HomeTravelIt’s Always 5 O’Clock at Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City

It’s Always 5 O’Clock at Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City

It seems that, right now, Louisiana is the place to be. The state is currently experiencing a record wave of tourism, with more than 41 million domestic and international visitors arriving last year and spending close to $17.5 billion, according to the Louisiana Tourist Board.

New Orleans remains the strongest draw for tourists, although visitors are flocking to all corners of the Bayou State in search of unique culture, unbeatable cuisine and stunning resort experiences. After the state topped the rankings on last year’s closely-watched “New York Times: Places to Go List,” it seems like the local tourism industry is set for another banner year.

If you’re looking for somewhere further afield than New Orleans for a quintessentially Louisiana experience, consider the sprawling, $205 million Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City. People come to Louisiana looking for hedonism and thrills, and this pleasure palace delivers in spades.

Here’s our review of Louisiana’s most unique resort.

What You Need to Know

As you may have guessed, this resort is a member of the sprawling Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville hospitality empire. The company started off as a chain of restaurants paying tribute to the music legend over two decades ago, but has since expanded to include hotels in Pensacola Beach and Hollywood, Florida, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, as well as casino resorts in Biloxi, Mississippi, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and, of course, Bossier City.

If you’re even vaguely familiar with the Jimmy Buffet empire, you’ll already know what to expect from these hugely popular resorts. The theme is always rest, relaxation and revelry in equal measures, with the resorts drawing on a strong Caribbean theme, slinging out leis and margaritas by the bucket load. All of the resorts contain a brand of a 5 ‘O Clock Somewhere Bar, where enthusiastic drinking is encouraged at all hours of the day.

The Bossier City Margaritaville Resort Casino was opened back in 2013 after costing $205 million to build, with the resort changing hands this year to be controlled by the Penn National Gaming conglomerate. Interestingly, due to Louisiana’s quirky riverboat casino laws, which mandate that all casinos within the state must be on a boat, the resort was built on a giant barge resting on a two-foot deep moat.

Rooms

The Margaritaville Resort is an immersive, all-in-one experience, with the owners clearly intending that guests never feel the need to step outside the hotel. Guests are entitled to free wifi inside the almost-unnervingly spacious rooms, as well as a personal jacuzzi and 42-inch flat screen TV.

The rooms themselves contrast somewhat jarringly with the rest of the hotel, given that the decor is more reminiscent of a small-town business hotel than a Caribbean-themed party resort. Rates start at a mere $79 for a double, so there really isn’t much to complain about considering what you get access to for that price.

Of course, if you wish to kick things up a notch, the resort offers its very own VIP package in true Las Vegas style and decadence. A stay in one of the King Luxury Suites will set you back around $400 per night but, with that, you can expect the full “high roller” treatment, including privileged access to the gaming tables and a private concierge service.

Discounts exist for veterans, senior citizens and Boardwalk employees.

What to Do

US News has ranked this place as one of the top resorts in the state—and for good reason. The main draw is the extensive casino, which rivals anything you’d find on the Las Vegas Strip. The 30,000 square-foot casino has hundreds of slot games as well as a staggering variety of table games such as blackjack, roulette, craps and baccarat.

In a thoughtful nod to its surroundings, the casino also offers local variations of popular table games, such as Missippi Stud, while also offering variants such as blackjack games with side bets. It seems that Jimmy Buffet & Co. have pumped most of their resources into delivering a world-class casino experience, having taken a leaf out of the playbook of major global casino platforms such as Betway Casino, which offers a similar range of game variants to satisfy all of their clients.

The casino floor even gives all players a so-called “XPress Bev” service, which allows for any beverage you want (yes, including margaritas) to be delivered almost immediately to your gaming station at the touch of a button.

There is still plenty to do outside of the main attraction. The resort hosts seven restaurants, all varying in atmosphere, price and cuisine. There’s Jimmy’s Seafood and Steak, which is undoubtedly a fine dining experience (with prices to match) and the decidedly mid-range Riverview Restaurant. There are two Asian restaurants on-site serving up surprisingly authentic takes on Vietnamese, Chinese and Indonesian fare, as well as a couple of buffets and a brand of 5 O’ Clock.

There is also an extensive on-site spa, complete with a pool, gym, massage suites and mud baths. Overall, this is a place to relax and enjoy the suite beauty of mindless self-indulgence. If you’re looking for culture and activities, you should definitely be looking elsewhere.

The Verdict

Overall, this is first and foremost a place to unwind, gamble and drink like you don’t have to get up for work the next day. Whether you’re passing through North Louisiana or happen to be nearby, this is an ideal spot to feel pampered and to truly switch off for the weekend. It’s also close enough to nearby Shreveport for anyone looking to get out of the hotel and do some exploring.

Margaritaville photo by Diann Bayes from Flickr Creative Commons.

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