveaways, and Splash the Pot. Splash the Pot is held Wednesdays from 1pm to 11pm.

High Limit Gaming

For those with a big bank account or credit applied through the casino they may want to try the 14,000 high limit gaming room. In this room high stakes are the only wager one can make. There are 235 slots and video poker in this room that range from $1 to $100. A bar is open 24 hours a day for those who want a drink along with their game play. VIP casino hosts help individuals move around to the various table games as part of the high limit gaming and can help answer special requests.

High Limit Salon

The High Limit Salon is different from the High Limit Gaming Room. This salon is for privacy, luxury, and comfort. All bets will be high stakes. There are different table games such as Pai Gow, Blackjack, and Mini Baccarat in the room as well. There is a private dining lounge for VIPs should they want to avoid the rest of the casino and concentrate on wining.


Entertainment at Pechanga will vary from Pechanga theater, championship boxing, cabaret lounge, eagle’s nest, comedy club, and silk at Pechanga. Pechanga provides headliner acts you will be familiar with in a variety of venues. Some of the current events have or do include Elvis Tribute Artist Contest, Lisa Lampanelli, Tower of Power with Barela, Summer Grove Jam, ESPN live Boxing, Sharon Cuneta, and the 16th Annual Pechanga Pow Wow. Other events are Matchbox Twenty, Carlos Mencia, 3rd Annual Microbrew and BBQ Festival, The Avett Brothers, and Chelsea Handler. Throughout the entire year there is something to see including Christmas shows.

The Pechanga Theater has seen events such as Chicago, Bill Cosby, Goo-Goo Dolls, Jerry Seinfeld, Ray Romano, Kelly Clarkson, and George Lopez. Events can be purchased at the casino or through the online website.

The Cabaret Lounge features live music Wednesdays through Sundays. On Mondays and Tuesdays the lounge is available for Karaoke from 9pm to 1am. Individuals must be 21 to enter the lounge. Performers include Endoxi, Soto, JD Priest, 80z Allstars, Basix Boogie, and LA Blue.

The Comedy Club hosts Ian Bagg, Darren Carter, Hal Sparks, Gina Yashere, and the Chief of Comedy. Each person has a week that they perform to help keep the shows varied for frequent visitors. The club is open Friday and Saturday with two shows each day. The shows are at 7:30pm and 9:30pm.

Loyalty/Rewards Program

The Club at Pechanga is the loyalty rewards program offered to guests of the casino. The club is available for free. Simply fill out an application to get the free card that can be used around the casino in a variety of places. The club provides gaming action, meals, hotel accommodations, spa treatments, entertainment, merchandise and more. Some of the offerings are for discounts only while others can be a free stay and play option. It will depend on the current market as to what is offered. The club card earns points towards certain options such as club dollars.

Club Dollars are rewards for playing at the casino. These dollars can be used for easy play or to be used at the resort or outlet shops. Easy play can also provide one with special promotions.

The Club has comp dollars for amenity use such as hotel rooms, restaurants, or to purchase items at the outlets. Comp dollars are usable on tickets or spa treatments. There is a card tier level for players. Each level has a different option. The higher the tier level the more rewards. Typically, VIPs have the highest tier levels which they earn for being special individuals that come to the casino for high stakes games. VIP parties, player events, preferred seating, and larger discounts are part of the higher tiers.

On slot machines the club earns one point for $1 coin. Video poker takes $2 coins to earn one point. Table games earn on a different method. It takes 1000 points to get $1 club dollar. Comp dollars are earned based on the type of play and length of play. With slot players the machine used and time of play will determine how many dollars are earned. For table games the type of game, length of play, and average bet per hand will make a difference in how much is earned. Benefits expire after 12 months if they have not been redeemed. Tier levels can be earned based on the amount of tier points one earns during the qualifying period. The levels are classic, silver, gold, platinum, and red.

For those who join the club membership will be free and it also gives access to the current promotions running at the casino. Promotions right now include Cool Escape Table Games and Coca Cola Summer Splash. Promotions change throughout the year to make them interesting for frequent players.